Practicality of FMA systems

Discussion in 'Filipino Combat Arts Forum' started by kukri2, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. kukri2

    kukri2

    109
    Jul 28, 2007
    Do you know of any good training videos, AF1?
     
  2. Grime

    Grime

    165
    Jun 1, 2006
    What I think about learning a blade martial art...

    If you learn it for the beauty of it, I fully understand. If you learn how to empty-hand get a knife off a crack head, cool. But...

    Its a joke to see these guys learning how to fight with blades, and training seriously. I think a basic knowledge of knife use, and just carrying a small folder is all right, when you’re going into a slum, and you might get your eyes taken from your skull and used for medicine... Or if you’re a Polish gang member… Or if you live in a country plagued by civil war… Or if there are foreign invaders killing your family and friends, for no reason… Well, these things don’t happen in America…
    Also, you see a lot of fat guys teaching blade MA. :confused: ...Well, makes sense...
    This reminds me of that guy from 'The Martialist'... My my...

    1st, you cant just whip out a knife and brandish it like a damn Nordic Viking whenever you get into a conflict. The other guy wont fight you, and you'll look like a twat, and your friends will think you’re mad. Also, it is illegal to attack someone with a knife - unless your life depends on it, and even then you could be charged with something.

    Secondly, if you DONT have a knife on you, you'll get kicked and beaten and pummelled into the gutter.

    Thirdly, if a guy has a gun, would you pull out your knife and have a go, Rambo? No? So then you'd only pull it on an unarmed guy, or another knife fighter, and have yourselves bloody a pirate duel? Sounds phantastic, but I think it better to just watch it on TV. Besides, the other guy may be better than you, and kill you! Then what?


    So, my thoughts on it are, unless you are in the Special Forces, and you stab people for a living, what the f*** are you doing? :)
     
  3. Grime

    Grime

    165
    Jun 1, 2006
    Oh and stick fighting, well, I suppose you could just ask your opponent "hey man, wait a sec, do you know where I can find a stick? A broom? No? K wait there I'll be right back Im gonna look outside."
     
  4. RenegadeMonk

    RenegadeMonk

    254
    Jul 28, 2005
    From what I've been told, the late Manong Giron placed great emphasis on environmental training and awareness. In Dan Inosanto's book "The Filipino Martial Arts", there were a few pics of Dan Inosanto training in thick brush, against branches, under low ceilings (he used a pole to simulate it), and in doorways. The practice of training in different environments came from Manong Giron's influence.

    As far as the Giron-school method of training, I've been told that they train starting from close-range and eventually going to long-range. The training seemed to be very simple. One drill I saw involved one person feeding the first 5 angles of attack (Cinco Teros), and the other person striking the opponent's weapon hand from long range.

    I have a short interview that Leo Giron conducted before he died. He said, "In war, you have a style without a style. You just chop, chop, chop....my theory is a jungle theory."

    Old school Filipino guys are the coolest.

    ~Mike
     
  5. Joe Talmadge

    Joe Talmadge

    Oct 3, 1998
    I have a friend who, when he wants to learn something, instead of just asking, "how do you do X", he makes some kind of off-the-wall comment like, "X is for losers, why would anyone do it?", and then just absorbs the rebuttal arguments. It's an irritating way to gather knowledge, but evidently he'd rather make silly statements to elicit a counterargument, than just admit ignorance of the topic and ask the question he really wants to ask. Your statement above feels like what he does -- you propose a silly scenario that you know has nothing to do with reality, then wait for the riposte. Is that what it is? I'm not entirely sure that's on-topic for this thread.

    A continuation of the strategy? Who said that guys who train knife only train knife?

    LOL Like I said, you can set up bad arguments and knock them down all day, it's easy! If you want to learn about the role of edged weapons in self defense, start your own thread, admit your ignorance on the topic (no shame in that, everyone's ignorant about something), and ask questions!

    There we go, at least it came in the form of a question, we're getting there :)
     
  6. AF1

    AF1

    274
    Apr 4, 2005
    "Do you know of any good training videos, AF1?"

    For FMA I really like the Dog Brothers vids and anything by Edgar Sulite. Burton Richardson has a "Battlefield Kali" DVD that is also very good IMO.
     
