The above pattern or asterix is also a diagram for movement. In Indonesian martial arts, this footwork or stepping is called Langka. There is NO reason to debate this. If this pattern were shown to certain groups of martial artist.. they would universally say –
– “That pattern is not complete.”
– “We have that too!”
– “You don’t know the secret footwork.”
– “I disarm terrorists with plastic guns. Where are my cigarettes?”
If the above drills were shown to certain groups in the strength training community, they would universally say-
– “You gotta squat to be jacked!”
– “One legged movements can’t support enough overload for proper stimulation.”
– “Bro, only women do lunges!”
– “I have bad knees. Girls like big gunz anyway.”
Regardless. As “Dalton” said in the movie, “Roadhouse”,…”Opinions vary.” Perhaps it is more important to focus on improvement rather than validation.
One thing that stepping or moving or having mobility does is help us survive. Break an antelope’s leg in Africa and it will be eaten or die. Go hiking in a remote location and smash your pelvis,.. you will probably die. When you are unable to get off the couch or walk around the block, your days may be dwindling. If you are in the field of combat and you are flat footed or immobile.. you severely limit your capacity to survive. In fact, there is a statement that “flexibility is youth in movement and life.” I’d like to change that to “mobility is life.”
The Movement/Lunge Pattern is my organization of the stuff I have collected from martial arts and fitness. I don’t see a firm division between the two. Perhaps a blurry line. It is basically 8 directions. If you want to slice it so thin that there is only one side, there could be thousands. Why complicate things? It will involve nothing but STEPPING. The difference here is this pattern, unlike the Crossfit workout, “FRAN”, is very, very, scalable. If you can walk to the bathroom, you can use this tool.
1. We move or generate power by manipulating height, width and depth zones.
2. Boxing and Thai boxing take advantage of depth and width zones very effectively. When they add manipulation of height zone, [sitting into your punch] we get Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson or Bas Rutten.
3. Domination of the height zone would be grapplers. Takedowns, throws and submission, using leverage and the marriage of gravity with bodyweight.
4. The first stage is to simply step in each direction. Right foot first. Left foot first. It’s like dancing but you will look more like Baloo from Jungle Book, than Fred Astaire. Take your time. Walking/stepping is a simple, efficient, way to transport yourself. It’s the first method of footwork recommended by Australian edged weapons expert, Ray Floro.
5. The second stage is lunging. This increases the overload on the thighs. You can lunge forward, or lunge stepping back. You can lunge to the side or to forward and backward angles. You must also learn to lunge laterally by crossing one leg in front, then behind the other. This drill can be done in an organized pattern or in a sort of free form.
6. The third stage is kneeling/ground. Some of the movements are found in grappling and some in Southeast Asian martial arts. This type of drilling not only builds leg strength, but a strong measure of active flexibility.
7. The fourth stage is adding a fixed weight. This can be done by holding a barbell plate to the chest, using a light barbell on the shoulders or even a weight vest. [perhaps best of all]. This makes the drill progressive by augmenting a bodyweight exercise or skill set with increasing resistance over days, weeks, months and years. The addition of weight can be applied to ANY of the above stages. That helps those with compromised joint integrity, lack of conditioning or advanced age in scaling their workouts. This type of activity over long periods of time, done slowly and without explosiveness can strength connective tissue, increase hypertrophy and greatly improve the range of motion and strength in extreme positions.
8. The fifth and last stage is unique. It involves a mobile weight. This can be a sandbag or kettlebell or Indian club. The idea here is that you can clean the weight with your left arm, do a lunge with the left leg, then transfer and repeat with the right leg. You can hold the weight in the rack position near your shoulder or actually do your lunging with the weight pressed overhead in the lockout position. This usually satisfies all the needs for adaptation of the core muscles. You can also start in low postural positions with the weight held in lockout and come to standing between each grouping of lunges. Repeat this with both arms. Getting off the ground without use of the hands is an indication of youth for what it’s worth. An excellent resource for this material is my friend, Jeff Martone of www.tacticalathlete.com . His “H2H” or Hand to Hand series and S.H.O.T. series will give you ample ideas.
“The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.” — Ed Parker
For a second we need to realize our ego is not our amigo and to have an open mind. If the UFC proved anything, it proved that a fight is a fight. [empty hand, edge weapon, impact weapon, flexible weapon or projectile weapon] A stand up Thai boxer had an almost synergistic improvement by studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The same with the grappler studying boxing and kicking. It doesn’t require too sharp of an eye to see the transfer of classical martial arts, Shotokan in Lyoto Machida’s case or Kenpo in Chuck Liddell’s methodology, that ANY tool is valuable if practiced against resistance.
Below is a Youtube video of Cecep A Rahman of Indonesia. He’s demonstrating movements of Silat [“to fight”]. Hopefully you will not be mesmerized by the twirling, edged, weapons and focus on his lower body. This dynamic, skillset cannot be underestimated for improving leg strength, mobility, youth or simply the ability to, “Move bitch, get out the way”.
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