Hitting People with Sticks
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Follow-up and follow-through – eskrima

Yes, I took a week off.  The paying job insisted on eating my brain last week, so writing for fun just didn’t happen.  I’ll try to catch up on last week’s thoughts today or tomorrow.

Nick ran the warm-ups last night, including an interesting endurance technique called tabatas.  The idea is to run a routine for 20 seconds, as hard as you can, then rest for 10 seconds.  You do 8 rounds of this, for a total of four minutes.  It sucks more than you think it would, but I imagine it’s great for stamina and pushing through plateaus.  I’ll be seeing if I can incorporate it into my own daily routine.  Gotta be able to make it through those sparring matches without gassing out!

Most of the class was taken up with drilling a set of counters coming off of a reinforced dequerdas block, using angles 1 – 4.  As usual, 1 & 3 are very similar, as are 2 & 4.  The core concepts involved were fluidity and awareness – creating muscle memory for smooth, effective counters while remaining aware enough of your opponent to respond without anxiety if he comes back for another swing while you’re doing your own thing.  It looks to me like this could be a step towards serrada lock&block, keeping a longer range to reduce the anxiety and make lock&block easier when we get there.

Notes from the class:

Follow through with all strikes. I had a hard time with this, partially because it’s always been an issue with my swing and partially because it was difficult not to swing hard (and potentially hurt my partner) when I was consciously trying to swing through.  This needs more work and more confidence on my part.  Could work this into the tabatas.

Swing from the shoulders. Make use of physics.  Use momentum and torque to add power to your strikes without adding effort.  In fact, this lessens effort required in a lot of situations, increases speed and keeps you coiled and ready.

Stay loose and prepared. Don’t tighten up through the strikes; you just end up fighting yourself.  Don’t go limp, either.  Be relaxed and ready to move in any direction.

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