By: Tom Zachwieja
From training Kali the past 10 years in many different terrains you will challenge mind and body more than you could ever imagine.
A plan for active recovery and injury prevention is critical when training Martial Arts.
I started training yoga for really one purpose, become more flexible in my body to increase my martial arts performance !
In Kali we use the rattan sticks to grow immense skill in coordination, agility, and flexibility. Why would that be any different for your active recovery strategy? It’s not .
Using the sticks to bring the ground closer to you allows you to focus more on:
I get asked most often,
How do I get good at Kali?
How long will it take me to get good at Kali?
The truth is I have no idea. It all comes down to what you as a student and practitioner is willing to give to the training. What I do know is that if you follow the three (3) tips I'm going to give you right now you will make tremendous progress and at a speed above average.
I've observed and learned these three tips over my lifetime of training as a student and teaching hundreds of people from all different backgrounds in person and now tens of thousands of people globally through our revolutionized long distance/online training and support methods. Meaning, I've seen what works, what doesn't and what is currently achieving the best results.
People like the word secret. It drives a bit of curiosity however, there isn't really a secret but, I needed to get your attention somehow. Progression is important in your training. The feeling of achievement and the physical signs of improvement make all the effort feel worth it. However far you want to take your training and skill set there truly is only one path that will get you to hit your progress targets.
I get emails and messages everyday from people asking me how fast they'll become efficient in Kali, how long it'll take for them to become instructors and even how many repetitions do they have to do. The truth is if these types of questions are primary to you, the news whether you like it or not is, you've already quit before you even got started and will never reach those aims.
We all get a bit of motivation from time to time to boost our martial arts training and it works for a while. For a couple weeks maybe even a month or two you're pumped and training and living the martial arts life. Then the crash comes, something else grabs your attention and a day comes when you make a decision to skip your training and BAM! Before you know it, another year is on the sunrise.
The only way to get the most out of your martial arts training is by making training not just a hobby or a habit. It must become a requirement. Sounds good but, how do you do this? With 5 basic questions, what, why, how, where and when.
What do you want from your training? What is the purpose of your training? What are your options and which ones do you need to eliminate? Purpose gives you a clear direction to commit to. What's the value training gives you and how important is that value? Does the value contribute to your purpose?
You hear it in the martial arts all the time, "repetition is the mother to all skills." Well, not totally true.
It's like the saying, "knowledge is power." Only if it's the right knowledge. Just as repetition only works if it's the correct repetition. Of course there is always room for improvements but, a practitioner of the martial arts still has to do their homework and mechanical / technical checks.
This means in order to be dedicated to the skills and growth one has to be committed to the training and obsessed with achieving the results.
The most common asked questions I get from people all around the world are...
"How can I learn Filipino Martial Arts faster?"
"How can I get good skills fast?"
Though often times I'll answer, 'by training everyday' there is more too it than that. Make no mistake, there is no other way to develop skills faster than consistent training but, it's how you are training. How are you maintaining and developing the information further?
I can't stress enough the importance of a good warm up before every martial arts training session. Warming up not only helps to prevent injuries, it also helps increase your focus for your training session.
Try this Warm Up routine with me right now...
During a private session with my student Rafal he brought up the subject of learning how to not get hit. If you train martial arts then you know that you will be hit eventually.
Where the skill of not getting hit really matters in in self-defense. Especially for Kali as we are a weapons art and getting hit with weapons is a different result than an empty-hand.
Watch this quick video on my process to developing your "Un-Hittable Skills" then scroll down a little for more...
Having the right gear can make a difference in your Kali training! Check out this video I did covering what training gear to start your Kali with. Watch it here and then I'll go a little further...
One of the most common questions I receive from new practitioners starting their journey in Kali is, "What should I work on first?" My answer never changes. You must develop coordination first. Here are a few tips on the process I use. Of course there is more to it than just written in this post but, I feel this is a great place to start.
There are 3 areas of Coordination and there are 3 components of Coordination.
The Areas of Coordination to develop in Kali I set in this order.
Footwork - When first starting to coordinate your footwork I start out by adjusting the pace distance of my steps. Keep it to 1 pace and no more than 1.5 paces. Roughly the length of your Kali stick.
Weapon - When first starting your weapon training always strike your weapon at a speed you can control and visually see and follow. If you cannot see the line of your stick then you are not in coordination. Start with the stick to develop your striking mechanics.
Dynamic - A tip on developing the dynamic movements of Kali, Coordinate the upper third of your stick to land on target at the same time your lead foot makes contact to the ground. When training solo without a target, use the centerline as your contact reference.
Here is an example of a Coordination Drill we use to develop the Diagonal Strikes Coordination...