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thomanil
08-24-2005, 06:47 AM
Hello,

I am considering taking up Kali, probably once or twice a week in addition to regular Aikido practice. I have some grounding in the basics in Aikido now (8 years, shodan), but would like to train in a different art in order to remedy some of the things not usually stressed in Aikido training at my dojo. (Dealing with flowing attacks, some basics in punching and kicking etc)

I would love to hear any experiences people here have to share in regards to crosstraining in the Filipino arts!

David Thommen
08-25-2005, 09:55 AM
I have limited experience in Arnis. I was technically taking three different styles at once (Karate, Arnis, Aikido) and I am now simply down to Aikido. Arnis is a great deal of fun to learn and does with the double sticks help you to flow in your attacks and prepare you to deal with any attacks of similiar nature. What I found, from my experience, and this is simply a suggestion, to check out any Kenpo schools in your area. Kenpo taught me a great deal more about flowing attacks than Arnis did. My attacks began to be choppy (1-3 attacks per engagement) but after taking Kenpo I learned to continue to flow from one attack to another. Blocking to attack and just to keep moving and flowing until the "situation is resolved." Kenpo also teaches you how to use the sticks as well. Anyway, just my experience.

David

thomanil
08-25-2005, 10:01 AM
I have limited experience in Arnis. I was technically taking three different styles at once (Karate, Arnis, Aikido) and I am now simply down to Aikido. Arnis is a great deal of fun to learn and does with the double sticks help you to flow in your attacks and prepare you to deal with any attacks of similiar nature. What I found, from my experience, and this is simply a suggestion, to check out any Kenpo schools in your area. Kenpo taught me a great deal more about flowing attacks than Arnis did. My attacks began to be choppy (1-3 attacks per engagement) but after taking Kenpo I learned to continue to flow from one attack to another. Blocking to attack and just to keep moving and flowing until the "situation is resolved." Kenpo also teaches you how to use the sticks as well. Anyway, just my experience.

David

Thank you for the feedback. Interesting advice about Kenpo. Not sure if there are any Kenpo dojos in my area, but I'll have to do some research now.

One question or clarification: Do you feel that the "choppiness" of your attacks stemmed from Arnis practice?

Fabian Junker
08-25-2005, 01:16 PM
The best thing to do will be to give it a try. My Escrima training has thaught and continues to teach
me both very powerful blows and combinations, as well as beautiful flowing motions. And you have to use your hips a lot in FMA, too :-) Besides that, you get nice footwork.

FWIW,
FJ

David Thommen
08-25-2005, 06:07 PM
Thomas,
In reply to your question about Arnis being the source of the chopiness of my attacks the answer is no. The reason for the chopiness in my attacks stemmed from the five years of hard style Karate I took. Theory being 1 or 2 attacks were all that was needed to fall an opponent. Sometimes true, but not always. Anyway, Kenpo really taught me alot about flowing from one attack to another. Hope that helps.

thomanil
08-30-2005, 07:47 AM
Just a quick follow-up to this thread from me..

Took my first Kali class yesterday, and I think I'll stick with it.
This school (Kali Sikaran) has a fair bit of focus on boxing, kicking and trapping\throwing\locking in addition to pure weapon practice. Plenty of variety, in other words! On to what happened in yesterdays class....

We started out with some basic punching: Jab, cross and hook on partner's gloves. Then on to combinations, then with moving partner, and finally harder punches on pads. Plenty of things to concentrate on here in my case; especially keeping my guard up and close! This was one thing that I (and the instructor!) constantly had to remind myself of. One funny thing at this point: When they had us moving forwards and backwards, I didn't pay attention to the footwork... so I ended up doing irimi-irimi with each punch ala tsuki during Aikido class, instead of shuffling forwards (tsugi-ashi as we would say) with each jab and cross. The really funny part was this: my strange footwork seemed to noticeably mess with my partner's rhythm and head (she was a newbie too, but with a very solid kickboxing background).

Then on to kicking: very light kicks to partner's forward outer thigh, then inner and outer thighs and shoulders, and finally harder side kicks with partner holding pads. Didn't really know what to do with my hands\guard here, but at least I felt like I kept my balance while kicking.

After this we went on to some light sparring without the gloves, using calm kicks and punches. This bit was fun but very challenging. I had to constantly focus on "getting in there" with punches and kicks, instead of keeping maai and drawing the partner out (this is my natural response). I felt more than a bit helpless. Also, a bit of an eye-opener for me, since we usually don't play around with "proper sparring" at my Aikido dojo- even outside of regular classes.

