Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drill Post #22: The Simple Foot Trap

Throwing, sweeping, take-downs and tripping are four broad categories of manipulating someone to the ground. As with everything else, there are pros and cons to each method, a various degrees of suitability according to body type, skill level and amount of time one might want to devote to making something functional.

When I was at the Inosanto Academy, in the Maphalindo ("Maylaysian Filipino Indonesian") related classes, Dan Inosanto would go back and forth between Bukti Negara curriculum from Paul DeThouars, and Filipino foot trapping. The Bukti Negara material required much more sophistication to make workable: very effective but requiring an understanding of power lines, anchors and so on. The Filipino foot trapping curriculum by comparison is much smaller and quite simple. That is not a negative, not a critique, but rather, a very positive thing.

Does anyone out there not understand that the more complex and precision-requiring a tactic is, the more likely it is that it will fail? I didn't think so.

A simple foot trap is often very effective without even knowing the optimal direction in which to push or pull the opponent. That is because we take for granted our constant ability to adjust our balance through movement, and as soon as that's interupted, our stability quickly collapses, and we most likely fall down.

In the recent fight between Pacquiao and Mosely, there was an exchange where Manny fell down, and indeed, when the slo-mo was played back, it showed Mosely inadvertently stepping on Manny's foot. All it took was that one moment.

To train the foot trap in flow, the trainer throws light but smooth hand combinations at the trainee, and as the trainee defends wth parries and covers (along with footwork), he also looks for stepping comfortably on the trainer's foot (keeping it light and un-crunchy for training). The defender should help keep the trainer from actually falling down during the drill.

This form of tripping is robust, does not put you in an unnecessarily vulnerable position, and is low maintainence. What's not to love?

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