Cacoy Doce Pares / CTS / Empty Hands / Martial Arts / Self Defense

My Individual Training Routine

Ranging Footwork

When I teach, I will occasionally talk about my training routine outside of class. I have a specific set of things for practice outside of class. I don’t think that I’ve ever described the training in its entirety. So, today, I will put out part of my individual routine. Why part? Because the main part of the practice changes based on my goal for that session. A session could be one day, a week, a month, or until my next visit with one of my Counterpoint Tactical System instructors. In the example below, I will highlight what is permanent and what changes.

Front kick

Front kick

Warm up

Footwork – Three basic patterns selected from: reverse and forward triangles, side step, ranging footwork, open diamond, closed diamond, hour glass, box, and panantukan shuffles.
Single Stick Twelve Attacks with Footwork – Both Counterpoint Tactical System and Cacoy Doce Pares left and right hand side
Double Stick – Counterpoint Tactical System 12 Attacks and Cacoy Doce Pares pengke-pengke
Knife Twelve Attacks with Footwork – Sak-Sak and Pakal
Espada y Daga Twelve Attacks

These warm up exercises are consistent throughout my individual practice. Footwork adds complexity to the twelve attacks practice. The footwork also keeps me focused and is what needs improvement. That list is a lot of material. Since I’ve been practicing for four year, I can get through it pretty quickly now. Usually, I will only do open or crossed pengke-pengke during the warmup, not both. This helps to speed up the warm up. I usually do two repetitions each of the twelve attacks if things go smoothly. If not, then I’ll slow down and work on the problem.


The training portion varies from session to session depending on what I’m studying. It could be a quick, broad survey of my current curriculum. It could be a review of past curriculum for teaching or just a tune-up. It could be a sharp focus on a single block of material, or it might involve high repetitions to learn new motions. The training session could involve only tool or multiple tools. I might be watching the videos and taking notes. It might involve me doing the technique and then watching the video to see if I have it correct. I know what needs improvement, and I have incremental goals on how to get there. I don’t write down my goals for each training session – though, maybe I should, but I know what I want to accomplish with however much time I have to workout. This example is my last personal training session:

Counterpoint Tactical System Double Stick Tactics – Repetitions of the four count series

That’s it. I wanted to ingrain those motions; so I worked on them over and over and over again.

Cool Down

It’s important to have fun when training as well. So, I usually cool down with just playing around. I could do anything from shadow box to creating my own set of twelve attacks to creating combinations with the double stick to sparring imaginary opponents. I just try to have fun. This play is always part of the individual sessions, though. While the material during the cool down changes, it’s satisfying to end with being creative.

cts-logo01.pngI do this long routine on the days without classes. On the days with classes, I pick a small part of my curriculum to study before and after class. During class, I am also improving the skills that the students are learning. Classes are not a time for me to relax; they are also training time for me.

So, there you have it. This is how I keep and improve my skills between classes. Personal practice is just as important as training during class. My individual training time is one tool for accomplishing my goals, and it’s an important one.

What do you do for your own personal training? How do you fit training in with your day? Please, let me know in the comments.


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