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Thread: Gravity step

  1. #1
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    Default Gravity step

    The 'gravity step' (or 'drop step') is used by some world class tennis players. I'm wondering if any coaches or elite players are using it in badminton. I suspect not, but I'm curious just the same. For an explanation of this manuever see:

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/biomotion/tennis.htm

  2. #2
    Wedge
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    Default Re: Gravity step

    interesting .. so what did they find out.. which is the fastest ?

  3. #3
    frustrate guy
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    Default Re: Gravity step

    i didn't kwnow it's calls 'gravity step', before i referred it as 'shifting centre of gravity' or 'shifting weight'. i be studying sun jun, fung permadi, and taufik hidayat on video and they all use what you call 'gravity step', sometime it involves with one leg and sometime it involves with both legs shifted away from the intended destination. all the badminton tapes i have see, the 'gravity step' is very minor, hardly noticeable to the naked eye, except when they're scrambling to a deceptive stroke, at this point you see their whole body tilted toward the shuttle. i'm very much like to master the 'gravity step' but i get too panicky during matches to shift my weight, so i ended up doing what you call the 'jab step' footwork. for me, the 'jab step' is huge enery consumption and cause a weaker lunge compared to other method of movement. i definately preferr the 'gravity step' because it economical and the movement is more elegant.

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    Default Fast accleration

    Thnx for the feedback, fg. I wasn't sure if it was used by elite players in badm. Have you heard anyone make reference to this step by another name?

    It would make sense that the 'gravity step' is used in badminton when a player is scrambling for a shot; it is used when a very fast acceleration is needed. I might not expect to see it used in normal circumstances, cuz it actually puts the player off balance. Has this been your observation?

    Yes, the player actually seems to take the intial step AWAY from the intended destination. This causes the player to be off balance and lean or tilt (due to the pull of gravity). I think I've also heard it referred to as a 'sprinter's step'. Visualize how a sprinter starts a race... on all fours. At the sound of the starting pistol, the sprinter pulls his/her hands away, thus putting them off balance. The are actually falling & off balance for the first few steps of the race but acclerate fairly quickly.

    One can experience the effect with a simple demonstration. Stand sideways to a wall (about 1 meter away) with you feet about shoulder's width apart. Hold up the hand that is closest to the wall so that it is a few inches away from the wall. When you pick up the foot that is closest to the wall you should start to fall & accelerate toward the wall.

    Once you get the feel of the step, try practicing it on the court without the shuttle.

  5. #5
    Kootsj
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    Default Re: Gravity step

    Strange discusion. It is used in badmiton for more than ten years asI know.. sometimes they call it splitstep, sometimes highperflexion jump I teach it children and seniros. difficult to learn, very handy if you use it. less energy, faster and it is universal to all sides.

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    Default Re: Gravity step

    Han Jian calls this 'losing your balance' in his badminton book. The photos are very similar to the Stanford website. Han's instructions often begin "First, lose your balance, then..."

    I also am unwilling to try this during actual play, partly because the floor where I play is more slippery than I like. I'd hate to fall down without even advancing toward the shuttle.

  7. #7
    frustrated guy
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    Default Re: Gravity step in normal circumstance

    to gregr,

    from my observation of sun jun, the 'gravity step' is use everytime he is about to receive the shuttle (normal circumstances). there are different degree of 'gravity step' is used during a match. it is not alway beneficial to use an extreme 'gravity step' to produce a fast acceleration towards the shuttle because energy consumption is a huge factor in badminton. sun jun use what i call a mini 'gravity step', it is use at the instance of the 'split step' is about to land. sun jun 'split step' don't simply land his 2 feet; where his 2 feet lands depend where the shuttle is heading, so his 'split step' always force him to...'lose his balance' when he land. i try to master that technique but the timing of the 'split step' and where to land the feet is impossible.

  8. #8
    frustrate guy
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    Default Re: Gravity step in normal circumstance

    to gregr,

    from my observation of sun jun, the 'gravity step' is use everytime he is about to receive the shuttle (normal circumstances). there are different degree of 'gravity step' is used during a match. it is not alway beneficial to use an extreme 'gravity step' to produce a fast acceleration towards the shuttle because energy consumption is a huge factor in badminton. sun jun use what i call a mini 'gravity step', it is use at the instance of the 'split step' is about to land. sun jun 'split step' don't simply land his 2 feet; where his 2 feet lands depend where the shuttle is heading, so his 'split step' always force him to...'lose his balance' when he land. i try to master that technique but the timing of the 'split step' and where to land the feet is impossible.

