“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

“Decisive” Footwork (for Daniel Cooke)

I was asked about something I mentioned on the article about footwork, “What is ‘decisive” footwork?”

I admit, I made this term up…. Just couldn’t think of what to call it. So here it is:

Decisive footwork is footwork that does not hesitate to move exactly when you want it to move, does exactly what you want it to do, and goes exactly where you want it to go. Not everyone has this kind of “decisiveness” in their footwork movement. Think of the skip kick. Most people don’t go from standing still to full speed ahead, although they think they do. Most people actually take a small step–or a short series of tiny steps–and then go. Watch closely when someone throws a skip kick, and you will see either the back foot shuffle in before stepping, or the front foot will take a small step and then he steps. Even the great Bruce Lee does this in nearly every clip I’ve ever seen him (both in the movies and home video). Seasoned fighters will know to react when this seemingly trivial, yet barely noticeable, mistake is made.

In another place, you will see some fighters move in their attack, and then after landing they will take a few more steps, shuffles and adjustments. Rather than just move to exactly where you need to go, they will get somewhat close and then adjust where they really needed to be.

Finally, many fighters do not move far enough. If they need to land close enough to hit the opponent with a front hand hook, he will usually take two or three steps to get there, rather than one. This is something most fighters do, but the few who can do it in one movement will enjoy greater success and more accuracy with his attacks. It isn’t easy, but after some serious training and practice should become second nature. Most people believe that footwork is as easy as simply learning a pattern and then demonstrating it. The truth is that footwork is very complex if you want to make it do exactly what you need it to do the first time you use it, without excessive motion or movements and without adjustment.

Let me know if this explanation needs more clarification. Thank you for visiting my blog! Make sure to go to “Offerings” and check out my book, Mustafa Gatdula’s How to Build a Dominant Fighter in 12 Months!

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One Response to ““Decisive” Footwork (for Daniel Cooke)”

  1. Good advice–thanks for posting.


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