Bayani Warrior Training Part III

Posted: June 4, 2014 in General, Vendor Reviews
Tags: , , ,

It’s been about three weeks since my last class, so I realized I need to make it out to Addison last night even though I injured my left elbow and right ankle over the weekend.  At first, I thought I picked a terrible day to train since this was a very physical session.  After a footwork drill, we proceeded to exercises designed to work the body in the same manner as an actual fight.  For four minutes, we performed a sequence of four exercises, each for twenty seconds, followed by a ten-second rest interval.  Since I was barely able to extend my left arm and could not bear any weight on it, I was forced to do the modified exercises.  It does suck to be the guy that picks up the lightest kettle bell 🙂

Each of the four exercises was designed to work areas of the body that are important in actual fights.  The reason that such exercise is performed at the beginning of a training session is that most all fights happen when you least expect them.  You are likely to be tired or stressed, and will not have time to fully stretch out and prepare for a confrontation.  Mike explained some of the progressions of this training, which include carrying weights while moving through exercises.  This simulates being able to carry a downed partner, say to a vehicle, and being able to concentrate enough on the task at hand to open the vehicle and escape while being pursued by multiple attackers.

After the opening exercises in which I starred as class wimp, we broke into two groups.  My group reviewed basic stick drills followed by stick-and-dagger drills.  Proper hold and thrust of the dagger was emphasized.  Mike explained that stick motions tend to be highly physical while dagger and knife usage is more surgical.  There is no need for excessive thrust or body movement when working with the dagger.  I found it very interesting how the stick-and-dagger drills followed naturally from the stick-only drills.  Kali is all about what works and being able to both use and defend against practically any edged or impact weapon.  You should be able to fight with nothing in your hands or anything you can put in your hands.  Even a rolled-up magazine that was discarded on the side of the road could be fashioned into an improvised impact weapon, and all the techniques we learn in class naturally extend to such weapons.

After the basic drills, my group reviewed the four-step stick sequence.  Although we are still at the stage of thinking about the individual moves, the instructor emphasized concentrating on stick position and the natural flow of defense and attack from various positions.  We went through the four-step both fluid and in individual steps to make very light contact with the actual target area.  This is important for the student to understand the need to always focus on hitting a target, not the other person’s weapon.  The use of footwork as the primary means to avoid a strike was also a point of focus during the exercise.  The use of your own weapon for deflection of a strike is a backup for footwork.  This is consistent with other martial arts where I’ve often heard the phrase that the best block is a miss by your opponent.

Another modification to this exercise was the substitution of sparring sticks for the Rattan sticks.  The lighter and more flexible sparring stick allows for more realistic strikes and further emphasizes the need for good footwork.

Speaking of sparring sticks, that was the last class activity.  I had to take it easy with a throbbing right ankle and being unable to switch between right and left hand, but it was good to spar under conditions where I had compromised body parts.  This simulates an attack in which I may have to fight with less than full faculties.  Normal sparring was followed by loss of limb sparring where a touch on any limb means that limb can not be used for the remainder of the session.  A head touch indicates a kill and end of fight.

Overall, it was another good session and I’m looking forward to my next June class.  If you want to try it out for yourself, contact Mike Pana at bayaniwarrior [at] gmail [dot] com for more information on class times and location.

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