Do drumming Skills help with Eskrima and other FMA and Vice Versa? Maybe even other lightweight rapid strikes stickfighting styles?


Orange Belt
Jan 3, 2017
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I saw the movie The Great Wall with Matt Damon and during the siege the army's musicians on one section of the Great Wall of China are rapidly hitting the giant drum with rapid speed and fluidity in a manner similar to whats found in Filipino Martial Arts like Eskrima as they send out signals for army organization and military orders as they prepare for the siege by the invading monsters.

It reminded me of how drummers hit their drums at certain beat with lightning rapidity that vaguely feels like some Eskrima in appearance.......

So I'm wondering can having a prior background in drumming help with learning rapid striking martial arts styles using light sticks? Like say someone who's a hardcore professional Eskrimador practising 8 hours a day at a an academy who also pays in a band as lead drummer, would all the music practise in his free time help him hone his skills better than other professionals who only does Eskrima and no other quick stick hitting activity? Would some weekend warrior pracitising similar Chinese styles advance quicker in his style because he plays drums every day than most non-competitive amateur practitioners?

And would the same go inverse like a long time practitioner of Arnis be able to learn how to use a drum much faster than most other people who have no previous music experience? That blackbelt in Seoul would hone hitting at a drum better than other amateur musician as a result of a decade of fight training since 11 years old?
Yes and no,
In My experience many drummers end up worrying about their fingers and hands getting broken, like doctors and surgeons.
And may also learn quickly and then struggle and quit when it gets tough.
I had one stick through and get to lower Brown and quit because of life. New Job, new GF, new location for Job ....
So it could help.
Yet as with most things it depends upon the person.
The bachi used in taiko drumming have been used as martial arts weapons.

"Tokushin no Taiko Bachi"
The bachi used in taiko drumming have been used as martial arts weapons.

"Tokushin no Taiko Bachi"
Hmmm ...that kata is highly rigid, formalized, and looks pretty removed from any actual combat application.

Personally, I'd be more afraid of these guys below, especially if they thought I looked like a drum! :oops:

BTW they sure look to me like they are probably karateka as well as drummers.
At first I thought nah, but then I remembered something. One of the greatest (and fastest) drummers of the last century was Buddy Rich.

He was a black belt in Karate. He credited Karate training with helping him control his temper and his overall heath. I dont remember if he ever said it helped with his drumming (I was a kid back then) but when I remembered I thought hmmm.
Having drummed and done eskrima, I can't say that there's much relation between them beyond both holding sticks. Japanese drummers doing taiko might be different, but normal 'western'
I come from a system that uses drums and from a fighting perspective, fighting to a rhythm is not a a good thing. The speed bag is a good example of why it's bad. Getting good with hitting the speed bag is less about what you see and more about what you hear. The speed bag is easy once you understand the rhythm. Swinging bags are the same thin thing. You can dodge them without looking one you understand the rhythm. Rhythm is nothing but timing of a pattern. This will be an issues as people increase in skill.

In Chinese kung fu, or at least in Jow Ga, the fighter never follows the drum. The drum always follow the fighter. The drum tells us what it sees in the fighter, It never tells the fighter what to do.
If the drum slows down then you know that you are moving slightly slower, if it speeds up then you are moving faster. If it is constant then you know you are constant.

This falls in line with fighting and the concept of using your rhythm against your opponent while disrupting his.

The technique for hold the sticks are also different because the purpose is different. When working with the sticks I kept hitting @Tony Dismukes hand. It was difficult for me not to because the technique for swinging a stick is similar to how I attack the guard.

Hitting a ball on a string would probably do more to improve skill than hitting a drum be it snare drum or tradition Chinese drum.
And while I was hunting for videos.

This is a good example of the difference between rhythm and beat.

By the way. I think you mean fighting to a beat.

A rhythm is different

Unless you are avoiding sand worms.

My understanding of the OP's question is as the following where drumming develops fighting ability
Would some weekend warrior pracitising similar Chinese styles advance quicker in his style because he plays drums every day than most non-competitive amateur practitioners?
Drum Rythm serves a musical purpose unless you are trying to put someone in a trance or communicate a message. It is not the same as fighting rhythm. Hand speed for the drums is done for the purpose of music and it is not for fighting.

This will not translate into fighting with sticks or with moving the hands. The methods for making a car go fast are not the same method for making a plane go fast. The rhythm for music does not transfer to the Rythm for Fighting, or at least it shouldn't.

Rhythm and beat are the same to me, both are timed, and if someone knows the rhythm you are playing then you'll get countered or disrupted. If you cannot decode someone's rhythm, then they will dominate you.

We can see, hear, and feel rhythm. Even if you don't see the punches, you can feel the punches, the pattern, the intensity, and the weight.

Muay Thai Broken Rhythm

Muay Thai switch kicks are broken rhythm techniques. Boxing Feints and feints in general are broken rhythm techniques.

This talks about a predictable rhythm. I see it more as simple Traditional Martial Arts concept. "Make your opponent throw the attacks that you want." By doing this your opponent is not fighting using their rhythm, they are fighting using the rhythm that you are presenting.
This Boxer Used Rhythmic Traps To Beat Opponents Senseless

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