I started stickfighting!

If you build it, they will come...
Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:05 am

Faust wrote:Agreed completely!
I'm far away from using blades, but the perspective to go from stick to blade to stick to trainer is rewarding in itself.
It's a long road I guess, but I'm willing to go the miles needed. I feel I need to have a technical repertoire before going to live blades.
The sticks are challenging enough (still, I couldn't resist ordering a pair of training knives, just to get a grip on the translation from stick to knife). :mozilla_laughing:



Excellent, I can sense a real addiction growing.




Faust
Posts: 1973
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:53 pm

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Faust » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:52 pm

We started some freeflowing with the sticks today, I was surprised how well it went. This rocks!
Read Nietzsche

Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:03 am

Faust wrote:We started some freeflowing with the sticks today, I was surprised how well it went. This rocks!


You have the interest to self initiate and that's powerful. Speaking of This rocks ! Wait till suddenly you get a flash of mental insight and realise things like eureka moments , jump off the chair grab the weapon as sure enough the prescient flash that popped into you're mind was spot on, you can do "This" from "There" or "That" from "Here". Those growth bursts can be strange as they can come in small bits which then have a ripple backwards affect which updates a whole new perspective and new skill on all previously understood and in application. Those flashes of insight or the material reconfiguring into additional geometry are like the fruits of your interested self initiation.

Here just for fun let me pose a couple of strange questions " do you think lifetime expert eskrimadors have stopped learning ? or do they also get their insightful new evolutions and can update adapt change and reconfigure from their ongoing practise?

Imagine that on this forum we didn't have a clue what you meant by " free flowing" . As a head scratching perplexed student I ask you " could you rephrase that in some other way , preferably in some sort of technical way which would help breakdown the mechanics of free flow ?

As we are not in the same room for you to demonstrate and explain , you are left with a spoken vocabulary only . How would you TECHNICALLY describe free flow?

If you can reverse engineer what free flow actually is at a mechanical technical level and then be able to articulate that as a well explained set of instructions to follow you can deconstruct flow into an actual simple process. Sorry if this all sounds very abstract but I am genuinely interested in how to instruct and from what I have understood experienced this can range from superb spoken instruction labelling down to even no terms or words but just copy follow along as I don't know what to call this. So calling something by its name or label explanations is I think very , very interesting.

Finally after 4 weeks of dreaded flu yesterday managed to get back to easy cardio on indoor treadmill , some hybrid body circuit training with weapon use. Just a go easy return back to training.

Faust
Posts: 1973
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:53 pm

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Faust » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:51 pm

Great, you feel better. As an old timer you know to better ease into exercise again.

For your questions, I feel my english is not good enough to really explain what I mean with freeflowing, but I'll try my best.
It may be best explained with an example, as a student of the sweet science for many years, I stopped thinking about my next punch/combo long ago.
It just comes naturally, depending if I want to attack or my oppositions move or how I'm placed, or if I retreat or am moving forward.
I don't think like how could I counter this or that punch, If a straight right comes, I just know how to react reasonably. It is so engrained in me (could I say muscle memory?), that my reaction comes almost automatically (although I'm far from being the best I could be or have been, but you get the gist).
When you have your repertoire of punches down and can combine them at will in an instant, that is when you start to what I'd call freeflowing.
I feel boxing is less fluid than these martial arts, as it is sharp, and less flowing (that is why I never liked these rhythmic aerobic style conditioning dance classes that try to mimic boxing or kicking, I just can't punch to the rhythm of a music beat as it is so unlike the boxing I know).
Now with the sticks we started to attack and defend at random, at almost slow motion pace obviously but it came as a surprise how often both of us could react without thinking on how to react to a certain strike. You see the beginning of the motion of the stick or the arm or whatever weapon and anticipate its way. Of course this was with linear complete strikes, no partials with a sudden change of direction or abanico style artistic strikes.
It is challenging enough to separate the strikes to different parts of the body/limbs. We increased the pace and withdrawed whenever one of us got too confused with the strike coming. We kept it perfectly safe, used light sticks (much better for the knuckles) and tried to improve from the at first quite static stance to a more dynamic action/reaction pattern.
It reminded me of my first partner drills in boxing decades ago, when you don't really hit your partner but try to get used to whatever you can do or your partner does.

This step brought a new level of reality. It is one thing to block and disarm and repeat and repeat to get the skeleton of the move down and then speed everything up and get dynamic.

