Escrima Concepts Weekend - April 2016
On April 9th/10th we had a long and enjoyable weekend training Escrima Concepts with Grandmaster Steve and Wayne Tappin. As this is the first year of the new syllabus the whole weekend was spent making sure people understood the new additions and where they fit into the Escrima Concepts system as a whole.
Saturday was 6 hours of Instructor Training, focussing on SG5. The new syllabus has a seen a lot of the more advanced bridges and strategies brought lower down as both students and instructors are being better quicker. Looking at recovering from bad positions, as well as the advantages of choosing that strategy combined with such ideas as flat hitting, short 8 and tipping gives a whole new layer to aggressively finishing an altercation quickly while limiting the space and time an opponent has to counter.
Sunday was about training your own syllabus instead of learning to teach. Here each student worked on material from their own level, and then incorporated some variations, or follow up options, to see the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies. Congratulations to Fong for successfully passing his first grade under the watchful eye of Instructors from Norwich and South West London. Thanks to Steve and Wayne for an informative weekend, and to the Instructors from Norwich, South West London, Saffron Walden and Surrey for coming and being part of the weekend. See you all next time.
We also had a few complete beginners join us throughout the day to get a taste of what we do, well done for jumping straight in and training with the students from all levels, it was great having you there. One of those beginners, Jess, has shared her experience of the Seminar below…
“I have to admit I always eyed those sticks, knives, and machetes with envy, so when Col suggested I attend the Sunday Seminar with Steve and Wayne Tappin as an introduction to Escrima Concepts, I couldn't resist. I'm so glad I worked up the courage to attend a Seminar as a complete beginner in a new martial arts system, despite some nervousness, as I found Steve and Wayne to be extremely welcoming, patient, and happy to adapt their lesson plans to accommodate me. After a wonderful experience at the three-hour seminar, I'm looking forward to continuing with Escrima Concepts training!
At the beginning of the Seminar, Wayne took me aside and essentially gave me an hour private lesson, during which we covered the basics of the grip, the five strikes, and some simple footwork (which was much more free than I was used to in Wing Chun). I am normally most comfortable in lessons when I am given specific instructions on exactly how to move my body, so being told to, "just move naturally,” took some getting used to. But my understanding of structure which has been developing gradually through Wing Chun, especially the arms/back connection, served me well, and eventually I found myself thinking of the connection between my hand and the stick as just another joint in my body. It took a bit longer to figure out the relaxed-but-not-too-relaxed grip though, and Col had to rescue me with a few plasters for my blistered hand!
I expected my arms and back to tire most quickly, but it was my legs that really had a workout. Wayne and Col had me dancing about in all directions during what they called the ‘pointing drill’, which was a test of endurance as much as coordination. In the unarmed drills as well, there was emphasis on moving with flexibility and decisiveness, and I tried to imagine the urgency of a situation that might suddenly involve a knife. I had the opportunity to practice a variety of drills, including armed and unarmed strikes and defences, and a few disarms, with students of varying abilities. It was a good challenge, and I'm confident that Escrima will help me develop my ability to move dynamically, with more aggression and simultaneously with more control. Finally, I'd like to encourage anyone who is nervous about attending a Seminar as a complete beginner to just go for it! Everyone at Cambridge Kung Fu and Escrima Concepts is incredibly welcoming, patient, and delighted to share what they know and love. Plus, hitting each other with sticks is too much fun to pass up!” - Jess
Check out photos from the weekend on facebook!