Short power and economy of motion

geezer

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FMAs seem to very diverse. No surprise I guess, considering the diversity of the Philippines. Something like 7,000 islands in the cultural crossroads of the South China Sea. So not surprisingly, FMAs may use the same names, such as Eskrima, Arnis or Kali but be very different not only in their appearance, but right down to their conceptual root.

For example, even when practicing with the same kind of weapon such as a single stick, you may encounter differing approaches. The two FMA systems I've had the most exposure to tend to stress simple direct movements that are very compact and economical. Strikes are typically short and explosive. Most often they are delivered without a "wind-up", that is to say that they are not retracted before delivery, and they do not "follow-through" past the target. Instead the movements are kept tight, and redirected into a follow-up, sometimes changing direction pivoting on a pin-point.

Some other FMAs I've seen often seem to favor much larger movements, with considerable retraction or "wind-up" and a complete follow through past the target, with the weapon often wrapping around the practitioner's waist before flowing back into the next movement.

Here's a good clip of some polished single-stick work showing some larger movements, involving both "wind-up" prior to execution and strong "follow-through":



I had a bit more trouble finding a good clip showing more compact movement without a lot of "follow through" but this seems to fit the bill. I stumbled across the second clip and thought it was pretty cool. It shows the same kind of demo in super slow-mo like how they photograph bullets. You can see the hard rattan stick bending with the force of the "short-power" acceleration. And the guy demonstrating this is in his sixties!


Different guy, coming from the same system. Not a very good video, but shows some very compact movements (with a variety of weapons) used to shut down the opponent:


What I do now has a lot of this compact stuff and some of the longer movements with more follow through. IMHO each has it's place. Just wish I could generate power like in those Latosa clips! So How about you guys. What do you favor?
 
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Carol

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Short power? Hey man, I'm 5'1", I'm short power, personified. :lol:

In all seriousness....both, really. Effective training should cover a variety of ranges. The strikes with a long windup and heavy follow through are absolutely devastating. Plus they are very satisfying to do, esp. at the end of a long day ;)

However, a self defense scenario could easily technique in tight spaces. In addition, the compact movements are a good test of skill, as you cannot rely solely on weapon travel as a source of power. Emin Boztepe is, if I recall, more famous for his Wing Chun than his Escrima...it certainly makes sense that he is very compact with his movements. Guros Mike and May Williams in Massachusetts also teach Wing Chun along with their FMA; the two can blend and flow together very well.
 

seasoned

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Speaking from the perspective of my art, but keeping in mind that power generation has a common source, wind up and long moves point the way to short explosive moves. We teach the big moves with exaggerated follow through, while also learning the body mechanics of full body involvement in the techniques.
Once the above is realized through much practice, the shorter more economical moves are favored, which will produce "short power".
Long story short, short compact strikes for close combat are what we are trying to accomplish.
 

harlan

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Ditto on what Seasoned says. Just broke my third bo this year on what I consider a 'short', light strike during instruction. Economy of motion comes with training, and if there is time for the study, I don't see starting big/chambering/follow through too big an obstacle to overcome.
 

James Kovacich

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Angel Cabales was 1 of Renes early instructors where he learned Serrada. That is likely the short strike influence. Leo Fong was a Cabales student and Bruce Lee student. I think he calls his art Short Strike Eskrima. I do Serrada also, my instructors were 2 of Mike Inays students. Serrada has definately influenced SF Bay Area MA. :)

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Carol

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There is definitely a place for larger motion in the FMAs. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't train for compact motion as well, it means that larger motions should not be dismissed as unskilled. Here is a clip of Guro May training in Oido de Capurata arnis with her instructor in the Philippines. Notice how many of these movements are less about wrapping force around a target and more about forcing the target completely down to the ground.

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James Kovacich

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As Mike Inay evolved Inayan Eskrima, to cover more all ranges, he added Largo Mano, Sinawali, Kadena de Mano Dequerdas and minor arts but the heart of IE lies in Serrada, Sinawali and Kadena de Mano atleast as I've experienced it.

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geezer

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Carol, thanks for that very cool clip. Tapado is a little different because of the longer weapon. What are those sticks? About four feet long? But even so, I'd say that the old master keeps his movements pretty compact for a double-handed swing. Even though the stick swings behind him, he keeps his hands in front of his body, and by hitting the ground, he limits his follow through so as not to create too big an opening.

Here, let me give an example of what I consider an unnecessarily, even dangerously big movement. Check out how the roof block is performed on this clip starting at about 1:10. He raises the stick very high and circles all the way around behind his head into a no. 1 counterstrike. It's a big movement that leaves his head exposed:


Now check this out this clip I found. It's just some old guy out in his backyard showing his Serrada take on a roof block. A lot more efficient, especially the "combat" version shown at 55-1:10:


OK, you probably noticed that this "old guy" is actually Serrada Master Ron Saturno. The dude's older than me and fast as freakin' lighting. I find his "combat" applications of Serrada are very similar to some of what I trained with Rene Latosa.
 
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geezer

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Angel Cabales was 1 of Renes early instructors where he learned Serrada. That is likely the short strike influence. Leo Fong was a Cabales student and Bruce Lee student. I think he calls his art Short Strike Eskrima. I do Serrada also, my instructors were 2 of Mike Inays students. Serrada has definately influenced SF Bay Area MA. :)

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James, you're quite right about Rene's early training under Angel Cabales. Max Sarmiento was also a huge influence on him as well as his dad, John Latosa. I think the latter two influenced him greatly in his approach to developing power. Rene's a big guy, especially for a Filipino-American. He uses power somewhat differently than a small fast person like GM Cabales, ...or Ron Saturno for that matter.
 

James Kovacich

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Geezer,
Max Sarmiento is where Mikes Kadena de Mano came from. John Lacoste was another figure who was "around" them way back. My instructor has some old video of him doing something that resembles Kadena.

In IE, Inayan Eskrima there are overhead movements, mainly Sinawali, but they mostly come in the later combos. The core throughout is pretty tight with the exception of chambering, but still pretty tight.

I understand why Mike brought in the other styles into IE, to cover all ranges and differant body types... but for me Serrada was a natural fit from day 1. :)

My wifes uncle and his Kenpo Instructor were some of Mikes earliest students and what they do today is short and powerful Serrada. They've shortened the numbered targets, shortening the number of strikes. A lot of strikes are only slightly angled differant so focusing on their core they technically cover it all but the focus is on the upper body with shorter powerful movements including shortening the footwork (it dosen't take much to change positions). In IE a #1 follows through with a slicing motion and in Macias-Subega Fighting Systems (my wife uncle and his instructor) a #1 hits and quickly snaps back. I love it, it's short and sweet. My other instructor was Mikes last student and he teaches the complete IE (7or8 syles within IE) with his addittions. :)

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James Kovacich

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Correction I thought I was told that IE was 7 or 8 styles total but it's 6. Espada y Daga is the 1 didn't mention already.

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Danny T

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Pekiti-Tirsia is a system that to one not knowledgable of the higher levels would probably say is a large movement (big windup and follow through) system. And it is in the beginning and through much of the intermediate material where most all training is for the development of body movement and positioning for power. However when one is introduced to the Segidas and Contradas the movements become much more compact yet the power is still there because of how the practitioner has developed with the previous training. As one continues to develop different ranges have different problems to solve and require different solutions.
 

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