Friday, June 27, 2008

Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife, 2

Continued from Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife

I trained for a short while with a 5th degree black belt in the American Federation of Jujitsu & Arnis. Weapons training included instruction in Arnis, usually understood as the Filipino art of stick fighting. In actual practice in the Philippines, beginners trained with sticks until they gained enough expertise to handle machetes.

In addition, Arnis can be practiced as an empty-hand art. It's a little incongruous to append it to another system as a weapons program. Happily, the American Federation of Jujitsu no longer does this.

As a case in point, however, Arnis (or Kali/Escrima) demonstrates that, in theory at least, it is possible to for a system to make a presumably seamless transition from empty hand to stick/baton to bladed weapons. You learn the system, and you essentially fight the same with or without weapons.

I have read that Russian Systema evolved as an empty hand combat system from a blade-wielding system. The individual I read advocated learning to move in combat by slow-motion drills in which your training partner attacks with a knife & you avoid the blade. (I am NOT suggesting that you train with a real knife in this manner. It's all good fun, until someone loses an eye.)

I do recommend that you begin to analyze your empty hand techniques & ask yourself which ones would be suited to various weapons (knife, baton, cane, machete or whatever). Or pick up a knife and ask yourself, "What happens if I execute a jab (hook, uppercut, etc.) while I'm holding this." (Don't experiment like this with a real knife on a partner.) You may find you already possess all the knife techniques you need.

There is a big advantage to fighting with a knife over knife fighting that I've not yet discussed. Perhaps in "Knife Fighting vs.Fighting with a Knife, 3)

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