In Filipino stick fighting, one of the first things you need to learn is basic striking and counter-attack. But there is more to striking and counter-attacking than most sticking fighting practitioners think, especially in Balintawak Eskrima. Some of these principles are so simple many stick fighting practitioners fail to apply them during training.
The good news is, you can develop and improve your striking abilities with proper knowledge and training. In this post, I'd like to share a couple of simple but effective Balintawak Eskrima drills to develop countering. This drill involves only two techniques – Defense and counter #1 and Defense and counter #2.
What makes this drill so important and effective is that it counters the two most commonly used strikes in stick fighting – The forehand (#1) strike, and the backhand (#2) strike.
Balintawak Eskrima Countering Techniques #1 & #2
The learning progression here follows:
- Learn how to counter #1 (forehand) strike.
- Learn how to counter #2 (backhand) strike.
- Counter both #1 and #2 strike in a series.
The step-by-step descriptions of the proper technical execution of the twelve Basic Counter-attacks (BCA) are as follows:
BCA no. 1: Outside to inside
Step 1: From block no. 1, transition to deliver counter-strike by pre-positioning body towards the direction of counter-strike (inhale).
Step 2: Deliver outside strike to the right temple as you shift from the rear left into the right lead (exhale).
Step 3: As you counter-strike retain left hand outside check.
BCA no. 2: Inside defense counter-strike
Step 1: From block no.2, transition to shift from right rear to left lead (inhale).
Step 2: Execute counter-strike to the right temple as you shift in the left lead while torquing toward your target (exhale).
Step 3: Retain left hand inside check as your counter.
Once you've mastered countering techniques #1 and #2, you are now ready to do the drill – and as we've mentioned, it's very easy; just do #1 and #2 countering techniques in transition. First, perform #1, then perform #1, and then back to #1 again, and vise versa.
When you have developed good coordination with your footwork and blocking and countering techniques, you'd be able to react faster and ingrain the techniques in your muscle memory.
Things you need:
- Arnis/Eskrima sticks (standard rattan sticks)
- A training partner (not necessary)
Additional Information on Balintawak Eskrima Countering Drill:
You can do this with or without a partner, not only will you be able to attack but also defend and counter-attack, and vise versa.
While practicing alone the basic defense and counter drill, focus on your imaginary opponent and the select focal points. However, when drilling with a practice partner, control your counter strikes by stopping them at least six inches away from their intended targets.
For safety during practice, all strikes to the temple should be delivered at the shoulder level. Strikes at the forehead or crown are directed to the outside of the target. This practice is in lieu of compliance with wearing safety gear
Reminders: You can appreciate this drill better if you've already read the book review I made on Balintawak Escrima: Basics, Principles, and Values by Master Andrew Obon. In that book, Master Andrew discussed the basic strikes, defense and counters in Balintawak Eskrima – Learn Balintawak Arnis Cebu with Awesome Book
If you haven't read those parts yet, here's a video that you can watch on Balintawak basic striking, defense and counter:
The 12 Basic Counter Techniques of Balintawak Eskrima!
Grandmaster demonstrates the 12 Basic Countering Techniques in an awesome seminar. Click Here to watch video