  7. Norm'sTrainingBlades

    Norm'sTrainingBlades

    138
    Mar 25, 2007
    Maybe that wasn't the best example on my part. But after the basics are learned, it's time to throw in the mixture. Doesn't have to be perfectly paced or candenced. Mix up the different types of flow drills. This way neither of you know what's going to come at you next. You just have to deal with what you're being fed. You have to adjust to the unknown with the only known factor being that something is coming.

    There are better things for initial techniques than flow drills. You're right. Flow drills are just a compliment. I feel they do have a place, but they are not the most dominant form of practice where we're at.

    Again, flow drills should not be the only thing taught or most dominantly taught. To be honest, most of the time the students don't see flow drills for months at a time. I've taught entire classes that have been nothing but striking with the stick or knife. To help teach them how to carry through and use proper body structure to increase their hitting power.

    Doing nothing but flow drills would be the equivelant of teaching a boxer nothing but how to jab.
    I wouldn't be at a school like that either. And I can see where it would leave a bitter taste in your mouth over it.
    In my opinion, the purpose of the flow drill is to teach someone how to deal with incoming energy from an opponent. AND I AM NOT REFERRING TO ANY TYPE OF CHI OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT! I'm referring to the energy of an attack whether it be a strike from a punch, kick, stick, knife, body tackle, or whatever else it could be. It helps someone learn technique a bit sure, but more importantly it helps them to learn how to deal with incoming attacking energy and bypass it and attack back. And you have to be able to deal with a lot more than just one strike coming at you. Try multiples. Think of it along the lines of a boxer slipping a punch to counter strike.
    I think a better translation of flow drills would be the equivelant of a grappler doing 20 arms bars on each side with a partner. It just helps put it in the muscle memory and then your partner gets a turn to do the same to you. It has it's place but doing 20 arm bars doesn't make you ready to fight. There's a lot of other training that needs to go into it as well.
     
  8. kukri2

    kukri2

    109
    Jul 28, 2007
    Sweet, man. Dog Brothers seem cool, and Burton Richardson has always seemed live a level-headed, decent guy in interviews.

    Someone was mentioning STAB and I think Tony Blauer might have some good stuff to look into. Good deal.

    thanks
     
  9. kukri2

    kukri2

    109
    Jul 28, 2007

    OK, I'll bite.

    1. Everything you describe is an idealized situation. You can't help that you are limited by your imagination. This is common. But life has a funny way of happening beyond anyone's expectations. So those instances where it might be of use to have a weapon-- notice, I didn't say knife or stick-- might be more numerous than you think.

    You're right, a probably wouldn't be caught carrying a knife. But I usually carry a ball point pen, which, under the eyes of the law, just might be an acceptable force equalizer for a given circumstance-- one, that with you wouldn't anticipate. Is that ball point pen or survey stake I happened to find a knife or a bolo? That's ok, I am grounded with the concepts of fighting with weapons. In short, it is better to have money in the bank and not have an emergency than to have a development and be without resources. Make sense?

    2. Most FMA have application outside of armed combat. 'Nuff said.

    3. Why do anything? Why did you even post a comment? If you can answer that, you might have insight into why a somone would study a skill that may or may not be related to work or survival.

    That's OK. Thank me later.
     
  10. armydoc

    armydoc

    29
    Apr 3, 2007
    Here's my take on flow drills, for what its worth. Flow drills are very valuable. They teach rhthym, reaction, timing, and technique. I think the problem that many people are seeing is when the flow drills are allowed to become "set" and not followed up with the next step in training. The players should get to the point that he can blend various flow drills together at will. Any time drills share a common angle of attack, this can be a transition point to a different drill. Within a given flow drill format, one can often vary the angle fed to the partner at random so that he has to react honestly and not mechanically. A given flow drill can be iniated by one partner suddenly and at an unexpected angle so that the other partner must react, do several counts of the drill, break off, and repeat with the other partner as the attacker. Various flow drills can be a platform for being able to "break out" of the drill by doing a disarm, arm lock, etc. As the players become more proficient at blending and varying numerous drills it begins to look more and more like sparring. Then, during actual sparring you see various parts or short sequences of a flow drill show up spontaneously because it has become an automatic response for the players. No one expects a given flow drill to show up in its entirety in an encounter. But the drills instill given responses to angles of attack with follow up counters. You can't develop some of this in sparring alone, because when sparring your partner isn't going to let you work on a specific response over and over until it becomes automatic. In fact, you may discover a problem you have in sparring getting in at a certain point or defending a certain area. You know what the response should be, but can't seem to pull it off. So develop your own flow drill that works on it. This gives you multiple repetitions in a responsive manner that you can later take back to your sparring.

