Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eskrima Warmup

Eskrima warmup exercises are designed to warmup the body, for the Eskrima training your about to do so that you don't get injured.

I personally like to include shadowboxing style mobility exercises so that you practice your footwork and cardiovascular conditioning for endurance. 

The warmup can consist of a review, where you do techniques previously learned at a slower pace. The biggest mistake beginners make is that their form becomes bad when they go slower.  

Eskrima also consists of exercises that will slowly change your body over an extended period of time so that you can perform better. The main exercise is to twirl the stick to make circular motions with your wrist. It takes a long time to build up the kind of wrist strength and wrist articulation that we are looking for. I also teach students to use the Eskrima stick to lightly hit the body in different areas to toughen up various areas of the body. This includes your knuckles, abs, thighs, shins, and arms.

What is Eskrima?

Eskrima is a martial art where you immediately begin from day one with single and double sticks. Many other martial art styles do not let you handle a weapon on the first day, however this is not the case when it comes to Eskrima, which makes it pretty unique. 

The sticks are called Escrima sticks. They vary in size and material, but generally speaking they are made from Rattan and are about 28 inches long.

Eskrima practitioners train with single and double sticks. They also train with various bladed weapons, usually consisting of a short sword and knife.

There is also an empty hand aspect to the art. Students learn how to fight bare handed against a bare handed opponent, and even also against an armed opponent.

Eskrima practitioners are known to be amongst the best in the world when it comes to sticks and knives. 

In addition to all this, I incorporate uisng the sticks in unorthodox ways, that come from other martial art styles such as Bayonet fighting, Cane combat, and Kendo.

I aslo strongly emphasize an improvised weapons aspect for the art. If you are serious about having the ability to use the everyday common items around you into weapons, you need to specifically train for that. It begins with using various types of sticks and if you use double sticks, make sure that the sticks are uneven in size. Next is to actually train with various items such as a fashlight, pen, t-shirt, belt, baseball cap, shoe, baseball bat, umbrella, etc.

Eskrima Introduction

Eskrima is a martial art style from the Philippines. Eskrima is sometimes spelled Escrima. I often get asked what is the difference between Eskrima, Arnis and Kali. I have had some training in all three styles, and from my personal experience I can say that there is no difference between the three styles.

Historically Eskrima was developed by the Filipino tribal warriors.  They combined their own warrior methods with fencing when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived. Eskrima was put to use during World War II when the Japanese invaded. Afterwards it was also combined with Japanese martial arts. Experts began to duel each other, and later on their students would use Eskrima on the streets in gang fights.

Today in the Philippines Eskrima is being taught in schools as part of a PE program. It is also taught to military and police.

In the USA Eskrima is featured in many Hollywood films because of Bruce Lee's top student Dan Inosanto. Many Jeet Kune Do instructors today include Eskrima in their curriculum, because of Dan Inosanto.

Back in the 90s when I learned Eskrima, it was taught to me as a weapons based style that is good combine with whatever style you practice as your main style. During this time, my main style was Kuk Sool Won, so I incorporated Eskrima.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

PSYCHO COP RETURNS review



Psycho Cop Returns film review by Wmpyr


A few years ago I watched Maniac Cop 3 thinking it was the movie I liked in the 90s, only to discover it was different. I finally figured it out. What I watched back then was actually Psycho Cop Returns. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy the Maniac Cop series but Psycho Cop Returns is really awesome! It's definitely so bad it's good. Falls into the same category as the many excellent comedy horror films from Full Moon features.

My only gripe is that Psycho Cop is more human than let's say Jason from Friday the 13th. That being said though they push him as far as they can to be a boogeyman without turning into something totally supernatural.

I really like how 90% of the film takes place in an office building. The plot is very simple and easy to follow. I like all the characters in the film, all the actors did a decent job.

If you like low budget campy horror films then this one is really good. Don't take my word for it, check out all the stellar reviews of it on IMDB.

Even though I had this film mixed up with one of the Maniac Cop films, it had left an impression on me all these years.



My favorite GI Joe figures from the 80s 90s



Favorite GIJOE action figures by Wmpyr


There are so many great 3 3/4" GIJOE figures that I remember from the 80s and 90s. From that era here are my new top five.

5. Dee-Jay
Always reminded me of WWF wrestler Koko B Ware. If Koko needed a new gimmick he could have been like Dee-Jay, futuristic pop solider!

