Showing posts with label Knife Fighting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knife Fighting. Show all posts

November 5, 2015

Kali Blade Transitions with Guru Jeff Davidson

To my students... this is what it is SUPPOSED to look like!  Study.  Learn.  Apply. 
Thank you Guru Jeff for sharing... look forward to training soon.  


October 5, 2015

Bladework with Jeff Davidson of Detroit Kali

My teacher Guru Jeff Davidson is a rather private man but every now and again he shares a gem.  Enjoy said moment...

August 11, 2015

"Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. - Book Review

Tambuli Media has once again facilitated getting one of the foremost authorities on FMA, Sam Buot Sr., to sit down and write a comprehensive text on Balintawak Eskrima.  Without a doubt Mark Wiley (founder of Tambuli Media) is the greatest gift to Filipino Martial Arts in the 20th century as he has managed to get masters to speak whom may of otherwise died without sharing this knowledge.  "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is arguably one of the more important treatise Tambuli has published. 

Balintawak Eskrima has a reputation for being incredibly fast, overwhelming, and its practitioners are notorious for their disarming prowess.  Buot tries to cover the foundation of the art within 240 pages and I must say I think he does a commendable job.   After a brief history Buot dedicates 30 pages to the masters of Balintawak from Anciong Bacon, to Dr. Cres Go.  This is the heart of the book.  The loyalty and respect Buot displays in his detailed biopic of each teacher is inspiring.  To get a glimpse into the lives of any one of these teachers is a treat, but Buot really does an amazing job highlighting the masters of the art, many of whom none of us in the west would ever even know about otherwise. 

Buot insists the core of Balintawak is in the defense, which in his opinion is the most difficult to master and why he dedicated three chapters to the subject unto itself.  One of the trademarks of Balintawak is their fast response while blocking or covering.  The speed in which they grab the weapon and/or their opponents hand can never be properly conveyed in print media, but Buot does an excellent job especially transliterating the Buot Ball Concept. 

Throughout the book Buot uses different senior students under him showcasing the various generations of Balintawak who all bring something unique and different to the table.  I really like this small detail because it shows the heart and dedication of loyal students as well as an unspoken level of respect and admiration from the teacher to said students.  One of the only criticisms I have of the book is once again photography wise where we have two demonstrators wearing the same style and color of clothing and the photos are sometimes cropped too tightly.  When it comes to the flow of photographs and the comprehension of the student these minute details are extremely important in this reviewers opinion. 

Part 5 which includes chapters 12-14 focus on application and techniques of Balintawak illustrating their renowned disarming arsenal.  Buots decades of experience shine through in this section with little nuggets of info sprinkled in between the lines.  He speaks of feints, fakes, and what many would call "dirty" tactics but in reality... this is self defense!  As an attorney he also offers a short, but concise chapter dedicated solely to knife fighting.  It is one page long and worth the cost of the book itself.  I am not going to summarize the chapter here to encourage you to seek it out and read it yourself, but may I say in a world of machismo and bravado it is refreshing to hear a voice of reason and common sense in the FMA!  Kudos Mr. Buot. 

With each book Mark Wiley sends me to review I can see the hard work and effort he puts into each published text.  I feel like a broken record but "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is Tambuli's best FMA book yet!  I cannot recommend this book highly enough to practitioners of FMA, historians, or just general martial artists looking for a solid read.  And for those practitioners of Balintawak I cannot believe you can look at this book as anything less than THE treatise on an amazing legacy that is still growing. 

To purchase "Balintawak Eskrima" click here

And for those folks in the Pac NW whom are interested in learning Balintawak, we are fortunate enough to have Prof Bobby Taboada coming to town in October 2015.  Check out Seattle Balintawak for more information. 

July 25, 2015

Tambuli Media

For those book worms like me there is no better source for Filipinio Martial Arts titles, nor Chinese for that matter, then Tambuli Media, and I am very happy to announce a new affiliation with Tambuli.  For any order placed via the link to your left, or by clicking here, The Ground Never Misses will get 25%! 

