Hitting People with Sticks
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Picky efficency – eskrima

Ryan led warm-ups last night with a mix of cardio punctuated by core work.   I always forget how much that sort of thing can suck – the ups and downs, your abs quivering and burning … good times.

Following that, Instructor McWethy split us up into two groups by level – white shirts working on sinniwallis and blue and green shirts drilling serrada counters.  While I feel that we’re all getting the general gist of these counters, there’s still a lot of finicky bits that we all need to work on.

Notes from the serrada half of the room:

Keep the movements tight. And by this, I don’t mean muscle tension.  I mean keeping strikes, checks, footwork, etc. as close to the body as possible.  Think efficiency of movement.  Never let your swing slide further than it needs to.  During a check with the live hand, park your stick tight to your body where it makes sense, such as butted to your hip (so if your opponent pushes through, they stab themselves on your weapon) or pinned tight to your chest wall just under the armpit (so it’s easy to move in just about any position and it protects your head).

Stay relaxed. Again, tightening those muscles just hampers your efficiency and maneuverability.  Hang loose but aware, ready to snap in any position.

Draw your six-guns. This refers to the way we move from the standard ready position (arms at your sides, standing in a straight, neutral posture) to the first move of the counter.  Pull your arms up your sides, coil your body, and then shut down your opponent.  It seems counter-intuitive, but this really is much faster than simply raising your hands into position.

There’s a reason for every move.  Know it. By this, I mean where you check with the live hand, where the edge of your weapon is pointed – every movement in these counters has a reason behind it.  If you know why you need to move in a certain way, it will be easier to remember.  It will also help you move beyond the basics when you start creating your own counters.  You can’t branch out if you don’t know the theory.  Nor can you ever get past the basics without that theory.

Thursday will be more largo sparring.  Yee-haw!

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