Drop step – The Self Defense Company

Drop step


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    • #31440

      So…let’s talk about the drop step. How important is it? Obviously it’s important, because it’s where most everything else comes from. That being said, it still feels a little unnatural to me. Perhaps it’s that I need to drill it more? But I’ve definitely drilled it quite a bit. I’m just not sure that when it comes down to it I’ll do a great job making sure weight is forward, dropping in, etc. I feel like I’m far more focused on landing those initial chops and stomps, working to move them back. Am I over thinking the drop step too much? What are your thoughts and experiences in training?

    • #31441

      Ok, so I found this discussion of it in another thread. I think this makes a lot of sense. I think it also answers my question, in that I’m over thinking it. The move itself is pretty instinctive. Thinking about it trips me up. Also, the idea of drop stepping BOB around for 5 miles is a great idea. ?

      You know, my favorite part of the whole SDTS “system” is still, and will always be, the drop step.

      When I first saw that described, a light went on, because it was something I already understood instinctively, but seeing it described made it a conscious realization.

      It is also the real “secret” behind SDTS.

      It also makes the debate of hand position irrelevant.

      Why is the drop step the most important thing?

      Well, first, in a high stress, violent situation, if you don’t run away, your instinctive response will be to close distance with your opponent. This is why, for example, guys end up wrestling on the ground, a lot of times.

      In such a situation, you instinctively realize that to maximize the probability of damage to your opponent, you need to be as close to him as possible, for greatest leverage, and to displace his center of gravity with your own.

      Movie fights, or sport fights, at distance aren’t going to happen in life or death situations.

      Very much like sex. You want to be on them hardcore, as soon as possible. You can’t do a whole lot of meaningful damage from a distance.

      The drop step just naturally flows right along with this instinct.

      Second, I would say that when you violently close distance as soon as possible, you will jam and neutralize your opponent’s attacks, even if he’s already in the process of throwing a punch, kick, whatever.

      In other words, if a guy begins to throw a punch, and you simply immediately run into his ass, his punch is useless.

      So, for example, the idea of a “flinch” response is useful if surprised, but you can also “flinch” by stepping INTO whatever is coming at you. If a weapon is involved, then the flinch merely involves a minor deflection enroute to the opponent.

      But, the drop step IS the flinch. It IS the most important thing.

      Thirdly, the drop step is most important, because it delivers to the opponent your most dangerous tool of violence, which is that of YOUR OWN BODYWEIGHT.

      Because, whatever appendage you decide to crush him with, it is your BODYWEIGHT that is doing the real damage. It is your bodyweight that also makes it so much easier.

      Further, if the opponent is already moving to you when you drop step your bodyweight into, say, his throat, then that piece of trash is going down real hard.

      If a guy swings a bat, and you violently charge into it, you’re going to neutralize it.

      And, how hard is it to learn the damn drop step?

      SO simple. So vicious. So easy. Solves SO many problems simultaneously.

      Try to charge a fortune in classes to learn the simple “defense” tactic of running into a guy attacking you.

      The only reason it may seem strange at first, is because you’ll naturally freeze, wanting to run away.

      So, you condition to react INTO the opponent, rather than away.

      You don’t condition a “flinch” response of a static forearm shield. That’s a defensive, losing mindset. Better to combine the dropstep with forearm to the throat. Same movement, except…it’s MOVING INTO the opponent.

      Your mind is the weapon, and your ENTIRE BODY is the tool.

      It’s important to remember that you are smashing your opponent with your ENTIRE BODY. Whatever extension of it happens to hit him is merely a question of convenience and targeting.

      Just a shoulder into his solar plexus, with your ENTIRE BODY, as he’s unloading something will be far from pleasant. And, how hard is that?

      Hell, a 90 lb chick could put me down with that, if I was dumb enough to do that.

      Fourth, the drop step just naturally allows you to crush ankles, insteps, and feet, etc, in that same natural forward movement of your ENTIRE BODY. These are often overlooked, but generally easy to get to when you are MOVING INTO THE OPPONENT.

      The important lesson of the drop step is to MOVE INTO the opponent at all times. INTO, INTO, INTO, INTO, INTO.

      Until he’s dead or you decide to be merciful, because he’s now writhing in pain beneath you, dreading his imminent delivery to the devil.

