Saturday, December 31, 2011

Caution Vs. Aggression

There is an ongoing debate about the conflicting virtues of caution and aggression in the martial arts. This video highlights some of what we have learned about these ideas:

Monday, September 26, 2011

October 15th, 2011, 5:45 PM, Evergreen Park

We are excited to announce that the next Tres Espadas meeting will be at 5:45 PM on Saturday, October 15th, 2011.  It will be at Evergreen Park in Bremerton:

We will be focusing on basic (weapon-only) sparring, and possibly a variety of drills/exercises afterwords.  Please try to bring your mouthpiece if you can.

We aren't going to have a lot of sunlight, so you might want to show up at 5:30 to get warmed up.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Keeping Score

For those concerned about who got the first good kill shot (which is indeed an important self-defense question, just not worth sacrificing good sparring over,) or who did better in a match, here is the scoring system we recommend:
  • 5 points for the first solid kill shot of the match.  (Kill-shot is a blow landed to the head, or a vital organ area on the body, and it must impact with significant force.)
  • 1 point per successful parry.
  • 1 point per successful strike to the arm or hand.
  • 2 points per successful strike to anywhere else besides the groin.
Bonus points may be awarded also for innovation.  Spinning around in circles would not count, but landing a spinning technique might be worth an extra point.

Tres Espadas will not keep an official score for any of the matches.  However, we are very interested in how YOU would score each match, so feel free to post how you would score matches in the comment sections on this blog.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sparring: Basic vs. Advanced

In preparation for our August meeting (see last blog post,) I want to review the difference between Basic Sparring and Advanced Sparring.  First, though we sometimes informally call the sparring sessions "fights," they are not fights per say, because the primary goal isn't to KO or submit the opponent, and the sparring sessions are not scored.  The primary purpose of the 2 minute rounds are to get in full-contact continuous sparring with weapons (safety weapons though they are.) This is what we specialize in which is hard to find elsewhere.

To that end, this is why we have Basic Sparring.  In Basic Sparring, the only strikes that are allowed are weapon strikes, and only a limited amount of grappling is allowed.  The focus is on stand-up full-contact continuous weapon sparring.  Here are a few examples:

Now on the other hand we also have Advanced Sparring.  In Advanced Sparring we integrate non-weapon martial arts techniques into our weapon sparring.  In Advanced Sparring we allow non-weapon strikes and extended periods of grappling within the 2 minutes.  Here is one example of Advanced Sparring:

The focus in Tres Espadas is on Basic Sparring.  Generally we want everyone to do at least one 2 minute round of Basic Sparring every practice session before they try Advanced Sparring (and some members rarely do any Advanced Sparring at all.)  Some of the martial artists involved in Tres Espadas can hit a lot harder with their punches, kicks, and throws than they can with our safety weapons.  This means that when trying to survive the 2 minutes, there is a strong tendency to actually prefer the non-weapon martial arts techniques to the weapon techniques.  We have this "Basic Sparring first" rule to make sure everyone is getting plenty of practice in the main focus of Tres Espadas, which is full contact continuous weapon sparring.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Basic strikes reference

This is for our club members who need a quick reference on the basic striking and blocking techniques so that they can practice it every day. Sorry all the Calvin Clein models were not available to do this presentation so you got me.

Paladin's charge

I always wanted to see a charging shield effectively used and I saw it this time to recover a lost weapon.

Fighting Innovations

Part of what makes these fights so cool is that nothing is choreographed. Everything is real and in real time relying alone on the skills of the individual.

Shield bashing

It is amazing of how effective a properly employed shield will be. Spartans revere their shield as their most effective weapon.

Knife and Gauntlets 2

Here are two brothers trying the punching option with a knife.

Knife and Gauntlets

This is our first time using the mma gloves with new members. Mostly I did this because I knew the background of these fighters.

Father vs son 2

Here is the other son fighting his stepdad.

Father vs son

Our friend from the high school days decided to join us after his sons joined and this is his first fight. This is a real testament to the toughness of the calimacil weapons.

Paired weapons vs single weapon

Here our friend Greg is trying out a mace/dagger combo and proves why it is better to have that secondary weapon. As someone once said " I believe in the chi in my stick better than the chi in my hand."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fighting the Bear

One of our club guests brought a friend who wanted to fight so I paired the two up. Immediately it started unexpectedly and was one of the most entertaining fights of the day. The big guy has had extensive martial arts experience in Juijitsu.

