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Friday, May 25, 2018

Martin Hall's "Buckle Before Buttons" Drill (Video)

This is one of Martin Hall's Home School videos, and it is a deceptively simple way to learn what a proper weight shift feels like.

Martin doesn't say this, but you can see it if you watch closely. When you set up next to the wall, you want your lead foot only an inch or two from it -- and when I tested it, I think just an inch worked best.

And note this little tip which you can see but Martin doesn't mention: When you touch your belt buckle to the wall and keep your chest from touching the wall, your spine is pretty much vertical. (There's a very slight arch but that is caused by clasping your hands behind your back, which pulls your shoulders back slightly. That's a naturally balanced position, similar to a soldier standing "at ease.") This drill teaches you to make a straight finish that takes pressure off your back.

Beyond that, it's all pretty simple. In order to (a) touch your belt buckle to the wall while (b) keeping your chest from touching the wall, you have to shift your weight onto your lead foot during your "downswing." If you hang back on your trailing foot, you will not be able to do this drill!

What this drill does is give you a "visual" feel for your finish -- and by visuaI I mean that you can actually see and measure what the desired finish position is like, if you want or need to. You can feel your buckle touching the wall, you can see that your chest doesn't touch, and you can use a mirror to see how close to vertical your back is when you do those two things. That way, you can guarantee that you get in the same position each time you do this drill, and that means you'll get the desired result much more easily and learn to repeat it more quickly. That's what makes a great drill!

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