BCKEAI Regional group pic

The First British Council Regional Seminar in Bristol

I knew it was going to be a good day in Bristol as the sun was shining through the window of The Holiday Inn where I had spent the night. So after a good breakfast I travelled a little way to meet Rose Staynings our Kapatiran Arnis System instructor in Bristol to go to My Gym which is in the centre of Bristol for our first regional seminar in March 2015.

This is a format The British Council had never tried before; we were bringing 3 of the top instructors from The British Council of Kali Eskrima Arnis Instructors to the region to give students a taste of the larger festival we run in September every year. This way the students don’t have far to travel and on top of that they get top tuition from instructors from The British Council.  The whole idea was to bring top instructors to your region and to promote Arnis/Escrima at a very high level.

We all arrived at My Gym about 10.00 and the first session got under way with Grand Master Anton St James doing a warm up and then on to double sticks drills. G.M. Anton is one of the top BCKEAI instructors from Plymouth and runs a very successful full time martial arts school there. After training in double stick G.M Anton went on to single stick and went on to show some very powerful locks with single stick.

Next up for the middle session was myself doing single stick. For this session I thought I would carry on from G.M. Anton and do some take downs after blocking the stick. The take downs were executed by sweeping the leg away or foot trapping or bringing the opponent off balance by body positioning. These could be followed by striking or doing the single arm locks that G.M. Anton had shown before. I then finished with blade defence. Just a few drills from an over head strike to deflecting the blade to a lock up on the blade arm to finishing off.

To finish the day’s session we had from Torquay Tuhon Pat O Malley who started with single stick and then on to blade defence.This was a good extension from the blade I had just done; so it was all coming together with all three instructor following each other so that the students could play with all three styles and still have a very good feel for the combative side of Arnis/Eskrima. After blade Tuhon Pat moved onto empty hands. If you have seen Tuhon Pat at any seminars or on his instructor course you will have seen his empty hand techniques which derives from his extensive stick training which  are very effective with the use of open hand slaps to elbows to take downs.

We finish the days training on a high note with all the instructors getting their pictures taken with the students and we left everyone with some new techniques in their training skills. It was a very good day for The British Council with everyone meeting old friends and swapping tales and nobody got any bruises on their egos. A big thank you must go to the owner My Gym in Bristol for the use of their dojo.

John Harvey