Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 04/21/18

Another week in the books!  Here's what I did in the martial arts - training, writing, and the various stuff I stumbled across.

How was your week?

TRAINING

Saturday I attended Arnis class and then I went to my second-to-last Kobudo class.  We worked on learning our Kama Ichi form, then we seniors (and yeah, it still weirds me out that I'm a "senior" in there) helped out the juniors with Bo Ichi.

Sunday night I started getting a really bad migraine episode (that hit really hard Monday mid-morning) and it knocked me out of work and training and writing and most everything, really, until Thursday. So that was fun.

Thursday I took Younger Daughter to taekwondo.

So basically, training-wise, it was crazy light due to my brain deciding to no work more gooder.

That's me, in the foreground. There's a part in the form where we change to reverse grip
and I was trying to figure that bad boy out.
BLOGGERY

Because of the stoopid migraine, not much fresh content on the blog this week. Sorry, y'all.


The Stick Chick Blog can be found on a profusion - nay, a veritable plethora - of social media platforms.  Google Plus, Facebook, MeWe, Tumblr, Twitter.  The Facebook page is the most active of the bunch, but I'm trying to make the MeWe group busier, too.  So if you do that social media thang, I'd love it if you connect with me there!

OTHER MARTIAL ARTSY GOODNESS

Any week with a fresh video from Master Ken is a good week.



Reasons fooling around with a live blade is SERIOUS BUSINESS (no matter what they show you on television or in movies), example 442:



LAST THOUGHTS:

Today is a "normal" training day - kobudo practice and Arnis.  Our school is also doing a taekwondo rank promotion today, so I'll stick around to help out.

Hope your week was awesome, and have a great weekend.  See you Monday, as long as my brain decides not to be a jerk.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Questions from Quora: Nunchucks Legal to Carry?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

What's YOUR answer to today's Question from Quora?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:

Maaaannn, it was one of those weeks.

Saturday I got in three hours of training at my teacher's instructor course out in Bridgeport. We worked on some of my favorite material - empty hand drills and tapi-tapi - so it was a good day.

Sunday I took my kids and my older daughter's boyfriend to one of my favorite places in Dallas-Fort Worth, Trinity Treetop Adventure.  IT WAS SO FUN (as always).

Monday I attended Arnis class at Hidden Sword.

And then... life intervened.  I spent the rest of the week doing stuff related to my impending move in a few months that just had to be done this week.  Given I only have less than two months to go, that's probably going to happen off and on.

But hey, there's actual video of me working out this week. This is me working with one of my teacher's Instructor's Course students with some empty hand flow drills.


BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: A Form is a Form is a Form
TuesdayTo Learn, Teach
Wednesday: I had major computer problems with TWO computers (thanks, Windows!)
Thursday: 4 Things I'd Change About the Martial Arts World (That Will Never Happen)
FridayQuestions from Quora: How does Escrima or Kali teach you how to use any weapon if it's mostly using sticks?

You can find this blog on your favorite Social Media platforms!  Check it out:
So be sure to follow, like, join, or whatever you do with the Stick Chick Blog on the channel you like most!

OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

The final post in this series was published, so I'm keeping this here so you can read and share (and please do).
Those computer problems I mentioned above caused me to post this little gem on my Facebook feed instead of the post I was planning.  I"d say I'm sorry, but I'm not.


SUPER-FANTASTIC post by Wim Demeere on his blog that I can't agree with more: How to never stop improving in your martial arts training: Randy’s Law

There's LOTS of other stuff in my MeWe group and my Facebook page so go check those out, ok?


FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

It's a "normal" day today. I take younger daughter to Taekwondo, then I go to Arnis class, then I have my second-to-the-last kobudo class over in Dallas.

Y'all take care and have a fun and productive training week!

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Questions from Quora: How does Escrima or Kali teach you how to use any weapon if it's mostly using sticks?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

Got a martial arts question you want me to answer?  Send me an "Ask to Answer" on Quora, and I just might!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

4 Things I'd Change About the Martial Arts World (That Will Never Happen)

If I had a magic wand, there's a lot of things I'd change about the world.

You know what I mean.  Things like ending poverty, hunger, and Christmas music being publicly played outside of the month of December.

STOP IT!  IT ISN'T EVEN HALLOWEEN YET!!
Here's how I'd take that magic wand and change the martial arts world. It would take a magic wand, because there's no way these things will happen without one.

