Author Topic: Escrima as one of my 13  (Read 5322 times)

Offline blademan

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Escrima as one of my 13
« on: November 20, 2012, 11:43:41 AM »
Alright I was working on my 13 list yesterday and decided I needed to do a martial art for self defense reasons and for health reasons. I decided on escrima because it uses a simple comon and usually non threatening object as a weapon and can be scaled up to knives and short swords and down to open hand depending on the situation. Kind of seems like the shotgun of matrial arts. Sticks are cheap and not usually looked at as a weapon when carried properly. And they are highly effective without being instanlly lethal but can be when necessary.
 So, does anyone here have personal experience with escrima? Any suggestions for self instruction such as videos and books.? I am going to take a class but, more resources are usually better. Or just any thought at all. Thanks, I'm all ears.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 12:12:03 PM »
Alright I was working on my 13 list yesterday and decided I needed to do a martial art for self defense reasons and for health reasons. I decided on escrima because it uses a simple comon and usually non threatening object as a weapon and can be scaled up to knives and short swords and down to open hand depending on the situation. Kind of seems like the shotgun of matrial arts. Sticks are cheap and not usually looked at as a weapon when carried properly. And they are highly effective without being instanlly lethal but can be when necessary.
 So, does anyone here have personal experience with escrima? Any suggestions for self instruction such as videos and books.? I am going to take a class but, more resources are usually better. Or just any thought at all. Thanks, I'm all ears.

While there are a number of excellent videos and books, trust me on this one:  Don't worry about them until you have a little instruction from a competent teacher.  FMA styles such as Escrima, Arnis, etc., are best done under tutelage.

I've been doing FMA and FMA-based styles for quite a while now.  I think that, if you can wrap your head around the "philosophy," you'll find these to be excellent martial arts that are immediately, and easily applied to real-world situations.

Once you have some of the basics down (such as Hoobud, Sombrada, Seguida, etc.), then you'll better understand some of the other drills.  This is because you need to get your basic grip, distancing, body movement and footwork.  Without these, you're going to build some very bad, and hard to unlearn, habits if you try to learn techniques from a book.

Just some thoughts.  Hope they help.

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Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 01:22:34 PM »
Ok, I picked the wrong art. There is only one school in my area and for reasons I'm not going to go into, I don't think I want to learn there. For one, its silat not escrima and it looks kind of gimmicky.
   Nothing wrong with silat, I just want to learn escrima.
  So Professor, looks like I may have to wing this. Those sources of self instruction would be much appreciated now. Any other suggestions would be great too.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 07:31:37 PM »
Ok, I picked the wrong art. There is only one school in my area and for reasons I'm not going to go into, I don't think I want to learn there. For one, its silat not escrima and it looks kind of gimmicky.
   Nothing wrong with silat, I just want to learn escrima.
  So Professor, looks like I may have to wing this. Those sources of self instruction would be much appreciated now. Any other suggestions would be great too.

Well, some of the best beginning videos are those done by Michael Janich.  His Martial Blade and Counter-Blade Concepts are based heavily in the FMA styles. Plus, they're not very "martial artsy," just good, common-sense techniques.  Once you get those, take a look at some of the Paladin Press videos such as Secrets of Sinawali or (my personal favorite for what I call "fighting Fu**ery") Cutting The Lines. 

If you've never experienced a filipino compression lock. . .they do tend to get your attention VERY fast.

Simonet & Hernandez's Secrets of Sinawali will give you some excellent basic drills.  It's better if you can find someone to learn and play with, as half the battle is learning to move to engagement/striking ranges and learning to coordinate your "timing."

You can also look under You Tube for Joseph Simonet, Addy Hernandez and Michael Janich and view snippets of the videos and other stuff they've put out, before you buy.

Hope it helps.

The Professor

Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 09:00:23 PM »
Thanks Proff,
   I had heard of Janich from the knife world but I didn't think of hom until you mentioned him. I will look into it. Any recommendations on sticks, I live almost next door to century martial arts so I could get some from them pretty quick and cheap. I kind of like the idea of some that connect stongly on the ends so I can reasonably carry them with me most places as a legitimate walking stuck. What you think sir?

Offline The Professor

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 09:24:49 PM »
Well, and this is my opinion. . .worth exactly what you paid for it, split sticks seldom last.  Generally, the connection point ends up working loose, giving you a wobbly walking stick over time.  Additionally, a sharp-eyed security/police officer, will key in on the split-stick and automatically target you for questioning.

My preference is for the standard walking cane such as those offered by Cane Masters : http://www.canemasters.com/

I have several of these and they are exactly as advertised. Better yet, you can even take them on an airplane and, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, they can't make you feel bad by asking you too many questions about it.

Plus, keep in mind that most assaults are actually ambushes, giving you as little time to respond as possible.  I would much rather have a solid cane with me than one that splits into two pieces.  It comes down to that joint.  That's the weak spot. Granted, if it breaks into two pieces, you just start your sinawali on them, but. . .

Another option might be a pair of expandable batons.  I generally carry one of these with me when I leave the house, but a pair of good ones, such as those made by ASP, can really wreak some havoc on an attacker or attackers.  Just don't get caught with them unless they're legal in your jurisdiction.

Hope it helps!

The Professor

Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 07:20:33 AM »
I have considered the asp or similar baton idea. I have carried those before as a security guard. They are awesome. My problem with it is multiple. Cost. New ones are a bit high. I could go used or with something other than asp and save money. I like asp though.
2. I'm not sure if they are legal in my area. And unless you have a good lawyer, the law is what the cop thinks it is in a lot of cases. 3. Weight and ability to carry almost everywhere.
   The jointed stick is pretty innocuous and even if a cop or mall cop seeds the joint, I will have a carrying case with me to explain that it is my collapsable walking aid. And weighing 300 lbs at 5'10" with two bad feet and two bad knees, I'm not lying at all. Especially if I choose something that doesn't look like rattan or have "ESCRIMA" written one in in big letters. 
 I will look into the asp batons as a back up though. You are right, tho the connetion method has to be sturdy enough to be used for impacting when its together and fast enough to break fast in a time of need. Decisions decisions decisions. I will look around and see what I can find.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 07:42:37 AM »
Alright I was working on my 13 list yesterday and decided I needed to do a martial art for self defense reasons and for health reasons. I decided on escrima because it uses a simple comon and usually non threatening object as a weapon and can be scaled up to knives and short swords and down to open hand depending on the situation. Kind of seems like the shotgun of matrial arts. Sticks are cheap and not usually looked at as a weapon when carried properly. And they are highly effective without being instanlly lethal but can be when necessary.
 So, does anyone here have personal experience with escrima? Any suggestions for self instruction such as videos and books.? I am going to take a class but, more resources are usually better. Or just any thought at all. Thanks, I'm all ears.

I trained with escrima for several years with an instructor. Your results may vary, but I really dont think you're going to see the "scale-able" thing you're looking for. Escrima fighting, sword fighting, knife fighting and hand to hand are all completely different and utilize the advantages of each weapon. For example, with escrima, one of the first things you're going to be taught is to utilize the length of the weapon as much as possible and to strike with the very edge of the stick.... that doesnt translate to sword, knife or hand to hand. It seems like it would but once you get into training with each weapon you'll see what I mean. Also escrima for home defense, although in theory sounds good too, again, you're utilizing their length for maximum force...how much space are you going to have to stick fight in a hallway?

99% of the time I'll never have my sticks with me when I need them so Ive been focusing on becoming more profficient with my knife..... Its something I always have on me and IMO its much more effective as an aggression stopper. Not to mention, if I ever have to use it, I wont have to explain to LEO's what I was doing with a couple 2' long sticks strapped to my back.

Not trying to say you shouldnt learn scrima, its definitely fun....but just trying to give you a heads up that it might not accomplish everything you want it to.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 10:36:26 AM »
I trained with escrima for several years with an instructor. Your results may vary, but I really dont think you're going to see the "scale-able" thing you're looking for. Escrima fighting, sword fighting, knife fighting and hand to hand are all completely different and utilize the advantages of each weapon. For example, with escrima, one of the first things you're going to be taught is to utilize the length of the weapon as much as possible and to strike with the very edge of the stick.... that doesnt translate to sword, knife or hand to hand. It seems like it would but once you get into training with each weapon you'll see what I mean. Also escrima for home defense, although in theory sounds good too, again, you're utilizing their length for maximum force...how much space are you going to have to stick fight in a hallway?

99% of the time I'll never have my sticks with me when I need them so Ive been focusing on becoming more profficient with my knife..... Its something I always have on me and IMO its much more effective as an aggression stopper. Not to mention, if I ever have to use it, I wont have to explain to LEO's what I was doing with a couple 2' long sticks strapped to my back.

Not trying to say you shouldnt learn scrima, its definitely fun....but just trying to give you a heads up that it might not accomplish everything you want it to.

Uh. . .okay. . .perhaps I have a different teacher, then, because the escrima I study includes mano mano (aka suntunkan) as a basic part of Escrima.  This includes hand and foot techniques, trapping, ground fighting and compression locks.

Almost every flow drill can be scaled from hand to weapon.  For example, hubud-lubud can be done empty-handed, doble baston, espada y daga, solo daga/baraw, solo baston, hell. . .just about everything.  Sure, you have to learn to adjust your range, but the basic, gross muscle movement is the same.

(For those unfamiliar with the terms, respectively : double-stick, sword and dagger, single-dagger/knife, single stick).

This means for an incoming straightline attack (e.g., cross, straight-punch, thrust, stab), I have one technique that is scalable from empty-hand to folding pocket knife to fixed blade knife to stick to sword. 

And that's just hubud-lubud.  Practically all sinawali (weaving) techniques can be done empty-handed, it just take a little flexibility of mind. 

But, then again, it may be the teacher.  My teacher is a little, old filipino dude who's about 65 and who has been doing this since he was 3.  For a geriatric midget (and yes, I call him that to his face. . .with respect and humor), he moves better  than most modern 18-year-olds.

Teachers vary.

