Dekiti Tersia Siradas Seminar--Review.

arnisador

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Today I went to Day 1 of a two-day seminar on this system in Terre Haute, IN (details here). The chief instructor was Jerson "Nene" Tortal, assisted by his son Jerson "Nene" Tortal, Jr. The host was Mike Snow, and P. Greg Alland was present as a guest.

The morning started with the 12-count striking drill. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I actually learned something new for the simple lateral strikes (Modern Arnis strikes #3 and 4.) Following that we learned extensions of these strikes, most of which were things I usually see only in twirling but that were being taught as specific techniques here. It got me thinking about some of the moves I do while twirling. Then we did some blocks and counters, emphasizing both their footwork (always stepping first on a 45 degree angle with the lead foot, then dragging the back foot up and around so that they end at roughly a right angle to where they started), and the principle of cupping under the elbow with the free hand's palm in order to control it. For many things we practiced, Mr. Tortal (the senior) personally worked it with every single student before we went on.

After lunch we focused on disarms. We did stick on stick for the first several numberred strikes, then stick on blade and empty hand on blade. (The blade was simulated with a stick for most of us.) The day ended with an impressive demonstration by Mr. Tortal (the senior) of stick vs. staff.

Afterwards a group went out to dinner at a local restaurant. Everyone was invited, but I was unable to go.

Most of the teaching was done by Mr. Tortal, assisted by his son. Mr. Alland was very available--he worked with me (and others) over lunch and during the brief breaks, as well as answering questions while we were practicing. I believe that one of the other assistants was his son but am not certain of this.

I'm enjoying my intro. to this system. I also got to meet two FMA practitioners who live in town but lack training partners :D and, to my present surprise, saw fellow Modern Arnis practitioner Scott VanDerzee. He came all the way down from Michigan for the event! There were 20+ attendees, which is very good for this small town.

There was a great atmosphere at this event--very friendly, very helpful. I'm looking forward to tomorrow!
 
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Joe Eccleston

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Hi arnisador... sounds like fun!!!

How different, or similar, are GM Tortal's Dekiti Tersia to GM Gaje's Pekiti Tirsia? Is Dekiti focus on blades as well? Have fun tomorrow... Joe
 
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arnisador

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I don't have any experience with Leo Gaje's teachings, and just a brief experience with Pekiti Tirsia (at a WMAA camp), so I'm afraid I can't comapre. Today the sword was used more often than I see at most FMA events I attend. We spent a fair amount of time disarming the sword, for example. So, I definitely see the blade focus! We'll see what happens tomorrow.
 

Rich Parsons

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Nice Review Arni!

I wish I could have been there also :).

Sounds like good training.
 
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TPM

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Thanks for the review, it was very informative! I will be at the Chicago seminar on April 24th. I am hoping that there is some emphasis on using the butt end of the sticks. I like it close! Thanks again.

Tom Murray
 
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arnisador

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Day 2 of the seminar started with a review of the 12 angles and then added hooking-style and punyo strikes. (Every angle is done four ways: Broken striking, meaning with retraction; continuous, that is, with follow-through; hooking; and punyo.) We then did disarms with stick against stick and stick against sword, including the hooking and punyo strikes. Once again Mr. Tortal (the senior) worked with every student on most techniques--every student, every time. Students practiced amongst themselves while this went on. There was a series of demonstrations by the teaching staff when the local news crew came to film--it was the lead story on the 6 o'clock news--then after a bit more practicing (with beginners in the FMA separated out to practice some basic sinawalis) we broke for lunch. (As with my review of Day 1, I am going from memory so I may be out-of-order or I may forget something.) Lunch was cut a bit short as the host, Mr. Snow, once again insisted we not lose any instruction time due to issues like the time taken by the film crew.

In the afternoon we did stick defenses against knife attacks, including disarms of the knife. There was a demonstration of defending against a knife with the arms tied together in the front. We also did some empty hand knife disarms. Interesting variations included a defense against an attack from behind and a defense for when one person tries to hold you while his ally tries to knife you. Some of the focus was lost in the late afternoon as the participants began to slow down and the instructors did the paperwork for participation and instructor certificates. (The organization is trying to grow and so they offered an "Instructor Candidate" status to instructors from other FMAs.) The seminar ended on time but the staff stayed around to chat.

