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Footwork is crucial in combat, and thus this initial exercise in footwork is part of the BASIC EXERCISES. What you will learn in the course of this session is one aspect of footwork. Another aspect of footwork is covered in the Ninja DODGE-ADVANCING METHOD OF ATTACK.
Such training in footwork is important as it is necessary to advance and retreat, as well as to evade enemy attack. Without training in footwork, these things become impossible. Without these, no combat strategy is possible. And without combat strategy, defeat is inevitable.
...VIEW THIS VIDEO TO LEARN HOW TO MASTER THE NECESSARY FOOTWORK FOR BASIC ADVANCING AND RETREAT...
This first basic footwork exercise builds the ability to advance and retreat. It is also a mild endurance exercise that builds the ability to keep your breath and keep fighting in case you become engaged in an extended combat.
THE USES OF FOOTWORK
Footwork is crucial in combat, indeed, it could be said to be the basis of effective combat. You must develop the ability to not only advance and retreat effectively, but also to move sideways. Footwork is the basis of a successful attack – it is also the only way in which you can possibly evade an enemy attack.
The most important aspect of footwork is the ability to keep your feet - to not fall to the ground and so end up at the mercy of your foes.
This basic exercise in footwork will train you to advance and retreat rapidly. Many other exercises in footwork will be taught to you in future.
HOW TO DO THE FOOTWORK EXERCISE
It is very simple. Look at the video to learn the exercise, and consult the text below to add to your knowledge.
At intervals of about two meters, draw lines on the ground. There should be a starting line, then, two meters away, another line (the first destination), then two meters beyond that, another line (the second destination), then another line two meters beyond that (the third destination) and another line two meters beyond that (the fourth destination). There should be five lines in all.
Now, starting at the starting line, run to the first line and back to the starting line.
Then run to the second line, and back to the starting line.
Then run to the third line and back to the starting line.
Then to the fourth line and back to the starting line.
Count this circuit as ‘one’ – you should do between five and ten such circuits continuously. And as you do this, you will find that besides footwork, this is a mild endurance exercise as well.
When you run to and back from the nearest line, do so without turning round to go back. When you run to and back from the lines that are farther way, you can turn back as you return. Look at the video carefully, and practice well.
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And now, please read and meditate upon...
‘What is footwork in combat?’ asked the master, ‘How shall we go about it? What method is best to advance, what method to retreat, what method to evade your foe?’
And the students answered. One showed how best to advance, another how best to retreat, another how best to evade the foe.
‘Attack me with your bokken (wooden swords) one by one,’ said the master to the students, ‘that I may better learn these methods you have to teach me.’
One by one, the students attacked the master. One by one, they were defeated. The master moved effortlessly, without changing his normal method of movement. He took no special stance. He moved his legs in no special formation while attacking and retreating. Yet each student was defeated effortlessly.
Afterwards, the students and the master kneeled facing each other.
‘This is your lesson this day, my students,’ said the master, ‘The best way to learn to move in combat is, in your normal method of moving, to engage in so much combat training that your body can always move effortlessly, naturally, in combat. Your normal movement in everyday life should be your most efficient movement in combat. This is true footwork.’
...CONTINUE YOUR NINJA TRAINING WITH...
THE DODGE-ADVANCE METHOD OF EVADING THROWN WEAPONS >>
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