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Why Practice Figure 8s?

Many struggle with seeing the applications of drills and how they can be used in a fight.  Drills are designed to practice specific movements and develop the muscle control needed for those techniques.  Figure 8s are one of those drills that is hard to understand how they are helpful.  These two separate drills, downward and upward figure 8s, seem unnecessarily fancy for a real fight.  However, if you combine them then magic happens.

 

The drill is meant to practice these strikes from both sides.  The practical application is to combine them doing an upward figure 8 from the right and a downward figure 8 from the left or reverse.  This combination allows you to target your opponent’s hand in the first strike and land a hard strike to the shoulder or collarbone.  Here is an example of how these strike patterns work with a knife, the concept being the same no matter the length of the blade.

Or the sword version of this combination is:

Figure 8 Combo.

This drill is combining the Upper Figure 8 Strike with the Downward Figure 8 Strike along with the footwork from Circle Drill #2. In the video I am doing this drill with a longsword, however, this exact combo works well with sword and shield as well. Start with your sword leg forward, this gives you the maximum reach to start your attack at the far edge of your range. The sword strike is coming up to go for your opponent’s forearm. Step forward with your non-dominate leg. Make sure your foot is outside your opponent’s feet. That will place you on an off-angle that will give you more of a defensive advantage. Once you have stepped forward throw the downward figure 8 strike. When done right this is an extremely powerful combination.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

 

We also have new FREE  Online Courses. Enroll now and begin learning the art of knighthood.

 

Escrima Training Videos

Ironside Medieval Combat teaches both armored sword fighting and unarmored sword fighting.  We cover multiple different styles from Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), to fully armored steel fighting, to escrima (a form of Filipino sword and stick fighting).  We teach all these styles to give the full experience and range of skills a medieval knight would have.  A knight might not always have time to get into his armor when the enemy is at the gate.

On our Ironside YouTube channelwe have created a couple of playlists dedicated to escrima training.  As you watch these videos picture how effective and devastating these techniques would be if they had swords in their hands instead of training sticks.

Stockton Multi Style Escrima Training Videos

Our first playlist are training videos all dedicated to Stockton Multi Style Escrima.  These videos were filmed and organized by Ironside Instructor Master Nelson Pinto.  There are 9 videos in this playlist.  If you would like to learn more about Stockton Multi Style Escrim please visit their webpage – https://www.stocktonmultistyle.com/

 

Escrima to Sword and Shield

Our second featured playlist are videos translating Filipino sword fighting to medieval sword and shield techniques.  There are a lot of resources for Longsword with well developed curriculums and teaching methods. There isn’t nearly as much resources for learning and mastering sword and shield. Escrima has a unique history. It is a living fighting style that evolved from medieval sword fighting. We are taking the modern style and reverse engineering it to find new and better ways to fight with a sword and shield. Our goal was to address two issues. The first what do these techniques look like when a right handed fighter faces a left handed fighter. This problem occurs often in medieval sword fighting communities. The second how will these techniques work with longer sword and shield. There are 5 videos in this playlist.

 

Online Training Opportunities

Online ClassesI love sharing all of my tips and training philosophies with the world.  If you love watching them and learning from them consider sharing that love.  I have created several Patreon Tiers dedicated to the different fighting styles taught at Ironside Medieval Combat. These classes are broken down by topic to give you the most savings possible allowing you to focus only on the skills you are most interested in.  It also helps support Ironside Medieval Combat so we can continue to get more training equipment, further our curriculum, and get a better location. Click on the link below and become a subscriber!

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

 

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Farang Fitness

There just isn’t enough time in the day to squeeze in all the fitness and martial arts training that I want. It always feels like I am sacrificing one or the other. It’s one of the reasons why training smarter is so important.

Take tonight’s training schedule as an example. I worked all day, then taught an hour long belly dancing class, drove home, ate dinner, trained for another hour in martial arts, and worked on my business webpage. I got a ton done but always feel like it isn’t enough. I do meal prep on the weekends to save time during the week, but I still feel like I run out of day light and energy. That is why I have started combining my fitness training with martial arts practice.

Not all forms of martial arts practice is good for fitness. For example, if I am studying new material and going slow, then I still need to squeeze in a fitness workout. However, if I am drilling material I already know, then I can turn it into a great cardio workout.

Tonight I was practicing material from the Farang Mu Sul system. It is a Korean style of martial arts brought to the United States by Grand Master De Alba. I needed to drill these combinations, because in a street fight if I am defending myself I will not have time to check my notes. I will need to be able to respond quickly without thinking about the ”right move.” By increasing my speed and intensity with these drills I was able to get a great cardio burn in and lock down some much-needed practice time. A double win!