Once again, Messrs. Tortal and Mr. Alland (and his son) were very available. The senior Mr. Alland worked individually with people through much of lunc--how often do you see that?--and during any breaks. The junior Mr. Alland spoke at great length with me (and others) about the system, in addition to helping people who were having difficulty with the techniques. (Certainly that included me from time to time!) I was really impressed by how pleasant and helpful the teaching staff was.

Some things that were especially interesting to me were the differences between blocking a given angle when the strike is changed to hooking, blocking low strikes by dropping to one knee, and some particular disarms, and once again the footwork and the insistence on elbow control. They insisted on always striking the arm when practicing, not the stick. This is common in many FMAs but less so in Modern Arnis, where we often hit the stick during practice.

Each day there were two long tables of merchandise displayed--rattan and harder sticks, wooden and real knives and swords, DVDs, T-shirts, and other such things. Many weapons were direct from the Philippines.

I also benfitted from meeting two FMAers in my town with whom I'll be working in the future. As the junior Mr. Alland said, getting people together to train is something they hope for with these seminars and they are pleased to learn that it has happened. I also enjoyed seeing Mr. VanDerzee again and chatting about Modern Arnis with him.

I can certainly recommend this series of seminars to anyone interested in learning about this system. I'm glad I went!
 
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arnisador

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Tom Murray said:
I am hoping that there is some emphasis on using the butt end of the sticks. I like it close!
It was only mentioned on the first day, but was a focus of today, including disarms when the opponent starts with a punyo strike. There is an emphasis on the assumption that the stick could always be a blade, and this was reflected in the striking style and in how we did the disarms, but we did spend a good amount of time on punyo today since one might use a punyo strike with a sword as well as a stick.
 
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arnisador

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I was asked in a PM for more details about the footwork. There is a great emphasis on this, and on clearing well out of the way of the (presumably bladed) weapon. Preface anything I say with the caveat that it is based on a single two-day seminar!

Against a right-handed backhand strike, with the opponent's right foot forward: Step with your left foot forward and to your opponent's side. Then draw your right foot toward your left foot, while turning through an angle to face your opponent's side. At the end the instructors sometimes appeared to be in a (near) cat stance with the right foot up on the toes, and other times they would end in a stance with the left foot forward, at the opponent's side, left arm holding the opponent's elbow, right hand poised to strike him. In the latter case they would then "close the door" by stepping forward with the right for their return strike.

It was a lot of movement, so as to avoid the strike while countering on the arm (not striking stick-to-stick). They would end up at a right angle (clockwise) to the direction they had initially been facing.

It would be easy to show but is hard to write about I'm afraid!
 
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TPM

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Thanks Arnisador,

The footwork you described is exactly how I have always responded to back hand strikes as well as centerline strikes. Since my past employment has required me to travel every few months over the past 20 years, my training has been very eclectic. I now hope to focus on Dekiti Tirsia exclusively. Thank you again for the seminar updates and confirming my understanding of the footwork.

Tom
 

Rich Parsons

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arnisador said:
I was asked in a PM for more details about the footwork. There is a great emphasis on this, and on clearing well out of the way of the (presumably bladed) weapon. Preface anything I say with the caveat that it is based on a single two-day seminar!

Against a right-handed backhand strike, with the opponent's right foot forward: Step with your left foot forward and to your opponent's side. Then draw your right foot toward your left foot, while turning through an angle to face your opponent's side. At the end the instructors sometimes appeared to be in a (near) cat stance with the right foot up on the toes, and other times they would end in a stance with the left foot forward, at the opponent's side, left arm holding the opponent's elbow, right hand poised to strike him. In the latter case they would then "close the door" by stepping forward with the right for their return strike.

It was a lot of movement, so as to avoid the strike while countering on the arm (not striking stick-to-stick). They would end up at a right angle (clockwise) to the direction they had initially been facing.

It would be easy to show but is hard to write about I'm afraid!
I think I got you Arni! :) Makes sense to this Engineer ;) I am sur we talk about it in three weeks. Sounds like fun and very good fundamentals :).

