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Author Topic: Escrima styles  (Read 4010 times)
yomitche
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« on: February 11, 2012, 07:13:44 AM »

Hi all! 

Just wondering what others have observed about different styles of escrima and their suitability in full contact engagements.  I have more experience with corto range arts, and am expanding into largo.  I have done a fair bit of full contact sparring (with and without different levels of protective gear).  I have always been a "purist" enthusiast, meaning if one studies Doce Pares (for example), and an independent observer can watch their movement and technique and determine independently what their background is, they are faithful to their teaching.  I have trained in rigid environments where all of the technique disappears in a fight and looks nothing like the original style.  Then I wonder, what's the point of training lIke this if the training is not evident in application?  I have also trained in environments where there is no clear "pedigree" and notice there is a lack of understanding in movements that are borrowed liberally from others.

I have intentionally used very stylized technique in fights before simply to see if the technique is valid under stress.  I have also trained with groups who do not test their technique under stress at all, but they sure look pretty fluid in training!  But a determined, aggressive opponent makes years of their training disappear.

Do others feel certain styles are more suitable for fighting?  Is hybridized technique, and not purist constructs, the most realistic solution? Is style more important that methodology and intent in training, or vice versatile?  Is there any point in studying a single style/system?  There seems to be no truly successful MMA purist, but definitely fighters with strong foundations that branch out to supplement their game.  Has anyone seen fighters with little to no formal escrima training fight successfully in full contact events?  If so, were they relying on other skill sets?

Just curious.  My journey continues and I appreciate the nuanced input of others!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 10:48:22 AM »

I'm looking forward to reading the answers.
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selfcritical
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 03:04:25 PM »

I've had fairly good luck with Pekiti looking like pekiti under pressure, and non FMA-wise, the weapons work of ARMA also ends up looking exactly like the books when exchibited by high-level players.
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yomitche
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 05:16:43 AM »

I have been cross training with some Pekiti oriented folks, though they are not exclusively Pekiti.  Which kind of lends itself to the question about "purists" and faith to an art.  Which may, in itself, be a silly concern when one considers the non rigid formation of some of the arts and the tendency of some of the masters to accentuate their own flavor than to adhere to a strict set.  My balintawak looks quite a bit different from my close friend's, but you can still see we are playing a similar concept.  What distresses me is to see another corto ranged stylists abandon vertical structures, or their live hand under stress and revert to something that relies on athleticism or other physical attributes than stylized technique.  I really enjoyed a DBMA video of Mr. Pallen sparring, and LOVED how he took a minute to get settled but eventually demonstrated a really nice defensive structure indicative of Cebuano stylists.  I really appreciated his willingness to "test" things out too, and liked seeing him adapt his existing skill sets to a new stress.

Ultimately, the outcome of an encounter is most important, though the methods used can be pretty damn important too!  I definitely like the Pekiti flow, and their work at largo range forces me to be committed to entering into corto, where I feel pretty comfortable.  But man, on the outside I demonstrate NOTHING similar to my corto base and rely on attributes rather than technique.  I don't however feel that I'm cheating the art... I just don't have as much to use out there.  But if I DO adopt a skill set on the outside, from Pekiti, for example, am I being untrue to either? If that makes sense... And does faith to an art even matter?  But if you aren't committed to the skill set trained in an art, then what the hell is the sense in spending hours doing it for?  If an art encourages practicing a particular drill, but that drill NEVER has application under stress, does it have any real value?  I have seen very skilled corto stylists, whose close range drills are beautifully honed, demonstrate NONE of it under stress, and wonder, why didn't they just practice something else that would encourage an athletic skill set if that's what they will use in a fight?  All of the training meant nothing in an encounter!

Thanks for the input!  I really appreciate the learned advice and comments from others on this forum!

Respectfully!
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maija
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 11:11:55 AM »

My understanding is that though traditionally it is true that material was passed down from father or uncle to the next generation and as such could be considered a family style, ultimately it evolved with every generation. The only reason material was passed down was that it worked. The next generation was meant to take what they had learned 'and make it theirs'.
I think the idea was that you were always meant to go test your stuff, the stuff passed down to you, the stuff observed from others, opponents or otherwise, and the stuff you had 'stolen'.
It is personally what I have always admired in FMA, this constant search for betterment.
Nowadays schools are more systematized for sure ... but I'm not sure if that is a good thing. The idea of fixed 'boxes' of knowledge seems to go counter to this more traditional approach. Material should come from what is useful, what works, not just what someone told you.
Of course it is harder today to test what you learn, and by necessity limits must be put on contests for safety reasons. I don't duel with real blades for instance, there are no invaders coming that I will have to repel, so what I 'know', my style, has it's limits.
But I think in the end fighting is fighting (though understanding context in hugely important - don't fight an opponent with a sword as though they have a stick for instance) and really evolution will come from new problems, new opponents that need to be beaten.
Just like MMA has evolved over the years as different skill sets have become dominant and opponents have had to learn how to beat them, so with stick fighting, dueling, etc.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 11:24:43 AM »

