Video 1: Sinawali Demonstration (filmed September, 2006)
About the Videos
This video is a demonstration of sinawali or interweaving techniques. Sinawali is a pattern and flow drill that has many applications in stick, knife, and empty hand combat. There are multiple variations of sinawali techniques, including same side techniques, techniques with a witique (jab motion or hit with a quick retraction), versions in reverse grip, etc. In this video, only the forward grip is used, and all strikes are slash through rather than jab hits.
The video starts with me doing a free-form sinawali in which I utilize the basic slash through X pattern, but combine the interweaving sinawali stick techniques with various footwork and step outside of the sinawali pattern to unleash various strikes, then seamlessly returning to the pattern. This demonstrates the flow, or ability to transition from technique to technique in continuous motion that is necessary to be successful in combative applications of the stick and knife. This section of the video also demonstrates the ability to divorce the upper and lower body from each other which is a hallmark of Albo Kali Silat and some other Filipino combat systems. Side-to-side stepping and the dropping to low level stances and attacking the lower area (such as an imaginary opponents legs) occur without disturbing the pattern of the blows being performed by the garrotes (rattan fighting sticks). Notice that there is no correlation in footwork and the stick blows, so there is no three hits and step, three hits and step or any other pattern correlating footwork and stick strikes. The conducting of lower body movement into various stances while simultaneously executing the sinawali pattern develops the coordination that allows students to rain a flurry of hand and elbow strikes at an opponent while simultaneously performing kicks to the opponents lower body. The ability to strike high and low simultaneously (i.e. punch and kick together, rather than a punch, then kick rhythm) is another hallmark of Albo Kali Silat. The folded knee stance (haru mau or tiger) transitions into a forward roll, with the sinawali pattern continuing at the culmination of the roll and as I stand up, demonstrating flow and the ability of Albo Kali Silat to migrate from high line to low line attacks, and back again, at will.
The next section of the video is a demonstration, with no footwork, of the classic sinawali pattern. I start slowly, so the viewer can easily follow the basic slash through, X-pattern blows. I then build speed to show what sinawali will look like once your technique has matured a bit. Notice that the pattern of blows is wide. A similar version of sinawali as I am demonstrating here is often practiced in many Filipino martial arts academies, but with the pattern being narrower, so that the arms seem to cross and interweave at the elbow, with little or no shoulder motion. This close sinawali teaches speed and coordination, and has legitimate uses in knife technique, but lacks power in stick combat. The blows that I am throwing in this sinawali pattern are wider, as they are powerful blows that could be utilized in stick combat. This classic sinawali pattern involves attacks on angles one and two (45 degree downward angles or X strikes).
Section three of this video segment demonstrates flat or side-to-side (angle 3 and 4) sinawali. Once again, the pattern is demonstrated slowly, and then speed is increased . Note that, at the end of this segment, after executing two sequences of the pattern at speed, I immediately segue into standard angle 1 and 2 sinawali. This demonstrates the fact that one type of sinawali can be merged with another seamlessly, allowing attacks to come from unexpected angles at any time according to the will of the advanced practioner.
The video concludes with a demonstration of reverse or angle 6 and 7 (upward 45 degree strikes or backhand strikes) sinawali. As in segment two and three, I start slowly, then increase speed to show how the technique would look if applied full-force in a combative situation.