Last Saturday (August 2nd) we held the 2nd Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance seminar hosted by Beck Martial Arts in Richardson Tx, and it was a great success. First off you might wonder what is the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance or MAPA for short. Basically it is an loosely based organization to promote cross training in the Filipino Martial Arts (FMAs), and to promote the FMA instructors in the Dallas Ft. Worth metroplex. We mainly do this by hosting small seminars every 2-3 months in various schools in the DFW area. The 1st seminar we held here at the Roanoke Rec. Center and Hidden Sword Martial Arts was the host school, and the 2nd MAPA seminar guro Beck hosted at Jerome’s gym where he teaches martial arts classes. Our 3rd seminar is currently scheduled for Nov. 1st 2014 and will be hosted by guro John Bain’s school.
|Guro Bain demonstrating a point with Dylan|
So far the feed back I received from my students and those people who attended the seminar was that it was a great time and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Currently the teaching format has been 3 - 4 instructors teaching for about an 1hour on a subject matter of their choice. This time guro Abel Martinez started off with teaching a session on the use of the Abaniko or fan strike, he taught drills related to using the fan motion in disarming and double stick flow drills. Guro John Bain then taught on knife to knife skills and disarming and empty hand to knife skills. Guro Beck then taught a brief session on a group sinawali drill, after which I taught a session on Policing techniques from Kombatan. Guro Beck then finished the seminar with a session based on the use of the punyo or butt of the stick in locking and controlling techniques.
|Guro Beck demonstrating a wrist lock|
The great thing about this format has been that my students (and I’m sure it is the same for everyone else) get to see a wider view of the FMA expressions or styles. They get to see that the way they might practice isn’t the only way but that there are variations in techniques or strategies. They also get to work with others of various sizes, skills, gender, age etc. etc. outside of their classmates which I believe is vital for proper growth in the martial arts. They get to interact and problem solve with other individuals asking for and giving input to learn new techniques or maybe gaining a new view point on an old technique.
As an instructor I believe the additional input makes me a better instructor. For instance guro Beck’s material on the use of the punyo allowed me to practice the side by side throw/take down in a manner in which I hadn’t thought about in almost 15-20 years. On Monday night I was asked to review that technique by my students, thus teaching it to students who couldn’t come to the seminar. Likewise in my adult class Kevin taught a different version off the lock, one that he was shown by another instructor at the seminar. Then we went over some of the knife work that guro Bain taught and so on. In my advanced karate class on Tuesday we went over some more material from the seminar but I related it to techniques found within a Tae Kwon Do kata. Tonight will be some more review on guro Abel’s material and so on.
In the end for me; I view my participation in MAPA as a supporter, organizer, promoter, and teacher as really more of an investment in my school, my students, and others then just having a good time for myself.
If you want to get involved, to see more photos from both MAPA seminars, or to find out more about MAPA visit and like our FB page at