    As far as whether boxing has flow drills...of course it does! Have you ever watched a boxer work the speed bag? He is developing timing and rhythm and "flowing" movement. How about working the focus pads with a trainer? The trainer gives him the targets in a specific way that tells him to throw a given combination. He must react to the trainer and flow through his combination. How about working combinations on the heavy bag? The boxer has a set of combinations he wants to practice and works on making them flow smoothly and powerfully on the bag. He can get the bag swinging so that he has to be more responsive. How about working "jab-catch" response drills with a partner? These are almost the exact equivalent of the flow drills in FMAs.

    Some schools may not make full use of the flow drills in their curriculum, or may not truly understand how they are supposed to function. But IMHO they are invaluable for training good responses and technique.

    Keith
     
  11. Grime

    Grime

    165
    Jun 1, 2006
    Its a generalisation on guys like this http://www.themartialist.com/images/desertdagger06.jpg



    For home defence, and the like, I think knives are OK, but some of these people need to break the ninja delusion...
     
  12. Grime

    Grime

    165
    Jun 1, 2006

    I appreciate a level of preparedness, like carrying a ballpoint pen – that’s smart. But I’m not talking about people like this.

    It ‘seems’ that in America a lot of people are paranoid. Where I live, not everyone has a gun. In fact, there are very few guns in comparison to the USA, but here there is a very bad crime rate. But I find the people who aren’t paranoid about the situation aren’t affected by it.
    In America, it seems a lot of people are preparing for the apocalypse.
    But this is another subject.
     
  13. RenegadeMonk

    RenegadeMonk

    254
    Jul 28, 2005
    It's easy to understand as to why the average person might get turned off by the blade arts of Filipino Kali. The way I see it, if you study Kali even for a short while and you realize that you do NOT want to use a blade on another person...then good for you! You obviously realize the lethality of the blade. But, please keep in mind that Kali was not designed to be a sport or a method of exercise. It wasn't designed to be used against that idiot at the bar who grabbed your wife's ass and tried to call you outside for a fistfight. It was, is, and always will (or should be) a system designed to take out individuals who are trying to kill or severely harm you, your loved ones, or your country. Kali was developed for use in extreme situations. An instance where the use of a bladed weapon to kill or maim another individual may be warranted may include a group of 5 men is trying to kill you, rape your wife, kidnap your child. Rare? Perhaps. Never gonna happen? Well, it has happened before, many times, in supposedly safe areas all over the world, especially here in the US.

    The point is...how many times do you need to be killed/your wife need to be raped/your child to be kidnapped for you to learn a lesson? ZERO. This is why we train with the blade so seriously.

    Now, it may be true that a person with even the most basic knowledge of how to use a knife is deadly. However, that doesn't make them an expert. In today's world, most crimes are committed by groups of people, not just one person. The "schoolyard bully" scenario is not the reality of the street (i.e. it's a one-on-one brawl). The reality of the street includes multiple attackers, who are usually armed. This is where use of the blade comes in. If you have a gun, by all means use it when you need to and when you can. But, it pays to be versed in all forms of close-combat, armed and unarmed alike. The blade and the firearm are in the same category, that of lethal force weapons. Within their respective ranges, they can both kill, leave body cavities, and cause incredible amounts of damage. The rule of thumb is...don't draw your knife unless you truly intend to use it.

