The Houston Stick Fighting Association led by Johnathan Bolton held their 1st combative meet among FMA and other MA weapons-based players earlier today, Sunday the 26th beginning at around 10 am at Hermann Park stage left to the miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston Texas.
At the gathering, there were instructors from the various FMA schools throughout Houston with their students. Isias Ginson showed up and officiated most of the matches. Then there was Ed Kwan, an IMAF FMA guy from Clearlake who came to watch. Leo Quitalon with his LESKAS/Lighting Escrima crew from Sugarland was also there to play along. There was also some ARMA[Assoc. Rennaisance M A] players, and even some kendo players all in good fun under the sun of one beautiful day.
Bill Little and his training partner, Mike Wise drove in from Beaumont and picked me up this morning from Tomball right at one hour prior to the scheduled time to
meet at the park. It turned out we were the first ones there. I'm gratefully happy to make some new friends and in re-acquainting with old friends that showed up to extend their support. Thanks to my old pal, Joaquin Rendon and (others with him) for handling the video camera during the matches.
This day marked the beginning of strong potential for all stick-based MA weapons practitioners beginning in the Greater Houston area alone to be unified under the sun to share support for each other in a form of "friendly exchanges" of skills with no egos, prizes or politics. All of us turned out to be great sports with each other. I know for sure I acknowledged all the hits I took from every sparring partner I traded blows with. In fact, I myself actually enjoyed getting hit just to encourage my sparring partner at the time to keep at it til I throw some back.
We also had matches with the
smakstix/actionflex padded sticks with the helmet on. Those things were created perfectly if you did not want to be seriously hurt. We didn't even need any gloves to protect from the handshots because the sticks were very soft. I was letting myself get hit as hard and as often just to test if a person can get hurt by one of those things during a match with the smakstix with Manong Joe Galleon... and man, he loved to bang for a man over 60 years of age!
There was also dagger duel simulation & espada y daga matches with catchers chest guards on, and we went to the live stick where we wore the WEKAF protective vest. I personally did not really care much for the WEKAF vests but I put it on anyway and still had a great time. I got to have fun letting myself get hit hard to see if their heavy shots would actually penetrate through the armor, while holding the stick in my weaker hand[I'm a lefty] but we sparred with
lighter, thinner rattan sticks though. The last thing we needed that day was for anyone to get seriously injured. I did get to be the only one wearing my fencing mask as everyone else wore the Doce Pares, Canete cage helmets.
My last match was against a long wooden sword made of some really really hard wood versus my double sticks. During the beginning of the match, I went ahead and took some of those hits since I was up to feeling a little pain that day, and since it was a heavy weapon, those were some really heavy hits! I even took a thrust from the tip of the wooden sword on my lower bicep and it did not take much to feel that. I recieved a slight knot from that too. I just knew I hit home when I got inside of the long range of the sword and opened up my own little flurry of shots on the armor and mask. Either way, in the end my new sword fighting friend Jay, expressed a strong desire to learn FMA. I assured him it will boost
his sword game to even greater heights. I do wish him well with it and look forward to seeing his game get better at the next meet. Thanks most of all to Johnathan Bolton once again for organizing a successful gathering along with Manong Joe Galleon. I made many new friends and even stronger re-acquaintances that day and I'm very happy.
Can you dig it?
PS: Thanks again Bill for the ride!
[Daniel Arola Martial Arts Group Inc.]
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