Training in multiple styles

Discussion in 'General' started by geezer, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. geezer

    geezer Member

    Some folks find a great instructor and a great system, and stick with them religiously. Others flit from one style to another. It's kind of like dating habits. With martial arts and women, when I found a good one, I stuck with 'em. Well almost. I'm committed to two martial arts, but only have one wife.

    Now within the FMA's, cross training is a bit more common than in some martial arts. Many systems seem to have a lot in common, but others seem more contradictory in approach, making it harder to cross-train. How many of you have trained in multiple styles of FMAs? And, if you continue to practice more than one FMA, how do you reconcile the contradictions between systems?
  2. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    The system I train in uses multliple styles of FMA and is a hybrid. We take what works and don't use what doesn't. There are many martial arts that do the same thing. It seems to be getting more common. If something from one style doesn't flow with what we already have, we don't use it a whole lot, but usually will train with it to learn it enough to know how to work with it.

    An example is that we usually will strike and then grab like in the Lacoste system, but we learn how to grab and then strike like in other systems. Sometimes you won't be able to get the stick there in time and will have to parry with the hand or you will be against someone who uses it.
  3. This is an area that I have been thinking about recently. It is very easy to become blinkered within Martial Arts. Like it or not most systems have the "Our style is effective because we do this and they do that" indoctrination of students. I am no different from other students in this regard.

    So, before considering cross training I think honesty and an objective eye is essential. I think there was a thread on here not so long back by "The Phalanax" about cross training and what your system "lacks".

    Quite often it is the person who is lacking and not the system. Many of us are truly blessed to be learning from Masters who have devised some pretty comprehensive systems. Unfortunately, I feel that sometimes people cross train to make up for their own deffeciencies in learning. However, to take one extreme example it is logical if you are a striker to train some grappling and vice versa.

    My personal opinion is that your time and money are finite barriers to learning everything that you want in life. For me learning is quicker when it fits in with what you already know and the almagamation of the parts makes you stronger. The reason I have been shy in "cross training" before is the confusion placed on my body. When I first took Wing Chun after Karate my fist would be at my side and not in front of me. When I took my current FMA style after previous FMA / Wing Chun my feet were too immobile and lacked (and still lack!) the necessary fluidity most exercises call for.

    Applying this to FMA it seems that no system is not influenced by other arts. It is very rare that the GMs just trained one system of arnis before becoming a master of it. For me I think that studying the driving forces behind the creation of our arts is a very worthwhile exercise. It honours where the art has come from and gives you a better understanding of your Master's vison of it.
  4. Guro Dave Gould


    Training for Survival.

    Hi guys,

    I hope that all is well with everyone. By the way great topic geezer! Now for my response.

    I see nothing wrong with training outside of ones system, style or group. As a matter of fact I feel that it is absolutely essential that one does. Some times we need a fresh perspective of a person standing on the outside looking in to be able to enhance our own perception of what combat is. When we get caught up in our own styles and become used to the same training partner we begin to anticipate and react based on predictable actions which we have become accustomed to based on years of training with one system or one training partner.

    This translates itself as being overly complacent in ones training environment. When we train with weakness and compromise they will follow us into the streets, to prevent weakness and compromise from following us into the streets we must first remove them from our training environment, threby aligning our training environment with the realistic environment where we will be expected to perform in defense of life and limb.

    Fighting is about reacting to the unexpected, not giving a textbook response to a choreographed attack. Fighting happens in real time so one must train in real time in order to be effective. The opportunities that one perceives when one trains slow will be different than the same opportunities presented in real time. My Instructor; Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite used to teach us that you could drive a truck through the window of opportunity presented when training slow and out of rythm with reality as opposed to opportunity based in real time where one would be hard pressed to get a finger through before it closes on you.

    In Lameco Eskrima we were taught that our Master was just a guide in our combative development thusly we were made to adopt the "Combative situation" itself as our teacher. Experience speaks volumes concerning all things combative and the more experience that you have dealing with the situation at hand the more informed you will be as to what works for you in your time of need and what does not. We train to prepare for sparring, we spar to prepare for fighting, we fight to prepare for survival & we survive to gain one more day on this crazy planet of ours. Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite often stated that: "An ounce of combative truth was worth a pound of speculation" in other words one hour of fighting was more valuable than 12 hours of training redundant drills in a non-aggressive compliant training environment.

    Lameco Eskrima was influenced by 5 major systems and 6 minor systems and believe it or not there are no contradictions in combining all of this knowledge. In Lameco Eskrima the weapon, weapon combination or range dictates which influence (system) will govern the useage of said weapon, weapon combination or range in accordance with each unique combative situation at hand. The way that you strike with a stick will be different than the way that you will strike with a sword, which will be different than the way that you will strike with a knife. To further complicate things even more important the way that you will have to recover centerline and distance will also vary from weapon to weapon in addition to how hard you will have to fight to do it.

