MT: What are your basic principles?

Discussion in 'FMA From Around the Web' started by balita, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. balita

    balita <B>News Bot</B>

    What are your basic principles?
    By geezer - 01-02-2011 04:28 PM


    I just made a post on another thread saying that we all need to start posting more to keep this forum alive and active. Well now I'm trying to do my part. If any of you have better stuff to contribute... Great! Post it! Now back to the topic....

    The two FMAs I've had any real involvement in are both "concept oriented" meaning that their way of moving directly reflects certain underlying principles or concepts about what's seen as essential in a combat situation. In the first system I studied, Latosa Escrima, the core concepts fell into five categories: Balance, Power, Speed (Distance and Timing), Focus, and Transition. Simplicity and "directness" were also very important. Coming from Cabales Serrada and other stuff, Rene Latosa paired his system down to just five offensive strikes and five defensive movements that are really offense and defense rolled into one. The complexity in this system arises from being able to adapt this deceptively simple foundation to suit an infinite number of combat situations with whatever weapon, if any, is at hand.

    The system I'm involved with now, Direct Torres Eskrima (DTE) uses pretty similar ideas, but focuses primarily on 1. Getting an angle (positioning), "Diamond-point" or instantaneous/pin-point transition from one technique to the next, and Forward Energy directed through your opponent's center. As a WC practitioner as well, I find these concepts very comfortable... especially the emphasis in forward, centerline energy, short-power (not withdrawing or "winding up" for a strike), and trying to defeat an opponent as efficiently as possible (using the fewest movements and following the shortest path to your target).

    But, even between these two systems there are significant differences. The Latosa system places far more emphasis on power and aggressiveness, and using very simple, direct movements. The Torres eskrima emphasizes off-lining and evasiveness to a much greater degree, and incorporates a greater variety of technique at an early level, reflecting it's greater emphasis on blade as well as stick work, and perhaps also reflecting the powerful but more compact frame of the head instructor, Martin Torres.

    I find many elements of both useful, but some are harder to assimilate than others. As a 'Chunner, I find it hard to adopt the boxing upper body configuration, emphasized in both these systems, especially DTE. The DTE system also stresses angling the body (or what some styles call "blading") not unlike JKD even when in close, using empty hands. In WC we keep the body square to the opponent, so both arms can come into play simultaneously. Fortunately, the style's head guy, Martin is willing to help me adapt what he teaches to these WC instincts... That is the thing about a "Concept-based" art. There is a certain room for flexibility or "adaptability" that you don't commonly find in very traditional systems. And ultimately, it's up to the individual student to find a way to make it work. In the final analysis, your teacher could be world famous or totally unknown... but it's what you can do that really matters, especially if you ever have to really defend yourself.

    So how about the rest of you? Is your FMA very traditional, or more "adaptable" in outlook? And what are your core concepts? How do they compare or contrast with other martial arts you may have done?


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