Archive for Pete Gray

Pete Gray: Baseball Warrior

Posted in American Arts, Princples and Theory with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Pete Gray was a professional baseball play despite the fact that he only had one arm! In the minor leagues Pete stole

Pete Gray Bats One-Handed

63 bases and had a .333 batting average, which earned him an MVP award.

Pete is amazing for overcoming the disadvantage of batting with just one arm. Think how hard it would be to bat with just one arm. How many Filipino martial artists are handicapping themselves by swinging the stick with just one arm?

One unexpected difficulty Pete had in batting was an inability to hit a breaking ball. Because he only had one arm, Pete could not check his swing. One of my discoveries as I explored the two-handed method of stick wielding, holding the stick like a baseball bat, is that the second hand adds an extra element of control. Having a second hand on the stick helps you to redirect the stick, to brake it, and to exert greater control on trick strikes that change direction. The second hand helps you to control the opponent’s stick at contact, like a live hand.

“Gray also proved himself an accomplished bunter. In order to bunt, he would plant the knob of the bat against his side, and would then slide his hand about one-third of the way up the shaft of the bat.” This ability to move from stick grip at the end of the bat to carry grip at the middle of the bat just might come in handy against a closing opponent.

Above all else, Pete Gray is a great example of what all of us are capable of if we push ourselves to overcome our limitations.