In terms of spatial movement, we have already mentioned some of the most important aspects to consider:
- Static and dynamic balance (read How to improve balance: tricks and exercises and The concept of Dynamic Equilibrium)
- Rooting (read Kung Fu rooting: the pyramid concept)
- Basic footwork (read )
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
Now, it is time to address the topic related to the friction with the ground: is it better to jump or to remain attached to the ground? When? Why?
The friction with the ground
4 reasons why is wrong to jump in combat
In many martial arts and combat sports, the fighters choose to “continuously jump”:
- In certain contexts (especially the sport-related ones, read The 6 types of martial clash), it could be a good tactical choice (we are fast, dynamic, we can impose our inertia, etc.)
- But in most cases, we have to inevitably face decisive issues
Let’s see some of the limits of the “uninterrupted hopping”:
- We are easy to move – When we are completely off the ground it is very easy to move our inertia; we have no grounding and techniques like the throws become incredibly dangerous (read also The 3 phases of a throw)
- We consume a lot of energies – Jumping for an entire fight, against a good opponent, consumes a lot of energy; to do it we need a level of preparation that only professional athletes have (and that even in that case, they can maintain for a limited time)
- Our mobility is limited – When we are completely off the ground we cannot change direction or move (this means that, for example, we could not be in conditions to avoid a striking technique); if we jump all the time, it means that almost 50% of the time we are not in a position to move as we want
- We are slightly more predictable – If we jump continuously, we are much more subject to the direction of gravity; this means that, in relation to points 1 and 3, a good opponent will be able to take advantage of our forced vertical mobility (even only to increase the strength of an attack, adding it the inertia of the fall)
- We continuously risk an incorrect landing – No matter how skilled we are, outside a dedicated environment (eg. a ring), in an unorthodox scenario (in a self-defense situation), every time we jump while moving, we risk landing on an unexpected surface or obstacle (eg. an oil stain); it is not about being clumsy but simply not being in a predisposed environment (eg. there may simply be little light, read What is the difference between real fights and combative sports?)
When jumping is a good choice
Jumping is not automatically always wrong, there are specific moments where it is without doubts the best option.
Let’s make a few examples:
- When we want to jump on the opponent
- When we want to explosively avoid a specific attack
- When we need to cover a big distance
- When we want to change abruptly our pace
The common point of all these cases is the singularity of action, it is always 1-2 consecutive jumps and never a useless uninterrupted hopping.
Only during training we can (must) use long jump sequences (read 5 jumping exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up):
- To build stamina
- As a warm-up
- To condition our legs to be explosive
What is the best way to move in combat?
The correct way to move, in 6 Dragons Kung Fu (but not only), is to “glide” on the ground:
- Our heels need to be lifted ((they must gently touch the ground))
- We must always maintain a balanced contact with the soil (ready to express our rooting)
- We must always be sprung, immediately and explosively ready to slide, jump, walk, run (etc.)
A note by Master Kongling – The inattentive observer might think we are hopping but this is not the case at all, our feet do not lift from the ground until there is a valid reason.
In-depth video courses
- Combat mobility: how to – The secrets of high-quality functional footwork
- Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises – The best exercises to learn to move instinctively in the right manner
- Advanced speed and reflexes training – How to build real speed (for combat purpose)
- Static and dynamic balance: how to – All the steps to develop one of the most complex combat skills
- How to develop a good timing – How to gain control over your pace and impose it on the opponent
- Advanced combat tactics – The most effective strategies and tactics to prevail during a fight
- How to rapidly learn Kung Fu: guard stance – A basic guard stance for combat
- The weighted vest – A good training tool to use in combination with jumps
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- How do you move during a fight?
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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