Insights and Training Tips from Tactical Arts


Insights from the Tactical Arts Academy

Filipino Kali Stick Sparring - Sparring Preparation

Sparring Preparation

  At some point in the development of your Kali, Arnis, Escrima training, you are going to learn to spar. If you train right, you will be ready. Sparring is a useful training tool that will allow you to test and develop your skills. It will help you learn where your weaknesses are, and it will provide you with an environment in which you can try out new techniques. In the words of Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, “It is your laboratory. It is where you experiment." Sparring will help you learn to perform your skills against someone who is not fully cooperating. This can be a real eye opening experience. The first time you spar, you really learn to appreciate the speed and timing it takes to apply the techniques you are practicing. When your opponent does not feed you like any of the drills ...

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Understanding the Unique Threat of Edged Weapons

Understanding the Unique Threat of Edged Weapons

Edged weapons have a unique set of dynamics that make them a critical subject to study for self defense.  Edged weapon attacks don’t typically have the same dynamics as an empty handed attack, yet they are often mistaken for an empty handed attack.  Sometimes an attack may even begin with an empty handed assault, then escalate to include a knife. Learning to successfully defend against knife attacks starts with a realistic understanding of the threat itself and the dynamics behind it. This knowledge will help keep you from making mistakes that will leave you exposed when you are trying to protect yourself against a knife attack.  In this first article of an upcoming series, I will discuss the unique dangers of edged weapons.  In later articles, I will discuss crime with...

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Tools for Training Filipino Kali Alone


The more frequently you train, the sooner you will see your skills develop. Having the right tools and having an area setup for training will encourage you to do it more often. Whether you have a dedicated space or have to go to the park may change how you prepare, but there are a few essentials you will want to have. Below is a list of tools that will facilitate your training as well as some suggestions for setting up a training area. Essential Tools These are some of the primary tools you will want to have available for training.  Sticks Though you can get a lot of training done with just one stick, having a variety can add other dimensions to your practice. Here are some options below. rattan sticks - Rattan sticks are the primary training tools for training the Filipino marti...

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Learn to be Effective when Practicing Pencak Silat Technique

Learn to be Effective when Practicing Pencak Silat Technique

It’s about mastering the details. Although I love the act of training itself, I don’t do it just for fun.  I train because I really want to be able to apply what I learn.  Likewise, I owe it to my students at Tactical Arts to make sure I am not just entertaining them, but I am really teaching them how to apply the techniques we study in class.  Sometimes this is easy with something like a basic strike, other times it may require more involved training methods.  This is often the case with a complex technique from Pencak Silat Mande Muda. Pencak Silat offers some novel techniques that range from the simple punch to the throat, which takes only a few seconds to learn, to a complex takedown that leaves you wondering what the hell happened.  The key factor in training ...

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Training you should be Doing at Home when Learning Filipino Martial Arts


You can’t effectively learn any martial art without training partners, but there are certain types of training that you need to be doing between classes if you want to get good at your chosen art. Classes offer instruction, coaching, drilling, sparring and the opportunity for guided review, but your time alone is best for coordination practice, impact training, conditioning and study. Coordination When you are fist learning a new skill, you need to start with your coordination. This will include some amount of demonstration from your instructor, probably some guided practice, and then some feedback to help you make corrections. After that, it’s up to you. You need to get all the repetition and self guided practice you can. Mastering a skill such as coordination comes from hours of attentiv...

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