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Using Footwork To Evade Strikes - part 1 (instructional video included)


Using footwork to evade a strike (or grab) is a great way to avoid getting hit. The next two self defense lessons will teach you how to use footwork to move away from strikes or grab attempts. Staying in motion is your best chance of staying safe during an attack, it also opens up opportunities to run away.


There are two methods of evading or moving, to avoid the assailants attack. They are, moving laterally, and moving diagonally. This week we will cover moving laterally away from an assailant's punches, kicks or grab attempts.


Moving laterally away from an assailant's strikes is the simpler of the two tactics. It is ideal for staying away from the assailant especially if your goal is to get away quickly. You can move laterally from either neutral stance or fighting stance.


How to move laterally away from strikes or grabs:

Lateral Moving from Neutral Stance:

  1. Step out laterally to your left side and slide your right foot over so you are back to a shoulder width apart position.

  2. Repeat to the other side.

  3. Try to keep your toes pointed forward during the drill.

  4. Practice many times so you are comfortable with it.

  5. *Important- Do not hop side to side! Having both feet in the air at the same time can get you knocked down in a fight!


Lateral Moving from Fighting Stance:

  1. Step your lead leg out to the side then slide your rear leg, ending the movement back in fighter’s stance.

  2. If your fighter’s stance begins with your left leg forward, step laterally to your left side, and slide your right foot across until you end in fighting stance.

  3. If your fighters stance begins with your right leg forward, step laterally to your right side, and slide your left foot across until you end in fighting stance.

  4. Practice many times so you are comfortable with it.

  5. *Important- Do Not cross your legs when stepping out laterally! Doing so may cause you to trip, or get knocked down easily if you are hit.


Below is a short demonstration video of how to perform this movement.



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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight



Laterally Moving Away From Strikes












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