power generation in Arnis

For discussions of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis and other Filipino martial arts.

power generation in Arnis

Postby Tye Botting » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:54 pm

From the old forums...

Chris Ball

power generation in Arnis
Started at Mon Mar 8 21:20:54 2004 IP192.152.243.121 My question concerns the role of power generation in Arnis. After attending a recent seminar, I noticed my power generation has changed due to the influence of one of my arnis instructor's kung-fu back ground. Given my karate background, his emphasis was very different and I learned some of it and find it superior to what I was doing.

Nevertheless, at my recent seminar, most people used karate-looking power generation (rigid & standard stances) and found my movements different. At a past seminar, the GM Anding used - what I found to be - odd karate-like power generation in sinawalis that, given my instuctor's kung-fu-based teaching, to be very very very counterintuitive (and weaker!!).

Question: Is there a correct way to generate power? Obviously one that works best is "correct", but is "correct power generation" key to Modern Arnis. It's my understanding that the Professor's idea was that you can learn Arnis on top of your current system, so to say. Then, you should use your system's power generation and there is no Arnis way of generating power. Watching the Professor in video, however, one would be inclined to argue he does have a specific approach to power generation in mind.

One last: My old karate instructor always emphasized the tradeoff between power and mobility. Implication here: If you root your heels to the ground you might maximize power but minimize mobility. If you stay on the balls of your feet you maximize mobility but might loose power. I have personally found myself moving more on the balls of my feet when at a distance (in largo) and dropping to my heels when in close (in corto).


Anyway, just fishing for thoughts.

Best, C


Dan N

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #1 Posted at Mon Mar 8 22:12:27 2004 IP165.91.177.45 Chris, It's good to see you on this site! I hope that all is going well for you. Just wanted to say 'Hey'. I'll leave this question to the big guns...I only met the professor once, so I am not sure what the answer is here. Although it sounds to me like you're on the right track...the idea of cross-pollination as Tye so eloquently stated...


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #2 Posted at Mon Mar 8 22:22:42 2004 IP204.196.55.102 Well, Chris, this is a case where having met the Professor before he passed would have helped a whole lot, though I think you started after that unfortunate event. While he didn't ever work drills or otherwise specifically address power generation (at least to my knowledge), he definitely did have a power generation that was not at all wholly external. This often happens with really skilled people, no matter if their discipline is internal _or_ external.

When you crossed hands with him, he definitely had a way of using his grip (one of the strongest I've ever felt!) connected to his waist, and also used his structure a whole lot. While many FMA'ers tend to be light on their feet and very bouncy, the Professor had developed (due to his gout no doubt) a way of retaining some mobility but emphasizing more his stability and power. His balintawak strikes were legendary for their power (I felt the tail end of one that got through even though he was holding back) - again, he used his waist and structure very well.

Remember, he also had a good background in judo and karate, and I think some other stuff as well. His family also had their own style of Arnis, though most of what he really was known for was Timor Maranga's flavor of Balintawak, influenced of course by his travels all over the P.I. learning everything he could about FMA.

He also was not known for being the 'prettiest' at FMA, but certainly one of the more effective. And he tried to pass that on in a way that would spread, yet still have all you need to be effective if you worked it and developed it.

The short of it is that he had a kind of blended power gen, flowing and relaxed (taiji-like in many ways, or aikido even), but also external forearm and grip power that went into everything. His waist and economy of movement were very apparent, as well.


Michael H

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #3 Posted at Wed Mar 10 20:46:34 2004 IP128.194.207.10 Chris, how are you? I have seen instances in which Dr. Shea used stance changes to inject. Dr. Shea's approach in teaching MA is from the stand point of a smaller person going against a larger person. His demonstrations sometimes emphasize the ease of injection by stepping back from an upright position into a front or back stance. I have seen Earl Tulis and Jim Ladis, guys a little bigger than Dr. Shea demonstrate injection while taking a step forward or to the side or stealing balance while taking a step backward. Then there was Anding De Leon with his foot work. Anding goes back even further with the Professor than Dr. Shea. From these various imputs, I surmize that that best application for injection depends upon the flow, the moment, the technique, the opponent, etc. How do you know which injection technique to apply when you need it? You will know when you find yourself in that sitiation. How do you recognize that situation? Practice, practice, and more practice and practice with as many different body types as you are able.


