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Featured Quote:

"The [Inay(an)] System (of Eskrima) is Complete" ~ Mangisursuro Inay 1944-2000

A Slice of Inay(an) Sept 2011 - "Fitness Training and Martial Arts"


Welcome to  ITO Newsletter, 3rd Issue vol. 1 2011


This issue:

  1. ITO Newsletter named!
  2. Martial Arts and Fitness
  3. Quality over Quantity of Martial training You might be surprised at this new issue sitting in your inbox, if you wish to continue membership, do nothing. But if you do not  wish to continue membership to this newsletter;  there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of this newsletter issue.

ITO Newsletter Named!

I have finally closed the naming poll for the ITO Newsletter. Henceforth Mangisursuro Mike Inay’s Inayan (ISE/ITO) newsletter shall be known as “A Slice of Inay(an)”. Many thanks to all those who actually voted, and I extend thanks for all the private messages on facebook and email regarding the name for the newsletter. Also, checkout the youtube channel in the useful links section.


Pass it on

This newsletter is intended to provide useful, informative, and educational content. Share the love please. We all have a passion for the Filipino Martial Arts, if not martial arts in general, and many of you are deeply passionate about the Inayan System of Eskrima specifically. Share that passion with others and together we can help the vision of my father, Mangisursuro Mike Inay, to proliferate the Inayan System of Eskrima. Forward this newsletter to a friend today, and thanks, Mabuhay ng Inayan Systema ng Eskrima!



Martial Arts and Fitness

My forearms hurt from the last workout I did for the week. My shoulders are tight, and I need to stretch. Working for fitness goals in any training let alone martial art training can be grueling. Partway through a Burpie - Push Up - Pull Up ladder the thought occurs that this just sucks... In fact the really good workouts seem to be a mix of adrenalin boost and torture. All in a pursuit to become more fit. Which brings the next thought, well what is fit? And for who? What standard of fitness are we talking about? Is it a personal thing or is there an overall standard for martial artists?

Martial Arts and Fitness seem like they should go hand in hand. And yet, we see many martial artists that are less than fit. Oh sure they might have been fit at some time in the past. But it is very common to see a full spectrum of fitness levels in any given martial art studio or school. It isn’t all that uncommon to see that the instructor is obviously less than fit too. Now there are reasons for this, some good and some not. So the standard of fitness one, outside of the martial art community might think is there, isn’t.

So what is the standard? Setting aside the personal goals of individual practitioners of the various martial arts out there, and focusing on fitness itself relative to combat can help us arrive at a standard and some way of measuring ourselves. First, insofar as martial arts is concerned, can you fight? A dirty in your face fight, one that is unplanned and impromptu. Next, can you do it again? Like say several times, with several people? Or how about, can you take 5 or so opponents and run from them to string them out in a line and take them out one at a time? These things will take endurance. And how about after the fight, do you see your self panting, nearly broken, and sick from adrenalin? Where are you mentally during and after the surprise fight?

Whatever your imaginings, these ideas and questions help us come close to a standard for ourselves. Now bring into your mind the art, Eskrima is a everything goes kind of art. The standard we consider now must factor in the rigors and elements of combat.

Can you see yourself after a fight feeling like you are ready for more? A Pyrrhic Victory is a victory that was achieved at too great a cost. In Steven J. Pearlman’s book “The Book of Martial Power” the idea of “The Pure Objective” is presented, Victory must be effortless and instantaneous.

With the above, as we consider fitness, martial arts, and our own personal potential we can become inspired with a standard that may be achieved one kick at a time, a punch, a move. My father taught us to practice every day. I saw him fight many times, in one particular time I saw him.... I can’t call it fighting, well the other guy was fighting, my dad wasn’t. He made it look easy, he wasn’t even breathing hard, and the other guy at the end was on the floor gasping....

Exercise is measurable, measuring performance in martial arts and in fitness training is essential. And like sharpening a sword, it takes many repetitions. Keep Training.



Quality over Quantity of Martial Art Training

I once watched a black belt practice a kind of form where he tensed every portion of his body while he moved slowly through his Kata. The effort was obvious in the color of his face and the labored tense look upon his visage. His body was working hard too, he was sweating bullets shortly after beginning his form. I am definitely in favor of dynamic tension training as well as isometric training too. In fact there can be much to be gained from many of the types of training utilized in martial arts. I just couldn’t get over how his stance was soooo deep, he could never fight that way, his back was so bowed backward he would rob power from both his defense and his attack in that posture.

The quality of your practice is not merely a measure of the specifics of technical precision. The quality of your practice is not limited to the numbers of repetitions for a given technique or form, nor the hours put into a particular drill.

I remember hearing a master instructor describe the difference between a white belt and a black belt in regards to the first things taught in his respective art. They do the same moves, take the same steps, and in almost every way do the same exact things. And yet there is a difference. A visible difference, one where you watch and realize that the difference can be felt as well.

Repetition is often the mother of skill, however not for the reasons you might think. Learning is only partially a function of repetition. Doing enough repetitions of a given technique allow time for the behavior or action to embed itself within us, so that it is no longer a piece of knowledge but an element of our psyche, our identity.

You might see that the quality of the practice and training is at least equally if not more important than the quantity. Precision is the hallmark of mastery. A precisely sharpened edge will cut deepest.

Perfect practice makes perfect...

In closing I am reminded of a video I recently saw on YouTube ( where a security guard was assaulted by a wrongdoer of sorts. He handled himself handsomely and hammered upon the would be bad guy over and over. He covered and he blocked. He kicked, punched, kneed, he did everything right it seemed. Yet, in the end his nemesis never received a telling blow. Be effective. This is a quality to be sought after, to be respected, and to be revered.


Next Month:

Tough Mudder NorCal 2011 reflections
Kuwait Seminar review
Disarming Techniques

Useful Links:

Home of the Inayan System of Eskrima on the Internet
Suro Jason Inay's Personal Website
Home of the Inayan Training Organization on the Internet
Dedicated Site to Mangisursuro Mike Inay
Flickr Galleries of Inayan Historical Photos
Facebook Group Page of the Inayan System of Eskrima
Wikipedia Link for Mangisursuro
Some of Suro's Picasa Photos
Lili Hsu's Picasa Album of Inayan Eskrima
Facebook Group Page of the Stanford Eskrima Club Channel



This is awesome Jason, your

This is awesome Jason, your Dad would be so proud.... I love you and thank you for all you do... Auntie Ger