Why is it that so many Eskrimadors that demonstrate their brand only demonstrate drills or techniques? Is it because it looks more aesthetically pleasing to on lookers or is it because they're hiding something? Drills are an integral part of any martial arts training program as well as complimentary training for conditioning but do we rely on drills soley because we know they are a safe way of ensuring that we have complete control of the situation in front of an audience?
In my early years of training I was taught drill, drill, drill, but as time went by I grew tired of drilling all the time and wanted to test my knowlege. Members of my group invested in protective gear and we went for it. We went all out in full-contact sparring and what we discovered was that many of the things that we drilled upon didn't work. The other thing that we realized was that it wasn't very pretty either.
I always enjoy watching examples of the Grand Masters past and present that would get out there and challenge what they saw or heard by testing the water. Recently I watched a video of a Grand Master demonstrating sinawalli solo drills and afterwards another Grand Master sparred against him and disarmed one of his sticks within minutes with one well timed strike.
But this is just my prospective on this topic, what do you think? Do some Eskrimador's have a fear of failing?
I love to fail, because failures are our best teachers. We are all just human, after all. Peace.
Are you asking about public demonstrations, seminars, or in class with students?
I've enjoyed seeing what everyone has had to say on this discussion. I wrote a blog about drilling this week: the Progression of Drills. At some point, we have to move past the drills. Drills are part of the progression, but I don't think they should be the end of it. Also, I found this quote from Michael Jordan when I was writing the blog post, "I can accept failure; everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." It didn't apply to my essay, but I think it is a great philosophy for learning.
I have heard comments about it being to graphic or macabre and have hear of practitioners being asked to scale back. I enjoy stunt choreographing so, I personally like to still add an element of reality to the demonstration. But I can easily see why some would stick to drill demonstration. I my self prefer a more life like choreographed situation for onlooker purposes.
As for in training, there should always be a time to test abilities in a "go" situation. Almost like maxing in weight lifting. Do some drilling then test it with pads on (spar). The only way to really get a truer feel.