Grandmaster Bill Newman reports on the latest events in the world of Escrima
Dear students and Escrima-lovers, I have a few items of news to report to you directly this month:
The Escrima Book
I am very pleased to see that the book, into which my advanced students and I really have put years of hard work, is proving such a success. But here too, time does not stand still and we are continuing to develop further all the time.
Naturally I am happy to sign autographs for you, but please try to get this done during seminar breaks, as I usually have to leave for another engagement immediately after a seminar.
A great deal is happening here! I am teaching the English team several times each month. Working with the British EWTO representative EWTO, Sifu Andrew Cameron, we are fielding around 20 good fighters who will take part in the EWTO tournament. Naturally I am also supporting my German lads with preparatory seminars. During the tournament I will be in overall control as head referee and umpire, but will of course remain neutral and refrain from coaching any competitors personally.
I am looking forward to a great tournament with a superb gala evening gala, during which the final bouts will take place in the ring. This will be the first time the event is held in this way, but hopefully not the last. I would like my German students to be there in large numbers – if you have any queries please contact my coordinator Sifu Frank B. Metzner at email@example.com. He is also responsible for sending out the registration forms and rules. To make the planning process easier, please make sure that you register as soon as possible.
After intensive training I am pleased to announce that I have awarded my private students Sifu Joachim Friedrich (www.wt-eschwege.de) and Sifu Frank B. Metzner (www.wt-maintal.de) the 3rd Technician Grade in Escrima. Both have been training under and with me since the 80s, and we have achieved a great deal together in that time.
The 3rd Technician programme focuses on the sword and buckler or stick and buckler, though the previous programmes must first be mastered and applied in line with the principles of a 3rd TG. The would-be 3rd TG is familiarised with the characteristics of this "new“ weapons combination and learns to transfer it to the warm-up and our form, practices its use and learns to understand that the buckler or the LPB version (for elite police units) is an attacking weapon and not a defensive object.
The programme then continues with Red-Man exercises, basic and fighting positions, the first technical drills and finally free-fighting.
Naturally I only pass on the precise programme contents to the students concerned, as this is something special and I want it to remain so.
As in the case of all the other TG programmes, and now also the SG programmes, each of my students receives a detailed progress form whose purpose is to help with orientation and systematic learning. These are always kept up-to-date by my trusty student Bernd Hoyer, and I would like to thank him for this again at this point.
Further information about the Escrima Technician programmes can be found in my book.
All in all, correct, thorough and progressive learning for the 3rd Technician grade requires a training time of around four years. The rules of the EWTO envisage at least three years, however nobody manages this – on average my students take around five years to achieve this level.
Knife I (EFD) and II (name not yet 100% finalised):
Following the amazing success of our EFD, the knife manufacturer Böker will be launching a collector’s edition with a special surface finish in autumn 2006. Unlike the others this special edition will also be available on the open market, though it is limited and will no doubt be sold out within just a few weeks.
During the tournament we will hold a small exhibition relating to the EFD, and also show a few models which have not been seen by the public before. We have also invited a fourth man for this purpose, Dietmar Pohl from Solingen, who will man the stand for us and make himself available to answer questions.
We expect to be able to show a prototype of the second knife, a fixed blade version of the EFD, on this occasion, and we will also be selling a limited number of EFDs at special prices during the tournament and gala.
Until next month or the next seminar.
(Rhine-Main area, May 2006)
Text: Escrima Maintal
Photos: A. Zaragoza and P. Westermann