    So when we fight "Itak" or "Itak-at-Baraw" for example we adhere to the principles of "Kali-Ilustrisimo". When we fight "Solo-Baston" or "Doble-Baston" we adhere to the principles of "De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal". When we fight "Baraw" we adhere to the principles of "Kali-Pekiti-Tirsia", etc... This keeps contradictions to a minimal and allows one to concentrate on the situation at hand which is to survive the situation with ones life at all cost.

    Only by stepping out of complacency and keeping challenged by ones training will one be allowed to grow as a warrior in training. When you know what your training partner will do time and time again this is not keeping yourself challenged in your training. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to reach out and "play" with others from different systems, styles and groups for no other reason than to keep your training new and force yourself to perceive and react against the unexpected element of combat and wean yourself off of responding to the overly expected (mundane) element of repetition which one can expect from the same training partner or approach in training year after year after year...

    Train well guys, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  5. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    do you mean this one?
  6. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas

    Combat always evolves... Learn new systems and arts, cross train, and adapt to each situation...

    And as always, spar, spar, and spar to test your skills...
  7. Enganyo

    Enganyo New Member

    My findings are pretty similar to the gentlemen above.

    Re: Multiple FMA styles. I've never done so at the same time but I have played opposite styles when training. I'll give a real simple example.

    Style #1 likes point up/Box style blocks for medio to corto range and rarely cross body taps. A mostly stick style with few patterns and drills, few disarms, with distance gauging over touch/sensitivity techniques.

    Style #2 likes all the FMA blocks (box,wings, deflections, fans) at various ranges, more drills, techniques, and has sensitivity type drills and patterns.
    You wouldn't have a fighter in a shorter time than in Style #1 though.

    Results with flow and sparring exercises.
    With Style #2 players, I'd hit block and hit hard enough but I'd gas before my partners. I'd also get hit from other angles or to targets (like leg hits) because in Style#1, things like leg hits weren't as emphasized. We literally would end up fighting like each other.

    With Style #1 players, I'd try more sensitivity type moves and I noticed my disarms were better because Style#2 had given more training time to them. I could also vary my tempo and give insights into other drills that Style#2 emphasized (like mult opponent drills).

    I find value in both styles but find GREATER value in finding a venue where I can try different moves against various attacks, in various situations, and against people.
  8. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    This is an interesting discussion. I find the idea of training in multiple styles valuable which probably explains why I do it myself - LOL. However, one thing I might say as a word of caution is that training in multiple styles that are similar such as doing more than one FMA at a time is probably more well suited to someone who is quite advanced in their first art. Someone who is a beginner or intermediate student in their first FMA is not likely to really know what things need to be brought in from other arts as they have not yet gotten to a significant level of depth in their first one. I would suspect that those people would probably be better served adding a ground fighting art or something else unrelated to their first art rather than another FMA.

    Having said all that, I can easily see someone with a very high level of skill and knowledge in one FMA branching out to fill in what they perceive are gaps in their first art or their own skill set. So many of the great masters did just that which led to many of the arts we all study today. To me, that makes far more sense than a beginning student doing the same.

    Again, interesting discussion.

  9. geezer

    geezer Member

    Interesting. Your description of "Style #1" sounds a lot like my first style. Box system, primarily using sticks, emphasizing a few simple, direct techniques with attention to distance, timing, and heavy-duty power generation.

    I now work in another system that is more varied. I really enjoy the greater variety of techniques and feel like it's making me more versatile. But, when pressed in sparring, for better or worse, I still fall back on the old stuff.
  10. Guro Dave Gould


    Multiple Person Altercations


    I hope that all is well. You wrote:

    >>> "Interesting. Your description of "Style #1" sounds a lot like my first style. Box system, primarily using sticks, emphasizing a few simple, direct techniques with attention to distance, timing, and heavy-duty power generation."<<<

    Just out of curiosity what was your first style to which you made reference? So that I may get a more general idea of how you may move.

    You also wrote:

    >>> "I now work in another system that is more varied. I really enjoy the greater variety of techniques and feel like it's making me more versatile. But, when pressed in sparring, for better or worse, I still fall back on the old stuff." <<<

    As for me I always fall back on my confidense system(s) when forced to respond to crisis situations. Concerning Single Stick or Double Stick material my confidense system is "De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal". Concerning sword, machete or knife material my confidense system is "Kali Ilustrisimo". Concerning firearms my confidense systems are "Military Special Weapons" training & "SIMS" training where clearing a "kill house" is required while responding to random unexpected threats and retaliation.

    In accepting and relying on a chosen confidense system, what ever you feel works best for you in your time of need comes forward most prevalent when dictated by an unexpected crisis situation without conscious thought but rather by precise perception & reaction with a heightened sense of awareness toward ones immediate environment.

