Stick Fighting Fantasy and Reality

Stick Fighting Fantasy and Reality

Take a moment to study 2 different forms of stick fighting.



In the video above, which is billed as a “highlights” reel, we see more of the same slop. I do not mean to disparage the individuals competing, who I am certain are skilled. The problem is this format, which encourages hitting without regard to defense. If you observe closely, nobody seems to do any kind of defense –just hit, hit, hit, swing, hit…


Now study this video, sent by reader Hernán.



In the first phase (It’s a long video.), with no armor, you see how cautious the fighters are, because getting hit has real consequences.

At 5:27, there’s a cry of “¡Hay sangre!” (“There’s blood!”).

At 6:13 you can see how even a strike to the hand is incapacitating. Throughout this first series you note how fighters are reluctant to block. If you’ve ever tried blocking a powerful stick strike, outside of the slo-mo stick training, you find that’s it’s easy to get your hand smashed as the stick slides and bounces, and you try to intercept precisely a very fast moving stick. Even a very clean block makes your hand sting like hell. So you see that the best defense is to evade the opponent’s stick strike rather than try to block it.

At 6:20 we transition to more armor, although it is still minimal. The fighters wear headgear and gloves. This is about the level of protection in the average Dog Brothers Match. Nobody is swinging wildly, and just agreeing to spar under these conditions takes courage.

Also note that there aren’t any abaniko strikes, which are the bread and butter of the heavily padded matches. Sure, you could do the abaniko, but your opponent is likely to cut through it with a heavy, direct strike.

At 24:40 we see a fighter lead with his left foot and swing with a wide, waist-high horizontal strike. He pays a price for it, which is a learning experience. If these competitors were wearing heavy padding and using drinking straw sticks, there would be would be no “Aha!” moment. Or maybe an “Ouch! Aha!” moment.

At 33:00 on we see some good use of the knees. While a lot of eskrima people did stick disarms, it wasn’t until the Dog Brothers that the eskrima world saw real stick grappling. Why? If you’re slow-mo, simulated, or all padded up, there is no penalty for staying at medium range and trading shots. But if you are unarmored or minimally armored, you don’t stay at mid-range. Instead, you close the gap and tie him up so you don’t get clocked.

At 33: 46 we see good technique. The fighter strikes vertically; his opponent counters with a roof (horizontal) block. The fighter then slides off the block and into a thrust to the midsection. This may be the way to train –it’s not full-out, but there is still contact, so the practitioners are able to learn, and there are consequences for getting hit.

The title of the video is “Semana de Entrenamiento con Caña,” or “A Week of Training with the Cane.” I think this type of training, full contact with minimal armor, should be reserved for rare occasions, maybe once a year. For one, there are bound to be injuries, some of them nasty. Even if it isn’t injurious, just painful, you’ll still be left with a core of masochists and pain junkies.

Eskrima Kombat is to be applauded for moving closer to reality. And in my search for stick fighting videos, I even saw a WEKAF match with minimal armor, so it seems that more people are starting to move in a more realistic direction. The question remains, though, “Will these stylists adapt their practice and their styles so that they are more in line with reality-based sparring?”




Extraído de Big Stick Combat.
Leer desde la fuente original.

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