Wrote this before Jack Slack, its a segment of the book.
This is the basic stuff, don’t think about getting funky master moving forward. If anyone has ever trained or fought the hardest thing to do at first is move forward and strike its like marching and playing an instrument and marching. We learned in marching band that having a smooth efficient rolling step stopped a lot of the bouncing and created a level plan so we could play specifically trumpet for myself.
Keys to remember when it comes to fundamentals are efficiency that’s everything from jabs to 6 point combinations. Moving forward starts with the spacing between your feet, about shoulder width and when you move forwards either slide your lead leg forward or move like your on air and step lightly with your lead leg. Then you want to keep your spacing by moving that that rear leg forward. For me the question became when to slide and when not to slide. I learned that when covering a large amount of distance I needed to actually take real steps like I was walking, but when I was making fine tuned adjustments moving forwards it was easier to just slide or pivot. Later on you’ll learn that moving forward when throwing combinations is much easier and a lot of fun specifically when throwing kicks that cover large gaps in space. Just remember to step forward with the lead and follow with the rear and NEVER CROSS YOUR FEET. Step when covering distance and slide when and float when making small movements. Simple enough now practice until it’s second nature and your doing it all the time.
Since you already read the forward movement basics now you need to go backwards. Just like a car moving backwards is something you need to be able to do to get out of a tight spot. Moving back starts with the rear leg since crossing your feet is frowned upon when it comes to footwork. Just like moving forward step the pattern is the same but reversed, with the rear leg take a step back and then slide or drag that lead leg back to maintain your spacing so you can continue to strike if need be. You see this in boxing a lot a guy starts moving forward while getting lit up and the guy striking has to move back to maintain his distance and continue landing.
That being said while on the defensive a thing you don’t want to do is move in a straight line backwards. It’s a thing that isn’t touched on a lot but turning the corner backwards is very important. When you move straight back that makes your a prime target for a takedown or if the opponents savie on the feet a big knee or kick or whatever you’re susceptible to strikes because you’re moving in straight line backwards. It’s the law of the center line, getting off that line is important to avoiding attacks. So when moving backwards cut to another direction when moving backwards after a few steps, unless you’re setting a trap in which case you already know what you’re doing don’t you? Yeah move back by taking a step with that rear leg and sliding that lead leg on back to keep your spacing efficient for striking.
The nest combat footwork is fencing because it was designed to mimic sword play and in that is the inherent reality that if a mistake is made death or an incredible injury will take place. So learning basic fencing footwork that translates to striking is a useful tool to have. All things begin with moving forwards and then backwards so that’s what I have broken down below.
Fencing Advance and Retreat
Advance like the name says- lead leg heel to toe then rear leg step and place or slide.
Retreat again like the name says moving backwards – rear toe place step with the lead leg backwards