    Your last comment really grabbed my attention: "But, when pressed in sparring, for better or worse, I still fall back on the old stuff." That is because as much as you would like to use techniques, concepts or principles requiring more versatility and skill, combat reveals itself to us in an uncompromised realistic time line (real time) which dictates exclusively what we will have time to respond with in defense of life and limb. As well as those things which we will not have time to respond with in real time when caught unaware or unprepared.

    It has been my experience that in general the more invloved a technique, concept or principle the less effective it will be on the street for this very reason. When provoked more than not the shortest distance from the point of initation to the point of contact will be what is required and thusly called upon. In combat it is the most imediate response to the most imediate threat which will decide if you will live or if you will be forced to embrace death. So the more simplistic the response the more effective the gain will be with limited collateral damage to self received in turn.

    When training Lameco Eskrima with Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite it was common to spar alot. It was required to spar with him after every private class that I had with him, this really placed things into clear perspective. I discovered very early on that what would work well against my peers on my own level of expertise would not work as well, if at all, against him on his skill level. So often I was at odds with what I would like to do vs. what I had time to do as reality was deviated and slammed hard into my conscious mind in terms of revealing to me what I had to respond with in accordance with the most minute opportunity revealed to me.

    As well it was quite common in our "SOG" gatherings to fight 1 against 3 or more with various weapons and weapon combinations. This really placed things into a much clearer perspective concerning street combatives. Against 1 the time line is fast enough but against 3 or more the time line is so advanced that anything beyond basic in nature would not be permitted as you are striking at one, the other two are inflicting major damage on your person, so the recovery of ones strikes and counter strikes are very pressing with limited chance of success. Against 5 or more, forget about it in this environment you realise just how human we really are, and how fragile the human bady can be.

    To better ourselves as warriors in training it comes down to challenging your self in training moreso than merely "what" you are training, for as long as we remain challenged we will always move and strike out of necessity as opposed to moving and striking out of choice or complacency. Its all about he greater gain with limited retaliation in turn concerning all things combative.

    Go well, geezer, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  11. Enganyo

    Enganyo New Member

    Geezer, Guro Dave pretty much said everything I wanted to. I myself have reverted to Style #1 and would teach elements of it to a family member or someone with limited time.

    For me to revert to Style #1's techniques and strategies, a few things would have to happen some of which Guro D mentioned. I'll call it "uneven" factors and a lot of them get combined.

    Ex. #1 My training partner has both physical attributes and/or/maybe a different weapon advantage. Bigger guy with heavier stick with a more aggressive attack than I can or would like to deal with. This is a generic example but the point is I can access the moves I want.

    #2. I'm too tired to do the move I want. "Can't duck and launch hook. Must parry and jab and talk like Shatner."

    #3. My ego or mind gets involved
    "What? He block/hit me harder than everyone else. Well take that!
    "Move from Style #2 or Today's Lesson won't work against an attack of that much speed, power, or timing but Yesterday's material will"
    "This move can ONLY work against THIS attack"

    #4. Add elements from above points or throw in some outside factors like Guro D. mentions.

    Point #3 has krept up a lot in the last few years and it is the sticky point especially in sparring type scenarios. I've had to readjust mentally and say this is a simulation and to give the techniques (new material or application) an honest try.

    On a deeper note is the context of time for training, for me, right now. I have a small arsenal of moves, I don't have any sort of known conflict to enter, and I have the ability to try and work the conflicts out. So I can try the fancy AND I can have a deeper understanding of the mechanics and why I may/may not use it.
  12. geezer

    geezer Member

    Guro Dave, you made a good points about falling back to your "confidence systems". And also, there is a matter of falling back to the kind of movements that are are most deeply rooted in your brain. So the fact that I wrestled as a youth still affects my movements if I'm grappled, even though I haven't been on the mat in more than 35 years. Similarly, if I find myself in a stand-up and striking empty-handed situation, the many years I did in Wing Tsun/Chun (starting back in '79) takes over. So I'd have to say that these are really my foundation.

    As far as FMA "Style 1" goes, I began with Rene Latosa back in the mid 1980's. It was simple, direct and explosive. Then in the 90's I drifted away from the martial arts for many years. Since I've come back to train again, there is a lot more available in my area (Phoenix) and I've met a lot of highly skilled people. Currently, I train with Martin Torres. His system is more eclectic, has more blade emphasis... but most significantly for me, has very subtle and effective off-lining and angling. As a smallish (5'8" 160 lb.), older individual, I really appreciate learning ways to side-step, deflect, and use an opponent's power rather than confronting it.
  13. Enganyo

    Enganyo New Member

    Geezer, I'll probably write up my WC training experience (what I liked and didn't) for you to look at. Might be good for a laugh or two.
  14. Enganyo - could you post it in the other arts forum?

