This is probably my shortest definition of Applied Eskrima, and I defined it without even thinking hard. Aside from learning the use of weapons, Applied Eskrima as I understand it, is about learning the basics of stick movements to soon understand how the empty hands work!
I was wearing my Applied Eskrima shirt while doing my reps in a fitness center when a guy approached me and asked what the shirt is all about. I gave him the same definition and it triggered his curiosity. After a few more minutes of explanation using the short triceps bar as my visual aid, he asked; “Why do I need to go through all these stick movements? I’m sure I can go straight to learning empty hands”. The discussion went further as I did my best to explain that it is of course possible to learn the empty hands. But without the principles of the stick movements, the empty hands is just that…EMPTY! Empty in understanding, and empty in foundation.
Many students are impatient, thinking that jumping to the advance basics of Eskrima can already make them an expert. This is the very reason why many self proclaimed Eskrima teachers and small organizations are becoming a carnival and freak show with different menus and banners of FMA around their privately owned clubs but still could not define what FMA is all about. The culture is lost, the respect is lost, the principles of what every Filipino masters have taken cared of is lost. Only the thug attitude and impolite character remains.
Your stick is the key to every door that opens a new learning stage in Eskrima. Eventually, you will get there. There is nothing to lose by learning and finishing what is needed to be learned in the basics of Applied Eskrima, or any reputable Eskrima systems for that matter. There is a filter in every door that you enter, and you will know what it is when you finally become a legit Eskrimador.