Solo Training Blog

Week 12 – Sinawali

Sinawali refers to the activity of “weaving”, as applied in Kali using two weapons with or without a partner.

Sinawali training is often introduced to novices to help them develop certain fundamental skills such as timing, coordination, rhythm, footwork and body alignment.

Many people think that drills like Sinawali, Hubud and others are pointless but that is because the don’t understand them. There is much more to it than simply memorizing a pattern.

With constant training and proper instruction you will eventually begin to add joint locking, takedowns, striking, body manipulations and sensitivity into your training.

This week we will look at a four count Sinawali drill. Next time we’ll look at Heaven six.

Week 11 – Three count Blocking with Double Sticks

This week we will take a look at another variation of blocks with the Double Sticks……… Three-Count Blocking. If you look closely you will see that it is really no different than the Hubud drill, to use three count blocking with sticks you Block, Check and then Strike.

This drill will help you to learn to flow as well as increase your footwork skills. Weapons training helps to enhance your empty hand skills because the techniques are essentially the same, the weapons is merely an extension of your hands.

Week 10 – Double Stick Blocking

Double stick training can be fun, flashy and exciting, but it is also very difficult if you have not been working both of your hands with your single stick training. Most students start with basic strikes, blocking, twirling and then on to Abecedario (A, B, C’s) and Sinawali (weaving) drills.

Blocking is done the same way whether you have a single stick, double stick, knife, sword or empty hand. That is the beauty of the Filipino martial arts. Today we will work on a few basic blocks such as a Deflection, Shield and Roof block along with a few counters. Watch carefully how the ‘blocks’ are not actually blocking the incoming strike, but attacking the limb holding the weapon in order to cause damage or get him to drop his weapon.

The counter attacks are swift, with no hesitation. If you are practicing with a partner be sure to use control, but if you are working on your own you can add more power to your blocks and strikes. Be aware or your non-striking hand, keep it close to the body for blocking and protection and Use Your Footwork!!


WEek 9: Double Sticks

The concept of Abecedario is an important one in the Filipino Martial Arts and all martial arts in general. How is this possible? Well, it’s because Abecedario simply means A-B-C’s or in other words……….the basics. All styles of martial arts have basic techniques that you have to learn and master.

Systems in FMA use angles of attack to teach the beginning student the various striking angles for attacking their opponent. Most FMA styles use 12 angles some use only 5 and others use 14 or more. We use 9 angles for striking, but when you put it together with the different striking surfaces (impact, point, butt end) you end up with 27 different strikes.

Setting up and naming the various angles aids in memorization and makes it easier to devise different drills for training called Abecedario Drills. These drills can be done with one weapon or two and teach the student how to strike, defend and what angles to attack. They can be done slowly and steadily increase speed as the student gets more confident with the drill. The drills should always be ‘live’ and never static, meaning that they should move around and not stay rooted in one spot. The goal is to make the movement as realistic as possible.

Week 8 – Stick Training against Angles 1 & 2

This week we will focus on Stick Blocks for Angles 1 & 2. Blocking in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) is not ‘blocking’ per se, but an actual strike of the hand or arm holding the attacking weapon. If your attacker strikes at you with an Angle #1 (diagonal down strike), your response would be an angle #1 to the inside of his hand or forearm allowing you to not only stop his attack, but hopefully cause him to drop his weapon thereby successfully ‘Defanging the Snake”.
As you will see in the video you can Block and Check at the same time or you can Block and then Check, keeping control of his weapons hand before executing your counter-attack.

Today we will teach the Inside Deflection, Outside Deflection and Roof Block as well as Checking, Passing and Scooping.

Week 7 – Setting up your Tire Training Stations

Now that we are completely immersed into Summer you should be outside doing some training. We in the Western world get too used to air-conditioning and training in a swanky, upscale, state-of-the-art gym or training facilities. This is not how it is done in Asia, the birth place of martial arts nor is it always the best way to train (anyone remember Rocky 3?) Getting back to basics and out into the fresh air is good for you. Many are the times when I will take my students out to the parking lot to train, the change in environment and atmosphere can be exhilarating and eye opening.

Many people make the excuse that they can’t afford it because you need a modern facility, the latest in workout fashions and the most modern training equipment……..baloney.
Here’s how you can do it for about $20 bucks.

The tires can be acquired for free, the rope for under $10 and Rattan sticks $15-20 but you can also use a dowel rod, mop handle or PVC pipe when you are just training on your own.

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Jim mcallister
6 years ago

Very well explained,breaking things down to bite size peices is the key of good tuition.

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