numbering systems

Discussion in 'General' started by snake, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. snake

    snake New Member

    why do most there numbering systems have mostly twelve strikes.doce pares has it serrada has it.
  2. Bobbe

    Bobbe Member

    I think people tend to lean towards the "More is better" policy, as if making a more complicated striking system or an elaborate curriculum somehow means your style is "more complete".

    Personally, I only need the basic five, and those accomplish what I need to teach the fundamentals. I prefer moving students towards sparring, at different degrees of speed and intensity, as quickly as possible. To me, the chaotic unpredictability of the fluid environment is much more desirable than coming up with 75 angles and 500 counter attacks for each of them. Jeebus, how long before you get to sparring? Or better, fluidity in your technique?

    I think a lot of instructors lose sight of the point of their martial art. They look around and see what others are doing, then try to copy it. Remember when the Sayoc "Knife Templates" were all the rage? I can't count how many Gurus tried to copy that approach. Knife tapping is another one, as well as adding arcane weaponry, such as the bullwhip or blowgun. But at the end of all that, I have to ask: Where are you trying to lead your students? Do you want them to be capable fighters with a good base of principles that they can apply in any situation, or do you want them to memorize 30-odd drills that never get to a point?

    You have to really ask yourself...How many "angles" do I need to accomplish my goal of teaching? What can you do with 12 angles that you can't do with 5? Are you just tacking on more flotsam and jetsam to seem current with your competetors, or do you have a purpose for everything you do?
  3. Christian

    Christian New Member

    Somebody once told me it has to do with Christianity and simbolism. The 12 followers of Jesus... something like that. Alas I cant remember the whole story.

  4. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    Well, the question is whether really the MAJORITY of styles/schools use 12. for all I know, there are plenty of those who have different numbers, or even some (good ones) without numbers at all.

    Personally, I am not so fond of the numbers, cause for many people they seems to imply that smaller nombers are somehow "superior" or of better value than higher ones. Other get stuck on the numbering instead of focusing on movement...

    I am with Bobbe on this one, and guess Mike Blackgrave would be on the same page, too.
  5. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    I am quite sure that there was a reason and purpose in FMA's 12 strikes. There was an actual story behind it that obviously been forgotten along the way. Now it can never be told and no one will be able to figure it out.
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    More or less neither is superior as in the end it is what you can do with your skills. [​IMG]
  7. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    To me it is a non issue what others do....some want candy others's all your thing. Same with has it's place..all though I am not a fond proponent of Great Gazoo sparring..where u pad up like the frigging Michelin man....people need to ask themselves..when was the last time you had a stick on stick..sword on sword...knife on knife combat situation come up...and are you planning for one? (If so then perhaps a lifestyle change is in order).....I equate that with the man who works at Costcos finding a need to go to one of the psuedo wanna be battle academies to learn how to snipe from a helicopter. WHY?.....I understand that sparring is an element of good training but it isn't the end all be all!

    As to the numbers.....One mans 12 is anothers 5 is anothers 3 is anothers 0..nonconsequential at best!

    "There is far more in the apple cart than worms" ~ Moi CHE Moi
  8. snake

    snake New Member

    i dont mean which is better. i mean why do most systems have twelve numbers in there numbers.doce pares does.serrada sure people could name mainy more,ive just always wondered.
  9. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    I totally agree with what everyone has said previously. But back to the original question, Why so many 12's ?" And people often ask why we only have 12 attacks...... I have always been told that the old blade systems based their systems on 12 basic angles of attack to start with and the different methods to deliver an attack with the same and/or other weapons. For instance, we base our system on the twelve angles, but we a literally dozens of sets of 12. Just to keep some methodology and memorization of techniques. In most cases, teaching that no matter what the weapon is being used or the method, countering is all the same or at least executed in a similar fashion. As you progress, you don't think about what number from the abededario is coming at you or what number you will counter-attack with. You either flow to the inside or outside gate to counter-attack and finish the job. I have also noticed that the "Upper Arch" and "Lower Arch" theories are also practiced in a lot of blade systems as well.

    Some of our sets are:

    12 Basic (baston/sword/daga)

    12 Sunkiti (punta/sword)

    12 Punyo (baston/sword)

    12 Sunkit-Ewa (sword/daga)

    12 Punyo-Ewa (sword)

    12 Sak-sak (daga)

    12 Pakal (daga)

    12 Espada y Daga (sword/punta & daga)

    12 Punta y Daga (sword/punta & daga)

    I am not trying to sell our system right now, my point is they are all based on lines of attack and without them it would be major chaos and confusion to teach new students and preserve the system without them(numbering system sets). Especially since footwork is emphasized with the execution and transition to the next angle of attack. And you gentlemen are correct that you really do not need a large number to be effective. I was hooked by Pendakar teaching me that using footwork you can whoop anyone that comes at you from any angle using just 1 & 2.

