THE FIGURE EIGHT
Ocho ! The figure eight, basic to most, but unbelievably sophisticated to the master. Common to sword, stick and dozens of other weapons the figure eight is found thru-out Kung Fu training, Kali, Arnis,
Ko-Budo, Pent-jak and others. The honorable eight action can be done either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. In some regards the ROMPIDA is part of the figure eight family even though it has it's own recognition.
The figure eight is usually seen as a rather simple, basic skill that beginners learn in order to enhance their control, targeting and angles. Yes, it's that alright, but do not snub this action, do not relegate it to the junk heap of "beginners shit" ! The figure eight is the basis for so, so much !
The figure eight is NOT done as it is in practice. If you do it in combat (fight) as you did it or learned it in practice you'll experience failure most of the time. This is due to predictability, the enemy knows whats coming if they know the slightest thing about fighting. The combat version of the figure is like an elevator...it can rise up or it can descend at will. The figure eight should be split up up into high and low attacks, rebounds off incoming weapons and blends of upwards and downwards motions. The advanced three part florete is part figure eight and part florete. It's hard to tell where one concept ends and the other takes up...this is good, real flow is always initially difficult to discern. A practiced eye & hand is needed to employ or defend against such moves.
The first two seguidas taught in our stick method are based upon figure eight actions. Consider the six-seven thrusting lines. They are merely figure eight actions being done with the point of your weapon instead of the edge. The figure eight is also taught to be done with the butt of a weapon. This is the "Punyo", the hilt-pommel or skull crusher strike. In silat the empty handed version of the figure eight is sometimes referred to as "seeking the path". The figure eight is everywhere actually...ya just need to learn to see it.
Do you know that the common "sumbrada" exercise can be done with ALL figure eights ? This alone creates twice the speed of which the drill can be done (for developmental reasons). The overlapping figure eight concept of sinawalli's is another area few really grasp in it's entirety. An advanced set of Figure eight actions deals with leading an opponent into your striking range. It sets up this vortex that they simply walk into without meaning to. It's a distance-distraction thing..but it sure works !
Ahhhh, letting the figure eights and the floretes play together...there is a match made in heaven ! Create your own flows, links these two actions in a way which you like. Add in redondo's, abaniko's and whatever else ya want ! But, the major plays of your game will come off either florete to figure eight or figure eight to florete. I know, you think I'm full of shit. Thats because you, (not I) are unfamiliar with what I've put forth here. Thats alright though, truth is funny like that. No matter how hard some people will try to be shitheaded, the truth cannot be stopped. NOT IN THIS ZONE anyway. Reality always has a wake up call in store for all of us these days.
In figure eight play the idea of employing the "shortened arc" principle is crucial to it's success.
The "shorten arc" is what makes the bullwhip crack, the blow miss it's target, it adds power to the stroke and provides a "stemless stroke as well. That means safety for you ! Shotening the path--altering the path of the eight action is where it's at ! The shortened arc sets up the figure thrusting lines.
For the master it also contains those blade related aspects of using fort and feeble in balanced time to seek victory. Most do not grasp the true use of fort and feeble...and if they do, more often than not, they'll lack the necessary prepatory training to make it viable (effective) in the fight.
Done in reverse grip with rattan sticks the figure eight training can take a lazy, unmotivated student and excellerate them (or run the worthless fucks off). Reverse grip figure eight training MAKES one perform at higher levels. Would we fight that way ? Hell no ! But would I train and seek growth via the figure eight-reverse grip route..HELL YEAH ! It works ! From leg strenght to waist and hip rotation the reverse eight stuff improves almost aspect of your game...But, ya gotta do it religiously for a bit to notice the improvements.
Figure eights can come from the body, the wrist, the elbow, the shoulders or the entire upper body. Each mode is different from the other. All the same-yes, but each different-yes ! The first two moves of the backcut flow are merely inverted figure eights...the hand is inverted, the eight remains the same. But, lying within the lines of the figure eight and within the lines of the dreaded backcut are the elements of true defence and attack. By combining advanced mechanics of the strikes we have tripled our power, increased our safety margin, added deception to the mix, evaded the opponents attack and launched our own unstoppable movement chain ...all via the fig. 8 and the advanced mechanics of the backcut