Order of Teaching?

Rich Parsons

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Of the FMA's represented here on this board, the question I ask is the following:

Do you start with stick techniques and then move to blade techniques and then empty hand?

Or do you start with a different order / method of teaching?

Even, if someone from a dthe same style posts here their way I would like to hear others opinions as well, To see if they differ and why, so I may learn.

Curious

And Thank you for your information

Rich
:asian:
 

thesensei

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I always start with empty hands. They form the basis for weapons fighting, and it is a little easier to learn. if you can't use your hands, you're not going to do much with sticks that require a greater degree of control. Then i move to sticks, and last, go to the knife - it requires the most control of the three, and is the most dangerous. i also intersperse a little bo staff, and nunchaku training in there, depending on the student.

jb
 

lhommedieu

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We start with stick and dagger since we're primarily an espada y daga art. Towards the end of a student's first year, he or she gets introduced to steel rapier and dagger, in order to clean up his or her technique. We also do forms and exercises with a heavy sword that's appropriate for our art: the 1917 naval cutlass works pretty well here.

San Miguel Eskrima doesn't have much in the way of an empty-hand art, except for "Combat Judo," which is empty-hand against knife; there are also empty-hand counters against the stick. Since I've trained in other empty-hand arts, I generally present aspects of these in the context of espada y daga.

San Miguel Eskrima also has other weapons that are used to facilitate learning espada y daga technique:

dos armas (double stick)
ananangkil (50" stick)
bankaw (spear)
whip
chain
throwing knife

Students are generally introduced to these weapons in the order shown above.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

dearnis.com

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I start with a mix of single ststick and empty hand. A lot depends on what the student has had as far as previous training; if it is minimal I try to put more empty-hand up front.
It is really very subjective, but I teach small enough groups that I can do that. As far as knife work I tend to hold off until I get to know the student somewhat.
 

arnisador

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My approach is very similar to that of dearnis.com. On the first day I'll emphasize stick but after some stick I'll show empty-hand translations. I'll continue like this, gradually adding more empty-hand to the mix. Knife as a rule comes later; how long varies with the student. Generally I only talk about the sword and what would change if the stick was one--I don't actually work with it to any extent.
 

bart

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Hey There,

I study Doce Pares and we start out with the single stick. After working on that for a little bit, we go into the other stuff. The foundation is the single stick and all of the other stuff (stick and dagger, double stick , empty hands, etc) all develop skills in each other including the single stick. There is a sort of synergy between them.

The first and most important thing is to be able to manipulate the weapon. With that foundation, the other stuff comes easier and makes more sense.
 

bart

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Hey All,

thesensei wrote...

I always start with empty hands. They form the basis for weapons fighting, and it is a little easier to learn. if you can't use your hands, you're not going to do much with sticks that require a greater degree of control.

In FMA the theory is the other way around. You can seriously injure or kill someone with a baseball bat or a baton with very little training. Starting out with the weapons, makes you viable in self defense more quickly. After learning some basics with the sticks, hitting with the fists becomes second nature. And then with the integration of the other facets of FMA (stick and dagger, double stick, etc.) fighting skills emerge and are enhanced.

In FMA the weapon is not an extension of the hand, rather it's like an entirely new limb or the introduction of a second elbow on a longer arm. The weapon has a vitality of its own that is more an extension of the practitioner than just his/her hand.
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by bart
In FMA the weapon is not an extension of the hand[...]The weapon has a vitality of its own that is more an extension of the practitioner than just his/her hand.

I came from a Karate background and it took me a while to adjust! I always thought in terms of "it's an extension of the hand" and had trouble shaking that notion.
 

dearnis.com

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That is where adding different weapons really comes into play. A stick is not just a sword without edges/point; it has different characteristics alltogether. The motions are similar, but I think a key aspect in becoming comfortable with different weapons is to learn to listen to the weapon; how it feels and moves. This is why I have my intermediate/advanced guys work with different weight and length sticks, different types of swords, and so on.
We are focusing on long staff this month with one group; it is really pretty cool watching them see what works and what doesn't.
 

lhommedieu

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[After learning some basics with the sticks, hitting with the fists becomes second nature. And then with the integration of the other facets of FMA (stick and dagger, double stick, etc.) fighting skills emerge and are enhanced.

That's correct - especially because your fighting skills are based movements that are very practical. One caveat however is that you cannot always base your empty hand techniques on the weapons techniques per se, but only as an extension of the same principles. For example, in our system of espada y daga we pay some attention to the distance we are to the opponent (based on fact that he has a daga) and so our distance is somewhat largo. We typically have a block-check-counter rhythm that works well with the espada y daga at one distance, but would feel very different with empty hands at another distance. That means that the block-check-counter movement has to be modified to account for the fact that you're much closer (typically because the other person may be throwing punches in combination).

