The full step

The stepping drill we teach at Piedmont Bando has nine basic steps in it. These basic steps, as well as the individual stances, blocks, punches, etc are the building blocks to learning more advanced movements. My teacher, Joe Manley, often says that advanced techniques are simply basics done really well.

Each step in the stepping drill can be done forwards and backwards, with either the right leg or the left leg. Let’s break down the full step, using the right leg as the limb that is moving:

  • Full step back: Starting in a right N stance, the right foot moves back into a right L stance
  • Full step forward: Starting in a right L stance, the right foot moves forward into a right N stance. Or… starting in a left N stance (left foot forward), right foot can go forward into a right N stance. (Tricky, huh?)

The full step is used to either create distance or to close distance. If you aren’t within range of the opponent, a full step can get you in range quickly. Alternately, if you need a safety margin, one or two full steps can quickly increase the distance between you and an opponent.

You can follow along with me here on practicing full steps forwards and back:

And don’t get distracted by Rosie! She’s so adorable, but definitely underfoot.

Interested in reviewing past Bando minutes? Check out the Bando Minute archive!