As for your rhetorical question if experts ever stop learning, I see it this way: You learn and get proficient, then you learn and get more proficient, maybe even professional and around that time soon age is coming from behind and your body suddenly feels it limits more than ever before. Now you can rely on your proficiency and still keep your pace up. Wherever in this process you stop learning, your performance won't increase anymore or will even decrease.
So when you see someone really active in his older days, you can almost bet he spends significant time in honing his skills. When you see a champion, you see someone who succeeded in coordinating his physical and skill development.

So learning is lifelong activity. The fun thing is, you only get to know your peak in retrospective.
So there is always the perspective to get better at what you're occupied with. At least that's my instant pseudophilosophical take on it.

I know I can only get better with the sticks. At least to not hit my own glasses anymore!

BTW, did you have the chance to take a look at the vids I told you about? The guy has uploaded a really big number of bits and pieces.
Read Nietzsche

Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:19 pm

Thanks for reply, appreciated. I will digest all that tommorrow.

Meanwhile perhaps I missed it but I can't recall you mentioning any guy beyond the well known D MC ... and I have stared at his face and others way too many times over the training period. That's the problem there is just too much differing expert advice out there it can lead to folk jumping all over the place rather than settling down with a really good basic but powerful tested approach. An example being " knife fighting "... man oh man are there so many ideas out there over the years I personally have looked at considered 20 or even more if I stop to count them , different teachers with their old antiquity and new paradigms.

I try to discipline myself by staying withing my own practises and allowing that to be my crucible that would be for want of a better expression the "system" ABAKADAs (plural) or methods being passed to me and the natural propagation which comes from that. So I have to resist the temptation to get lost in all the other stuff out there. Having said all that most of what I see I can decode anyway by keying it back into my own system templates and apply. Think of reading , the greater the understanding of letters , vowels, consonants words volcabulary and structuring sentences the better you can comprehend many authors books in that language. Similarly you can read the language of different Eskrima systems and see its apparent structure . If I shifted the context back to the sweet science it's akin to absorbing 100 youtube boxing coaches methods when I have my own live coach so why not just concentrate on what's being given directly as there is already so much in my curriculum to drill practise apply without further considerations.

Oh one thing you may already be doing is keeping your own training notes , diagrams, numerical coding. If not I would highly recommend getting into that practise. As although you may not think it you can forget certain drills or groupings . Good to have a notation to look back on as a reminder of that phase in training , what you were drilling . For example I have my practise in what you could call boxing notation but applied to weapon . So if you were to see one of my note books you might read a line of code that would say ..B-D-F-C-V1-V2.... That shorthand would mean a very specific 6 strike / defense "Grouping" to practise for motor memory. I had the pleasure of seeing the notes and coding of a very famous eskrimadors "styles" hand written notes , problem was they also were so personally cryptic that it was like trying to read their system but without the key to unlock it.

Of course for some that may not be of any interest. For me personally keeping ( now 3.5 years) of study notes lessons and research around the material it saved having to forget then go back over it a second time as it had all evaporated from memory. It also HEAVILY reinforced the absorption of the learning. All I had to do was look back at my notes for that day and there it was immediately . It also helps to really reinforce that structure or ABAKADA foundation that all future skills will be built upon.

Thanks for taking the time to breakdown your free flow , I will enjoy reading that tommorrow .

Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:36 am

Nothing like a wee morning coffee and a good read of The stickfighting adventures of Faust. Beats the daily global news any-day.

Great, you feel better. As an old timer you know to better ease into exercise again.


This is the very first time anyone has called me an “old timer” :mozilla_cool:

When you have your repertoire of punches down and can combine them at will in an instant, that is when you start to what I'd call freeflowing.


I understood you first time I was just squeezing out of you how you lay down the foundation to then get to that point. :mozilla_wink:

Now with the sticks we started to attack and defend at random, at almost slow motion pace obviously but it came as a surprise how often both of us could react without thinking on how to react to a certain strike. You see the beginning of the motion of the stick or the arm or whatever weapon and anticipate its way. Of course this was with linear complete strikes, no partials with a sudden change of direction or abanico style artistic strikes.


Nothing wrong with training slow while learning. I am forever asking both my coach trainer to slow down as its just too fast for the naked eye to follow when he is imparting something, so he slows it down to learning speed for me. My training partner as when he gets too fast his form can collapse and “fuzzy” stuff starts to come out. Reacting to angles or lines of attack ( familiarisation) is for me where your actually using a lot of your previous prior combat skills. A simple primitive example could be I sway my head face upper body backwards( elastico) out of the way of a wild hook to my jaw( boxing) . Same elastico now as that stick / weapon gets swung at my head. Same could be said for previous footwork developed before stick fighting study ( get out of , retirada or off that line of attack , mobility delivery system) . So for me I find a lot of the previous decades of training do indeed have a place and serve well in the current training.

