Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by fangjian, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Hi Everyone,

    Does anyone here play the tapi-tapi where both of you break the standard patterns and 'duel' ?

    All the demos I see on yt are only of one person 'feeding' the strikes and the other defending, countering the head and basically going through the motions. Anyone know of tapi-tapi videos where you both are 'feeding and defending' ?
  2. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Starting around 1:45 or so, they start playing the tapi-tapi. They are going very slow, but they are playing around a bit with the concept of countering. [yt]IXU9J4H9080[/yt]

    Anyone know of any other videos where both players go random a bit?
  3. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    I am surprised nobody ever answered this post since I think it is an interesting question. Maybe the topic has already been discussed too often? I don't know.

    Anyway, I don't see much in the way of "randomised" practise in this video. They are mostly going through the tapi-tapi patterns and train disarms from them (like the uploader says himself in the description). I agree that there is at least a little more effort put into countering than you usually see in the tapi-tapi videos, however, from what I understand, countering the partner's tapi-tapi entries and techniques is something they only start to do at rather high grade levels in Modern Arnis.

    In any case, a search for Dieter Knuettel on Youtube will turn up lots of videos in which he can be seen doing tapi-tapi with beginners and advanced students. It's an interesting watch. Not really much in the way of countering to be found either, though.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  4. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    On second thought, I guess you could say it is "randomised" practice in a similar way that combining groups 1 through 5 is. You don't know which pattern is gonna be done next, but the patterns themselves stay the same at first.
  5. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

    This highlights a big problem I have with Balintawak practice; the fact that the student (defender) is expected to reply with only head strikes. Even when you play so that the defender must reverse the role and become the agak the guy who now finds himself defending is expected to only srike to the head! Surely the best way to reverse the palakaw is to give a strike not to the head and break the programming. In playing with another stylist I have found that this programming or getting stuck in modes as I like to call it is really hard to break out of. I find that once I am in agak mode or defender mode I automatically adopt the strikeing constraints of the role I am playing except for briefly when stealing (reversing) the flow (roles); anyone else in balintawak get this?
    Have found that allowing the defender to counterstrike either to head or mid level as it pleases him totally changes the game and as some stylists automatically counter to the belly it means changing the entire gameplan putting more preassure on the agak to bring in variations from groupings. Allow the defender to counter with thrusts and you really have to up your game.
    Well thats my opinion / experience anyhow.
  6. Cochise

    Cochise Member


    I think I know what you mean, but we don't have groupings in our Balintawak, so my knowledge of advanced palakaw ( like counters, role reversals, etc.) in the systems using the grouping style is very limited.
  7. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

    Role reversal simply put would be this, I start off as the agak and you defend as normal;when you see an opportunity to counterstrike and to continue to counterstrike causing me to concentrate on defending then you become the agak and I the defender. How easy this is or not I guess could depend on at what stage of developement you allow students to counter with double strikes for instance!
    In my own experience of balintawak the basic palakaw is rather too much turn based ie. my turn to strike now your turn to block counter now my turn, your turn, the student always countering to the head! If this is the way you practice then try allowing the student to counterstrike with a #3 for instance from defending his left; it just puts a little more pressure on the agak to be creative. : )
  8. Cochise

    Cochise Member


    I knew what you meant by role reversal ;) I just meant to say that I don't exactly know how and when it is technically applied in other Balintawak styles. As far as my own practice: Under Guro Roser, as soon as the student has developed sufficient striking accuracy and solid body mechanics, the whole thing can and will be turned into a free flowing exercise anyway.

    How do we get back to the Tapi-Tapi topic from this? :)
  9. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

    I guess the tapi tapi as mentioned by the op is really more of a free form sparring!
    Fangjian, do you mean free flow give and take but still confining the actions within certain boundaries? If so what constraints are you imposing?
  10. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    I agree it would be good if Fangjian chimed in again so we could try and discuss what he was actually asking about :)

    In my opinion, as far as training methods like the tapi-tapi or palakaw, there have to be certain "rules" in place, otherwise it is completely free sparring (which quickly turns into wildly flailing sticks when it comes to beginners). We just remove more and more constraints as the student gets better and better on the way to cuentada practice - but the moves and reactions have to stay fast, powerful, and efficient, or it would be useless to train them in the first place; so in the end, it really does come back to basics everytime, what changes is the proficiency in doing them and the timing. So it may look different in advanced stages, but it stays the same nonetheless :)
  11. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Hi all,

    Basically I have never seen Modern Arnis players at a high level in this Tapi Tapi duel, so I don't know what I am looking for exactly. Just more. That's all.

    Like the Grouped method of Balintawak. Many people have seen videos on youtube where all they do is basically 'stick to the pattern'. So naturally, many people come to the conclusion that "Villasin/Velez styles are missing some things". This is of course false in some ways. Many times it is just not displayed. We free play and duel just like you see others do ( I'm sure some don't though ). There's just not many videos yet. It would be analagous to watching Atillo Balintawak videos and all that is displayed is the 'mother sparring' ( I think that's what it's called ), and thinking 'they don't really play for real'.

