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How often should you incorporate counters and reversals into your flow drills?

While most FMA styles contain flow drills that aid in honing one’s skill I often wonder how often should we (as instructors) disrupt or modify flow drills by incorporating counters and reversals? The one thing I can appreciate most of all with the FMA’s is that we always delve into what if scenarios, and treat our opponent, even in practice, as possibly being skilled enough to counter our technique.

Guro Mike Cardenas

Views: 76

Comment by Michael D. Blackgrave on July 13, 2010 at 11:42am
Kamusta Guro Mike. That's is a very interesting topic. With my crew I interrupt the flow drill all the time, depending on the level of the student in said flow. For the newer guys I like to stick with the flow drill, for thousands of reps. In this way they engrain the motion into their personal hard drives. From there disrupting or adding to, or deleting from becomes much easier. I like to start my guys from largo and then force them into medio and corto and then back out again. I will throw in a punyo here or there and show them how to counter the watik etc from various positions. The key I have found is once disturbing their flow with whatever, getting them back on the flow can be a chore...the disruption throws them off their timing and instead of regaining the flow they start to think more so than reacting to the motion. But I agree, as many disturbances you can enter into the mix the better the student will be at recognizing, debunking and countering the attack, counter, strip or disarm.
Comment by Michael Cardenas on July 18, 2010 at 4:22pm
Thanks for your input Mr. Michael Blackgrave, I agree that returning to the flow after introducing counters can be a challenge and that entering disturbances into the mix is highly beneficial.
Comment by Zach Jenkins on August 2, 2010 at 10:55pm
My style teaches an unorthodox method of using flow drills. We teach flow drills until they can do it well without hesitation, and then we leave it alone and work on fight strategy. This way our students spend more time getting better at fighting and spend less time looking like they're fighting.
Comment by Michael Cardenas on August 4, 2010 at 3:30pm
Thanks for your input Mr. Jenkins, hearing the thought process of my FMA brothers has and will continue to be a tremendous benefit towards, my teaching, and learning.
Comment by Zach Jenkins on August 5, 2010 at 3:04pm
Hello Guro Mike,
I heard Guro Dan Inosanto say at a seminar a long time ago that he learns as much from his begining students, as he learns from his peers and his instructors. A very humble statement coming from someone at his level of knowledge and skill. I think if we are in the habit of emptying our cup, we will never stop learning. That's one of the reasons I like to write in the forums and the blogs because there's a wealth of knowledge out there and I hope that more people get involved and share their experience with us so that we can build new friendships and progress and popularize the art even further.
Comment by Dan Medina on November 5, 2010 at 2:00pm
We like to experiment with our drills we counter then counter that counter with disarms, or if locked with counter locks that are imobilizing and bone crunchingly painfull. as per some of the video's I'v posted.
Comment by Ramyer Asonalleba on November 5, 2010 at 11:11pm
In any form of fighting, the most important thing is the ability to control the fight. This ability includes the ability to influence the outcome of the fight. Uncertainties is the main reason why people die in a fight, but if you were able to anticipate every actions of the aggression, then you are a better tactical fighter. We believed that if you put yourself in a better position for striking, then you would be able to maximize the striking and the blocking. These are the simple principle we use in order to survive a fight. Block deflect disarm slide to counter whenever crossing the plane of the body strike takedown multiple striking end of the fight. All drills are taken from the initial striking while understanding the flow of the motion, non resistant, incorporating the techniques of Wedo-Corto Abanico kurbada which is similar to Eskrido or Baklid. When you have control of the weapon or the hands that holds the weapon while you are doing a counter striking, then you have the control of the fight.

Comment by Michael Cardenas on November 6, 2010 at 6:11pm
Thanks for the input guys, it sure is a lot to think about, I guess there is definitely a balance between the advantages of having two students work on flow drills with a few reversals in order to work on other aspects of timing and situational awareness, but at the same time we need to know the difference between combative drills and non combative drills . Hey Ron any luck with the Rape Awareness class you were trying to develop? If you would like help with that let me know. Mike
Comment by Raul Marquez on February 19, 2011 at 1:53pm
I define reversal as the counter to a counter. That being said, if the counter to a strike is correctly being executed, nobody should be able to counter it. Let's take for example  the 3-count drill Roof/Inside/Drop Drill, when I'm countering an angle with a Roof block (or Inside Sweep or Drop Stick), the other guy can only do a reversal against it if I'm not doing it for real. Bottomline, the trainer should incorporate reversals only at those times that the trainee is not doing the technique correctly.


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