Before training the different Contradas of the Medio Mano Distance (Contrada meaning Counter) you have to know and train the Outside Deflection. This is an essential defense against a backhand diagonal strike (Angle #2) in Medio Mano (mid) range.
Medio Mano Contrada: train your outside deflection first
Important is to start with your basic footwork, using the Open Triangle Footwork which you find in many Filipino Martial Arts like Kali or Panantukan.
Let’s break down the outside deflection in simple steps:
Step #1: step forty five degrees while keeping your stick chambered in the cerrada or closed position.
Step #2: Flip your wrist in order to deflect against the strike. Important Detail: Turn your shoulders. You want the shoulders to be parallel with the weapon.
Step #3: Check the hand of your opponent, the attacker and chamber your weapon.
Let’s train that with a partner.
Your techniques are just as good as your Training Partner feeds you
Notice, it is essential that your partner is feeding you properly. He’s going to step and strike the angle #2. For now your partner is just going to mark to make sure that he’s attacking the right spot and not following through all the way, this would be too much pressure for now.
Now you start to get your reps in. Step out 45 degrees to zero pressure, flip your wrist, check the hand and chamber again. Just as we broke down step by step a few moments ago.
Of course in a real fight, you are supposed to be striking the hand of your opponent and then checking, but for safety and training purposes, deflect the attack by attacking the stick.
That is your outside deflection against the angle #2 strike. Get your reps in with your partner. Also don’t forget to switch roles frequently.
Now that you’ve got the deflection out of the way, you can practice the “Contradas” the counters on the back hand side.
There’s going to be four different counter strikes. Again, for each of the Medio Mano Contradas, the entry is the Outside Deflection which we covered above.
Medio Mano Contrada #1: Check & Hit
After you deflected the attack push your opponents Hand away and strike.
Pro-Tipp: Make sure that when you’re striking, you hit with the tip of the stick, in order to ensure that you have full extension on your strike and that you’re out of distance from counterattacks
As always to ensure safety and having a rewarding Training Session at the end, be careful with your partner. Make sure that you don’t hit him. Keep your techniques controlled.
Medio Mano Contrada #2: Sunkete (Thrust)
“Sunkete” is a technique that emphasizes thrusts. Start with the outside deflection, control the attackers Hand and thrust with your weapon.
In this second Counter-Technique it’s important that you keep control of the hand. Control and monitor the attacker’s Hand and then go for the thrust immediately.
Medio Mano Contrada #3: Upward X
Counter #3 is going to be the upward X. Hit as many times as you want but three is the magic number here.
Medio Mano Contrada #4: Abaniko Witik
Contrada #4 is the Abaniko. Abaniko means “Fan Motion” and the Technique itself is just a wrist-turn. You can find a very nice technique breakdown here
You can start the Abaniko Contrada from the Inside or outside, that’s completely up to you. Hit as many times as you want but also here, three is the magic number.