Filipino Martial Arts - The Advanced Matrix Approach to Teaching

The Matrix Approach should not be viewed as a framework that is finite in scope and only provides limited opportunities to discover new options within the chosen martial art. Once part of regular training, the potential to continually develop is infinite and only restricted by the skills and creative imagination of the practitioner. At any time, new techniques can be added or rejected from the matrix and new matrices can be created for different categories of core techniques available to the practitioner. This then facilitates further developmental opportunities as the practitioner can combine the matrices of the different categories to embrace, for example, right hand solo baston (single stick) core techniques and left hand baraw (knife) techniques. With continued and diligent practice, the practitioner flow freely and move beyond the scope of the Matrix Approach to create additional opportunities that consistently embrace the core concepts and combative strategies of their chosen martial art.

Through continued use of the Matrix Approach, the practitioner can use the combinations in other forms of progressive, developmental training, such as striking a heavy bag or large diameter rope. Other training opportunities include ‘theme sparring’ using selected combinations, sparring with mixed weapon combinations using matrix combinations, such as doble baston (double sticks) against solo baston (single stick). The diligent and creative practitioner will greatly benefit from using matrix punching or elbow combinations during pad training sessions, or in actual empty hand sparring. Grappling applications derived from the matrix combinations may succeed the use of punching or elbow combinations to gradually close the combat range. The striking lines of the solo baston techniques can facilitate opportunities for disarming methods applied in the self-protection scenario.

Future opportunities

This series of blog posts has presented a detailed and expansive overview of the basic Matrix Approach, which has been designed to support the in-depth and continual exploration of core fighting techniques of the chosen martial art. This unique approach to teaching and learning within the martial arts can be used to develop dynamic lesson plans for instructors or for engaging training opportunities during solo training sessions of all practitioners. While the matrix framework is a simple two-dimensional method to make the advanced combinations of core techniques accessible to all practitioners, it does leave some gaps worthy of further exploration.

The Advanced Matrix Approach investigates, analyses and evaluates opportunities created by the three-dimensional cube matrix. This advanced method considers combining three techniques and has the scope to generate 1000 explosive and aggressive combinations from the original five core techniques that begin from the abierta (open) chamber. The Advanced Matrix Approach is very effective at all ranges and across the spectrum of weapon categories found within the Filipino martial arts.

Ongoing blog posts will consider the opportunities generated in the categories of sungkod (long staff), tungkod (short staff) and espada y daga (sword and dagger) among others. Dynamic empty hand opportunities will be reviewed, with a focus on range changing, multi-directional opportunities and the crucial use of the bantay kamay (guard hand or alive hand) to manipulate the opponent and creating opportunities for striking or grappling.

The Advance Matrix Approach - Massively Extending the Scope of Training Opportunities

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