Gripping the Stick

Sorry if this topic isn’t very sexy. I’ve just posted a new video on gripping the stick.

I know it seems too simple and too obvious to matter, but I think it’s key. Far too many FMA practitioners choke up on the stick, gripping it several inches above the butt end. The real purpose of the choke-up grip is to enable twirling and spinning. In effect, in “shortens” the stick so that it moves faster and in a tighter arc. If that’s what you want, get a shorter stick.

If you take choking up to its logical conclusion, by gripping the stick in the middle you can twirl even faster and land even more hits. But I think we see the middle of the stick grip as ridiculous, because it lacks power.

But don’t laugh, there have been people using this grip. One group even called this technique “Armalite,” named after the fully automatic military rifle.

The weakness of choking up is:

  • It shortens your reach

  • It makes you vulnerable to a disarm

  • Your are practicing a technique that cannot be applied with real weapons, like a hammer, a wrench, a machete, etc.

If you watch the late GM Tatang Ilustrisimo spar, he is hitting in straight lines, is not choking up, and is not twirling or using witik/abaniko strikes. It’s interesting that in the interview he says that he doesn’t like abaniko strikes to the head.

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2 Responses to “Gripping the Stick”

  1. that is a very basic but essential principle, that as you say is often neglected.
    it is nice to see it stressed, really like your blog, keep it up!

  2. Thanks, Frederico. I appreciate your feedback.

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