Playing Badminton With Rhythm

On June 3, 2009, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

In order to be able to move quickly on the badminton court you need to be able to move with rhythm. If the badminton court were much bigger, and all you needed to do was run straight lines all the time it wouldn’t matter, but that’s not the case. When we are waiting to see where our opponent is going to hit their next shot we can’t move from a complete stand still to super speed if we’re flat on our feet.

There are a couple advantages to playing with rhythm:

You can more easily anticipate your opponent’s next shot
You can more easily throw your opponent off of your next shot

The first point is fairly straight-forward. By maintaining a certain bounce in your step you are going to be able to change direction much more easily. The key is to train this and make sure that you are doing it in games and not just training. The second point is a little less obvious, but I’ll do my best to explain.

When I was a kid my brother bought me Bruce Lee’s book on Jeet Kune Do. In it Bruce Lee talks about the concept of broken rhythm. This means mixing up your rhythm between fast and slow, and doing this transition very quickly and unexpectedly so that your opponent gets thrown off. So for example you make your base rhythm a little bit slower than what you’re capable of. You make sure that your opponent falls into his own comfortable rhythm, and then suddenly you up the pace for just a couple of shots. More than likely your opponent will be caught off-guard and will either make an error, or won’t get your shot at all.

Do you play with rhythm? Is it fast or is it slow? Has your coach ever told you that you need to control the pace of the match? This ties into that perfectly. If you are in control of the rhythm of the match, you are in control of the pace of the match. Chances are if you control the rhythm, you will also be the one who wins the match. Badminton is a lot more like boxing or martial arts than you might realize, read up on broken rhythm and you’ll know what I mean.

13 Responses to Playing Badminton With Rhythm

  1. lynn michel says:

    thanks emmet….that was interesting..now this makes me want to take boxing just for it’s foot work..I’m a visual type of person and would need to see you with your foot work almost in slow motion first then fast pace..I know that would help lots
    thanks

  2. Norbu Dradhul says:

    this is very interesting… i will give it a try

  3. kasra says:

    I really think I knew the tip u gave us… :D
    but I can’t really use it well enough :(((
    and the reason is that I somehow have some extra kilos that makes me suffer :D

  4. Marc says:

    Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, broken rhythm? I feel like this article has been tailored to fit my natural language! I’ve been an avid martial artist for years, and have studied and practiced Bruce Lee’s art in depth.

    I’ve been working to apply this to my badminton game. The bounce and weight distribution comes naturally, but changing the pace suddenly like Lin Dan does all the time is a lot more difficult for me.

  5. Mel Wyatt says:

    Think rhythm is what we most admire when we watch someone like Lin Dan, without really understanding what is making his play look so effective.
    We see him moving so effortlessly, and then suddenly see the injection of pace to finish the rally but don’t necessarily notice the use of ‘rhythm’.
    Good tip! Although I think I will need to work consciously on realising that what I am doing instinctively in a rally can be broken down and improved by working on rhythm, just like working on footwork.
    Then all I will have to do is work on identifying the ‘right time’ to increase the rhythm ;-)!

  6. Thiagan says:

    I play quite a lot of badminton, especially at my age, just going on 67:-). Won a couple of golds and a silver in the Pan Pacific Masters Games 2004 on the Gold Coast, in Australia. As my favorite games were basketball, Soccer, Hockey and took up to steady badminton just 15 years back, I did not really have any training on covering the court smoothly, effectively and rhythmically. All advice most welcome. With best regards. Thank you

  7. piyush says:

    Think rhythm is what we most admire when we watch someone like Lin Dan, without really understanding what is making his play look so effective.
    Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, broken rhythm? I feel like this article has been tailored to fit my natural language! I’ve been an avid martial artist for years, and have studied and practiced Bruce Lee’s art in depth.

  8. sulismies says:

    Just for reference

    http://www.amirg.com/

    It’s all about the recovery from the rear back hand corner and touches also the rythm of recovery.

  9. Arunkumar says:

    A real nice observation – what all masters do – control the pace of the game
    Great tip
    Regards
    Arun

  10. saikat says:

    Tips are fine. But i like to have some suggestions as to what exercises to do , particularly for those who took it a little late and too stiff to move rhythmically Waiting….

  11. Yvan says:

    I must research the broken rhythm. For now, I will do as you suggest and find a steady pace. I like watching your videos because they encourage me to ”air practice” my footwork since I don’t always have a feeder. Thanks for the article!

  12. le says:

    Playing with rhythm is not only make you move faster but also make you more durable. to me making your opponent out of his/her rhythm is one of the best strategy.

    I listen to music and dance (footwork) is very good for practicing badminton. Do you think?

  13. phex says:

    Thank you. It is indeed an important part of the game.

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