Archive for January, 2015

So I’m just updating my blog with the events of last year to pave the way for 2015.

Stay tuned for more updates 😛

Aired last September 17, 2014on tlv1

Jon Escudero, who moved to Israel in 2008, with host Rogel Alpher in the TLV1 studio.

This was an interview on local Internet Radio about how life is after moving to a different country.



Baston Serrada is a dance between the Line and the Circle.
Combat must  be direct. But if you are blocked, go around.

The stick is a strange weapon. Simple, humble and unassuming in design and structure, but potentially brutal and devastating.  The many stories behind the evolution of stick fighting are pretty interesting. From ideas of spontaneous indigenous development to the influence of foreign swordsmanship.  Very interesting, but we are still waiting on our scholars to help fill in the gaps in these stories.


GM Ben Lema, Founder of Lightning Scientific Arnis, doing Baston Serrada

Right now I’m more interested in the different ways sticks are being used in combat and the method of training involved, particularly a method called “Baston Serrada“.  In Lightning Scientific Arnis,Mang Ben called it “working the stick“. But what does he mean by that, and why do we do it?

I’m going to break it down into three aspects.
Goal,Method, Application

The goal of this drill is the smooth flow of movement from defense to attack and vice-versa while fulfilling certain parameters. In the case of “proper” serrada, that would mean:

1. moving to the “outside” off the opponents attack
2. neutralizing the opponents weapon
3. “blanketing” your opponent with your own barrage
4. repeat as necessary

This drill is a blend of hard and soft movements.  The blocks and “checks” are hard while the flow from strike to strike is soft but with enough stiffness that the body recognizes the potential to increase power later on in application.

1. Use your short range strikes to hit and your checking hand to interrupt your opponents motion alternating between them as necessary.
2. Use your footwork to manage the distance between you and your opponent and stay outside his center.
3. Move soft, slow and deliberate in the begining of the drill to develop your timing and accuracy.
4. From contact develop a “sense” of where your targets are.
5. Learn to put your targets where you can hit them.
6. As you progress in the drill, increase the amount of power and speed in your movements.
7. Develop your decision making skills.
8. Develop your repertoire .
9. Develop your control.
10. After learning the template set, learn how to substitute strikes and techniques to see how it affects your position, movement and timing.

The movements you trained are basically action-sets on “triggers”.
In close-combat situations, there is simply no time “stop & think” of the “best possible counter-attack”.  So we are counting on “attacks-made-instinct” in these stress situations. This is also because the combat is too close to be relying solely on vison, so instead we are relying on physical cues and hard-wired reflexes.

When applying Baston Serrada, it is a matter of ANGLE, POSITION and PRESSURE.

1. Changing your angle of attack in Baston Serrada makes you unpredictable, because the strike that connects, is the one that is unseen.
2. Changing your position to be always out of your opponents reach makes you difficult to hit.
3. Constantly hitting and checking your opponent puts him off-balance and on the defensive, so when he is defending, he is not attacking.

What I have not discussed here is the Mechanics of Baston Serrada as it deserves a separate discussion of its own.  So stayed tuned for that one soon.