Giron Eskrima: Cadena de Mano DVD by Tony Somera

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This DVD illustrates the Cadena de Mano style in the Giron Arnis Escrima system of Filipino Martial Arts. The term Cadena de Mano literally means “chain of the hands.” This is a close-quarter fighting style consisting of a progression from parry to grab, twist, and lock. Your opponent may be armed or unarmed, but you have no weapon. You will always maintain contact with your opponent’s hands until you have him in a compromising position. If your opponent continues to be aggressive, you will employ finger locks, joint locks, arm bars, and/or chokes. Grandmaster Leo M. Giron used this style as a back-up fighting system during WW II in the jungles of the Philippines.


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he meaning of this phrase becomes clear

Cadena de mano means 'chain of the hands.' The meaning of this phrase becomes clear during the video. With each attack, methods to deflect, redirect, unbalance, lock and strike the opponent are strung together so that the unarmed defender can go from a position of disadvantage to advantage. This clearly is the most difficult video in the series so far for a beginner to learn from. Though, I'm not an eskrimador, I have studied martial arts for some time, and can attest to the difficulty of mastering such material. GM Somera methodically shows attacks from several angles and shows specific ways to deal with them, from initial contact to a position of advantage and beyond. Each counter is shown in two views and the beginner will be challenged by this video not because the treatment isn't thorough, or because everything is too fast, they'll struggle when they realize how thoroughly each maneuver within the chain has to be practiced before proficiency can be attained. If the person takes the trouble to train the techniques presented, they will realize that they have become more flexible and able in their ability to encounter incoming attacks while unarmed. I think that as is evident in the other entries in this series, that thoroughness is valued here above sheer volume. In real training, such an approach is usually the best, and produces students of high caliber. It is much easier to add vocabulary if fluency is high first. These videos aim at providing this quality by sticking to basics and keeping it simple but effective.