Practicing at Home

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by Fiddlesticks, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Fiddlesticks

    Fiddlesticks New Member

    I thought it would be good to talk about how we all practice on our own outside of class. What do you often do you do it...that type of thing. Hopefully it will give some people a new perspective on training at home and give people some new ideas to work into the mix.

    I'm a relative newbie, so I only practice what I know: 12-angles of attack (standard, w/control and slashing), the different stick strikes (abanico, banda y banda, etc.) and the first emptyhand and stick anyos. I do the striking in air since I don't have a dummy or tire to hit.

    Not much to go on but I go with what I know. I try to do these for about 1/2 hour two or three days between classes (classes are only once a week).
  2. young blade

    young blade New Member

    When training at home, I take the chance to cross-train in other systems though books and instructional DVDs, and even online lessons. My practice time varies.
  3. kabaroan

    kabaroan Kabaroan

    When I train at home, I do so as if I were in class going through all the warm ups and drills. I also mentally go through the rationale/explaination behind each each of our Kabaroan drills. I play close attention to proper hand placement and stick orientation. I go through all our anyos (forms) and practice siniwali drills in the air...meeting and merging techniques, etc.

    I have found solo training at home to be just as beneficial as group (more than one person) training in that I can reinforce what I learned and discover the nuances of the art.

    Having said that, getting together with others on non-class days is a great way to learn the art, too.
  4. tellner

    tellner New Member

    Like I said in MT, get a machete. Find some brush. Cut it down. Go with one angle of attack/striking style until whacking away at the stuff becomes effortless with either hand - a few weeks of dedicated clearing. Go on to the next one. While you're doing that use only that striking style to counter other students in class. You'll notice a difference.

    This will do more for your FMA than any other single thing you could try.
  5. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    Exactly what I tell people Todd!

    The thing that has always made people raised in blade cultures so good at fighting with blades is the ability to apply the blade effortlessly and with great precision. They get this ability by living with the blade and using it for everyday life.
    Clearing brush is a great way to practice skills people living in the jungle/bush may have to do daily.
  6. tellner

    tellner New Member

    In America:

    1. Hold the stick like this.
    2. Think of it as a sword. Imagine you are cutting, not thumping.
    3. Make sure your knuckles line up with the direction you are cutting
    4. Use your whole arm and your body
    5. You can cut back and forth
    6. You can cut up and down
    7. You can cut at an angle
    8. Here is a system of numbers to remind you of that
    9. Always remember how far your reach is
    10. This is the "sweet spot" of your weapon. Hit with it.
    11. OK, now that you know how to hold and hit with a stick here's how you slice.
    12. Now we'll try it really carefully with a real blade
    13. ....
    In Southeast Asia:

    1. Hey boy! Pick up that bolo.
    2. You know what you do with the weeds and sugar cane all day? Do that to the other guy.
    3. Don't let him do it to you.
  7. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    My solo training is broken down into 3 basic areas of practice.


    It pretty much sums up everything I’m trying to do martially.

    Power - I place a huge importance on this. An evenly matched test of skill will be decided by power, have power.

    I use stacked tires, a hanging tire man and a log buried in the ground outside. Inside I use an old fire hose filled with sand to act as a thin tough heavy bag.
    I will use live weapons against the log and sticks or trainers against the other devices.

    Power also means speed. Speed of reaction and speed of movement. The Decurdas promotes speed of reaction as the harder you strike it the faster you must react.
    I have in the past used rubber tubing and fitness bands to provide resistance to my strike extension and promote speed in strike retraction. It's kind of like doing plyometrics for hand speed. Live cutting also develops power when you are using heavier target material.

    Precision - Power means nothing if you cannot transfer it to the target.
    I like to use a Decurdas device consisting of a 5' staff tied horizontally to a rope that has a log on the bottom to be used as a weight and secondary target. You can also use the Decurdas to promote flow as you deal with the staff reaction to your strikes. I tape the ends of the staff to act as targets for my weapons. Live blades can be used on the Decurdas, but it can move pretty fast so I normally use trainers and sticks at full speed and live blades at a slower speed.

    Another way to practice precision and power is to cut. Live blade practice on various materials like brush and saplings. Pick a branch and just cut it off then another till the sapling is bare. Then pick a spot on the sapling and try to cut it there, then lower repeat till the sapling is gone. The thing to remember here is “Aim small, miss small” this is target practice for your weapons.
    If you don't personally have brush to clear use cardboard, rolled newspaper, plastic bottles full of water or find someone with an overgrown lot. Ask if they'd pay you to clear it for a few bucks, few will turn you down.

