Dempsey: CHAP 8: Falling Step

Here is chapter 8 of Jack Dempsey's "Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defensive"


"Stand in the middle of the floor. Point your left foot at any distant object in the room. Place your right foot to the rear and slightly to the right of your left foot (the book provides illustrations, this description is illustrated in figure 3). For the cahp about 5'10", the heel of his right foot should be about 18" back (and slightly to the right) of the heel of his left foot."

"let your arms dangle loosely at your sides; you won't need to use them in the step."

"Bend your knees slightly. Ben your body forward slightly as you shift your "weight forward on to your left foot", so that your "right foot" is resting only on the ball of the foot. Remember that the knees are still slightly bent. Teeter up and down easily (half bouncing without leaving the floor) to make certain you're in a comfortable, ballanced position. If your position doesn't feel balanced and comfortable, move your right foot about slightly - but not much - to get a better balance as you teeter. You are resting only lightly on the balls of your "right foot", remember. Stop teetering, but keep the knees slightly bent and your arms at your side.

"NOW - WITHOUT ANY PREMLIMINARY MOVEMENTS - take a long, quick step forward with your "left" foot, toward the object at which your left toe had been pointing (this is illustrated in figure 4). I emphasive: "no preliminary movement befor the step. You unquestionably will be tempted to shift some of the weight from the "left" foot to the "right" foot, which is resting lightly on its ball. NO PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT! Just lift the "left" foot and LET THE BODY FALL FORWARD IN A LONG, QUICK STEP."



"The "left" foot should land flat and solid on the floor at the end of the step."

"It is a quick, convulsive and extremely awkward step. Yet, it's one of the most important steps of your fistic life; for that falling step lurch is the rough diamond out of which will be ground the beautiful, straight knockout jolt. It's the gem-movement of straight punching. Try that falling-step many times. Make certain, each time, that you start from a comfortably ballanced position, that the body-weight is resting largely on the "left" leg, that the knees are slightly bent, that the arms are at your side, and that you make no preliminary movement with your "right" foot."

"I call that forward lurch a "falling step." Actually, every step in walking involves a small "fall." Walking is a series of "falls." But in this particular step, the fall is exaggerated for two reasons:

(1) your weight is well forward when you step off.

(2) the step is so long that it gives gravity a chance to impart unusual momentum to your body-weight.

The solidity with which your "left" foot landed upon the floor was caused by your momentum. The late Joe Gans rarely missed with a long, straight punch; but, when he did you could hear for half a block the smack of his left sole on the canvas."



"Although the weight of your body was resting largely upon your "left" foot when you stepped off, you didin't fall to the floor. Why? Because the alert ball of your "right" foot came to the rescue frantically and gave your body a forward "spring" in a desperate attempt to keep your body balanced upright - to maintain its equilibrium. Your rescuing "right" foot acted not only as did the slope of the hill for the sledding boy, but also as a "springboard" in the side of the hill might have functioned had the sledding boy whizzed onto a springboard on the side of the hill. The "left" foot serves as a "trigger" to the spring the "right" foot. So, the falling step sometimes is called the "Trigger step"

"I warned: DON'T MAKE A PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT before stepping off. Had you followed yur natural inclination and shifted your weight to the right foot before stepping, that action would have started your body-weight "moving backward" - "away" from the direction in which you intend to step. Then you would have had to lose a split-second while your "right" was stopping the back motion and shifting your weight forward again before the punching step could be taken"


"Learn now and remember always in fighting you cannot afford to give your body the luxury of a useless preliminary or prepartory movment before shooting a punch. In the first place, your target may be open for only a split-second, and you must take advantage of that opening like a bolt of lightning. Secondly, preliminary movements are "give-aways" - "tell-tales" -"telegraphs" - that treacherously betray to your opponent your next action. Joe Louis was knocked out in his first fight with Max Schmeling principally because of the tell-tale movements of Joe's left jab. Schmeling timed Joe's telegraphs and smashed him again and agin with straight rights to the head. Herr Maxie smashed him every time that careless left hand beckoned."

"You now know how to set your weight into motion for a straight jolt - by means of the FALLING STEP. Next we must consider the second part of the jolt: CONVEYING THE MOVING BODY-WEIGHT AND EXPLODING IT AGAINST THE OPPONENT."

"However, before studying the "movements" in conveyance and explosion, it will be neccesary for you to understand clearly the LINE OF POWER that all successful conveyance and explosion must follow."

End of chapter 8.

Next time Chapter 9: THE POWER LINE

I love you m.g.!

You have this book? Excellent. It's out of print! Any more of this archived?



i will archive here and at my site once m.g is done.