Filipino martial arts double stick material is at once fun and frustrating. Before now, I have only ever learned drills and more drills. The most recognizable FMAs double stick drill is Heaven 6, a pattern that features three hits from the right side and three from the left. All six hits are on the high line, which gives the drill it’s name. This is a great coordination drill that conditions the body and instills fundamental attributes for double stick fighting. But I’ve never spent enough time in other FMA systems to see how they translate the drills into sparring tactics. Now, as part of my Counterpoint Tactical System training, I’m learning. CTS never fails to amaze me. The curriculum I’m working on right now is just head and shoulders above any double stick material that I’ve worked to date while at the same time built on everything that I’ve learned so far.
Master Zach Whitson, in the above image, is showing where the all the double stick drills are leading. It is important to have a foundation built on double stick drills. In fact, in CTS double stick conditioning comes before the tactical portion. Midway on the journey to first degree black belt, the CTS student learns double stick drills and exercises to condition their body. It takes multiple years for the arms to learn to move smoothly in concert with each other. Now, I’m learning how to mix the independent and concerted movements. My brain and body do not possess the abilities yet, but thanks to years of training the basics, I have a platform to build upon. I’m learning entries, offensive and defensive tactics, and exits to be applied in sparring. Now, I see where those drills come into play as well. Heaven 6 makes for a good barrage when you have your opponent moving backwards.
In the fall of 2015, I should test for my first degree black belt at 2015 Iron Mountain Camp in lovely Sugar Hollow, TN. Part of that test is double stick sparring. I have a lot of work to do, and that makes me happy.
The above gif was made at imgflip from the following Counterpoint Tactical System video: