Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 4 – Footwork

Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 4 – Footwork

Howdy. Ando here from Happy Life Martial Arts. Welcome to Lesson #4 in your Self-Defense
Basics Course. Let’s get started. In Lesson #2, we talked about sprinting. Even a short sprint, maybe 6-10 feet, is a
great way to train making a decision and taking immediate action. But now, maybe after you warm up with a few
of those quick starts, I’m going to challenge you to take that sprint a little bit farther. Maybe 50 feet or 50 yards. Now, hold on. Before you say, “PFF! Come on, man! I wanna learn me some Kung Fu, not track and
field!!” let me give you three reasons why I think sprinting is so important. First—sprinting is powerful. It’s one of the most explosive movements
you can perform with your body. I want you to feel that power. Not just for a split-second, but for few seconds. Once you feel your body moving through space
in one, committed burst of energy, you can funnel that feeling into any other movement
you want to. And don’t worry about being fastest or strongest
person on the planet. Just hit the gas and see what you can do. Second reason—sprinting forces your whole
body to unite into one coordinated action. Getting your arms, and your core, and your
legs to work together is the foundation for every self-defense technique you’re ever
going to learn. For example, if you need to punch somebody
but you’re only using your arm muscles, well, you’re going to die. Or if you need to push somebody out of your
way but yore doing that just by flapping your wrists at them—yeah, they’re going to
put your head up on the wall. Next to a moose. Listen—one of the secrets of martial arts
is recruiting your whole body to help you do whatever it is you need to do—punch,
push, or smash somebody over the head with a pizza box. So, don’t waste your time practicing a bunch
of fancy moves that you’ve seen on TV if you can’t even sprint across the room without
tripping. Third reason—sprinting is practical. If someone pulls a knife, run. If someone starts shooting a gun in a bar,
run. Fire? Run. Bomb? Run. Lion? Well, actually, they say you shouldn’t run
from a lion. They say you should make noise and try to
appear as large as you can. But I’m pretty sure I would run anyway. The point is self-defense doesn’t have to
be any fancier than a 50-yard dash. So, make sprinting a technique that you master. Make sense? Great. Then find a way to work a few sprints into
your weekly or daily routine. And look—if you feel silly going outside
and running sprints in front of your neighbors, no problem—just run in place. Like this. Just go for 5 to 15 seconds. That’s it. I just want you to feel how focused and powerful
you can be. One quick teaching point. I know it’s tempting to practice punching
and kicking before you practice moving around, but I think that’s backwards. It’s backwards because running behind a
car, or out the door, or down the street is a whole lot simpler and safer than going toe-to-toe
with an attacker if you don’t have to. Plus, consider this—position determines
everything. A bad guy can’t hit you if you’re not
in the spot they want you to be in. It’s also true that you can’t hit a bad
guy if they’re not in a spot that you want them to be in. Whoever can move their feet to the spot they
want has the chance to do what they want. So, again, before you think about punching,
or kicking, or choking, let’s get better at moving. Okay. In Lesson #3, we practiced stepping into a
stable stance. When we talk about shuffling, all we’re
talking about is moving that stance around without losing it. Now, sure—if you’re dealing with just
one drunken idiot, you might be able to break some rules and get away with some funky footwork. But what if you’re dealing with that drunken
idiot and his moron friend hits you from behind with a pipe? Or what if you’re at a concert and the crowd
turns ugly and suddenly you’re getting hit and shoved from every direction? Remember, self-defense is a larger project
than just dealing with one loud mouth. You might find yourself dealing with mayhem
on a global scale. That’s why we should practice habits that
will keep us on our feet in any situation. And for me, that means one foot forward, one
foot back, one foot to the left, one foot to the right… and then being able to move
those feet in any direction. Here’s a quick drill to help get you ready
for shuffling. Now, you might have seen some football players
or soccer players doing this drill, but I’m going to pretend it’s an ancient martial
arts secret whispered to me by the ghost of a warrior monk named Felix. Start with your feet in a natural stance. Now just pick up your feet as fast as you
can. Don’t worry about pumping your arms right
now, just see how fast you can move your feet. You can make it harder by widening your feet
a little past your shoulders. This will definitely wake up your thighs and
make them cry. If you want to widen out even farther, go
for it. Okay? You got that? Now, let’s apply that to our stance. This is going to feel awkward at first, particularly
the back leg, but keep going. Don’t forget to keep your chin down and
hands up at all times. Once you have that, let’s move it around. Move those feet. Take fast, little steps forward, backward,
left and right, circle around… whatever you want. Just make sure you stay in your stance. Hey—want to have some fun? I shot a video on how to improve your balance
and in that video, I suggested throwing yourself off-balance just so you could practice recovering
it. It looked like this. Yeah, I know. That looks crazy. But I’d rather look a little crazy now,
than end up on the ground getting my head stomped later. So, after you practice your shuffle with control,
try practicing it a little out of control. Use your imagination. Pretend you’re working your way through
a rowdy crowd to get to the exit, but you’re getting knocked around like a pinball. No matter what, stay on your feet. If you have a friend or two who can push and
pull you around a bit, well, that’s even better. I don’t, so I don’t have any footage of
that. Another teaching point here. Many martial art styles practice footwork
drills that follow very specific patterns on the floor. Maybe an X, or a triangle, or an octagon,
or the diagram of a plum blossom. I respect all of that. But for right now, I don’t want you to overthink
it. The goal is simply to be able to move anywhere
anytime. When it comes to your footwork, I want you
to focus on freedom. Ah, freedom. That’s what this whole self-defense project
is really about, you know. Some people think if you train in self-defense,
you must be scared or paranoid. They think training in the martial arts forces
you to live in this little box, where you’re limited in where you go and what you do. But it’s actually the opposite. When you’re brave enough to face what frightens,
when your’e tough enough to prepare for what frightens you, then all those fears and
worries lose their grip on your mind. A martial artist should feel free. Not just because they think outside the box,
but because they live outside the box. Hey—if you’re finding value in this series
of videos, please share them with someone you love. I’ll see you again in lesson #5. Until then, keep it moving and keep fighting
for a happy life.

