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drop step question

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    • #10473

      This newbie is pleased to announce he actually completed his first SDTS Module 1 training workout this last Monday evening, by the book, and after his usual weight training. The heavy bag was most merciful in that I remain to tell the tale! Question: in establishing distance between me and the enemy, I correctly aligned myself and placed my weight on the forward foot. I understand why, but somehow it doesn’t feel natural. It feels like more effort to pick up that lead foot to perform a drop step. Am I doing something wrong? Also, I find myself spontaneously yelling as I strike, push, and knee. The strikes don’t seem effective without making a loud noise. Is this a good thing, or am I expending too much energy that could be directed through the strike?

    • #12081

      If you go to the general discussions area and look for the makiwara board topic, I think I answered this for you there. It is toward the end of the replies.

      If you have more questions afterwards, just reply here and I’ll try to help if I can.

      Here is the link https://theselfdefenseco.madmooseforum.c … highlight= I hope.

    • #12083

      Thanks, but what about weight on the [i:20glqxzu]lead[/i:20glqxzu] foot? How to pick up and stomp, taking ground, when there is so little on the rear foot? Feels like losing balance. Feet too far apart? I’m keeping the yelling part, by the way.

    • #12089

      You do not start the technique with the weight all forward. You may end up that way somewhat, according to your committment.

      There are two different “stances”. SDTS doesn’t have a stance, but it does have a suggestion of how to distribute your weight. When you are figuring things out in a fight (escape or evasion module) your stance is more 50/50 if I remember correctly. You are not sure if your are going to fight or flee. When you are committed to attacking, as in the early modules, your weight is more forward slightly. You rear leg has your heel off the ground a little. This acts as a spring. When you are ready to move, pick up your lead foot and push with your rear foot. This will propel you forward. This is in some martial arts as well, but they usually like to slide with their lead foot. Remember, this lead knee is popping up for a simulatneous strike with your elbow or whatever else you are doing above the waist. You will catch your balance when you make contact with your opponent (or BOB) and you stomp your lead foot down. If you start with your weight on your rear foot, you will have to transfer your weight before you can move. This telegraphs and wastes time. Also, someone may surprise you with a push, which will make you off balance if your weight is rearward. If your weight is slightly forward, their push will be less effective and you may have time to react to it completely. A reaction if you was rearward would eb to shift your weight forward, where it should have been anyway.

      This is not a wide foot placement, BTW. My feet are never more than shoulder width apart initially. I am not giving an aggressive appearance or trying to telegraph I know anything. They may get wider when the blows start, but not initially.

      Now, after your first stomp, your weight may be forward. If you hit your guy good, he may be flying back and you may have to run him down. You may want to now take your rear leg and stomp forward with it, changing stiking sides. I generally box step, which is I’ll bring my rear leg to where my forward leg is them stomp again with the same forward leg. It is Wing Chungish but it is what I do. I don’t like switching lead legs because there is a period of time (though small) where my groin is probably open for a strike. If I box step my stomps my groin stays more protected, in my opinion. I am also keeping my strong side constantly forward and striking. My weak hand is up by my temple just in case anything comes flying in from him or I want to slap his guard down. Hope this helps. Module 5 will cover this well. And explain the differences.

      If you are striking air while doing this, it does feel very awkward. You have to be hitting something. It doesn’t feel real good on BOB either. Since BOB doesn’t step backwards but more falls over, your feet get tangled with BOBs base a little. It is better with someone holding a medicine ball or some thick striking bag. They’ll go backwards and you can see the effects almost for real. You’ll understand what I mean by running them down.

      I once was teaching a “use the wall as your friend class” and showing how to throw elbows with your back to a wall. You can generate amazing force with this. A student did this to me before I told him to go and was braced. He literally sent me flying over 10 feet back on my butt. Yeah, sometimes you have to run them down.

      Let me know if I can help some more. Maybe Damian will come in and explain this better or correct anything I may have said wrong.

