Saturday, August 16, 2014

Followup comments to Archone's articles on Weapons training


Ages ago, I've archived to my old site, 2 articles by Archone. Found out a little earlier this year that my old archives is down :(. I've mirrored his articles to my new site (well, now old) here:


Konassin reposted the first article to the Spladdle Forum. Posted below are follow ups to Archone's article by Xen Nova and me.

Xen Nova
08-12-2014, 04:35 PM

holy sh!t i remember this.

I think there is a lot of merit in what he wrote. My 20/20 hindsight after having had some weapons training is that it is better to seek out a high level instructor and get as much training under your belt as possible before you begin training on your own. Unless you're very adept at understanding how the body moves and reacts against and opponent already (previous martial art experience or wrestling, or boxing) then you leave yourself at a severe disadvantage. It is unfortunate that his method is woefully lacking in footwork, but if you have some sort of basis to move your feet then this is a fantastic learning method. After so many repetitions you will be familiar with however your chosen implement moves and feels that you will develop an intimate relationship with using it.

IMO it could be enhanced by a few things

- Actually hitting something of substance! Heavy bag, tree, swinging tire. If you don't know how it feels to have the tool/weapon reverberate in your hands and swing backwards at you then you will be in for quite a shock. Quite imparticularly with weapons like nunchaku that will swing back towards you after striking something.

- sparring so you understand that...even with a may have to grapple with it...

I understand this is the hardest to come by considering we're talking about solo practice but it is probably the most vital experience to have at least a few times. Even CQB with firearms become difficult within 15feet and most people who want to attack you aren't going to be screaming beserkers from 15 yards away. Which leads to my next point...

- drawing your weapon is an even more important skill to practice. If you can't even get your weapon out all the skill in the world at using it will become pointless.

- Archone's knocking things to the ground system works well but I've found a hanging tennis ball (add some weight to it for speed, I just used 3/8" BB's) to be ideal. You don't have to smack it around, you can develop power on other things (tire/tree/heavy bag) but this is where precision comes into play. a good accurate "9" on his system can double as a strike and a feint. If you can tap the tennis ball and quickly move to a "2" or a "3" then you're developing skills that are very applicable to a real combat situation and you're developing fluid speed in your strikes.

- which leads us to hitting in bunches. After you've developed some familiarity, don't just practice "1" 100 times, practice "9"-"4"-"5"-"2"-"9". Just like in boxing your coach might have you following him around the ring jabbing and then he touches your lead glove and you fire 2-3-2-double jab. the ability to control the distance (footwork) and open your opponent (jabs & feints) leads to the ability to overwhelm your opponent quickly yet still keep him away (jabs) is often what ends engagements. You can't just depend on your one blow. Training just one kick. one punch. You MUST train your strikes in bunches. Learn to open up on someone.

As Mike Tyson said,

Mike Tyson: I'm gonna go in there and jab to the head, then jab to the body, then I'm gonna move after I hit, and punch to the body...
Interviewer: what are you going to do when you get inside
Mike Tyson: ... open up like a son of b!tch.

08-13-2014, 01:43 PM

Master Xen had a great point about hitting in bunches/combinations - instead of drilling just one strike a gazillion times, train various strikes strung together to develop your own combinations.

However, I feel as a noob, it's good to drill just one strike/angle for X amount of times for X amount of time - develops looseness and lessens the resistance of muscles to the motion so you have a relaxed flowing strike instead of muscling through the strike. Relaxation in both mind and body will enable to one to strike faster/think clearer - believe it or not. Most people tense up (sadly including me).

At some point in time though, you have the muscle memory and the looseness of the strike, that is the time to start working on hitting in bunches.

I end with 2 related quotes:

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
~ Bruce Lee

"One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice."
~Mas Oyama

Xen Nova
08-12-2014, 04:35 PM

I agree with both of your posts.

- Footwork is probably a whole other topic. That said it is why I really do like the filipino systems. They integrate everything so well.

- Not just for the newbie but even for the most advanced practitioner empty air strikes and single repetitions are invaluable. At some point you must bridge the gap between fighting imaginary opponents and striking something real, but even the most experienced fighter will still shadow box and practice one technique repetitively. Something I overlooked before but my old thaiboxing coach would hold pads for me and occasionally move the pads during a combo to simulate missing. You're not ALWAYS going to land every strike and if you're out of position or over committing then you are exposing yourself to counter attacks. It's necessary to learn how to miss properly as well.

- relaxation is such a key component in all sport/athletic movements. I've found the less I "try" to hit and just "let" myself hit the harder I actually strike. IIRC in internal martial arts it's called fa-jing or something similar. Allowing your natural mechanics/kinetic linking to develop the power not trying to over muscle things. I was teaching a lanky kid to use his jab a few weeks ago and it was the most difficult thing to get him to understand that he didn't have to push his jab to hurt someone with it, just flick from the hip. I've found a lot more value in internal MA practices because of the relaxation while 'tense' for example in zhan zhuang / qi gong standing exercises. There is a blog you may enjoy stick, by an weightlifter and zen practitioner . I actually was having a hard time getting my power clean up and by reading some of his work and changing my mindset about the lift itself I was able to overcome my previous personal best. He encouraged fluidity and beauty in the movement, to be loose, relaxed in mind, and body. Turns out the less I hyped myself up and tried to yank the weight up to the sky and instead just let the technique do the work the more I could lift.

To Xen's comment: "Even CQB with firearms become difficult within 15feet and most people who want to attack you aren't going to be screaming beserkers from 15 yards away. "

I mentioned that I posted the following video which examined that situation:

Please check out these other posts by Xen Nova which I've archived:



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