      If I was training people, we would do nothing but the drop step for an entire day. They’d drop step like five miles, shoving a BOB on a cart all over the place. Because THAT is the foundation.

      Not just physically, but mentally.

      • #31452

        Hey Sean! Yes the drop step is very important. Most all of my students say that it feels unnatural at first, so maybe I can help you some with the drop step so it doesn’t feel unnatural to you. The first thing to keep in mind is the drop step produces power and makes your strikes more effective and also is a big part of keeping your balance along with adding momentum to your forward movement. Here is a drill I have my students do. First I will have you do strike from an unnatural position, so hopefully you have something to hit.
        Okay here we go. Position yourself in front of your target, now leaving your left foot forward step back into the blade stance with your right foot. Now without moving either foot, strike your target with your rear hand as hard as you can, keep both feet still. Now that should feel really unnatural and a fairly weak strike.
        So now try it this way. Position yourself as before in the blade stance and at first do your strike in slow motion. As you start the strike with your rear hand raise your right foot as you were going to step over a basketball while slightly pivoting on the ball of your left foot, make sure to tuck your chin toward your chest, as you follow through with your strike stomp your right foot onto the floor just a split second before your hand makes contact with the target and freeze in that position.
        Now if you note the position that your body is in, your knees are slightly bent somewhat as you are starting to squat down, your belt buckle is now pointing at about a 45 degree angle to the left of your target and your left hand is very close to shoulder level and to the rear. Keep the position of your body in mind as it is now because it will be important later.
        Now move back into the same blade stance and make the same strike at about half power make sure to follow through with your strike as if you were trying to cut down through your target using the force from the drop step and strike.
        Now then, if you think back to the beginning of this drill (the strike with your feet stationary) at full power you didn’t generate as much power as you did at half power using the drop step that is why the drop step is so important.
        Okay so now back to the drill, forget the stationary part because it is weak and sucks a little. Move back into the blade stance with your left foot forward repeat the drill one time slow take note to your body position then repeat at half power alternate slow then half power 20 reps then repeat 20 reps with the you left side.
        So now remember when I said to keep your body position in mind because it would be important later? You know, after your strike, your knees are slightly bent somewhat as you are starting to squat down, your belt buckle is now pointing at about a 45 degree angle to the left of your target and your left hand is very close to shoulder level and to the rear. So after the strike with you right hand, follow up with a chin jab with your left hand you are already in position for that strike BOOM! Just add this to your drill and your gaining ground, momentum and keeping good balance. Train honest my friend and enjoy. Give me a shout if this helps out.

    • #31442

      First, regarding feeling uncomfortable…yeah – I get that and I don’t think that ever goes away.

      It sometimes feels like you’re rolling into it and starting slow – but it still IS the fastest way to get your hands on the target ASAP with the most amount of power without having to wind up.

      After that it’s pedal to the metal.

      The most important thing is not telegraphing the initial strike. Even if you feel slow — he’s going to have that OH SHIT moment where he comes to the realization that you’re REALLY attacking him – and you make contact while he’s processing it.

      This is really all you need to create bigger opportunities to cause more damage.

    • #31443

      OK I just read your second post…you’re smarter than most people.

      That is excellent – can I post it on the blog…if you don’t want to – I understand. You just really knocked it out of the park.

    • #31444

      Thanks Damian! I can’t take credit for the second post (although I wish I could). I found it while digging through other posts, but copied it into this discussion because I found it useful and very applicable!

      It was shared in a thread from 2015 by Paul. I’ll go find the link again and send it to you. I think it would be an awesome blog post. So hopefully you can go ahead and share it!

    • #31446

      Sure – Paul actually came and trained with us years ago – really sharp guy (and tough).

      But it’s also your insight and you’re ability to spot the value and draw attention to it.
      This the real reason for the forum and the platform. Exchange of ideas and occasionally I come across someone who explains it better than I do — and that gets me amped up.

    • #31459

      i would say for me, the most “unnatural” feeling is drop stepping from the interview stance vs the bladed stance. however, while important all around to doing damage while taking ground, from the interview stance i think it most important. the reason for this being, from the interview stance, you are really really trying not to telegraph your strike, no winding up, just explosive from still position. without your weight dropping into that first strike, you’re power will be on a similiar level as the stationary feet example given above.

      do your worst, fast and first. i couldn’t break it down any better than above, so i’ll leave it at that.

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