March 26th- Introduction to single stick sparring using the box

The padded synthetic sticks made it in and we began working some sparring drills using them, developing some basic skills. This practice was done with all padded ‘stiffer’ sticks and headgear, 2 minute rounds 45 second rest intervals.

A few points to start- the padded synthetics allow aggressive contact and motion without any real penalty- as such they create some weird dynamics, false sense of security, and make empty-hand and clinch range the most dangerous place to be and the easiest to get to. They are good training tool, but, like any piece of sparring equipment or sparring drill, they are only a drill, there to develop a skill.

A note-the most important skill being worked on here is delivering a hard, accurate, balanced forehand shot to the head- the better you are at that, the less other stuff you will need

Note- if the feeder breaks range before attacking, it’s appropriate (and correct) for the worker to attack

The work:

1).Hit the head- Feeder- no stick, keeps distance, attempts to evade when worker comes in to strike. Worker- steps in to hit the head from outside striking range. Feeder should be developing head motion and range control off of this, worker is working on learning to deliver a good hit- the feed for the rest of the drills.

This requires some range discipline on the part of the worker- we will expand on this next session, with the feeder working the close, which will prevent the worker from creeping in and sniping.

Both with sticks from here on out-

2). #1 vs #1- pre-emptive hit vs a #1 (the worker from drill 1 is now the feeder with the same goal as in drill #1). Worker fires a #1 to the head of the worker when the worker steps into range, stepping offline and cutting the shot down to hit the hand when the likelihood of a mutual hit presents itself.

3). Roof vs #1- feeder attacks with a #1, defend with a roof, and double up the roof to follow up

Training point- make sure you wind up in a balanced position- insert balance check after feed here

4). Roof vs #1 + keep range when moved in on- same as #3, just ‘stop time’ (pause) for a 1/4 beat after the feed, then step in on the worker- worker should move out and keep range while hitting.

Training point- control range- landing balanced (#3) will allow you to do this- to move in the appropriate direction if the feeder comes in on you after their attack

5). Outside defense vs #2 or #4+ keep range when moved away from- feeder comes in with a backhand- make an outside defense (short forehand) and followup strikes, feeder moves out randomly (random speed, direction, time)- be ready to follow and keep range, hitting

Training note- pursuing the advantage and maintaining pressure is a fundamental fighting skill and basic to Latosa Escrima, when they move away, keep on them

Side note- within that context, use ‘reasonable force’ and adult judgment about the situation.

6). Roof or outside vs #1,2, or 4 + keep range when moved away from or into- now the feeder can hit a backhand or forehand (no horizontal forehand -#3), worker covers and counters, feeder moves in or out.

Training note- now we’re into ‘sparring’- developing skills- feeder is giving a ‘real’ random attack, worker has to counter then be ready to move in or out based on the feeders motion

Good work all around!

Notes to self - will develop drill #1 a bit to work some closing more and keep the worker honest about coming in. Develop balance and empty hand vs weapon skills -add hand signal ‘tap’ to conclude counters and start to train watching the other person for acknowledgement- ? convention of landing final shot to signaling hand to maintain aggression -so many layers to go from here- cutting range down to hand, passing, largo, etc.

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