97 Replies to “Self-Defense Basics: Lesson 4 – Footwork”

  1. no need to run away from me, if you don't attack me I won't attack you 😂😂😂😂 but in ali seriousness it's a great video, thank you Ando ,all the best

  2. Tried that: one foot forward, one foot backwards but then i ran out of foots! I think i need some extra legs! 😀

  3. Great content. The sprint in place will get added to my class routine and my students are gonna hate me for it lol.

  4. I'm in my mid-40s and am an intermediate-level TKD student. I joined with my kids a while back, and have been really getting into it, lately. I find your content so useful and have had many a-ha moments in watching your videos. Thanks so much!

  5. Thank you so much . basic martial arts is important then be a are changing my life by teaching this are the best martial arts teacher I have ever seen . thank you so much sir

  6. this really is applicable to not only martial arts but life in general for instance i had a basketball coach who taught me to keep my feet parallel with my shoulders while defending. Every time i had to change direction quickly I fell on my butt. then I thought to hell with it ill just try my favorite martial arts stance and suffer through the coach screaming his full head off. I'm a very big guy (over 300 pounds and 6 foot 2) Once i used my stance nobody could get passed me. So this is defiantly a great video Ando.

  7. Hello, my good friend Ando! Greetings again from Cairo, Egypt. I'd like to thank you so much for those very helpful, very beautiful and undisputed videos. I'm looking forward to a new one of those awesome educational videos.

  8. Stay on your feet and incorporate your entire body to every move with full dedication? Run for your life if you have to? I couldn't agree more! Great video! Thank you, sir!

    P. S. I hope you're alright after this extremely draining drill 😉

  9. A joy to listen to enlightening to understand, as always. The thing I like most is you sir just love the truth, hope that shoulder condition is getting better.

