Your Opponent a Ridiculous
Amount in Filipino Arnis?
Arnis is driven by a principal of hitting your opponent a ridiculous amount of time, both in attack and in counter attack. Most martial arts follow a principle of striking for precise targets, and disabling or killing with those blows. In comparison, the Filipino approach can look like a sloppy and inefficient use of energy and time. Letís ask the hard question, ďIs it?Ē
Reason 1: In practice you are conditioning a reflex to strike when an opportunity presents itself. Under fear and stress, people are slow to recognize openings and slow to take advantage of an opening when it is present. If you are using a one-shot deal (hereís the opening, stick something in it), you have to be really good, under stress, with matching a strike to a hole. Are you? The Filipino throws blasts at a hole before, during, and after an opening in the belief that something is going to get through.
Reason 2: Standing around with adrenaline in your system actually tends to create paralysis or flight responses. The action of the multiple strikes burns off adrenaline and is calming. A person gets more focused as he or she issues the strikes.
Reason 3: Under adrenaline and the confusion of fighting, it is difficult to tell what blows have hit and how effective they have been. You keep delivering force, because only a percentage of the blows are going to be damaging so you need to get some numbers in there. It is much better to have 40% of 10 blows than 40% of one blow, isnít it?
Reason 4: Multiple blows create fear and confusion in your enemy. It requires a skilled defender to process a slew of attacks coming at him and then to defend against all those attacks.
So, there are 4 good reasons to use ridiculous numbers of cuts. These 4 reasons match how an average Joe behaves under a fight situation, adrenalized, fearful, confused, and maybe even hurt. The method will work in such a situation, and becomes useable by a person with very little training.
Precision striking is more difficult to pull off, and requires your brain to match an opening to a strike opportunity in less than a second, under stress. Certainly this response is much more energy efficient, but at the same time requires experience to deal with the stress and many more training hours. Do you want that to be the only tool in your tool box? The one that is hard to use when something is broken and requires you to have used it for years? What matches the effort that youíve been putting into training?
The fluid striker can always learn precision striking after mastering the task of fluid, multiple strikes.
I have trained hundreds of people going through both approaches, and I can tell you that precision strikers below the level of expert can easily be defeated by a fluid striker. Precision strikers also have a serious mental difficulty in learning to use multiples at all. The brain resists learning the new pattern. (By the way, I started and completed my training in Precision striking arts too.)
Guro Mike Steenrod
P.S. The wait is almost over. I have nearly finished my guaranteed instruction manual of Filipino Knife Training. Iíll keep you posted as to its contents and its progress. Right now I am testing the basic instructions on the blocking systems to make sure they are absolutely doable by anyone. Looks good so far!