I was asked to post a critique of some of his videos, mostly concerning stickfighting because the grappling etc vids are best handled by others. I feel I should point out who I am to get an idea of my biases and credentials. I have informally studied stickfighting for years, combining elements from a lot of sources and working it into the kung fu weapons classes I taught. I did kung fu for about nine years (black sash in 2006), which isn’t directly relevant for stickfighting but it has helped me notice subtlety in movement. For roughly two years, I sparred one a week with fencing masks, gloves and rattan sticks (as well as training knives) and I’ve fought at two Dog Brothers gatherings and attended two others just to watch. I've also done some tournaments with padded weapons. I quit kung fu and now I’m studying under a well known FMA master in San Diego. So I am by no means an expert, but I know what I’m looking at. So here’s my critique of a few videos:
YouTube - Hacomtaewresdo - Warrior Weapons Single Stick
YouTube - Hacomtaewresdo U.S.A Intro, Headmaster Abraham Hardy
YouTube - Hacomtaewresdo - Warrior Weapons Double Sticks
I also watched the stick ones. Actually those ones were better than the "rare footage" ones from earlier. Like Whacker said it looked kinda sloppy. Now, I realize that styles do things a little differently for different reasons, so what I look for is consistency in repeating moves. In repeating sequences, I saw lots of little things that were different. One thing I noticed in his double stick sumbrada exercise with a partner, he chambered his left stick next to his shoulder as if ready to strike down, but held his right one with his stick down as if to thrust/sok sok.
I don't want to sound totally negative though, because it looked to me like he has had some FMA training. The main reason I say this is because his footwork moves in a triangular way in a light, mobile stance. A lot of kung fu/tkd/karate guys who fake FMA learn some fancy stick twirls but often have stiff, low footwork. Was it great? No, but I've seen worse. The other thing I liked is that these videos showed a little more technical variety than the original stick video, where he basically demonstrated that he could swing his stick both left and right. In the later ones he was doing some crossadas and stuff, so that was a little better.
The other thing I look for when I watch someone's single stick work is what their other hand is doing. I like to use my off hand like this- if I'm doing an inward swinging motion, my other hand will move inward towards my lead shoulder, and if I'm doing an outward swinging motion, my other hand will either counterbalance the opposite direction, or it will extend forward after the strike, in order to check or strike with it and load your body for a push/pull motion on the next inward strike. Sometimes he would use his off hand in this way, and other times he would keep it glued to his right shoulder, which is a beginner tendency because your hand has to be somewhere.
My impression is that this guy has done a little FMA, but has spent most of his time casually swinging his sticks around while listening to music, in a somewhat disorganized fashion. I would have liked to see some stick sparring or at least some two person drills utilizing more footwork.
And I'll add my thoughts in too, as requested.
This part of Codos's comments rang most true with me. I didn't see anything in the clips that gave me an impression of high level competency with the sticks. Granted, he doesn't bash himself in the head or anything (which says to me he's been taught the basics, and swings the sticks around a bit), but there wasn't the body mechanics I'd expect to see from someone claiming to teach.
Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra
(and, my personal disclosure: been in the martial arts since 1982, and in arnis since 1991)
I'll support this and Codos' statements as well, though my credentials are not nearly as impressive. I trained 5 animal Kung Fu for a year and a half, the school was also half Modern Arnis. Though I didn't train in Arnis explicitly, or gain any rank in it, there was more than enough cross-training by virtue of the curriculum that I do have some experience and knowledge.
Originally Posted by Chili Pepper
The thing I picked up on in his first video was targetting. We were always instructed to visualize what you are striking at, especially when just practicing movements in air. I didn't see much or any of that watching his "demo". From this and his movements my guess is that he hasn't done much (or any?) stick sparring either.
In short, what Codos and Chili said. Some minimal training, some swinging sticks casually, but nothing in his mechanics or control looked at all like I recall my instructors.
I think that a critique could get a lot more in depth and less conceptual if some grapplers would comment on his grappling videos.
