Monday, February 27, 2017
So, here we are in Pranburi, Thailand, at a beautiful resort for the annual Peaceful Warrior Camp, a celebration of health, development, training and sharing with each other.
It's a big bucket of magic.
I arrived a few days early, and since Guro Claes and Team Viking were already here, we started training at 0630 on the beach.
Guro Claes started us out every day with single stick movement drills for the TDF ladies, who joined us for the first hour or so every morning. After they left to do Tahitian Dance we continued. Guro Claes built on the foundation movements that we introduced to them, solo sinawali/sinawali 6 variations, Karenza basics, hip rotations/irimi.
These may seem like simple movements. They aren't. We quickly switched from single to double stick drills, added redondo, hirada, circular stepping and other variations. These patterns led us into the afternoon trainings in Espada Y Daga (sword and dagger) and intricate knife/knife drills, Numerado, all flowing from the same base. It's all connected.
This is not to say that the basics only exist to fuel subsequent, more complex patterns.
Even on their own, these basic drills continue to have merit as cornerstones of our FMA movement which we want to commit to muscle memory. Although we may feel we have seen these movements before, we have to keep asking ourselves "Have we squeezed out every bit of understanding we can from each drill?" If the answer feels like "yes", maybe we need to reconsider if we truly understand the movement or not. Probably not.
As Guro Claes pointed out, entire systems could be built around applications of Sinawali 6 or Solo Sombrada, adjusting for different fighting distances, attacking/defending angles, weapon lengths and so on. The key is to encourage and develop deep, deep understanding of each movement rather than just a superficial understanding of many. As Bruce Lee famously said "Do not fear the man who has done 10,000 kicks. Fear the man who has done one kick 10,000 times."
Every single drill has so much that can be extracted it's always possible to go back and find something new. Once we start combining elements of different movements we create entirely new ways of drilling. It's truly limitless. The basics become advanced, and the advanced lead us back to the basics again.
I'm really looking forward to the rest of the week, and then to sharing with everyone the various concepts we worked on this week. I'm sure you will find it just as rewarding as I have.