Monday, May 30, 2016

Thoughts from MAPA 9 - A Two Year Journey

Recently we held MAPA 9, the two-year anniversary of the +Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance gathering concept.

MAPA is a loose group of people who get together once a quarter to learn Filipino Martial Arts (and other closely related techniques) from a variety of teachers and viewpoints.  The instructors and subject matter rotate from gathering to gathering.

At a MAPA gathering, people don't wear belts and nobody is above training with anyone.  Nobody's way is better or worse.  Nobody's art or lineage is better or worse.  Once a teacher is done with his session, he becomes a student with the rest of us.

It's really fun, and via MAPA, I've met so many wonderful martial artists that I'm proud to call my friends today.

So let's talk about MAPA 9.

First up, +David Beck worked disarms off of forehand and backhand strikes using the punyo.

Guro David (left)  WANTS THAT STICK.

Disarms were (almost) a theme for this day, as Guro Beck was only the first one to talk about the concept.   Disarms are always a fun topic to cover, so it was a lot of fun.

Next +Abel Mann Martinez taught us about body structure and how that related to disarming.

Guro Abel (left) picks on a short dumpy middle aged woman too fragile for direct sunlight to hit her face.
This was really useful material as often, one of the ways that disarms fail is that your body positioning - your range, where your weight is in relation to the other guy - is all wrong.  It was a really fun session.

Next, Mr. Chick himself, +Kevin Bradbury, taught the group a series of drills based on the Dos Manos (two hands) techniques, using sticks and other weapons, including a walking stick and an umbrella.

Guro Kevin demonstrates the technique on different levels. 
This was the "good workout" portion of the day, as they worked up to the "Dos Manos Blocking Drill".

Finally my teacher +Mark Lynn taught double-stick disarming concepts, including the idea that you must never try to disarm "clean" - that is, you always do a hit or some other thing coming in so that the disarm can work.

Guro Mark (right) is going to make Tomas very, very sorry he attacked him.
Not only are many of these double-stick disarms good for single stick and empty hand, the emphasis on hitting the guy to make a disarm work helps cover some of the deficiencies you typically see in FMA disarming.

Another successful MAPA  gathering in the books!  I got to meet some new friends, play with old friends, and have a great time with my fellow Filipino Martial Artists.  Fun day, fun people... what more can you ask for for 25 bucks?

It's hard to believe we've kept this going for two years now.  When we started, we didn't know if we'd get past one or two.

MAPA 10 will be announced shortly - typically it will fall on the first weekend in August. If you're in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and have tons of experience, or you've never picked up a stick before and have always wanted to give it a try...  you're welcome at MAPA.

Of course, I had to get a nice picture of myself and my friend and fellow Arnisadora Karen Keith Clarke together, being all badass-y.  SHE'S a badass, anyway.  Me, I have to hide from the sun like a damn vampire these days.

I hope to see many of YOU at the next MAPA!