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Sindaric Profile
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Thinking About footwork


Lately in my little region of Eryndor there has been a lot of talk about the importance of footwork in fighting. Today Javin and I were discussing some basic tips we picked up, that have helped us quite a bit in the footwork department.

But I guess before we talk about footwork, we should try and define it. The best we could come up with is as follows.
Footwork: The steps and movements taken/made while in combat.

Basic Tips
1. Never cross your legs.
2. When possible stay on the balls of your feet (very little heel contact with the ground.) This can improve balance and agility while fighting. Note: This can tend to feel odd at first, but you do get used to it.
3. Try to center your weight evenly between both legs, by proxy creating better basic fighting posture.
4. Try to approach your opponent on an angle rather than head on. This can be done by stepping to one side or another while moving in for your attack. Why? This increases openings and attack angles
Example: Rather than stepping forward towards your opponent, when you throw a basic wrap shot, try stepping forward and to the right as you throw the shot. This will open their back up more for the wrap.

So lets discuss this. How is the definition does it make sense? Is it a good definition? I'd also like to hear what works for other fighters.
And please understand we are not saying these are written in stone (well except maybe the first tip), these are just basic tips that have worked for us.

Last edited by Sindaric, 3/31/2010, 1:07 pm


---
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Noroko Profile
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Re: Thinking About footwork


Another good point, at least for sword and borders is stance which goes with footwork. Every combo of weapon generally has different stance but sword and board is most common.

So you want stand with one leg in front of you (generally your shield leg) and one behind you

a good tactic is to keep your back leg planted and your front ready to move back when fighters go for it, and then move it as they strike and normally 9 times outta ten ...youll get a hit on them before they get a hit on you

Also, make sure to keep your shield at an angle (bottom out and top in) with your sword up and behind the shield. Always keep your equipment up for blocking.

Hope this helps...more on this and other weapon combos later
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Re: Thinking About footwork


Footwork can be broken up into, in my opinion, two very distinct extremes.

One of which is the concept of stance. In this concept of footwork, I bring to the table Strossus. Strossus has, literally, a counter position for every position a shieldsman has to throw at him. It's calm, calculated, and judges length of weapon, openings in his own defense, and openings in an opponent's defense. This is the reactive footwork of stance, ever changing to adapt with your opponent.

The second concept of footwork is movement. In this concept of footwork, I bring to the table Sophie or Red Jack. The footwork displayed by these fighters is quick, distracting, useful, flashy, and all around eye-catching. That being said, this footwork is not only fashionable, but functional. This kind of footwork is used to attack an opponent: forward and backward lunges, leg bait to sweep, and other forms of distraction, angle pursuit, and offense patterns. While Strossus's footwork is more reactive, I would say the Sophie/Red Jack approach is far more proactive.

That being said, no one way is better than the other, and they can both be utilized effectively.

Use that as a basis for learning 'footwork' or helping define what it is for you and how you fight.

---
Cross the Boss.

President of Eryndor 2009-2011
Former High Guardsman of the Imperial Guard
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Arczhidea Profile
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Re: Thinking About footwork


One thing to consider also is more static stances. Most fighters tend to keep one leg forward and the opposing leg back. Why? Which leg is best to keep forward/back?

Having this stance, no matter which leg is forward/back, allows for quick and easy movement in every direction. Couple this with staying on the balls of your feet, and you will dance around the competition.

Now, which leg and why? Most people who play Dagorhir are right handed shieldmen/women. With a weapon in your right hand and a shield in your left, keeping your left leg forward is an obvious choice for a defensive stance. This draws your left shoulder/hip (shield side) FORWARD and your right shoulder/hip BACKWARD. This means you have an easier time blocking and less to defend on your sword/open side. However, this also means you have less range and fewer angles of attack because your sword side is further back.

On the contrary, keeping your right foot forward is a more aggressive stance. This makes you slightly easier to hit on sword side, your shield will be pulled further back, but your sword arm is forward. This means your range is greater and your angles increase simply because the shield your are holding is not in your way and your body is not holding you back.

These principles apply similarly to florentine, and even red sword to a degree. They would vary slightly for polearm, an area I am unfamiliar with. Hope these tips help.

(Also, I used the term "sword" many times where I should have used "weapon." I just really love swords!)