Michael H

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #4 Posted at Thu Mar 11 16:32:47 2004 IP128.194.207.10 Chris, what Tye showed us about power generation opened my eyes to what I had been taught all along, but was given little explanation to what I was doing. That being said, the power generation you saw was always there in the other MA. It just takes a good teacher like Tye (did I mention Abel?) to make the blind see. cool


Chris Ball

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #5 Posted at Fri Mar 12 15:42:52 2004 IP69.0.122.63 Thanks for the comments. One quick thing. I started while the Professor was still alive, but Hume wouldn't let me go to any camps, so I didn't get to meet him.wink More seriously, I didn't make a camp, so I never got to meet him. On to power issues...

I still sometimes look back at my karate sometimes from a Modern Arnis perspective. One thing that bothered me for a while was the exaggerated movements. Say you're in a horse stance and told to do an right inner block. Procedure was extend left arm straight out (like you just finished a middle reverse punch), then right arm comes way back and high so your fist is near your ear and elbow sticking out & up into the air. Then your right arm comes down and into the block while the left arm comes back to chamber (at the hip). How odd. Hume and I discussed these things and he mentioned the alternative interpretation of throws, etc. I liked that and thought about it for a while and many new insights followed.

BUT, I was always told that this was for power generation and that here the power comes from the action-reaction of one arm coming in while the other goes out. I had been sticking to Humean alternative interpretations (all of which I think are correct and useful) when a few months ago I was thinking about breathing and sheathing power generation. It suddenly dawned on me that what I always thought of as action-reaction was really sheathing and exhaling power. When I do the same motions (and those who know the traditional karate or TKD movements can check this) but take a huge breath (fill the chest instead of pit of stomach to more clearly see it), straighten my back (maybe even arch) and exhale and sheath while executing the technique the power is all there without any hip movements. I was told that more advanced karateka include subtel hip movements too and exaggerate less. This is true and because they don't need the large movements to generate the same power.

We teach it in karate that was for students to learn power. We couple it with learning to breath correctly, but if we had understood what we were doing (my instructor might have) we would surely better learn the power generation. Now I've gone through every traditional strike and stance I know and thought along these lines adding an additional power generation interpretation and learned a lot in the process. Suddenly some of my karate stuff starts looking a little more like Tye's kung-fu stuff, but a bit stiffer.


Chris Ball

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #6 Posted at Fri Mar 12 15:44:36 2004 IP69.0.122.63 hey Dan. It's good to be in touch with you all too. I've been on Spring break this week so I wasn't online much, but I'll check this Forum from time to time once back in the office (you thought I worked in the office didn't you?).

Spring Break in CT is different. It snowed Tuesday and has started again today. I love it.


Michael H

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #7 Posted at Fri Mar 12 19:28:10 2004 IP128.194.207.10 Chris, I hear that in the fabled land of the north trees actually change color when the seasons change.

There is a rumor going around that you are starting to support the art. Is it true? tongue

In regard to your observations concering sheathing, etc. The birth child of asian martial arts is thought to be India (reference the Mark Wiley and other books on FMA, other books on the history of karate). The art spent some time in china and the rest of SE asia developing and growing. Then the art found its way to the islands and up to Japan. A good deal of interdevelopment is thought to have gone on with arts in China, Korea, SE Asia, the islands, and Japan. Then you have the interplay of the arts between the islands in the south China sea and the mainland. Meanwhile, all these areas were sharing information with the middle east and africa. Add to that the concept that there are only so many ways to twist or throw the human body (although accidentially (I am sure you would not hurt someone like that on purpose) you did come up with what may be considered a few new moves that were quite painful tongue) and sheathing while breathing, added to some hold becomes just about anything you wnat it to be. Just my $0.025 worth.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #8 Posted at Fri Mar 12 19:55:11 2004 IP66.157.164.126 Dr. H, you should register so you can get private messages and a few other things. All you have to do is enable your browser to allow cookies from here - everything's secure so don't worry, and you needn't give a public email addy.

