16 May 2008

Chopped Sticks

Just had an awesome eye opening introduction to Filipino stick fighting. Our club was lucky to host, as our guest instructor, Ermar Alexander from the Danny Guba Doces Pares fighting system. Alex is a 5th degree black belt and world champion in stick fighting. He gave us a 2 hour introduction to eskrima. Alex began with stick twirls. To escrima practitioners, this is the basic core drill to strengthen and flex the wrists. We started with four strike drill which took us nearly half an hour to get the hang of. If you've never done stick twirling, it makes even the most experienced martial artist a befuddled fool. We built up the combos until we were doing 15-strike drills with added foot movements. Most of us were scratching our heads and just barely keeping up. Then we moved to harder striking techniques. I liked these since it was a good feeling to thrash the stick and make that whooshing sound. After a short break, Alex moved to angles of attack where you drill a preset kata of moves on your uke. This could be done with stick, knife or even empty hand. We were also shown a glimpse of counter stikes, disarms and joint locks. Obviously, these set of techniques caught our eyes the most as they are related to jujitsu.
Finally, the showpiece of the evening, the full contact sparring. Plucky James was first and actually, he took to it pretty well. Even Master Alex was surprised at his vim and vigour. James was buzzing afterwards and raving about how good it made him feel to enter the ring. David was up next, bravely fending off Alex's masterful attacks. Then the finale; David versus James. Two big men smashing ten bells at each other with long sticks, it was fun to watch.
I really enjoyed the seminar. Filipino martial arts has a long history. It is rife with stories of deadly matches and fight offs. In my opinion, it sure looks the real deal and I was privileged to get a taste of what it was all about. Good luck to Alex as he defends his title at the Worlds Championships in July.
Us, well, we'll never look at a baton in the same way again!

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Lun said...

Hey there. Its been a while, and its great to see that you experienced FMA....Hows it going?


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