SELF DEFENSE TRAINING IN SCHOOLS

If I had my way, we'd teach self defense (along with bully prevention) in schools.  Lots of countries have some martial arts program in schools (the Philippines does, for example), but I'm not thinking any given style, just fundamental self defense concepts that are not even mostly based on physical skill.  I would love for every person to have a safe and secure grounding in the law, social customs, de-escalation, and what to do when all that fails.

Why it won't happen:

We don't have enough serious research and evidence to prove what works best, or doesn't.  And we'll never, ever agree on a curriculum that would be taught everywhere.

KICKING OUT SENSEI SCUMBAG

You may recall I refer to any martial artist who uses the training environment to prey on victims of sexual or emotional abuse as Sensei Scumbag.

"Hate" may be a strong word, but it's the correct one for people who take a community based on trust and helping people defend themselves and pervert it into abusing other people. I literally hate Sensei Scumbag.  If you're reading this and ARE one of those people, just look in the mirror and remind yourself that the Stick Chick literally hates your guts, mmmmkay?  Then turn yourself in and take your punishment, you asshat.

I have a few extra in my other jacket.

With my magic wand, I would have a consistent way to identify who these people are and get them out of the martial arts before they can victimize anybody.

Why it won't happen:

Sensei Scumbag is so good at hiding in plain sight that I'd actually HAVE to have that magic wand to make this happen - heck, we can't figure this out in any realm of society, much less our subculture.  We just have to get better at creating a training environment that's more difficult for Sensei Scumbag to take advantage of.

NO MORE ARGUING WHAT WORKS "IN THE STREET"

My god, people, stop beating this dead horse. There are MULTIPLE ways to deal with real-life threats and so many variables no one single style or system can possibly account for every single one of them.

Until it's actually tried and succeeds more than once, (as anything could potentially work once, I suppose) there is no way to prove it.  Well, mostly.

Exhibit A.

Why it won't happen:

Because the internet exists, and there is no shortage of people who believe only their system or style is the "one true way", and other people doing it differently threatens them so much that they just can't help themselves.


GOODBYE BELTS AND RANKS

I see why they exist and I admit they serve a useful function.  But I also think that they're a distraction, become so important in themselves that it overshadows the skill sets you learn, ranks are easily faked or lied about (there are more online belt mills than I can count), and well, I just think they're more trouble than they're worth.

There's so much politics and hoopla around it all, y'know?

Why it won't happen:

Human beings just can't let go of anything that helps us establish our status in groups.  We're sort of built that way, and well, as soon as we get in any groups of any size, we establish a pecking order.  My wish would have to change fundamental human nature.

So what would YOU change about the martial arts world if you could? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 04/07/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:

Saturday I went to Arnis class, and we started covering the Kombtan staff material, which is really fun.

Sunday was Easter and we did our family's traditional Easter thing, which is go to a Japanese Steak House.

Monday I went to Arnis class at Hidden Sword.

Tuesday I took younger daughter to Taekwondo class.

Wednesday I attended Arnis class at Hidden Sword.  That night, I had my first ocular migraine in 42 days.

Thursday I ended up having a full day of on-and-off ocular and vertiginous migraines in a big swarm, and Friday I had Post-Drome (the after-migraine "hangover) so I stayed home and slept much of the day.

No new pictures of me this week, but here's one from waaaay back in... 2013 maybe... of me helping out my Teacher with the AKATO Kobudo black belts on Arnis concepts. As you can see, I was a brown belt then!





BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: A Creature of Habit
TuesdayThe Purple Knuckles Club
WednesdayLeaping Into the Unknown
Thursday: Four Downsides to Being a Filipino Martial Artist
Friday: Nothing, I was passed out ;)

You can keep up-to-date on the Blog and all sorts of other martial artsiness on my social media channels!


So be sure to follow, like, join, or whatever you do with the Stick Chick Blog on whichever martial arts social media channel you prefer!

OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

Friend of this blog Cathy Chapaty has written an excellent five-part series published on Bullshido, tackling the topic of sexual abuse in the martial arts (as of this writing, four of the five articles are published).  Big thanks to Cathy and Bullshido for this!  Read AND SHARE this series in all of your martial arts channels:


Oh, Diemon Dave, you were chock full of sage advice.



Goodness me, Master Ken published TWO videos this week.





Please, please PLEASE stop going to the YouTube dojo.



FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

Today I'm helping out at my teacher's monthly Arnis Instructor's course out in Bridgeport. And tomorrow we plan to go to Trinity Treetops Adventure!  Yay!

Have a great weekend.

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Leaping Into the Unknown

I'm running out of time.

My move 500 miles north is getting a lot closer.

I'm getting invited to participate in martial arts things that I have to decline because I won't live here any more.

I have two Kobudo classes left.

I have two big Arnis seminars left.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited by the potential of what I'll do next.  I spend a lot of time researching and thinking about it. I'm antsy I can't just get started on all those things.

You see, I love to plan things and then just execute the plan.  The waiting I have to go through SUCKS and I hate that part with the passion of a million burning suns.

You and me both, pal.

I've re-started my martial arts life twice. Once in Nevada, once in Texas (as I started training two moves ago). I know well the frustration of trying to find a new martial arts home, the place that "feels right" where we can settle in and train.

The truth is, though, I'm a little afraid to leave the martial arts life I live here in Texas behind..  Eight years of training here have been kind to me, and to my family.  It really has become my martial arts home.

I have a really good teacher. I have training partners.  I have friends and connections, more than I can count, and I appreciate that community I'm a part of.  It's comfortable and I belong.

But all that is going out the window.

I'm taking a great big leap into the unknown when it comes to the martial arts, and that's really scary.

Could be...
For some folks, this would be a time to just stop training.  After all, I'm a 2nd degree Black, and I could "take a break". Lots of people make this choice when they move or have some other big life change.

Yeaaahhhh....

No. Can't do that.

Remember, I train not just so I will become one of the toughest little old ladies you ever met.  I train for my health.  Physical, and mental.

I just can't imagine how I'd live without training, I just... can't.

So look out, Kansas City.  The Stick Chick is coming to town.

Have you had to change cities and re-establish yourself in the martial arts?  How did it work out for you?  What problems did you have?  Let us know in the comments!





Saturday, March 31, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 03/31/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.


What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:

Saturday morning I took younger daughter to Taekwondo, then we headed out to MAPA 13.  It was four hours of arnisy-goodness.  It was a little bittersweet, as it was the last time I'll get to attend a MAPA gathering in Texas.

Monday I went to Arnis class at Hidden Sword. 

Tuesday I took younger daughter to Taekwondo class.

Wednesday I took off (thanks to a bit of dentistry it took me to get over)

Thursday I took younger daughter to Taekwondo class.

Kind of a light week, but it goes that way, sometimes.


Me working brush grab strike vs. a backhand (or to the "outside") at MAPA 13


BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: On High Kicks
TuesdayThe Politics of Fighting
WednesdayThank you, MAPA!
Thursday: Martial Arts Ruins Everything
FridayQuestions from Quora: Why don't more Americans take up martial arts instead of carrying guns?

So with people looking for alternates to Facebook, I have started participating on the social network MeWe.  It's Facebook lite, without the ads.  There's no such thing as "pages" there, but you can join the group for this blog here: The Stick Chick Blog on MeWe  Feel free to share martial arts content to that group.

But hey, there's lots of options to follow the blog on social media channels:


So be sure to follow, like, join, or whatever you do with the Stick Chick Blog on whichever martial arts social media channel you prefer (although the Facebook page probably has the most content, but I'm working on making MeWe just as good).

OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

Not only do I know a "cane guy" - I married one!


Lots of folks I know and respect were at this gathering in the Philippines the past tens days or so. It's a goal of mine to attend at least one:



Ran across this neat post about a fencer nick-named "The Jaguarina". Colonel Thomas Monstery, and the Training of Jaguarina, America’s Champion Swordswoman

And finally, I can testify that this is good advice.



FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

Quiet martial arts weekend for me.  Just a bit of arnis and kobudo practice.

It's Easter weekend, and Passover, so for those of you who celebrate it, I hope it's nice. 

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Questions from Quora: Why don't more Americans take up martial arts instead of carrying guns?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

Got a martial arts question you want me to answer?  Send me an "Ask to Answer" on Quora, and I just might!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Thank You, MAPA!

Four years ago, we held our first Metroplex Arnis Alliance gathering, MAPA 1.

Over the weekend, we had MAPA 13.

Thirteen gatherings of martial artists from a variety of (mostly) FMA styles and organizations, getting together and to learn and train and play and to make friendships.

The folks at MAPA 1
I've learned a lot of techniques and concepts and drills at MAPA gatherings.  I always come away from MAPA with a new idea, or a different way to think about something I already know, or a nice perspective on differences of strategic choices.

MAPA is one of the reasons I've grown a lot as a martial artist over the past four years.

The biggest benefit to MAPA may be the relationships I've made. It's hard for me to believe now, but people who are really important to my martial arts life I didn't know before we started up the gatherings.  Our FMA community here in Dallas-Fort Worth (and nearby environs) are chock full of super-nice, open minded, highly skilled, very dedicated people.

We've had MAPA gatherings indoors, and outdoors. We've covered knife, stick (both as a blunt weapon and as an edged weapon), staff (bangkaw), and lots of empty hand material (including ground work).  We've done a lot of drills - some basic, some advanced.  We've had people with decades of training attending, and we've had people with only a few months attending.

I've had a lot of fun learning from everyone I've met at MAPA.  The instructors, of course (by my count, there were 14 individual instructors) but also the participants from various schools. Each one brought something new or interesting to the table that made me a better martial artist.  I am grateful I had that opportunity to meet every single person I met.

MAPA proves that it IS possible to bring together people who might not train together all the time, for the express purpose of just making connections in our community and having fun. At the beginning, some folks thought it couldn't be done. I'll admit, there are some styles we tried hard to get active in MAPA but we just couldn't get them there, for whatever reason. That will always be something we regret.

If you've never been here, you may not realize how geographically large Dallas-Fort Worth really is (MAPA 13 took us nearly an hour to get there).  Without MAPA, I probably never would have had the opportunity to meet, train with, and become friends with the folks on the Dallas side of town, or with our friends at TNT Self Defense down in Stephenville, TX (they're practically a sister-school to Hidden Sword now).  My martial arts family is bigger and richer.

Mr. Chick and I are moving, and thus, MAPA 13 was probably our last gathering.  Maybe we'll be able to create something similar in our new city someday (I sure hope so).  MAPA proves that it can be done, after all.  While the move is a happy one, we'll miss our friends here in DFW and especially the time we've spent at MAPA gatherings (53 hours  - MAPA 5 was five hours long).

So this post is to say THANK YOU to the folks who came to MAPA.  May it continue to be strong, and active, and benefit everyone as much as it benefited us.

Below are the group pictures from every MAPA thus far.  If you want to come join the group, find the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance Facebook page HERE and the M.A.P.A. Discussion Group on Facebook HERE.

The folks at MAPA 2

The folks at MAPA 3
.
The folks at MAPA 4

The folks at MAPA 5

The folks at MAPA 6

The folks at MAPA 7
The Folks at MAPA 8
The Folks at MAPA 9
The Folks at MAPA 10
The Folks at MAPA 11
The Folks at MAPA 12. Note: we raised money for Hurricane Harvey relief for this one!
And last but not least...

The Folks at MAPA 13





Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 03/24/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.


What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:


Saturday was a "normal" day, as I took Molly to taekwondo in the morning, I did a little kobudo practice, and I attended Arnis class.  Later that evening I attended the AKATO annual banquet, celebrating Sensei Keith Yates' 50th anniversary as a black belt.  Fun evening!

Spring has sprung here in North Texas, and my allergies are going haywire.  In between bouts of sneezing, I attended Arnis classes on Monday, took younger daughter to taekwondo on Tuesday and Tbursday.  Wednesday I went to bed early because the allergy meds were making me sleepy.

Here's a picture of the black belts under Sensei Yates attending the banquet. Can you spot me?



BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: Myth and Memory in the Martial Arts
TuesdayThe 3 Types of Camps and Seminars You'll Go To
WednesdayTHAT GUY: What-If Guy
Thursday: Stick Exchange: One Advantage of the Blunt Weapon
FridayQuestions from Quora: What in the Martial Arts Can't Be Experienced Without a Long Time Training?


OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

Seriously The Stick Chick Blog on Facebook, page has WAY more than what you see here. If you're on Facebook, like the page and don't miss all sorts of interesting, challenging, and funny martial arts content.  Oh, and you might spot the crustaceans plotting for revolution (go look at the page and see if you see what I'm seeing).


Master Ken is back!




I'm all about the improvised weapons. Check this out:


LOTS LOTS more over on Facebook, in case I haven't mentioned it 1000 times already.

FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

I have started entering the period of "this is the last time I'll do this" here in North Texas (if you missed it, we're moving to Kansas City in early June).  Today is one of those things, as I attend MAPA 13.  Come join me, will ya?  Here's the details: Event for MAPA 13 in Dallas




So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Questions from Quora: What in the Martial Arts Can't Be Experienced Without a Long Time Training?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

Got a martial arts question you want me to answer?  Send me an "Ask to Answer" on Quora, and I just might!


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

THAT GUY: What-If Guy

Your teacher has asked you to pair up and work on a specific drill.

You follow the instructions, pair up, and you work on the drill for a few minutes.  As your teacher comes by to check on your progress, your partner asks a question.

"So, what if the attack is completely different than what we're working on right now?"

Your teacher smiles.  "Then we'd do something different.  But we're not working on that right now, we're working on this,"

Your partner seems relatively unimpressed by the answer.

Later in class, your teacher is demonstrating another concept related to what you were working on earlier.  When he opens the floor for questions, your partner raises her hand.  "What if the attack is something else completely different than what we're doing now?"

Your teacher:



You pair up again, and this same student says to you, "I don't think this would work against a completely different situation than what we're working on today. What if something different happens?  What then?"

Congratulations.  You're paired with THAT GUY: What-If Guy.

We all have a little bit of What-If Guy in us, and that's not a bad thing.  Questioning what you're learning, thinking hard about it, considering a larger situation or how it applies to different things, and being engaged is the way to go.

What-If Guy takes it further by never accepting what's being shown in the context it's being presented.  What-If Guy is always thinking about things that might happen out of left field.

If you're learning defenses against a kick, What-If Guy will ask what happens if the guy punches or takes you down instead.

If you're learning a concept in one-on-one grappling, What-If Guy will invariably ask about multiple attackers.

If you're working against an unarmed person, What-If Guy will want to know what to do against a weapon.

If you're working against an angle of attack with a weapon, What-If Guy will ask about a different angle or a different weapon.

If you're working against punches, What-If Guy will ask about kicks.

If you're dealing with knives, What-If Guy wants to know about guns.

A true What-If Guy has a hard time understanding that you can't train all scenarios and situations simultaneously.   What-If Guy never focuses first on what's being presented. What-If Guy is always looking to change the conversation to something you're not actually working on right now.

Luke Skywalker: the whiny intergalactic version of What-If Guy.

I suspect What-If Guy is trying to find that perfect technique that works in all situations, the simplest solution to a complex answer. What-If Guy doesn't accept that it doesn't exist.

It's not like it's rare to encounter a What-If Guy.  Of all of the "THAT GUY" types I've covered on this blog (read them all with the label "THAT GUY" in the sidebar), What-If Guy might be the single most common one of all.  There's almost always at least one in a room, isn't there?

The worst version of What-If Guy will take the answer of "We'd do something different, but we're working on this right now" as being evasive, and then judge whatever is being shown as ineffective. That kind of What-If Guy may end up flitting from school to school, art to art, never reaching the depths of any style (and thus, never getting to the REAL answers to his questions).  The very worst What-If Guy ends up making up his own style to answer his questions.





So tell us about your experiences training with What-If Guy.  Are YOU What-If Guy?  What do you do to try to curb that impulse?  If you are an instructor, what are your strategies to deal with What-If Guy? Let us know in the comments!




Saturday, March 17, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 03/17/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:


Friday I trained much of the day, then that evening Older Daughter and I went to see one of my favorite bands, Flogging Molly, over in Dallas.  Great show, but by the end of the day I'd been standing about 10 hours, 2 of which were barefoot on wood floors, and I was crippled the next day.

In Kobudo we started learning our first kama form and we spent half the class helping the new juniors class with their bo form.  I'm really grooving on kama - it's another weapon that's very... arnis-y... and easy to pick up from my point of view.

Monday was Arnis class at Hidden Sword, Tuesday I took Younger Daughter to taekwondo class, Wednesday was more Arnis, Thursday more Takewondo...

A little busier than last week.

If you can see them play live, DO IT. Stick Chick recommended!

BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: Context is Everything
Tuesday5 Ways to Tell if You're Watching a Demonstration (Versus an Actual Fight)
WednesdayContext is Everything, Part 2
Thursday: Roll for Attributes
FridayFACE-OFF FRIDAY: Martial Arts Video on the Internet?


OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

I post a mere fraction of the stuff I run across here on the blog's Saturday roundup.  Most of it is on The Stick Chick Blog on Facebook, so if you follow my page, you'll get ALL SORTS of martial arts goodness in your feed (make sure set it to Following, See First in News Feed so you don't miss out on the fun!).  This week was particularly busy with good stuff, so go check it out.

Speaking of Facebook, if you're a female martial arts blogger (or know one), we've started a new group to help share each's others posts and support each other.  Check it out: Women of the Martial Arts Blogosphere

And also, we've set a date for MAPA 13, which will be the last one I attend for the foreseeable future.  Come join us:  Event for MAPA 13 in Dallas



The phrase "You own too many martial arts weapon" makes no sense at all, in any language:



Speaking of bloggers, Andrea Harkins wrote a nice blog post. 10 Small Dojo Survival Tips, Joelle White published The Teacher is Also a Student, and new friend of the blog Stephanie Dunham writes a blog called The Modern Kunoichi you really should check out.  Oh, and Brian Johns is back in action at his blog this week, and it's actually something we worked on in our Arnis class on Monday night:  Modern Arnis Concepts: Counter For Counter

I am loving this new meme.





FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

Today is a "normal" day - I'm going to practice some kobudo in a morning, and go to Arnis class.  Tonight is the annual AKATO banquet, and I'll be going to that tonight.

Hope you've having a wonderful St.Patrick's Day!

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Friday, March 16, 2018

FACE-OFF FRIDAY: Martial Arts Video on the Internet?

IT'S FACE-OFF FRIDAY!

Lots of martial arts teachers and schools put video online.

Everything from short snippets of instruction, to demos, to class videos... there's probably millions of hours of martial arts on the internet.

Usually, only a school's students, associates, and friends see these videos.  But sometimes, these videos go viral in the martial arts world.

Either because they're super-great, or for people to make fun of the video in question.

Do you put video of you training or demoing online?  What are the upsides?  The downsides?  Have you ever had a problem with a martial arts video online?

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE TO MARTIAL ARTISTS PUTTING THEIR VIDEOS ON THE INTERNET?





Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Context Is Everything - Part 2

Some time ago, I wrote about the dangers of taking a snippet of video or a drill you don't know out of context and evaluating the effectiveness of what you're seeing.

You can read it here:  Context is Everything

There's been some videos going around in the martial arts world online that makes me think we really need to revisit this topic.

Look, there's loads of video out there of folks doing martial arts that are obviously... um... problematic. PLENTY.  Empty Force. Yellow Bamboo. Ninjers. You know what I mean.

Sometimes, we just don't understand the context and are misinterpreting what we are seeing.

Often this is a demo. That is, what you're seeing is not intended to be something you're really proposing to do in a fight. It's more of a demonstration of athletic skill. I wrote this to help you tell the difference: 5 Ways to Tell if You're Watching a Demonstration (Versus an Actual Fight}.

There's also lots of video out there of martial arts drills where they are working a specific skill or concept that when taken out of context looks silly or useless but it isn't impractical in practice. These videos make the Martial Arts online community and people point and guffaw at them.  I've done it myself!

We have plenty of FMA drills out there that look like a waste of time. Here, take this one:


I chose this one because it's actually a sinawali pattern I've really fallen in love with lately and I've been playing it a lot.  Now, to look at it, what do you think the combative applications are?  Is what you see in this video useless in a fight?

I mean, nobody's going to walk up to you with two sticks, challenge you to a fight, and the two of you start doing sinawali. It just doesn't happen.

Unless, of course, you're the Green Arrow.  Then all bets are off.
 By the way, that's Double Sinawali high (all high strikes), aka "Heaven Six". We teach it to yellow belts.
So if nobody fights that way, why do we do sinawali drills? What is the point of training a scenario that literally will never happen in a million years?

Because sinawali is a crazy-efficient way to train a lot of different concepts and attributes that are useful in a fight. These include:
  • Targeting
  • Chambering
  • Proper extension of the weapon
  • Working both left and right hands (if you're doing the double stick version - if you're doing single hand, we get to practice switching hands in flow, for one)
  • Footwork
  • Range
  • Timing
  • Learning to think ahead a little bit
  • Learning to see high and low angled strikes and some built-in ways to respond
  • Spotting holes and places to interrupt
  • Developing the habit of not watching the weapon, but watching the person
  • Combination striking
There is a lot going on there that if you didn't know better, you'd think we're just playing pattycake with sticks for no good reason. I'm certain there's people in the world who see us doing this and laugh and say what a waste of time sinawali is.

