Thursday, September 25, 2014

Focus on training: Edgar G. Sulite (1993)

Stickgrappler's Note: Punong Guro Edgar Sulite would've been 57 today. He died at 39 years of age 5 months before his 40th Birthday.

It is also the 33rd Anniversary of Lameco Eskrima today. The system was created on Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite's Birthday, September 25, 1981.

With Guro David Gould's gracious permission, I'm reposting this from his Lameco Eskrima Orehenal Facebook Group in honor of PG Sulite's birthday today. It is an article from the Vortex Newsletter which was the official medium through which PG Edgar Sulite would communicate with his Students and his Lameco Eskrima Association. In each issue PG Sulite would write several Articles regarding training in Lameco Eskrima.

Focus on training: Edgar G. Sulite (1993) 

Nowadays, Martial Arts students are being bombarded with countless techniques from different martial arts systems from all around the world. Today the study and promotion of Martial Arts has been revolutionized through movies, television, magazines, books, videos, Martial Arts schools and seminars.

When I was still a student back in the Philippines, I still remember how difficult it was for me to find a Martial Arts Teacher. Finding one does not necessarily mean that they were willing to accept me as a student nor teach me. They would be reluctant because I do not belong to their family and that their system was exclusively taught to their clan. Being an outsider, my request to become a student would be declined. Luckily, I managed to convince them of my sincerity and dedication and I was able to study under different famous Masters.

During my studies, I noticed that some of my Masters were very generous in teaching me techniques while others were very stingy and would refuse to go beyond what they thought was enough for my level of skill and experience. Strangely enough, the teachers at that time that I considered stingy were the teachers that I now hold dear to my heart. For as a result of their keeping a tight rein on my training and progress, I have been able to thoroughly understand and Master their system. Whereas my teachers who generously overwhelmed me with techniques and demonstrations I found to have inadvertently missed giving me the true foundations and “secrets” of their art. These gaps I would later be able to fill as I devoted time, effort, and discipline in mastering and understanding each of the techniques they have unselfishly passed on to me.

A novice, a beginner in Martial Arts is considered to be in darkness for his mind is not yet aware of the possibilities he has to protect and defend himself and his loved ones. Once he commences his study, then he begins to understand his true potential and lethal capabilities. Knowledge is power – but little knowledge can be extremely dangerous. We should always strive to be thorough in our learning, for the advantage any technique or skill gives also has hidden disadvantages that must also be learned.

Techniques represent knowledge; and each technique learned is like a ray of light that adds clarity and vision to what used to be unknown, strange and formidable. Every technique that one learns and understands reduces the darkness within us. Eskrimador, how bright is your light? Can you see clearly and far? Or are you happy with just focussing a small beam on the path where your foot is about to set on? Be honest and evaluate yourself. Consider the numerous and probably countless techniques you have learned. Which and how many of them do you consider most important and essential to you? So vital that you have the confidence that these techniques and skills are yours, a part of your repertoire and armor, ready to face any challenge or attack.

Do you feel that you are enveloped in a protective, bright aura of confidence in your techniques and skills? Or is it a narrow beam of light that can track only one thing at a time and unsteadily at that? If you have the slightest doubt – then you have neither understood nor mastered the techniques you rely on. You have lost the brightness of the flame that was passed on to you for you have not devoted time and effort to feed the demanding flame of dedication and discipline necessary to turn your knowledge into formidable weapons. We have likened training to the forging of a blade, for that is what it takes to create a perfect technique, a lethal and sharp weapon, a combat ready warrior.

The secrets to understanding techniques are:
1)- Visualization (Dakip-dawa)- To practice defense, you have to see the attack coming. The fury and aggressiveness of the attack must be present, for that is the reality of combat. Similarly, any attack must be practiced with the proper mind-set. All movements must be with intention and realism. You must defend aggressively and skillfully overcome and subdue your opponent.

2)- Master each technique thoroughly - Devote a major part of your practice session to learning a specific technique. Learn each technique ambidextrously. You’ll never know when you might get hurt and may have to depend on your other hand. Practice each technique a thousand times until it becomes a part of you. Learn its secrets, its advantages, and pitfalls. Embrace it until it becomes a part of your makeup and will come out by itself to defend and protect you. Let the bright light of confidence and skill envelop you protectively and confidently.

Lameco Eskrimador, how bright is the light of confidence around you? If it is but a small beam don`t you think its time to feed that flickering flame?

Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite
(circa 1993 At the Vortex volume 2 number 3).

Other PG Edgar Sulite-related posts, please check out:

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