Integrating hands and feet


Being able to move around and hit hard is a skill that takes time to develop.

When I was younger, I would read interviews in magazines, where the interviewee would often say how important footwork was, but in the accompanying pictures would stand still to deliver his (or her) techniques.

Of course many people do spend time on their footwork – skipping, running tyres, using mobility ladders etc – but, this tends to leave people with the ability to bounce around quite quickly, when what is really required is the ability to coordinate the hands and feet.

I like to start off with the most basic striking pattern – downward figure 8 – and combine this with forward and backward steps. To begin with I typically have people only move their right foot. The key here is to deliver the strike toward what will be the front foot.

I then add in an upward figure 8, one half of the X, Sunkite, Abanico etc and then the left foot, before progressing to movement in 4 directions.

Throughout movements should be smooth – the stick hand never stops moving – and strikes are seldom delivered from a stance with feet planted.

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