Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sticks and Knives

Last week, I joined a kali/arnis/eskrima club in HK. For those who don't know, it is a Filipino martial arts where beginners start with sticks, advance to knives, and then graduate to bare hands. I've been interested in this for a long time and have been trying to find a place to learn for quite some time. No luck in Korea and Japan where Filipinos are not exactly very high on the totem pole. I finally found a place in Quarry Bay. Filipinos in HK are not exactly treated well here either and most (including Thais) are hired as domestic helpers or laborers. But during the weekends, when they have their day off, they all gather and you might as well be walking in Manila (or Bangkok) no matter where you are in HK. So it wasn't surprising that out of all those thousands, at least one guy was teaching Arnis.

Anyways, I went down there with a buddy of mine to check it out. It was a HOT day and I just came off of a business lunch so my clothes were way to heavy to be practicing in and I was soaked in sweat in no time. Anyways, he introduced us to several weapons, my favorite being the wiked little kerambit. Afterwards, he taught us a few locks and drills with the baston and for some reason I was the guy he was demonstrating on. I'm guessing it is because I was relatively taller than everyone else so it offered more of a challenge from a technical point of view. Anyways, it wasn't easy being on the receiving end of a bitch-be-good stick. Hits were hits, choke holds choked, and joint locks extended those joints a few degrees more than they should in the opposite direction. But I guess that means this club is not watered down which is cool. After all is said and done, I had a hell of a good time and will keep going with this.

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