    Flow - I do form slowly to promote smoothness, sometimes it's a form/kata sometimes it's a free form carenza. I go very slowly as if I am moving in mud or doing Tai Chi.
    I've heard it put like this... "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." Speed adds to power so for me flow is inseparable from power.
    During this practice I may use a live weapon and practice drawing it from it's sheath or other uses. I may also use heavier weapons during this. All of this is to try and establish proper body mechanics and promote power with precision.
    The Decurdas also promotes flow in the way you have to react to the staff as it reacts to being hit. Intuitive reaction is a big part of flow and the Decurdas can help develop this.

    My normal solo training progression starts with Flow to warm up and work form and then Precision ending the session with Power. During Power phase I like to combine all three so that I am generating power applying it to a precise target and flowing to the next available target.
  8. viejo

    viejo New Member

  9. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    This is great! Yeah, life experience like that is hard to replicate.
  10. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

  11. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

    I have an article in the works with pictures on this subject and my post was from the first draft.

    I'll link to it when it's up on the web.
  12. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Home practice for me is a breakdown of what I find important for my personal protection plan. I have an emphasis on being tactically fit. I do kettle bells and body weight exercises daily as well as power walk 2-3 miles a day 5 days a week. Not only does this promote good health but it also aids in my recovering from those oh so persistent dings one receives while training. I also feel that to be fit is a key element in surviving a violent situation.

    I also do a lot of Qigong (8 pieces of brocade) as well as meditation..this helps a lot with the stress one may obtain...I also do the old Goju Katas I learned many moons ago..Sanchin (3 battles) and tensho (breathing hands)...these aren't for combat but they do train ones mind body and spirit...and the iron vest element doesn't hurt either!

    I also set aside ample training time for firearms and their subsequent tactical usage, to include range time and the time to venture off to some very solid training courses..i.e. Hoffners, Tiger Valley etc. etc...This to me is a grossly over looked element that I personally find to be a must in the modern world. I strongly advocate firearm training.

    I teach three days a week each session being 2 hours minimum..not only do I teach my psycho band of 7 but I also get into the mix and do everything they do and more..this is an excellent way to train as well as teach. On my non teaching days I truly do not have a set pattern of how I train, whatever comes to me comes to me....I may do footwork for an hour in the morning and then get a wild hair later that evening and do some live blade flow work. Or I may do some Baringin Sakti foot work till I puke and then get froggy and grab a sibat and do some sibat work. hell some days I just 3 2 minute rounds of shadow boxing and then go into three 2 minute rounds of heavy bag just all depends on what floats my leaky ass boat at that second!

    I also advocate me we all need a day off to completely recoup our bodies..especially those of us who are in our mid to me is just that..doing nothing, vegging out and chilling into oblivion..on those days I don't even think martial arts, training etc...I simply unplug and relax. Monday comes soon enough and I am back at it...such is life!
  13. madmicah

    madmicah New Member

    hey guys - great thread! i think alot of us (including us kali/jkd guys) feel like we don't get enough reps in class and are always looking for tips like the ones you all are laying out.

    not sure if the arnis folks use the same principles of footwork as in JKD/Kali.... But, as an FMA newbie, one thing i have found useful for practicing footwork at home has been to trace out the "male" and "female" triangles of JKD on my floor using blue painting tape.

    basically, outlined two triangles, one triangle and its mirror image, tip to tip, with the tape. this allows me to practice moving along those triangular lines while working my stick/knife angles. helps the marriage that i can cover them up with a carpet, too. :)
  14. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Draw you star pattern and work all six angles.....draw a box around them and work your lanka empat footwork........draw a figure eight and walk a few short all connects and it's all good....just let it cool water ...........if we dig deeper I believe we will see light!!
  15. viejo

    viejo New Member

  16. Bill Bednarick

    Bill Bednarick Junior Member

  17. viejo

    viejo New Member

    Hey Bill,

    many thanks for sharing.....I guess many will find really heplfull what you wrote here and the pics showing how to do....
    Will be waiting for the second one..
    best regards
  18. Dagadiablo

    Dagadiablo New Member

    Go to the park at night and hit a tree. Go all out using all striking patterns and circle the tree with correct footwork. It will teach you quicly how to ccordinate your upper and lower body to maximize power. Have fun!

  19. RE-123

    RE-123 New Member

    Home Made practice dummy

    I made a crude practice dummy for using my sticks at home. It was basically a 2 x 4 upright. I used some cross braces on the bottom to make a stand. Then I took 2 arms length 1 inch pvc pipes and bolted them to the 2x4. One angled up and one angled down.

    From there, I was able to practice my sinawalli drills, disarms, and strike patterns.

    A tree works good too.
    I bought Remy Presas book on Moden Arnis. It has some good drills as well.
    I try to practice a couple times a week if I can.
  20. tim prater

    tim prater New Member

    Good ideas
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014

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