A true stick art

Discussion in 'General' started by Shaun, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    In Lightning Scientific Arnis the Baston (stick) is king.
    Many FMA systems would consider themselves to be blade styles that use yantok (rattan) sticks as training tools and edged weapons as their choice for real combat.
    This is not the case for many L.S.A.I. practitionrs - Lightning Grandmaster Benjamin Luna Lema often favored a tapered Bahi (hardwood) fighting stick.
    These sticks are taperd for balance and speed which makes them far easier to handle than an unbalanced/untapered hardwood stick.
    There is a very,very strong emphasis on body mechanics and footwork, which makes Lightning a natural stick system.
    Whist Lightning does share similarities with many FMA systems,the whole ethos is that of a true stick art.
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Modern Arnis is also strongly stick-oriented, and I sometimes feel that some blade-oriented groups--which are the majority, of course--look somewhat askance at stick-based systems! Everyone loves swords but a stick is a very practical weapon, and the ability to grab it opens up some new possibilities.
  3. Bahad Zu'bu is neither a "Stick based" or "Bladed Based" art....it is "People based" ;)
  4. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    For me, there are two issues that immediately spring to mind. It is legal to carry a walking stick or cane (or baston in another guise) around visibly and have this weapon to hand.
    I realize that in many places it is legal to carry around a blade, but when faced with a blade, I would prefer to have some distance between me and the blade, assuming of course you see the attack coming. which is sometimes not the case.
    Secondly,IMHO, it is easier to adapt a stick oriented system to a blade oriented system,than a blade system to a stick oriented system.

  5. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I believe in traveling with a walking stick/cane when I travel.. I mean, as you get older the idea of walking around with a bolo on your hip is kinda far fetched and you would resemble a mall rambo.. When I travel, it is with a Kamagong Cane that I had picked up in the Philippines some time ago.. I never have had a word said to me when traveling with it.. I figure if it is good enough for the Tatangs and other elderly gentlemen of the Philippines to carry it with no problem, maybe it is time that we do the same..
  6. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Totally agree Bill about carrying a walking stick or cane.I often carry one with me and have never had any problems with the authorities or police.
    They are so versatile.My walking sticks are approx. 3 feet long,so plenty of range and if I need it in really close,I go for a two handed grip.
  7. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    I'd like to get a matching set of canes of one normal cane and one sword cane. That way I could switch out when traveling via airplane but carry a sword cane around with none the wiser on a daily basis.

    Sorry for the thread derail but the conversation got me to thinking...

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  8. I respectfully disagree.

    Of course, I'll preface my thoughts with "It all depends on the individual" and "It's individuals that adapt and not systems" but here goes...

    A while ago I think Kali Cowboy (apologies if incorrect) posted that he tried doing roof blocks with swords and found it did not work, why not? When I see other "Stick based" systems there are loads of these kind of blocks and people grabbing the other end of the stick to do dis-arms. You just can not do these things with blades.

    A lot of "Stick Based" systems stress "Power" as well. A blade does not need power but finesse.

    These things are all enshrined in basics. If you practice these basics 1000 times and then replace the stick with a blade I bet you your natural impulse when somebody throws a number 1 attack is to go for the roof block. It will be very hard to "un-train" muscle memory or learned / trained reactions.

    Now, let us look at the blade guy going to the stick art.

    In our particular system everything is treated as a blade. A kick, punch, stick....There are no blocks. We have strikes, deflections, the live hand and footwork to both avoid and neutralize the strike / striker.

    The stick travels through the same angles as the blade but is usually slower. It has to be chambered / wound up to generate power for the strike. This leaves more reaction time and a telegraphic strike. Sure, some people can strike extremely fast with a stick. But if you want to do a powerful no.1 strike the left shoulder will move towards the opponent before the stick...

    Won't this be the same for the blade guy? Maybe. I can only speak for our system which has elliptical strikes rather than the "piston type" variety. These strikes also land when the wrist is retracted too. So you will have to cope with attacks coming from "weird" angles from the blade guy I'd expect.

    The main dis-advantage for the sword based guy is that he now has a blunt trauma weapon instead of a blade. It is possible he would not be used to generating enough power to stop the opponent. A guy can take a stick shot and keep coming. A sword is a different story...

    However, all is not lost. Replace power with "Accuracy and timing". All arts should work on timing - to the extent that it is stressed more than speed and power.

    The blade guy is used to going for "Soft targets", the hands, eyes and throat so can adapt using strikes to this end like "Sunkete". It probably won't kill you but should stop you in your tracks or lead on to the big smash.

    So, I have raised a few points to show that the blade guys can adapt just as easily to stick / empty hand systems.

    I will say this though. If your stick system has lots of blocks and you try them with a sword you better hope it's a training one! (Unless of course the guy feeding them is from the same stick-based system as you...;) )

    Also, it is important to practice with all manner of weapons and prove that it works / doesn't work. In theory it's easy to apply concepts to the stick and blade but not without hours of hard practice.

