Judo walk: baby-steps vs.
leaps in close combat

Judo walk style is developing to satisfy two conflicting requirements in in combat and self defense: stability and mobility. The short sliding "baby" steps are the prevalent technique. It giving you stability and sense of the ground - you're rooted (in terms of Eastern Martial Arts). However, you can often see high leaps and "flying kicks" in Martial Arts demonstrations. Is it all only for show and unusable in a real fight?

This is a good question, and my answer will be: mostly it is. However, real fight is a multidimensional situations. Some defense techniques and contour-throws should be executed without firm rooting. Those techniques required a high level of proficiency.

Also, the only situation when you can "leap" is when you have firm and fully controlled grip on you opponent and, indeed, using "him" as your support. Even this may sound strange on the first review, such situation is fairly coming, especially in very close range encounters. Those "leap" (or "jumping") techniques often not train purposefully, but developed in randori training. So, it's important to understand if it's working with this specific randori partner or can be used in variable situations. You can find it by trying it with different randori partners in various tactical scenarios.

On the other hand, it's important to understand that - non Judo walk style - "leaping" boxing stand (“butterfly” foot-work of Muhammad Ali) was developed only in highly restricted Western sport boxing environment and susceptible for foot sweeps. Nevertheless, it can work in a real fight if you're proficient boxer and aware about your stance vulnerabilities (see this page on 80/20 self defense training).

And flying kick is not something I would recommend to try outside of your training dojo or demonstration podium.

Home Judo walk: mobility and stability Judo randori

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