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Stick-fighting Footwork Notes
A Stick Work Discussion with Dave
© 2015 James LaFond
JUN/14/15
“Thanks for the excellent advice on my stickwork. That makes a lot of sense to me. The footwork part wasn't something the FMA guys said as I've never heard them suggest that good old boxing footwork is useful. All I've heard so far is about triangles. But your article put that together for me. I will also try out some knife sparring as that's not something we've gotten into yet.”
Dave, FMA is often very political. Champion Filipino boxers have been on the world stage since 1923 when Poncho Villa became flyweight world champion. FMA guys know the value of boxing, and the good ones know its limits and correct place. Craig and I fought Erique in his test today. Craig only has boxing footwork at this point. Erique just has FMA footwork. When they went at it with the full length sticks it was a wash—rock ‘em sock ‘em robots. Although I was grossly out of shape I managed to stay completely away from Erique in our first bout—effectively ruining the fight and becoming the Floyd Money of Modern Agonistics. Then, in the second fight, after Charles told him to charge me headless of my offense, I only survived against the younger stronger man by shifting—walking backwards while stroking and stiff arming, which is an aspect of European swordsmanship.
I used boxing footwork as a base, and doubled my range of motion through adding the fencing lunge, shift and high step, and then doubled it again by adding the triangles. When pressed at my age, with my physical disadvantages in speed and strength and stamina, I have only avoided disaster by being mobile in all three dimensions. In my first bout against Erique I got it done mostly with boxing footwork. When his second told him to take it to me I had to break into something else or end up in a clinch.
Another aspect of the triangle FMA footwork is how it is learned. Many FMA instructors teach it in a nonfunctional seminar format. I will address this in a video at some point.
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