How do YOU teach and train Tapi-Tapi?

Cruentus

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This is a discussion that started on the WMAC forum. I thought it would be nice to include those who are on this forum in the discussion. Here is what I wrote. The question is "How do you teach and train Tapi-Tapi?". What do you do that is different from others. Do you do Tapi-Tapi mostly as a drill, or as presets, or as a flow from one preset to another? Do you ever get into "free-play" or "free-sparring". What has you as a student or teacher done with Tapi-Tapi since Professors death? What has your organization done? Have you been focusing on trying to progress with tapi-tapi, taking it to a direction beyond what Professor was able to before he passed away, or have you been focusing more on preserving what Professor Presas had taught?

These are all interesting questions that will hopefully lead us into an interesting discussion.

Here is what I wrote:

Thanks for turning this into a new thread, George, and thanks to everyone who responded. Sorry it took me so long to respond; with the holidays and all. Hopefully my lengthy response will make up for it! ;)

I'm glad to hear that Datu Worden also did more of a freestyle flow version of Tapi-Tapi (or "free-play") then a drill version. Drills are fine for teaching beginners, but they fall short when it comes to preparing for actual stick combat.

I teach my tapi-tapi in steps, sort of. Step one is Modern Arnis basics; proper striking form, block-check-counter, control, etc. When the student is profecient enough with the basics, then we have the WMAA version of "Solo-Baston." This can be step 2, I guess. This is the basic single cane Siniwali, then the enter, then a free flow of exchange of puno's and strikes w/ checks, then someone breaks, returning to single Siniwali. This drill develops many attributes needed for free-play; honing in particularly on the ability to close the gap, and flow with a partner/opponent. An example of "Solo-Baston" can be seen, if I remember correctly, on the WMAA site techniques link with Datu Hartman and Jason Arnold from Canada. Step 3 would be what I would call "presets." These are the counter-counter sets that were most prevailent in Professor Presas' later days. When we would do Tapi-Tapi with Professor at seminars, this consisted mostly of learning Presets, and flowing from one preset to the next. Guro Dan McConnel has a classic example of a Tapi-Tapi preset on his websites Technique page.

Now as a side note, I do not run a strict format when I teach, so steps 2 & 3 in my program get kinda blurred. I am a stick-jock, I must admit. I love the cane. But I get a very diverse varity of students ranging from Women who just want to learn basic self-defense to Military folks from Sulfrage base in Michigan who just want to learn combat, knife play, or even longer weapons. They don't care to learn how to become profecient at cane vs. cane dueling. Most of my students only train with me for only a short time, and only want to learn specific things. They aren't martial artists, they don't go to seminars. I only have a few dedicated students who have wanted to attain the "free-play" level. So, sometimes if we are doing presets in class when the student first starts, then they start learning presets before learning solo-baston. The order of steps 2 and 3 isn't really that important. But they must learn the basics (step 1) first, and they really must learn steps 1-3 before getting to the final free-play stage.

Now, before actually moving to step 4, which is free-play, I do a control check. Control is initially taught in step 1, but I check it again before the student is ready for the final step. They have to have the control in order for free-play to be an effective learning tool, and for it to be any fun. It's O.K. in free-play to go full speed, but full force is not O.K.. I can play with someone who is going full-force, but I may have to hurt them. Or I may miss my mark and I get hurt. Injury severly hinders the effectiveness of practice.

Step 4 is free-play. The student has the basics, and now we can full out spar without the risk of injury. This is where the student learns some of the concepts mentioned like "attack by draw" (or as I call "bait"), as well as many others which can really only be effectively taught, in my opinion, through free-play.

My methods are not from just me, of course. I am severly influenced by Professor Presas (obviously), but also by Datu Tim Hartman and Manong Ted Buot. With Manong Ted I train Balintawak Eskrima. Manong has shown me the importance of free-play, and has shown me how to effectively counter and attack "without being countered back," as was mentioned previously. I still have much to learn from Manong. Datu Tim Hartman has also been in a great influence not just by being an effective stick-player himself, but in organizing a clear method of teaching tapi-tapi and taking it beyond the presets into a full counter-counter free-play. In the WMAA cirriculum, when we say Tapi-Tapi, we don't just mean presets; we mean stick vs. stick fighting: free-play. We are attempting to begin where Professor Presas left off, taking his tapi-tapi in the direction that we feel he was going, as oppossed to merely just trying to preserve what he taught.

I think that progression is of utmost importance. It sounds like with "Tapi-Tapi Tactics" and the "Freestyle flow," Datu Worden is attempting to do the same, which is progress. That is how we will preserve our art, so good luck and keep up the good work!


