Monday, November 19, 2012

I took part in the Italian knife and staff workshop at Forteza Martial Arts in Chicago over the weekend.

On Saturday we worked on the knife portion of the workshop. Roberto Laura, the instructor, started out by explaining he was going to introduce us to two different systems of knife fighting. The first is primarily a dueling system that only allows point work but will allow cuts if used on the s

treet. The second is only aimed at use on the street.

Both systems are based on the use of a long folding knife somewhat like a navaja. The second street oriented system also has hooking actions with the butt of the knife as in the navaja. The dueling system is quite interesting and as Roberto said think of Flamenco dancing with a knife.

It was also interesting that the training tool we used for all of the knife work was a wooden drumstick..

The staff system is based on using a four foot hard wood staff about an inch in diameter. The staff is held with both hands. I saw similarities to both Montante and jogo de pau in the moves we did.

Roberto is a very good instructor and moves around the room helping out with footwork and pointing out how to improve your techniques. If you have a chance to take a class from Roberto I recommend it.