The Pencak Silat Zulfikari seminar was a success, in my opinion. We touched on principles of breathing and movement with an emphasis on conditioning.
On Saturday morning we started with various up and down movements that are applicable to fighting. In other words, movements to put one in a position to do more than just get a good workout; some of those exercises involved the use of a weighted ball. All placed importance on breathing and being breathed. The group also worked on footwork and its relationship to positioning and dance.
After lunch, we briefly returned to some of the morning exercises to get loose then we moved into screwing the opponent, or using small spirals to get to where we need to be.
Following this concept, we had a cursory look at some of the movements and techniques of piper, a South African knife art. It was most interesting in regard to the footwork and sticking with your opponent, as we integrated what we did in the morning into it.
We were all starting to feel it in our legs by the end of the day. We adjourned and went to dinner at The Cookry, an African restaurant in Des Moines run by a man from Sierra Leone. Good stuff.
Sunday morning brought a return to the weighted ball exercises to warm up. Following that we turned to the fimbo. This is the every day stick of the Masai of East Africa. There are some very interesting dynamics that go with this art and the use of the infinity symbol, or figure eight is prevalent. We did more sticking drills and soft work to familiarize our bodies to movements that most descendants of Northern Europeans lack.
After lunch, Sterling Heibeck covered gun retention and ways to safely hold on to your handgun. If you are interested, I can hook you up with him to have a seminar. He is quite knowledgeable of the art of the gun.
Chuck Pippin closed out the seminar with a clinic on kicking. He presented the material supremely as he has been doing that kind of thing since he was in the womb. He definitely helped me see things a little differently on the art of kicking. I hope to improve in that department based on the information he passed on.
Overall, it was a very good look at some of the concepts that will allow someone to practiced based on energy of the opponent rather than amassing a bucket of techniques. Aside from the working out, the galvanizing of friendships was a fringe benefit. It’s all about the brotherhood.