Hitting People with Sticks
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Continuing the movement – eskrima

Matt led the warm-ups for a small but dedicated group last night, focusing on yoga poses that had us all panting and stumbling.  It’s especially difficult to do the balance poses on the thick judo mats in the dojo, but if we can nail them on the mats, real-world balance is going to be a piece of cake.

White shirts worked on round-robin 3-for-3 drills with dequerdas techniques, while the colored shirts did a similar drill using the two-handed largo techniques.  We really have to be careful when doing 1-for-1 drills with these concepts – it gets going very fast very quickly, and since the weapons are significantly heavier and larger – yeeouch.  I’d rather not take one of those strikes to the eyeball.  Fingers are bad enough.

Notes from the session:

Keep your grip a bit wide. I was working much of the class with my hands basically one just above the other, and when Instructor McWethy pointed out that I’d have an easier time if I spread my hands apart a bit, I could have kicked myself.  It was *much* easier to manipulate the weapon – easier to control in both strikes and blocks.  It’s a simple way to make the style more fluid and useful.

Flow from block to counter. Another issue for me last night was remembering to flow properly from block to counter.  Rather than using my momentum to cut around to my opponent’s back and strike there, I would absorb the force with my block, stop, and then hit.  I need to work on feeling more comfortable moving past the block into a counter.  Wasting energy is not helpful in a fight.

This leads to my next point – efficiency of movement.  The largo stick (and the kampilan it represents) is a very large, heavy weapon, and it’s easy to waste energy by absorbing rather than using your opponent’s momentum, or by moving to a more complicated block or strike.  Do your best to avoid moving any more than you have to, and you’ll last a lot longer in the ring.

Range is key – do not try to work quarto range with this weapon.  For whatever reason, be it adrenaline or confusion with other combat styles, we all had a tendency to try to close quarters with our opponents.  With such large weapons, it was really easy to get tangled up and become ineffective – even vulnerable – when we got close.  Remember to keep to at least medio range with largo weapons.  Long range is preferable.

We’ve got practice in the park planned for Sunday morning/afternoon, so I hope to see some of you there!


One Response to “Continuing the movement – eskrima”

  1. Even when the tip nicks your nose it stings!

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