loosing sight of the arts

Posted by: jafo

loosing sight of the arts - 03/28/10 02:38 AM

I will try not to offend anyone but I thought I would share with you some of the ideals I have been taught, that I think we all really need to think about in order to preserve the art and pass it on to the next generation in tact. First off Kali is not a stickfighting art it is a blade art and way to many people have lost sight of that. The stick is just a fairly safe way to train, and as we all know the stick can be used as a weapon. Everyone is obsessed with stick drills, knife drills, drills in general. In one class a motivated beginner can do basic drills with a live blade if they have a competent teacher. But the second you go outside of the drill they are in serious trouble. The drills are important yes, but you have to get comfortable outside of the drills as soon as possible. I think I remeber some guy named Bruce Lee who said " the truth lies outside of all set patterns" Two, most of the stickfighting we see on videos looks more like a hockey match where two guys grab each other and see how many times they can hit each other until somebody gives up. Training like that and in full body armor gives people a false sense of security. If you have to go live blade you can't afford to take one single hit, so we are loosing the basic skills, zoning, ranging, footwork, and timing. For example PTK is supposed to be a close range system yet with a stick or long blade almost everybody nowdays stay at long to middle range. Very few in the U.S.A at least are training extremely close range with a stick, let alone grappling in the mud with a stick, so they just throw out half of the system because they believe the new PTK is better than the old PTK or let politics or ego get in the way when in fact it all combines flawlessly when used in the proper range and situation. The locks, throws, and disarms other than the contradas only work at close range. Another problem with light technical sparring, it is great for footwork, ranging, and zoning but when all you do is practice closing in and hitting sticks three or four times and backing out you are missing the point. In a real fight, ideally you don't want any clicks, one maybe two clicks at most of the sticks or blades and then you want the enemies head laying on the ground. Our FMA is a war art period. Why do we practice taking someone out empty hands in one to two seconds, but when it comes to sticks and blades we dance around clicking sticks for ten minutes on one person and don't even bother closing in fast and practicing the locks, throws, thrusts that we need in a real situation to end it in one or two seconds. We need weapon control first, light technical sparring without any safety equipment. Then learn to apply the entire system at all ranges as it was developed for. Then all out sparring with a light glove and helmet maybe. We have the honor to train in a system that is battle tested and never watered down for sport, so by not training properly and learning how to apply all techniques at their proper ranges we are slowly destroying the art. Im not saying we need to go home everyday with a concussion but training outside in the gravel,in the mud,in low light conditions, in the rain and maybe even some torn clothing or a busted lip once in a while is excatly what the art deserves. Let alone what the masters deserve from us like Leo Gaje, Dan Inosanto, and all the other masters that came before them. It is getting so bad you can see so called Kali masters teaching inside blocking against a knife, when the very first rule of the knife is the second you meet resistance you go somewhere else on the body preferrably cutting the entire time the blade is in motion. People worrying about "defanging the snake" when you can zone in and cut off the head first and then take the hand if you get bored, just as easy but nobody does that because it requires proper zoning and timing the very things we are loosing because of improper training. And with the recent popularity the fma is seeing I think it is only going to get worse as the mcdojos move in and prostitute our beloved art. If you can take anything away from my post please remember we are a blade art. It requires fluidity, timing, finness. Not all power all the time. That is why Leo Gaje and Dan Inosanto can just toy with all of us because everyone is to busy trying to kill each other with one shot, swinging the stick like it is a ten pound sledgehammer. And the fact that very few teachers either don't understand or just don't teach the fact that the movements get smaller and tighter to the centerline as the range gets closer and closer. I am not a teacher only a student of a Maha Guru who refuses to engage in internet wars. He has almost seventy years training in over forty systems mainly Kali and dozens of styles of Silat. But the information he has been kind enough to share with me I think is too valuable not to share with the community. So please remember always think of the Blade and always think maime or kill the other person before they maime or kill you. And the only way you do that is as Leo Gaje always says "offense and counter offense". Stay safe but train correctly and train like your life depends on it. Just when you are patting yourself on the back for being fast at a drill someone might be right around the corner after class waiting to kill you with a real blade. And guess what, they won't be using patterns and the forty five degree angles that you are so used to.
Posted by: Prizewriter

