Trying Arnis, for Karate

I got to try Arnis the other day with a mate from karate, it was a really cool experience! Sensei use to train with the same club back in the day so it was interesting to see how this style influenced his personal style of karate.

Arnis is filipino stick fighting there are several versions some of which are kali, escrima and arnis, we even practice a little bit now and then from sensei with karate to show the connection between the two, improve our sticky hands and to try something fun. Even though we have practiced with the escrima sticks at karate, I felt like a fish out of water, largely because to be efficient at arnis is kind of the opposite of how I fight, in that you have to be very light on your feet, focusing on angles like you do in capoeira (the footwork is almost the same, except there is clearly a zenkutsu dachi like stance with the feet) bend your body around and away from strikes, you have to be relaxed when striking or deflecting, using your mechanics rather than brute force, and you need to be very tai chi like to do all the moves quickly and efficiently.

Even though I have dabbled in this field, practicing arnis would improve the way I spar and fight in karate, drilling almost in a style that is foreign to my body, making me more agile and helping me to fight more like a wolf than a bear. A wolf can snip here and there and then go for the big blow, a bear is only good if it can outmatch in terms of power strength and determination.

But I wouldn’t do it justice to think of it just as an aid, like when I studied white crane and with my passion for martial arts, it will be fun to try out another martial art, just to give me a different vibe, that will as a consequence help develop my karate fighting style (perhaps I’m trying to learn how to fight similar to my sensei, I don’t really know) I really enjoyed doing white crane in China, and it still has a profound affect on the way I fight, in the future I wouldn’t mind finding my sifu again and training under him for a bit, and bring it back to karate. Arnis is a similar thing, a martial art I enjoy in itself, that just happens to help me develop my sticky hands, footwork, JU way of thinking and reactions.

I will finish with one last thought, even though I was scared, I freaking love fighting with and defending (with a stick) against a sword! A real sword!!!! i guess I am a boy at heart

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One Response to Trying Arnis, for Karate

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed Arnis and thank you for writing about it. That wolf and bear illustration is superb. More power to you!

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