The latest instalment of our ‘Interview With a Student’ series, comes from the long time Urban Escrima student, Nacho. Over to you Nacho.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
My name is Nacho, I am 31 year old and I work as a chef in The Gallery Cafe, a vegetarian cafe in Bethnal Green . I love basketball and I am trying to learn as much as possible about bike mechanics in case I get tired of cooking. Me and my girlfriend help a friend who works in the charity Dog Trust fostering dogs which are going be put to sleep or have been mistreated.
How long have you been vegan?
I think I have been vegan for about 8 years, I don’t know exactly because before that I was vegetarian but I would hardly eat any dairy or eggs, just occasionally, one day I just decided to stop consuming animal products completely but don’t remember when that day was. Sport wise I think it has been good for me and I have proved my personal doctor, my parents, coaches and friends that a plant based diet works, and if works for me can work for anybody else.
How long have you been doing Escrima Concepts and have you had any other martial arts experience?
I have been doing Ecrima for a bit over one year. I didn’t have much experience in other martial arts apart from a bit of taekwondo when I was a kid.
Why did you choose Escrima as opposed to other martial arts?
Because a friend was running his own club and I was invited to check it out, after 2 or 3 weeks it started making sense to me and I got hooked so I can say I am glad that I was invited.
What do you most enjoy about training at Urban Escrima?
I like everything really, especially the atmosphere and how the instructors run the class. If i had to choose something I would say when we train unarmed , when we learn to defend ourselves without sticks or just with “weapons” like keys, mobile phones…I think this is really practical as we carry those things in daily basis but I understand as well how important is to train with sticks or other weapons because learning to use them will give us the knowledge to know how other people will use them and therefore defending ourselves against them will be more effective.
How has Escrima benefited you?
It has given me confidence and taught me some common sense tactics in case I suffer an attack or an assault. Before I started Escrima I don’t think I could have survived an attack from a stab for example, now I think that despite of being likely to get hurt I think I have chances to save my life.
What does off-line mean?
It is one of the most important concepts in Escrima and means to move out of the line of the attack to avoid it, rather than meet the attack or match it with power it is important to move to one of the sides of that line. For example with a stab the last thing we should do is to try to stop it without moving, grabbing the aggressor hands or the knife (I guess that everybody knows this) or something like that is very dangerous and it is likely to end very bad. I would like to say that is not just moving for the sake of it but it is important to end in a good position, facing the aggressor or training partner and in a good range distance. I hope to be right….
Thank you so much for the interview Nacho, see you in the gym soon!