I know I'm coming in late on this, but do you skip rope? It's really fantastic for keeping you light on your toes and strengthening the feet/calves.
Also, it sounds simple but vid yourself shadow boxing. It's hard to tell when you're looking in a mirror if you are bouncing up and down or if your footwork is more directional. I've made efforts to bounce less up and down and more directly where I want to go; it helps with efficiency of motion.
Last, box jumps are great for the explosive type of foot movement you're after. I'd start off with an 18" box (or a porch, a public park bench, low stone wall...) and move up once you build your strength and power up. Focus on not squatting too much before you jump and don't swing your arms - really focus on leg power. I try to keep my hands up like I'm boxing to avoid "flapping" them.
Ditto to MMAMickey on the bag. I, brag brag, was used as an example of good foot work last week in punch/elbow drills we were doing on a guy with big hand pads and body chest pad. *edit - Sifu was pointing out that some had bad posture and distancing after the punch combos so they were unable to do a hard elbow finishing move. He showed how to keep centered by moving with the blows fluidly.
Originally Posted by MMAMickey
But I really don't know how it was learned. I would think lots of Kyokushin six inch step with left jab drills and a gazillion reps with a hundred variations, and lots of heavy bag. I often like to have the bag swing free - it seems to teach distancing when striking.
I started running on the ball of my foot only. It took me weeks before I could get to a pace where I was getting a cardio workout because my calves would just get burnt out.
My balance has improved and I'm quicker on my feet.
I don't have access to a heavy bag but whenever I do, I try to swing the bag around, never let it touch me, and I work angles and side step+pivot. Its helped me a bit.
But that last bit about the bag is pretty basic and Mick's already mentioned it.
My favorite footwork drill is just jab vs jab. Just one person jabs and the other tries to dodge or counter attack.
Since you know the move that will be thrown (the jab) You have to use footwork to close the distance and possibly feints.
That last one isn't bad at all, I use it to get newbies used to angles and footwork.
It's good for short guys (like myself) where you have to be aggressive in order to close the distance. I normally either through feints or just change levels in order to get close. Newbies are easy to get with this since they get hang onto every movement.
Also I always ran on the balls of my feet. I'm just weird like that. Problem is I walk on the balls of my feet by accident sometimes. I just have mad calf strength.
Its been mentioned before, but the heavy bag stuff is really useful and pads even more so (nice to get feedback). Shadowboxing is important as is sparring a lot (i.e standard stuff).
As far as more physical drills go, jump rope is good but ladders kick ass. I don't use them as much now (unfortunately) but I used to be a (field)hockey goalkeeper. Being agile and on the balls of your feet was pretty important, as was getting your ass out to the top of the D to crush some unsuspecting striker. Ladders helped a lot with foot speed and agility. Plus you could play around with them, make up new patterns, lets you keep things fresh.
You don't really even need a ladder, just some way to mark the floor. I may start ladder training again myself....
That Anderson Silva entrance is the most fantastically wonderful thing I have ever seen. Thank you for posting.
Also, it is probably a good lesson for some of us that we will NEVER have footwork like his.
Originally Posted by jspeedy
Kinda like this stuff, pretty boring really.
YouTube- Dynamic Integration™ Proprioceptive Training_Cones
That and lots of plyometric, speed, quickness and agility exercises.
Another drill I like to do is a Krav original retsef. Keep moving forward and throwing out strikes. Don't think about the strike and don't move without throwing a strike. Get used to ending up in odd positions. You can also do it kata style where you repeat a set of strikes. such as right punch left kick left punch right kick and repeat,