In this post, I discuss the Redonda drill, one of the core drills of Modern Arnis and many Filipino martial arts.
1. Heaven Sinawali
If you are not able to view this video, click here.
I teach Heaven Sinawali before teaching Redonda as both overlap movement wise.
As demonstrated in the above video, the sticks are always pointing up. The angles used in this drill are angles 1 and 2.
The drill starts with the left stick chambered underneath the right arm. There are three moves for each side of the drill, totalling 6. Hence the reason why some styles call this “Heaven 6 Sinawali.”
I tell my students to remember this sequence: “shoulder, shoulder, under” denoting the ending of each move of Heaven Sinawali.
Once they have gotten comfortable with Heaven Sinawali, we then move to Redonda.
The word “redonda” is a Spanish word meaning “round.” This is a good description of Redonda as it incorporates circular movements.
The Redonda movement in Modern Arnis is very similar to the aforementioned Heaven Sinawali albeit with slight modifications. In the Modern Arnis version, all moves in Redonda are executed in same sequence as Heaven Sinawali but the movements are more circular. As one can see the more circular nature of the stick movements in the below video. They are more akin to a “flywheel” movement rather than linear strikes as in Heaven Sinawali.
Once the student has gotten the hang of the basic drill, we then move on to practicing this with a partner.
3. Redonda Drill With a Partner
This video by Guro Julius Melegrito is a good example of how this drill is practiced in my class, albeit with minor differences. But the flavor is the same.
Once the basic partner drill has been established, I encourage my students to play with this, starting with a simple abanico variation.
Another variation is the double zero version of this drill. Both are lots of fun and provide a good workout.
4. Solo Variations
There are a number of variations that you can do when working the Redonda drill on your own. Some variations are on display in the below video of a student testing under GM Rodel “Smoking Sticks” Dagooc. I do most of them when training solo.
- He varied the height of the standard redonda.
- He demonstrated the reverse redonda.
- He also performed a combination of the standard and reverse redonda.
- While not shown in the video, I like to use heavy canes to further condition my wrists and forearms.
- I like training the abanico and double zero versions of the redonda drill.
- Training redonda on a heavy bag is also a lot of fun.
- And what can you say about training with a pair of bolos? Fun!
Aside from the combative applications of Redonda, I love the conditioning/workout aspect of Redonda training.
Over to you, what variations of the redonda do you practice? Let’s hear them!
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