    When I watch Tapi Tapi videos, I don't wanna jump to any conclusions. I would just love to see some eskrimadors that know how to do duel with it. If you watch the basics of it, you can see that 'all of the information is there'. As ya'll know there's nearly an infinite amount of counters so it takes time to develop. I know with MA, it kinda has everything and you can 'go where you want with it'. Be it Self Defense, Double Stick, Knife, etc. Are there any MA players that really dedicated a lot of time to develop the Tapi Tapi and corto/medio dueling? Anyone know of any good videos?
    Also I picked up Dieter Knuttel's Tapi Tapi dvd some years ago, which does have a lot of good stuff in it. But it is just instruction in all the basics. There's no free play

    But really, I just want to meet other eskrimadors from other styles that like to train corto/medio and cross sticks with them and play. Know what I mean? I want to meet eskrimadors in Balintawak, Modern Arnis, PTK, etc that can give me some trouble and help me develop my own skill.
  12. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    Hi there bro,

    I do indeed understand what you mean. Also, I never felt like any of the postings here were about conclusions or about one being better than the other. I agree with you that a lot of the Balintawak videos out there mostly show grouping patterns, which is why most people assume that there is absolutely no largo mano in Balintawak, which is not really true. Also, more recent videos of Teovel Balintawak - including your own ones - do show a bit more than going through patterns. As far as GM Atillos sparring drills, he has done a whole lot of structuring his system into smaller components and sparring drills. I assume that was done in order to make it easier to teach it to larger groups of people. I'd be happy to further discuss these things with you via PM or something :)

    What I would be hugely interested in is whether the different Masters and Grandmasters of Modern Arnis have mostly the same approach to tapi-tapi (because the basis is probably at least very similar), or if some peoples' take on it substantially differs from others'.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  13. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    From what I have seen, this thing they call the Tapi Tapi was done more so later in the development of Modern Arnis. I've never seen any videos of Modern Arnis players in The Philippines playing that way. Their stuff looks more like Sumbrada style type of execution of techniques. They don't seem to 'stay in the pocket' as much as American Modern Arnis (Tapi-Tapi) players do. All of that may be due to a lot of Remy Presas' corto/medio stuff, came from Anciong Bacon, and I think Bacon told him not to teach it. So I would imagine he taught his other material more so.
  14. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    That is exactly my observation, too, from my experience with DAV MA players and watching the Masters and Grandmasters in the Philippines.

    Btw. I have added you on facebook to further discuss the Balintawak question if you want to :)
  15. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Ok. I don't think I have a balintawak question though. More so, a modern arnis question which is, Any MA players here that have medio/corto dueling ?? Any videos? Etc
  16. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    No worries, question was the wrong choice of word. I meant to say 'topic' :) In spite of all the studying, English is still only a second language for me, hehe.
  17. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

  18. KAF

    KAF New Member

    Hey guys,

    to me Tapi tapi is learning the traps, locks and throws in a flow while also learning to break the distance from largo - medio - corto. In the beginning, we do teach it in a prearranged manner but sooner or later, we start doing it completely randomly and high speed, while yes, one person is always the feeder. One can play completely randomly, where both players become feeders, but then the whole purpose of the flow is more or less out the window and it all becomes quite an unrealistic medio-corto “sparring“ unless you start digging deep into Balintawak.
    Some Balintawak styles (even the link above) are very good at freeplay, but then again, i guess its what you are looking for in your martial arts (FMA) training.

    GM Dieter Knuttel, Bambit Dulay, Ken Smith and Gaby Roloff are amazing at Tapi tapi and a real joy to watch and learn from!

    Tapi tapi is something i enjoy performing and training tremendously. Its what dragged me to Modern arnis. But while it is a very valuable tool, i believe one should not be too stuck in it. IMHO the purpose of Tapi tapi is to “hard wire“ a practitioner to apply the Tapi skill set in a practical scenario while performing numerous repetitions.
    But then one should apply it, for example from long distance - breaking into medio distance, applying ONE of the numerous TAPI TAPI elements finishing the opponent. I call this “Applied tapi tapi“.

    For example from 1:00 - 1:15 i (more tapi tapi in this video) where i simply make an entry, “tapi“ lock (disarm) and then finish.

    Studying in the Philippines, particularly with GM Cristino Vasquez 10.DAN, made me reconsider my training of sumbrada - tapi tapi ... Multiple opponents and beating me up repeatedly with a long stick made me realize, that even a roof block can be a science to apply in a full contact sparring, when someone is really trying to hit me on the head :) That made me understand the importance of Classical arnis. Thus we do a lot of sparring and we learned to recognize the importance of largo mano techniques and respect the science of breaking the distance applying Tapi tapi elements. These are, in many cases, simply cherry on the cake, once you have done everything right to deserve the right of being there to apply it :)

    Being too stuck in a drill, any drill or even a single fighting distance, can make us fail to understand the importance of other aspects of training. Similar to many Wing chun people being to stuck in Chi Sao. While trapping is important and one can even sort of “spar“ with chi sao, forgetting about the long distance kicking and punching and well as grappling and ground fighting can bring quite a painful experience in a full contact, no reserve scenario. Its a great drill with huge benefits but at the end of the day its still only a drill.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  19. Cochise

    Cochise Member

    Thanks for your detailed reply. Nice video.

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