Sunday, March 28, 2010

Drill Post #5: Fine Tuning The Kick Range

Again back to reading distance in flow and responding with appropriate footwork. As nice as it would be to stop-kick everything, sometimes a kick may be launched and we are simply not prepared enough to stop-kick, so we do this drill.

Starting at kick fighting measure, the trainer will execute a front kick/jab kick towards the trainee's midsection. The trainee's first goal is to evade the kick by the SMALLEST distance possible without blocking/parrying. If the kick is so shallow that the trainee doesn't need to move to evade, then he doesn't; if the kick is deep enough so that the trainee can evade with a small retreat, he does so, or moves back with a slide and step if it's deeper. If the kick is deep enough that the trainee feels the need to side step, or parry and side step that's fine, but he should parry only if he feels he'll get kicked otherwise. The trainer should kick in a mellow enough manner at first that the trainee would only receive light contact. That way he can feel comfortable seeing how close he can let the kick come. Being gonzo prematurely just slows the whole training process down. This is the first half of the drill.

The second half of the drill involves what happens after the trainers kick: does he plant forward? Drop his leg back? Slide and step back? The trainer should do all of the above at random, to which the trainee uses the appropriate footwork to deliver a controlled low side/stop-kick. We are limiting the return to one tool (the low side/stop-kick) so that the trainee has to focus on footwork and distance judgment. If the trainee moves in before properly reading where the attacker is placing his kicking leg, he is likely to be too far away or too crowded. The goal is to read smoothly so that the defense and attack flow together and that the trainee's kick lands on the trainer's leg the instant after it hits the ground. The interesting thing about this drill is how challenging it can be to use a simple set of tools with proper timing when there are even these few variables.

No comments:

Post a Comment