Muay Thai, Jiu-jitsu, and Some Dude with a Stick?

martial arts instructorsIf you walk through the main Gym you might notice two pictures of Asian gentlemen gracing the walls. These two men who have shaped modern combat sports, introduced and popularized their respective arts in North America. Two guys who are still teaching and come to Minnesota every year: Ajarn Chai and Dan Inosanto. Most of the gym is familiar with Muay Thai but if you walk through that same room late on a Tuesday or Thursday you might see some silly looking dudes swinging sticks around and brandishing plastic knives or playing patty cake really fast.

You might say to yourself, what are these clowns doing? That’s not fighting. You’re right. It’s drilling. Not all fights happen in a ring. Some happen to soldiers, some to police officers, and some to everyday people like you and I. Sometimes there are knives, bats, rocks, teeth, bike locks, screwdrivers and any ridiculous or terrible thing you might imagine involved. Jab, Cross, leg kick or a double leg tackle might not be the right solution to a knife wielding psycho. You might need different tools, you might need evasive foot work and quick accurate hands to gain control, you might need to access and use something around you as a weapon.

“If I Can Do You Can Do” -Ajarn Chai

Kali teaches these skill sets and it teaches them through repetitive drilling in which attack, defense and counter attack flow seamlessly into each other. These drills often begin being very scripted and then become free flowing. Two old sword fighters might look at a guy with big pads on his hands hitting other pads over and over and say, “That’s not fighting.” Then they would presumably stab each other with their long pointy swords.
But, But, but this sounds a lot like that kung fu crap that doesn’t work! It’s important to understand that these techniques are currently used by a large percentage of military people in modern day. Yet they have also shaped historical warfare. Filipinos killed Ferdinand Magellan and eventually made up most of a Spanish Galleon’s fighters. Later these techniques were used in WWII to fight off the Japanese. If your still worried about its functionality the dog brothers have explored this in detail, check out their videos or ask your local Kali instructor: Greg Nelson.

“Knowledge Comes From Your Instructors Wisdom Comes From Within” – Guro Dan

One of the key reasons to train FMA (Filipino martial arts) are they attributes they develop. They stress footwork, hand speed, coordination, precision and creativeness in a way that will positively improve your other arts. If you want to functionalize it buy some hockey gear and a few ice packs. It might even save your life.

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