Friday, January 25, 2008

The Nagashi Sidestep

[Nathan] TDA Readers, please welcome Markos from Marks Chat to TDA for this guest post. I invited Markos because of his excellent work at his blog, and our relationship built at the Convocation of Combat Arts. For more about Markos, please see my introductory post, Inviting Marks Chat to guest blog.


The sidestep is not an unusual fighting technique. It is something that is used by Boxers, Karate fighters, Thai boxers and most other strikers. Everyone knows how to sidestep. Instead of moving backwards when an oncoming attack is thrown towards you, you move sideways. It is used by ring fighters quite often during sparring and fights, as sometimes they can not move backwards as the ropes are in the way, so they move sideways.

Below shows a diagram of two fighters feet, and the way they move during the sidestep technique,

As shown above, the sidestep has been used to avoid the opponents rush of strikes. Nagashi on the other hand is very similar to the sidestep in the fact that you move your body out of the line of attack, but your front foot only pivots, while your back foot moves round. The diagram is now as follows,

As this diagram clearly illustrates, the bottom fighter stays much closer to his opponent than in the first diagram. This gives him/her the ability to strike his opponent much easier than in the first diagram, without being in the line of attack. It is a technique which is used mainly in the Wado Ryu style of karate and by some AikidoKa. If timed correctly the bottom fighter could strike the outside of the top fighter’s knee or bottom thigh area with his/her own front knee, which could be used to off balance him/her, although this is quite hard to pull off. Combined with circular strikes such as hooks and elbows, a lot of power can be generated, but you must make sure not to lose your balance on this.

It is a variation to the normal sidestep, and is something that may be known to people, but rarely used as it requires practice. MMA fighters can particularly find this technique useful, as it gives them the ability to quickly engage in grappling if they prefer that type of fighting over striking. I would not advise that this technique be used always, but when combined with other footwork techniques can be a great mix to your fighting style.

Article created for TDA Training by , Fighting and Training Methods for the Unarmed Martial Artist.

No comments: