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    Dead drills in FMA discussion;

    This thread is to discuss "dead" drills you've trained in FMA. In my experience FMAs frequently include dead drills. I feel these dead drills offer a lot of value to the FMA practitioner to get the fighter used to moving with a weapon. However, after a certain point I feel the dead drills reach their peak threshold for learning and the transition must be made to live drills/sparring.

    What dead drills do you do? What is the point? Do you think FMA weapons drills (dead) offer more value than empty hand (dead) drills?

    I think training dead drills in FMA will give most people an advantage over someone who hasn't trained weapons at all. On the other hand I also feel a weapon is an equalizer and can only substitute for so much for athleticism an size. I suppose the same can be said for empty had. A guy who hits the bag empty hand can gain a fair advantage over a guy who does nothing. But I reach further to say that dead weapons patterns equip the fighter better than dead empty hand patterns do comparatively speaking.

    #2
    Great thread jspeedy - I look forward to reading everyone's responses.

    Doce Pares seems to have a fairly strong emphasis on dead drills and forms, but the more I practice them the more co-ordinated I seem to be getting and they do seem to be building useful muscle memory for sparring.

    The standard class(at my level of Yellow belt - Graded last Saturday, go me) consists of
    1) Twirling
    - 4,6,7,11,13 and 15 count patterns with limited footwork.

    This is our warmup and helps build muscle memory for combinations. I particularly like the 15 count and use its diagonal slash into uppercut motion in sparring regularly.

    2) Abesedario - As far as I'm aware this is pretty standard for most FMA, but for the sake of the thread, here's how it goes:
    -Partners face each other, feet together.
    -Attacker does V-Step and strikes angle 1
    -Defender does V-Step and blocks, then executes a preset series of counters.
    -Repeat for all 12 angles, then switch roles.
    -The sequences are then performed with disarms at the end.
    -Often we'll then do the Abesedario with empty hands or different weapon combinations.

    I'm not totally sold on Abesedario myself, although it seems to at least be useful in learning ranging.

    3) Forms
    -We don't always do these, but they're your standard kata-type things that you'll find in most TMA.

    4) Siniwali/Estokada. Again a drill common to most FMA.
    -Preset patterns of Single(Estokada) and double-stick(Siniwali) striking with a partner, where you're striking each other's sticks.
    -With Estokada footwork is strongly emphasised.

    I kinda like Siniwali, I feel its really helped my co-ordination and its improving my blocking.

    5)4 Walls/6 Walls
    -Just started doing these, so hopefully someone else can explain them better than I can, they're sort of close-range block/attack patterns done with a partner, particular emphasis is placed on upper body positioning and hand positioning when checking/blocking.

    I haven't been doing the drills long enough to even have them properly memorized, so no comments on the effectiveness.

    6) Tapi-Tapi
    -This is your basic FMA/Chun trapping goodness.

    I find it helps with hand speed.

    I think I agree with you that dead weapons patterns are more effective than dead empty-hand patterns, particularly when it comes to knife.

    Comment


      #3
      The only ones I use are the DBMA pattern 1 and the lameco 5 drill. They are good for learning to combine the strikes with footwork and you can throw different angles into the drills for variety. I also like them for conditioning.

      Other than those, I despise memorizing forms. Hate! Abhor!

      Comment


        #4


        I'll try and overview my experience with Pekiti and ARMA later, and what I've found less effective in the drilling culture of a lot of insosanto schools, but in the meantime, I think this is a pretty good example of an effective use of flow drilling

        Comment


          #5
          I love drills! I think they are a great learning tool for what they are.

          I don't think my foot work or movement would be worth a dang if I didn't do drills.

          In ESKABO Da'an footwork was not only encouraged but expected as soon as you had it down. In fact they would emphasise how the strikes and techniques did not have power if the proper footwork wasn't used. (To add the leverage of your body weight to strikes, locks, throws ect...) That was a big deal actually. Being aware of your own momentum and leverage and how if affects the power behind what we were drilling. Endless rote repetition is really the only way to make it second nature.

          I honestly feel I would not have learned the art if not for drills. Especially some of the counter intuitive parts like reversals and some of the trickier Sinawali. Drills were such a major component of our curriculum that we wouldn't have had much of a class if they'd been removed. The most basic would be to pick and angle and run through several variations of counter. Example:

          Angle 1)

          Practice three different strike for srtike counters.

          Practice three diferent Dissarm counters.

          Practice three different lock counters.

          Practice three different take down counters.

          By the time you've done a few hours of that, the fundamental movements that make up each technique start comming pretty fast. You would have exposure to the whole art withn a few weeks and start getting pretty darn good within a couple of months.

          As a learning tool, I think the compliance drills were invaluable for imparting technique. Also the way I was taught them brought even inexperienced players up to a decent level within jaut a couple of months. That was my experience anyways.

          The one thing drills didn't do is to prepare us for live resistance or impart actual DEVASTATING power. But those aspects were not ignored...

