In May of 2013, Counterpoint Tactical System founder Zach Whitson flew to St. Louis for the first STL Counterpoint seminar. He’s been back every year since, and we’re glad to have him. This past weekend, July 30th, was the fourth annual seminar. The fourth. I’m proud that we’re able to keep bringing him in to share CTS and Cacoy Doce Pares.
In the morning session, we played with knives. Master Whitson led us through an exploration of the blade reversal drill from the empty hands versus knife curriculum. In this set, we learned five reversals of the blade, some throws, and counters. I’ve been doing this drill for five years now, and this was the tenth or twelfth time I’ve seen Zach teach it. But I learn something new each time. I picked up quite a few small details to keep the drill fresh and to tie into the material that I’m studying now. For half the attendees, this drill was new, and for the other half, it was something they’ve done for years. And years. Watching this interaction was fun. It was an opportunity for some of the advanced students to teach and guide the newer members.
Kenpo Counterpoint level one was the afternoon material. Most Filipino martial arts practitioners would say that these drills resemble hubud, and in a way, they do. They also go beyond that drill with more varieties of movement from which to choose. Master Whitson showed some variations that made some of the drills more live. By the end of the day, we covered all sixteen drills.
Joe and Kyle took their first step along the CTS rank journey. They tested for and passed the blue belt exam. Both did a great job, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Each of them had their strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, they both calmed their nerves and performed well. As their instructor, the test is also a chance for me to see the things that I need to teach better. I had to review if their weaknesses really were that or did I not teach them well enough. Congrats to Joe and Kyle, and now let’s start on your green belts!
Also, I’d like to say thank you to CR and Kate for traveling from Atlanta for the seminar.