Building Your Physical Foundation: lunges

After yesterday’s longsword video, let’s add some lunges to our daily routine to prepare for that class. Of course, this footwork applies to numerous stage combat disciplines. Jared Kirby — fight director, martial artist, teacher and author — states that the audience perceives a character’s competence by their footwork. The audience may not know it, but if you move across the floor efficiently and with grounding, your physicality will tell the story of a person who knows what they’re doing.  Add the following exercises to your daily routine to help make the footwork patterns become second-nature.

Here’s a video describing good lunges:

And here’s a set of “Compass” lunges.  You’ll notice that it’s the same directions we commonly use in our in-class footwork drills:

-North (like in advances and passes)

-South (like in retreats, passes, rassemblements)

-East and West (like in traverses)

-NE, NW, SE, SW (like in thwarts)

N.B.: Yes, I’m a bit wobbly. I guess I had better get practicing!

You can also do them in order all the way around the circle:

To change it up and keep it interesting, remember that you can pivot and turn to return to neutral from any piece of footwork. You can also change your hip-to-foot relationship:

And to make it a bit more playful and maybe raise the amount of cardio, add some music and move your second foot (pretend there’s music playing):

Add this to your daily routine (or even every other day) as a way to get your mind and body ready for the work ahead.

Before beginning any new exercise/conditioning program, you should consult your physician, physical therapist, athletic trainer or strength and conditioning coach.

The exercise area must be safe and free of hazards.

Do not attempt any motion that causes you pain, and never force your body into positions.

Use of any information provided in this website is solely at your own risk.

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