CTS / Martial Arts

Pekiti Largo Training

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This space is intentional.

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As I work Largo drills with my instructor, Evan, the easy clicking of the rattan sticks hitting each other imitates a metronome. It calms my mind and sets a structure for learning the Pekiti Largo. Watching us from the outside, it would be easy to suspect that the point of our exercise is to match each strike with a strike of our own. Then, one of us will initiate the first feint which becomes a half beat strike that starts the contradas platform, and that moment where there is no impact of rattan on rattan, no sound, is jarring. It is designed to be discordant. In the FMAs we learn about rhythm and breaking that rhythm with half beat strikes. Half beat strikes are difficult to defend against and a good tactic to take control of the fight.

The Pekiti Largo section of the Counterpoint Tactical System curriculum deals with the long range of stick fighting – where the stick can only make contact with the opponents stick or hand; at this range, we focus on footwork, timing and entries. In this block of the curriculum, there are subsets that are organized as a learning progression. Master Whitson told me earlier this year that the contradas platform is where I should start and focus my Pekiti Largo studies. His advice was to have the platform skillset down solidly before adding other material to it. This is what I have been doing; I’ve focused on the striking patterns, the footwork, the range, the timing in an attempt to make sure that those skills are ingrained before moving on to the next progression. The final stop along the progression is Wago Todos, which means play all or sparring. This is where the different skills come together, and the student moves from drilling the techniques to playing with the techniques.

While this is a very linear approach to learning the material, it doesn’t mean that those skills are necessarily applied in the same linear fashion. These are skill sets that are learned in a progression but mixed and matched as needed for application. I found this quote from Master Whitson on the Counterpoint Tactical Internationals twitter feed @CounterpointTI: “Every block of CTS curriculum can be stacked next to, on top of, or underneath every block.” As I progress in my learning and integrate these new skills into my current set, I’ll shuffle the Pekiti blocks of curriculum around and moving from one to the other at random intervals while sparring.

Sparring is the last part of the curriculum’s progression, but it is really a new beginning. The process of sparring is where I, as a student, have to start putting the pieces together. Sparring is, and should be, fun, but it is tempting to just go all out and attempt everything in a session. Sparring can be a progression as well. At times, it should be skill focused. For example, I will enter sparring with the thought that I want to work the following combination: feint to an angle 4 strike on the elbow to a vertical strike to a thrust and exist to outside Largo range. Or maybe enter with a jab, scoop the opponents strike and work into the finisher and flywheel to exit back out of range. At other times, it should be an all out, fun experience.

Sparring is the lab where the connections between skills are made. It can be frustrating when attempting the skills learned in drilling and fall short of pulling the technique off, but that is part of learning. A valuable training partner, who is willing to pause and work on that particular skill set if needed, is an immense help to get the muscle memory of those techniques.

But I’m not there yet; I’m still working on learning the motions, still drilling the drills. I’m still tapping rattan and trying to decrease the number of clicks before the dissonant silence.

Click.

Click.

This space is intentional.

Click.

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One thought on “Pekiti Largo Training

  1. Pingback: New Cardio Regimen | stlcounterpoint

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