Have you thought about the surface you train on? Do you practice in a dojo? Are the floors made out of wood or cement? Do you practice barefoot or in shoes? Do glide across the floor? Let’s make the training more practical….
Martial-Arts Movement — Do You Glide or Bounce?
For the most part, seasoned martial artists glide in their movements across the floor. The heads don’t bobble up and down. The head stays level as they move.
This applies to movement forward, backward, or to either side.
So, are you practicing on a surface where it’s easy to learn to glide without bouncing, or do your feet skid and prevent easy movement?
At first, try the smooth surfaces, like in a dojo or garage where you train.
Eventually, make your training more difficult. Add the realism of different surfaces.
Common Surface Offers Martial Problems
My garage where I train filled with … stuff. treadmills, beanbag chairs, boxes of books, vinyl records, and so on. This forced us to move to the next room over, for training.
Our new “training facility” is carpeted.
And I have never seen my students presented with such a problem as smooth movement across wall-to-wall carpeting. It’s like they lost their efficiency in one fell swoop. Who would have thought that carpeting would be the kryptonite of one or two of my students.
The solution was to go back to moving — practicing shooting forward, fading back, and quick steps to the side — all without bouncing the head up and down. All on carpet.
You should try it. It’s worth the practice.
Another Challenge to Smooth Martial Movement
If you are going to kick, then shoes that offer grip are preferred. Sure, you can slide forward better in shoes with a leather sole, but you can also slip quite easily onto your tush.
So, many martial artists prefer shoes with rubber soles. It makes sense.
The problem is that on a smooth floor, they tend to stick. And it’s the stickiness of the rubber tread that … causes that head to start bobbing again.
You should make practicing on different surfaces and wearing different shoes (barefoot, too) part of your regular training. Learn to move like a martial artist. There are several reasons not to bounce as you move.
To your efficient martial movement!