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Evias Profile
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Re: Thinking About footwork


Whoops!

Last edited by Evias, 3/31/2010, 11:57 pm
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Re: Thinking About footwork


quote:

Azora Cross wrote:

Footwork can be broken up into, in my opinion, two very distinct extremes.

One of which is the concept of stance. In this concept of footwork, I bring to the table Strossus. Strossus has, literally, a counter position for every position a shieldsman has to throw at him. It's calm, calculated, and judges length of weapon, openings in his own defense, and openings in an opponent's defense. This is the reactive footwork of stance, ever changing to adapt with your opponent.

The second concept of footwork is movement. In this concept of footwork, I bring to the table Sophie or Red Jack. The footwork displayed by these fighters is quick, distracting, useful, flashy, and all around eye-catching. That being said, this footwork is not only fashionable, but functional. This kind of footwork is used to attack an opponent: forward and backward lunges, leg bait to sweep, and other forms of distraction, angle pursuit, and offense patterns. While Strossus's footwork is more reactive, I would say the Sophie/Red Jack approach is far more proactive.

That being said, no one way is better than the other, and they can both be utilized effectively.

Use that as a basis for learning 'footwork' or helping define what it is for you and how you fight.




While thinking about things in extremes (such as the classic Flow-Fighter/Technical-Fighter debate) is fun, it is also severely limiting.

"Good" footwork should be comprised of both reactive positioning and proactive movement. They go hand in hand, and should be used together.

A simplified example:

-Javin approaches Sindaric quickly.

-Javin breaks Sindaric's range with a right-footed step to Sindaric's shield side in order to increase wrap effectiveness.

-The wrap fails. Sindaric goes on the aggressive with a shoulder shot. Javin is already in a safe position, pre-planning for possible failure.

-Javin successfully defends against the attack. Javin pulls back out of range and sets into a safe-stance waiting for Sindaric to attack again.

-Sindaric moves in, intending to throw a leg shot. Javin reads his body movements and adjusts his body weight in preparation to elude the incoming shot.

-While moving from the angle of Sindaric's attack, Javin ends the fight by strafing left and throwing a cross-over into Sindaric's now open side.

Last edited by Evias, 4/1/2010, 12:12 am
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Re: Thinking About footwork


Of course, balance is always key. ;p

I like to think of it as a spectrum though, and while most people lie moreso on one side of the spectrum or the other, no one person is 'all this' or 'all that'.

---
Cross the Boss.

President of Eryndor 2009-2011
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Fenris Kelevra Profile
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Re: Thinking About footwork


quote:

Arczhidea wrote:

One thing to consider also is more static stances. Most fighters tend to keep one leg forward and the opposing leg back. Why? Which leg is best to keep forward/back?

Having this stance, no matter which leg is forward/back, allows for quick and easy movement in every direction. Couple this with staying on the balls of your feet, and you will dance around the competition.

Now, which leg and why? Most people who play Dagorhir are right handed shieldmen/women. With a weapon in your right hand and a shield in your left, keeping your left leg forward is an obvious choice for a defensive stance. This draws your left shoulder/hip (shield side) FORWARD and your right shoulder/hip BACKWARD. This means you have an easier time blocking and less to defend on your sword/open side. However, this also means you have less range and fewer angles of attack because your sword side is further back.

On the contrary, keeping your right foot forward is a more aggressive stance. This makes you slightly easier to hit on sword side, your shield will be pulled further back, but your sword arm is forward. This means your range is greater and your angles increase simply because the shield your are holding is not in your way and your body is not holding you back.

These principles apply similarly to florentine, and even red sword to a degree. They would vary slightly for polearm, an area I am unfamiliar with. Hope these tips help.

(Also, I used the term "sword" many times where I should have used "weapon." I just really love swords!)



I have found that with a polearm I generally have to keep my dominant leg forward, the only time I find myself switching is when I switch to a left handed grip to get a different angle for a shot.

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Evias Profile
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Re: Thinking About footwork


quote:

Azora Cross wrote:
I like to think of it as a spectrum though, and while most people lie moreso on one side of the spectrum or the other, no one person is 'all this' or 'all that'.



Yeah, that's for sure. It's what makes Dagorhir so fun to watch!

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