    So don't be confused and clouded by numbers, just flow..................
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  10. Guro Dave Gould


    Paikot at De Kadena

    Hi guys,

    Although it seems as if the "Lions share" of Indigenous Pilipino Warrior Arts appear to be comprised of "12 basic strikes" in there "Numerado" or "abecedario", not all systems do.

    For example in Kali "Pekiti-Tirsia" during the 70`s, Tuhon Leo T. Gaje introduced us with the 64 attacks (Abecedario) of that system.

    In "De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal" Manong Jose D Caballero`s "numerado" consisted of only 7 strikes. After which he would "strike by assignment" or "specialize" his grouping or counter to counter measures.

    In "Kali Ilustrisimo" initially "Tatang" Ilustrisimo did not have a "Numerado" at all perse, but rather he prefered to break the rythm of his strikes and counter strikes to make it more difficult for his opponent to predict, intercept and counter his movements. The 5 pillars of the system learned much of his "Movements" as one of these gentlemen would feed strikes to "Tatang" and take the brunt of his counters while the others sat watching and taking notes.

    In Lameco Eskrima we have 12 sets of "Abecedario" totaling 144 strikes or methods of striking in the Beginning level. In the Intermediate level we drift away from the basic "starting" and "finishing" positions of our "Abecedario" in favor of striking "De Kadena". This allows us to have the deceptive appearance of striking a #1 strike but turn it into a #4, #6, #7, #8, #10 or #5, or vice-versa based on opportunity & target approximity. In the advanced levels of Lameco Eskrima we forego the "Abecedario" altogether and strike fluently and non-telegraphically from a 360 degree circle (paikot) based entirely out of opportunity presented in a random & unexpected environment. As we are forced to use hand and body evasions we move our hands in a circle and strike out of necessity from where ever our weapon may be positioned with the target dictating the appropriate strike or counter. Hence no starting position and no finishing position just striking from a fluent circle with intention. To better illustrate this I suggest that you all look at the video clip circulating on "Youtube" where PG Edgar Sulite and "Topher" Ricketts are sparring. This footage shows Punong Guro Sulite striking and countering from "paikot" as opposed to a traditional starting and finishing point as demanded by a "numerado" or "Abecedario".

    The "Numerado" or "Abecedario" of a system is no more than a guide that merely "suggests" how one "may" strike and counter from various angles. However to evolve as a fighter one must convert to a more natural delivery system which enhances the recovery and counter capability from a base which does not announce intent or becomes predictable.

    Go well guys, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  11. tim_stl

    tim_stl Junior Member

    in luzon, 5-strike systems (cinco teros) are common. you can even find 3-strike systems. these numbers are used because they cover the basics of how you can be struck.

    you will also find 7-strike systems (siete colores, siete teros, siete pares, siete palo). one of the histories that i'm familiar with states that the number 7 was chosen based on the original 7 provinces to rebel against spain (same as the eight rays on the flag, minus manila).

    there is a doce pares in laguna, and their use of the number 12 comes from the doce pares de francia, the twelve peers of france (charlemagne's legend).

    then, there are other systems based on 9 or 13 strikes, but i don't know the reasoning for why they chose those numbers.

  12. geezer

    geezer Member

    Thanks Tim for showing that there are many variations besides the 5 and 12 strike versions previously discussed. I had no idea, but considering the diversity of the PI, I'm not surprised. Of course, as others have already pointed out, there are infinite angles of attack. What it boils down to is how do you best train to deliver and respond to them. People who prefer conceptual simplicity favor 5 strikes or less. Others, favoring specificity, go with a dozen or more. I've trained under instructors of both persuasions. But either way, in the end you have to make it work... and that's on you.
  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Geezer I just had Brian "Buzz" Smith up here for a seminar and his numbering system in Kuntaw is 8. I learned 12 in modern arnis and a different variation in another system. Neither quite fit what I do so I modified it to 19 which is perfect for my system.

