Congruency in training, and building blocks – Terry Trahan

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In my opinion, training must take different forms depending on the goals of the group you are teaching. If the group is long term martial arts students, you have time to go into more of the details of the art you are teaching. But, if it is a short term combatives/self defense type course, everything you teach needs to be simple, to the point, easily retained, and, if the student wants to pursue further training later, in line with the base art that you teach. There should be as much congruency in the movements as possible, as well as commonalities with the art you got your material from.

My WeaselCraft is basically a stripped down version of the Silat I have learned, and mixed with various influences, such as input from the Filipino Martial Arts. These two dovetail very nicely, because the base of the movement is similar, so we are less apt to get confused in the movements than is we were mixing say, Judo and Capoiera.

We must also make sure that each movement, or concept builds upon the one before it. A good example is the first installment of the WeaselCraft package. In attempting to have congruency, I hook together the basic movements that would flow from the primary cover/defensive reaction. From a “flinch”, we flow into an edge of hand blow, followed by an elbow. Why does it go in this order?

Well, From the flinch cover, the EOH blow is the easiest, most efficient, and powerful blow we can make. But, the main reason is because we can link many  things to the motion in an EOH blow. First we can turn it into a hammerfist, which opens different targets, and can be used with more power. Then, we can add tools to the mix, without having to learn a different movement base.

From the EOH/Hammerfist, add a knife in reverse grip edge in (RGEI), and  the motion now becomes the pikal/reverse edge methods we espouse on TPI.

Exchange the knife with a flashlight or a koppo stick, and the motion remains the same, only now, it is with an impact weapon. This brings knockout power to the fold really quickly. And the reason I add the elbow, in case a blow misses, the logical follow up, based on position, tools available, and direction of power would be a basically horizontal elbow, which then gets you back to the beginning, as the termination of an elbow blow is the start of a powerful EOH.

I tie this to the basic triangle footwork, both for evasion/power generation, and also because the next step from there would be to teach sapu and beset, which happen to work off the Tiga, or triangle langkah.

So hopefully through this small explanation, you can see the logic of linking what you teach to a common base, and then, having time later, you can add to it.

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