The folks at Sayoc Kali have a DVD on stick grappling available here.
The sales copy makes several thought-provoking points, inspired by heavy contact sparring:
1) Rattan Lacks Stopping Power
It takes several HARD, CLEAN shots to the head before one gets KOd by a light rattan stick. Especially, if the opponent doesn’t want to get hit. That’s a FACT. The first shot can end the fight due to a cut or just unwillingness (tolerance) to take the pain, but there were no one shot KOs from a solo stick shot. Some fights went several shots before submission, no KOs. A stick has as much power as a kick or punch – the difference is that the stick doesn’t break like a hand would from impact, but it does NOT hit the head/jaw at the angles a limb shot can induce a KO with.
2) Corto (Close) Range, Is the Most Deadly –to the Practitioner! Padding, Helmets, and Armor Have Concealed This Fact
“FACT: All things equal, the most dangerous stick striking zone is CORTO. Many people train in corto range but are misinformed in the zoning realities of utilizing corto. Corto Range is the mid range in which full power impact strikes can be exchanged within the reactionary gap of your opponent. The myth is that one stays in and finishes their opponent by exchanging counter for counter strikes as they flow beautifully.
What pushes this myth along are people wearing headgear staying within the contact zone too long and receive TOO MANY impact shots to their head than they would like if it was real. So they stay in and get clocked. In a real fight between trained combatants, they will not engage the fight this way. All things change when you KNOW your own head can get hit. No one acts like a stick robot anymore. Once they get hit hard they submit or close. They do not trade shots at full power, because the body doesn’t work that way. You need to pad up to get that type of incorrect reaction from BOTH parties.”
3) Because of the Danger (i.e. Punishment) at Corto Range, Fighters Either Move In to Grappling Range or Out to Long (Largo) Range.
“Guess what happens? People stay at safer long or grappling range.
No one stays in the corto range. Corto is the mutual aggressive space and can no longer guarantee you will see a shot coming in time to counter it.
However, after several shots to the hands or close calls to the head, the long range fighters realize there’s no advantage in staying out there. Conditioning and stamina become factors. If BOTH fighters stay at long range, there won’t get a KO, because it isn’t a blade. They merely get nicked here and there. Only when you get a fighter who can’t stand the hand hits anymore do you ever get a submission at long range (BOTH fighters staying outside). So they close to corto or grappling range.”
4) Corto Range Is Dangerous.
“The best reason to evade corto range, you are open to all the other limb strikes, take downs, and stick strikes at power arcs as well. The students reassess their timing and conditioned responses. So when two people good at corto range fight, the fastest way to win is to close by baiting corto and taking them down.
If the takedown fails you are BACK in corto range so do not try to stay in grappling mode and try again. Even if you think you are attempting another takedown… You cover/clear and escape to largo as FAST as possible. At any time you are in corto and you are NOT the one making the ONLY contact (before and after the strike) that means your tactic is flawed and you need to close or evade.
Body shifting is excellent for ONE counter as you make impact. If you do not make impact and maintain corto, the highest probability is that a stick fighter with grappling skills will gain guard, sweep or do a takedown. When one is swinging with power it is tougher to evade a takedown. When you reset the range away from corto, and the grappler attempts to do a takedown then THEY are in corto range.
Avoid the corto range unless you make the only impact strike, with equal corto skills you should flow to grappling or largo depending on how much better you are in those ranges against the other person.”
5) Smart Fighters Will Bait You (Feign a Strike, Typically High), to Enter and Grapple. If You Block and Strike, You Are Toast
“You HAVE to maintain PROPER RANGE to make the next shot count. The other guy KNOWs how to cover and CLOSE … FAST. They will come in swinging as well or at least make you respond to their attack… perhaps make you block before you counter. Enough time for them to enter your half beat timing and close. In Sayoc Kali it is called, “Keeping your opponent honest”.”