Hitting People with Sticks
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Revisiting the wily offbeat – eskrima

I led warm ups last night (go me!) and ran us all through a bit of endurance, balance and muscle training, focusing on form.  I feel like we’ve all got to maintain constant vigilance on the form we use – it’s really easy to get lazy and take the easy way out.  All we need is a reminder once in a while.

Last night, Instructor McWethy split up the room a little differently – by whether we were sparring that night.  The sparring group got out sparring sticks (since we would be drilling something that required actual contact).  We worked again on catching that elusive off-beat, trading a slightly structured drill back and forth.

The version that seemed to have the best effect for me was being fed an angle 1 followed immediately by an angle 2.  As the receiver, I would evade the first angle by stepping back and to the side, then coming back under the 2 using an umbrella deflection into an immediate strike to the body.  I found it a very natural motion that really made me focus on my partner’s body movements and translate that into how far to evade and the best way to duck down and strike back.  I wasn’t perfect at it by any means, but got more comfortable as the drill went on.  I found the exercise really satisfying for some reason.  I guess my brain likes it when I avoid getting hit and smack the other guy for trying.  Go fig.  😉

Getting back to sparring was huge fun.  I went up against Nick.  This was interesting since we’d been working with each other all night, too, so it made the sparring session both easier and harder – I’d had a chance to get comfortable with how he moves, but then, he got the same on me.  I was focusing on being more aggressive and stepping up the barrage.

Notes:

I’m still dropping my live hand when I get aggressive. Way to telegraph, Aimee.  Also, way to leave yourself open for an attack.  Practice this more.

I ate too many hits rather than blocking them. This seemed to have something to do with my goal of being more aggressive – I think I managed to focus too narrowly on that goal.  Also, I noticed that when I did block strikes, it was harder for me to maintain that aggression.  Those two concepts need to be married together, not completely separate.

Striking style is getting better. Keep working on it.  Progress is being made, but you aren’t done yet.  If ever.

Practice on Sunday.  I plan on working on the concepts from this week, and maybe get some KDM in as well.

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