So, I said all of that to say this…
And this will be the shortest article of the series. Today, we will commit the so-called FMA blasphemy that so many people think is impossible. I am going to introduce to you five things you can do, that you must do, to get you started on improving your Master’s FMA. If you take these things and you cannot come up with an improvement, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.
Those of you who live near Sacramento who may be unconvinced that your system cannot be improved, come see me in person and I will show you myself how you can improve your Eskrima. It won’t be free; I work for my living and I do these blogs to advertise my services. But pay for one hour of private lessons with me and I’ll show you myself what I mean in this article. Provided, of course, that you’re really looking for truth. But as I’ve said many times, if you are looking for truth you’ll find it with me. If you’re looking to disprove me, you’ll find a “debate”. Think before you talk. There are only five things, and if you do these five things and test the theories yourself, you will be able to overhaul your Eskrima and indeed, improve your Master’s art–or dare I say it–exceed him.
Let’s get right to business:
- Practice fighting footwork. I ain’t talking about no damned triangles neither. I mean, how would you move your feet when you are attacking or evading your opponent? Try every possible attack, and how the feet must move in order to deliver you to the strike zone (in pursuit of a fleeing opponent, I must add) or deliver you to safety.
- Practice methods of attack. Take your stick, take your opponent, and kick his ass. Don’t ask him to “feed” you anything. Attack him. Oh, I’m sorry, your Master must not have taught you that, huh? It’s okay, most people doing Classical Eskrima don’t know how to attack someone. Find out the best methods to do it, and then practice and master them.
- Counter a combination. Your countering methods suck. Basically, your opponent throws out a strike that’s not really meant to hit or hurt you. Then he stands there while you beat him into simulated submission. He could have attacked you while you were blindfolded, and if he attacked you correctly–he would have had no chance of hitting you. All them bruised knuckles you’ve received in training you like to post Facebook statuses about? They were accidents from poorly choreographed practice–not combat. Now, send your “feeder” to rule #2 ^^^ and then have him attack you with it. Find a way to counter it. Here’s a hint: He must throw at least two hits in his combination. Your master’s Eskrima doesn’t exactly have an answer for that, does it?
- Practice power striking. Take this test. Go get your stick and take your basic strike to the left temple if you’re right-handed, right temple if you’re left handed. Throw this strike 500 times. If you can’t do it and you have the title “Guro” behind your name, you’ve got some training to do. If you have the title “Master/Grandmaster/etc” behind it, come to Sac, you can stay with me until you can. This is not a test of how much power you have, but if you have the ability to develop power. Too much Eskrima has been practiced without the presence of stress, and power is secondary. But I have news for you; this is a blunt-force weapon, not a cheerleading baton. No one gives a damn about them twirls except folks in the kids’ class. Learn how to use it to break bones, period.
- How do you stop a disarm? If you are a self-respecting Eskrimador, I’m positive you have a bunch of weapons hidden throughout your life: your car, your home, in your briefcase. I don’t know why knifers are always learning so many damned disarms. The most likely person who will be disarmed is YOU. Attacker jumps out from the bushes to grab your wallet. You pull out your collapsible baton and commence to whipping his ass. What do you think he will do? Punch you? No! He is going for your weapon to stop the whuppin’! How much practice have you had stopping a man from taking your weapon?
No commentary today. Just cold, hard truth. I have seen hundreds of Eskrima styles, and most of them are lacking in these five departments. No matter what title your master has–whether he is a Supreme Bajo Taco Grandmaster or not–chances are I am introducing something you are mostly unfamiliar with if you have thought about them at all. I can almost guarantee this–You most likely have done none of the above in the last 4 weeks of Eskrima practice.
Get to work.
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