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/28/10 12:42 PM

Welcome. I don't mean to offend, but I only got so far and had to stop reading your post. Please consider an edit and use paragraphs, it makes your post a lot easier to read.
Posted by: jafo

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/28/10 01:19 PM

I am sorry about that, like I said I am not an internet warrior. When I typed it before I posted it, it looked fine I guess I missed something. Thanks for at least trying to read it.
Posted by: bcihak

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/28/10 04:10 PM

You seem really interested in the sword arts of the FMA. Do you know John Bednarski from the Midway Kodenkan? He is a teacher who focuses on the sword arts, specifically DTS Kali and he is familiar with Kali Ilustrisimo.
Posted by: jafo

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/28/10 05:02 PM

No im afraid I am not familiar with that name. My main training has been in Pekiti Tirsia Kali and different styles of Silat. I would rather not give my teachers name because he doesn't approve of forums and also he is pretty much retired. Also I am not trying to step on anyones toes, I just get frustrated when it comes to training methods. I have good friends in both camps. The new PTK folks seem to be drill happy, and the old PTK guys will show you all of the locks, throws, and disarms in a static position but not in a sparring session. I feel my skills are only at a beginners level but thanks to my teachers insight I can look at the situation and see people trying to disrespect each other like the new vs old training methods. While any new students are only seeing one side or the other and in the end the art is what suffers. I may be wrong but I don't see the value of always doing drills and then learn all the disarms, locks, throws from another group without at some point being allowed to put it all together. If you don't put it all together than you cannot allow the JKD concepts to apply and help you evaluate what works for you. Like I said though that is just what I see happening and if you think about how the fma was trained in the old days I think I am fairly accurate in my observation. A village would have to get people up to speed as fast as possible to fend off invaders. They would hand the students as much info. as possible, let them practice and decide what works best for them. And then go save their village. Not do drills for two years, or stand still and do disarms for years. Anyway thank you for your interest in my post and the Fma.
Posted by: bcihak

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/31/10 10:19 AM

Jafo, if you can you should try to make the Pacific Island Gathering in August. You might like it. The gathering is a sword based FMA tournament that has a full day of seminars the day before the competition starts. It is hosted by my teacher, John Bednarski, he is a student of Nene Tortal, of Dekiti Tirsia Serrada kali. Nene Tortal is the Uncle of Leo Gaje of Pekiti Tirsia. Since the gathering is sword based as opposed to stick based you see a differnt perspective on training methods than you might usually get from the mainstream FMA community. There are also instructors there who will teach seminar segments on stick arts but the sword arts are the main emphasis. The gathering will be in August at the Chicago based Midway Kodenkan school. You can find John and the gathering on their website. Thanks.
Posted by: jafo

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 03/31/10 08:29 PM

Thank you very much for the info. that sounds like a good time, I am going to do some research on it right now.
Posted by: TeK9

Re: loosing sight of the arts - 05/02/10 08:14 AM

My brother and I informally train the knife and stick. We train mostly at largo mano range (long range). We are always looking to defang the snake, but if an opportunity presents itself to attack the head or legs, we take it. However, our priority is to disarm the assailant by taking his weapon away by attacking the closes target which is the attacking hand holding the weapon.

I have seen the complete art. And I see the practice of mid and close range. However, when dealing with weapons I believe it is to risky to go to those ranges.

Now I practice out of close and mid range solely for the empty hand techniques. I do hubud drills because I like pulling out techniques from it. It allows me to gain certain attributes, like muscle memory, line familiarization, coordination and speed in trapping range. Where I like to emply FMA dirty boxing (eye gouges, head butts, knees, & elbows). But getting in this close with someone who has a weapon is just way to risky even if I am able to strike first, the possibility of getting struck back is to high to risk.

If you look at a Dog Brothers gathering, you can see some of the close range disarms and grapping done. However, you have to realize that getting in that close you must take damage. Because even a lucky swing from an untrained assailant will hurt. The only reason why guys pull it off is because they are wearing protective gear. Otherwise a good shot to the hand is all you need.