Hitting People with Sticks
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The dichotomy of loose focus

Much of last night’s class was taken up with discussions and demonstrations of our experiences at the Katipunan.  I’m personally really excited to see the video of the classes – Esten has already posted some video on the FTP site, but as usual, I’m impatient and want it all NOW.

Once we got all that out of our systems for the night, we pulled out the siniwallis sticks and ran drills for combat siniwallis.  The concept was to split your responses in two – either take all strikes to your left side with your left stick and vice versa, or take all hits above the waist with one stick and all below the waist with the other.

There are certainly tricks to making this work, and it’s harder than it sounds.  Relax: that’s of course your first goal.  Tensing up makes responding properly much harder.  Pull your stick back to a chambered position after each strike: this way, you leave yourself much less open to attack, and you don’t have to recoil *after* you see your opponent’s next strike coming in.  It’s more efficient, faster and safer.

The biggest trick (for me, anyway) was letting your eyes defocus, or keeping them at a loose focus.  Your peripheral vision is far more sensitive to movement than your forward vision, so if you pay more attention to that, you don’t get fooled as easily and you can respond properly much more quickly.  It reminds me of doing siniwallis drill patterns – the more I think, the more likely I am to get it wrong.

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