- Strong Basics, clear presentation and reasoning as always. Review by Hal
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I am not an eskrimador, and all my practice came from being my father's (who was one) practice dummy. His style had a particular affinity for close-quarter work. As with the other volumes in this series, the techniques are illustrated from both sides against various angles of attack. Attention is paid to detail concerning footwork of the defender and alignment of the defender's body and positioning of the defender's blade to try to prevent the opponent having an easy counterattack. Counter for counter drills which often are characteristic of many FMA presentations are not featured here. Attacks and defenses are always shown with blades and where there is blade against blade contact, the defender always tries to avoid hitting edge to edge. Stick use of the abanico (fanning) shown by some others involves hitting with the turning of the wrist in both attack and defense with similar angle on defense and attack. Here, the flat of the blade is used in defense, but on the return flip-hit, the blade edge is used, which requires a slight aspect change the counterattacking weapon. It is becoming evident to me that strong legs are needed for this style, because many low line counters involve the defender taking a low position in order to protect their hip and leg. As I stated before here, and in other reviews, counter for counter drills are not the focus. Instead, angulation of body and stepping in defense and attack are emphasized, and also blade position to limit counters to the defender is emphasized. Because safety is a priority, many of the strikes offered as attacks take a low stance and attack with arm extended-utilizing the tip of the attacking weapon. This seems to be to be because though such strikes are vulnerable to counters to the limb, it limits direct stop-hits to the body of the defender. Range is often closed a bit once the initial move is countered, the preferred angle of engagement is attained and the defender has checked the attackers hand. Strong points of this series as always are: strong basics, clear reasoning regarding tactics, and keeping the approach simple and consistent. An interesting feature added in this particular volume is the "open" body angulation used as part of the defense. The idea is to make the person harder to hit even when he doesn't try to move away by stepping. I'm still liking this material, despite my fear of using some of the more sophisticated counters on people who instead of using longer range attacks, attack with shot-arm attacks. I suspect a Giron eskrimador would likely just hit the attacking hand of such short-arm attacks while maintaining distance...
(Posted on 6/18/14)