About Armed Combat Essentials
ACE (Armed Combat Essentials) was developed by UCT International to create a methodical training to improve the practitioner his or her capabilities in the area of armed combat. Street attacks these days are more and more increasing in numbers and the attacks are getting more and more violent in nature. So being able to understand the armed attacker and having the basic knowledge to defend one self is crucial for survival.
The core of the training is found in Escrima Concepts as taught by GM Steve Tappin, a leading combat system where armed and unarmed combat are integrated in their teaching programs. The instructors of the ACE system are always looking to improve on their teaching methods and are in close contact with the likes of Tom Sotis of AMOK (Knife fighting specialists) and other specialist on armed combat solutions.
Training Armed Combat Essentials
The training is always divided in three parts, a warm-up session where we train our students to increase muscle memory of the ideal angles (most ideal techniques for specific threats) while attacking. After we have trained them in this method of efficiency training we continue into forms of training where we train more on how to be effective when attacked, more hard work so to speak …. At the end of each class we test our techniques in pre determined settings as to add some stress to the training. We add on a regular bases some functional strength training to enhance overall physical strength and conditioning.
Armed Combat Essentials Levels
The ACE method has 5 different levels of skills.
- Level 1: how to defend against single stick attack, how to disarm and how to use single stick
Weapons trained: hand, feet and single stick
- Level 2: how to use double sticks, how to disarm with double stick, how to defend against double stick with single stick or unarmed
Weapons trained: hand, feet and double stick
- Level 3: how to use stick and knife, how to defend unarmed against knife, how to defend with single stick against knife, how to use a knife (only knife or together with stick)
Weapons trained: hand, feet, stick and knife, knife and palm-sticks
- Level 4: how to use machetes, how to use staf, being able to move and hit with power
Weapons trained: hand, feet, staff (long weapons) and machetes
- Level 5: being able to transition between all the previous levels armed or unarmed, being able to use a weapon to control an opponent, being able to translate soft and hard power from weapons to unarmed combat
Weapons trained: all previous ones and being able to transition between them and an understanding and basic handling of non conventional weapons as tonfa, sai etc.
Benefits of training Armed Combat Essentials
An increase in well being, social (you train with like minded people), on a physical level (cardio and strength will be increased) and a growth in confidence of security when threats might occur where weapons are involved or multiple opponents are involved.
History of Eskrima (Escrima)
Originally the ACE weapon program started of as being primarily an Escrima (Eskrima) system and is still today heavily influenced by it.
Escrima (more popular spelling eskrima) is a Filipinization of the Spanish word for fencing (esgrima)
As Eskrima was an art usually practiced by the peasant or commoner class (as opposed to nobility or warrior classes), most practitioners lacked the scholarly education to create any kind of written record. While the same can be said of many martial arts, this is especially true for Eskrima because almost all of its history is anecdotal, oral or promotional. The origin of Eskrima can be traced back to the fighting systems used by Filipinos during conflicts among the various Prehispanic kingdoms. Settlers and traders traveling through the Malay Archipelago brought the influence of silat as well as Chinese, Arab and Indian martial arts. Some of the population still practice localized Chinese fighting methods known as kuntaw.
It has also been theorized that the Filipino art of eskrima may have roots in India, and came to the Philippines via people who traveled through Indonesia and Malaysia to the Philippine islands. Indonesian Tjakalele and Malay Silat Melayu are two forms of combat said to have been introduced to the Philippines via these regions. Silambam, a stick/staff based ancient martial art of India influenced many martial arts in Asia like Silat. As such, Eskrima may share ancestry with these systems—some eskrima moves are similar to the short stick (kali or kaji) and other weapon based fighting styles of Silambam.
What is known for certain is that when the Spaniards first arrived in the Philippines, they saw an already-developed weapons-based martial arts practiced by the natives.
The Philippines has what is known as a blade culture. Unlike in the West where Medieval and Renaissance combative and self-defense blade arts have gone almost extinct (having devolved into sport fencing with the advent of firearms), blade fighting in the Philippines is a living art. Local folk in the Philippines are much more likely to carry knives than guns. They are commonly carried as tools by farmers, used by street vendors to prepare coconuts, pineapples, watermelons, other fruits and meats, and balisongs are cheap to procure in the streets as well as being easily concealed. In fact, in some areas in the countryside, carrying a farming knife like the itak or bolo was a sign that one was making a living because of the nature of work in those areas. In the language of Palau, the term for Filipino is chad ra oles, which literally means 'people of the knife' because of Filipinos' reputation for carrying knives and using them in fights.