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Backward stealth walking technique


Articolo letto: 386 volte

News > 6 Dragons Kung Fu

Backward stealth walking technique

Walk backward limiting as much as possible the noise

Continuing the discussion about silent walking (read Stealth walking: an introductory exercise), we move now to the second practical technique, the one that allows moving backward (read also Stealth walking: Technique 1 to see the forward direction).

Note - This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).

As for the first method we have seen, what we are going to describe is the 6 Dragons Kung Fu's "adaptation" of stealth methods used in Ninjutsu (apart from this, we will not repeat all the other premises made in the past tutorials / explanations, read also Stealth walking: tips and notes).

The second stealth walking technique

If we have understood (and especially trained) the first technique, the learning of this one will be much easier. The only real difficulties we will face are:

To get used to pay higher attention while moving in a less natural direction

To evaluate the risks of unexpected obstacles

The preparation:

Let's read again the previous articles (first because we will not repeat what we have already said and second because ttechnique one is preparatory to this); it is not a good idea to study this method without having interiorized the last one

Let's do a minimum of warm-up and stretching (read Basic warm-up and Basic soft stretching)

As always, before starting, let's prepare us mentally, let's relax (we must put our body in a liquid state, read also 6DKF's interactions: from the strong blow to the light touch)

We have not to move inside the environment as "foreign elements", we must be part of it

Let's choose a path from A to B (5-6m without obstacles are good to begin)

Before starting let's rapidly plan the ideal path (for a trained practitioner, a few seconds should be enough)

Let's focus on harmony, balance, synchrony and let's choose a totally noiseless breathing method (read Diaphragmatic breathing)

The stance:

Let's lower our center of gravity slightly forward bending our knees, head and torso (read also Kung Fu rooting: the pyramid concept); the more we bend our knee, the more we are stable but at the same time, the effort will increase (let's calibrate our height in relation to our capabilities, read How to improve balance: tricks and exercises)

We should have one foot forward and one back (both completely flat on the ground)

This time, 90% of our weight must be on the front leg; the reason is that we must always be able to quickly retreat in case of error (eg. while leaning our foot on an unexpectedly unstable / noisy surface)

Let's gently lengthen one arms forward and one backward, with the hands open and relaxed (the palm of the hands should be parallel to the ground)

The arms are not fully extended (no more than the canonical 120°); our position must be intended as a double mobile guard, ready to defend / attack but also to intercept eventual obstacles

In terms of body states, our upper limbs should be fluid (ready to manage in the most silent way any tactile interaction)

Our body (and especially our shoulders) should be almost parallel to the current direction we are moving to (that naturally could change during the path); the idea is to always see where we are going and at the ame time to be capable to see even the opposite direction (read The overall view: see everything, do not look at anything)

The execution:

The foot that we want to move first (the one of the front leg) must be without weight even before it starts to move

The foot always raises starting from the heel to arrive then to the toes (in a natural and harmonic way)

While the foot lifts we inhale and we release our arms horizontally (to better distribute our weight in the space we are going to occupy)

During the step, the arms move in sync outward and downward, describing circles that return cyclically to the starting guard position

The foot moves with the tip inclined outwardly by 45° but trying to remain with its palm parallel to the ground (this to say that the tip of the toes should not look upwards)

The foot goes then backward, in a quite central direction (towards our center of gravity, as if we were walking on a rope)

The length of the step depends on the type of speed we want to maintain, each situation is different but in this case, moving in a less natural direction, we should decrease its extension

A long step imposes more inertia on the ground and this means more risks to make noise and more effort; in any case, it is important to always maintain the knee bent

The first part of the foot that gently touches the ground is the back-outside edge of the heel

After the heel (with a slow but gradual and continuous leaning) arrives the rest of the external edge (as drawing a half moon on the ground) until the entire foot has landed

Let's remember that each step is always exploratory (especially in this context), the weight should remain on the other leg until we are more than sure that we are not risking to cause any audible reaction (or dangerous loss of balance)

If we are sure, we can fully and stably pull down the foot (only after having reached a balanced stance we can transfer our body weight)

To move the weight from the front leg to the back one we have to rotate the pelvis upward, "throwing" our torso and our arms backward (this time we have not the knee as a reference as for technique 1 but the principle is the same)

Only while we (gently) bring our body backward and we transfer our body weight on the back leg we can finally exhale

When we are completely flat on the ground we have to follow the same instructions with the other foot cyclically

Important details:

Each time we execute a step sequence, let's do it without simultaneously sum the weight of the landing foot to the one of the leaving (at least in the phase of study the 2 moments must be consequential but separate)

Let's never load the weight of our body in the direction of the support leg; we should try to keep it in line with our center of gravity (this way we will have a better distribution of the pressure load)

The entire motion should be continuous and non-fragmented; at each step, we must start and arrive in a perfectly stable stance (ready to interact act)

Mentally we should imagin to move our inertia olny on the Z axis, the less time we leave our full weight on an unstable ground (see wood), the less risks we face to make noise


Final notes

Despite the level of preparation we can have, moving this way is inevitably harder; as a rule, beyond usefulness as training, in a stealth scenario there is only one reason why it is worthwhile to move (temporarily) backwards, to keep one or more potential dangers under control (as long as they overcome the risk of moving in such a complicated way); in all other cases it is completely wrong and should be avoided

As we always say, invisibility does not limit its focus on being not perceived by the senses but it extends to the idea of being mentally accepted as a neutral element of the scenario (something so normal to be instictively and logically ignored, read also Be invisible in the crowd: divert attention)

When we talk about invisibility, the implications related to each sense must be cured in detail and sight is the first one (read for example Invisibility: the best night stealth color and Invisibility: how to hide heavy breathing)

It is interesting to stress that contrary to what happens in most of the other 6 Dragons Kung Fu's techniques (for movement, combat, etc., read for example How to punch (simple explanation)), the breath-out phase, is not synchronized with the landing movement, it starts only when the foot in well attached to the ground

Due to the number of details to be cured (as for the first), this is not a beginner-level technique; we should start to address the study of the stealth walking, at least, at an intermediate level (we need for example basic standing stamina, read [restrict]Kung Fu rooting[/restrict])

In the next article of this series, we will see other stealth movement methods.

In-depth video courses

Basic stealth techniques - A video course interely dedicated to the fundamentals of invisibility in 6 Dragons Kung Fu

Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises - How to condition our body to be ready for the study of high quality stealth mobility

In-depth articles

Invisibility: hiding in the shadow - How to "disappear" in low light conditions

9 teachings from the movie Batman Begins - Through a Hollywood movie, let's learn a few stealth and self-defense tips


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

Have you tried? Do you fee it harder or simpler if compared to technique 1?

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