Thursday, August 25, 2011
An important aspect of training in martial arts is the ability to move. This fundamental needs to be practiced and developed; that takes doing. In class, we routinely go over several footwork patterns. One training tool used a lot in many martial arts is a geometric pattern. From the simple to the ornate, these can help students reach a level of understanding of the movements that is integrated into their everyday activities.
Aside from straight line movement, the first pattern taught is on a triangle. This is an easy one for newer students to understand. We work it on what are referred to as male and female triangles. The male pattern - /\ - has the lead foot on point toward the opponent with the rear foot off on an angle away from the opponent. This can be used as an evasive retreat to set you up to move in or away. The second is referred to as the female triangle - \/ - which has the lead foot moving at an angle alongside the opponent or across their centerline. Over time, the pattern is closed and students learn the sweeps that are present in the movements in combination with handiwork.
As a solo drill, you can create an hourglass with the pattern. By using pendulum, step-n-slide and push shuffles along with the basic male and female angles, you can create a dynamic and randomized exercise.