Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fighting Arts of South East Asia

Maestro Robert Halaijian 6th dan Doce Pares

I was really humbled and honored when friend and fellow martial artist Rob Halaijian asked me to review his first in the series of martial arts DVD’s.

Rob along with fellow instructors Kacey Chong and Fam Chong held a seminar at Melbourne’s Monash University which luckily for those of us that are interested and couldn’t be there he taped and produced this excellent DVD.

Spear / Staff / Pole Seminar 2010 - A.I.M. Academy - Rob & Kacey a clip from the seminar

I have met Rob on a number of occasions at seminars held by various martial artists, Rob is not afraid to seek out knowledge from any source that has something to offer.

At one of these seminars (bush fire appeal) Rob instructed his own workshop/station on Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and then happily participated in other various martial arts workshops.

I always knew that he was a talented, gifted and open minded martial arts instructor, this DVD just reinforces my thoughts and opinion about Rob, his knowledge, ability and intuitive instruction along with his open mind approach is very apparent.

Overview of DVD

From the very beginning of the DVD when instructor Fam Chong takes us through the warm up exercises, there are no superfluous movements within this system; everything is applied for a reason.

Rob then takes us through the fundamental basic principles of spear staff and pole fighting techniques, how to hold and use these weapons in combination with movement and footwork.

As Rob demonstrates these skills are very transferable to the blade arts and any other implements that may resemble a spear staff or pole such as a spade or billiard cue etc.

Rob and Kacey then take us through partner drills showing staff against staff and sword against staff.

Rob shows the distance involved in using the staff and how to maximize the advantage at long range and even throwing the staff, they demonstrate how important balance and co-ordination are when applying staff techniques and using a shield to cover against the staff.

Rob and Kacey then move on to advanced techniques including hand eye co-ordination and throwing a spear. They also address how these techniques maybe simulated into any martial art system, with many individuals from a variety of styles present at the seminar this was certainly appreciated by all.

Rob then takes us through advanced applications and how the techniques used in staff spear and pole fighting are very transferable to empty hand fighting as well, Kacey also shows us how staff techniques can be incorporated into other arts using similar mechanics.

Rob also talks about distance timing and anticipation which is a big part of all good martial arts, again Rob demonstrates how staff spear and pole techniques are transferable to blade arts including footwork and evasion drills.

The last area covered in this seminar deals with unarmed applications against a weapon and shows how the staff spear and pole techniques also work well (when you know what you’re doing) when you are unarmed and your adversary has picked up a staff pole or spear.

Overall a great technical DVD on the methods and weapons systems of South East Asia for any martial arts enthusiast regardless of style or system.

Rob runs his own martial arts school and can be contacted here,

Rob also teaches Boxing, Kick boxing, Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) concepts and Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD).

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