Thank You
 
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arnisador

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Yes, I'm looking forward to chatting about it with you and Renegade. It's a style with exaggerated footwork, whereas I understand that Balintawak has minimal foot movement, and of course Modern Arnis is somewhat in between. I'll be curious to get your perspective on this approach. It's not the first time I've experienced it, but it's the first time I've seriously tried it out.
 

lhommedieu

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arnisador said:
Against a right-handed backhand strike, with the opponent's right foot forward: Step with your left foot forward and to your opponent's side. Then draw your right foot toward your left foot, while turning through an angle to face your opponent's side. At the end the instructors sometimes appeared to be in a (near) cat stance with the right foot up on the toes, and other times they would end in a stance with the left foot forward, at the opponent's side, left arm holding the opponent's elbow, right hand poised to strike him. In the latter case they would then "close the door" by stepping forward with the right for their return strike.

It was a lot of movement, so as to avoid the strike while countering on the arm (not striking stick-to-stick). They would end up at a right angle (clockwise) to the direction they had initially been facing.

It would be easy to show but is hard to write about I'm afraid!

Sounds like you're describing a "Side Step" (also with a "Take-off") that is common to both Dekiti Tirsia and Pekiti Tirsia; these footwork patterns can be found on the second Dog Brothers original tape ("Footwork"), as well as
a Lionheart video production that profiled both Nene Tortal and Leo Gaje. I believe that this may be reissued soon. See also tapes by Tuhon William McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia International for examples of similar footwork (i.e. the first four "Lakan" series available from PTI).

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

Andrew Evans

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Hi Folks,

Whenever a FMA seminar is held in a nearby state, I'll do my best to attend. Today, I just came back from attending a Dekiti Tirsia Siradas seminar in Columbia, Missouri hosted by Guru Michael G. Olive. Arnisador's reviews are very accurate.

GM Jerson "Nene" Tortal and his son Jerson "Nene" Tortal, Jr. are very nice people, as are the rest of Dekiti Tirsia Siradas folks. But more importantly, they are highly skilled!

Also, I don't know how to get a hold of Mr. Scott VanDerzee (great guy!). Can someone please tell him that it has been a while since I saw him and hope he can also make it to the MARPPIO Modern Arnis seminar in Topeka on June 5-6?

Regards,
Andrew "from the Land of Oz"
 
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arnisador

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Mr. Olive was here in Terre Haute too.

Mr. VanDerzee is associated with the IMAF. According to their web site (under IMAF Schools):

Lansing Modern Arnis Connection
Certified Instructor: Guro Scott VanDerzee

2103 Westbury Road
Lansing, MI 48906
Ph: 517-321-4638
Email: guro69@webtv.net
 

Andrew Evans

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Thank you sir! I just emailed him. I know Terre Haute is quite a long drive from here but if you can make it to Topeka in June, I'll be honored.

Respectfully,
Andrew
 

Andrew Evans

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I totally understand. It's quite a long drive. Hopefully, we'll meet in person someday. Your brother in Modern Arnis, Andrew
 

kaliace

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Greetings,



I am glad everyone enjoyed the seminars. I know the one in Columbia was only a few hours but it was worth every minute. Thank you everyone for your support.



Mr. Evans, I look forward to coming to the Modern Arnis seminar in June. I will talk to you soon.



Respectfully,

Michael G Olive

www.rattanclub.com
 
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TPM

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Just a few notes regarding the instructors at the seminar.

MasGuru Greg Allund spent some time with me correcting my tendency to press into my opponant. He said I needed to create a barrier with my stick, but never to press it forward which sets me up for an easy disarm. He proved it to me by easily disarming me everytime I started pressing into him, which until now has been one way I like to overpower the opponant. In this style, the control is done at the elbow, not at the stick. Allow the stick (or sword) to move forward with its momentum, stepping aside where you have control of their elbow and where you can easily smash (or slice) the offending wrist, and then step back up where you can use more aggressive attacks.

Guru Michael Allund demonstrated his skill when he faced off with his Dad in a display of single stick sinwali, using his empty hand (crossing wrists) in the same way he would use the 2nd stick. This is a drill that MasGuru Greg and he enjoy doing, in that it trains their "live hand".

GrandMaster Nene Tortal stood for 6 hours, attacking each and every student, forcing them to counter or disarm him. A long line of students had the opportunity to rest while each waiting their turn, but Nene never stopped to rest. At 67 years old, he had more stamina than any man I have ever met. After this long workout, he then demonstrated empty hands, and threw people all over the room. He is very impressive.

Master Jesron Tortal Jr, worked with the beginners to give them a solid core foundation. He was very polite and demonstrated great patience and skill. It is obvious that he has been training all of his life.

Although the techniques were excellent, it really was the exceptional instructors that made this seminar so special.
 
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