Hitting People with Sticks
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New Year, New Focus

So.  With the coming of the new year, I’ve decided to drop some bad habits by the roadside, and pick up a few good ones.  The one most pertinent to this post is, of course, this blog.

My goal is to take notes during each class I take, detailing my practice and how I felt it went for me.  I hope not to wax too poetic or philosophical, or at least not to the nauseating level.  I’ll be posting links and other information as well, when it makes sense.  I’d like to post a clear description of the system, the Equilibrado Orihinal system of eskrima, but I would rather not speak for my instructor.  Instead, I’ll mention general tenets of the system where it seems appropriate and hope not to confuse anyone, especially myself.  Heh.

Eskrima class, 1/5/10 – Notes

Maxwell led the class in a short but intense warm-up (light, you say? My aductors disagree, sir.), before Instructor McWethy re-took the head of the class to lay out our goals for the month.  He’s given us warning (not really the right word, since we’re being tested all the time, but anyway) that he’ll be paying special attention to each student with assigning rank in mind.  The class was pretty stoked, even though we all sobered a bit at the thought of the *responsibility* inherent in those ranks, namely, being able to give knowledge to less senior students on command.  Still, I’m very much looking forward to the next month, when I expect we’ll be pushed pretty hard, and we’ll see the return of sparring on Thursdays.

After the brief talk, we were all arranged so that the more senior students were paired with the more junior students.  It was a good opportunity to work with someone with different energy, and to need to be aware of both my skill level and my partner’s.  As the more senior student in my pairing, I had to try to keep my intensity and speed to a point where I was still challenging my partner but not overwhelming him.  I think we both got a lot out of the experience.  To summarize:

– Reminded us of core concepts, and why the mastery of those concepts are so important.
– Pointed out the little efficiencies that we’ve all picked up along the way, and allowed us to pass some of them on.
– Wrong is a really crappy word.  If it works, it’s not wrong.  It may, however, be improved on.
– Praise and constructive criticism go a very long way toward helping someone improve and progress.

The first exercise was a simple one-for-one game with both partners using a dequerdas stick.  The second replaced one stick with a largo stick for one partner, first the senior student and then switching tools.

Thoughts on this exercise:

– The person wielding the larger stick was at a disadvantage against the smaller weapon, *unless* they were able to maintain a largo range.  The largo stick can tie up the dequerdas stick with its speed, energy and momentum, but only if that long range is maintained.  If it’s shortened to medio or corto range, the shorter stick is much easier to move and the larger stick is much easier to block.  Sargent mentioned that shortening that range is very similar to going in for a disarm in knife work, where you have to hang back until your opportunity occurs, then move in and take control.

The final exercise was KDM, which I freely admit to be my most challenging subject.  It’s very easy for me to get nerved up by being so close and having nothing between me and my partner, and therefore takes a lot longer for me to relax and start acting rather than reacting.  If I can get past that panicked moment, I’ll have a much easier time progressing, and including things other than a simple punch/block combo.  Near the end, I was incorporating a few redirects and locks, which is a far cry from where I was when I started this art over a year ago.

In all, a great class, and I look forward to Thursday!

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2 Responses to “New Year, New Focus”

  1. How did you get to learn so much about that? did you go school for it or just a self learning process?

    • About eskrima or aikido? A lot of it I learned from taking the classes, but some of the bits and bobs are from digging around on the internet – especially aikido, since I’m pretty new to it.

      Eskrima, on the other hand, I’ve been taking for a bit over a year and a half, and a lot of the information is either learned or from our curriculum. It’s been a huge amount of fun for me.


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