“When your opponent cuts you through your skin, cut him through his bone.” – Samurai Maxim
A split second advantage could spell a significant difference in the Combat Arts. But speed alone is nothing unless your strike is properly delivered and focused on a select vital point on your opponent.
An Eskrima or Arnis strike should hit its target in less than 2/10th of a second. This way, a properly delivered strike can knock down, maim or even kill your opponent in just one stroke of the weapon. It is like knocking down your opponent with a lucky punch to his jaw.
Is this blinding strike possible? A noted Grandmaster of Eskrima during and interview in a local TV said that in his hay days he could deliver five or more strikes in a second.
Let’s analyze the speed behind Balintawak Eskrimador’s strike. The way the can is positioned and held, and the method the flow is delivered would further reduce the 2/10th of a second.
Image: Guru Andrew P. Obon and APO-Balintawak (OLLES Demo)
A Balintawak stylist normally positioned his cane directly in front in an upright fashion, even when blocking most of the different angle strikes. In this position, a block or counter strike and offense can be executed split of second faster. This is done by slight twist of the hip couple with inward or outward body torque motion, as applicable. The torque to deliver a fast and strong blow comes from a ripple effect starting with the twisting push from the rear foot all the way to the hip, upper torso, arm and snapping of the wrist. The loosening up after each strike or series of combo blows is also very important to prepare for the next blitz.
The principle of “Mushin” is also paramount in attaining optimum speed and timing in the technical execution of your skills in combat and practice sparring. When you focus your mind on anticipation of possible attack or defense maneuvers of your opponent, you are actually putting yourself in a box. You deprive yourself from thinking outside the box. Hence, you would be unable to effectively attack, block and counter strike in response to anything outside of your anticipation or imagination. This robs you of your potential capabilities from attaining its optimum performance. A mind like a calm pool would be able to mirror or reflect all images within its scope. A slight ripple would distort all images. Fight with a calm composure and maintain normal and correct breathing. This would enhance your action and reaction time.
More often than not, we deliver our strikes towards the flow of gravity. This further enhance the speed of our strike coupled with our short but dynamic footwork similar to that of boxing. This gives added speed and flexibility, enhancing our technical execution.
A complete strike or block should be consummated simultaneously with the completion of the advancing or retreating motion of your footwork to optimize the impact. the logic behind this is that the shorter your footwork, the faster is the reaction and competition of your offensive or defensive maneuvers. Shorter footwork also allow you to close the gap between you and your opponent faster. Thus, you can easily maintain an effective fighting distance where you can comfortably attack and defense. This is especially true to a Balintawak stylist, to allow him to better control his opponent. This also allow effective execution of close quarter techniques for which the art is known for.
Now that you know this, it is time to act. Cut away from unnecessary or flowery movements to the bone. Work on what is essential. Simplify to refine. You would be surprised on your new found speed.
APO-Balintawak Self Defense System, All Rights Reserved. No portion of the text may be used or reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of APO-Balintawak Self Defense System.