Question about Escrima/Kali

Tanaka

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My background in martial arts is entirely Japanese martial arts. But recently I have watched some Escrima/Kali videos on youtube. In Japanese martial arts that i am aware of spinning the sword has no combative purpose. In the Escrima/Kali videos I have seen them spin their weapons a lot. What is the purpose of this?
 

Datu Tim Hartman

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If you can provide a YouTube link to help us specifically talking about, it would help to better answer your question.
 

Blindside

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As soon as I read this I thought of the "Highlander twirl," but as Mr. Hartman said, hard to evaluate without seeing videos.

We do wrist spins to warm up the wrists and to develop wrist flexibility. This is usually done vertically both forward and reverse. There are also double slashes on an attack line, some would call these floretes or redondos or something else altogether.

There are defenses against backhand attacks, both thrusts and slashes that would look alot like a spin in the strong hand if done in the air.
 
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Tanaka

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This isn't one of the video I was referring to but this guy does what I have seen in the previous videos.
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Blindside

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I don't see much there except for warming up wrists and developing wrist flexibility. The whole "pinch grip" thing is just wrong in my system, we don't do it at all, the main grip is with the bottom three fingers and the thumb.
 

geezer

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My background in martial arts is entirely Japanese martial arts. But recently I have watched some Escrima/Kali videos on youtube. In Japanese martial arts that i am aware of spinning the sword has no combative purpose. In the Escrima/Kali videos I have seen them spin their weapons a lot. What is the purpose of this?

My sentiments coincide with what Blindside said. In the Filipino systems I've trained, Latosa PMAS and Torres DTE, twirling or spinning is not used in combat, but it does train wrist flexibility, strength, and "snap" which increases your speed and power on impact. Also the movements used in a spin can translate to a double strike or "redondo", a directional reverse or "redoble" and so on. Moreover, the same movement can be used with the concept of "transition" in myriad situations ranging from rolling out and countering an attempt to grab your stick, to empy-handed work that bears some resemblance to the Ving Tsun I practice.

On the other hand, if you search Youtube, of course you will see a lot of purely decorative but functionally useless movements performed under the label of "martial arts" attributed to many traditions ...including the Japanese and Okinawan arts as well. A lot of the old masters must be rolling in their graves!
 

Rich Parsons

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This isn't one of the video I was referring to but this guy does what I have seen in the previous videos.
[yt]18xz7LZnxPg[/yt]

I found this guys site : http://www.k4s.i8.com/ (* Found from a link of a link form a search *)

I also found this video FAQ :

Twirliing. Where to start? (* My background is in Balintawak and in Modern Arnis - I teach both in privates, seminar, and class format *)

1) Keep your hands closed or you will loose the weapon (* as stated in this video *) or it could be knocked out of your hand.

2) Attributes of the weapon. Understand the attributes of the weapon. Is it an impact weapon blocking an impact weapon or is it a blade tip heavy Machete, or some other blade that has different attributes. I will mostly comment on the Machete and Stick here.

3) At about 4 minutes in he is close to a twirl that is used in Both systems. At 9 minutes in he does the twirl. In this case look at the weapon as an impact stick. if you strike out a forehand and the opponent blocks and then pushes your stick down with his hand and then strikes back your stick is out of position. If you do the twirl from about 9 minutes in to the original video linked here, you can provide a force to force block. Note: You stick should be a 90 degree angle to your forearm when you are complete and the stick should be up and down straight for the systems I teach. This is not shown in the video.

This twirl enables the small "C" block we execute in Balintawak and the block without a brace in Modern Arnis.

If the opponent grabs the stick, (** I always get this question as well because it stops the twirl option **), you attempt the twirl, listen to the inanimate object and realize it is not going to execute. You left hand which is at the ready then reaches out and traps down form behind his weapon, and guide it down into your weapon. Of course now he has a hand on each of the weapons and so do you. There are techniques from here on both sides of course, as all techniques have a counter. This does require timing and skill so beginners like to grab as others who do not have the skill can get hit.

But what happens if I do not want to hit him in the arm or body and go for his head so he cannot trap it into his weapon? (* Yes I get this question as well *). This is even easier. Your left hand which is at the ready slips the opponents weapon as you bend your knees and go under the weapon.

** Yes you should see and feel this happen to truly understand **

Now, assume you have the blade tip heavy machete. You perform the same twirl to get your blade back up and no it chops into the opponents blade. Of course there are discussions about blocking with the edge versus the side. Search for that here and other sites as well. They are not going to grab the blade, (* if they are really good and pinch the flat of the blade and it is not an accident, BUY THEM A BEER, before they cut you head OFF *), only move it off line. Also this is where a Dagger in the left hand comes in, and can be used to deflect the blade and with a good cross guard keep tension on the opponents blade. Of course once again, most people do not have this training to listen to an inanimate object through an inanimate object. Some do train the technique without the listening, and can execute it though, so be aware.

4) At about 6 minutes a 5 seconds or so, he does the reverse figure 8, or as in Modern Arnis it is called Figure 8. This works with all kinds of blades. Those that are tip heave and chop or those that catch in the middle of the blade and draw cut. Note: the hand is always closed and your are twirling the weapon on both sides of the body.

This of course can be done with a stick as well, yet I find if you put a blade in the students hand for this they get the angles from the start to understand that tip placement and control is required.


I hope this has helped.
 
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geezer

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Hey Tanaka, I found this Youtube clip that adresses the kind of thing you were talking about. It comes from an old set of VHS tapes made by Rene Latosa back in the early '90s. I studied with him during the '80s up to about this time, and on a couple of brief occasions since. Anyway, in this clip he examines a couple of practical applications hidden in some abanico or "fan" flourishes. Other spins and twirls also have a variety of less than obvious applications. Digging the practical application out of the showy movement can be tough for the student... the same is true in understanding the bunkai for some of the movements in old Japanese and Okinawan kata as well.

BTW check out the guy Rene is doing the demo with at the beginning of the clip. That's Brady Brazil. You won't find many clips or other info on him, but he's one of the major badasses in FMA in the US. I got paired with him in one of my early lessons in PMAS Escrima. I was pretty cocky in those days. Looking back I now realize how lucky I was that he was apparently in a forgiving mood that day! "Fools go where angels fear to tread...".

 
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