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#250801 - 05/05/06 09:16 PM Re: stick drills [Re: JKogas]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Sounds like an excellent process to me. So far, I have only seen it done two ways here in chicago -
the way my Kali group does it consists of 45 min. of flow drills, going from the 1-5 angles at full power (not hitting eachother), takedowns, strips, knife work, grappling what have you. Then there's about half an hour of sparring - fencing helmets, gloves (usually field hockey, not ice) and rubber sticks. During sparring we hit as hard as we can. No one seems to get more than a few bruises, welts and goose eggs.

The other way is the way I've seen the few remaining schools teach. Only advanced students go full bore with no padding and rattan sticks, but many of the level tests involve blocking a series of lighting fast strikes from the master. I've known a few filipino guys who have received some very ugly injuries from these tests. Again, no pads or safety gear.

Although I would like to build enough confidence to fight at that level, I find their process a bit unnerving. I much prefer what you just illustrated, especially from a teaching perspective.

Thank you, very much!


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#250802 - 05/05/06 10:21 PM Re: stick drills [Re: ShikataGaNai]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10813
Loc: North Carolina
ShikataGaNai wrote:
Quote:


Although I would like to build enough confidence to fight at that level, I find their process a bit unnerving. I much prefer what you just illustrated, especially from a teaching perspective.

Thank you, very much!





Anytime!


The method came out of Burton Richardsonís philosophy. He as you may know, was/is a member of the Dog Brothers. He has ďbeen there and done thatĒ and, lived to tell the tale. He believes in gradually bringing people up to speed and allowing them to slowly become acclimated to greater pressures and intensity - never beyond what they are capable of. He does that with everything, including the empty hand stuff which is ALL geared around fighting. Itís the method that I have used since I started teaching and the results are phenomenal in terms of skill development as well as the students ability to handle real fight ďpressureĒ.

It often isnít the lack of physical skill that is the main reason why many martial artists have problems in real fights. Itís the simple fact that they have not been truly acclimated to the PRESSURE that exists within real fights. Using these methods allows a person to slowly become accustomed to this pressure with graduated intensity and resistance. Again, this is true of both stick fighting and empty hand.

Isnít it interesting that we in the stick fighting community (and itís been a while since I have done any) believe that to truly reach our highest levels, we must step into the arena and actually stick fight? Yet itís ironic that many martial artists scoff at the idea as it pertains to empty hand fighting -- calling that ďsportĒ and saying itís detrimental! I am forever amazed by this incongruity.


-John

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#250803 - 05/06/06 07:21 AM Re: stick drills [Re: JKogas]
mike-a Offline
Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 35
Loc: auckland, new zealand
In terms of a progression, I favour a balance of technical and practical.

You can train someone to be a pretty good stickfighter with a limited number of techniques, and have them spar a *whole* lot to develop the timing and distance attributes to enable them to pull it off. They learn half a dozen angles, and about the same number of combinations, how to bridge from long range to close, a couple of takedowns and you're sweet. Obviously when you get down on the ground, and you ditch the sticks, it's a different game.

But in general, this approach will turn out a great stickfighter in a year or two. *BUT* most people won't want to do just those drills all the time. They'll get bored and leave. If you don't have the motivation to just be a fighter (eg self preservation in a hostile place) you won't do it. That's why a "traditional" system has a small syllabus. They only learned enough to defeat most attacks.

To keep people engaged in the long term, you need a depth to the system. Some systems (commercially motivated) have an expanded syllabus to give students a bunch of stuff to learn over a long period. If you have a bunch of stages to learn a bunch of stuff, you keep folks for a long time. But they may not be able to fight at the end of it all.

I teach for a friend of mine. His school is primarily japanese based, but they had an interest in stickfighting, and had bought some WEKAF sparring gear. Problem was, their stick training was, to be nice, pretty bad. They didn't really grasp the basic concepts. (For example, to block horizontal shots to the middle, they used the punyo. Great way to get your hand destroyed...) So I helped out, and made a syllabus for them. Each level is divide into two halves - technical and practical. Technical is stuff like abecedario, siniwalli and flow drills, practical is power strikes, combinations and sparring.

I belive if you practice both technical and practical skills, you develop fighting attributes and ability, but there is enough depth to your art to keep your brain busy. And eventually you'll be able to practically pull of the technical stuff.

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#250804 - 05/06/06 08:58 AM Re: stick drills [Re: mike-a]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10813
Loc: North Carolina
Depth of art... That's a great topic.


Can a simple approach yield a depth of knowledge? I personally believe it can. The "art" is found in application. It is the poetry in motion. In other words, "art" isn't teaching someone a jab (boxing reference). The "art" of the jab lies in the process of its execution (the application of the tool). Art is "found" within the doing.

It's when one performs that real learning occurs. The depth of art is discovered through the process of performing the art.

Basically what this means is, we need to get individuals into the process of "performing" (stick fighting, boxing, wrestling, vale tudo, etc) as quickly as possible so that they can begin that process of learning and discovery. In that environment, learning on a level FAR beyond what a "teacher" can convey is achieved.

So in simplicity, there is depth. There are also other benefits. They can begin the process sooner because there is less emphasis on accumulation which leaves more time for actual training. It's also FUN and functional as well. People begin to see and discover the "truth in combat" as it pertains to them. Higher learning and thus "depth" is achieved. "Advanced" technique is discovered and it usually nothing but a refinement of the basics. Whatever else is left, is discovered within that environment of "doing".