Then we went on to some basic trapping\locking: we worked on deflecting an initial jab, counter-attacking\punching and then applying ikkyo, kinda. Well, more like ikkyos big bully brother. This version was applied by gripping the wrist, and pushing or punching directly against his straight elbow joint with my forearm, fist closed. A wee bit less "gentle" than how I'm used to doing it. We then practiced using a lock to follow up a failed ikkyo, by folding ukes arm inwards and pinning his hand like in shiho-nage. Hard to describe. Looked like something I've seen in Hapkido, I think. Not sure.
At this point in class I had some trouble initially because my Aikido interfered with their version of the technique. This really drove home the point I've seen many make regarding cross-training: keep 'em separated! Will have to work on stowing away specific Aikido stuff during Kali practice!

A brief interlude doing pushups then followed. Well, what can I say? Upper-body strength isn't exactly something I've focused on during Aikido practice, naturally.... First 30 (I managed 24), then 15 (I managed 6 or 7), then 7 (I did maybe 2 or 3 very half-assed ones (more like one-eights-assed ones!)). Chuckles all round in the room, since I wasn't the only one who had trouble completing the sets.

In the final half hour of the class we went on to the "dessert" of the class: weapons practice! This basically consisted of pairing up with a single stick each, taking turns attacking, being disarmed, then disarming and attacking again. At this point things felt very natural, my Aikido "backbone" seemed to help more than interfere; get off the line either inside or outside of the attack, then circular movements and use of tegatana to disarm the partner. So I suppose principles were similar, but specific movements different enough to avoid that my Aikido bubbled up and interfered.
Initially learning the movements was fairly easy, and we got into a steady rhythm of disarming, attacking, disarming. This continuous flow was very nice; doing the same thing with jo at our Dojo usually has some more "dead time", perhaps because we often roll away from a disarm involving throws, and we usually "reset" the distance\ma-ai between each go. This might just be how our dojo does aiki-jo, though. We finally followed each disarm up with a nasty head lock on partner using the newly disarmed stick.

I have to say I had a very good time yesterday. It felt very fresh being a complete beginner again. Much easier to attend practice with "an empty cup" mind if you actually don't have ANY experience with the material! :) Punching, kicking and sparring was and will be a challenge, but something I sorely need. I expect to gain some more insight into where I'm open in my technique during regular Aikido class, once I get more experience with how, where and when a fist or a foot can come whizzing through... The instructors seem competent and friendly, and the "mood" (can't think of a better word) during practice was serious but calm. Oh, and I'm sore in new and interesting muscles today! :D

So the conclusion? I'll stick with Kali, and see where it takes me. Initially twice a week, then maybe scale down to once a week once I have at least some basics down pat.

PS: I'm considering starting an aikiweb blog in order to document my further experiences with the crosstraining...
I'll give a shout in this thread if I follow through with the blog plan. :)

CNYMike
08-30-2005, 11:53 PM
.... we went on to some basic trapping\locking .... At this point in class I had some trouble initially because my Aikido interfered with their version of the technique. This really drove home the point I've seen many make regarding cross-training: keep 'em separated! Will have to work on stowing away specific Aikido stuff during Kali practice!


Yes, there is going to be some "confusion" because human anatomy, and how our joints work, don't change. So even though there are differences, that is also why you will see variations on the same theme.

Don't worry about or get mad or frustrated about Aikido "popping out." Not only have you done Aikido for a long time, but because of the focus of the respective arts, you will probably do the Aikido versions more frequently than the Kali versions. The old habits will never go away; your challenge now is to learn new habbits. In time you will learn to tell them apart, although in my case (going the other way, returning to Aikido while having done Kali since the late '90s), "in time" is over a year! Your best bet is to rely on what your instructors tell you about your performance, not how well YOU think you are doing; you will probably be your own worst critic.


..... I have to say I had a very good time yesterday. It felt very fresh being a complete beginner again ....

Good! And that's just the way to approach it, too.


.... I'll stick with Kali, and see where it takes me. Initially twice a week .....

Good luck!

SeiserL
09-03-2005, 04:50 PM
I would love to hear any experiences people here have to share in regards to crosstraining in the Filipino arts!

I trained with Ted Lucaylucay (check the JKD family tree) 20 years ago, still hit a seminar or two a year.

I personally love and support crosstraining.

IMHO, Aikido and FMA connect and blend all by themselves after some training.

Welcome to the land of burning rattan.

CNYMike
09-04-2005, 12:31 PM
Welcome to the land of burning rattan.

[ :D ] I love the smell of burning rattan in the evening. Just clears out the lungs. You know what that smells like? Victory. [/ :D ]

:D

Devon Natario
09-05-2005, 01:18 AM
Ive trained with Remy Presas, Jeff Delaney, and Edgar Cordova in Arnis. I never studied for long periods (1 year) but I enjoyed the training more than most arts I've thumbed through.

If I were ever to choose an art for striking techniques it would either be the Arnis or Kajukenbo... All related arts you can expect the same type of techniques with some variations.

Anyways, Im glad you are enjoying it and good luck. Just remember you arent there to "unlearn" anything, you're there to learn.

CNYMike
09-05-2005, 11:26 AM
.... Just remember you arent there to "unlearn" anything, you're there to learn.

EXACTLY! Well said!