I'm a white belt in BJJ. Meaning, I don't know **** about ****. That said, even I can tell that this guy has the actual skill level of someone who is probably sub-white belt, meaning he hasn't even ever actually trained under an instructor. So, just for fun, in the first video:
38 seconds in: I'm certain that is not a shoulder lock or any lock up at all. Looks like he's going for ude gatami (An armbar) but doing it completely incorrectly
49 seconds in: Doesn't put foot in hip, swings his left leg over instead of scraping it across the face:
1:08: Maybe this is a legit technique, but it looks like he's doing a kimura from guard incorrectly and accidentally hitting a reverse armlock type thing? I'm not sure.
2:30: Blackbelt magic hip-bump sweep.
2:40: Falls back before leg is in place.
3:37: Butterfly sweep ("reversal" as he calls it) with no upper body control.
4:35: This is probably the most telling, performs a white belt americana by cranking up first instead of pulling the elbow into the body. I've learned this move from 4-5 instructors and never seen anyone do it like that. You can submit someone that way, but it is incredibly inefficient and most instructors will specifically tell you not do that. Most white belts who are skilled at all stop doing it that way.
I don't feel like looking at the rest, and I'm sure someone who actually knows what they're talking will come through and point out more examples (And stuff I was wrong about too), but it's obvious to a BJJ neophyte that this guy has no clue what he's talking about. Also worth noting is that a lot of it is hard to comment on because it's just so strange and not related to BJJ at all, which I guess is okay since he's not calling it that. The BJJ/Submission wrestling techniques in there are terribly executed though.
Edit: Someone is going to hvae to explain that "shoulder lock" of his, because he does it in several videos...
Last edited by CarotidCrank; 11/04/2010 10:36pm at .
Having worked for the Y in the past, I know 100% they have Tai Chi officinados come in a teach a 10 posture form for instructors to use in a fitness class. It is not, nor has it ever been, a true study of Tai Chi. It is also not to be used for anything other than fitness classes.
I have only had a limited exposure to TaiChi, but from what I have observed his movement is to fast, to high in his stances, his leg are to straight, and his weighting in his feet is off(but I can't place why).
I can only comment on his boxing, kickboxing, and other striking skills. He has no real experience with coaching, which becomes a pparent in his not correcting day 1 mistakes(leaning forward, hands to low, punching from the chest, kicking with no chamber). I wish my grappling skills were "up to snuff" so I would rip him on that, but I only have Gracie Combatives and Roy Dean's material to base my assessment off of.
The kicker in this link keeps dropping his hands, the back hand dropping is less damming, but the way he drops his front hand makes his body twist in two different directions killing his power. Either way, a brown belt in anything should know how to keep their hands up.
*My credentials for this critique are that I kickboxed off and on for a few years...so basically dick all, but I do know body mechanics and im pretty sure someone with better credentials can back me up on this one if necessary.
Aside from the fact that someone decided that three seperate movies of someone doing the exact same basic form should be on youtube, she does her spins sloppily in that they should either spin as if the nunchakau was a single stick(180 degrees), or at a 90 degree angle.
* a few years of nunchakau
This guy is pretty fast, but he is too far away (the person would be able to pull away) and his movements once he has "locked" the person are too blocky to actually work, he looks like he watched a video of someone doing this and tried to copy it.
*Locks and breaks are an essential part of limalama.
Last edited by donoraen; 11/05/2010 12:08am at .
Reason: I don't proof read enough
Not to mention he's hitting with his foot. Sure he's getting great speed but on a regular heavy bag(or somebody's shin) he'd be in a lot of pain. He's pivoting on his foot correctly but his hands are low and loose leaving his head completely exposed. Now you could argue it's only a demo of how fast he can throw his kicks but take a look at this vid.
Originally Posted by donoraen
YouTube - Taewresdo Kickboxing basics - Basic Muay Thai style combos
The student keeps making the same mistakes in technique but he doesn't correct them. She's not using her shoulders with the jab or cross so there's no power in them and the hook is awful, the elbow is down and she's practically swinging from the hips at times. And this is from the comments
Yeah, this here is the Tigeress and she is pretty good for someone who does not have alot of hours trainig yet, a total natural. I see alot of what you say here in the women i train and that they are very intuitive and pick up the art quickly. HCWCombatArts
Now I'm a n00b myself but everything I just pointed out were among the first things I learned. If I'm able to point these mistakes out then there are certainly bigger ones being made.