A good way to work on your mobility and footwork from a basic fighting stance is to practice this simple eight-count stepping drill. It involves moving one foot at a time to “extend” your fighting stance either forward or to the side.
If your extended steps are consistent you will end up in your starting point after every eight steps. Starting from your fighting stance, the sequence of movements goes like this:
- Front foot extended step forward and at an angle to the outside
- Back foot extended step forward and at an angle to the inside
- Back foot extended step back at an angle and to the outside
- Front foot extended step back at an angle and to the inside
- Front foot extended step to the side (moving away from your center)
- Back foot extended step to the side (moving toward your center)
- Back foot extended step to the side, moving out
- Front foot extended step to the side, moving in
The figure above shows the movements if your right foot is forward. (The mirror image would be the case if your left foot is forward.) Note that after steps 2,4,6, and 8, the spacing between your feet should be exactly the same as when you started.
To practice, you can put a couple of marks on the floor (eg, where the toes are) to identify your starting point. After a count of 8, notice whether your feet have returned to these spots. Your goal is to be able to do this consistently using muscle memory and proprioception to know whether you’re maintaining your fighting stance through all 8 steps.
Practice both sides until you can be consistent.