Sticking with it! - 01/05/2013
I'm sure some of you have noticed that me and some of the guys have been warming up with Stick sparring before the regular classes kick off. We have decided to add a half hour Stick Fighting class to the timetable from 6.30pm-7.00pm Monday to Thursday.
I was told by ALL my top instructors that if you want to improve your empty hand fighting, make sure you train weaponry. Strange as that sounds, every country has a history of Boxing and Stick fighting and these were often taught alongside each other. I have always adhered to this principle and it's great to hear that top MMA coaches such as Greg Nelson from Minnesota have their Pro UFC fighters train Stick Fighting at least once per week.
The science is simple. Stick fighting is way faster than any other martial art I have seen. Over time, your eyes begin to pick up the motion of the stick easier and easier. Once your eyes are tuned to the speed of the stick, when you start to box, kickbox etc it all happens at a much slower pace. It is the same as when you are driving fast on the motorway then when you slow down again to 60mph, which is still considered fast, it seems surprisingly slow! The old time boxer Jack Dempsey used to use the same principle with labels on vinyl records. Starting at a slower RPM he would read the label then he would switch records and speed up the RPMs until he could read that label and on and on. Daily practice is all it took.
After only one week of daily Stick sparring, I have noticed the sudden jump in my reflexes and so have the other guys. It's no surprise that the guys hardest to hit in the Kickboxing classes are the guys doing Stick Fighting. Obviously we use our eyes in everyday life too, with one student commenting that while driving his car he felt that his eyes were able to take in information faster. Can't be a bad thing!
So if you wanna know how Neo felt at the end of the first Matrix movie, don't be shy, take the red pill and jump in with us.
All the best, Neil.
Here is a video of Rachael McLeod (black helmet) showing her warrior spirit in Stick Fighting.