Sunday, October 13, 2013

Espada y Daga by GM Ron Saturno

Espada y daga. There is no way for me to put together the totality of my thoughts 
on this subject. Espada y Daga is a subject that vexes me and keeps me up at night. This is hard on my psyche because I really and truly believe in simplification. If I can't explain something in a few words or less: How in the hell will I be able to perform Espada y Daga under stress with another man who wants to make me even shorter, by lopping my head off. I have already tried to sue the City of Stockton for building its streets too close to my ass. They laugh at me. They talk to me about shoes with heel extensions and finding shorter women to entertain my lonely nights. Most Datu Puti ni anang mo are tall and like to make fun of us short guys. I guess as long as us shorter guys can get our urine in the toilet, we are tall enough, according to the City of Stockton. Espada y Daga is like a fine wine, you must allow your Espada y Daga to develop over time. After many years of practice, it becomes rich and enjoyable, just like a finer wine. But, I am a peasant. I've never cared about the absolute finer tasting liquors. Give me a cheap beer and an even cheaper looking women at my side. If I am playing for keeps I'll truly be loving and faithful to my right type of woman, but just like my Espada y Daga: Please don't make me wait too long to begin enjoying myself. I'll soon try to find other ways to fullfill my needs. So I have looked high and low for the secrets of Espada y Daga. I have found many, but they were secrets revealed after a lot of hard work and pain. Espada y Daga is a part of my art that cannot be revealed to you outside of many sleepless nights, hard work and dedication: Just like everything else truly special. What a good teacher can do is cut a few miles off of your search and be able to show you where you will eventually arrive. There is an eventual destination: You hope to arrive at FMA Mastery. One of the things that I've listened to other Master's say, especially from the Philippines is that Espada y Daga "is" a true sign of Escrima achievement. A good Espada y Daga player can display true beauty, martial achievement, mastery and fighting ability when he shows his Espada y Daga skills. Many may bristle at my always mentioning my Master's skills, but this is out of respect and admiration. Angel Cabales truly displayed wonderful Espada y Daga skills: Skills that I can only hope to duplicate in my lifetime. Having spoken so highly of my Master: Did he impart his unique abilities to his student's? Yes and No. Some may believe that they may have surpassed Angel Cabales, but I have yet to see this with my own eyes. Angel Cabales had one thing that few of any of his student's have acquired: He had superb timing. Timing allows you to be behind your opponent and still beat them. Timing allows you to be slower than your opponent and still be faster. Timing to me has become "the" single most important focus of my martial training and I especially focus upon timing, when focusing upon Espada y Daga. Espada y Daga should be practiced to improve your timing. There it is! This is the secret that Espada y Daga reveals. You can be fast as hell and really accurate, but still be an average Espada y Daga player. It is not about hitting! It is about superlative movement under pressure. No matter what! No matter how they come at you! No matter how hard that they can hit! No matter how fearsome they swing their stick and the things that they say! Espada y Daga is the heart and soul of Filipino martial arts. It is the deep and fearsome fighting spirit of the Filipino people. It is Fuck You with weapons in your hands. The nature of Espada y Daga is to develop fighting spirit. It is about fighting any man, any place and at any time, "No matter what". Give me what you've got, as hard and as fast as you can and I'll defend myself and come for you. If you do not practice Espada y Daga in any other way you are wasting your time. Every Espada y Daga session of training will be different. No blow, stab, twist or strike form an opponent will ever be exactly the same. You must treat every training session as unique and different from the time before. Angel Cabales truly believed that Escrima had a spirit. The spirit would come to you when you were in need. Your heart had to be fearless to be worthy of the Spirit. I can only hope that who ever reads this understands my deep love of Espada y Daga and the wonderful benefits that may come to you with dilligent and faithful practice. I truly believe in Espada y Daga and hope that those who may begin to engage in the practice of Espada y Daga grow to love this beautiful aspect of Filipino Martial Arts as much as I do.