Ranging footwork is part of my personal training. I learned this drill back in 2010 at my first Iron Mountain Camp and have used it regularly ever since. It is a great warm-up exercise that reinforces the three primary footwork patterns we use in Counterpoint Tactical Systems (CTS). In this drill, you start at the center of the asterisk (see sketch above), and then take three steps along each of the numbered lines. The first step is short, the next longer and the last a little longer. Then you return to the center of the pattern and start again down a different numbered path. It’s also important to switch the starting side. One day my first step will be with the right foot, and then the next time I’ll start with my left foot.
During the November Springfield FMA seminar, Master Whitson showed us this pattern and said that the pattern was also present in the CTS emblem. Master Whitson told us that there is no linear forward and back step in the pattern because we are working on getting off line of the attack.
90% of the CTS footwork is an attempt to get off angle from the opponent. Moving straight forward and straight back requires more of an adjustment than simply changing your position. With linear motion, you are just changing one aspect relative to your opponent – distance; by employing angular footwork, you have the option to change multiple aspects in relation to your opponent – distance, angle from opponent’s centerline, sight line of opponent’s weapon, etc. While linear footwork does have its place, the CTS practitioner prefers to step on the angle.