    • #12127

      You’re a sprinter at the gate. That rear foot is cocked, so that you can spring forward. You’re not so much falling as springing into your target’s space. As you spring forward you hit that son of a bitch with whatever the hell you want to. Remember, this guy wants to rape your mother. That’s really all you need to think about.

      You want to occupy the target’s space. You spring forward into his space while striking him with your arm of geddon. I think it’s easier to think of the rear foot rather than the lead foot. The lead foot will take care of itself. You spring forward like a sprinter and your lead foot will automatically raise.

      When you observe a sprinter firing out of the blocks, his lead knee fires up pretty high to counterbalance the drive of his rear foot. It’s an automatic thing. Or think of a defensive lineman shooting off the line of scrimmage into the offensive lineman.

      If you focus on the lead foot, it’s gonna slow you down and mess up your balance. Just fire off the line – off that rear foot, which is cocked.

      Your speed comes from the foot opposite to your direction of movement. I actually work on forward, reverse, and lateral agility drills, so that I can shoot in any direction. I also do jumping exercises to build explosiveness in my calves.

      This also comes in handy when dealing with multiple assholes. Being able to change direction on a dime is pretty damn helpful.

      You watch fighters and most of them have appalling footwork, and no mastery of their centers of gravity, which I’ll get to in a minute.

      You want to see excellent footwork and mastery of one’s center of gravity, check out this guy taking on multiple attackers. His footwork and control of his COG gives him a *HUGE* advantage over his assailants, even though he is grossly outnumbered:


      I realized a long time ago that the calves are the key. Explosive power begins with the calves. If you can fire those calves off like lightning, you’re on your way to speed and power. You think it was a coincidence that Barry Sanders could change direction like a phantom and also happened to be able to dunk a basketball even though he was only like 5’8″ ? Hell no, that guy had unbelievable explosiveness in his calves.

      Forget about the lead foot. You explode off the rear into your target’s space, and your lead foot is automatically comin down and into his legs and his space.

      Fire off the rear like Barry Sanders and hit that spawn of Satan *while* you’re moving forward. Then your lead foot comes down in a stomp.

      The more explosively you fire off that rear foot, the more pronounced your drop step will be. The drop step is a function of the degree to which you fire off that rear foot.

      The rear foot begins the sequence of apocalyptic destruction to ensue. I think it’s slightly misleading to think of the drop step as falling forward, when you are really firing forward off the rear foot.

      You keep your weight forward so that you don’t have to shift it forward – it’s already poised to move. Well, technically it’s like 60/40 or so front to rear. By keeping weighted forward you have basically stationary momentum, if there’s such a thing, in a forward direction. You stay weighted on the ball of your rear foot (and front foot) so that it is a spring, and all you have to do is fire off your calve muscle and KABLOW! Party over.

      In addition to training your calves and legs for explosiveness, another monumental key is your core muscles – especially their rotational power.

      In conflict, you will remember *none* of this stuff, which is why you must drill it into your muscle memory so that your body already knows what to do.

      Another critical point to consider is that your power emanates from your center of gravity – an inch or two below your delightful belly button – and so one thing I do is to maintain an intentional awareness of this area of my body during training and pretty much all day, so that my body gets used to the idea of directing movement from my center of power.

      I do not strike with my hands or feet but with my center of gravity. When you spring forward, it is your center of gravity that is springing forward. As I said, you will remember *none* of this under stress, so you intentionally drill it into your muscle memory during training.

      You want your center of gravity to occupy your target’s center of gravity. So imagine that when your body moves it is your center of gravity moving. When your edge of hand or palm or tiger claw or baby’s ass or whatever strikes it is really your center of gravity striking.

      This will also help you with the drop step. Without control of your center of gravity you have no balance. You are basically a defensive lineman and I love defense because defense is offense and defensive players are pyschotic.

      Don’t worry about the lead foot. It will take care of itself. Really, you don’t even need to think about the rear foot either.

