When playing the Modern Arnis version of tapi tapi, one will encounter the concept of baiting. In short, baiting creates advantages for the driver. By baiting the defender, the driver places the defender in a disadvantageous position.

For starters, a driver can bait either with the stick hand or the alive hand.

The following describes the learning stages of baiting:

(1) “Let the training partner grab.”

At this stage, the beginner will learn the basic baits with large telegraphic movements. Doing so will enable them to grasp the physical nature of the technique as well as the target. Further, the driver will let their training partner grab the bait. This sequence usually ends in a lock.

Keep in mind that this is the learning stage. The player is gaining physical literacy concerning baits.

See the below video for an example of this training stage.

If you are not able to view this video, click here.

(2) “Hit your training partner.”

At this stage, instead of “letting your partner grab,” the intent is to hit. For training purposes, of course, you are not going to beat your partner. But your intention is going to change to a mentality of hitting. Bottom line, at this stage, you are learning to bait with intent.

Master of Tapi Tapi Chuck Gauss discusses the importance of intent in the below video:

If you are not able to view the video, click here.

(3) “Bait to lock.”

Master of Tapi Tapi Chuck Gauss demonstrates this concept in the below video. He executed a right-hand cross body bait against me. Of course, I took the bait. What other option do I have? A face block? Ha!

Note that he locked me up shortly after I took the bait. That sets up the subsequent finish.

Locks after a bait may not last long. However, it should be long enough for the driver to finish the defender, in this case, me!

If you are not able to view this video, click here.

(4) “Bait to hit.”

Once your training partner has taken the bait, you can turn his/her reaction back against them by hitting them. See the gif below which is taken from the “Intent” video discussed above.

See this portion of the video.

Note that, after Andy takes the bait, Master Chuck uses Andy’s stick to hit him, which sets up the subsequent abanico strike.

(5) “Using a strike as a bait.”

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, a strike can induce a training partner to grab the driver’s cane, thereby setting up following strikes, locks, traps, and takedowns.

If you are not able to view the video, click here.

Note that Master Chuck’s left-hand abanico strike is directed at my alive hand. When he struck my alive hand, I grabbed the cane. That, in turn, set up the “dummy lock” and the finish.

(5) “Feint as a bait.”

One can feint to create an opening for a finish. For example, one can feint a low feed to elicit a reaction from the training partner and immediately exploiting his high line opening.

(6) What to do when a bait fails.

At times and, for various reasons, a bait will fail. The training partner may be more skilled than you. Or perhaps the training partner resisted your bait, and you froze. Whatever the reason, you must go with the flow. Easier said than done. But let me give you a concrete example.

One way to deal with a failed bait is to bait again. Sometimes this will get you out of a jam as it did for me in the below gif.

See this video. Note that Dref resisted my angle one punyo bait by straightening his arm. He had jammed me here. I released my left hand, and lightly palm struck his face. He responded by releasing my bait to defend against that palm strike. The result was that the left side of his face was wide open for the coup de grace.

In other words, if the first bait fails, re-bait elsewhere! As the late Professor Remy Presas would say “you must go with the flow!

In closing, proficiency in baiting is an integral part of countering and preventing your opponent from countering. Baiting can be “easy to learn and difficult to master.” Take your time in learning the various stages and applications of baiting.

Follow me on Gumroad for instructional videos!


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