          From day one we were encouraged to take every strike we learned and go full blast against tires and bags. Some movements like Abanico just don't have any juice unless you learn to torque your whole weight behind it.

          While "class time" was mainly about drilling, we were incouraged to connect with our senior instructors for sparring with added sticks and trainer knives. This would happen like Randori at the end of class sometimes or it would be an impromtu after class or weekend hookup sort of deal.

          The aliveness really changes things of course...

          But we wouldn't have had anything to bring to sparring and try to pull off witout the drills.

          So sparring tasught us the REAL speed at which we needed to be able to dance. The bag taugh us how to do it with POWER. But the drills taught us what the heck we were doing in the first place.

          Does that make sense? Man I hope I didn't just ramble out my ass...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Mr. Machette View Post
            So sparring tasught us the REAL speed at which we needed to be able to dance. The bag taugh us how to do it with POWER. But the drills taught us what the heck we were doing in the first place.
            This sums up my recent experience pretty much perfectly. +1 for you sir.

            Comment


              #7
              Most of our drills aren't dead, they often have a base to work from that if never done beyond that level would be dead, but they usually expand into different lines so that you are constantly having to read where the next line is coming from. We were using a couple of the fixed sumbrada drills, but replaced those last year with a whole set of randomized counter-for-counter drills. I still use the fixed sumbrada drills when I teach a seminar, because it allows an attendee nice take home training package that is easily retainable, but within my own training group we don't use them anymore. The downside is that it becomes easy to not do certain counters and stick with favorites.

              At some point, after the different drills are lego blocked together the training is very alive as just about any technique can be thrown. There is also a transitional "technical sparring" that blends the drill to sparring progression.

              GT has a fairly well known statement of "learn the drill, do the drill, forget the drill," meaning that the purpose of the drill is skill development not an end to itself.
              Last edited by blindside; 9/01/2012 7:17pm, .

              Comment


                #8
                We have a few redondo drills in Bahad Zubu but I think they're mostly just to force body mechanics for more power. It's a lot of weight shifting and pivots like in boxing punches. My instructors also seem to be really against doing a bunch of drills that are stick to stick so we don't do that.

                Also, we have this thing called castagado (sp?) where we whack eachother with rattan at close range. GM Yuli Romo decided that people don't like live stick fighting because they aren't used to getting hit so he invented this in order to toughen everyone up. I guess that's why most Bahad zubu guys do live stick at least once in a while.

                http://youtu.be/qd03cGYInAQ

                Comment


                  #9
                  i've yet to see an art that doesn't have dead drills. the problem is never moving past them.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by selfcritical View Post


                    I'll try and overview my experience with Pekiti and ARMA later, and what I've found less effective in the drilling culture of a lot of insosanto schools, but in the meantime, I think this is a pretty good example of an effective use of flow drilling
                    That video never gets old.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I feel that the dead drills are for 2 different things: working as reference materials, and conditioning.

                      1. reference materials: these help build the conceptual framework you need to "play". Fighting is a complicated game; one of those roleplaying ones that needs reference books and stuff. Drills are the reference books of movement, anatomy, structure etc, and a good player should know them well.

                      2. conditioning: I don't mean this in the way a lot of martial artists do (ie banging forearms together, cardio etc). I mean conditioning the body and mind to do a certain thing in response to a certain thing. For example, you could learn to block and counter a forehand, and block and counter a backhand, if you only did sparring, but IMHO you'd be better off if you started by having someone throw them, over and over again, in drilling, so that your body develops the responses you're looking for.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think of drills the same way I think of scales, finger exercises, and practice pieces for instruments. They help build a solid foundation for the 99.99% of us who aren't prodigies.

                        If, however, all you ever do is play scales or practice chord shapes you will never be able to jam. You must try to play songs, no matter how much you suck.

                        The guys that piss me off are the ones who have no level between pattern drilling and full out sparring. Let's try a little call and answer before you decide to shred like Malmsteen.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Elastiko - Partners are weapons length away and take a stance. The feet are planted and the partners trade strikes 1 for 1. The point is more to manipulate your body to change the angle of your strikes as well as blocking or avoiding. So you can strike lunging forward, avoid by lunging back, strike at the legs by lowering your body, so on and so forth.


                          Like others, not the most realistic drill, but it does get some good muscle memory in for changing your stances to attack and defend. It helps me open up my game when we spar.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Do you guys fuck around with your partner when you do drills?

                            My instructor...encourages and applauds it. And if your partner fucks with you and you can't keep up then get hit then it's your fault. I thought it was weird at first but it makes it a little less monotonous.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Twobits View Post
                              Do you guys fuck around with your partner when you do drills?

                              My instructor...encourages and applauds it. And if your partner fucks with you and you can't keep up then get hit then it's your fault. I thought it was weird at first but it makes it a little less monotonous.
                              Only when they've reached a level where they can adapt to it and we're not so focused on working on an individual skill.

                              Otherwise, you're just being a douche.

                              Comment

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