    Have I ever had to use my blade to kill anyone? No...but I have had to draw it several times when I felt my life was being threatened. I won't go into specifics so I won't...however, I will say that every time I drew it, I felt no sadistic urge to kill the other person. I was confident in my abilities, knowing I had the tool I needed to protect myself and my significant other. Was I scared? Hell yeah! Was that fear going to stop me when a group of armed men tries to carjack me with my girlfriend and my mother inside? No way. But, I wouldn't have that confidence if I didn't have the proper training with the weapon. Simply owning the weapon isn't enough...you need thorough training with it to be fully prepared.

    As for being "beaten" and "pummelled into the gutter" if you don't have a knife, I'm not sure where you are getting that logic from. First off, even if I don't have a knife on me...I know that as a Kali practitioner, I am never unarmed. I can use whatever I can and everything I can around me to protect myself. Even if I don't have a knife, there will probably be pens, glass bottles, pipes, or chairs in the surrounding area. Secondly, the weapon is not a crutch for Kali practitioners....it is an extension of their body. It sounds cliche, but the weapon movements translate directly into empty hand movements. I've had quite a lot of success with using Filipino empty hands against Boxers, grapplers, and kickboxers.

    ~Mike
     
  14. Norm'sTrainingBlades

    Norm'sTrainingBlades

    138
    Mar 25, 2007
    In the higher levels of kali "There is no stick/knife".
    It's about using the same techniques and tactics that you all ready know empty handed or being empty handed against a weapon.
    You're never truly without a weapon. But you don't need it either.
    You want a good history lesson? I never forgot when I found out about this one.
    Boxing used to be more of a pugilistic type of fighting as seen in the pictures of the 1920's. But that changed after WW2 (I believe). There's actually a very specific reason as to how it changed from the way it used to be in the 1920's to what is known as modern boxing.

    If you scour the Internet, you might be able to come across some pictures of the old Filipino boxers. Some of the pictures range from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. Their stance work and body posture is more like modern boxers.
     
  15. Joe Talmadge

    Joe Talmadge

    Oct 3, 1998
    This has been a great conversation, BTW. Usually difficult to get a conversation on something so fundamental where everyone sheds more light than heat. There's a system locally I haven't trained in that I've been wanting to, that does flow drills, so I'll be getting to re-evaluate all this with all of your comments in mind.

    Well, as you know by now, I would say it teaches a rhythm, timing, and type of reaction that is not applicable to sparring and self defense. And that therefore, whatever it does teach, would be learned in a more applicable way in an alive drill designed to teach those things.

    I think this is the crux of my disagreement. First, the flow drill may instill a given response to an angle of attack, but it does so impossibly inefficiently compared to a combative-style drill whose rules are set up to do the same, which you would expect due to the non-alive timing and distancing in a flow drill. Which leads me to the next sentence, "You can't develop some of this in sparring alone" -- you are absolutely correct, that's a given. I am not speaking out against drilling in general, I am speaking out against flow drilling. What I'm claiming is, given any technique or concept you want to teach, you can teach it better designing an alive drill whose rules are set up to emphasize the technique or concept, than with a flow drill. The biggest problem I see is that many FMAers seem to be unaware that such drills can be created!

    Or, you could have designed an alive drill where the rules were particularly conducive to addressing that particular problem area. Then, in the drill, you're facing an opponent who is actually trying to outsmart, outmaneuver, and "kill" you, you are applying and learning you technique under stress, having to truly react to alive-style timing and initiative. If your partner is still too much better than you, you change the rules until you get what you want. In this way, you will learn your technique and actually be able to apply it under the stress of sparring or worse much much quicker than if you'd trained it under the non-alive artificial conditions of a flow drill. I realize that in print this all might make little sense, but shown live you'd see what I mean. In fact, if any of you are in the bay area, I'll show you and you can decide for yourself.

