Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drill Post #1: The Fighting Measure

Hokay, there are many legit ways one could start training, from the ground, from situations (grabs, etc.), but I will start with general stand-up skills.

Training partners A and B stand just outside of the hand's reach: This defines the fighting measure for the hands. In a street situation, one would stay just outside of the kicking distance/fighting measure, but focusing on the hand measure is a smaller distance and therefore helps develop a finer sense of distance. I'll call the trainer "A" and the trainee "B." A holds both hands extended in front of him (which is why we call this The Frankenstein Drill) so that B knows exactly where "just out of his reach" is. Then A starts moving at random in all directions while B maintains the distance. It is important that A also moves backwards and that B follows. When A moves straight forward more than a step or two, B should start to circle (but making sure not to step inside the measure while doing so). A should sometimes follow B when he circles, with his right extended arm reaching towards B's right shoulder so that B knows to keep circling. After a two to five steps of A having B circle in one direction, he should reverse it, and cut back and forth as so he's trying to cut B's circling off, which B responds to by always cutting back/circling away from the pressure.

If some JKD related practitioner thinks this sounds like the "mirror drill" they would be correct. However, the problem with the way most people do the mirror drill is that they are so focused on mirroring the feeders footwork, that they forget the whole purpose of the drill which is learning how to maintain the fighting measure, which is a key to generalship. That is why I have set the drill up this way.

It may not be clear at first how to do this from reading a post, but give it a try! Within the week, I'll add four primary responses to additional feeds.


  1. I think we drilled this when I was training you in the studio. I'll have my wife follow me around this morning as I hold her morning coffee in front of her and see how I can keep the fooot work flowing to evade her angy mummy like responses. :) But seriously this was a great drill and helped me get rid of any pre conceived and mechanical movement in my footwork quickly. It's not just side step left or doublle retreat now...it suddenly gives the feet and your movement aliveness. Which is definately necessary in a sparring and combat situation. AT the real "thing" you wont have time to think "do I side step and circle right now, or do double retreat and cut into an angle and circle around." My point being that once we began this drill I had no time to think of what proper footwork to apply it just took over and you learn quickly what works and doesn't work.
    Thanks for the reminder Steve.

  2. Yes I remember distinctly we did something similar, where the focus again was to maintain distance between two and also A or B (whoever takes the lead) tries to touch the other person.Goal of B is to be out of A's range however no go too far so that he cannot react back effectively (with A in his range).