Freight training! Yeah! Lets do a Serrada Escrima roof block! A Serrada Escrima roof block begins from a neutral position. The defender has both feet together and is calm and relaxed. The roof block is one of the basic responses to a number 1 strike. A number one strike is an overhand blow from his right, aimed at your left shoulder. It is an explosive block. More strike than block. It is a power block/strike. At its best, if we have "our" bodies in a proper position: We can come up and under the blow and immediately end a fight. Most people get a little sloppy under pressure and stand under the strike when blocking, squared with his opponent. This works too, but if we can bleed the power to "our" left, it's just a better way to do things. We bleed the power to our left, by slightly stepping in towards our opponents, right side. On other words, we just don't step into the blow: We step "in". When we catch the blow, with this body position: The power naturally bleeds toward his right and our left. Properly done: The block/strike anchors your opponents weight and tilts him up and to the side. He is temporarily frozen in limbo, without the ability to come back at you with a repeat blow...well, for a few important split seconds anyway. If we can take advantage of his temporary inability to defend him/herself: We look good and they look bad, because they've been had. Of course, if we caught their hand from underneath, so much the better.
Angel Cabales taught the basic roof block/strike as a bread and butter move. From the Serrada ready position, we can block "all" the overhead strikes. From this ready and locked position, we can also block horizontal strikes, with modified roof blocks. Twist the roof block to the side and it becomes a cross block for a number three angle strike. Leave the weapon in the ready position and we get a pass block, when we block blows from the number four angle. All we have to do is slightly twist our hands and bodies to block any blow! Angel Cabales was no fool. The ready and locked position of Serrada Escrima is the "cat stance" of Escrima. It is a superb defensive position, which is little understood and under appreciated. Basics again and again and again. You can take a student and teach him to defend against frighteningly fast blows, without teaching them formal Serrada Escrima. Just by teaching them the locked position. You just teach them to slightly twist their wrists and bodies to meet incoming blows. In a few months of training they can become very good. I'll let you in on a secret: You can block any blow from the ready position, when properly trained, easily and comfortably.
There is a theory which says that we can't exhibit real power unless we "pattern" a blow with the feet. Huh? If I were to strike you with my right arm: My best power would be developed, by pushing off of my left foot, if I were striking them with the left. Hit them with the earth! I stole this term from the great James Muro. If James hits you with the earth: You've really been hit. I know a lot of people will say: OK, so what? They'll say: I can push off of my right foot and knock the sh!t out of you with my right arm. Well, so can I. But, so what? We are freight training! Freight training, is where we align the rear foot, hip of the side we are hitting with, the elbow, shoulder and hand all in "one" direction, when we strike. All aligned like a freight train! But, in Serrada Escrima, we are pushing off of the opposite foot, when doing the roof block. In order to develop "real" power in the block: We "have" to turn in slightly, to swing the "right' hip into alignment with the block/strike! That is why we step slightly "in". Such a small thing, but such a huge difference in the power equation! This is a secret, which probably no one will listen to. With the body alignment we put ourselves in, we can immediately go directly to our opponent's neck and literally remove his head, easily and efficiently. In the motion to draw the weapon to our right side: We take the head in the motion. The depth of Angel Cabales was way too deep for me. This version of the roof block was always there: It just needed to be discovered in the basics. How did I get here? I really didn't want to get here? We cannot separate Serrada Escrima, from the reality of its true purpose. Serrada Escrima was designed as a simple, easy to learn, but highly effective martial art. Its simplicity is confused with being ineffective. It is more than highly effective. It is a martial art, which has cut out all of the bullshit. It is direct and to the point, and because simple and direct works in real life: Serrada works in real life. Find a good Instructor who will teach the proper basics. There is a lot to learn in the basics, but in Serrada all the basics align with all of the rest of the basics. Hope to see you around, signing off five by five.
My deepest gratitude to Master Ron Saturno for his kind permission in allowing me to repost his articles to my site. Photo Credit: Source pic - Master Ron Saturno.
You can contact Master Ron Saturno via:
Email: 5masterserrada@gmailNOSPAM.com (take out the "NOSPAM")