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Develop Skills With Line Drills and Zach Tanelli

Develop Skills With Line Drills and Zach Tanelli

Footwork is one of the most important aspects of literally any and all combat sports, from wrestling, to MMA and even fencing. Despite its importance, it is one of the most under trained aspects of martial arts. Footwork is an aspect of martial arts that is generally overlooked except for its extremes. That means that footwork is only really talked about in cases where it is extremely good and won the person their match or that their footwork is so abysmal that it is actively making every other aspect of their game worse. 

These factors combined with the fact that it just is not that sexy to train, especially when you compare it to drill takedowns or throws. This leads to one of the most important aspects in all sports in general, being undertrained. Having better footworks means that you will be able to get into better positions to attack, create angles that make it harder for your opponents to attack you  or even get the chance to attack you. 

The problem is that footwork isn’t and for the most part can’t be the focus of an entire training session. Coaches only have so much time and so many sessions to get their athletes ready to compete, so you need to train what they can learn the fastest and what will be the most effective in a short amount of time and developing solid footwork is not quick or easy.

Even if the focus on training sessions can’t be primarily focused on footwork, you can still fit some into a part each session. This is where another part of combat sports that people don’t generally like comes in, the warm up. Warm ups are usually boring and for the most part not done correctly. Most coaches treat warm ups like they are just light conditioning sessions that don’t actually prepare an athlete, and instead just tire them out. 

Warm ups should not only get your athlete warm but also help instill some movements and patterns, while not tiring them out so that they can actually focus on training. This makes warm ups at the beginning of training a perfect time to train with some simple footwork drills.

In this video, Coach Zach Tanelli shows a simple down the line footwork drill that trains some offensive footwork. Doing these line drills are a great way to get your heart pumping, your muscles activated and your joints nice and mobile, while also getting a lot of reps in the drill that you’re working. 


The attacking techniques that Coach Tanelli shows are doing high crotches from each side, stepping over the line as you do them. The goal is to start slow, so that you can really get the technique and focus on connecting your feet and your hands movements together so that they move at the same time. “Think about this like your hands and feet are connected through puppet strings if that helps. As you do this drill gradually, go faster and faster each time you go down, while still maintaining good technique. 


Winning First Contact by Zach Tanelli
If you want to learn more interesting wrestling drills like this one from Coach Zach Tanelli, check out our complete video series by him available now!