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'Heaven Six'
Pat Cues the Crackpot on FMA and Boxing Crossover Training: 8/8/21
© 2021 James LaFond
Sat, Aug 7, 1:28 PM (19 hours ago)
A few years ago I taught myself the Heaven 6 from FMA using videos on Youtube. I'm pretty sure you know what it is but I'll synthesize it here for readers who might not :
It's a simple sequence of 3 slashing motions launched alternately from the right and the left for a total of 6 strikes. I won't go into details about it but the thing to know is that each strike can be changed into a thrust, a beat, a parry or a block depending on your needs.
This sequence appears to be the cornerstone of their curriculum. This is how I train it :
1) I train it like shadowboxing - I start slow and relaxed and slowly ramp up intensity/complexity of moves as I go. I do it 20 to 60 minutes a day, everyday.
2) I use plastic wasters made by Cold Steel. I always start with double knives and go slow to drill in proper edge alignment on each hand. At some point I drop one knife and do solo drills using the off-hand to check, push, parry or grab. Reverse grip I consider a fun alternative and practice mostly to change things up. I end the training doing slow and simple sequences with hardwood sticks about an inch in diameter : their lenght and weight makes for a good forearm conditionning.
3) I always move around doing these drills. I keep the hand flow constant as to have a perpetual blade flurry going on while transition between high and low line of attacks. I have good legs so I crouch quite low while moving around : I got this idea from a 52Block guy on the west coast who pointed out that most people are uncomfortable fighting this low.
4) My boxing is pretty dismal. I have no formal training and am mostly going off of what I see in the mirror and on the internet. Incorporating blade work against single and multiple imaginary opponents seem to have improved my body mechanics overall; I move better, am quicker on my feet and am more aware of my surroundings doing these drills. I tend to use more head movement in my workouts, too.
What is your take on this? Is FMA useful or am I wasting my time? Do you have any tips for a loner like me to up his game with shadow boxing?
Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
Pat, boxing and FMA are fast fellows in the combat arts because modern boxing grew out of English stick and blade fighting. However, FMA has been associated with Asian kicking arts for six decades for economic and racial reasons. Therefore, gay terminology like “heaven-six” instead of “high-low drill” in order to appeal to the faggotry at the core of Asian-based martial arts as sold to sissy Americans who somehow believed after greasing the Japs in WWII that only Asians knew how to fight...
FMA compliments boxing because its leverage requirement does not require standing on one foot to kick and encourages constant coiled mobility thereby, which one needs when fighting with weapons.
FMA compliments boxing because boxing footwork is internal to FMA [comprising the close steps] and its coiled aspect, rather than extended kicking or grappling-based reaching, permits the FMA man to move like a boxer without the leverage requirement, which is the prime coaching complication. You see, the leverage requirement in boxing is not needed against a blade and will get you killed and is not needed when boxing defensively.
The stick fighting aspect of MMA is where boxing and FMA meet in the leverage aspect and provides the point of departure for adding sword footwork to boxing and extending mobility by 150%.
Your training program sounds sound.
I will warn you that a good fighter who sparred with you would soon use your low-line crouching commitment to do you in. It is a line rarely explored in detail for the reason that it is hazardous. It is also hard for beginners to deal with as few use it—so it is a trap of a kind that is also a good tool.
Make sure your work high, mid and low, using the crouch as an option for you and a trap for the adversary. If you operate from the crouch you limit your lunging options and low-energy-use low-leg movement. My guess is your boxing is suffering from this crouch in outer range. Crouch boxing is a peek-a-boo style and is very frustrating for those who face it for the first time and takes more thigh use and energy expense. In stick fighting this will make your knees a target. In knife it will compromise your lunge.
So mix it up. We cannot be too specialized in weapon fighting as we can in boxing, the hazards being more varied and unforgiving.
Use your low guard as an option to penetrate deeply on the low line after setting him up on the high line, keeping your feet coiled and not over extended. The best stick-fighter I ever fought was 6' 1” and used his length to penetrate after fighting mostly high.
For remote boxing training Jason van Veldhusen is excellent. I ghost wrote his boxing manual some 7 years ago.
My combat books that coach—as well as pure words can coach—are as such:
Twerp, Goons and Meatshields: stick-fighting
The Punishing Art: Boxing
Solo Boxing: a different writing approach to boxing instruction
Being A Bad Man in a Worst World: stick, blade and fist
The Combat Space: Stick Blade and Fist
On Combat: Stick blade and fist
These books are all long ago written, but are in various forms of publication. If not available on the site e-store or through wamazon, email me for a PDF and send some rum money through the site function and I'll email you the pdfs.
If you buy a fighting book and live in Jersey, MD, PA, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Utah, California, Oregon or Washington, I might be able to train with you at some point.
Take care and keep moving, remembering to add changes not just in your position but your posture or guard.
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