Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Fastest Punch

How many of you have witnessed a lightweight or middleweight boxer hit like a heavyweight? I'm not referring to his power but his speed or lack thereof. Usually it is expected that a lighter fighter is faster and quicker than their heavier counterparts. When it seems that it is not the case, to me the fight tends to be a bit boring wherein I'm just waiting for someone to be knocked out for it to be over. The discussion between speed vs. power is a neverending debate but speed with power is something I think everyone will agree on.

Bruce Lee, father of Jeet Kune Do

The fastest punch is a drill I chanced upon during my Jeet Kune Do days. It is a drill to test your punching speed coming from an on-guard position or a fighting position as some may call it where both your arms are chambered in front of your chest or held up in front of your face. In Kali, since it is not advisable to punch, derivatives of this drill can be found in the form of the fastest knife jab or the fastest slap. I'm sure this drill is also common to other striking arts like Karate and Tang Soo Do. However, I really enjoyed this drill especially when presenting the concept of attack, reaction and counter-reactiveness using a person's response stimuli as basis. Beginner students like children who have absolutely no background in the fighting arts when presented this drill automatically understands how an attack is delivered and how one responds to it. They immediately understand how one's training or lack of it is essential in developing skills that would eventually lead to overcoming their shortcomings.

I believe the drill falls under the concepts of Pekiti-Tirsia in attack-counter-recounter. The drill can be done with both hands. It is a test for both trainee (puncher) and trainer (the person holding the target) alike wherein the trainee will hit the target as fast as possible making sure that he hits it, while the trainer will have to move the target also as fast as possible for the trainee to miss it. It also requires the trainer to have a decent speed and reaction time since he wouldn't want the trainee to develop a false sense of confidence in his performance.

The only drawback I see with the fastest punch drill is that though it develops one's speed, accuracy and timing, it does not address the need for the puncher to vary his range in actual fighting. The puncher assumes that he will be hitting from the same distance all the time. I tried to address this issue on advanced levels by adjusting the distance while punching.

Here is the basic exercise:

Level 1 (speed drill)
1) Trainee assumes an on-guard position
2) Trainer holds 1 mitt in front at punching range (medium range) of the trainee
3) Trainer gives a number of attempts for the trainee to hit the mitt  while he moves the mitt out of the way everytime the trainee tries to hit it
4) Trainer logs how many successful hits vs. failed attempts

Level 2  (speed + counter reactive drill)
1) Trainee assumes an on-guard position
2) Trainer holds 2 mitts in front at punching range (medium range) of the trainee
3) Trainer gives a number of attempts for the trainee to hit mitt 1 while he moves mitt 1 out of the way everytime the trainee tries to hit it
4) As trainer moves mitt 1 out of the way, mitt 2 counter hits the trainee after he has delivered his strike
5) Trainee needs to either move out of the way to avoid the hit of mitt 2 or parry mitt 2
6) Trainer logs how many successful hits vs. failed attempts vs. successful counter hits

One of if not the fastest boxer in history! Watch it at 6:10.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fire up your Internal Oven

If you're coming from a sedentary lifestyle, jumping immediately into the Kali program might not be the ideal choice for you. Most of the time, the body adjusts to new movement, coordination and high repetitive motions which are not the usual movements one does in school or in the office. Even if you are already involved in some kind of exercise or sport, you may still not be able to maximize the experience and material to be taught. One might be discouraged with Kali if one cannot perform the simple basic motions and body mechanics required for the first few weeks of training. These simple exercises can prepare anyone before undergoing your first few weeks of Kali class.

100 jumping jacks
30 pushups
20 burpees with jumps
20 squats
30 situps

Consider this a fitness test you can use even if you are coming back from an off season. Note that you do not have to do all of this in one sitting. Performing any 2 exercises consecutively may already suffice. Slowly building up the numbers by adding 10 repetitions each week can be a good motivational challenge.

Another notable issue one can face with training is blisters. I have had a lot of questions regarding blisters and writing it here hopefully helps those questions. Even if one is already accustomed to the strikes and techniques in Kali, after weeks or months of not practicing, blisters can still occur. These exercises will help address those issues:

100 broken strikes high load
100 broken strikes shoulder load
100 broken strikes medium load
300 bridging between broken, fluid and circular strikes

Varying the stick you are using from light to heavy then back to light, or even changing the orientation from wooden stick to iron pipe to baseball bat can also help solve blistering as well as develop power and control of your weapon. Of course as time goes by, you can even add tire hitting with 1,000, 3,000 to 5,000 strikes per day.

If you constantly train with different weapons, in the end whatever you have in your hand doesn't matter. Edged or impact weapon only change attributes, but mastery of control and power depends on the wielder.

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 Pekiti-Tirsia Beyond Borders

The year 2011 has a lot of breakthroughs and fun memories for PTK Sandatahan. Closing the year with the Street Survival Seminar held in Dubai, UAE last 4th to 5th November, we still have a lot more to look forward to for the year of the dragon, 2012.

 Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Street Survival Seminar Day 1 - 04 Nov 2011

  • 7 January - Training with Tuhon Uli Weidle
  • 14 January - Beyond Borders seminar with Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr.
  • 4th February - Training with Mandala Jasper De Ocampo
  • 4th to 8th February - Bacolod Training Camp
  • 18th February - Kerambit training with Agalon Ritch Soriano
  • 25th February and 3rd March - Duelist Workshop II
  • 15th to 18th March - 2nd PTK Asia Pacific Convention

These are just among the first line up of events for this year.

For the first half, we would like to develop fit and able fighters with no reservations for the PTKS Stickfighters Olympiads. Recruitment is ongoing and to be part of this group means to devote oneself in training every hour of everyday. The rewards are great and plenty for everyone provided we sweat in training now so that we would not bleed in battle later.

 PTK Beyond Borders seminar with Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr. - 14 January 2012