NoVA Arnis in the Park

Discussion in 'NoVA Arnis in the Park' started by Dr. Tye W. Botting, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Today's arnis, 19 Jan 2020: I showed up for most of the class and we re-worked on that center sequence from Astig balintawak template (each move/counter being from Buot balintawak). It goes something like this: from single sinawali, A backhand punyos, B catches, but A aborts before it contacts and controls B's hand/wrist to standing center lock to hit #2 to temple, but B counters with bent arm block and strikes #9 now, so A counters with hand block, then B does cane pin to modified sablig followed by #1 punyo, so A hand blocks/grabs that, but B aborts to arm pin and #1 strick, but A counters with a hand roll to block-check-#9 counter, so B tries to sandwich with the punyo, but A aborts and does palis punyo, B releases and back into single sinawali, rinse and repeat. We also covered the elbow clip from the bent arm block. Next time we'll work on that more, as well as the inside declaw and also the elbow tukas. [​IMG] Good to be back, even if I am still healing. [​IMG]
  2. Today's arnis, 26 Jan 2020: Had several folks show up today including my two kids, Jim, Rose, Michael, and a new person to the grou, Kyle Wingo - very nice guy and friend/student of a great martial artist and friend, Hanshi/Guro Ken Baker. We warmed up with single sinawalis: single, combination single, opposite single, advanced single, and some other random ones that injected. From there we worked redonda with 5 different variations: normal (1-2-3 same side), across (1-2 then other stick), pop-back (1-2, then other stick and then back to same side with same strike), 5-count (1-2-3 then across and back), and under (1-2 then across with follow through to come under the same side stick). After that we talked about various ways to mix up sinawalis, including adding prefixes, suffixes, and inserts, but eventually we just illustrated inserts by taking advanced single sinawali and inserting the other side with a follow-through strike in between the 1st and 2nd strikes of advanced and another follow through otherside between the 2nd and 3rd strikes, making a 5-count double sinawali per side. Lastly, we worked on some Buot/Astig balintawak material, reviewing the center path of the illustrative sequence we've been playing with. From there, we reviewed the 4+1 declaws. A good day - and great to be back!
  3. Today's arnis, 2 Feb 2020: Warmed up with double and single sinawalis of various types, then worked on double sinawali with the variation that when one side stops with a stick extended at any position, the other person then hits that stopped stick two extra times (for a total of 3 times) and then the double sinawali pattern continues exactly as normal from there. Basically, it mixes redonda (low or high) with double sinawali and works your ability to combine patterns and pick up where left off, also randomly triggerd by someone stopping. Fun. After that we worked single sinawali with pokes inserted promoting immediate parry+counter, then we did the empty hand version which is single sinawali with punches inserted. That merged right into sinawali boxing, which is just about the same thing, but same-side triggered instead of opposite-side triggered. We worked that and then worked in counterstriking including: hook punch, head punch, elbow to ribs, elbow to head, clothesline, armbar, spearing elbow, diving throw, and then we added a flow of followup strikes while factoring in stepping and hip power/optimization. We left the counter-counters for another time, but also talked about the real reason for working counters - and that is so that your primary material is robust to counters; i.e., optimized for delivery, sensitivity, and focus. That is, the counter trains what's being countered. After that, we returned to single stick Astig template balintawak work from Buot balintawak techniques. As described, we made sure everyone still had that center path: punyo abort to standing center lock, bent arm block & #9 strike, hand block, cane pin to modified sablig & #1 punyo, hand block / grab, abort & arm pin, hand roll & BCC #9 counter, sandwich, abort & palis punyo, then single sinawali and repeat. We also worked the elbow trap vs the bent arm block to #2 finish, and then we worked the start of an alternate path where the bent-arm-block person does an elbow tukas, then the other counters with suyup, then that is countered with abort to cane-arm pin & #1 punyo. Lots more available from there, but we'll continue more later. Fun stuff!
  4. Just a few semi-random thoughts connecting what I directly saw Professor Remy A. Presas, Sr. show and teach me in the 1990s with Tapi-Tapi. Noting that the last art he studied and lived before developing Modern Arnis was Balintawak, it's easy to see that Balintawak experience in aspects of Tapi-Tapi. Note, he specifically avoided using the term "Balintawak" with my students and I during that time, but now that I've had some small exposure to many lines and GMs of Balintawak, I find that there are a lot of nifty connections or bridges. Anyway, it's just based on what I directly saw or heard from Remy, but I hope you might find some of this rambling interesting.

