FMA Workshop at Work

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by ap Oweyn, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    So the date has been set for my next FMA workshop at the college where I work. March 24. Guess I'd better get cracking on my presentation.
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Double stick with rulers?
  3. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Very cool. What sort of stuff will you be covering?
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Well, it's for the college's Filipino-American Student Groups. So I try to make it as much about the cultural dimensions as I do about actual technique. So last time, I did a short presentation on history, terminology, and some FMA notables. Then I went into technical stuff.

    I'll do something similar this time, but I think I'm going to concentrate on two major training methodologies: contra y contra (counter for counter, which describes drills like sumbrada) and abecedario (or numerada, as it's called in other styles; similar to one- and three-step sparring in other styles).

    I'll do a basic overview of some of the fundamental strategies at the three ranges (largo, medio, and corto), a bit about stick translating to blade, etc. Then have them work on a very basic contra y contra (something much simpler than sumbrada) and some equally basic abecedario using different basic defenses.

    All single stick. The space they're giving me is too small, and the attendees too new, to have everyone swinging double sticks around. Never mind that I haven't got enough sticks to cover that anyway.
  5. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Sounds dope! (I think that's what the kids say these days.)

    Which branch of FMA do you focus in? And - I know my first comment was a joke and this next question will sound kinda silly, but - do you ever teach how FMA weapon work translates to everyday items (eg using a ruler or rolling pin - or rolled up magazine if you're Jason Bourne - in place of sticks)? Genuine fascination by the way.
  6. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Doesn't sound silly at all. I'm glad you asked. :)

    My only official rank in FMA (or anything else for that matter) is a black belt in Doce Pares from the Patalinghug family. I've also spent time with a Modern Arnis group and an Inosanto-Lacoste Kali/JKD Group. So I'm a mutt.

    Honestly, I haven't had a steady training group, particularly not one that I was directing, in ages. Just these 2-hour workshops on campus periodically. And there's been precious little time to go into everything. I have talked about how the movements translate into everyday objects, but haven't taken time to explore that. If I weren't spending time on the cultural/historical content, I might have time. But that's been the priority for me, given who's organizing the workshops.
  7. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Sounds like you have it covered already :)

    I always find it tricky imparting enough ideas with enough depth to absolute beginners with limited space - if you're anything like me then it'll be very hard to resist the temptation to get carried away and overwhelm newbies... :D

    contra y contra and abecedario sound pretty good to me - training methodologies are often overlooked in seminars (some that I've been to, anyway) in favour of flashy looking techniques :rolleyes:

    Actually, come to think of it, the seminar I got most out of focussed on two training methodologies (and a concept about 'levels of learning') - explained them and then applied them to drills/techniques we were already familiar with. I think I've used them to some extent in every session I've run since then!

    I'm not sure 'translation' between training tools (stick, sword, knife) and 'everyday' objects is really something that can be appreciated by raw beginners (no offence to beginners), but the way I approach it is by exploring weapon attributes (i.e. reach, impact, curvature (either way), edge, point, flexibility, concealability etc) and using those to train your mindset to be able to use whatever is to hand.

    Bourne examples (although you probably already worked this out VZ :D):

    Attributes (not exhaustive): flexibility (wound tightly), rigidity (when held taught at both ends), distraction/blind (thrown towards face, allowed to flare out), disposable (takes some skill to use, so can be thrown away/released with lower probability of being used against you), concealable
    Associated uses: distraction (thrown at face, punch behind it etc), hitting (held at one end, whip like motion), blocking/intercepting incoming blunt force, wrapping and trapping limb (bad guy's knife holding arm), wrapping and strangling (around head/face/neck), once wrapped around, can be used to move/throw opponent (strong grip around towel)

    Attributes: short range, impact, shield, short range projectile, disposable, concealable
    Associated uses: blunt force trauma (to soft tissue), shielding (success depending on thickness - maybe against cutting blades/points, but probably not chopping blades), blinding/distraction (obscure vision, punch face), disposable projectile

    Baseball cap
    Attributes: short range, flexible, curved, disposable, concealable, may be carried by assailant
    Uses: hitting (hold the peak and whip with the soft bit, or hold the back of the peak and jab with the edge of the peak), blinding/distraction (held or thrown), hooking and capturing (useful for manipulating the head if you can capture it - e.g. anti-grappling)

    So, in a way, you train your mind to recognise these things everywhere, both objects and the environment itself (ever thought about how to use a doorway to your advantage?) rather than having to 'know all the weapons'...

    I think there was a recent Doug Marcaida video on something similar...


    Ha! See how easy it is to get carried away!
  8. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    How's it coming along Stuart?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Things have been busy at work and busier still at home. So I haven't had time to work on this really. I thought I'd rework the short PowerPoint that I did the first time I did this workshop. Maybe convert it into a Prezi, if I have time. Those are more interesting.

    Or I might ditch the presentation completely and just move to the action.

    It's odd trying to set these workshops up. Generally, when I do seminars, everyone in the room shows up wanting to pick up a stick and go to it. And these workshops, it's been at least a 50/50 split between interested participants and people happy to observe from the sidelines.

    Footwork is fundamental, albeit not sexy, so I'm going to start with some basic drills to practice that. I'm going to abbreviate that a bit and do what we called "retrada" but I've since seen called "floating step" (which is actually a good description of it), reverse triangle to evade a forehand/backhand slash, and sidestepping.

    Then a basic abecedario sequence, starting with a block and some footwork and progressing (depending on the people involved) into a couple of basic counters.

    Lastly, I'm going to do one or two basic contra y contra drills. Something shorter than sumbrada. I learned two shorter ones before learning sumbrada (at a different school as it happens). We called them "pingki pingki" and "tapi," though I'd be extremely surprised if those terms held any specific meaning outside of our school. The "tapi" certainly doesn't refer to the "tapi tapi" drill from Modern Arnis (which is the dead opposite of "simpler than sumbrada"). Both the drills I'm contemplating are three moves on each side. Easier than trying to internalize sumbrada, I think.

    There will be pictures taken by the club itself, I'm sure. Hopefully some video too(?)
  10. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    So I did the workshop yesterday. What I've yet to account for is the fact that people seem very content, for the most part, to watch and listen to me bang on about FMA rather than getting up and participating. People waded in and gave things a go at the very end. And then they were really enthusiastic. But the first 1.5 hours or so was just me presenting material. Very curious. Happily, it's a topic that I'm prepared to bang on about for a long time.
  11. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon


    Sorry? What?

    Nice one. hope we get to see the pics. Preferably not a 1.5 hr video of you banging on though. ;)
  12. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    There were a few pics taken. No awesome action shots of me doing something amazing or saying something engrossing. Mostly just standing around. The pics I've seen mostly just resulted in me marveling at the size of my own feet. I mean, I see them all the time obviously. But in pictures, it looks like I'm wearing lily white cross-country skis.

  13. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    People are often quite interested in other elements of martial arts besides the actual practice itself--especially any art that seems exotic (which I imagine FMAs would in the United States). The history of an art, an explication about the peculiarities of its approach to fighting or specific techniques, deliberating upon the contexts of an art's origins (I'm just guessing that you may have touched on some of these things) can hold an audience's attention quite well when presented competently (as I'm sure you'd done). I've been to academic lectures about the history of capoeira and even early pugilism in colonial America and, though as a martial artist I had some vested interest in the topic, I've seen the rest of the audience held in rapt attention as well.

    Long story short: congratulations, ap!

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