Disclaimer

This website contains material derived in whole or in part from the teachings of Grand Master Michael De Alba, the International De Alba System Confederation™, Modern Farang Mu Sul ® and their students, instructors, and associates. International copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws protect these materials. Users, guests and visitors may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way or in any form, any material from the Service including code and software. Users, visitors and guests may download material from the Service for personal, non-commercial use only, provided all copyright and other proprietary notices are clearly visible and intact. Commercial use, reference or linkage to the Service site, without the express written permission, of Michael De Alba or his assigns, by registered letter, is prohibited.Copyright 2001® DeAlba Productions

Footwork can give you major advantages

The foundation to all forms of fighting begins with footwork and range.  Bruce Lee once said, “a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick.”  Meaning when you strip away the traditions, showmanship, and fancy moves the basics are the same.  There are only so many ways the body can effectively move.  Breaking things down to the basics there are some useful images to use with training to help develop these skills.  The first is a footwork star.  You will see this star used in many forms of martial arts from Escrima, Judo, Farang Mu Sul, just to name a few.

Footwork Star

Here is a really great video on how to use the footwork star to train movement and range:

 

After watching this video you might ask how these drills can work with a sword.  So I took this concept and added a box and circle.

The box gives you directions for approach in a fight.  The circle is the sword arch of your max reach.  If you can stay within the black area you can avoid being hit by your opponent, but land a strike on your own.  If you take this new concept and apply it to the drill above you can get a very interesting sparring drill that will develop some amazing skills.  Below is an example of a slow sparring drill.

Slow Sparring Drill

In this drill your goal is to take one step to avoid your opponents attack then answer the attack with a counter.  Make note of how slow these fighters are moving.  Keep this drill slow and train the right instincts.  Don’t rush this drill.  If you can’t do it slow then you defiantly cannot do it fast. Take your time and perfect your art.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them , and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Grappling Drills for training in Melee conditions Part 1

 

When it comes to team fighting in steel completions the ground is “lava.”  Meaning if you have three points of contact on the ground you are “dead” and become an obstacle on the field for others to trip over. For most sword fighters grappling and take downs where you are not allowed to go down with your opponent is one of the most challenging aspects of our sport.  Here are a few drills to help improve your odds with grappling.

Step 1: Understanding Balance Points

The first part of becoming a great grappler is understanding how to tip an armored opponent.  This drill helps you develop the feel of grappling.

There is a lot of variations you can do with this drill. Changing the position of the feet, starting close, or far apart. The important part is not moving your feet. This drill will help develop your balance and timing. Eventually you are using your head and hips to counter what your partner is doing. Start off in any stance you want. Grasp your partner’s forearms, one hand under and one hand over as shown in the video. You can only push and pull with your arms, no head butts or other crazy things. Experiment with different stances and learn the strengths and weakness for each. This drill is a great core workout and makes for a good warmup before practice. The first person to move one of their feet looses.

Step 2: Counters and Defense

Once you have a grasp of how to tip your opponent now you are ready to learn how to defend yourself from getting tipped using your footwork and core strength.  There are a lot of ways to practice this step.  The easiest way to learn is do the Push Pull Drill from the previous section and add one step for each person to use.  If one person steps to pull you off balance can you correct or even gain the advantage with a counter step?  Here is a suggested defensive stance to try.

Many times beginner fighters freeze when they are rushed with an aggressive opponent who charges straight in for a grapple. When that happens the more aggressive fighter grabs their opponent’s shoulders and throws their opponent before they have time to think. When you were experimenting with different stances during the Push Pull Drill, you might have learned that the more narrow your stance the harder it is to push you back, however, you are vulnerable to a side attack. However, for this drill that extra strength to a front attack is exactly what you need. When your opponent rushes straight at you meet their aggression with your own. Step directly into their attack, make sure you place your lead foot in between your opponent’s feet. Reach an arm around their back, make sure you are not crossing over your center line. Sink your weight on your hips, like what you learned from the Push Pull Drill. If you get the timing and placement down for this drill take it one step further and do a forward hip toss.

Step 3: Adding Movement

Now that you have the basics down time to put it into motion.  This drill is a simple movement drill to start teaching timing and spotting the perfect motion to do your take down.

In this drill each person has a different objective to “win.” Both people will start in a tight grappling position against a wall.  Instructor Janeal Ironside is representing the first person.  The first person’s job is to get to the opposite side of the room.  Instructor Nicholas Ironside is representing the second person.  The second person’s job is to turn their opponent around.  This drill is not about throwing your opponent, but using your core, footwork, and timing, to control your opponent.  Once that element is mastered you will find your throws will become much easier.

This article gives you a preview into the type of training found at Ironside Medieval Combat.  If you like what you see come give one of our classes a try!  We also offer online classes for those of you who live far away – Sign up for Online Classes.

We would love to hear from you. Let us know if these drills are helpful.  We also take requests for anyone wanting to learn more.  Find us on Facebook for all of our latest and greatest updates.