    I think you will find multiple evolutions of the numbering system all over the place. In the end they can help in training but....... like Mike said earlier what ever works for you. [​IMG]
  14. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    All this discussion is starting to make me wonder what significance "12" has and why a lot of the old bladesmen used only 12 of the 72 angles of 72 like
    Mr. Edmonds mentioned. Guess I'll have to see what GT Nene has to say when I speak to him tomorrow night. Again, using the sets of 12 to give some type of basic structure we would not be able to break it down to teach new practitioners. Try telling them there is no set progression or that there are 144 basic strike and see how many stick around. I have to admit, how I teach depends on the feel of the class. I have met people that like to learn everything they can about strikes 1 & 5 and the no. 5 thrust for a couple of weeks. Then work the in's & out's of each angle before moving on to the next one. But everyones absorbs things differently. Another thing that got me hooked on DTS is the progression. After absorbing the variations, relationships and counters to each angle, it made me appreciate the numbering system. !2 at a time is probably the limit for most new practitioners to learn from anyway.

    We all giggled non-stop watching how simple and effective Crossada(4 strikes) was while Pendakar demonstrated, making John worry if he was going to lose any fingers. Proof again that the size of the number has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the system or the fighter. GT Nene was having a good time watching it too. Cut the poor sap's arms off, but just don't kill him. : )
  15. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    You are right on Christian,

    I was going to ask specifics on that very theme. I thought it had to do with the 12 Gates of Heaven. You might be correct as well, plus there may be multiple reasons or even different reasons for each system.

    God Bless Bro....... R. Michael Schnea
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  16. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    When I teach my students eskrima, I start with the 5 strike abcedario from the sinko tiros system that I was taught from Master Reston, then it progresses to the 12 strike abcedario from the balintawak system that Master Reston taught and finally the dekiti tirsia siradas abcedario that I learned from GM Nene Tortal and Guro John Bednarski.. The number of striking angles are finite when it comes to fighting, you go with what is presented at the time and modify the training that you have to suit the situation at the time of need.. I also found that a lot of instructors don't give respect to their teachers when they are teaching new students the respective abcedario of the system.. But I guess that is one of my pet peeves as the way I was taught, respect to the instructor who took the time to teach you survival skills when the need arises is paramount in passing the history and lineage aspects of the system to the newer generation of students thereby keeping the line of history and culture of the warrior arts is passed on individually and not lost in the sands of time as has been the norm of the past.. But as I said this is what I teach and how I expect my students to pass on the history and culture of what I have taught them how to survive in the world of today and in the future. Nuff said
  17. lameco_alex

    lameco_alex New Member

    Hi guro!

    Guro dave, as usual, every time i read your articles i can learn more about lameco eskrima orehenal and the mentality of punong guro sulite, thank you very much!!!

    See you in september...
  18. Guro Dave Gould


    Why we train?

    Mike Snow,

    You wrote:

    >>> "Try telling them there is no set progression or that there are 144 basic strike and see how many stick around." <<<

    I guess that this is where I differ from alot of people here on this board. My goal is not to become a better teacher but rather to become a more effective fighter. The way that I train is not for everyone, nor was it ever meant to be. I will be the first to admit this as I only seek from myself and my students alike that which matters most, the results. You can analyze anything to death and really not gain any thing significant from it, in the end it is not how much you know or how many certificates are hanging on your wall but rather if you can kill your opponent before he kills you.

    I do not accept children as students and I have only catered primarily to teaching military & special Law enforcement personnel for many many years. A large number of my students are currently fighting in Iraq and Afganistan and to be honest they do not care so much for regimented traditional training perse but rather something that they can learn and use quickly with positive effect. There is only one angle that matters most in a fight and that is the one that works when it has to.

    I train not to be a more likeable training partner but rather I try to be the grain of sand in an oysters shell which aggravates the oyster so much that it is forced to move around in an eternal effort to push the grain of sand out of its shell, because the grain of sand is so painful & annoying that eventually through all of its aggravation and persistant labor a pearl is created.

    I choose an Instructor because of his combative prowess, not because of his international reputation, status in society, or amount of trophies or accolades which he has amassed in the tournament circuit. Abilities are the only thing that matter to me as a practioner, a fighter and yes a teacher. Knowledge is great but it is a poor substitute for actual experience as only the actual experience itself can teach you what works in your time of need and what will get you killed.

    Train well, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  19. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    I teach a simple Cinco Teros (five strikes)...a 3 count Tusok...(thrusts)...a Quatro Quantos ( four corner strike) and a 12 count abecedario. They over lap and all fold into each other...each has the others elements. In this way I can break it down to students who haven't a foggy idea on anything FMA is so much easier teaching a 5 or a 3 and getting them to understand. When they arrive at the 12 count abecedario they are totally accustomed to the strikes..they have seen them all before and ingrained them into their hardrives due to the methodical work in each.
  20. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    Ciento-Cuarenta-Y-Cuatro-Teros is a bit of a mouth full :D

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