    Zeroth: the format being driver/passenger or instructor/student or senior/junior or leader/follower. Both Tapi-Tapi and Balintawak's "Agak" work the material in a similar fashion that one side initiates and the other responds. Remy would like it when both sides put pressure and "push" the partner, but also that the driver is teaching the passenger to respond while at the same time "winning" and being one (five?) steps ahead ("cuentada" anyone? [​IMG];-) ). Modern Arnisadors seem to emphasize the driver winning over training reasonable responses, but it really depends. Balintawak generally seems to emphasize that the driver is teaching the follower/student and making them respond appropriately to the incoming threat/stimulus, not so much that the driver "wins." Note, this is done in various stages in both Modern Arnis and Balintawak - "abecedario" was the term for receiving strikes 1-12 in order in both Modern Arnis and Balintawak. Next, there is random feeding (Balintawak's "sequidas" or "sigidas"), and finally both sides working to feed/control/counter/etc freely (Balintawak's "corridas" or "kuridas"). Ultimately, I think both sides need to be training their reflexes and habits well, and that both sides try to take advantage of each and every situation, no matter where on the spectrum practice is taking place. I don't like seeing the driver just concentrating on their own winning, just as I don't like seeing the driver being lazing and ignoring incoming strikes or blocking ineffectively since they're in teacher mode.

    First, and perhaps most obvious: Modern Arnis's tapi-tapi block, or sometimes called "pakgang" by Balintawakadors. It's a circle-return to a 90-degree stop-block when someone does block-check-counter, usually with a managing/monitoring/delaying hand, and which necessarily _immediately_ is followed by a counter; there is no pause, or the person being blocked will take advantage and continue to enforce their control/advantage.

    Second: The "live" or "alive" hand. Both Modern Arnis and Balintawak make extensive use of the live hand, both for attacking and managing, monitoring, and controlling the opponent. Remy told us it was the most dangerous of the two hands when using single stick, and a deadly last resort. I don't think you can do either Tapi-Tapi or Balintawak without an active, fast, and sensitive live hand - it's downright critical.

    Third: Sablig, or "casting." That term is not universal in Balintawak circles and Remy certainly never used that term with us, but the idea is that the opponent's cane is cast aside, usually making them cross themselves, while at the same time and with the same power, a finishing or KO backhand strike is delivered. I saw Remy use both the standard #1 sablig (Buot Balintawak terminology) and a modified version that I call an "outside sablig", which latter has great striking power and great control of the opponent. He would have quite the twinkle in his eye when he did this. In my classes, and in order to explore our roots, we work the standard 4 Buot/Astig Balintawak sabligs, as well as the extra "outside" one from Remy, and we work them from both the attacker and defender side - the latter being a great way to become the driver/instructor.

    Fourth: "Aborting" (Buot Balintawak terminology) or "Baiting" (commonplace Modern Arnis terminology). The idea being that a particular attack might reasonably be blocked or countered in an expected manner (and can be necked in by specific details of delivery), and if so, then simply adjust and "hit them anyway." Still, the attack is supposed to be realistic and the abort is supposed to be a contingency, NOT the goal. For this reason, I do not like to use the term "baiting" - and in fact, Remy has said more than a time or two that there is no baiting, and that if the opponent does not block or respond to the "bait" then you just HIT them with that original attack. [​IMG](y) This applies to the so-called Slap-Off drill, or Obstruction Removal among other similar pieces of Tapi-Tapi. And Balintawak has several similar additional pieces. To me, feinting/baiting is simply not worth the risk unless you're out of range, in which case it also shouldn't work against a skilled opponent because the distance is wrong.