  9. #9
    frustrate guy
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    Default sorry!! repeated posting. i'm bad.

    so sorry

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    Default Split step

    The split step is altogether a different technique. For a split step you unweight or take a little hop so that you land as your opponent contacts the shuttle enabling you to move in any direction (dictated by direction of the shuttle). When you land for a split step you are balanced for the most part. With the gravity (or drop) step however, you are very much off balance as you start to move toward the shuttle.

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    Default Gravity step vs. Split step

    thnx for the observations, fg. perhaps we should make a distinction between a split step (balanced) and the gravity step (unbalanced). i assume that you are saying, in either case, the timing of a hop or bounce with respect to the opponent's shot is the same. the difference is the landing... balanced or unbalanced? is this what you mena?

  12. #12
    frustrate guy
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    Default Re: transition

    yes, kinda. let put 'gravity step' to the side for now. what i'm saying is sun jun split step put him off balance on landing... in a good way, not because he is clumsy. similar to what marshall write about han jian said about footwork...'losing your balance'.

    i wounldn't say split step is balance because landing of the split step could be balance or unbalance. i guess is a transition from 'split step' to 'losing your balance' at a instant. most good player do the split step and land in perfect balance than do a 'gravity step' to lose balance for footwork but that take a split second too long, it better to losing your balance on landing when doing the 'split step', of course the timing is crucial.

    the only time i notice sun jun lands the 'split step' in perfect balance is when his opponent is in a perfect position for a kill (smash), otherwise his 'split step' landing always put him off balance...in a good way.

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    Default terminology

    some great feedback on drop (or gravity) steps and split steps.

    In my previous post, I was attempting to make a distinction a far as different ways of landing and moving after intiating a 'timing' hop. In my mind, a split step, by definition implies a balanced landing. Because it is a transition move, this balance might only be for milliseconds in some situations. This is the way tennis coaches use the term 'split step'; (I've only heard a couple of badminton references say anything about the split step, but it has been consistent with the tennis definition).

    On the other hand, if a player makes a timing hop, but purposely lands unbalanced to generate a faster accleration, then he/she has executed something other than a split step... perhaps a drop step. Altho' it may resemble a split step in timing & the way it is initiated, the landing & resulting move are different.

    For the sake of clarity, we should not use the term split step for both kinds of transitions moves (as many people seem to do). However, from your descriptions is sounds as if there may be some gray area between the extremes; it may, in some occurences, be difficult to make the distinction between the split & drop steps.

  14. #14
    frustrated guy
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    Default Re: terminology

    sorry about the confusion,

    i never heard of 'drop step' before, maybe that's what i'm discripting. but tennis hop (split step?) and badminton hop is different ins't it? tennis more focus on mostly lateral movement on landing of the hop (there is occasion drop shot), but badminton focus lateral and also vertical movement on landing of the hop. oh sorry again, i'm getting off topic.

    the topic is 'gravity step', and my definition is moving your feet in a way that cause 'loss of balance' in a control manner. if my definition is right (probably not), that's what i try to discript what i saw in badminton video tape. i also observe they use 'gravity step' on recovery after the stroke. it's good to learn more terminology.

    i notice the badminton hop the feet usually doesn't land at the same time, depenting on the situation, one foot is usually land before the other to generated 'loss of balance'.... do you call it 'drop step', or there is another term for it? thxs

  15. #15
    Minh
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    Default Re: Gravity step

    After his jump smash, Peter Gade uses only 3 step to reach and kill the net return. His acceleration is incredible.

    He does use gravity cuz his trunk is heavily inclined forward. His front foot is not pulled backward (but spread far forward)like a standard gravity step because he needs the reach to be able to make it in only 2 more steps.

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    Default Re: terminology

    It is somewhat a matter of semantics. Quite often anything close to a simultaneous landing would probably be called a split step. However, a radical departure could look quite different and be called something else.

    'Drop step' is just another term that I've heard used to describe the gravity step.

    Unweighting steps (split steps, drop steps, etc) for tennis are pretty much the same as for badminton. While it is true that baseline players in tennis primarily move laterally, these steps are also used when moving diagonally, forward and even backward. Tennis double players and serve-&-volley singles players usually use a split step on their approach up to the net.

  17. #17
    frustrate guy
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    Default Re: no interest.

    IMO the 'split step' and 'gravity step or drop step' is very important part of footwork in badminton and tennis but no one in this forum is interested except very few of us, kind of sad. oh well their lost.

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