On another note, it's weird how much more intense drills become after you've been to the edge (so to speak). If you get people into the act of fighting as soon as possible, when you come back to the drills, you'll often discover one of two things:

1. The drills importance is more clearly understood, or

2. The drills BS factor is immediately understood.

Some drills have more to do with "art" and less to do with "application" (fighting). This is true within ANY martial art. The aliveness factor is a great "barometer" of the relative BS (found within anything).


Happy training!


-John

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#250805 - 05/06/06 05:01 PM Re: stick drills [Re: JKogas]
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Some great discussion going on!

keep it coming folks!

_________________________
Allow me to acquaint you with my friends Mr Jab and Mr Cross...

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#250806 - 05/09/06 12:54 AM Re: stick drills [Re: JKogas]
mike-a Offline
Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 35
Loc: auckland, new zealand
Good thoughts...

A few techniques can yield favorable results in most encounters, but if you only train with one group, or one style, you reach a point where you know He'll do this technique, you'll counter with that one, and so on. As time goes on, you need to introduce more stuff, so you all grow.

Another alternative is to play with a different style. I've been looking at a lot of pekiti tirsia stuff of late (hard to do too much, as there's no-one in Australasia who does it that I know of. We just get bits from our Lameco eskrima training). That style's approach is very different. There's no block & counter drilling as such, more what they term counter-offence. This is stimulating quite a bit of new thought...

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#250807 - 05/09/06 07:30 AM Re: stick drills [Re: mike-a]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10813
Loc: North Carolina
I suppose that is one of the reasons why we don't do "styles". We do the style of "swinging the stick to knock the guy in the head", lol. But no one is limited to HOW they swing the stick.

Swinging the stick just "is". How many ways can you really do so with any credible power? There are only so many angles truthfully. We use 9. IMO, we really don't need styles to tell us how to swing a stick in at various angles once the basic mechanics of swinging it have been taught. We need only to swing the stick at our partners for him/her to learn.

Just like with empty-hand fighting. There are no styles really. There's only ONE style ultimately and until I grow a third arm, or a another joint that bends more laterally as well as linearly, there probably won't be a whole lot of new innovations. Thats going to be true of both stick fighting and empty hand. Styles are BS at the end of the day.

If we think about it, swinging with power is the main goal. We can do all of the fancy stuff that we want really, but if it doesn't put a charging man (with a stick) down, it's all pretty much useless.

Swinging with power is done simply by swinging hard. That's going to resemble swinging with a baseball bat. Not a whole of of fancy mess there really. Just straight through.

So truthfully, we need only to be concerned with swinging the stick, executing good footwork, evading or blocking the attack and swinging back. Not a whole lot of style points there, but it's simply effective.


-John

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#250808 - 05/09/06 12:14 PM Re: stick drills [Re: JKogas]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Jkogas, i would love to have you as an instructor, you are on my wavelength completely with this.
I think some of the 'tip tap' kind of strikes that exist in escrima/arnis are there purely for short swords like the Kris, and can and should be chucked out of the window when the training is focussed on sticks/blunt weapons of opertunity: no blade+no point= no use.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#250809 - 05/09/06 12:57 PM Re: stick drills [Re: Cord]
ShikataGaNai Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I agree 100% that swinging the stick right isn't hard and in the end, it's all that counts. I've always repeated to others "one and two is your bread and butter". This is true for kali, boxing, grappling - anything where you use two arms.
But there is more to the stick technique than just strike and block. Each of the subsystems has their own theory on how to pull the best counterstrike off of a block or parry, how to check and pass a weapon, how to flow seamlessly from one attack into another. I think these elements are not only valid, but what seperates a kali practitioner from just some person with a stick. Tapping just improves speed and stamina. It's not meant to be a resistance drill or any kind of sparring. You can build it to that point, but if you can't do the basics, it won't work. Also, stripping, grappling, trapping etc. all play a large role in the system. These techniques are very hard to learn and I know very few that can pull them off in a full-on pressure situation. I once saw an instructor block an attack and by the time the attacker noticed he was hit by three elbows along the way, the instructor had him in a stick triangle choke.
I'm not trying to argue anything here, but I really love Kali in all it's forms and I think it deserves to be recognized as a serious discipline like any MA.
But you're right - in the end, it's all about whack 'em with the stick

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#250810 - 05/09/06 03:07 PM Re: stick drills [Re: ShikataGaNai]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Dont get me wrong, i love all the clever strips and disarms and stuff, its fun to drill, and I am all for people enjoying the depth of their art. It is merely my belief that some of the striking that we learn with a stick would only pose any form of threat to an oponent if applied with the short sword. At work i carry an ASP baton and a 6 cell maglight, not a machete, so I tend to focus more on the strikes with a bit of 'oomph' to them. When you spar,you tend to see reliance on the speed with which you can land 'good uns' on an oponent, rather than clever traps n taps, just the same as if you are fighting unarmed, it makes sense if you see an opening, to land a right cross, not a left backfist. its just getting the most bang for your buck.

Maybe as my skill improves I will be able to make more use of the subtleties, and my opinion will change. I will keep an open mind as things develop.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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