Holding stick in the center - why?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by Guitar Nado, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    I have seen this a few times - where the stick is held exactly in the middle - not close to one end.

    My FMA instructor says some styles do this, and it is sort of to use the stick as a shield - but he didn't have a lot more info than that. It seems it would really offer up your hand as a target.

    I'm just curious the reasoning behind holding a stick this way.
  2. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Are you talking about short stick that's held in one hand, or long stick that's held in both hands.
  3. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Like most things FMA, you'll probably get a plethora of different answers, so here are mine presuming you mean a stick which would normally be used single handed (i.e. the same length as armpit to wrist-ish):

    1) you might happen to be holding/pick something up in that manner
    2) you shouldn't become complacent about your stick's 'usual' length/range, so training with it held at shorter overall lengths accounts for that (a bit) (this is similar to 1)
    3) you get to train regular and reverse grip short stick/long knife type moves all at the same time (I'd rather do those things using the right tool)
    4) it could be used as a shield, but (IMHO) an object held in one hand where you cant position it such that the force hits the middle (as, like you say, that's where your hand is) doesn't make a very good shield - any incoming force will torque your wrist, unless the stick/shield is moving, in which case you migth as well use the whole length as it offers the advantage of longer range.

    Personally I don't like it, and only tend to do it as either part of a coordination exercise (where you have to change grip during double stick stuff without losing the rhythm), or when I happen to pick something up in that manner when doing environmental training.
  4. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    I'm talking about a escrima stick (AKA baston) about 26" -28" normally held in one hand.
  5. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Your teacher is from Inosanto lineage, yes? By way of Burton Richardson? I have never seen what you describe in FMA. but I have seen it by Burton when using one stick to simulate the shield in Zulu stick fighting, which he brought to the public eye years ago.
  6. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    I thought that usually the Zulu shield has hand protection - somewhat like holding a buckler and a short staff with the same hand... Although I'm willing to be corrected!
  7. boards

    boards Its all in the reflexes!

    In the video I have seen of him, they don't. It's simply a fairly long stick held in the center.
  8. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm sure it does, yeah. Wouldn't be much of a shield otherwise. But I think (and I could very well be wrong) that I've seen video in which he or someone else is simply simulating the placement of the shield using a regular old rattan stick held in the middle.

    In any event, I've not seen any FMA practitioner use a stick that way save for a pocket stick (e.g., dulo dulo). I'd be very interested to hear where he saw that done.
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I stand corrected. This is the video I was thinking of, and he does actually have a small buckler as HarryF suggested:

  10. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Yes he is, and the video explains the answer I got from my instructor when I brought this up. What he said makes more sense after watching that video.

    It is entirely possible I originally saw it somewhere where it came from the zulu stick fighting, and someone was just doing some of the moves with a regular stick.
  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    You'll see debate in FMA about whether to hold the stick at the very end (no butt of the stick or "punyo" showing) or leave about a hand's width of punyo for hooking and butting. But that's about it as far as grip goes.
  12. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Further example of the debate :D
    I tend to have a punyo of about 2 finger widths (about an inch) for most of the time - enough to hit, rake and pull (a bit) with, but not so much it compromises reach or offers another way to be disarmed... :rolleyes:
  13. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    We use about the same as Harry, although its not a hard and fast rule. I kind of stick to that, other guys in the club do things a bit differently.

    The annoying / awesome (your choice) thing about FMA is that's it's very much up to the individual and what works for them...as long as you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses.
  14. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I tend to use a fist length for my punio. When the sticks are flying disarms are pretty rare anyway, and it makes close quarter hits and tie ups better
  15. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    I tend to use a two finger length on the butt of the stick for striking hooking and manipulating the opponents limbs and weapons. But I did see the stick being held halfway up by one Silat guy I was introduced to when I trained in Silat in Borneo in the late 80's. I never really too to it and when I see a long punio / butt I tend to tell them if you want a shorter stick cut a bit off the bottom. Lol. The only time I used a fist length was during tournaments simply because of the gloves it was easier to feel the stick slipping from your grasp when fighting at full speed and this helped prevent loosing my grip. But without gloves too long a punio can just get in the way.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  16. Brian R. VanCis

    Brian R. VanCis Valued Member

    Thumb length works for me with the punyo. Just right in my mind!
  17. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    That's about the same as my fist actually!
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm just going to be contrarian and say that I don't hold the stick at all. Makes me essentially impossible to disarm. And the stick never gets in my way.
  19. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    So what your essentially saying is "I am the stick"? :p :hat:
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Or "I am inept." ;)

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