It is challenging enough to separate the strikes to different parts of the body/limbs. We increased the pace and withdrawed whenever one of us got too confused with the strike coming.
This step brought a new level of reality. It is one thing to block and disarm and repeat and repeat to get the skeleton of the move down and then speed everything up and get dynamic


Yeh for sure, some sort of mental hiccup, short circuit and a kind of technical meltdown, a loss of free flow. Increasingly ramping up real time , real speed , real power tends to do that, it can overwhelm the processing and ability to handle the incoming vortex.

We kept it perfectly safe, used light sticks (much better for the knuckles) and tried to improve from the at first quite static stance to a more dynamic action/reaction pattern.


Do you have any protective equipment to allow for a certain % increase in power strikes and specific targeting, hands , arms ,knees, face ?
Example I bought protective finger hand type gloves, they can take a padded stick and rattan to a certain non-damaging hurt level. Then one day I took one of my worn boxing gloves, cut the leather thumb retaining section so I could hold a stick right inside the crook of the grip. When I then stuck my finger padded glove inside the boxing glove, it meant we could seriously up “pulverising” the hands as targets in training. Same for our forearms, knees and face head guards.

Speaking of power development, grip, weapons retention integrity, do you have a striking war-post , pell or tyre, some sort of striking dummy thing that you can practise increasing the strike power on?

Obviously tyres ( or even sections of tyres) are hung up. Fixed on walls and so on or held up by partner in some fashion. One easy way and very portable location friendly way is to get a lightweight tyre which you can still fasten up or hand hold up. Go into a motorbike / italian scooter type shop which has second hand or slightly used tyres circumferences and widths vary . I got a little 3 inch wide, say 16inch circumference tyre for 5 bucks. These are not as big as car truck tyres, more training bag or car boot friendly and your partner ( while protecting his hands at the rear while holding) can allow you to open up a bit with increased velocity on the tyre or even move it about from angle to angle for you. Sometimes I hang this small tyre up for quick mobility as when you hit it dances backwards forwards or circles round faster than larger car truck tyres move.

Another idea is to get out your boxing MMA type focus pads and while using say a softer padded stick (or even a rattan depending on how robust your focus pads are) get your partner to feed you the focus pads just like you do in boxing. Static or flash feeding and whatever speed reaction drills you used to do can come back in here.


It reminded me of my first partner drills in boxing decades ago, when you don't really hit your partner but try to get used to whatever you can do or your partner does.


Distance sparring is interesting also. Some systems take distance sparring with live bolo / swords to an almost anxiety inducing proximity level when you see it.


soon age is coming from behind and your body suddenly feels it limits more than ever before. Now you can rely on your proficiency and still keep your pace up. Wherever in this process you stop learning, your performance won't increase anymore or will even decrease.. When you see a champion, you see someone who succeeded in coordinating his physical and skill development.
So when you see someone really active in his older days, you can almost bet he spends significant time in honing his skills


However having also said this , I now feel inclined to pass and accept with a strange mix of humility and pride the category of “old timer” with a sense of complete glowing satisfaction at getting “this far” :mozilla_cool:

This age thing as you mentioned before is a reality, however I think it needs mentally shrugged off as it becomes a sort of default psychological complaining habit in everyday conversation with certain middle aged men. “you know at our age we really should be” …should be what? Retiring from training? Quitting it altogether?

Yes the body attributes may slow but you still have to work with what’s there. Like your blade weapons you also need to stay sharp not rusty and unfit for purpose so the analogy between a sharp sword and the person behind it also being as sharp as they can be holds pragmatic for me. There are guys in wheelchairs seriously upper arms limbs disabled who study and practise Weapons , when I see that, it humbles me to the point of shame to even think of complaining about a slight % loss of anything. I liked what Mayweather said to Mcgregor as he Connor touched on the “old man” bit. “Yes I am not the fighter I was 20 , 10, 5 or even 2 years ago but I still got enough to take you” or as the old imperial wizard of OZ said " we do not believe in death"

I know I can only get better with the sticks. At least to not hit my own glasses anymore!


I once took a heavyweight Bahi 450 grm stick and almost full force it ended up smashing into my knee, luckily a glancing blow. A well known guy let a bahi stick slip out his hands fly across the room and it knocked chipped another guys front teeth badly. So yeh shit happens and weapons retention integrity is a big part of things, nothing like losing your weapon mid flight during a trade off to teach you that.

Faust
Posts: 1973
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:53 pm

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Faust » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:13 am

Well, the old timer was said a little tongue-in-cheek as I assume I'm older than you are...

