New Posts - Getting Warned

Those who wish to get emailed whenever there is a new post, please let me know through my email

I only have 5 vacancies left on this blog service. Be quick!

Have a nice weekend,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning the attacks - Step two

Now, placing the students in pairs, instruct one to use his staff as a target in order for his partner to practice the strikes.

This is done the following way:

- The person holding the staff as a target holds it by placing one hand in each extremity;
- Then, the staff is placed in 7 different positions as shown bellow (repeat positions 2, 3 and 4 on the opposite side);

- The person striking should start by extending his arms and letting the hands almost join and, using this stance, position him or herself at a distance from the target that has him / her reaching the target with the forward extremity of the weapon (sensibly one palm). This means that the distance shouldn't be measured by the waiting guard stance, or else the distance will be too close (and the strike will either be finished with the elbows flexed or striking the target with the middle of the staff);
- Then, the person striking should be instructed to target the middle of the partner's staff and with a perpendicular strike (in relation to the target), thus striking with a vertical descending (rebate), horizontal (redondo), oblique descending (enviesado) or oblique ascending (arrepiado) for each of the drawings placed above.

This strategy will create a context that, according to the target's position, a specific type of strike is solicited, thus inducing one to initiate the strike's rotation to the opposite side of the target and, simultaneously, placing the forward extremity with the desired angle.
Therefore, this will allow practitioners to execute the strikes while understating their application and having the strikes flow in a natural way (which will increase combat effectiveness).
Don't be a robot executing biomechanical actions
(acting by thinking of your body's and the staff's positioning).
Be an actor.
A person in a specific context, going through emotions that produce goals.
Focus on the outer environment (the opponent), thinking of tasks / goals
and letting the body act, almost by instinct.

Finally, by placing yourself in the correct striking distance at the beginning of the drill, perform it without stepping actions. Use this training step to focus on the strikes while getting familiarized with the striking distance (bigger than the waiting guard stance) in a static situation. In the next step you'll be introduced to the stepping actions.

PS - When applying the same drill for the baton, I recommend that the target be a staff for safety reasons. In a future blog we'll also cover some differences between the staff's strikes and the baton's.

Learning the attacks - Step one

In learning the strikes I recommend that one starts by holding the staff with the hands together (not overlapped and with the dominant at the back and in the thinner extremity) and place them (and the staff) above the head (with the staff pointing directly upwards).

From this position, they should let the staff drop forward and downward on one side (the non dominant side first) and, after a few repetitions, on the other side. This will promote a circular motion by the staff in which it travels downwards in the second half of the circle, when going forward (a descending strike).

After practicing this drill on both sides, repeat the beginning position, but this time let the staff drop backwards. This will produce a circular motion that sends the staff upwards as it goes forward (an ascending strike).

Note that in these two first drills the arms are kept flexed at all times (meaning that they don't extend forward in the second half of the circle made by the staff), as they are just drills to get the fell of how to execute rotational actions with the staff and not actual strikes.


Luis Franco Preto

  • A) University degree in Sport Sciences
  • B) Certified Fitness Trainer by International Sport Sciences Association
  • C) Certified Youth Fitness Trainer by ISSA
  • D) Certified Endurance Fitness Trainer by ISSA
  • E) Author of "Jogo do Pau: The Ancient Art and Modern Science of Portuguese Stick Fighting" by Chivalry Bookshelf
  • F) Certified Tennis Coach by the Portuguese Tennis Federation
  • G) Certified Basketball Coach by the Portuguese Basketball Federation
  • H) JdP Instructor at seminars in Bremen, Lisbon & Geneve 2003
  • I) JdP Instructor at seminar in Geneve 2004
  • J) JdP Instructor at seminar in Zurich - 2005
  • K) JdP Instructor at 7th Annual WMA Workshop (2006)
  • L) JdP Instrutor at HEMAC - Dijon 2008