One of the Filipino martial arts secrets is its beautiful footwork. I love watching skilled FMA’ers move. Triangular footwork is a hallmark of the Filipino martial arts. Last week, reverse triangle was covered, and this week, we’ll look at the forward triangle, which is complementary to the reverse triangle.
Disclaimer: The footwork discussed below is from Counterpoint Tactical System as I’ve learned it from Master Zach Whitson. Any errors or inconsistencies are mine. The spirit of this series is me studying footwork in more depth. I don’t claim to know everything, and I will make mistakes. But, again, those mistakes are mine. Also, this article is for reference only and should be used as a secondary source only. Please, see a Filipino martial arts instructor if you wish to really and accurately learn these techniques.
In CTS, we start with two triangles to represent our footwork. We’ve already looked at the reverse triangle, which is known in other arts as the female triangle. Let’s examine the forward triangle, which is known in other FMAs as the male triangle. The forward triangle has the point of the located in the direction of the step.
In the forward triangle, the practitioner starts at the point of the triangle, facing away the base. For this article, we are not going to connect the base, which is why it is shown as a dashed line. Step back with your right foot at an angle, but do not move your left foot. The length of the step should be a natural stride for now. With the foot planted, weight should be evenly distributed on the legs. Bring the right foot forward to the pinnacle of the triangle and make similar step with the left foot back on an angle. Bring the left foot forward.
As a reminder, it’s important to go slow and to work on the mechanics. We want our form to be correct before increasing speed. Before we add speed into the steps, I suggest varying the length of the step itself. Shorter, longer, deeper, shallower, wider angle, more narrow angle, etc. I play with these variables as a way to get to understand how my body moves. I also recommend changing the stride length and experimenting with how that changes range to and from your opponent. But note that changing your stride affects your mobility.