One of the major principles of my Kuntaw and Eskrima styles is summed up by the saying, “Get Your 500”. Every one of my students understands this principle and training philosophy, and all have done it.
We are not a school that believes in spoon-feeding our students. Our students come to class first to train, and second to learn. One of the reasons I named my school the Typhoon Philippine School of Martial Arts, although I teach styles from other countries, is that I use the Philippine martial arts philosophy in my style of teaching and training. In Filipino schools, we have fewer techniques than in other systems. We do not use belts, forms or (traditionally) pre-arranged sequences. Students can actually learn our entire curriculums in only a few months. What separates the Filipino FMA school vs the FMA of other cultures is that mostly in Filipino schools training is the focus, rather than learning. In other cultures, once a student has “learned” something, he tends to look at his teacher and say, “what now?” wanting to move on to new material. In the Filipino school, you learn what the teacher has to show you, when he wants to show it to you.
So, what the student ends of spending the majority of his time doing is performing and perfecting what he has already learned, day after day, over and over and over again. It is impossible to do something too much, as one can always get better, faster, and stronger. The student of other styles, cultures, and even this generation seems not to understand this. There are those who feel that he is being held “down” at a certain level to fill the Guro’s pocketbook with monthly tuition. Some may think his Master has nothing more to teach, or is holding back teaching the “round eyes”, or some other crazy reason. All the while, the student who keeps his mouth shut and continues training is getting better and better, stronger and stronger.
Here’s the bottom line: We train to get stronger, faster, and simply better. This must be done with high repetitions. There is no short cut to skill. There is no training apparatus that can cut the time down, or substitute for plain old elbow grease. The more you do this, the better you get, and it’s just that simple. When I was training in Kung Fu, what caught my Sifu’s eye was the fact that at even 12 years old, I would get to the school and train for hours without stopping (well, maybe to catch “Black Belt Theatre” or to run my mouth or look at girls). When I was training with Bogg Lao in the Philippines, I would arrive in Timog Park or Clark Air Base around 8 or 9 a.m., and train until lunch, and then train until it was dark. Ask any Air Force guy who was stationed there in 88 or 89 about the Filipino boy who trained on the bag outside of the MWR office all day long… it was me, I was a regular fixture. When I opened my school in Silver Spring, MD, I trained like this all day long. For the martial artist who is serious, 500 repetitions should be a spit in the bucket. At my peak, I threw thousands of punches a day. If you were to join my school in Washington, DC or Sacramento, Ca, you would have this experience, because it is what we do and what makes us stand out.
Okay, enough of the bragging. 😉
Get your 500 reps in. If you could somehow track your progress, and be disciplined enough to perform 500 repetitions of anything, every workout, for the next few months, compare that to where you are today. I guarantee that you will be a new man (or woman). This is one of those “secrets” in the FMA that I would say is a 100% guarantee of success.
Good training, and thank you for reading my Blog!