Your TKD Footwork

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by franksv, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    Hello Folks

    One topic I do not see talked about much is footwork.Folks mention it,but few speak about it as a fundamental cornerstone of training.I have trained under 3 masters in my time in the art and I have seen 3 types,the star,box stepping and diamond stepping.I use the diamond stepping and it is part of my regular routine(thats just the one that works the best for me).Here is another thing that strikes me as interesting,of the 3 masters that I trained with,one master taught me all three approaches to footwork.The other two just taought the techniques(sparring&drills)just forward and back.

    What is your exp with learning how to step both defensivly and offensivly in tkd?And is it a major part of how you train?I was just wondering what some of the other tkd folks take is on footwork.For me footwork is crucial because if you can somewhat master it you can avoid attacks all together and attack at very advantagous angles in both sparring and self defense training.

  2. Another Muay Thai Guy

    Another Muay Thai Guy Valued member


    Could you please explain what star, box, and diamond stepping is exactly? I have never come across those terms before.

    Thanks. :)
  3. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I will try.This is going to be a summary.

    The star is just like this symbol *.You practice your strikes-blocks-kicks(drills) by first stepping in one of 8 directions(your front or lead foot is the center of this imaginary star) *.When you land/stop motion your front/lead foot is in the center again.This gives you 8 directions to attack and retreat.

    The box is simply practicing your drills by stepping around a square.This really teaches forward/back and side stepping.

    Diamond stepping is practicing your drills forward,backwards,45 degrees forward right/left,45 degrees backwards right and left.Its basically the star without 90 degree angles.Diamond stepping also was taught to me alternating the lead foot and training left and right lead only.So if you took a fighting stance with the left foot forward,you could either move while keeping the left foot forward or change to right while stepping.This one is the hardest to explain because of the alternate lead variable.All can invole a block/strike,kick or just a step to avoid an attack.

    I hope my summary was clear.If you have never heard of these,what is your method of footwork??I am just curious here,what that master taught me forever changed my training.After becoming fairly decent at attacking/defending at angles(instead of just forward/back)I was able to do MUCH better at sparring.The only guys I could not own where the other guys the master taught this stuff to(at my old school).My old master also made it clear that we where not to show this to any color belts because they had thier hands full learning the basics and forward and back was enough until a certain level was reached.He thought this would just confuse them.All of the guys that got this training where longtime students.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2005
  4. Another Muay Thai Guy

    Another Muay Thai Guy Valued member

    Thanks, yes that was very clear. :)
    Hmmm, we don't tend to practice any footwork drills specifically per se, it just tends to get incorporated into line work, patterns etc.
  5. kwang gae

    kwang gae 광개 Sidekick Specialist


    Our master has taken to adding some Olympic style footwork to our ITF drills. Shuffle steps, scissors, feint steps, drop steps, etc. At first I hated it, but now I like it a lot.

    I'm really interested in the diamond and star steps. Do you know where I can read more about this?
  6. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I am sorry,I do not know of any books on these footwork systems.Thats kind of why I started the thread.Since learning this stuff back around 98 I have only run into one tkd person that utilized/knew the star,years after I learned it.He was taught it by a Tang So Do grand master(maybe the tsd people would know)but I was taught it by a tae kwon do moo duk kwan guy.Now I did hook up/trained with a kung fu guy for a while that used the diamond stepping(maybe the kf people would know).

    Now both masters I trained under after moo duk kwan all taught the shuffles and half steps also but I have not seen this footwork taught since back when.I was very interested to see how many tkd where taught one of these footwork approaches vs the normal forward and back stuff.This stuff,along with the stance training(which is the foundation of the footwork) is a corner stone of my practice.I am starting to wonder if it's a tkd secret,outdated tkd thing or maybe not even tkd at all.
  7. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    footwork is extremely important and what can one do with lousy footwork?!

    with my students i do practice moving forward, backwards and to the sides. then i add a kick or a combination and we build things up till we get ''scenes'' from sparring.

    i think that some instructors don't pay enough attention to footwork or they simply take it for granted, the result of which is that students don't become aware of the importance of footwork.

    when we practice footwork alone, we all see our mistakes. you notice which leg is faster, which type of movement you can do better with what leg, how good/bad your timing is etc
  8. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I am starting to think footwork for tkd in general is forward and back.Anything above and beyond is a product of the individual instructor.I still can't help but wonder if the angled footwork/stepping was at onetime a foundational/crucial aspect of one of the old kwans and somehow got lost in mainstream tkd.The last dojang I was at had 2 masters come and go and both did'nt really talk about footwork.Just about all the students where strictly forward and backwards fighters with no consideration for their stances or stepping.Maybe I am just old school but thats the first way I was taught and thats the way that stuck with me.

  9. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    well, i can't tell you if the footwork as you described was in the curriculum of the kwans but i know that i practised it with my instructor, and now i practice it with my students too (not only forward and backwards).
  10. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I have had 3 instructors/masters my ratio is 1 to 2 that taught it.I feel extreamly lucky for the time spent at my first school before it closed.I guess its a thing that if you have it you don't tend to give it much thought(its the norm).I spend from 98 to early 04 at a school that did'nt put any time effort into it(2 different masters there).So I am speaking from my limited exp and this is exactly the type of feed back I was looking for,thank you.
  11. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    different stuff are taught at different schools, but in my opinion footwork should definitely not be neglected.
  12. Faminedynasty

    Faminedynasty Valued Member

    Being used to boxing, at first I found the TKD sparring stance to be very awkward and alien. My footwork was not very impressive as a result. But now that I've been doing it regularly and shadow boxing with it constantly it feels much more natural, and you really can incorporate some niffty sidesteps and subtle spacing adjustments into it. I'm nowhere near where I should be with my TKD footwork, but I have no doubt that it will come along with hard work. And yes it is something that my school puts emphasis on, and in my humble opinion it is important for virtually any type of fighting art.
  13. Taliar

    Taliar Train harder!

    Yep footwork is very important.

    We incorporate drills for, side stepping, switching, skipping and hopping techniques, shuffles, angling off etc.
  14. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    I did about two years from fencing a while ago and I've kept the footwork for my TKD.
  15. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    fencing? interesting. those guys are very light on their feet.
  16. HwaRang

    HwaRang Just don't call me flower

    thats why i took it up. we get loads of excercises keep the feet moving fast but with balance.
    but there isnt so much moving around diamond or star - just backwards and forwards.
  17. neryo_tkd

    neryo_tkd Valued Member

    well, that's a start too. as long as you're aware that there is more to moving than forwards and backwards, you're ok, and i'm sure you'll work on it.
  18. HwaRang

    HwaRang Just don't call me flower

    of course - thats just their training. unless you are superproficient/confident/or stupid, you wouldnt try a sidestep in fencing.
    it takes too long.
    sparring is much different when you are holding a foil, sabre or epee i guess.
    at least it can all be described back to TKD training.

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