Wednesday, September 16, 2015

True To Form: A (re)Look at Anyo Lima

The association my teacher +Mark Lynn  (and I) belong to has their annual tournament coming up in October.

This is pretty much the only tournament we attend, outside of a single charity tournament in the spring.  For us, it's THE tournament of the year.

It's also the only tournament I've actually seriously competed in.  Of course, like an idiot, I waited for my very first martial arts tournament ever until I'm a black belt in competing in the adult division.

Nobody ever accused me of being smart.

I won 2nd place, so... nyah.
In any case, we came up with our own version of  Anyo Lima for this tournament a couple of years ago.  Generally speaking, Anyo Lima basically the four stick anyos (anyo is our term for kata or form) stitched together into one long form (thus, Anyo Lima, or Form Five).  In our "competition" version, we removed Anyo Dalawa (Form Two) and only had a small piece of Anyo Tatlo (Form Three) to add in some classical strikes that are more flashy and representative of what we do.

After all, we are the only Arnis players in the tournament, and our goal is not to win, but to show off who we are and what we do, in a format the people attending are familiar with.  I fully expect NOT to win anything, as the people watching don't quite get what they're seeing.

So, here's the video of me performing that form in my first tournament in 2013.  It's okay.

Click here if you can't see the video

We have a young purple belt at Hidden Sword who wants to do the full Competition Anyo Lima this year at this tournament.  So he's asked me to teach it to him.  I started with teaching him the "back end" of this form, Anyo Apat (Form Four).  It's the most complex of the four weapons anyos.

But I've never been very happy with the middle bit.

I mentioned this to my teacher, and last night we came up with a whole new middle part (between Anyo Isa - Form One - and Anyo Apat), that incorporates Anyo Dalawa a little better than the above version does.  It also has more classical strikes (especially abanico, but also umbrella and wing blocks) and we do a hand change - right to left, then back again.

I'm really grooving on the new version.  It's a huge improvement over what you see above.

And then we started talking about wishing we could incorporate some of the neat Espada y Daga drills from Kombatan somehow.  Here's what I'm talking about - something from one of the drills seen here:

Click here if you can't see the video

We talked it over, and eventually, we found a place at the end of the form for some of this material that looks "correct" - that is, not out of place or as a flashy add-on with no purpose, and is perfectly applicable with sword only.

I think that's a really neat modification. I remarked that it's too bad our student is going to do the form, because I was mighty tempted to try it myself at tournament. I wouldn't want to do the same form he is doing as a purple belt - it'd be weird, right?

So then my teacher challenges me:

Reinterpret the entire form into Espada y Daga.

I had no intention of trying to compete this year up until last night, but... the idea of doing the new version of Anyo Lima as Espada y Daga has be very, very intrigued.

So I've been mentally piecing it together in preparation for the reinterpretation.  I'll admit, my geek brain is working overtime, so long-term readers of this blog know I'm really, really excited about it.

I don't know if I'll actually compete - for a lot of reasons the date of the competition is difficult for me to attend - but it's more likely now than it was two days ago.

So, yeah, maybe, just maybe, I'll be doing our revised Anyo Lima in Esapda y Daga at a tournament at the end of October. I'll let you know.  And I'll put together a video of it when we finally get it all together and polished.

In the mean time, here's a basic look at what is "traditionally" Anyo Lima.

Click here if you can't see the video.

And the WMAA version from Datu Tim Hartman (the form starts at 3:09 into the video):

Click here if you can't see the video

Have you adjusted or re-examined forms you do specifically for competition? What kinds of edits did you make?  I'd love to get your thoughts!