Happy New year, everyone!
PAUL

:cool:
 

dearnis.com

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hehehehe.....
I teach it, initially, in the very slow, methodical way Professor used to have people do at seminars. And I make them go very, very slowly.
I integrate a lot of empty-hand translations, and I really stress using the set-ups as hits. My pet peeve is someone saying "no, you cant do that ; it isn't in the drill!!!! (imagine whineing...). I want to make sure my people learn to throw an attack that can draw the appropriate response.
And this is probably what starts the slow spiral down into full contact NHB tapi-tapi with my senior guys.....
Somewhere along the line they get the idea that they are supposed to look for reversals, take and keep control, add hits in, look for an go to a finish. I have no idea where they got such ideas; really. :rolleyes:
I know we have had prospective students leave and not come back due to their impression of one f my guys and I more or less slugging it out before class.
Now; is that the "art" of tapi-tapi? No, of course not, but its how we play with the application. In the days before tapi-tapi we had what; "solo baston semi-sparring."
I agree with Paul that Tim has developed a good, structured way to teach the basic progression, and I would probably teach using that method more if I were a good, structured kind of guy.
On the other hand, of my three active groups one does Modern Arnis as a seconday program; and has not done much tapi-tapi. Maybe it is time to experiment on them.
 

modarnis

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I integrate a lot of empty-hand translations, and I really stress using the set-ups as hits. My pet peeve is someone saying "no, you cant do that ; it isn't in the drill!!!! (imagine whineing...).

Funny Chad and I share same pet peeves. One of the major problems teaching Tapi-Tapi to people who were exposed to the Professor's teaching style is that they are very drill focused. Professor was extremely adept at teaching complicated movements to beginners, in a very short period of time. People learn the programmed movements easily, but can't think outside the drill.

I had a conversation with Professor shortly before he took ill about Tapi Tapi. My query was a which came first, the chicken or the egg: the drills or the fight. In typical Professor fashion, he evaded my direct questioning and said that the abercidario was the first step to tapi-tapi.

I have changed my methods to give the abercidario high priority in the early stages for students. Aside from its value in teaching basic block check counter and recounter to the 12 angles, it trains the brain to react when touched/grabbed. This enables you to continue to fight and not be interrupted by the opponent.

I continue this progression with a 1-2-5-12 block check counter pattern, adding sweep stroke entry/grabs and releases. Then 1 or 2 of the basic L-R patterns to give students a foundation to begin their exploration.

Sometimes I will refine a lock or trap with the class, but typically let people freeplay with frequent partner changes. The interplay and exploration with multiple training partners is not a luxury, but a necessity. The Professor had a great ability at reading someones movements and body type in a split second, and responding in kind.

We also do some padded weapon sparring which has huge benefits. In sparring, you are consequenced for not moving your feet or not reacting to the opponent. And when Chad and I train, something or someone always gets broken, but the learning is at a very high level

In my opinon, the major hurdle for us mere mortals is how we are learning versus the way the Professor learned. He engineered his art from real fighting experience, not drill practice. We are now stripping the art down to find the fighting roots. This reverse engineering is difficult because for many people, like myself, going to work all battered is frowned upon. I believe much of the Professor's knowledge can only be recreated through similar extreme intensity situations that provoke responses instinctively from the 2/3 of our brains we don't really use in our normal lives


Just a few hungover New Years thoughts


Brett
 

dearnis.com

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And when Chad and I train, something or someone always gets broken, but the learning is at a very high level

Not True! No one got broken the last time I was up!
(the training was good though).
 

Dan Anderson

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Paul,
I teach Tapi-Tapi in the same manner in which RP taught me - as a counter for counter drill against strikes 1-12. It is what appears to be his variation of the Balintawak Abedecario.

Example: I strike with #1. You block and counter with #2. I block that and check a the same time. Very simple. It is outlined in detail in my Advanced Modern Arnis book.

Now if Tapi-Tapi is considered freestyle play, what I do is go over the fundamental counter for counter drills very thoroughly. To me, these are 1. the basic flow drill, 2. give and take, 3. 6 count drill, 4. tapi-tapi drill and 5. the cane sparring patterns bnoth right versus right and left versus right. These need to be learned prior to freestyle play.

Then we will do them as a drill interchanging the different "styles" until there is a realization of some sort that they are actually variations of the same theme.

Then the fun begins.

I also add in the fact that you can go empty hand at any time your stick work is stymied or for the hell of it. I did a little free play with Rich Parsons and Jaye Spiro at the seminar you attended so you have a visual idea of what I mean.

Yours,
Dan
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by Dan Anderson
I also add in the fact that you can go empty hand at any time your stick work is stymied or for the hell of it. I did a little free play with Rich Parsons and Jaye Spiro at the seminar you attended so you have a visual idea of what I mean.

Do you mean using the live hand to strike, or relinquishing the stick and using two empty hands?

I know I like to clinch and grapple when I'm stymied in tight.
 
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Cruentus

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"Not sticking to the drill"....he....I have the same pet peeve as Chad and Brad.

It is what appears to be his variation of the Balintawak Abedecario.

