Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Footwork for internal martial arts

In a combat situation, a martial artist will need to move about quickly and with control, to execute an attack or activate a defense.  Good footwork is required.  To build a good foundation for footwork for any sports, martial art included, jogging is state of the art.  The benefit of jogging is that it can trained one with ease of mobility and also with aerobic capacity for the vigor of competitive sports.  In internal martial art, there is a training method to train good footwork in addition to jogging.   It is very useful for people not interested to enter ring combat, and people who are interested in mind-body workout, which essentially meaning most of us!

Master Wang XianZai's friction steps (摩擦步), I believe, is the best method to train footwork in internal martial art.  The method is simple, one just walk with his feet smoothly sweeping the ground, creating minute friction between feet and ground.  Visualization is needed and so is mental focus to put the driving force and the move at the pelvic joints, with the feet being light.  Interested readers can refer to the many literature available.  The above concept of mind though can help a practitioner where and how to focus one's mind, the core of internal martial art concerns what happens inside one's body and mind rather than the outer form, which, all would probably agree, quite simple, in fact, too simple to convince onlookers of its true benefits!

As the old saying goes: the proof is in the pudding.  After doing friction steps (摩擦步) for some time, a practitioner should move about (forward, backward, sidewards etc) as in actual combat, and feel whether or not his feet now got better ease and control of mobilization that he desired in the first place.  If the answer is negative, probably he did it the wrong way!

friction steps (摩擦步)


  1. Sounds a bit like the mud slide step in bagua.

  2. Exactly! This is a practice commonly used by many internal martial arts. Like all internal practices, it is simple looking from the outside, what happens internally is the key to a good practice.

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment.

    martial arts training

  4. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


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