Step with the heel?

As a wrestler, I have terrible footwork. My stance is all wrong, I carry my weight wrong, and I tend to "scrape" my feet against the canvas and "shuffle," when I move instead of cleanly moving my feet.

Recently, one of the guys at my gym told me that I need to step with my heel when I move, meaning that my heel needs to strike the ground first when I am moving. I guess I have a bad habit of throwing my jab standing on my front toes, rather than having my front foot planted solidly on my heel.

No matter how much I try, stepping with the heel seems awkward and unnatural to me. I spent years trying to "get light on my feet" as a wrestler because I was so flat footed (in wrestling, you want to be on your toes with your front leg so you can pick it up quickly for a shot, your back leg provides all the driving force.) Now I have to "learn" how to be flat-footed all over again.

Any suggestions on developing better footwork? Any insights on stepping and the transfer of power in a punch?



martin, is your weight supposed to be a little forward, say 60% on the front, 40% on the back, or do you keep them 50-50? and do you lean your torso forward or no?

I keep on getting yelled at to "stay heavy on the back
leg." Too heavy on the front foot tends to make me
awkward, I don't know how I got into that habit.

As for heel or toe, I've ALWAYS been told to stay up
on my toes. Plant when you punch, but otherwise it's
up on the toes.

I think the advice he was given at the gym is probably correct for the problem that he was having in moving (forward?) smoothly and with balance.

Beleive it or not the best video I've ever seen on footwork was by a JKD instructor, Larry Hartsell. If you can locate it there is detailed and easy to follow instruction on boxing footwork. Sorry I couldn't begin to tell you where to find it these days. Maybe he has a website?

Surely in boxing the weight distribution depends on the punch that you are throwing.

A lot of the power in a punch is caused by transferring the weight from foot to foot at the moment of impact.

As a kickboxer I tend to keep more weight on my back foot as a rule to avoid losing my left knee however you can jab off the front or rear foot, the cross tends to carry the weight onto the front foot as does the left hook.

martin you're the man.

I would suggest(seriously) that you look at taking some Tai Chi classes. You will learn some very good footwork.