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Do you teach footwork and stances as a separate thing? Like, front stance, back stance, horse stance, etc? Do you practice those independently of techniques?

I never used to teach these things separately, but I have found that students with no martial arts experience will be constantly off balance and getting their feet tied up. So now I start off every session first with breakfalls, then footwork, then kicks, then techniques.

Essentially I'm teaching Karate stances, and footwork from Kali and Silat, along with common aiki footwork found in all the ki arts.

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I teach our stances along with everything else, but there are days when we would do nothing but work on stances and footwork. I also go over the specifics of what each stance is meant and good for.

Where is the footwork from? Because I've never seen a Hapkido class that taught anything like Hapkido footwork specifically. In my case, I teach footwork from Karate, Kali, and Aikido.

For us the footwork has always been there. But since my GM was also a boxer, we integrated that footwork as well.

I do. I think stances are a great source of developing strength but also can be seen in transitional movement. I do focus on movement from varying positions to show how movement alone can yield advantage and have the person recognize the changes in the body structure to see where options can be revealed. When practicing other techniques, I try to tie it back to and reinforce those fundamentals.

Some of the footwork I have the students practice is:

  • Forward and backward shuffle
  • Forward V
  • Backward V
  • Diamond pattern
  • Hourglass pattern
  • Star pattern
  • Circle step

And others. I use these as a warm up.

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