A basic breakdown of double sinawali.

Double sinawali comprises one of the four basic sinawalis taught in Modern Arnis (the others being single, heaven and reverse) and, for a beginner, takes a fair bit of coordination. 

There are a number of benefits to training any of the sinawali patterns.

  • First, sinawali training promotes ambidexterity as both hands are involved.
  • Secondly, sinawali drills develop eye-hand coordination, which will increase the learning curve when delving into the applications.
  • Thirdly, sinawali drills help to develop wrist, arm and elbow strength.
  • Lastly, done correctly, the sinawalis help to develop an awareness of your centerline and your core. This will develop with power striking.

In my classes, there are 5 basic ways to practice double sinawali.

(1) Basic pattern: focus on the pattern itself without regard to lower body movement. This helps to develop some basic skill. It is enough for some folks to learn just the stick weaving pattern. For this reason, I do not add the footwork until they have competency with the upper body. For example, a common error is not to complete the first stick of the double sinawali as seen in this video.

(2) Add basic footwork: In the video above, I did not demonstrate the footwork as I wanted to focus only on the weaving pattern.

The basic footwork is pretty simple.

Step forward with the same side as the first strike.

First move on the right side = right foot forward.

First move on the left side = left foot forward.

(3) Sideways movement: Once the basic footwork has been established, have both partners move sideways from one end of the room to the other end. This establishes the basic skill of movement through space while engaging in double sinawali.

(4) Moving around the room: Once the partners get the sideways movement, challenge them further by having them move around the room randomly. This keeps both parties on their feet in terms of judging proper distance and range.

(5) Up and down:  In this relatively challenging version, one partner performs double sinawali while going to their knees and then getting back up. Then the other partner does the same thing. Both sides alternate. This results in a great leg workout while focusing on double sinawali.

There are other ways to practice double sinawali. 

Regardless, (3), (4), and (5) are great ways to improve your mobility and agility while maintaining focus on the weaving pattern of double sinawali.

Over to the instructors, tell me how you have your students practice double sinawali?

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