Recently there were some online forum discussions on disarms. Some folks feel they are impractical, usually, I think, because people put too much emphasis on the technique by itself. I personally think they are good to know as finishing moves, but don’t ignore other things that take precedence (like striking or otherwise gaining control). My argument was two-fold, that 1) its better to know and not need than to need and not know, and 2) if we don’t practice the hard things, it’s certain we’ll never gain those skills.
Recently I had a chance to view Nick Papadakis’ video “Kali Means To Scrape.” One old grandmaster, manong Legaspi, had had his arm shattered (and permanently crippled) at the outset of a fight, yet still managed single-handedly to drive away multiple opponents after disarming one and taking his knife.
His story gives me new appreciation for Angel Cabales’ teachings that take control of an opponent's weapon rather than just discarding it, or worse, thinking it cannot be taken at all. Angel’s reasoning was so we could use it and nobody else could pick it up. Legaspi’s story exemplifies this possibility. After all, it saved his life!