    See, having done both, I see almost no resemblence between these training techniques and flow drills. Perhaps the biggest difference is the status of the drills within the training. In a boxing gym, you'll typically do your technique and sparring work before hitting the heavy bag, the heavy bag is an adjunct to skill training. And the point of the heavy bag is not to "flow". Yes, it is to some extent about throwing combinations fast and smoothly, but the combos are thrown with real power and that's a big difference, in addition the big goals for the heavybag is cardio, conditioning the muscles and CNS to develop explosive power, muscular endurance, etc. No one in boxing is going to pretend that you learn timing, reaction, distancing with a heavy bag! That's not what it's for. But that is what you're claiming for flow drills. Speed bag is a relatively minor training tool, and as much for further muscular endurance (seeing how it's usually done after ringwork, technique work, and conditioning). And yes, some minor timing work. But again, a low-priority training technique versus flow drills which often seem to take up 50% or more of a typical FMA class! Focus mitts are in another league entirely from flow drills, IMO. It does teach smooth combinations, but under your own rhythm (not one by consensus with a partner), has the cardio/endurance/power implications, and generally works on more alive-style timing. Yes, there are patterns, but this loose resemblance does make the training techniques exactly alike. There is absolutely nothing in boxing where two people stand in front of each other and do something like a flow drill.

    In short, flow drills are not alive, and even if they have some superficial resemblance to some boxing drills, you quickly find that the boxing drills have fundamental differences and are often targeted at developing different attributes than flow drills.
     
  16. Roodog

    Roodog

    466
    Apr 9, 2004
    I guess with that logic, all weapons based systems are BS.

    Ever heard of an ASP baton? Ever see someone using a cane? Ever heard of someone being attacked by a baseball bat weilding maniac? These are all situations where stick fighgting skills could be useful. Im not saying that anyone should take up stick fighting as their main skill set for self defense but its a tool among many.
     
  17. kukri2

    kukri2

    109
    Jul 28, 2007
    So what would be a few combatives-style drills? Would you use sticks against focus mits?
    One idea that just came to mind might require your partner to use a kendo helmet and just move with no offense. Your object would be just head shots. Actually, kendo armour all around seems like a good idea. How would you protect the unarmoured spots?
    The only problem I see with armour is possibly limiting the defensiv reactions of the players; the object should be to not get hit under any circumstances. Would armour cause a sense of complacency?

    I wonder if the Dog Brothers have something similar? Inbetween training and the Gathering of the Pack?
     
  18. Norm'sTrainingBlades

    Norm'sTrainingBlades

    138
    Mar 25, 2007
    The armour does cause a very big complacency issue. For certain drills armour is good so that your partner can attack a moving target and strike it at close to combative speeds. But at other times the person wearing the armour gets lulled into a false sense of security.
    The Dog Brothers usually use fencing masks (from the clips that I've seen on their web site). On a couple of the clips you can see where someone used the butt end of the stick to strike their opponent in the mask still. When the guy takes the mask off, you can see a very bloody face. The fencing mask mitigates some of the damage and helps protect the eyes from a glancing blow. But that's about it. Nothing on the sides an back really.
    You have a fencing mask on and get hit in the face, you still feel it.

    Hits happen in sparring, combat, and even drilling. You deal with it and keep going if you can. I can't tell you how many times I've been struck in the hands with someone else's sticks. (One of the 'benefits' of teaching.) You just deal with it and keep going. If it isn't broken or hurt too bad, then you're fine.
     
  19. Grime

    Grime

    165
    Jun 1, 2006
    My argument is that training ONLY with weapons, or even predominantly is unwise. I think empty hand training is a fundamental aspect of fighting. However, weapons DO have their uses.

    I’ve seen a lot of guys who do this (train only with weapons) and are very unfit.

    But I apologise for my generalisation. It was brash and imprudent. :eek:
     
  20. Norm'sTrainingBlades

    Norm'sTrainingBlades

    138
    Mar 25, 2007
    Kali is very well known for being a weapon based system. However the system is really quite expansive.
    There are basically 12 areas of Kali. Some of those areas are dedicated to soley to empty hand fighting such as Filipino Boxing, Filipino Kickboxing, and grappling.
    As much as I love weapons training, I agree that you shouldn't learn just that. It all needs to be developed together.
    In the higher levels of the art, you learn that their is no weapon. Or really that you are the weapon and anything around you can become the weapon.
    Kali does have a very expansive empty hand system which can be quite viscious in it's own accord. Why someone would want to pass up that aspect of their training is totally beyond me.
     

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