      Do this: You’re in your “stance,” standing there. Consciously become aware of your center of gravity – your lower abdomen 1-2 inches below your navel. Then explode forward *from* your COG. Everything else will automatically fall in place.

      No one taught me this, this is something I discovered and I can tell you that it is incredibly effective.

      If you make a conscious effort to initiate *all* movement from your COG, whether during training or during your regular day, you will find that you are quicker and more powerful.

      You will, again, *NOT* be able to think about this under stress, but if you develop the habit now, your body will take care of it for you when you call upon it.

      Make it a focus to maintain a constant awareness of your COG. When you’re simply reclining, be aware of your COG. Feel your center. That is your power. You will drill this into your mind and body, and a fighter who has mastered his COG is truly a forbidding opponent. NO ONE is gonna take you down to the ground either by tackling you – you still have to keep from getting hit preemptively, of course, by staying awake.

      One day, years ago, I was beating the hell out of a heavy bag with my fists, and after 30 minutes or so my arms felt like lead weights. Then I stopped trying, and I’m just slinging my arms at the bag. It was utterly amazing to me when the bag started snapping into the air with seemingly little effort. It was totally counterintuitive. The bag was literally hopping into the air and it was not doing this when I was full of energy and banging away with all my misguided might.

      Power comes from your center of gravity. Your strikes are like the ends of whips. My speed and power experienced exponential increase as a result of *allowing* my COG to initiate movement. Your COG must be set free. Feel it in your lower abdomen and let it strike for you.

      This may sound weird but it works. Maybe harder to describe, because it’s something you have to feel. This applies to all athletic – and non-athletic – movement. When you lift a heavy box, you’ve got to lift from your center of gravity.

      So, again, in your stance – you don’t even need a stance for this – feel your center of gravity and fire from it.

      Forget the lead foot. Forget even the rear foot.

      And, eventually, forget everything. Because under stress you certainly will. But it won’t matter, because your body never forgets.

      As a last note, you will *NEVER* – and I do mean never – ever lose your balance if you miss if you are exploding from your COG.

      It is your power. It is your balance. It is your speed. It is you. It is your destiny.

      Okay, I maybe got carried away on the last one.

      I’ve even read that the abdomen is the seat of our emotions which, upon reflection makes a lot of sense to me. For example, when you feel anxiety, where do you feel it? In your abdomen.

      I wrote a lot here, but not a word wasted. Take it to heart…or abdomen, rather.

      What I appreciate about the simple revelation of the drop step in the SDC (SDTS? whatever the hell it’s called – Kickin Ass Course) is the notion of my body occupying the space of my opponent’s body. Previously, I had learned the importance of controlling my COG and I knew the importance of my fist, for example, occupying the space of my opponent’s head, but I hadn’t taken that a step forward. Um, a drop step forward. Sure, I’d be springing forward, but I hadn’t thought of it in terms of my *entire body* occupying the entire space of my opponent – just in terms of different body parts occupying the space of whatever body part on my opponent I was targeting. By occupying his *entire space* you neutralize his momentum and balance.

      That simple change in perspective I find to be very beneficial and, yet again, a demonstration of the childlike simplicity of wisdom.

      As far as occupying your target’s space, you may get a guy who manages to get away from you (highly unlikely if you initiate action with maximum speed and minimum telegraphing) and he starts dancing around. In this case, DO NOT chase him but, instead, cut him off. Remember what George Foreman did to Ali – he cut off the ring, he didn’t chase Ali, thereby rendering Ali’s movement impotent. Ali was forced to hang out on the ropes. Think of it as a defensive pursuit drill in football – or special teams. You don’t run right at the guy, you’ve got to get the angle on him, and as he changes direction, you change your angle to cut him off.

      Alright, a breather…

    • #12130

      Thank you so much for taking your valueable time to reply! It really helps. I’ll be sure to read it over several times and practice till it sinks in. Good video, too. I tend to over-analyze, but as I stated earlier, I’d rather adopt good habits from the git-go than try to correct bad ones later.

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