Eskrimador vs wrestler

I wanted to see how the eskrimador would fare against a wrestler but the amount of contact proved rather disappointing as well as how many openings were not taken such as the face.

Eskrimador vs Bat

Here one of our club members fighting a club guest that represents a local eskrima school. We are hoping that the full contact fights will influence others to do the same.

Marriage Counseling

This is the second video of our female fighter this time against her husband.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Jessica is our first female fighter in the club and is married to one of our members. We are gradually bringing her up to going full contact and she is showing alot of improvement in short time.
We are hoping that more women will join from her example.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Members test run

Here we have two brothers that wanted to try out the club for the first time but we didn't have
any of the normal safety gear with us so we had them try their skills while avoiding face or groin shots. Both did exceptionally well for their first time and will be valuable additions to Tres Espadas.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dual Maces vs Naginata

We were joking with each other about getting tied up fighting with two maces at once when I suggested we try it. I was like "what the hell we already did dual shields." It turned out better than expected and several onlookers commented about how intense the fight was.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kukri vs 2 handed mace

Here we fight using the two new Calimacil weapons. I noticed my speed and footwork improved when I have been working out daily.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lost Video

Here I am sparring with a club member with a mace and shield. This video was shot with a camera I thought only did stills. Recently I got this video along with the other pictures I asked for. At first I was hesitant to show this because of too much background noise but the skill with both fighters warranted it so enjoy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Indoor Facilities

I just recently joined the YMCA here in Bremerton to help condition myself further and discovered that we have permission to use the upstairs aerobics room for club meetings when other classes are not in session. This means that Saturdays after 2pm is wide open for us and I'm sure that a lot of people are interested in getting weapons training and trying something new.
We will primarily be using the YMCA for bad weather but favoring the park at Evergreen because of the softer ground and the option to do advanced sparring. Most of the staff at the Y will not understand seeing people getting punched and kicked while fighting with a foam weapon as a good thing. So while at the Y we have to stick with basic sparring only.
There will be a small fee charged to Non members at the YMCA. It is $15 for the day if you sign in by yourself and $10 if you sign in with me. Members are not charged but it will cost roughly $50 per month which is what I pay.
Be aware that even though we have a large space available there are other equiptment in the room including a heavy bag and speed bag. Since we do not have a set classroom schedule other people are free to use this room and we must respect the fact that we must share it with members.
Since we are obligated to cater to the youth we will allow teens to participate but I insist that the parents MUST sign the waivers and if possible attend the meetings.
Nothing is set in stone just yet but we have a great potential of having this as a permanent site if we can keep everything safe and convince the staff of the YMCA of the benefits of the club and that no one will get hurt doing it.
I will keep everyone posted on our facebook page but it's a good reference that if the weather is bad we will be at the Y. People who pay can also use all the other facilities including a pool, hot tub, and sauna.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tres Espadas vs SCA heavy fighter

I was excited to see a long time friend show up to our meeting Saturday and wanted him to experience our club first hand. He has had many years experience fighting in the SCA and wanted to know how he would do against a fighter who used footwork and fought nonstop for 2 minutes. Something hardly heard of in SCA one on one tournies. Both fighters did very well and my friend is excited to do more club meetings.

Rule #1 Cardio

I'm mostly poking fun at myself here but we all have setbacks that we have to deal with. You either fight through your imperfections and do what you love or you pack up and go home.

Polearm rematch

One of our members changed his tactics and a weapon with a softer butt end in case he lost his weapon again. He finally made it through the 2 minute bout and did a good job to boot. Learning through your mistakes and fights is what this club is about. We only lose when we quit.

Multiple attackers scenario

We had this great idea to do a 2 vs 1 scenario but some were reluctant to do this because of the lack of helmets we had. So I instructed the defender to only attack me while he focused on two attackers at once using his footwork. He did an awesome job and this was the first 2 on 1 fight we did in the club.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Naginata Knockout

I really liked this fight because it shows almost every aspect in a fight except for going to the ground. This also illustrates that we allow using your opponent's weapon against him as well as disarming him. Plus polearms have an incredible amount of leverage to them as it didn't take much to take one of our club members out of the game. This is the first knockout with a weapon in the club.

Dealing with disarms

There are many times during combat where for whatever reason the weapon you are holding comes flying out of your hands. We like to force the other fighter to deal with creative ways of holding off an attack and retrieving the weapon instead of relying on mercy-which does not happen in a real life scenario. Fighting on wet ground as you see here also challenges fighters to focus on their footwork.