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Chicken Step -- Ji Bu

The Chicken Step, Ji Bu, is one of my favorite kung fu moves.

this is how it works:

from a right side lead stance, right leg forward, you would lift your front foot (right) and put it down on the exact spot your rear foot (left) was. Now, you're thinking how can two objects occupy the same spot at the same time? They can't, and that is the next phase of the technique. You have to lift the rear foot (left) while the front foot (right) is still in the air, which means that for a split second, you are air born and actually falling into the next position. Note for correct application, you should not jump to be air born, simply lift your foot and fall into the new position. (notice the repeated statemet, this must be important: don't jump, fall!) Then place your once-rear foot (left) down in front. Congratulations, you have switched your feet!!


Every time you chicken step, you have the option of kicking with the foot before you place it back down (new front foot). Its a great thing to do when someone tries to sweep that front foot, or if they try to sweep you completely.


I was sparring with a guy named Tom, who tried to do an aikido takedown on me that involved a leg sweep. He did a wonderful job, and took my feet right out from under me; so I chicken stepped, and instead of trying to catch my balance, just lifted my feet up and repositioned them underneath me and I fell onto my feet. The unexpected result was that he ended up on the ground, and I was standing over him.
"What happened?!" he exclaimed "This is backwards from what was supposed to happen."
"I don't know," I said "But I like it."

practice it, figure it out, see if you can master it. Its a fun way to switch your feet and has more uses than I care to list online.


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