Date: 13 Aug 1998
You missed camp! You missed camp! Neah, Neah, neah, neah, neahhhh....
Well, GEM can probably answered better about the "traditional" aspect of the crescent step in our style and other styles. But, here are some of my thoughts on its utility... I shouldn't give the impression it's always bad to do a crescent step. It depends on the context. If I were attacking in sparring or fighting. The crescent step is just
superfluous movement that adds time to covering the distance. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line (except flying in airplanes I heard). I will either do slide stepping, meaning my forward foot goes forward and my rear slides behind and ending in the exact stance I started with; or I will step quickly through with the rear foot. With the latter, there will be a shifting of weight to the supporting leg. But I certainly wouldn't exaggerate the weight shift and extend the movement by making a cescent more than what's natural.
The crescent step seems entirely appropriate in certain defensive situations, e.g. an attack against the leading leg. In this situation though the crescent move would be made going backwards and not forwards. I seen this in escrima practice. The attacker is swinging for the lead foot and the defender retracts the lead foot toward the rear supporting foot while blocking/parrying with his stick.
After the block/parry, the moving foot would either go forward or backward, set into a stable stance as the counter strike is just about completed. This sequence of movements, of course, is completed in milliseconds. I am sure this applies as well to empty hand fighting with attacks against the leg.
Also, there is a crescent stepping in escrima "triangular" stepping. It's hard for me to explain. One is supposed to move along a triangle, or three points, either forward or backwards. Where one starts is the triangle apex. You move covering the other two points. When done fast, there is a crescent movement effect with the shifting of weight.
These are just my thoughts on it