The Professor

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 11:56:20 AM »
"Sure, you have to learn to adjust your range"

this is a key point that I should have pointed out better and expanded on. Yes escrima on its surface can obviously translate to other weapons. Its a stick...make it out of steel and put an edge on it and you've got a sword, shorten that and you'e got a knife....some things can transfer over. That being said, unless you train with those other weapons you're going to be relying on escrima techniques that are specifically designed to utilize range....not because you have to....because range = mass = force. If I hit something with a stick at close range, the overall force isnt going to be nearly as high as when I utilize the full range of the stick and my arm and hit with the correct impact point of the weapon.... its a trade-off. the less room you have the less force you can create with your weapon.

Not to mention, a stick doesnt have an edge. You take a guy who's trained on a lot of the holds and defensive techniques with escrima and put a sword or machete in his hand ...a large chunk of those techniques are going to be moot, probably ending with some self-inflicted cuts if attempted. Also, when we're in a combat situation you revert to your lowest level of training. If you study 1,000 hours on escrima and take an hour here and there to study knife and hand to hand, what training are your instincts going to revert to? How likely is it that you're going to be utilizing safe and effective techniques with a knife or your hands when all you've really ever trained with is with a stick? How likely is it that you'll be thinking the whole time "god i wish I had a stick"... THAT is a problem.

I'll put it another way. Take swords.... youve got swords for slashing, swords for thrusting, some for horseback, some for small people, some for larger, some for one handed, some for two. They're all swords... but if we could go back in time and put a short rapier in the hands of a samurai, are they going to utilize it effectively? No... japanese sword techniques utilize a completely different set of movements than a rapier does.

Let's go forward in time and use guns as an example. If you've put 1000 hours of handgun training in and a couple hours of rifle, and you're asked to make a perfect rifle shot at 300-400 yards, how likely is it that you're going to hit 10/10 targets?

Im not bashing escrima in the least bit...  ive done a lot of training on it, but again, if the entire point is to train on a weapon system that is going to be reliable, accessible and "legal" depending on your area for EDC, why focus your training on something that doesnt meet these criteria and then have to rely on something you're not as farmiliar with when there are other options that do? No weapon system is going to make you "good" at another one....id much rather diverse myself out and become good at several different types of weapons, that way, no matter what I have to rely on, whether it be a foot, hand, knife, stick, sword, pepper spray, kubaton or gun....I'll have the training in that weapon to be effective with it.

my overall suggestion would be to train on whatever you want to train on if that fits your situation, but to not assume that just something is "kinda" the same that you're going to be able to just move right over and be effective with it.

Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 12:18:50 PM »
Thanks livinitup for your in put I can see your point of view too. If I used sticks and a home defence situation I would probably use shorter sticks, (yes I have thought of this, I'm not making up contradictions on the fly) and use thrusts and overhead deadfall strikes and not long sweeping side to side swings, you are right, that would get my ass handed to me)
    But in all actuality, I would prefer a single stick and an open and or a machete or my 9" chef's knife if I didn't or couldn't use a ballistic solution. As far as the two sticks strapped on my back, I won't do that. I will some how have the sticks connected for "use as a collapsable walking aid" and if I have to tap a dirt bag with it to get him to change his mind, then "officer, I'm just lucky I had my walking stick with me, I could have been seriously injured by this guy" it may be a risk, but I think it is less than using a knife in a self defense scenario in an urban setting.
    Escrima is just the newest thing I am going to learn. I have had a lifelong hobby of martial arts, and have honed my situational awareness and problem solving skills to use as my primary defense. A club or a rock is probably man's oldest weapontool and this doesn't take away from the superiority of the superior weapons, but their effectiveness in the appropriate situation.
   I have a buddy that used to live in a CSA group and his primary combat weapon was a thick rope knotted at each end. Its not the best weapon ever, and in many situations its just flat stupid, however, I know this guy and how fast he can move, and I wouldn't "tangle" with him if he had a knotted rope in hand with anything short of a katana or a gun. Its not the only weapon in my arsenal but the venerable stick will have a space on my shelf this year.

Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 01:02:24 PM »
A club or a rock is probably man's oldest weapontool and this doesn't take away from the superiority of the superior weapons, but their effectiveness in the appropriate situation.
   
What I should have typed:
     But their superiority doesn't take away from the lesser weapons effectiveness in the appropriate situation.

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 01:12:47 PM »
Just thoguht of this...

why not just use a collapsable baton? Its pretty much the same thing no? the auto's are banned in a lot of areas but I think just regular flip-out style batons are ok in most areas. Never used one personally so i dont have any experience in using escrima techniques with it but i'd think it would transfer over really well and could solve a lot of your EDC defense needs if escrima is really what you're interested in.

Offline blademan

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Re: Escrima as one of my 13
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 01:17:21 PM »
I have thought of this. Its probably a very good solution for home use. They are a bit heavy and leo's around here would more than raise an eyebrow if I got stopped or much less tattooed someone with one. It could be a sticky issue in court in a civil case if it came to that. I think a wooden or polypropolene is a better choice for edc if its being used as a walking aid too.