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  1. ma1234 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 4:08pm

    Bullshido Newbie
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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    What Makes a Good Arnis/Escrima/Kali School?

    I'm interested in joining a FMA weapons-based school, but I don't know what to look for. I have a background in wing chun (4 years) and jujitsu (not brazilian) (1 year). I'd like to think that I can recognize bullshido when I see it, but my confidence in that only extends to empty-hand arts. I'm not at all confident about my ability to recognize weapons-based bullshido, so I'd like some advice.

    What are some of the key things that you look for in a high quality weapons school?
  2. Ke?poFist is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 5:36pm

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     Style: Kaju, BJJ, Judo, Kempo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've never trained, but I'd assume the same that makes any other martial arts school worthwhile. Regular pressure testing of techniques, sparring in this case with either padded weapons or with a bit of protective gear on, and of course a short Filipino as an instructor ;)

    I couldn't tell you a good compliant weapons demo from a bad one either, but the schools training methodology should speak for itself.
    Knowing is not enough, you must apply...
    ...Willing is not enough you must do
    ~Bruce Lee

  3. Thaiboxerken is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 6:14pm

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     Style: Kru-MuayThai,GJJ-Blue

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    See if they have a good MMA program as well.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire.
  4. ma1234 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 8:24pm

    Bullshido Newbie
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Kempofist: Thanks, I definitely feel that you're right about the pressure-testing part. I think that's one of the most crucial parts of any program (which is why I've never found something forms-based to fit me).

    Thaiboxerken: Should it have a good MMA program, even though I don't want to train MMA? Surely a school can teach great weapons-based stuff without even being trained in anything MMA-ish.

    Does anyone know if there are classic bullshido-ish things that you can look for when watching weapons-based sparring? For example, I know that if I walk into a dojo and see students trading side kicks in purple-belt sparring, then there's probably something wrong.
  5. rangerdavy is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 9:02pm


     Style: BJJ, MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Make sure that you eventually test each technique at full or close to full force. Without that, you're just tapping sticks together.

    Also, make sure that proximity is highly stressed. A lot of crappy Kali groups will drill while standing 2 or 3 feet away (something the Filipinos have derogatively named "Tappy tappy"). When drilling Kali, you should be extremely close.
  6. ma1234 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 9:56pm

    Bullshido Newbie
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    rangerdavy: Thanks! I don't know anything about the ranges involved in Kali, so that's really helpful.

    One of the way sthat we were taught to think about ranges in empty-hand was with the following classification: disengaged (10+ feet), to approach (5-10 feet), to closing (3-5 feet), to contact (1-3 feet), to impact (0-1 feet).

    We spent time working on transitions between the ranges, and on the different levels of movement that you needed to work on, where you were most vulnerable at each range and in each transition, etc.

    Is there similar work in Kali, or does it all happen at a fixed range?
  7. Red Elvis is offline
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    Da Komrads... Again you are MadPelvisOwn3d!

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 10:08pm

    supporting member
     Style: Spetsnaz Shovel-Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Look for a school with:

    Pressure testing
    Excellent Footwork
    Footwork with the ability to strike while moving. FLUIDLY.
    Use of multiple ranges
    Use of various weapons and empty hand
    Open mindedness to other styles and influences
    Understanding of clinch range, takedowns, grappling and their application with and without weapons.
    Realistic approaches to real world scenarios.
    Use of matched and unmatched weapons.
    Last edited by Red Elvis; 4/26/2007 10:15pm at .
    .
    :icon_twis
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    To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without spilling your Guinness.
    Sun "Fu Man JhooJits" Tzu, the Art of War & Guinness
  8. Red Elvis is offline
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    Da Komrads... Again you are MadPelvisOwn3d!

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 10:13pm

    supporting member
     Style: Spetsnaz Shovel-Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by rangerdavy
    When drilling Kali, you should be extremely close.
    I totaly disagree with that statement. You should be familiar with many and all ranges and their application with different weapons.


    Quote Originally Posted by ma1234
    Is there similar work in Kali, or does it all happen at a fixed range?
    It does not happen at a fixed range. The ranges are different then you are saying but the general idea is the same. Ranges vary with weapons as well and will have different application.
    .
    :icon_twis
    .

    To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
    Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without spilling your Guinness.
    Sun "Fu Man JhooJits" Tzu, the Art of War & Guinness
  9. ma1234 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 10:32pm

    Bullshido Newbie
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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Elvis
    Look for a school with:

    Pressure testing
    Excellent Footwork
    Footwork with the ability to strike while moving. FLUIDLY.
    Use of multiple ranges
    Use of various weapons and empty hand
    Open mindedness to other styles and influences
    Understanding of clinch range, takedowns, grappling and their application with and without weapons.
    Realistic approaches to real world scenarios.
    Use of matched and unmatched weapons.
    Thanks for your response, Red Elvis. Most of it makes a lot of sense, and I think that as a non-practitioner I will be able to see. For example, anyone who has trained knows what multiple ranges, realism and application-oriented approaches look like in a training environment.

    I'm a little uncertain about a couple of the things you said. Specifically, the issue with the footwork. Now I know what good wing chun footwork looks like (no, that's not an oxymoron), but I have no idea what good kali footwork would look like. Is it just looking for the basics: balance, fluidity, good transfer, quick responsiveness, solid base, or are there other specific techniques that I should be looking to see if they're using (such as the circle steps that you see in a lot of MA) or not using (the ugly stylized stepping of bad wing chun, for example).

    Also, when you talk about matched and unmatched weapons, I assume you're talking about situations where subject A is using an short stick, and subject B is using a longpole, and that sort of situation?
  10. ma1234 is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/26/2007 10:33pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Elvis
    It does not happen at a fixed range. The ranges are different then you are saying but the general idea is the same. Ranges vary with weapons as well and will have different application.
    That makes sense, since I would assume that having a chunk o' wood in you hand would change the range at which you engaged the person you were dealing with.

    Also...Kali has grappling? This is something I didn't know.
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