Footwork Notes

This started as a collection of observation of activities derived from workshops attended and is slowly growing into a collection of summary from Joachim Meyer as well. YMMV.


  • Rodger Norling Blade Seminars Pretoria 2017
  • Rodger Norling Staff Seminars Pretoria 2017
  • Reinier van Noort Seminar Pretoria 2018


Key for terms used in the notes:

  • EP - End play. A temporary place to stop the play to let the students try out the play before continuing.
  • [] - pick one in this list
  • () - perform in order


Group of 3 or 4, one in the center

activity F1: One person in the middle, opponents on the outside. Inside man moves aggressively to one of the outside people then switches targets. outside people emphasis is to get into the back of the guy in the middle. Position so can attack from directly behind thier back.

Foot stomper

activity F2: 2 people pair up, tap each others foot.

emphasis: do not stomp

Basics on movement

emphasis: skills of good footwork are balance, coordination, precision, stability, changing direction

Advance: basic fencing step forward

Passing: low, keeping hips at same height, move forward. heel toe landing

Cross: show, side you wish to move to leads.

emphasis: changing line

Moving side to side: show, side you wish to move to leads.

emphasis: Heel toe. Sports fencing foot work is key
emphasis: LOWER!
emphasis: leading toe always, ALWAYS, must be pointing toward the enemy.
emphasis: back straight up!

activity F3: teacher leads, class follows, make them follow advance, passing, cross, side to side.

Tag Game

activity F4: One person is hunter. They nominate a person to be the prey. The hunter must try touch the prey. Once the prey is touched they become the hunter.

rule: If anyone crosses the line in between the prey and the hunter, that person becomes the new prey. emphasis: other people must try cross the line

Head Knee game

activity F5: 1v1, barehanded. A goes for B’s head, B goes for A’s knee. Once anyone succeeds, switch. emphasis: lightly touch target.

variant: both A and B target the knee.

Norling footwork escalation

activity F6: A holds hand out at punch distance, B then punches hand while twisting hips and shoulders 90 degrees. (superman punch)

emphasis: Rotate around your core, put chest out, shoulders back. Turn around your spine.
emphasis: Your feet are starting and ending in a line, each heel on either side.

Follow on: Do punch, with twist, then only once full extenstion take a step forward, heel toe

Follow on: Perform step without a punch

emphasis: twist front foot out to the outside rotating on the front of the foot
emphasis: rear foot raise the ankle
emphasis: hand is by cheek and stays at the same height straight forward

Follow on: Punch and step forward. Change punch to a slash.

Follow on: Ensure your feet are in line

Follow on: Drop the attack and add two gathering steps between each passing.

emphasis: Push from the back leg!!

Follow on: Pair up, each person makes up to 4 steps advancing to the other, then switch lead. Aim is to circle and keep distance.

Post Thoughts

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “it” hits all by itself. – Bruce Lee