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Submission Combat Stroke Counts
Six FMA Counts & the Modern Agonistics Count
I train the counts used by the FMA people with whom I have cross trained. I am not, however, an FMA practitioner, and would not presume to pass on any portion of an art—having cannibalized it for my own use—under its traditional name. Instead, I have named the counts I practice after those FMA instructors who have taught them to me. Each of these counts may be practiced as a blade or stick sequence. I have specified some targets and altered some strokes slightly. These are listed below in the order that I train them; from shortest to longest.
Gabriel’s Five Count
1. Diagonal forehand to the ear
2. Diagonal backhand to the ear
3. Diagonal forehand to hand
4. Diagonal backhand to hand
5. Vertical stab to gut
I like this the most for a knife count.
John Bias’ Eight Count
1. Lateral forehand
2. Lateral backhand
3. Diagonal forehand
4. Diagonal backhand
5. Rising diagonal forehand
6. Rising diagonal backhand
7. Vertical forehand to crown
8. Vertical forehand to groin
This is the same count that Rico Arus used when he coached me in Timonium in 2009.
John Bias’ Eight Count [Variant]
1. Lateral Forehand to neck
2. Lateral backhand to neck
3. Diagonal forehand to head
4. Diagonal backhand to head
5. Rising diagonal forehand to hand
6. Rising diagonal backhand to hand
7. Forehand stab to eye
8. Backhand stab to eye
This is obviously a saber count and works very well with shift steps. I specified the first 6 targets. Mister Bias only specified targets for strokes 7 & 8.
Aaron’s Twelve Count
1. Lateral forehand to ear
2. Lateral backhand to ear
3. Lateral forehand to elbow/rib
4. Lateral backhand to elbow/rib
5. Forehand stab to gut
6. Backhand stab to gut
7. Diagonal forehand to knee
8. Diagonal backhand to knee
9. Forehand stab to chest
10. Backhand stab to chest
11. Vertical forehand to crown
12. Vertical backhand to crown from a wrist roll
I consider this the best stick count.
Sifu Clark’s Twelve Count
1. Diagonal forehand
2. Rising diagonal backhand
3. Rising diagonal forehand
4. Diagonal backhand
5. Vertical stab to the gut
6. Backhand slash across the gut
7. Forehand slash across the gut
8. Backhand stab to the neck*
9. Backhand slash to the neck*
10. Forehand stab to the neck*
11. Forehand slash to the neck*
12. Vertical backhand to the crown
*This sequence flows superbly
I am of the opinion that this count [particularly strokes 2 & 4] is derived largely from machete work. There is an advanced 13th stroke: a rising vertical to the groin.
Raymar’s Thirteen Count
1. Diagonal forehand to the head
2. Diagonal backhand to the head
3. Lateral forehand to the neck
4. Lateral backhand to the neck
5. Vertical stab to the spleen
6. Backhand stab to the liver
7. Forehand stab to the heart
8. Lateral forehand to the leg
9. Lateral backhand to the leg
10. Forehand stab to the eye
11. Backhand stab to the eye
12. Vertical forehand to the crown
13. Vertical backhand to the crown*
This is obviously derived from sword work.
*This is taught with a retracting whipping motion arrested by a momentum trip with the rear hand used to brake the stick arm at the bicep while stepping into a forward cat. I do it as a full slash with a draw step.
The Modern Agonistics Twenty Count
1. Lateral forehand to ear
2. Lateral backhand to ear
3. Lateral forehand to elbow/rib
4. Lateral backhand to elbow/rib
5. Forehand stab to gut
6. Backhand stab to gut to a roof block
7. Vertical forehand to knee from the roof block
8. Backhand slash to the knee
9. Forehand stab to the chest
10. Backhand stab to the chest
11. Vertical forehand to the crown
12. Vertical backhand to the crown
13. Diagonal forehand to the temple
14. Diagonal back hand to the temple
15. Rising diagonal forehand to the hand
16. Rising diagonal backhand to the hand
17. Lateral forehand butt-stroke to the ear/neck with a head check
18. Lateral backhand butt-stroke to the ear/neck with a shoulder check
19. Diagonal forehand butt-stroke to kidney with a chest check
20. Lateral backhand butt-stroke to the solar plexus with a shoulder/chest check
All of these counts have a similar forehand to backhand flow. The Twenty Count is a hybrid based on Aaron’s twelve count with strokes added that have been used in sparring and competition. When I number strokes for drills the Twenty Count will be used unless otherwise specified.
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