    I also previously trained Wing Tsun / Latosa before moving to the Philippines (but no where near as much as Geezer) and would love to read your thoughts and maybe add my own.
  15. Enganyo

    Enganyo New Member

    EKA, I'll do that and stick a quick intro or something. :)
  16. Guro Dave Gould


    "Short List"


    I hope that all is well with you and that your training is generating positive results. You wrote:

    >>> "Guro Dave, you made good points about falling back to your "confidence systems". And also, there is a matter of falling back to the kind of movements that are are most deeply rooted in your brain." <<<

    Absolutely! Which leads me to something thay my very good friend and Lameco Eskrima brother Steve Grody and I were discussing some time ago. Steve has what he has compiled as his "short list" concerning street combatives. This list only includes the most simplistic and effective material which he has come to unconditionally rely on in training, sparring and fighting, to be used exclusively should he be suddenly and unexpectedly accosted on the street.

    It is this material, his compiled "short list" which he trains most, so that in his time of need the material on this list will reveal itself based on sub-conscious reaction as opposed to a very time consuming conscious selection & planned action process. He feels that the least which is required of conscious thought in ones time of need the quicker the reaction & more successful the results. I have to agree with him on this.

    So out of my "confidence system(s)" comes my "short list" which is made up of only those things which I know for a fact that I can can depend on in my own time of need as based on numerous actual experiences of fighting in addition to thousands of hours of sparring, most of which was done without protective equipment.

    Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite had the same idea and trained to depend only on the basics of the system. He would often say that: "In fighting 95% of what we will use will be basic in nature, so the basics are what are required to be mastered, not the advanced". He would also state that "most styles invest more of their time constructing their "towers of defense" while placing it on a very poorly planned out and laid foundation, & as soon as the earth begins to shake even a little their structure comes tumbling to the ground". Which is why he always demanded of us his students to spend the majority of our time establishing a strong foundation of combative movement so that "combative movement" itself will be the foundation which is relied upon as opposed to the structure which is built upon it. He would say that: "it is better to have only a 1 story dwelling built on a very strong and well planned foundation than it is to have an 8 story structure built quickly on a weak foundation. For as son as the ground begins to shake the weak foundation will give way and the 8 story structure will come tumbling in on itself, where as the single story dwelling built on the well planned and strongly laid out foundation will not be affected and stand the test of time".

    Which is why I spend the majority of my time sparring and training in real time as opposed to nurturing numerous compliant training drills with excessive limitations and restrictions. It is important to focus on combative attributes in an environment where we are held fully accountable for all things which we do in combat, or refuse to do. So my personal "short list" comprises mostly of combative attributes such as: Speed, timing, power, position, recovery, perception & reaction, non-telegraphic striking, deception, line-deviation, clearing obstructions, manufacturing opportunity, counter to counter & centerline interrogation.

    To place things in a clearer perspective, I train to solely to master the ability to move with intention in a non-compliant environment stearnly governed by the laws of cause & effect, for if I can move with intention with all of my combative attributes in tow and working in unison any technique which I choose to use will be effective, for the delivery system is more important than the technique itself.

    In Lameco Eskrima, Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite taught us that: "when we do our "Abecedario" we have both the basic and advanced portions of the system presented to us at the same time". He would also tell us that: "An advanced technique in Lameco Eskrima was a basic technique, only refined to rid itself of any wasted motion and attached vulnerabilities". We were further instructed that: " An advanced technique shouldnt require more from its user but rather less, because in combat less is more".

    Anyway I am sure that you get the gyst of what I am saying. If we adopt the actual event itself as our training model the results gained will be more, refined applicable & less compromised than training received in an overly compliant training environment that anchors itself in complacency, unrealistic guarantees and majestic grandieur of illusion concerning ones combative movement or lack there of.

    Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite used to tell us that: "When we allow our abilities to speak for us there will be need for very few words. A man can make his mouth say anything but his abilities will either confirm or deny the words coming out of mans mouth. Always be wary of the man that only speaks for his abilities and respect the man that allows his abilities to speak for him, for in the language of combative movement there can be no deception as it is what it appears to be".

    Go well, Geezer, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  17. adam t babb

    adam t babb New Member

    i have noticed in the video i have seen that there are a lot of similarities between the systems.
  18. Guro Dave Gould




    Hi, I hope that all is well with you. I was hoping that you could expound on what you wrote so that I may understand your comments more clearly. You wrote:

    >>> " I have noticed in the video I have seen that there are a lot of similarities between the systems." <<<

    Question #1: To which video are you referring? (Featured Instructor & Title).

    Question #2: Which systems in specific are you comparing and finding similarities?

    Thank you. Ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  19. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Have a core / root system or style,but definitely cross train with as many people as you can - see what is out there.

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