Saturday morning, I attended a Kalis Ilustrisimo seminar at Apex Training Center. Guro Raul Marquez, Founding Head Teacher at Ilustrisimo Escrima NYC, gave an overview of KI’s basics. KI is a blade oriented art, which changes the targets and types of strikes used. Guro Marquez did an excellent job. Not only is he a talented martial artist, he had in depth knowledge of his art. He described KI as an art that focuses on offense, which aligns with my martial philosophy.
Cerada and abierta basics were taught on the first seven angles. I had trouble getting the names correct; so, if you see an error there, it’s mine. The techniques were fun, though. Everything I learned reminded me of the Pekiti largo basics that I learned in Counterpoint Tactical System second brown belt. There were subtle differences, of course, but the focus on footwork and body positioning was similar. Guro Marquez showed some differences between striking with the stick and cutting with the blade that I hadn’t seen before. He added in some half and quarter beat cuts that highlight how subtle a sword art can be. To my inexperienced eye, the system looked a lot like fencing. The material we learned that day had us maintaining largo and medio range, which is not what I’m used to. So, I had to fight my natural tendencies to move into short range in order to learn the new material. It was worth it to get a glimpse at a different art.
I had a great time at this seminar, and I learned a lot. When I go to seminar that isn’t my main art, I hope to remember one or two things from the seminar. I consider that a success. From this seminar, I remember the stopping techniques and the passing techniques for all seven angles. This is rare for me, and I think it’s because the material was 1.) well taught, 2.) simple and effective, and 3.) very close to what I’ve done before. Thank you to Apex for the opportunity, and I recommend if you get the chance, attend a seminar with Guro Raul Marquez.