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The question no practitioner of FMA wants to hear

The question: How practical in today's world is the use of the stick or sword as a necessary means of self-defense?

 A question like the aforementioned one is enough to get many practitioners of FMA triggered.  The common rebuttal is often the fact that any object can take the place of the stick or sword.  Really? Like what?  A tennis racquet, an umbrella, a baseball bat?  The problem with this analogy is that just like sticks, normally none of these items are readily available when faced with a threat. Some may say that FMA is more than just the ability to use the stick(s) or sword but the question was regarding the stick or sword not other aspects of the art. So why do we continue to practice these things?  

What are your opinions on this matter? 

Views: 385

Comment by Al S on June 30, 2017 at 7:11am

Guro Zach,

Before I attempt to comment I would be interested in knowing what your answer would be to your own question. Depending on your answer, my comments may be unnecessary.

Comment by Zach Jenkins on June 30, 2017 at 7:47am

Hello Guro Al S.,

 Very wise as always my friend.  I'm not sure if my answer will coincide with yours but to answer my own question I would say that the stick and sword will never be obsolete as a practical means of self-defense because a weapon is no more than an extension of the body anyway.  Eliminating them as part of a self-defense mode would be like cutting off one's own limb.  This is my opinion of course.


Comment by Al S on June 30, 2017 at 9:28am

Guro Zach your answer is good but too generic because as you know other martial arts not just FMA make use of sticks and swords. "So why do we continue to practice these things?" I have been an adult student of FMA for over 40 years and  have been exposed to many different styles of FMA and highly skilled masters of the art and I can confidently explain that mastering the sticks of FMA alone will provide a strong foundation for self defense whether or not a weapon is available. When explaining FMA to a martial artist or a person with no training we must emphasize that FMA is not just striking or blocking with a stick. It is that with FMA the mastering of the stick integrates footwork, target awareness, body angles, etc. and most importantly flow which can be applied with a weapon, without a weapon and against a weapon.

Now to get on your case, why did you asked "What is the point of the drill" on the James Windholtz's video - Old School Lacoste Arnis Cross Stepping Double and Single Stick Drill?

Again, I think you know the answer.

Comment by Zach Jenkins on June 30, 2017 at 11:38am

Thank you Guro Al S for your perspective on this topic.  I agree with you 100%.

Comment by Zach Jenkins on June 30, 2017 at 1:40pm

So as far my other comment regarding the Old School Lacoste Cross Stepping, I'm still waiting for an explanation of how this drill is beneficial.  No disrespect intended.

Comment by James Windholtz on July 2, 2017 at 4:10pm

No offense taken. Sorry for not responding right away.You asked a question that required a thoughtful response. I am glad you found merit in that drill. I am just an old man living in my martial arts past, trying to share something I learned long ago.  

As for your question, like Guro Al S states FMA  has the broadest spectrum of martial arts training to offer. None better IMO. I Started in a blended arts school that offered Shaolin, FMA and WC. Shaolin has great foot work, great sword forms but a 6 foot staff form? Seriously? Then after learning that you had to learn a two man! Ugh who walks around w a 6 foot staff on their person? Wing Chun great hand to hand but wasnt impressed by the Butterfly Swords. What are you going to do, Quan Sao, Tan Sau me w a side or shuffle step? Sorry WC guys. All arts have merit and if you just study one, be the best that you can be!

We train to condition response to a martial situation. The more skills learned the more options in ones response. The skills come out in a reflex situation, martial or other wise. Weapon hand or hand to hand. That is our goal or at least mine. I think you know that Guro Zach Jenkins. Great subject though. Self reflection is always good in life.

I remember in mid 20s I was running to my front door in a rain storm and slipped and my feet went out from under me. I broke fall slapping the concrete because I was trained to do that, however I didnt expect to impale a key into my palm. Still have the scar and everyone at the hospital had to come look at it B4 they removed it! Fast forward 25 plus years at MOKO MOKO this year I lost my knife and after being punched across my face shield 2 times my conditioned response kicked in w an upper cut cross which spun my opponents head gear around his head. That stopped him from punching me. You cant punch what you cant see. I posted those pics and video, kinda neat. A violation but a conditioned response from weapon hand to hand to hand.

Comment by Bill on July 19, 2017 at 5:23am

Punong Guro Edgar Sulite did a series of videos showing the use of field expedient weapons to include a tennis racket.  if you do deep enough research, you will find that anything we pick up can be used to defend yourself when the fecal matter hits the oscillating device.

Comment by Guro David Battaglia on November 5, 2017 at 10:25pm

Guro Zach, I teach my students to convert what they do with a sword, stick or pocket sticks to every day, and tactical weapons. A walking cane, tactical flashlight, keys, pocket knife and to practice with them under duress, in street clothes. The angles, and movement are all there. The adjustments are made when they practice deploying, and using their tools, under duress.

Thank you,

Maestro Dave


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