River Dance – Agility Drill

River Dance – Agility Ladder Drill

This page provides details for the advanced agility ladder drill known as River Dance. This agility exercise uses an agility ladder drill in order to improve an athlete’s agility, footwork, speed, balance, etc. In this agility ladder drill, the martial artist stands sideways to the ladder (versus facing straight forward at the ladder). The martial artist will move his feet in a cadence of “In, Behind and Out” between the squares of the agility ladder (see instructional video below).

The ability to move laterally and diagonally is useful in martial arts sparring and self-defense in order to avoid an opponent’s attack and position yourself for an effective counterattack. However, if martial artist can not do it with speed, the martial artist will find the counterattack “opening” will have closed before they could launch a strike. Moreover, similar to the Carioca agility ladder drill, the River Dance drill works on balance while crossing feet which helps a martial artist’s overall stability during sparring and self-defense situations.

All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. For more agility drills, please visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Martial Arts Agility section (for cone drills, dot drills, etc.).

River Dance – Agility Ladder Drill

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