Sorry Reiki, I'll try and keep to the topic, BUT I would like to add one wee rebuttle to JKogas reply to my last post.
To say a gathering or a UFC-style fight is any more real any other type of fight JUST by mentioning the ammount of damage done to the participants is a bit misleading. My point is that in any of these events there are only 2 participants, they know what weapons or techniques are allowed, they know they're going to be fighting (IE not an ambush or something), they know there is a time period, and they know they have at least some protection. This obviously affects they ways you train and fight.If you train in a harder type of contact format just to deal with the danger, all you are doing is adding pain and possible damage to a sparring situation. But would I want to take on one of these guys? Hell no! I'd also be very wary of top professional boxers and olympic wrestlers!
The drills and techniques practiced in most FMA systems are just that - drills. the Balintawak system of GM Bobby Taboada (for example) has many drills, the "shadow fighting" form, the various levels of block and counter, the disarms (When I learned Balintawak there were MANY disarms, but I understand it he has pared it down some), the "group" system and a bunch more. These drills are designed to develop the attributes of the Balintawak style, a very close range stickfighting system. Balintawak eskrimadors hit VERY hard, they have excellent infighting skills, and, if they want GM Bobby will train them in the "old school" way He was taught. Full contact, live sticks, NO protection. (However, being the US, I'm pretty sure they have to sign liablity waivers...
) Thing is, these drills and that system produce fighters who work in a different range to the DB style format. The primary goal is not to charge and crash and go to the ground the Balintawak guys train very hard not to let anyone do it to them. How would it go with one style versus the other? Depends on the guys on the day. Not neccessarily on the styles, or on the training methods.
You could have a system based entirely on the most efficient, modern methods, no "dead patterns" lots of fighting and contact, but the person training has to be able to make it his own, and find a way to use it. You could have the most over-flowery, drill based system, that never spar, but the guy may have the most amazing attributes and timing, and be able to pull off the most ridiculous looking stuff, more or less at will.
You may have read Marc Denny's article on a similar subjecthttp://dogbrothers.com/article_info.php?articles_id=6
Like I said in previous posts, no flame-bait intended, we just have differing opinions.
Thanks for the enjoyable dicussion John.
If you get the chance, try and do a bit of cross-training with GM Bobby, or his guys. As you said He's a pretty cool guy, and quite a boxer (have you seen any of his empty hand stuff in seminars?)