After lunch, the Springfield FMA seminar taught by Master Zach Whitson covered one of the curriculum blocks from Counterpoint Tactical System first degree black belt. The morning session exposed us to segang lebo derived from Master Whitson’s background in Pekiti Tirsia Kali. The afternoon session covered Pekiti knife level one, which is a sak-sak versus sak-sak drill from Pekiti Tirsia. Sak-sak is the knife grip with the blade above the thumb. It is part of the material that I will be tested on in a week. (Part one of the review can be found here.)
Before Master Whitson started instruction, he reviewed the concepts of empty hand versus knife one, which is at the green belt curriculum in CTS. Everyone at the afternoon session had at least a year of experience with empty hand versus knife. He extended the drill beyond the green belt curriculum. We learn the empty hand versus knife drill exactly as the title says empty handed. But it can be done with either hand or both occupied. Zach showed the drill with a pair of handcuffs in one hand. It was a great demonstration. At one point, he had Mike Miller in a wrist lock using with that wrist handcuffed. The drill from the green belt curriculum did not change; Master Whitson used the handcuffs as a blunt weapon, similar to a palm stick.
Mike got a chance to use the handcuffs as part of the drill. We got to see how the handcuffs can be used to apply different controls applied with the handcuffs as a tool. I don’t own a set of handcuffs, but I will get some to explore this drill. The demonstration was short, but it was enough to spark some ideas. Part of revisiting curriculum from earlier in the system is exploring, and Master Whitson gave a short demonstration of how to explore empty hands versus knife. I know that Zach has experience working with police officers, but that was the first time that I saw any of the controls used in an arrest technique.
Next, Zach demonstrated some gun versus knife out of the basic knife tapping drill. The drill starts close quarter; so, the gun wielder is inside the 21 foot rule and is defending against the knife. The knife attacker is maintaining close range, and the defender needs to create distance to safely use the gun. The defender using knife tapping techniques to avoid getting stabbed. Gun versus knife is a topic at this year’s Iron Mountain camp. I’m looking forward to learn more.
We then covered the Pekiti knife one drill. I’ve been studying this drill for the past year as it’s part of the first black belt curriculum. It was a good refresher to break it down, though. The drill is an evolution of the green belt knife tapping drill. The complexity increases a great deal, and the student must have good knife tapping skills to get everything out of the drill. As with the segang lebo drill from earlier in the day, I was focused on body positioning and footwork. I got to play the drill with Zach, and we covered a lot of ground with it. Getting hands on with Master Whitson was a great confidence booster for the test coming up.
At the end of the day, a student from Wichita, KS successfully tested for a red belt in CTS and a green belt in Cacoy Doce Pares. It was immediately clear that Justin had worked very hard on the material. He and Aaron Matthews were incredibly in sync the whole time. Not only were they counting in time with each other, they also harmonized during the count. It was a fun test to watch. Justin did a great job and passed both tests.