Knocking Down the Pins: CTS Training Simplified

Huh, sometimes I even amaze myself…

My boy, K.Wags, thinks that folks use the term “amazing” far too often. I don’t really disagree, but I’m convinced the analogy that I came up with in class last week fits all the criterion.Amazing

Surprise? Well, let’s be honest, the ensuing words of wisdom came directly from me, so…

Wonder? Wonder? More like WONDERFUL. Stay with me here; I have come up with an astounding, startling and breathtaking “Tale to Astonish” which compares our training model in the Counterpoint Tactical System (CTS) to a brand new version of bowling that would totally be totally fun and easy to learn.

Our staff at Haastyle Martial Arts Academy, and, really, all of us teaching and training CTS throughout the country, are very proud of, and love to pontificate about, our open training model, as set forth by our leader Zach Whitson, the creator of the system. This model provides for progressive resistance as one develops specific ‘attributes’ necessary for street survival and growth in the system. For example, at the beginning level, we train a set of passing drills that are fundamental to the application of CTS in the real world. Later, we develop a set of locks and takedowns that can plug directly into the passing drills when trained correctly. At the advanced level, we will train more advanced interceptions, enhancements, and counter attacks that will come in handy after students have committed to years of maturation and evolution in the system. This got me to thinking…

I imagined an AMAZING new game, something that will take your little ant-sized CTS game and expand it to a GIANT game…

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Prepare to be ASTONISHED by an AMAZING analogy of how your development in the Counterpoint Tactical System can work:

Imagine the game of bowling and it’s system of strikes and spares for increased scoring opportunities. In the traditional version, a perfect score of 300 is achieved by knocking all the pins down on every throw. Ten frames, twelve consecutive strikes wiping out all the pins. That is 120 pins in total for those scoring at home. Through the magics and trickery of how the score is kept in bowling, this equals 300 (#obviously).

Go Mike!

Wally-300

#Codyisaloser

 

This strikes me (#punintended) as a difficult way to learn to accomplish a ‘perfect’ affectation of the idea of knocking down ten pins. I would rather get great at knocking down one pin first, then two, and so on. Take it on faith that if I knocked down one, then two, then three, etc. finishing with three strikes in the tenth frame, that cumulative score would add up to 75, for knocking down 75 pins. Makes sense, right? This is a common score for your average seven-year-old league bowler?!?!?! What if the game was set up with one pin in the first frame? Knock it down and it counts as a strike (a ‘perfect’ accomplishment); in the second frame there are two pins and knocking them both down counts as a ‘perfect’ strike, and so on. Now, by knocking down the same 75 pins, you have achieved the ‘perfect’ (300) score.

Go you! (the CTS practitioner)

300

Master Z, as the founder and primary promoter of the CTS method, asks us all to pick up an ever increasing load. So does your boss, your spouse, and so do your kids. That’s how the world works. If you want it to be real, guess what, it’s gonna get harder (#yourewelcome). In turn, your accomplishments will have more value.

So, it’s pretty much understood that the most difficult part of training is getting started. Many think they have to accomplish everything right away, rolling perfect strikes every time. What I’m saying to all you new players out there is, take it one frame at a time and keep knockin’em down.

Hmmm, what if I actually trained to hit someone with a bowling ball?

See you on the mat! RH

Friday Feature: #FlatMindy

Welcome to my Friday Feature, a weekly post designed to introduce to you some of the best and brightest students at Haastyle Martial Arts Academy (HMAA) and throughout the Counterpoint Tactical System (CTS). I’ll try to illuminate where their success comes from, what brought them to our Academy or into CTS, and discuss some of the challenges they may have faced along the way. If you are training with us, perhaps you will see yourself in one of the upcoming weekly features. If not, get on the mat already…

Today I get to promote someone very close to my heart, #FlatMindy. The Florida State PTA has started a program called the Flat Mindy project. According to the website, “The purpose of the 2016 Flat Mindy Project is to highlight some of the many wonderful Family Engagement and Health & Wellness activities and concepts that are being put into action with children and youth from around our state.” That’s our own, very special person, (only flat when she sings) Mindy Haas, thank you very much…Mindy in Tally

I am so proud of the difference that Mindy has made in the West Boca community, Palm Beach County and the entire state of Florida, as a leading advocate for children, and in particular, health and wellness.

Mindy and I decided a long time ago that we were going to use the lessons we have learned in martial arts to have as big of an impact on our community as possible. It has been very difficult balancing the demands of her various PTA positions that she has held (including President of Whispering Pines Elementary School PTA two times, President of Palm Beach County Council of PTA’s, and President of Florida State PTA) and her martial arts training. She has achieved black belt rank in both American Kenpo Karate and Cacoy Doce Pares systems and is cuurently ranked at 2nd brown in CTS over the past twenty some years. Somehow, she has managed to avoid the controversy of how sexy she is, and has been able to negotiate the inevitable hypocrites as mentioned in the song…

From the Florida State PTA website:

“Florida PTA is looking forward to receiving lots and lots of Flat Mindy photos! Decorate your Flat Mindy, and take a picture of your group – your school/community/family – enjoying a healthy and fun activity with Flat Mindy and send it in! For complete rules, visit our web site! https://floridapta.org/programs/family-community-involvement/flat-mindy-project

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Here are some of the wonderful submissions so far:

#FlatMindy getting her Haastyle on with Sensei Gator here at Fuguitt today. Maybe she can show him some of her moves?”10610846_10154261303699123_6346873718919360480_n

#FlatMindy wanted to help count the girls laps during the skate-a-thon tonight. Gotta support your local team and get out and be active! Way to go Pinellas County Junior Derby”12654359_10154261697934123_936166642997395261_n 12647173_10208343840934528_7961222263428704983_n#FlatMindy (Mindy Braunstein Haas) helping @ #Math after a great #Karate class at Haas Style Karate (sic)

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At HMAA everyone is so proud to have Mindy representing us, and #FlatMindy representing her. As for me, I’m just lucky to have her!


 

I want to see some pics of my martial arts friends and CTS brothers and sisters training with #FlatMindy…

  • please tag #FlatMindy #FlatMrsHaas and #trainingHaastyle
  • Then I’ll update the blog post with you and #FlatMindy

See you and #FlatMindy on the mat! RH

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Friday Feature: Flashback to Pre CTS

Welcome to my Friday Feature, a weekly post designed to introduce to you some of the best and brightest students at Haastyle Martial Arts Academy (HMAA) and throughout the Counterpoint Tactical System (CTS). I’ll try to illuminate where their success comes from, what brought them to our Academy or into CTS, and discuss some of the challenges they may have faced along the way. If you are training with us, perhaps you will see yourself in one of the upcoming weekly features. If not, get on the mat already…a-long-time-ago-in-a-galaxy-far-far-away

Today is for the old school. I’m going back in the archives to share some videos from the days before the birth of CTS. Most of Master Z.’s CTS materials are copy-written in 2007, so I pulled the following from my Haastyle YouTube Channel:

In the days before global warming made the Florida sun so hot that you couldn’t train outside any more, we would set up a little canopy and train in my backyard when Zach came to visit.

Freestyling with the big Pekiti Tirsia sticks.

This is putting together the legendary PTK 64 attacks, for which I was certified in 2005.

When I started with Zach Whitson, it was my intent to learn Pekiti Tirsia kali and Kenpo Counterpoint exclusively. I loved training with Manny Reyes Sr., it just seemed like the next logical step in my progression as a Kenpoist. That was the subject of my latest article.

How Kenpo Karate led me to CTS

These were definitely good times and, if you are wondering, I miss the dreads, but not the extra hundred pounds…

See you on the mat! RH

BTW – If superhero movies interest you, I write for MoviePilot. This post has almost 10,000 views!

4 Characters We Could See in

Captain America: Civil War

4 characters pic

Feature Friday – Follow Eric Primm NOW

Welcome to my Friday Feature, a weekly post designed to introduce to you some of the best and brightest students at Haastyle Martial Arts Academy (HMAA) and throughout the Counterpoint Tactical System (CTS). I’ll try to illuminate where their success comes from, what brought them to our Academy or into CTS, and discuss some of the challenges they may have faced along the way. If you are training with us yet, perhaps you will see yourself in one of the upcoming weekly features. If not, get on the mat already…

In my previous Friday posts, I have focused on a couple of great individual stories at our school, Tyler K. and Ezara S.. Last week, I presented a group of individuals that have had great success at HMAA, the ladies of the “Fight like a Girl” Defensive Tactics and Awareness for Women (FLAG) program. This week I am going to focus on one of our greatest promoters and almost definitely our best and most prolific blogger, Mr. Eric Primm of Saint Louis Counterpoint (maybe I’ll get a T-shirt out of this?).

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Eric Primm (w training knife) with Zach Whitson (w handgun)

I’m motivated to do this by the outstanding output and commitment to writing he has displayed over the years. Just today he re-posted about How to Be a Good Training Partner which he wrote a couple of years ago and it reminded me that he has been doing excellent work for a while now. I also noticed that it is a good companion piece for the article that I wrote last week about Haastyle FMA Training Structure.

 

So, I’ve been talking to Eric, who I like to call Shakespeare, for a several years about wanting to write more, and starting a blog, more specifically. He said “…you should be writing…” Now that I’m doing what I set out to do, he has been incredibly supportive and

Writing Avengers

Steve – Thor – Tony – Bruce

encouraging . His writing is smart and informative. As an Engineer, by trade, he can bring a more technical approach to certain material then you might see from, say, me. I also think it’s great that he kind of put his journey through CTS out there for the world to see. Here is a good primer about whence he came – How Grappling Led Me to CTS by Eric Primm. Eric has become an outstanding martial artist and watching him go through the ranks has been a real treat. To wit:

 

being-a-good-writerI highly recommend that you peruse the Saint Louis Counterpoint archives and FOLLOW Eric Primm’s blog (Facebook, Twitter, et al). Note: I have found that WordPress is a really good tool for learning, it’s a great tool for writers and the thing I love the most is they don’t send ANY spam, so when you subscribe you will only get what you ask for. Oh, and if you don’t follow me yet, you should …

See you on the mat! RH

Your Martial Art Life Plan from The Martial Arts Woman

It’s been a month or so playing on WordPress and I’m discovering that there are many good writers out there. I’ve decided to follow Andrea “The Martial Arts Woman” because she is a smart and concise writer, and it also seems like we have much in common. Despite the female perspective (I hope Mindy is reading her posts), she and I seem to share a similar approach to learning and training .

Do you have a plan today? If not get one, you can start by reading her latest

Your Martial Art Life Plan

peacemaker

You’re welcome.

See you on the mat!

RHFight Like a Girl FEAR

Friday Feature – “Fight like a Girl”

Welcome to my Friday Feature, a weekly post designed to introduce to you some of our best and brightest students at Haastyle Martial Arts Academy (HMAA) and illuminate where their success comes from, what brought them to our Academy, and discuss some of the challenges they may have faced along the way. If you are not yet a member, perhaps you will see yourself in one of the upcoming weekly features.

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“Fight like a Girl” January 2014

In my previous Friday posts, I have focused on a couple of great individual stories at our school, Tyler K. and Ezara S.. This week I am going to focus on a group of individuals that have had great success at HMAA, the ladies of the “Fight like a Girl” Defensive Tactics and Awareness for Women (FLAG) program.

OUR MISSION:

The Haastyle Martial Arts Academy “Fight like a Girl” – Defensive Tactics and Awareness for Women is designed to empower teen and adult women to understand that they can fight back and “win” specifically in cases of attempted assault or rape. By using the martial arts principles of prevention, awareness and easily learned, natural body movement, we will make students safer. In turn, this will allow them to lead happy, confident and more productive lives with their families and the community at large.

We run FLAG two or three times a year at different times and sometimes at different locations. We have had groups at the local Busy Body Fitness Center and the Jewish Community Center in recent years. The curriculum is culled directly from what I learned training Zach Whitson’s, Counterpoint Tactical System (CTS). CTS is a real world street survival system with it’s roots in Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). As a generally Keep Calmdiminutive people, training in the Filipino way is suited perfectly for women that want to stand up and fight back. The techniques used are not dependent upon muscle and the training does not focus on “killer instinct” (something that would take years and years to develop). Conversely, the abilities stem from use of natural motions and staying calm in difficult, possibly life threatening, situations. On top of the physical training we also include extensive discussions about awareness and prevention throughout the sessions. Any time a specific question comes up, we encourage group discussion. Attendees are also encouraged to speak privately with me, or Mrs. Haas (who has been through the training more than anyone) if they so desire.

I have a few people that I want you to meet:

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Olivia age 11 & Barbara P. age (I’ll never tell)

Olivia started training at HMAA as a Little Dragon (ages 4-6). At age eleven, she has been one of our youngest participants. We use frank language in the program which can be inappropriate for certain age/ maturity levels, but as someone that had been around for many years and, with the trust of her parents (her Mom participated in our PTA one-night course), Olivia was able to gain a new perspective on personal safety going into middle school thanks to the defensive tactics and awareness taught in the FLAG program. In the above photo, Olivia is training with Barbara. I met Barbara in one of my Yoga classes, she has participated in FLAG several times. Given her advanced age, she found some things more challenging than others. I always say, “do what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t.” The system allows for changing your mind if the motion does not come naturally to you at first.

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Samantha S. (age 18) & Josie D. (age 13)

Meet Samantha and Josie (pictured above). As a busy teenager Samantha had to deal with many distractions while participating in FLAG. She attended the workshops with her Mom, and despite her social calendar pulling her this way and that, was able to feel more confident as she was entering her college years. Just two months ago Sam returned to brush up before moving to San Diego to start a new chapter with her boyfriend. Josie was one of my most capable young leaders before moving away to Orlando last year. The two of us put together a nice demonstration using the principles of “Fight like a Girl” back in 2014:

Fight Like a Girl FEAR

I encourage you to keep an eye out for future Haastyle Martial Arts Academy’s “Fight like a Girl” Defensive Tactics and Awareness for Women.  You can register on my website to stay up to date with our next event. Whether it is for you or the women in your life that you love, everyone comes away safer, stronger and more confident after participating.

Until then, I’ll see you on the mat! RH