I think that would be correct, Dan. Since I have been training in Balintawak I have been fortunate enough to get to Remy Presas' roots when it comes to stick-play. I notice a lot of similarities now with Balintawak and Modern Arnis, and I see where Professors stick play and even teaching tools came from. Manong Ted makes it really interesting also because he has so much history. It's interesting to hear his stories; and how they connect to Modern Arnis. Example: Ted knew Timor Miranga (sp), and how he fought (the fact that he was a lefty, his signature techniques, etc.). Timor trained Remy. Hearing a story from Ted about a technique that Timor prefered (like the simple block-check-puno) I can see where Remy got that signature technique from. More importantly, I can then learn how to effectively counter that technique from Balintawak in a different manner then I would have realized just training Modern Arnis.

In terms of going empty-hand when your stick work is stymeid, I know what you mean. This is probably a more effective tool for you, though, because your one of the best empty hand fighters around. Given your background, your going to be able to seize the opportunity to drop the stick, close the gap, and hit empty-handed better then the average Joe. In the same sense a grappler might be more inclined to shoot for the legs when his stick-work is stymeid. Then it becomes a matter of does your ability to seize the moment and attack superceed your opponents ability to defend your attempt with the stick. If it doesn't, then you could find yourself in a world of trouble; stickless when your opponent isn't, without you controling the situation. Then there is the matter of will your empty hand shot(s) be able to disable the attackers ability to hit you, or will your opponent be able to take the shot(s) even if you get them in, collect his bearings and attack you, once again leaving you stickless while he's ready to club the hell out of you.

I will say that I used to let go of the stick a lot more readily then I do now. The stick isn't my security blanket (although my girlfriend does get jealous when I let my favorite cane sleep between us :p ) but I work more on not being stymeid at all so I won't have to drop my weapon.

Arnisador: I believe that Dan was refering to relinquishing the stick when the stick is trapped or stuck and the live hand is being monitored. He had deminstraighted this during "play" at the seminar in Michigan.

I have changed my methods to give the abercidario high priority in the early stages for students. Aside from its value in teaching basic block check counter and recounter to the 12 angles, it trains the brain to react when touched/grabbed. This enables you to continue to fight and not be interrupted by the opponent.

That's good to hear, Brett. I think that the basics are vital. You can't build a tall building without a strong base.

:asian:
PAUL
 

Rich Parsons

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Recently, I was able to spar with some padded canes. The first night I choose to not wear a helmet. Not out of disrespect, but out of training need for myself. I choose to not wear it to tell myself I needed to guard my head and to not allow any head shots. In the first bout I succeeded in this desire of protecting my head. On the second event was facing a grappler, and my goals for the meeting was for me not to get in the head and not to loose my cane when the opponent closed for grappling. I succeeded there also, I did not take a head shot nor did I loose my cane in the initial Grapple. It was disarmed later during further grappling and I was locked up, yet I accomplished my goals.

As Dan said it is ok to choose to go empty handed, and as Paul said it is good to hang on to your cane. Yet I believe that both of them had a plan similar to how I had a plan.

The drill allows a student to learn techniques and to learn timing and skills. Once you learn the drill you learn to mix up the drill. Once you learn to mix up the drill you learn to break the drill. IN Breaking the drill, once learns how to break out of the pre-pattern drill. Once you are out of the drill or have broken it, then you can go free style or free play.


As for the Free Play that Dan Mentioned, I enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks everyone for a good discussion

Rich
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Dan Anderson

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Originally posted by arnisador
Do you mean using the live hand to strike, or relinquishing the stick and using two empty hands?

Either either. Whatever is there right at the moment. One of the things RP said to me was that too many arnis players get "hypnotized into the stick." So, it doesn't matter if the stick is trapped, taken away or whatever, if the empty hand shot is there I'll take it.

Yours,
Dan
 

dearnis.com

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Look at how many traps depend on your opponent holding on to the stick! The counter, which comes out much more freely in sparring than in drilling, is to let go and shift into empty hand striking or grappling.
I'm sure we all remember Professor feeding that slow, hanging strike and saying "now if my friend will grab....." knowing what was about to happen....and knowing that not grabbing would somehow be worse.
And yet I really miss that.:(

Chad
 

Dan Anderson

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Originally posted by dearnis.com
Look at how many traps depend on your opponent holding on to the stick! The counter, which comes out much more freely in sparring than in drilling, is to let go and shift into empty hand striking or grappling.
I'm sure we all remember Professor feeding that slow, hanging strike and saying "now if my friend will grab....." knowing what was about to happen....and knowing that not grabbing would somehow be worse.
And yet I really miss that.:(

Chad

Yep. One thing missing in this series of posts is that in order to train this aspect, you really need a spirit of play. To allow yourself to be chumped and use it to further your learning. Otherwise it ends up being who can dog who and get pissed about it.

Yours,
Dan
 
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