    As GM Yuli Romo teaches us "It's all the same!". If you are good with a knife you should be good at empty hands. Good with a stick then equally as good with a blade and vice versa. It's better not to limit / segregate ourselves by saying "Blade based" or "Stick based". It's much better to say "People based" and to embrace the similarities. Because without me my weapon is useless.

    Just my humble opinions as theory won't win fights but it's fun to discuss.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  9. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Always a wise thing...we will all have our tastes, depending on system and time in the barrel...so I also say that my
    forthcoming rant is of course coming from a gentlemanly, place.

    Didn't work? Hmm .. mtion is motion and if one has a suitable and long enough sword then it will work. Now I know others say "Don't use your edge to thwart his attack because you will chip it." WHO CARES? Yes of course you may chip it but in the realm of using your blade to do bodily harm do you really think a chip in the blade or 5 for that matter is going to enough disservice to that chunk of metal that it will no longer validated as lethal? It's a blade, it is steel, it will have some edge and a point...if it has none of these it is still a piece of steel..hence steel vs. flesh - Victory for steel. As to disarming..they are what they are...if ya find the opening then go for it if not stay safe and keep chopping away on what ever is available....sooner or later it will give-way..and there is a true disarm..when I whack with my Bowie through your wrist bone.......so semantics aside it is what it is, stick or knife..just use it when needed to save your ass...a smashed in skull means your just as dead as getting cleaved in two.

    A blade doesn't need power? I disagree...let me see someone finesses his blade through a piece of leather, i.e. a coat etc....Guaranteed you aren't going to have to desired effect one might think. You get your shiv hung up on a rib you better have some power to snap that biotch out or through...your not gonna finesse your way through it...so power IMHO is a must in all weaponry aspects......REMEMBER --> This isn't a perfect world and being such we have to be prepared on all fronts in the entire aspect of our personal game! And POWER is a huge portion of the game!

    Basics is everything, I agree...what one does in the time of stress is up to the individual...I personally, whether it be stick or long blade prefer to hit , hit and hit...moving in via roof blocks only as an option to destruction..it will depend on the enemy of course and the opening he will surely give me..it is easy to say that we will do this after repetition but in hind sight we truly can't say what any of us will do until such a time as we are forced to do it.

    Got my bino's ready..let's look eh?

    Accepting everything as a blade attack is fine..I have no problem there even though to me it seems a bit myopic....I deal with reality and in such I understand what is and what isn't lethal....I break things down into their proper place..you can deal with all weaponry threat with the same motion as long as one understands that timing and distance will be the two most crucial factors that one must adjust to on the fly. This perfection comes with repetition under fire...not this two man soft flowing way (this okay for raw recruits but must be stepped up to extreme heat quickly within the training regime". As to NO blocks but only deflections...deflection and or block same/same with me..but let me tell yawl one thing..if I am on your ass with an aluminum ball bat going mach 2 you had best block it and stop it..deflection my ass!

    Oh really?...I totally disagree...I need no wind up to generate enough power to bust a head wide open...it all comes down to the proper mechanics of the individual and the person teaching him how to hit using force multipliers and natural body movement to generate massive power. Remember the human body has bones that smash a lot easier than people might think.

    Telegraphing depends on the individual and his ability or lack there of to hide the strike..only time pays this dividend and practice to function perfects this element of timing. The left shoulder moves for whom? Perhaps you, but to say every person who swings a stick telegraphs by this left shoulder lean to me is a bit presumptuous don't you think?.....But then again a nice left shoulder lean can be a beautiful enganyo if truly understood...again,,,time in the game!

    Those same weird angles of descent are just as valid with a good stick and will inflict damage just the same. The truth is in combat you had better hope to put something down range and to be in contact with some sort of weaponry...the hell with what it is at that point..you gotta rock out with whatever you have on you or easily obtainable. Whether it be edged or not is non consequential to me..I am still gonna try and kill your ass no matter the weapon!

    This all depends on where your hit...you can damn sure absorb a stick shot to lower extremities and keep coming..but for that matter one can also take shots with the blade to non vital areas and keep coming (SEEN it and DONE it)..the key with either weapon lining against you is to keep your vitals safe...I don't care what anyone says..you let someone chip away at your skull with a solid chunk of wood and you will be just as dead as the vato head hunting your butt with a machete...one kay cut you the other crush you..dead is dead!

    Timing trumps speed and power..but speed and power are also elements that we must possess.....the younger students will also gravitate to speed and power sooner than timing..timing is a game that takes a long time to perfect....so to have speed + power + timing is to me the best way to go..in this equation we can use what is needed at various times of our journey!

    The man with the blade who attacks, 9 times out of 10 isn't skilled or trained....knowing this makes him more of a nightmare, especially if you choose to duel. He will go for what ever he can hit..knowing this is much more important than thinking some crack head knifer will be target specific...working years as a bouncer damn sure showed me this....

