It’s footwork Friday again. The weekend is coming up, and it’s a good time to get moving. In the first installment, we looked at the reverse triangle. The second footwork Friday post focused on the forward triangle. Today, let’s combine the two triangles. It is possible to combine the triangular footwork to make different geometric patterns. We will start with a simple X.
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.
The reverse triangle moves from the pinnacle forward toward the base of the triangle. This is the footwork pattern that I start with, and I like warming up with it. I tend to think of this footwork as moving towards my goal or my opponent. It’s important to keep my hands up in a guard while moving to build in good habits.
The forward triangle moves from the pinnacle backwards toward the base of the triangle. I like this footwork to maintain long range. I use this footwork during long range single stick sparring a lot. I’m working on incorporating it into my empty hands sparring more as an exit so that I don’t back up in a straight line.
Next, we can put the triangles together by overlaying the pinnacle of the reverse triangle on the pinnacle of the forward triangle to make an X pattern. Start in the center of the X and move forward similar to the reverse triangle. When you return to the middle of the X, you can move back similar to the forward triangle. It’s important to remember to move only one foot at a time.
While practicing this, take a stick and swing it after both feet are planted. To ensure power, both feet should be in contact with the ground. Being rooted to the ground is a power source, and both feet rooted is better for defense. When your feet are planted, try to maintain an even distribution of your weight. You can play with shifting weight back and forth to see how it affects your balance.
We increased the complexity of the footwork a small amount. This small progression allows us to focus on maintaining correct form. I think that footwork is a layered process. You can mix and match the different patterns to build a complex library of footwork. We will explore more complex footwork in future installments.