“Concept First” training


As with the AGILITY AND FOOTWORK post, this one highlights one of the central training ideas of TacArnis –

TRANSLATION (The ability to apply a concept/tactic/technique in a variety of situations effectively with available resources).

Tactical Arnis focuses on using sticks/weapons as training aids not solely as ‘weapons.’  There is a danger in getting really good at swinging rattan sticks intricately… you can only swing rattan sticks that way.  When will you have them in a practical, realistic self defense situation?  You probably won’t.

But, you will have a belt, broom handle, shoe, pencil/pen, bookbag, car keys, flashlight…

So we ‘train smart’ and keep things simple with a priority on fundamental concepts and movements at every level of training.

In the video below are a few patterns/translations that are common to Filipino Martial Arts (FMA’s).

Double “Siniwali” (weaving) – Stick translation to empty hand reinforces combination strikes and continuous motion.

Downward Figure 8 – Stick translation to empty hand is either a hammer fist to back hand or hook punch to backhand strike.

Upward Figure 8 – Stick translation to standard upper cuts (fist or palm strike) as well as upper cut looping to a hammer fist to the grown.

These are obviously not the only translations of these concepts, but they are a good start.

 

4 Friends Seminar, October 8th.


On the heels of working with Dan Donzella, I have the chance to share the floor with three excellent martial artists.

I jumped at the chance to do this seminar for a lot of reasons – like the chance to work with Frank Heinan and John Kovacs, but, the big reason is the chance to see Keith Roosa in action.

Keith has been digging into Ising Atillo’s “Attilo Balintawak” and I can’t wait to compare/contrast what he is learning to the “Cuentada Balintawak” version I learned from Bobby Taboada.

As students of Dr. C. Jerome Barber, PhD, we were both required to explore other arts and systems while we were training with Jerome.  This goes for all his students.  When we find another system that seems like a good fit, Jerome encourages us to explore it as deeply as possible.  Thanks to this “Liberal Martial Arts” approach to training I’ve been introduced to many great systems and artists, but Bobby Taboada and Balintawak (Cuentada Balintawak) were such a powerful influence on my growth and understanding that they still remain a major component both technically and conceptually in TacArnis training.

I can’t wait to share some of the fundamentals Cuentada Balintawak and share the floor during the last hour with Keith, Frank, and John. But, like I said, I’m going to be picking Keith’s brain (and ‘stealing’ a few drills and skills if I can) while I’m there too.

T.A.W.G. Workout Rewind 8/19/11 – Driving Nails


“To increase speed and power, one must hit the bag hard. Regular practice is required to develop efficiency of movement when punching.” Ross Emamalt
Just like boxers, kick boxers, or MMA’ers, TacArnis students train to hit and/or be hit.  We have to condition our joints, our muscles, and our nervous systems in order to give and take a hit. Unlike boxers, kick boxers, or MMA’ers though, TacArnis students practice with weapons as well as empty hand.

Whether it’s hitting an opponents weapon as a block or striking vital areas in order to stop a ‘bad guy’ (or guys or guys and gals…) swinging sticks in patterns in the air is totally different from the impact, drag, and reverberation of really hitting something.  Even the ‘middle ground’ of using light contact striking with a live partner won’t condition the body for throwing a committed strike with a stick anymore than slap boxing prepares boxers for contact.

We make a point to do some kind of striking in every work out we can,

but today was all about “Driving Nails.”

I like the tire for this because:

  • It creates interaction between training partners
  • Trains the holder to watch/read the ‘telegraphs’ of the striker from the correct perspective
  • Lets the holder feel the force of a stick trick through the impact on  the tire
  • Allows the striker to see the ‘silhouette’ of a human target while striking the tire
  • Gives the striker the feel of hitting a firm ‘resistant’ surface
  • Forces the striker to apply adjustments between swinging air strikes and really hitting something.
There’s also a bit of ‘nostalgia’ in training with a tire for this.  It’s a cheap, readily available and improvised training aid… just like most of the early training tools are.  If it ain’t broke why spend way too much money on something that will only be ‘as good’ (or possibly not as good since it wears out faster).

T.A.W.G. 3/29 workout rewind


Thanks to Tom, Tony, and Sabrina for shredding through technique to get to purpose.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • The devil is in the details – so keep things ASAP (as simple as possible) to get it over ASAP.
  • Training specific ranges (corto/close, medio/medium, largo/long) is only for TRAINING!  Reality means changing ranges to get the job done.
  • Sticks should be ‘punched’ out instead of ‘swung out’ to keep your hand inside the ‘body rectangle.’
  • Blocks are strikes and strikes are blocks.

Habits are hard to break and training habits don’t always translate to good application.  Training drills are essential to get better at specific skills, but should not be confused with application drills.  Tom, Tony, and Sabrina did a great job of changing gears when we switched between training for skill development and when we were training for application.

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T.A.W.G. 3/22 workout fun as usual


Thanks to Tom, Dale, Sabrina, Dianna, Rick, Tony, and Alex of another fun one.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Footwork vs. “Stance”
  • Tactical Arnis is a high mobility system
  • Controlling your movement while disrupting the bad guy’s
  • Intro to the T.A.W.G. footwork patterns.

The difference between training ‘footwork’ and training ‘stance’ is difficult to grasp for some, but the great thing was to watch Sabrina and Dianna (very new students) working through the confusion.  It was just as interesting to watch some of the more experienced students making connections and sharing their lightbulb moments.

Next week: Scenario games!