Cross Training in Weapons Techniques

At Elite, we often extol the benefits of cross-training in different martial arts and cross training in weapons techniques.  Whether you came to Elite to focus on MMA (mixed martial arts), Muay Thai kickboxing, Krav Maga, Kali or Jiu Jitsu, we always encourage students to try other arts (and require that every student at least complement their training with Muay Thai).  Our Krav Maga program is truly a combative mixed martial art, incorporating techniques from myriad different martial arts from Western Boxing and Muay Thai to Filipino Kali and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu BJJ.  While many students recognize these benefits and cross-train in our many programs, it is often easy to overlook the fact that we can cross-train in weapons systems as well. 

When I traveled to Thailand, I had the opportunity to train in their Krabi Krabong weapons system.  Rather than using the narrow, two to three foot sticks that Kali uses, the Krabi fighting sticks (meant to simulate swords), are over 3 feet in length with approximately a 2” diameter.  They are heavy, and held so that the handle end of the stick almost touches the elbows.  The footwork is squarer than Kali footwork, and the angle of most strikes is different.  Initially, getting used to training in Krabi was challenging and I worried it would corrupt my Kali technique, but, as with cross-training in Muay Thai, I have since seen the benefits of training Krabi as I continue to train in Kali.  For example, the gunting motion in Kali is very similar to some of the blocks used in Krabi Krabong.  The blade awareness required in training for any bladed weapon transfers between systems and you learn this while cross training in weapons techniques.  We see this even within Kali where the handwork of parrying in open handed techniques relates directly to how we block and pass a knife.  Although many aspects of two given arts may differ, the training in different systems allows any student to see different ways of handling similar problems and then adopt what works best for them. 

Kali disarm or strike

Sometimes a Kali disarm or strike may work best for a given student (based on that student’s body type, size, movement, or flexibility), but in other instances, a Krav Maga or Krabi Krabong disarm or strike may work best for that student.  The only true way to figure out what works best for you as a student is to train in many systems and do cross training in weapons techniques, not only for hand to hand combat, but for weapons as well.  One way to accomplish this within Elite is to train in Kali as a complement to your Krav Maga weapons training.  If you do not train in Krav, then try Kali as an introduction to weapons systems.  As you begin to make connections between the systems, your skill sets will improve exponentially.  And if you ever get the chance to try out other arts, be it while traveling or otherwise, take that opportunity! 

~Ashley Martabano

Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 543-1600

Cross Training in Weapons Techniques

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