A comment on Yomitche's observation about corto skills being adrift when at outer ranges:  "But man, on the outside I demonstrate NOTHING similar to my corto base and rely on attributes rather than technique.  I don't however feel that I'm cheating the art... I just don't have as much to use out there.  But if I DO adopt a skill set on the outside, from Pekiti, for example, am I being untrue to either? If that makes sense... , , ,  I have seen very skilled corto stylists, whose close range drills are beautifully honed, demonstrate NONE of it under stress, and wonder, why didn't they just practice something else that would encourage an athletic skill set if that's what they will use in a fight?  All of the training meant nothing in an encounter!"

What I would offer here is that I too had a similar experience with my media and corto skills.  My solution was to find solution to the art and science of closing so that I could arrive to the inner ranges - ideally with advantage, but at the very least safe and sound with my eyes open and in composure.  Many systems have good material in media and corto, but sometimes lack in this regard-- which can result in questions such as those being asked here.

For the Art and Science of Closing we have the following DBMA material:

a) Seven Range Theory, including the Triangle from the Third Dimension
b) Attacking Blocks (these two are covered in the DBMA DVD "Attacking Blocks");
c) the "One for One" skill set (taught in most every thing in the system, but the DVD "Dos Triques" would be the most systematic in this regard;
d) occupying strikes (not yet in any DVD)

TAC,
Guro C.




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C-Smiling Dog
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 12:35:19 PM »

"Just wondering what others have observed about different styles of escrima and their suitability in full contact engagements."

"Do others feel certain styles are more suitable for fighting?"

Here is my take on the above 2 questions from Yomitches posts.

I teach my students that we have to main areas: Sport & Street. When I hear "full contact engagements" I take that as sport or a contest. "Fighting" can also fall under that category, but for the street it is all about survival. I find that the DBMA style composed of many styles and systems is great for a full contact engagement. I have trained in other styles of escrima and I feel it comes down to how you train it as Yomitches said "under stress". Yomitches makes a good observation when he said "But a determined, aggressive opponent makes years of their/your training disappear." I have seen this first hand at the MMA gym I teach and train at. Young men 19/20 yrs old, great athletic ability and minimal training can give you a good run for your $$$. Therefor not every style or every move is suitable for everyone. The practitioner must find what works for them and continue to train his/her in "their own style". This is the concept Bruce Lee had, your escrima is not my escrima (paraphrased). Having a well rounded structure that is adaptable is very important IMHO. Also having a gameplan / fighting strategy vs a specific style is critical, I'm not a huge fan of just winging it. I feel this also applies to the street but looks very different compared to a full contact stick fight. Guro Marc has some great material/concepts for street application as well with the DLO - Die Less Often dvds which you can find at dogbrothers.com

Hope the above makes sense  smiley
Pete Juska
www.chicagofighting.net




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Vector_Joe
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 01:34:02 PM »

I personally am not a big fan of purism to a style just for the sake of it.  I've never formally studied JKD, but do firmly believe in the concept of absorbing what is useful and discarding the rest.  I try to study any and every form of FMA that I can.  Right now, besides my studies in DBMA, I'm also spending some time on PTK (+also Tang Soo Do with my kids).  But I keep an eye out for any seminars or training that I can find.  If a move/technique just doesn't work for me (after really trying to apply it), why should I waste my time.  Rather I should develop techniques that do complement what I can.

I basically agree with everything that Maija stated.  Being the son of Filipino Immigrants to the US, I can say from experience that if FMA is like anything else in the culture, everything is politics and if you don't like something or someone, you just create your own group/style/school even if there isn't huge differences in style.  Of course different schools may focus or apply things differently, but I would say that there is so much borrowing and adapting that there are very few pure styles of FMA.

By the way, I'm not a fighter, more of a practitioner and haven't been at it that long.  And I'm a part time student of PeteJ.


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