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by dearnis.com
A stick is not just a sword without edges/point; it has different characteristics alltogether. The motions are similar, but I think a key aspect in becoming comfortable with different weapons is to learn to listen to the weapon; how it feels and moves.

Agreed; the weight and weight distribution of a sword make it different, and different swords are "more different" than different sticks (made of different woods). I've played with wooden and real mchetes from time to time and some things do work differently.

It's not something I emphasize in my teaching of arnis however; I replicate what the Professor did when I saw him, which is to occasionally say "but if it was a sword (attacking you) you'd do this instead" or the like. I don't teach its use so much as defense against it, and that very little. Someday I may add more; one thing hampering me is a lack of training swords!
 

lhommedieu

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Originally posted by arnisador
Agreed; the weight and weight distribution of a sword make it different, and different swords are "more different" than different sticks (made of different woods). I've played with wooden and real mchetes from time to time and some things do work differently.


That's right. The decision that I made was to treat the stick as if it was a sword and to use a body mechanic that facilitates a cutting movement with the last 3" of the stick. This includes keeping my wrist cocked and leading with my middle knuckles of my stick hand, among other things.

Obviously this is a trade-off insofar as you are not using the stick to bludgeon so much as treating it as a surrogate for the sword. This is never going to be the same as cutting with a sword - it's still a stick. What I have found however is that you get cleaner lines with the stick and you don't lose as much power as you think you might due to the increased leverage by hitting with the end of the stick.

My compromise is thus to use the stick as a training tool insofar as the "real" weapon is a sword. When teaching and training it makes more sense since there's less chance for injury. In this way, the transition to a sword that is much heaver and has it's center of gravity closer to the hand is less of a transition than it might be - and you end up generally cutting much more cleanly due to the practice with the stick. In addition, I opt for a heavier bludgeon for self-defense than a stick - a 31" ASP fits the bill nicely, and you have the advantage that by getting used to hitting with the end, you can bring that little button on the end into play when you target bony areas.

I also have to admit that I look at my stickwork in the context of my post on the "drills" thread: i.e., training with a stick should be considered as part of a continuum from training to self-defense. Sorry if this (previous post) was a rant - I tried to tone it down as much as I could.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

thekuntawman

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hi i teach kuntaw and arnis-eskrima. i dont agree that the weapon is just an extension of the hand, because the damage they do is different, and the use is different. in theory they can be, and the weapon "translate" to the hand. but in reality, you cannot hit somebody in the stomach, and get the same result that you can with a knife, or even with a stick. so that is why i teach them as a seaprate skill.

for my eskrima only students they begin with just the stick, and when they are good at fighting with the stick, and they want to learn more, we learn to use the knife, and then the hands. if they dont ask, i dont spent to much time on the other things besides the stick, because they are coming to learn "stickfighting", and i believe they should learn to use the stick against different styles to be "well-rounded", not learn those other style.

in kuntaw, we learn the empty hands while they learn the weapons, first the single stick, then the knife, then the long pole, and swords last. my students spend a year or more for each weapon besides the empty hand, because i believe in specializeing, not just learn a little of this and a little of that.

since most of us practice arnis, here is my basic plan for stickfighters beginner level:
1--learning basic hitting, and the three styles (target, power hit, and snapping hits) of stroking, and first two abaniko hits
2--footwork, and hitting by combination
3--counter hitting, sparring with the live stick
4--counter hitting with footwork, blocking, and basic use of the empty hand (attacking and counterings)
5--basic strategy for stick to stick fighting, sparring with the padded stick, how to grab and trap the stick, how to counter the stick grab/trap
6--use of the stick in the back hand for fighting (using the weapon against empty handed opponent), basic abaniko style fighting, close range use of the stick (two hands, thrusting, hooking, use of the extended arm)

i do teach double stick and espada at daga, but they are not part of my curriculum. we are a single stick, single knife style.
 
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Rich Parsons

Rich Parsons

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Now that a few people have posted I will post how I have done it and been taught this way myself. Just for compare and contrast, or show and tell. :)


We (those at our school) always start with the stick techniques first. Yet with a few exceptions of the basic hand grab releases for some basic self defense and then some basic description of empty hand techniques. And by Basic I mean basic. This is a hammer fist position of your hand. This is a palm heel, etc., ..., .

This way they can see so empty hand and get a little self defense, yet most of the reason why people are looking to study FMA is usually for the stick work.

Thanks to everyone for their posts.

Anymore?

Rich
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Cruentus

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Unfortanitaly for me, there is no short answer to this question.

I teach Modern Arnis and what I call "Combative" Martial Arts. I say "combative" because I do include elements of other systems that I've learned, such as Bando or submission wrestling. As a rule, however, what I teach must be directed towards combat, hence the name "combative." In other words if I am teaching my students how to fight from the "guard position," I'm not teaching them the most effective method of winning a NHB match; I am instead teaching them how to end it quickly so they can survive if ever caught in that position on the "street".

