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Using Footwork To Evade Strikes - part 2 (instructional video included)



As stated in part one, evading a strike or grab is a great way to avoid getting hit or controlled. In this 2nd part of how to evade getting hit or grabbed, we will learn a more advanced method of evasion. Moving diagonally (as opposed to moving laterally in part 1), from an assailant's punches, kicks or grab attempts.


If you hope to hit the assailant with a counterattack, you need to move diagonally away from their strikes: Because if you can’t move diagonally, you will never step in close enough to attack the assailant.


This is why taller fighters “seem” to have the advantage over shorter fighters. The shorter fighter who comes straight in without moving his head, or stepping diagonally, gets hit repeatedly from the taller fighters longer limbs. This, the shorter person can never seem to mount an offense of his own.


Two methods of how to move diagonally from strikes or grabs:


a) Diagonal Stepping from Neutral Stance:

  1. Step out diagonally with your left leg, and slide your rear leg up so you are back in neutral stance.

  2. Return to your original position; then repeat by stepping out diagonally with your right leg.

  3. Your legs should be at a comfortable gait after you have stepped out diagonally so you remain in balance when counter striking.

  4. Start this drill off slowly, then gradually pick it up.

  5. *Important: Do not go so fast that you are jumping in the air! Doing so will keep you in centerline which will get you hit by the assailant. You must be moving off to each side diagonally.

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


b) Diagonal Stepping from Fighter’s Stance:

  1. Step your lead foot forward diagonally, and slide your rear foot up to finish in fighting stance (comfortable gait).

  2. To step up with your rear leg, just step your rear foot up diagonally so you are now in your opposite stance (opposite foot forward).

  3. Your legs should be at a comfortable gait after you have stepped out diagonally so you remain in balance when counter striking.

  4. Start this drill off slowly, then gradually pick it up.

  5. *Important: Do not go so fast that you are jumping in the air! Doing so will keep you in centerline which will get you hit by the assailant. You must be moving off to each side diagonally.

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



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


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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight



Moving Diagonally Away From Strikes





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