I have previously written about some of the drills in the above video that I practice on the Mook Jong in my basement. Those drills are designed to develop the check hand for stick practice, thereby increasing agility and dexterity of the check hand. In this way, the check hand becomes a powerful weapon in its own right.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the Modern Arnis empty hand anyos on the Mook Jong, starting with Anyo Isa Empty Hand Form One. To my delight, the entire form, with modifications, can be performed on the Mook Jong. Admittedly, it will need a bit of tweaking. But still, this adds another dimension to my Modern Arnis solo training regimen. When I’m not teaching class or private lessons, or watching videos (DVDs or YouTube), I’m down in the basement working on my skills.
Masters of Tapi Tapi Ken Smith and Chuck Gauss have often remarked on how much Modern Arnis players overlook the anyos. I recall Master Ken saying at the Annual Ottawa Modern Arnis Camp in April of this year “I learned more about Karate from Professor Presas, the founder of Modern Arnis, than anybody else.” This is reflected in Professor’s empty hand anyos as he trained in Shotokan Karate. I remember him telling us, at the 1999 Michigan camp, how important it was to learn the anyos. There is a great deal of information contained in the anyos and there isn’t a wasted move in there as well.
Datu Kelly Worden has produced a couple of excellent DVDS on the Modern Arnis anyos. These DVDs provide quite a bit of insight into the depth and functionality of the anyos. In addition, Master of Tapi Tapi Ken Smith is working on a DVD breaking down Anyo Isa Empty Hand Form One. I understand that GM Will Higginbotham and Master of Tapi Tapi Chuck Gauss will appear in this video. Can’t wait till I get my hands on this DVD! I may spot more ways to work the techniques into my Mook Jong workouts.
My goal is to play with all eight of the Modern Arnis empty hand anyos on the Mook Jong as a means of self exploration and see what kind of insights that I can glean, not to mention having fun!
If you practice Filipino Martial Arts, have you experimented or played with a Mook Jong? Let’s hear about your experiences!