4. Longarm
That loud bright neon orange and his bright red weapons, he was a show stealer.

3. Super Trooper
I really like the many versions of Duke, General Hawk in the space suite was a fantastic figure as well, Captain Gridiron was memorable too, and let's not forget Srgt. Slaughter, but the man on top of all that I believe is the undeveloped Super Trooper. He's like the Ultimate Warrior of the GI Joe universe!

2. Hydro Viper
He has a mask that is like a hybrid between a sea serpent and the creature from the black lagoon! And that webbed claw, how can you not like that?

1. Nullifier
He's just a pilot, didn't come with any accessories other than a visor. But the moment I took him out of the box, I was fascinated with him. That kind of grey-tan color that with some fuchsia it just really gave him a bizarre color scheme. Under that massive visor that completely covered his eyes and made you wonder how he saw anything at all was, get this, a freaking snout! He had some interesting cords on his forearms as if some strange chemicals were being pumped into his body. He had some weird ancient alien looking language carved onto his chest. I just can't get over his large skull like dome head. Only until recently did I discover that he was originally meant to be a Cobra La figure and that's why he looks so strange and out worldly, which makes him even cooler in my book because I really like those Cobra La guys! When I played with him, I used him like the Predator meets Giant Baba. He was an unstoppable freak and that's why he gets the numero uno spot.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Nunchaku time

I've never learned the Nunchaku formally in a martial arts class. However I was fortunate to learn from several very talented martial artists who were very good at the Nunchaku. I remember one of the guys said that the Nunchaku would be his weapon of choice for a street fight. This guy wasn't into any fancy throwing and spinning tricks. He was more interested in how to deal with the rebound after you actually hit something. Around 2006 I really got back heavy into my Arnis, Kali, and Eskrima roots. I noticed a strong connection between the Escrima stick and Nunchaku. So I began to explore that aspect which was new to me. Before I learned Nunchaku from guys that had background in traditional Karate, Ninjitsu, and Tae Kwon Do, which were quite different from the Filipino martial arts. More recently within the last few months I've been diligently practicing the Nunchaku based off a video I saw on Youtube. It was one of George Dillman's seminars. He gets a lot of hatred especially for his energy manipulation and knock out touches. However the Nunchaku video to me was very well explained, and very logical. My philosophy is simply to learn, instead of badmouthing someone, just learn. His material was very basic, but I feel a big improvement in the way I handle the Nunchaku especially when it comes to the figure 8 motions. Dillman wanted his students to hold the Nunchaku towards the bottom of the handle, so that's what I've been doing. Holding towards the bottom allows for a harder hit but less control. So you have to make up for the lack of control with skill. Dillman also showed using the Nunchaku like twin short batons for offense and defense, among other things. I really enjoyed the painful wrist trap using the Nunchaku cord.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Champ Against Champ



Champ Against Champ, 1983 Kung Fu film review by Wmpyr


This film stars Dragon Lee, who is my favorite of the Bruce Lee clones. He is my favorite because I feel like he doesn't just mimic Bruce, but he also brings his own self to the table as well.

It's a simple enough story, Dragon Lee is suppose to go get married to this girl. Her father is part of a resistance group. The main bad guy who is some dictator type guy captures her dad, Dragon Lee, and Lee's dad. The dictator ends up killing Lee's dad and shoots a poison dart in Lee's leg. Lee escapes but loses his leg and ends up with the girl. At her place he trains and creates a steel leg. Ready for some ass kicking, he goes back to rescue her dad and get some revenge.

I like the film for the simple story. It has romance, it has training, it has revenge, it has bad guys with unique weapons, it has clowns, a ton of fighting, what more do you want?

This film also has a strange supernatural feel to it. The dictator guy lives in a cave, it almost feels like it's hell, and his men protecting the mountain base with the clown girls, I just get the feeling that the director wanted to make a kung fu flick ever so lightly sprinkled with ghastly elements.

It reminds me a little bit of the classic Universal pictures horror film, The Son of Frankenstein. Igor played by Bela Lugosi was hanged but survived, and after that it was like he became undead, and that gave him some power. After Dragon Lee survives the poison dart, I feel like he also became undead in a way and that's why he was able to defeat the dictator. However you can also say that Lee won because of his steel leg.

It's a fun flick, one of my favorite classic Kung Fu films for sure!