    The same can be said in a vice versa manner...Personally I don't wanna come under fire from either..both can kill you dead as haymen....and I guarantee you if I have a nice thick piece of hickory it will be hard pressed for any sword to penetrate it more than a notch. Also if I have my solid hickory I will break the **** out of a blade sooner than it will cut through my stick....rattaan, NO..but who is silly enough to go to battle with a piece of rattan over hickory or kamagong etc....


    Mang Yuli is right..however, there is a boat load of grey area in that assumption of should. In a perfect world, yes..but in reality...eh, is about right!

    I concur...it's up to the ****A on the trigger to make the whole thing work. Be as complete as you can be in all aspects. Sadly this is overlooked big time!

    Theory may win a fight but it won't win **** in combat..and a fight isn't combat...there in lies a completely different topic..one of the cerebral and maniacal nature of man...who has it and who can't even see it!

    In the end it is up to each of us to prepare ourselves for any type of conflict that may roll down the pike. Many people don't delve into certain areas due to a lack of understanding or an attitude of grandiose knowledge where they feel nothing else is valid. Both are dead ends. Learn, teach, learn, teach..in this way you are always on the curve of survival and in reality being in the conversation is much better than being a mere statistic...

    train smart, hard and often..forget the BS..Politics and Egos that roll along this slippery edge...just do your do the best you can and let it all come out in the wash...pray the wash doesn't find you..but if it does you will be as prepared as much as one can be..and even then it isn't a dog fall.....STAY PEACHY

    AG MDB

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  10. Darrin Cook

    Darrin Cook New Member

    Tapado views itself as a stick art, and it was through them that I was introduced to the concept of a stick art as just that --grounded in the realities and strengths of the stick without regard to any edged weapon.

    In Big Stick Combat I am similarly rooted in the big stick, the bat, and the cane as blunt force/impact weapons.

    I have posted on this topic at my blog here.
  11. Thanks for replying to my points Mike,

    It's always nice to have things challenged, especially by those with more experience.

    Regarding the roof block I've seen in time and time again from all the experienced guys coming through here and trying to make it work. I'm not talking about "Chipping" the blade. More like luring them into going for it and hitting the hand, body, going round and coming up with sunkete etc, etc. That's with a stick too.

    Why did tatang Ilustrisimo (an accomplished blademan) say "I will be embarrassed if you can block my strike"? Why are there no "Roof blocks" in the Ilustrisimo sysytem or the equally blade based "Ginunting" system on Bantayan island also? Perhaps that's something for another time and place...

    Regarding the No.1 strike example I used the shoulder-forward just as an example to say it is possible to monitor something other than the stick for the strike. Saying "Always" would be a dangerous thing and I take your point. Power can also be generated by rising and sinking body mechanics (as well as rotational) and can lead to short, powerful strikes.

    Regarding "Enganyo" with the shoulder...we have our "Bio-stick" forms / Redondos and applications for this (and it was nice to see that you have adapted this with your walking stick work ) but I didn't want to go into the whole enganyo / monitoring / preparation thing on a general discussion about stick v blade styles.

    I see you agreed and dis-agreed with me in about equal measure there. You did not surmise your position to the question "It is easier for a stick guy to adapt to a blade based system". What's your take on this?

    Thanks again.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  12. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    What's a "roof block"?
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Hold your right arm like a Karate high block, forearm facing out (not down), but with a stick in it--the position of the stick is like (one side of) the sloping roof of a house. The roof block looks like that in freeze-frame but of course doesn't go into a static position like that, nor rise in a Karate block motion. (I'm sure you have this by some name in your system and know this but am trying to convey the right image!)
  14. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    Yes, we have all sorts of tip down counters to strikes. I think all swordfighting methods including European, Japanese and Chinese employ their own versions of the "roof block". The Europeans even have the FMA's "inside sweep-check-snake-trap".
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Some of the similarities with older European methods are almost unnerving! Sheesh, I'd like to hold on to the delusion that we have something no one else does. :D
  16. Probably something to do with the 333 years the Europeans colonized the Philippines....
  17. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Flip a coin...either or. Who knows...In my opinion movement is movement no matter what I have in my hands. So if the stick guy is better and has a better grasp of his game he will catch onto blade tactics quicker than a guy who half asses his way through his training and vice versa.... In a pinch I prefer a pistol, preferably one of a .45 nature...LOL... ;)
  18. Thanks again for the reply - nice to see we agree on some things :)
  19. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    One of the most difficult things to learn when using a weapon that requires power to inflict a serious injury is body dynamics - I am sure all who have posted on here know this. Learning to use correct body positioning combined with the use of the hips,shoulders, feet and head is vital IMHO for generating lethal force.
    The important point here is that the entire body has to work together in an instant in order to be effective in a life threatening situation and this does take time to learn and has to be practiced in a particular way, that is to hit and hit hard so there will be no ambiguity as to whether that no1 or no 6 will stop an attacker.This must be a certainty.
  20. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    But AFAIK Giron Arnis/Escrima has roof blocks in their system -- and they are blade oriented as well.

    kind regards

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