Sometimes the stars align and life is good.
In Kali class tonight we spent most of the time working on Heaven 6. Just a few days ago I blogged about Heaven 6, taking it beyond the use of sticks and applying it to empty hand work. That’s just what we did tonight. It’s been on my brain, and to take it further in class was serendipitous.
I have no idea what my problem was, but take the stick out of my hands and suddenly I couldn’t do it. 😮 I could do a single pass at it, but to just flow constantly just wasn’t happening. Could be that I’m mentally distracted, I don’t know. But regardless, it means lots of homework and practice for me, which isn’t a bad thing either way. So to make up for it, I just slowed down. That’s just as well. Better to be slow and correct. Speed will come.
It’s also important to realize that while there’s a lot about Filipino martial arts that’s common, there’s also so much that’s different. There’s thousands of “flavors” of FMA and while foundations are similar, details are different. Little details in how my Guro applied the empty hand Heaven 6 was really nice. For instance, assume you’re facing an opponent and they throw a right punch at you (e.g. the classic “right haymaker”). Doing the 3 motions you use your right hand to parry/block, then the left hand comes in… and that becomes basically a backfist into the inside of their bicep. It’s not how Janich was doing it, but boy I like this way because it works to continue the flow of things but not just being defensive but damaging as well. Nice stuff.
Nevertheless, I continue to be impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of Filipino martial arts. Something as fundamental as Heaven 6 is just awesome and ever so useful. I need more practice.