Saturday, January 25, 2014

11 Quick Tips About Modern Arnis For Newbies

Modern Arnis is somewhat well known, but it's not ubiquitous like, say, Tae Kwon Do, all the various forms of Karate, BJJ and MMA, boxing, and so on.  But if you're considering picking up the art, here's a few tips you might find helpful.

  1. Don't bother to get fancy carved or burned rattan sticks at a premium price.  Get the basic rattan ones that are relatively straight and aren't horribly warped. Warping can be (somewhat) repaired, but don't bother. If you like them burned with a pattern - you can do it yourself in your garage.  Your sticks will eventually be taped up and broken, so don't waste your money. Plus, the carved sticks can cut your palms if you hold them on that end.
  2. Avoid the shaved sticks, because they're generally too light and they get broken far more quickly than rattan with the skin still on.
    Another fallen soldier.
  3.  For Pete's sake, don't use hard woods like Iron Wood or Bahi-Bahi in regular practice vs. rattan. You'll shred their sticks and if you hit your training partner, it could be the difference between a bruise and a break. White waxwood is fine as long as everyone else is using them - but note, they are VERY noisy.
  4. When possible, I like to train in mat shoes.  I personally witnessed a disarm that shot a stick at blistering speed downward and broke someone's toe.  I just use some inexpensive athletic shoes I got at Payless for 10 bucks that I only wear on the training mat.  It's saved me from toe and foot injury more than once.
  5. Keep electrical tape in your training bag to quickly patch up sticks that are cracking.  I like electrical over duct tape because it's not as gummy and it's lighter in weight, but duct tape is fine also.
  6. Paper medical tape is awesome to help combat blisters on your thumbs - just tape 'em up before practice.
  7. Nearly everyone starts Arnis wanting to hit as hard as they can.  This makes newbies somewhat slow and stiff.  This is normal.  You'll get over it.
  8. It's very easy to hyperextend your elbows. Don't. It hurts. A lot.
  9. Try to use your whole arm, not just your wrists and forearms. If your wrists are tired or painful (and not from locks or strikes to the wrist) - you're probably not using your whole arm.
  10. Keep your elbows in.  It hurts a lot when you hit the Medial Epicondyle of the Humerus, which is that knot of bone on the outside of your elbow.
  11. The fear of getting hit in the knuckles or on the back of the hand is worse than actually getting hit.  And you will get hit.  Welcome to the Purple Knuckles Club!
Yep, that's mine.
Hope these help!

Did I flub up any tips? Does this information make it easier for you to look into taking up Modern Arnis?  I'd love to know!