    Fifth: Punyo control/grabs/traps/ties. This is big in Tapi-Tapi, but is also in Balintawak, particularly what I've seen of Mongcal's Balintawak (the first Balintawak teacher that Remy studied with, still existing today as Necopa Balintawak), but also in some of the advanced inserts shown by several modern Balintawk GMs. The idea is that your punyo/wrist traps their punyo wrist against their own other arm, stick, or wrist, momentarily, which allows you to effortlessly followup with a finisher of your choice, be it punch, throw, strike, break, whatever.

    Sixth: "Clipping." Again, Remy didn't use this term with us, but it was when he controlled the opponent's cane to his hip/belly/shoulder after for example doing Tapi-Tapi block while simultaneously doing some other followup. A classic Remy example of this is when he would use that clip of your cane-hand with pressure against his hip and then he released that hand and hit you with that hand, but you were still distracted and resisting the hip pressures on your cane hand, as if it were a "third hand" - it was almost like magic. [​IMG];-)

    Seventh: Disarms. In both Tapi-Tapi and Balintawak, disarms and counters are worked into the flow as possible, from both sides. And their counters. And many of them are exactly the same for both arts, though in some cases there are some interesting flavor differences, and of course some altogether unique disarms. Same for the counters.

    Eighth: "Suyup" or catching/accepting. I didn't see Remy do this a lot, but if you watch footage of him teaching, even of teaching you might have attended, you'll see it pop up time and again. He basically showed it, but didn't specifically teach it. Like much of the material he shared, if you caught it, it was yours. If not, then you must not have been ready for it. [​IMG];-)

    Lastly, while I didn't see from Remy anything exactly like Balintawak's "tukas" or "opening", Remy did often control his opponent's cane to open them to his next attack, or conversely to close them off so they were more vulnerable. Some things along these lines include the "slap-off", or when he'd grab your cane right next to your thumb (or including it) and then force that open (or closed) and do his next attack. So, the concept fits, and I often find Balintawak's "tukas" moves very satisfying, and they sneak in lots of places when I flow. [​IMG]
  5. Today's arnis (16 Feb 2020): We took a step back in time and worked some material from Remy's mid-90's Texas seminars - this bit was palis-palis to snake at medio-largo range; it's single-stick work done with both people holding sticks in each hand. Basically, versus and incoming forehand strike (#1 or #12) you step (footwork!) into it with same-side backhand force-on-force block, then pivot/finish-step as you push/guide them past and down (palis), then snake to control (and followup with whatever). Later, he also also pointed out that the pivot was also abaniko corto, so the broken down sequence amounts to block, abaniko corto, palis into and down, and snake. We also did variations with vs double #12 strikes and you do backhand blocks with both sticks too and then choose which side you want to snake. Lastly for this, we did the same thing vs backhand strikes and using forehand blocks and palis-palis to either re-passing if they have a blade or snake-trap if they have a cane, then following up with wrist break/throw, or cane-forearm trap/throw, or etc. Next time, we'll work the split entry vs double #12's and the same outside snake but done forehand vs forehand and backhand vs backhand (some nifty changeups needed/available for those).

    From there, we did the free-form pass-through drill I came up on with Guro Eric Alexander and later of course with Remy (again at largo-medio, and high strikes only for today) - opponent feeds #1 or #2 strikes with either hand and you step (footwork again!) and pass it past with the tip of your stick on their wrist (not cane!); note that stepping also includes ranging so that the strike would miss anyway unless they adapted and the pass-through helps ensure it (double-down). Again, both sides had two sticks, so could attack or pass-through with either, so lots of possibilities. Next time we do pass-through, we'll work mixing in high and low strikes as well as verticals, and we might actually do the flow drill on top of that.

