To learn how to walk so stealthy is not in any way sufficient a periodic training. We will never learn to be silent and to be part of the environment if we do not decide to live according to this principle consistently (or at least in all the moments in which it is reasonable to do it).
The advantage of choosing as a “normal walk method” the stealth walking is that we go to acquire a skill that will promote balance, spatial intelligence, mobility, control, focus, smart thinking, body fluidity and more. In fact the silent walk is not only important as an application but it is also a valuable aid in the development of many other aspects of martial education.
Now let’s see the latest tips, important notes and insights for walking stealthy (the “discipline” part, to conclude the discussion).
When we walk we do not forget to cross the steps like a “x” (without touch), this allows us:
- In case of need to quickly go down to the ground (enveloping spirally on ourselves)
- The ability to rest our legs one over another to remain motionless effortlessly
- The ability to change direction easily and also to flip our guard to the opposite direction
- The footsteps must have a natural length (neither too long nor too short)
- Less time our foot treads the ground less it risks to make noises (eg. the late settling noise of a wood floor)
- As already mentioned, we can not avoid making noise we must try to synchronize ourselves with environmental noise (intensity, type, duration and rhythm)
- Let’s try to make steps resolute, delicate and with a low shot semi-circular movements (parallels to the ground)
- Once we understand the basic mechanism we have to learn to stop or to back away at any time of the walk (without losing rhythm, balance or make noise)
- If we are barefoot the skin of the sole of the foot should attach to the ground in extension and uncompressed otherwise we will issue a faint sound releasing at the start of another step
- To be with bare feet in addition to expose ourselves to the risk of injury if they are sweaty they will paste to the ground and collect debris (leaving sound and visual signals)
Solutions to common problems:
- If we find that the support that we have chosen is not valid we have to assume a stable / quiet pose to fast recalculate the route (eg. return to the previous location or choose a more favorable)
- If we are identified generically (eg. as a form of life), and at a considerable distance we have to remain motionless
- If we are specifically identified (eg. we as human-intruders), and at a considerable distance let’s go down slowly and quietly withdrawing on ourselves
- If we make a noise and we are not in a short position let’s stand still and relaxed for at least one minute (let’s find a comfortable and quiet position)
- If we make a noise and we are in an visible position let’s go very slowly to the ground and let’s remain freezed and relaxed for at least 2 minutes
- If we have been identified by a short distance we have to quickly escape to a safe area (a hiding place or a shadow area) or face an opponent (choises are different by the situation, this is however a broader and complex topic that we will cover far ahead)
There would be countless other things to say, but we stop here, gradually we will see different walking methods, each of which must be used according to different situations and preparation (martial skill, slope of the land, kind of scenario, available time, level / type tolerable noise disturbance, etc.).
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.