Thursday, December 02, 2004

Stickman's Escrima blog

I've been meaning for some time to post my ideas for training and practicing escrima so my students could gain more insight into my own process and evolution. While I could simply put another page on my website, I'm intrigued by the idea of getting feedback where it can be shared by others, so I'm starting this blog. If I don't like the results, I can always change formats later. Anyway ... sometimes I have ideas that I write down, often at odd hours - either things I would like to work on in class, or thoughts inspired during class. While I have definite protocols I follow in teaching basics, this is a living art, and that means experimentation and growth. There may be principles to which we adhere as guideposts to our training, but the actual practice is an interactive one, requiring thoughtfulness to extract the best we can achieve. Thus I may run you guys through the same ol' same old stuff, but it really never is the same. There are good days and bad days, but overall there is progress, an increase in skills, and each time we go through the material, I keep finding new ways to bring it out in people. Like I said, it's interactive, so you guys keep pushing me to find new ways to understand what we do, which helps me, and helps me to help you too.



Terry said...

1:51 a.m.? Don't you ever sleep? I just dropped in to see what was up. This seems like a good idea,especially for those like you who chew on this stuff even when not practicing. I'm looking forward to whatever is comming. Good luck!

Stickman said...

What, sleep regular hours and be predictable? Maybe I just sleep with my eyes open (only when I drive, or do escrima - ha!) Now there's a possible seque for a discussion on spirituality and consciousness. Maybe not now, but it's certainly something integrated into martial arts. We start by training the body, then the mind, and the spirit always leads the way. Thus we work from the slowest/densest to the quickest, most ephemeral. Angel used to say escrima could even teach us to read minds, and he wasn't wrong. It's all energy, just some more subtle than most can read.

Back to sleeping ... there's the story about Angel and Dizon, sleeping in the same bed in a room with a bunch of other guys near the waterfront in Manila. A cat on the windowsill jumped across the bed in the middle of the night. Dizon sensed it and hit the cat in mid-air with his stick. It landed on Angel, mad, and he woke up fighting back. He and Dizon each thought they were being attacked and began fighting each other before they woke up and realized what had happened. Now that's hairpin reflexes. Fortunately most of us don't need to live on the edge like that.

My ex used to thrash in her sleep. I'd sense her arm coming and block it, then halfway wake up to recognize what I'd just done. The one time I got nailed was by her knee into the side of my thigh. I started up from a deep sleep when I felt it coming, and I already knew I couldn't block it. I was coming awake when the blow landed, instantly aware once it did. She was even able to sleep through me screaming in pain, so I had to wake her up to share the wonderfulness of the moment ... :o

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

I am using blogspot to maintain my full site now. I get a consistent look and feel. If I really wanted to, I could modify the templates and get just about any appearance I wanted. Too much work to do so.

I find that I often have ideas circulating around for a few days or weeks, but I can't really bring them together into a coherent framework until I try to articulate them to my students. Normally, my understanding of my topic is evolving, so it is easier to blog a few thoughts, however imperfect, than to try to craft a long and complete article.

Right now, I am working hard at articulating some principles for better body coordination - techniques to improve integration of movement. I have been blogging bits and pieces as I work on new themes. I am calling these ideas and practices OCIS (Optimal Core Integration Strength).

Michael Zimmer
Vorticity Martial Arts (and Victoria Villasin Balintawak Eskrima)