    After working this well enough to get the ranging (footwork!) correct, I had them work on a step-by-step breakdown like so: 1) opponent delivers medio strike, 2) you range (footwork!) so it would miss (but you're still medio-able) and attack incoming wrist/hand with tip of stick and follow through, 3) they follow through so you can see if it really would have missed and then you hit them medio (footwork!) to make sure your range is correct. I always love this drill - it always feels like magic when they get it right. ;-) The speed can increase as folks get more used to it so that 1-2-3 blend together. This is reminiscent of kalis-illustrisimo work I've done with Coach Narzo in Manila - always great to see connections. For modern arnis, we also go from this to the pass-through drill I mentioned above.

    Not much time left after all this, but I wanted to make sure we worked the Astig template some more from Buot Balintawak basics, so we reviewed that center path (single sinawali to hand catch low and #2 punyo to hand catch to abort-grab-#4-to-head to bent arm block and grab and #9 to hand catch to arm pin and modified sablig and curl and #1 punyo to hand catch to abort and pass down and outside and #1 strike to pakgang/tapi-tapi block and #9 to hand catch to sandwich to abort and punyo hook and grab and #8 to release and back to single sinawali) and gave those that had that down the side branch with the elbow tukas to suyup to arm pin to counter arm pin to finish (or jump back to center path). Also reviewed some other side paths with Guro Paulson (the pass-to-elbow-trap and the outside declaw to arm pin to abort and grab to #4 to head finish). Fun as always. ;-)
  6. Today's arnis, 23 Feb 2020: Just Conal, Sonja, Guro John, and I, so the kids got one-on-one with instructors. We continued on with the pieces of last week's work that we didn't get to on both the palis-to-snake drill and the flow drill. For the former, we worked both the opposite hands and the simultaneous double snake vs double #12 strikes - note this is not at all a technique, but it highlights development of several important attributes: footwork and distance, controlling the cane when maneuvering, timing, and contact/sensitivity to adjust as necessary (for example, what if the palis motion doesn't end up maintaining wrist control). Then we reviewed the pass-through drill but added in mixing high and low backhands and forehands, again emphasizing footwork to control distance and timing to allow your own strikes to connect while denying the same to the feeder - again, attribute development and focused exploration, all leading to sensitivity and adaptability while maintaining control of the situation. Then we moved from the pass-through drill to the flow drill, in which we pass the incoming attack into a crossada or scissoring (gunting) motion that strikes the arm with the added power of the pass-through. We worked these with 2 canes, single knife, and empty-hand for different ranges and options. None of the above is prescriptive in the sense of techniques, but is in the sense of concepts, positioning, sensitivity, timing, and opportunity. The last bit of today's work was continuing on with the Astig Corridas Template using Buot Balintawak feeds and counters. We reviewed the center path (described here previously), then reviewed the pass-to-elbow trap and power #2 finish as well as the branch that started with elbow tukas to suyup to arm pin to counter arm pin and #1 punyo and back into the flow (or finish). Guro Paulson and I reviewed the other branch of outside declaw to suyup to arm pin to abort and grab and power #2 finish. Getting smoother and timing and positioning are improving.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  7. Today's arnis, 1 Mar 2020: I reviewed for the kids some of the things we worked on yesterday in PA at Datu Tim's seminar, including 3- and 4-person single sinawali variations, including same, opposite, alternating, split, and mixed directions, as well as anti-synch. We didn't get to the off-beat sides and mixing in other sinawalis. ;-) Then we moved on to the 6-count drill (AKA sumbrada, anim na bilang, 3-8-12), and inserting disarms without warning mid-flow - only inside and outside snakes but a couple variations of each vs different strikes and using the live hand or the cane. We also discussed working any possible disarm in vs any of the strike. Next we worked a couple of alternate paths that still keep the flow going even if inserted randomly, including striking another 12 instead of 3 so that the person has to block with shield (kasilagang) and then from there do a 3, a 12, or a 4 and keep the flow going (the 3 skips