So yesterday was our Monthly Workshop with Manong Rich Verdejo. The agenda was to go over some updated material from Level 1-3 curriculum.
Stick WorkFirst up was stick work. Before Manong Rich came down we started warming up. Doing stretches, cardio exercises, and stick drills to warm up the wrists. Then we moved on to 4 count drills. From single stick to double stick, right and left, alternating and mixing it up, it was all to get the body warmed up and get the mind going.
From there we started doing Punyo Entries and then Manong arrived, which was perfect because he was going to go over Punyo Entries from the new curriculum. This was great because now that I’m working on my level 3 material, I would get to see what’s new right off the bat. Manong Rich showed us Punyo Entries 1-5 on both right and left. Some of the changes were minor, as far as curriculum is concerned, and others were almost totally changed.
Knife tappingFrom there we went into knife tapping. So a common drill in FMA is that the feeder will have a knife and the receiver won’t. The feeder goes for angle 1 and then angle 2. During that time the receiver will parry said knife attack angles. So where is the issue with this? From what I see is that the receiver doesn’t learn much past sensitivity and “Oh shit there is a knife coming at me. Let me get it out of the way.” So there is no counter, there is no offense, just defense. It’s just that, a sensitivity drill.
During this time there is a lot of opportunity on both sides, but the sensitivity drill mostly teaches opportunity from the feeder perspective. The feeder learns at what point they can be successful, or simply keep attempting and eventually one will get in. Now have the receiver throw in a strike or deploy a knife after the parry and the game changes. This starts to open up your mind to possibilities. So I might throw say a back fist after angle 2. The feeder has to respond to my “feed”, in turn changing his or her role to the receiver even if just for a moment.
After that we went into Super Sumbrada using knife instead of stick. This continued the idea of exchanging roles because the concept is “I feed, you feed.”
ConceptIn a real fight, exchanges usually happen more frequently, meaning, the other doesn’t always wait for you to finish what you are doing. They take the opportunity when it presents itself. The new material seems to apply this concept by inserting it into the curriculum sooner than later. Then as you see the practitioner progressing you can add more pressure, speed, and different types of attacks.
I think this way of training is more realistic than hey let me teach you a combination, and then let me teach you how to defend against that combination. Watch a lot of sparring and fight videos and see what I mean. Unless the person goes into a straight defensive mode where they are just covering, usually the fighters only pull off 1-3 hit combinations at a time before they either back off or the opponent counters. Well, unless of course both fighters are just non-stop swinging at each other.
Lets get some food
After training the group went accross the street to grab some lunch and had a few laughs. We talked more about things from the Florida Gathering as well as concepts of MOTAC, and things FCS Kali West Coast related.
On a personal note, I also noticed that things seemed to make more sense and are easier to pick up now that I have a better understanding of the basics. Things are clicking much faster. Oh and did I mention that I received my Level Two Certificate of Rank? A step closer in getting my instructorship!
ClosingSo to wrap things up, today was a good day. We had a good size group. (Not everyone was in the photo because some had to leave early.) It was really good to see everyone though. Both old and new faces showed up to partake in our monthly workshop with Manong Rich and we got to see some of the changes from the new curriculum. I hope to see more of the original members as well as the new more frequently so we can continue to grow our tribe. Till next time happy training everybody! ItsYoBoyFlex and I’m out.