Practice Notes: Bad Footwork isn’t the Problem, it is the Symptom

A few nights ago I was throwing beautiful Schielhauws. Everyone said so, usually with the phrase “That was a beautiful strike, so why to you keep getting hit?”

Well after some thought we realized the problem was my footwork. Rather than stepping greatly off-line, or even slightly off-line, I was stepping directly forward. Problem solved, right?


After further reflection I’ve come to the conclusion that I wasn’t using a technique at all. You see, there are two uses for the Schielhauw.

  • Meisterhau (Master Strike): A single-time parry and counter-attack.
  • Versetzen (Displacement): A counter-guard used to move into an advantageous position while simultaneously your opponent from their guard.

I was trying to attack using the Schielhauw from a very wide measure. It wasn’t a parry, where in my opponent closed the distance for me. It wasn’t a counter-guard, where I forced my opponent to make an action that I could take advantage of. No, it was just a desperate leap forward with only the illusion of safety.

So there you have it. The problem is not using a proper technique, the symptoms are a linear step forward ending in a wound to myself.

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