a side, the 12 is a hiccup and then gets back to the 6 counts, and the 4 inverts the pattern, which is fine). Guro Paulson and I worked out inversion points for each attack along the same lines as well as other options for skips, hiccups, and more. Nice to work out something in between the "dead" static drill and completely random give-and-take; missing links to help folks progress and make that leap more easily. (y) Lastly, we continued to review the Astig Corridas template based on Buot balintawak situations. Everyone still has the core path, and now most have the elbow tukas branch and the elbow tranka (previous posts I called it the elbow clip but tranka is the correct (and better) term). Guro Paulson and I also reviewed the inside declaw branch. For each exchange in these there are a lot of positional and timing details we're trying to hone in on, and they're a lot of fun to develop sensitivity, timing, control, and adapability. Very nice - always like attribute development.
  8. Today's arnis, 15 Mar 2020: We taught and then really worked stick forms Baston Anyo Isa and Baston Anyo Dalawa and then reviewed the Astig Balintawak corridas template - the center path, the elbow tranka finish insert, and the elbow tukas branch. Just one more branch to get that template down, then need to work it more. Still need to get back to the old empty hand forms and the kuntaw forms. And then all the other stuff. ;-) Need more than one day a week for folks to get things sharpened up, just a question of logistics. Probably will start the after work session on Wednesdays again soon.
  9. Today’s arnis, 22 Mar 2020: We warmed up with a review of Baston Anyo Isa and then taught and worked on my version of Doble Baston Anyo Isa (two stick) that we showed Prof. Remy in the 90s - he liked it and told us to keep doing it (video attached below, though note we're using newer footwork to match how Professor moved when teaching individual techniques and a couple other tweaks). From there we worked some basic thoughts on working karenza starting from 1s and 2s and inserting striking styles, combinations, techniques, augmented strikes and spins, punches, kicks, elbows, etc. Then it was back to some advanced basics with deflecting/parrying cane pokes instead of wasting a sweep style “block”, first with cane, then with hand while adding a simultaneous counter strike to hand, head, or body, and then just moving to slip and simultaneously counter strike. Lastly, we kept up with working the Astig Corridas Template with Buot Balintawak counters strung together. They still have the center party, the elbow tranka, and the elbow tukas branch. I started them on the declaws branch now too - we’ll finish that next time.
  10. Today's arnis, 29 Mar 2020: My first video mini-class since the parks are closed until further notice, so it was just Conal and I. We reviewed the Presas Amara and our school amara as a kind of warmup. Then I walked through single, advanced single sinawali, and 4-corners sinawali. We reviewed the 8 basic angles of attack used for teaching beginners quickly. I showed dos manos blocking versus those 8 angles and worked block-check-counter (BCC) versus them as well. The fun and interesting thing with this is that either hand can become the checking hand, your choice, so it doubles your options for BCC which is fun. Lastly I ran them through the Kuntaw form Anyo X1-a, both sides (yes, I even did the kick ;-) ).
  11. Today's arnis (via private YouTube), 5 Apr 2020: We warmed up with amaras, redoing the Presas amara and our club amara, and adding one from GM Rodel Dagooc and another from GM Nick Elizar (power striking sequence). I continued on with dos manos work from last time, codifying hand positions for the different angles, and then feeding strikes so that attendees could block, then block-check-counter (BCC) both left and right hands since dos manos lets you choose, then evade, then BCC plus amara of your choice. From there, we moved on to hand strikes for yellow: jab (J), cross (C), hook (H) , and hammerfist (Hm), and two required combinations JCJC and JCH and working those with focus mitts (or palms), again I fed for the camera. We covered the 3 basic trapping sequences for brush-trap-X, where X is either punch, kick, or armbar. I walked them through "walk away" and the daga wrist shock. Finally, we covered the classifications of striking methods, blocking methods, and defensive measures. Thanks to the kids for helping again. [​IMG] Don't forget to work through this stuff and last week's stuff and put in the reps. Remember, you can rewind to get more reps in, or to try alternate things!

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