The guy I mentioned before calls himself wmpyr on ytube and he has uploaded what seems like a gazillion of bits and ideas for training alone. I mailed to him recently and he comes across a super friendly and humble guy, who likes to share his knowledge. All vids I've seen so far where well worth the time.

Trying to explain what I meant with the term free flowing was a good exercise for me in both summarizing my efforts and testing my language skill, while I knew you where setting me up for this task. So far I don't keep notes of my stick training as there still isn't very much to write down, my skill set is, let's say, still of very manageable dimensions.

Funny you mentioned it, just yesterday I built a striking dummy, which consists of a doubled piece of manila rope tied to rubber bands up and down. Imagine a double end ball, with thick rope instead of the ball. It takes almost all the noise away and right now my focus is not to strike powerful, but to hit with just the tip of the stick while increasing the pace with strikes from different angles from head to knee height.
So far we didn't use or need protective gear, but I know the time will come.

I've met the middle aged men you mentioned, but I really never thought in those categories. I pity everyone who slows down in his efforts just because age is felt. I know I'm becoming more prone to injury, but it's part of the game to be prepared and work around when the nagging starts. As they say, protect yourself at all times. For me this means to prepare my body accordingly to the exercise coming as well as keeping a fist or weapon from my face.

Keep those exotic technical terms coming I enjoy exploring them an adding them to my arsenal. This also helps me understanding and categorizing what I'm actually doing!
Read Nietzsche

Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:21 pm

Faust wrote:Well, the old timer was said a little tongue-in-cheek as I assume I'm older than you are...

The guy I mentioned before calls himself wmpyr on ytube and he has uploaded what seems like a gazillion of bits and ideas for training alone. I mailed to him recently and he comes across a super friendly and humble guy, who likes to share his knowledge. All vids I've seen so far where well worth the time.

Funny you mentioned it, just yesterday I built a striking dummy, which consists of a doubled piece of manila rope tied to rubber bands up and down. Imagine a double end ball, with thick rope instead of the ball. It takes almost all the noise away and right now my focus is not to strike powerful, but to hit with just the tip of the stick while increasing the pace with strikes from different angles from head to knee height.
So far we didn't use or need protective gear, but I know the time will come.

Keep those exotic technical terms coming I enjoy exploring them an adding them to my arsenal. This also helps me understanding and categorizing what I'm actually doing!


wmpyr is a well know YT guy and as you say very decent, think he speaks Japanese or may be half Japanese if memory serves. Delighted you made a training pell, good thinking.

Add this one to your arsenal " Tres Matanzas" there that should keep you motivated on cold winter nights. :mozilla_wink:

Faust
Posts: 1973
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:53 pm

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Faust » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:04 am

ok. you got me. I can't find out what tres matanzas means beyond the words. Help me.
Read Nietzsche

Steel
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:54 am

Re: I started stickfighting!

Postby Steel » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:32 pm

Faust wrote:ok. you got me. I can't find out what tres matanzas means beyond the words. Help me.


Credit where credits due at least you searched, I was just exotic teasing you deeper into historical study of your art and skills. Perhaps a working example will show the benefits of being a researcher and then the practical knowledge that comes out of that in practitioner considerations .

Most combative types folk of Allied forces UK and USA know the history of WW2 William Ewart Fairbairn shanghai stationed police officer, British Royal Marine. He co developed the iconic Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife and encouraged trained the use of the WW2 short sword smachet. However what about after the 1945 war end? What about Fairbairn during the 1950s? Where he go , what he thinking, did he evolve his thinking system and weaponry ? At that point information reduces and gets less known but there is a smattering of info out there a google search away. What exactly was the "fairsword" and did he end up designing again in knife terms?

So for me with being an active explorer and researching Hoplology ( in the case of Tres Matanza Pilipino ) You can find systems and structures which enhances your understanding and technique. I was just encouraging you to also gather a sense of collecting your own data. I did kind of know that you would strike out in trying to find it, I hope the digging brought up some good stuff that you did find though. :mozilla_tongue:

Keep researching for knowledge and the practical no matter how exotic or tangential the replies. :mozilla_cool:

No doubt inspired by changes he saw in post-war Asia (the Empire was crumbling), Fairbairn foresaw a time when "western-trained" knifefighters would confront "eastern-trained" knife fighters. While he had confidence in the Shanghai School methods of which he was the principal author, he was less sanguine about the abilities of the various practitioners. He also saw trouble looming in the Middle East, so he set about to instruct himself in the indigenous forms of knife fighting to be found there. Such thinking was, of course, a measure of his greatness.”
As pointed out by Marcus Wynne


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