I don't run a large program, and I am not a career martial artist, but I have had quite a few students come to me for different reasons from time to time. Most of my students are there to learn "self-defense," and they don't train with me for a long time. They learn what they need to learn, and then they move on.

Luckily for my self defense students, the class is mostly "Modern Arnis," which (contrary to what many may believe) is NOT a "stick-fighting" system. Modern Arnis was intended to teach "Self-Defense" to anyone; men, women, children, soldiers, civilians, etc. Granted, the base from which Professor Presas created Modern Arnis was from a stick fighting system, but he had many other influences that made Modern Arnis what it is today. So it is important to note that Modern Arnis wasn't originally intended to make you into an "expert stick dueler" or "knife fighter," even though many accomplished Modern Arnis instructors have taken their modern arnis into these directions.

So in using Modern Arnis with elements of other combat systems, I am able to effectively facilitate the needs of my students. I accomplish this in a method that is very unique from other Modern Arnis instructors.

I start off by teaching the student to strip away from what they have been conditioned by their environment; to get them to tap into their primal instincts. In civilized society, people are conditioned by television, peers, and things that are around them that tell them that this is how you "fight." Think back to high school (everyones watched a fight when they were in high school before). One kid puts his hands up in tight little fists, squares off his stance, and rigidly punches. This is what he "thinks" he is "supposed" to do in a fight. Then if he is fighting against another kid who is on the wrestling team, the wrestler tries a double led takedown because that is what he's been conditioned to do. Or perhaps he's up against a larger football player who tries to tackle him, as he has been conditioned. Lets say the tackle doesn't take the rigid punching kid down, so the kid decides to pull the football players shirt over his head (because he watched that on the hockey game last week).

The list of examples go on, and we've all seen these examples. High school brawls are usually not life or death situations, however. The person who is going to survive a life or death situation by a means other then sheer luck or Gods grace isn't going to be the person who relies on enviromental conditioning, unless that person has had years of training and is an expert martial artist (and even then that is questionable). The person who is most likely to survive will be the person who can empty their heads, and react using their primal instincts.

I instill the idea of stripping environmental conditioning away through the basic modern arnis excersises and drills in class. It's not the drills that are important, it is the method in which they are taught. Most martial arts instructors want to teach there students the "correct" way, which is the way they feel is the most effective way of defense. I want my students to find there own way. I strip them down to nothing except what they where born with, and I get them thinking in terms of "this way may be more effective for me then that way" instead of "this way is correct, and the only way." They find their own way and learn to use their instincts first.

I also have some drills of my own that I incorporate, as well as exercises that they can do to help better their abilities to use instinct. An example of such a drill is "the ball drill" to teach them how to block and parry. I have all the newer students stand in a line, and I have a soccor ball. The rules are that they have to prevent the ball from hitting their head or body WITHOUT CATCHING THE BALL (environmental conditioning says that when a ball is thrown at you, you catch it). Then I bean the soccor ball at them, and try to catch them off guard. Their reactions are ruff, but usually identical to how they will have to move to parry an attack. They are able to hone their instincts because I am catching them off guard, and because they aren't allowed to do what they would be enviromentally conditioned to do which is "catch." From that drill we maybe go to block and counter, and from there the student can improve there methods. You get some interesting developements from drills like these; once I had a student pick up a bag and use it as a shield. Picking up an object to use as a deflector would be highly effective against an edged weapon.

As I have said, Most martial arts classes try to teach you the best way of doing a technique. People who only need to defend themselves don't have (or want to spend) the years it takes to learn the "best way". By teaching them how to strip themselves of their environmental conditioning, then allowing them to build from there, they can take it as far as they want to go.

When the instincts are developed, and they decide that they want to learn Modern Arnis as a system; then I start taking them through the WMAA curriculum. I find the curriculum to be the best way to take a student through the entire system.

In terms of what they start off with; "it's all da same' (to quote Professor Presas). Obviously there are differences with each weapon, and the empty hand, but most of the concepts are fundamentally the same. So it does not matter whether a student starts off with the stick, knife, sword, soft weapon, or empty hand first. If they hang around, they will eventually come full circle as they continue to hone their natural abilities.

In a ruff manner, this is how a I organize my teaching.

PAUL
 
K

knifeman.dk

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I start out with teaching double stick techniques, then single stick techniques, then a bridgebuilder from the weapon to empty hands like various commom objects similar to sticks; umbrella, cane, walking stick, bendable objects like towel and news papers, books, and then into small items like pens/pencils, keys - anything goes. And then empty hand techniques.
But the program will vary. And a normal workout would consist of 4 bases that you should come around during a workout; double stick, single stick, different weapons like espada y daga or machetes and knives, dulodulo etc. and empty hand training like boxing, kick boxing, shootboxing, empty hand technique training, etc.
And then sometimes we mix and take fullcontact sparring either pure sticks, or a mix.
sincerely knifeman.dk:asian:
 

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