  10. How encouraging! I can actually do this!!! I WILL do this!!! Thanks (again) Sensei Ando for making me better!

  11. This video is hilarious and you manage to break it down so that anyone can do this. Now I have something extra to practice!

  12. Thanks for good videos! You tell true about self-defence. It really correlates with my experience and knowledge.
    Fortunately in my environment rarely necessary to defend aganst knife or any weapon. All "self-defence" situations is defending respect (authority) into any social group. Аnd in these circumstances man can't run))
    Thanks for you video "How to Manage Distance…" it updating my perception about fight

  13. Another great video! I've never been known for my ability to walk and chew gum so these drills will help. Who knows I might even be able to surprise my instructor with my new found force and grace (LOL!) Thanks for sharing such outstanding content with everyone, it's truly appreciated.

  14. My instructors have us do some of those foot work drills sometimes. But, never done the one where you stay in your stance. I'm going to start doing that one! Awesome stuff, everything starts with the basics!

  15. A great vid and instruction, Sensei Ando. I never thought of 'fast feet' as an integral part of self-defense. But I remember the drills back in high school football- too many years ago. Thanks for making, Sir.

  16. Some stuff that those of us who have been involved in martial arts can go back to and recognize, yes this is important.

  17. Another excellent video on first principles, Sensei. I've always loved the gauntlet drill in adult classes for an intro to multiple attacker/crowd self-defense. Kids tend to get out of control too easily to keep this safe. But having to move from one end of the dojo to the other through 2 lines of trained opponents trying to stop you in unpredictable ways ranging through striking combos, grappling techniques, and typical "street" aggression (with at least one who retreats or doesn't attack) is a great drill you can ratchet up over time. It teaches you 360 awareness, continuation, body position, use of 1 attacker to shield from others, and keep moving toward your objective (the exit!) in a somewhat realistic scenario. It's not for beginners, but it's a great intermediate teaching tool for classes/groups.

  18. Its amazing how you mix so much valuable information with so much wit. I sure had a good laugh.😁👍 Keep rocking Sensei.

  19. Aaww – I'll be happy to push you around anytime…. 😉 Brilliant video, great inspiration for exercises.

  20. my other teacher I told u about Ando does something like that .. awesome advice and can't wait for the rest of the series!

  21. ando sir i am seriously lost and defeated .got in fight within 4 punches my face all swollen,eyes black,nose broken..he was much stronger n faster than me.i didn't able to defenc myself.but all the time thinking only for revenge.also cried a lot.what to do sir.?should i take revenge or leave and move forward?feeling down sir…i failed.he don't even know any martial arts …just raw fight.

  22. RIP sensei Ando eaten by a lion after he defended agains 12 bad guys 🙁
    Great video, but seriosly in nature is one simple rule: If it runs from me, I can eat that, if it runs towards me, it wants to eat me. Please never ever run from animal it just triggers its hunting instinc and even you are practicing sprint, well my bet in this race is on lion.

  23. Ando I do body building and do martial arts -muay thai tooo , soo plz can you suggest me some tips to follow and work on ?

  24. Hey, I just discovered your channel and for me it's pretty helpful. I started including some of your tips and ideas into my solo training outside the classes (and tried to apply some mindset tips in class. XD).
    I got curious about the shuffle step part in this video ('cause that's what I'm practicing the most right now. XD) Would you maybe make an entire video about this topic?
    Keep up the good work and greetings.
    (I'm not a native speaker, hope my text is fine to understand.)

  25. Good evening,
    Is there a difference for you between long distance jogging and sprinting?
    I mean apart from the interval pace of fighting and a marathon
    Thank you

  26. This course is so good! Watching it again now and its a goldmine of great advice on both selfdefence and life in generall 🙂

  27. That makes a lot of sense I will practice this as well it reminds me of some of the drills I used to do in football as a kid the running in place to keep up with your I guess opponent or opposite team member I mean everything from the hands to the moving of the feet very similar

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