It’s been a while.

A lot has happened since my last post FIVE FREAKING YEARS AGO.

I am now older and a bit (and that’s already saying a lot) wiser. But thank God I still have my limbs intact, I’m relatively still sane, and at 31, I’m not rocking a Dad Bod…which is awesome…’cause combine that with good genes, I still get mistaken for a 25-year old. Hell, I think I look better now than I did five years ago.

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BOOM bitch! Well…uh…I ain’t no model, but I’m happy I ain’t rockin’ a Dad Bod.:P January 2011 vs April 2016

 

Narcissism aside, it feels good to be blogging again. Over the past five years, I have tried different fitness programs…from Crossfit to Wendler’s 5/3/1. I’ve also dabbled in a few martial arts to add spice to my FMA training, namely: Boxing, Savate, Judo and Canne de Combat.

It HAD been fun. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to document all these things.

 

So…let’s do it again.;)  Join me as I reacquaint myself with these systems and maybe even discover new ones.

Creating A Monster

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Martial Arts, Training
Tags: , ,

A friend whom I train in Kali with, approached me one day and asked me to train him for an upcoming Tae Kwon Do (WTF Rules) his coach asked him to join. Since I had a background in Tang Soo Do, he said, he thought he could get some training as well as some tips from me. I looked at him long and hard. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Your coach does know you study arnis right?”

Him: “Yep. That’s why he wanted me to join. Apparently, having a martial art background is enough for him.”

Me: “Your coach does realize that we don’t have a sports mind set right?”

Him: “Yep. I told him that. I told him that we have a combative mindset. That’d it’d be too dirty for sports.”

Me: “And?”

Him: “He said it was okay. Punching’s okay too.”

Me: “When’s it gonna be?”

Him: “Ohhh….next week.”

Me: “Do you expect to win or just beat people up?”

Him: “Beat people up.”

Me: “Let’s get started then.”

Now I don’t mean to diss Tae Kwon Do. It’s a wonderful sport. It creates self-discipline and develops confidence. Heck, when I have kids of my own, I wouldn’t train him/her on eskrima but rather on a combative sport like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, etc… BUT…they’re just that…sports. They are not combative. As my mentor always says: “Have you ever seen an army go to war without weapons? If you don’t have weapons, it’s not a combative art. ”

Now, I’m sure there are a lot of martial arts out there that are very good for self-defense like Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Muay Thai, etc. However, I do draw a fine line between defensive arts and combative arts. I would define a Defensive Art as an art which develops the physical, mental and to a degree, spiritual areas of a person in order to face an unarmed threat either by neutralizing the threat or by creating an opportunity for escape. Now although these arts have “unarmed vs. armed” techniques, they are not as effective and efficient as those practiced in Combative Arts such as those in Kali, Krav Maga, MCMAP, KAJUKENBO, etc. These systems have a combative mind set. And I would define a Combative Mindset as seeing a threat not just a situation to be neutralized and/or escaped but also having a life and death factor.  Or, in easier terms, Kill or be killed. No half-assed techniques. No hesitations. The main thing that differentiates a Combat Art from a Self-Defense Art is precisely this mindset.

So…what happens when you put an inexperienced combatant in a competitive contact sport? Well…this:

My friend is the one in blue pants. He has since been banned from competing in his school until further notice.

It’s 1:20 AM and adrenaline is still coursing through my veins…

I just had my first ever Brazilian jiujitsu class a couple of hours ago and damn was it fun! The conditioning was hell though. I was breathless after just a couple of drills and my core is still throbbing after minutes of what seemed like endless sequences of core workouts. And I thought I was fit! HA!

The highlight of my night was when they invited me for a free spar for a couple of minutes. I was a bit surprised that I was able to apply my Arnis training in immobilizing my partner almost instinctively. I wasn’t able to tap him out (he was as slippery as an eel and I was really unfamiliar with and applying any submission holds) but after years of wondering about the efficacy of Dumog (Eskrima’s grappling aspect), I was able to apply the concepts that I learned and I was able to prove to myself that empty-hand translation of the weapons-art (be it punching, kicking, or grappling) is indeed possible…though, I must also admit, not as effective as the grappling-specialized BJJ. But I thought to myself: Not bad  for somebody who has no background in grappling at all.

I think I’ll be coming back for more. I don’t plan on being serious about it (like getting belts or gunning for ranks) Heck, I even showed-up specifically on a No Gi  (gi, the uniform)  day, but the experience is worth the sweat, muscle cramps, skinned knees and hyperextended joints. Plus I made new friends.

Now that fatigue is starting to creep in, I’d like to leave you with these realizations:

1.) There is no one-size-fits-all martial art.

2.) You’re only as fit as your last sport/ hobby.

3.) Be open to learn new stuff. Sure, you can’t master them all, but I believe in the saying:

“Jack of all trades, master of none,
Though often times better than master of one.”

4.) Be kind to your grappling partner…bathe.

‘Til next time.;)