Is Sinawali an intrinsic part of the FMA?

Holmejr

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In our system we do not teach sinawali. Our GM, Larry Alcuizar never saw the point of them. He created a system that is what I consider FMA for modern times. GM came out of the Doce Pares/Balintawak systems and knew them well. In Escrido de Alcuizar, we divide stick and knife, teaching the stick (Escrima) progressing to knife (combat judo) and open hand (boxing/knife).
There is a school, close to my home that teaches, what seems to be, every Sinawali known to man. I think they teach them to string along their students for years. My observation and my opinion of course. Anyway, what say you? Sinawali necessary? Or just fun?
 

Mider

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Its just a training drill. Eventually like your GM likely understood you have to pressure test this stuff.
 

Rich Parsons

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In our system we do not teach sinawali. Our GM, Larry Alcuizar never saw the point of them. He created a system that is what I consider FMA for modern times. GM came out of the Doce Pares/Balintawak systems and knew them well. In Escrido de Alcuizar, we divide stick and knife, teaching the stick (Escrima) progressing to knife (combat judo) and open hand (boxing/knife).
There is a school, close to my home that teaches, what seems to be, every Sinawali known to man. I think they teach them to string along their students for years. My observation and my opinion of course. Anyway, what say you? Sinawali necessary? Or just fun?

Prior to WWII and formation of Balintawak Post WWII, GM Anciong Bacon would go out for fights and Doring Saavedra would go out for demonstrations. Bacon was not a fan of patterns in general.
(* Note: Not a slight to the Grouping Methodology that his Students used and many are popular today. *)

GM Remy A Presas who formed Modern Arnis uses Sinawalis and had a major influence from Balintawak from Bacon et al and has them.
Some use them just for warm up.
Some use them to create a box to insert other techniques into, as this gives the players a reference to go step back into once they step out for the technique in question.

Is it required? No
Do many use them and prosper from their training? Yes.
 

Blindside

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I generally don't like sinawali for the sake of sinawali, some will say that they are for developing coordination and I full agree with that, I just want to be able to use them for coordination and have functional fighting technique(s) out of those same patterns. So the student gets the benefit of the coordination and how it translates over to the fight. So I have something like this for all of the patterns that I teach.
 

jks9199

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Outsider looking in here... but I think sinawali is a great example of something I've seen across various styles, where a drill or exercise takes on a life of its own beyond the original and actual purpose, and becomes a thing all by itself. My teacher would call it "majoring in the minors." A drill or an exercise meant to teach a particular skill or serve a specific purpose ends up getting blown up way beyond that purpose. I've seen sinawali become a huge training focus for people -- almost to the exclusion of the things that the principles are supposed to enable. Rolling in BJJ, or randori in judo, or sparring in, well, lots of arts are other examples. Each is meant to be a tool to develop necessary and important attributes, but each can be seen in some places to have really run off into it's own thing, to the neglect of other aspects of the art.
 

geezer

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A long time ago, at least a dozen years or so back, I attended an open seminar given by Jeff Ward that focused on training long complex sinawalli drills. See for yourself:


Well, maybe it's just my add acting up, or premature dementia?...but I just don't learn well that way. Too much memorization. Standing in one place doing long choreographed sequences. So, speaking for myself, I really didn't get much that I could use out of that seminar. :(

In my training coming out of Latosa Escrima and Torres DTE, we favor direct and functional over long memorized patterns. One of my old coaches, Jeff LaTorre also had experience in Pekiti, and his approach was also more ...pragmatic.

So in my group we do play with some basic sinawalli patterns, equis-equis, four count and six count figure-eights ...but then we break them down into simple empty hand and stick combinations, spending time to figure out how to set some one up so you can actually use it ...more like a boxer learning and applying combos I guess.

...or more like Lamont's approach above. He moves differently than I do (I'd be the guy with the sticks-up guard) but you can see how he makes it work.
 

geezer

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Outsider looking in here... but I think sinawali is a great example of something I've seen across various styles, where a drill or exercise takes on a life of its own beyond the original and actual purpose, and becomes a thing all by itself. My teacher would call it "majoring in the minors." A drill or an exercise meant to teach a particular skill or serve a specific purpose ends up getting blown up way beyond that purpose. I've seen sinawali become a huge training focus for people -- almost to the exclusion of the things that the principles are supposed to enable. Rolling in BJJ, or randori in judo, or sparring in, well, lots of arts are other examples. Each is meant to be a tool to develop necessary and important attributes, but each can be seen in some places to have really run off into it's own thing, to the neglect of other aspects of the art.
That's Chi-Sau for ya in Wing Chun. A great drill that has gotten disproportionate emphasis until that's all there is for some people!
 

geezer

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A long time ago, at least a dozen years or so back, I attended an open seminar given by Jeff Ward that focused on training long complex sinawalli drills...
Whoops! I meant Jon Ward. Excuse my clumsy typing.
 

punisher73

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From my VERY limited understanding. As FMA's have become more popular there has been a lot more "cross pollination" with each other so that there is more in common with each other. Historically, there is disagreement where Sinawali originally came from (indigenous vs. Spanish influence of sword/dagger). But, even if a system didn't have it originally, it has probably been incorporated because that is what people think FMA is or what they want out of FMA or more likely that instructor found value in it and wanted to use it.
 

geezer

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From my VERY limited understanding. As FMA's have become more popular there has been a lot more "cross pollination" with each other so that there is more in common with each other. Historically, there is disagreement where Sinawali originally came from (indigenous vs. Spanish influence of sword/dagger). But, even if a system didn't have it originally, it has probably been incorporated because that is what people think FMA is or what they want out of FMA or more likely that instructor found value in it and wanted to use it.
Well at least locally, the FMA community does mix a lot more than some other MA groups.
 

Argus

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A long time ago, at least a dozen years or so back, I attended an open seminar given by Jeff Ward that focused on training long complex sinawalli drills. See for yourself:


Well, maybe it's just my add acting up, or premature dementia?...but I just don't learn well that way. Too much memorization. Standing in one place doing long choreographed sequences. So, speaking for myself, I really didn't get much that I could use out of that seminar. :(

In my training coming out of Latosa Escrima and Torres DTE, we favor direct and functional over long memorized patterns. One of my old coaches, Jeff LaTorre also had experience in Pekiti, and his approach was also more ...pragmatic.

So in my group we do play with some basic sinawalli patterns, equis-equis, four count and six count figure-eights ...but then we break them down into simple empty hand and stick combinations, spending time to figure out how to set some one up so you can actually use it ...more like a boxer learning and applying combos I guess.

...or more like Lamont's approach above. He moves differently than I do (I'd be the guy with the sticks-up guard) but you can see how he makes it work.

This is also my problem. For a while I was training Modern Arnis which is very much this way.

Actually, I learned a lot from Modern Arnis. There's a lot of good basic material there and I learned a lot of Sinawali's, techniques, disarms, and things I didn't know. But everything is taught in some kind of long choreographed sequence that requires a lot of memorization, which I can't help but feel is more of an obstacle to my learning than anything.

Then again, maybe it all helped my coordination and mental agility involving "pretzel" sequences some (ie, if I do this, then this, then I'll be set up for a back hand rather than a fore hand and can go into this... because if not the drill breaks down and how did I get here? -- kind of thing) . I don't know. I definitely feel all the Sinawali has helped my coordination, especially involving two sticks.

Anyway, the exact opposite is something like Kali Ilustrisimo which is much more Wing Chun esque -- just move from where the hands are and flow naturally into the most direct attack/counter. No patterns/sequences. I learn better this way.
 
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