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Set of 6 DVD's focusing on the application of Derobio Escrima utilizing different weapons.For more…
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Mokomoko Invitational 2019 at Campbell Community Center

March 16, 2019 all day
I highly recommend this tournament in Northern California for those FMA/Karate/Shaolin guys out…See More
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Most forms of Filipino Martial Art styles employ the solo baston, doble baston, long and short combinations, knife work, empty hands, grappling, and so on. In fact it’s rare to see a teacher or practitioner of FMA that sticks to one aspect of FMA. But is it a necessity to train in many aspects of FMA? Did European fencing clubs practice boxing as well as fencing techniques? What if single stick was the only method someone placed all of their focus on, would it be enough or are multiple facets an integral part of the Filipino Martial Arts?

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Comment by Marc Lawrence on May 31, 2014 at 9:47pm


The dynamics of fighting require you to have a certain level of skill with a impact weapon, a blade and your hands and feet. I have seen barrio systems that are just single stick and single knife. The system my wife's family showed me was just single stick and some simple punching and kicking mixed in. On the other side of the family they had just single knife. Very effective not very complicated but basic barrio street fighting skills. The problem is that many teachers make their living with their arts so them make them last to keep students around to help pay bills. This a quote from a friend of mine who just teaches a style of long stick. I think that if you look at Bartitsu  you will see Walking stick-(La Canne), Savate, Boxing and stand-up Jiujitsu. this is what you call a well round art. It was put together to deal with street crime of victorian era. Edwardian period was very interesting for the street crime in America, England and France.

Comment by Mani Adams on June 3, 2014 at 6:20am

You should read up on James Figg and the multiple weapons and methods he taught. 

Comment by Zach Jenkins on June 3, 2014 at 9:09am
Hello Marc,
I found your response very interesting and one I didn't expect. To be honest I anticipated a multitude of reasons why FMA stylist should train every weapon under the sun. Thanks for your input my friend.

Comment by John R. Malmo on June 5, 2014 at 10:29am

When I teach, I often say, much to my students' annoyance, "it's all the same - same same".  I demonstrate the principles and concepts using double, single, empty hand, knife, espada y daga, belts, etc. and show that it doesn't matter what you are using, or not.  Movement is movement.  Double stick should teach you empty hand, single stick, etc.  Let each aspect inform and educate the others - as each weapon has its own unique properties, applications, strengths, and weaknesses.

Focusing on one aspect is not bad in and of itself.  I have encountered systems that utilize one weapon, always, with limited movements and principles that were extremely effective for what they were designed for - defeating an attacker.  One technique, practiced over and over and applied in a multitude of environments is often all that is needed for defense.  It should force you to be good at that one aspect, but it can lead to one dimensionality.  It can also leave out the exploration or play that reveals the depth of a principle.  For me, it can also be lacking in the depth of self-exploration, development, and broader understanding that I seek.

At a number of the seminars I have taught, I have encountered individuals that were very skilled when holding a stick, but when forced to put the stick down they could not apply the same principles - or they did not recognize them.  The same is also true of top notch grapplers.  Insert a knife or stick into the mix, and they often fail miserably.  Remember we are training ourselves not the tool we happen to be holding.

Train for what you have time to train.  Train for your own intentions.  Thankfully, I have all of the time in the world, and I intend on enjoying my time... ;)

"You should not have a favorite weapon, or any other exaggerated preference for that matter. To become overly attached to one weapon is as bad as not knowing it sufficiently well. You should not imitate others, but use those weapons which suit you, and which you can handle properly. It is bad for both commanders and troopers to entertain likes and dislikes. Pragmatic thinking is essential. These are things you must learn thoroughly. "  - Miyamoto Musashi

Comment by Zach Jenkins on June 7, 2014 at 4:22pm

Very Nice John! Thanks for your response.




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