In addition to partner training in Modern Arnis, I highly encourage my students to engage in solo training in order to ingrain and refine various aspects of Modern Arnis. Personally, I like to train with heavy sticks with an emphasis on the movements of the traditionals such as rompida, banda y banda, abanico, abanico double action, abanico hirada double zero, reverse double zero, figure 8, reverse figure 8, and redonda. I’ll practice variations of the 12 angles of attack. Additionally, I like to practice both right handed and left handed so to ensure good overall development and for balance as well. Lastly, I practice the traditionals on a tire to condition my wrists.

If you are training with heavy sticks, remember to start out slowly and increase the repetitions gradually and allow the tendons/ligaments of your wrist and elbow to adjust over time.

I also practice my anyos, both cane and empty handed. In the past few years, I’ve dabbled more and more in practicing the anyos left handed, particularly the cane anyos. The cane anyos can be quite deep. You can do it with a single cane, double canes, espada y daga style, single knife, two knives, and empty handed. In this regard, I am inspired by the ideas on the cane and empty hand anyos put forth by Datu Kelly Worden. See my review of his Anyo DVDs.

The most interesting experiment that I’ve undertaken recently is finding ways to practice my empty hand anyos on the Wing Chun wooden dummy in the basement. I’ve worked up a good version of Anyo Isa Empty Hand Form One on the wooden dummy that is quite fun. I aim to work through the rest of the anyos and see if I can work up viable wooden dummy versions of the anyos. This should be an interesting journey.

Another way that I’ve been practicing Modern Arnis on the wooden dummy is to practice various check hand drills on the appendages of the wooden dummy in an effort to increase the speed and sensitivity of my check hand. I currently have a routine and I’m sure that routine will expand through self discovery over time.  Professor always stressed the importance of the check hand reminding us “Do not get hypnotized by the stick!”

In summary, solo practice of Modern Arnis is only limited by your desire and your imagination!

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