And... they're wrong. WRONG.

Is there anything in that the list I wrote above of what we learn in playing sinawali useless in a fight?  You don't need to learn how to target properly, manage range, not to have good timing when dealing with an attack and in counter-attacking in order to fight well?

Really?

I asked my friend and BJJ player Mike Mahaffey if he knew of some drills in BJJ that look weird or silly to an outsider.  He offered me this video:



He tells me that not everyone plays this in BJJ and that to outsiders it looks a little weird. To me, it looks like somebody's trying to do a strange form of yoga.  But then he says this video explains the usefulness:


If you don't know BJJ, and you don't understand the context of the first video (the one with the solo drill), you might scoff and laugh and claim that drill is utterly useless in a fight. Until somebody who's trained this well uses it on you and kicks your ass.

Many martial arts styles have drills of this nature.  Drills to work a specific concept, or to train a specific attribute, or to deal with a specific isolated situation, or to work on something repeatedly that is outside of the typical "drunk comes at you with a haymaker in a bar" scenario.

If people aren't just sharing the video and pointing and laughing, they'll often look at a drill and say, "Yeah, but what if it's a completely different attack?  WHAT THEN?"


Wait, wait, you mean, what if it's a different attack than what I'm actually training in this very moment?

Well, gee, smart guy, what if it's three guys and not just one? What if they have a gun instead of a knife, stick, or sword? What if he's actually a real-life ninja and he's got ninja throwing stars?  What if we're just living in the Matrix and he's downloaded Kung Fu in an instant? What if a meteor falls out of the sky and squishes me?  What if aliens invade?  WHAT IF THE SUN EXPLODES?!?!  What then?!?!?

Because we only have that single drill, and we couldn't possibly have a ton of other drills that include a variety of scenarios and situations.*


Good job, sport!  Give yourself a gold star today!
As I said above, I'm guilty of doing this stuff myself. I'm not innocent here, and I need to do a better job of understanding the context before I giggle and share that latest "what the hell is going on here" video online.

I think you should give it a shot, too.

So what drills do you do that to outsiders look silly or useless? Did you ever change your mind about a drill that you thought was silly, but after you learned context, decided it was legit after all?  Do you have a good drill for that sun exploding thing?  Let me know in the comments!



* Regarding the meteor strike thing, I'd just step off the line, of course. Duh.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 03/10/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:


There was a water leak at our rec center, so Hidden Sword didn't plan classes on Saturday.  Instead, we went to the Dallas Irish Festival.  Going by Mr. Chick's count, we walked a total of four and a half miles. Fun, but exhausting.

Monday went to Arnis class at Hidden Sword.  We're working on boxing/Panantukan drills, which is always fun.

Tuesday I took Younger Daughter to Taekwondo class.

Wednesday, Hidden Sword and more Panantukan drills.  This is definitely material I want to get better at!

Thursday Younger Daughter had a show at her elementary school, so we all went to that instead of martial arts.

All in all, a relatively light week.

Not from this week - from two years ago - and not the specific drill we worked on this week, but you get the idea of the kind of thing we were doing.

BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: Trust Issues
TuesdayAbout the Competitive Spirit
WednesdayThe Natural
Thursday: The Only Woman on the Mat
Friday: FACE-OFF FRIDAY: How Can We Get More Women Training?


OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

And it's probably suicide.


I will never, ever get tired of this kind of fail video.


Sure wish I could get more of us on the mat. Check out these women with mad skills:


Look who's back to posting again, and it's on nerdy Modern Arnis goodness!  Check out Brian Johns at Bamboo Spirit Martial Arts: Modern Arnis Concepts: Go With The Flow

There's more martial artsy goodness I ran across this week, but you can see it over on my blog's Facebook page.  And as usual, I'm going to beg and plead all of you are on Facebook to like this blog's Facebook page and share it will all of your friends. The link to the page is RIGHT HERE.




FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

Mr. Chick is training all weekend long, and I have training today (Kobudo and Arnis), and tonight, Older Daughter and I are going to see one of my favorite bands live.


Y'all keep busy and out of trouble.  

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!