While many people put forth that "originate in India" story, I don't buy it. For example, there was documented proof of martial arts practice in China before Bodidharma came to China. Also, there were martial arts in lots of places before it can be shown that Indian trade got to those places. Plus, why would any place with fighting/wars need to import training when it could have easily developed and evolved locally. Where there is need, skills will develop, or in other words "necessity is the mother of invention." wink


Michael H

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #9 Posted at Sat Mar 13 20:24:24 2004 IP69.5.200.216 Tye, I agree that there is much controversy concerning the out of india hypothesis. And I agree that there were indigenous arts in each area before proposed influences of either indian or CMA. The story line I lean towards talks of a cross-fertilization of the arts with a good amount of influence first coming from india to china, then from china to the other areas; especially between the Ryukyu islands and the mainland and between japan and the mainland.

Similarly, there were indigenous arts in the Fillipines. However, there apparently was a great deal of cross-pollenization between the asian mainland, the mid-east, africa, and the islands. The Professor, as you well know, continued that cross-pollenization with MA, small-circle JJ, and karate.

Just another $0.025 worth. I should be running out of funds pretty soon.

Micahel H.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #10 Posted at Sat Mar 13 20:33:01 2004 IP66.157.164.126 Very true on the cross-pollination. And I'm sure that some of it even occurred via word-of-mouth - stories and legend to help spur on development and innovation in martial arts. I figure that some cross-pollination happened throughout the spectrum of stories and 3rd party tales all the way up to complete training in styles and subsequent synthesis of new styles from that and other influences.


Michael H

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #11 Posted at Sun Mar 14 17:45:30 2004 IP128.194.207.10 Indeed. I and you have been witnesses to instances of modern cross-pollenization. Think of what you have seen with the MA forms, applications on the parts of the Masters of Tapi-Tapi, including Jeff, and variations on power generation as expressed by Chris in the initial post. Its all the same (The Professor).


rjay04

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #12 Posted at Wed Mar 31 22:33:24 2004 IP204.66.28.252 I am currently new to Modern Arnis It is very enjoying! More people should try this form of martial arts! It as well as other forms of martial arts can be confusing at times but if you stick to it you can pick it up! My problem is that I try to combine all types of martial arts that I am learning together! These include Jiu Jitsu, Modern Arnis, Kung Fu and Tae kwondo. They are great ways to free your mind! I feel that whoever is interested in martial arts should stick with it!


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #13 Posted at Thu Apr 1 18:26:46 2004 IP199.184.208.111 Good points, rjay04. And welcome to the forum. That's a lot of MA you're doing there. University settings are great for that kind of exploration, though most find it useful to get good in one in the long run before spreading themselves too thin. Others have no problem with it, so whatever works is what I always say.

After all, the best martial art for you is the one that you DO.

wink Literally - if you don't do it/work it/stick with it, it's no good for you, no matter how good it is for someone else...


rjay04

Yahoo Instant Messenger asuguy02@yahoo.com
Re: power generation in Arnis
Reply #14 Posted at Thu Apr 1 21:33:02 2004 IP204.66.28.186 Tye,

I agree with what you said! My professor said the reason that so many are offered is so that we can find something that we are comfortable with. I go to the classes that I can make with my busy schedule! Eventually I will pick just one to go along with my modern arnis! Thanks for your support!

Rjay04
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Tye Botting
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