So if you are looking to add a new title to your collection, or you have a martial artist with a birthday coming up make sure to use the hyperlink and the rest is taken care of.  Simple.  Check out Tambuli Media today and see what you have been missing.  And check back for some future reviews of Tambuli titles here on the Ground Never Misses. 


May 28, 2015

"The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" - Book Review

One of the greatest things about being involved in the martial arts for 25+ years is that you get to see your friends and training partners grow in the art, excel in training, and with most, eventually they give back.  Professor Dan Medina of the rarely seen art Derobio Escrima is no exception as he has finally put out a treatise on his style and fighting method!

I met Dan in Albuquerque, NM. where we both had a short layover in life.  Demonstrating the art of Derobio at any opportunity he had, what struck me vividly about Dan was his unflinching willingness to share his art.  For a "secret" style his heart is too big to hold back, and perhaps to a fault the book "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is no different.

One hundred and forty five pages is barely enough to scratch the surface of any system but Medina does a solid job of not getting too verbose and trying too hard to cover EVERY thing in a system... it's just not possible.  Instead Medina focuses on just a handful of techniques that represent the integral locking and counter locking movements Derobio is renown for.  Honestly a lot of the details are so minute that it would be damn near impossible to capture in a print format.  It seems Dan knew this and therefore did not try to over saturate the text but rather offer a taste of what the style is like.

The book opens with a wonderful chapter on the history of both Derobio and Dan Medina, both of which are fascinating histories.  Arguably the best chapter of the book, but I have been nostalgic for historical text lately so perhaps the opinion is a bit biased.



From there Dan dives right into the heart of the system and the fundamentals.  He includes a quick chapter on etiquette and how to properly hold your weapon etc.  A topic often overlooked but important in the context of martial arts, but more specifically weapon based arts.  The techniques shown are not what I would call super advanced though most folks do overestimate how difficult it is to properly execute a standing submission/lock, so lots of personal instruction and practice is surely needed.  I will offer this tip... pay attention closely to what Prof. Medina does with his free/checking hand in many of the photos.  The forearm check is surely not unique to Derobio but I will say that I have seen few execute it as smoothly and perfectly as Dan!

The sole criticism I harbor for "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is that some of the pictures are unclear and a bit cramped.  Perhaps it is  my old eyes starting to fail me but I find it sometimes difficult to see what it is happening in the picture.  There are also a handful that are cropped too tightly and are cutting off parts of demonstrators.

Once again Tambuli Media brings you something different and fun.  If rare systems of Filipino martial arts interest you then make sure you add "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" to your shelf.  Click here to order today! 


February 15, 2015

Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson Invade Greece June 12-14th 2015

My friend and coach Guru Jeff Davidson will be joining his partner in crime Guru Doug Marcaida in Greece June 12-14th of 2015.  If you are in the area make sure to put this on your calendar!

December 18, 2014

Book Review: "Eskrima Street Defense" by Bong Abenir

Scratching your head trying to figure out the perfect stocking stuffer for the one stick swinging, balisong flipping martial artist on your list?  Tambuli Media's most recent FMA title "Eskrima Street Defense" by Bong Abenir just might fit the bill.  An affordable addition to any collection, Abenir's first book offers a direct approach to dealing with weapons in real world situations.

One of the first things that sticks out is the no nonsense approach Bong takes to the applications, incorporating fast powerful strikes with fast takedowns all the while utilizing his environment.  All keys when speaking about true self defense.  Offering common situation such as knife attacks, choke attempts, multiple attackers, as well as strikes Bong Abenir does not waste time going into complicated locks and convoluted flows.  Rather he takes a very pragmatic approach offering fundamental, simple movements that can be applied with purses, scarves, umbrella's, etc.

The pictures are laid out well and for the most part are very clear as to what is going on, though I would have liked to have seen numbered progressions for ease of reading and following.  Overall the book is written well but seemed a bit rushed, and offered minimal explanation.  I can't help but feel Abenir has a LOT more to offer and would like to see the result of some serious time spent on laying out a comprehensive treatise.



At just over $21 "Eskrima Street Defense" is a perfect sized stocking stuffer for the stickhead in your life.  Though I feel Tambuli has stronger, more comprehensive titles on Filipino Martial Arts, they remain the leader in publishing and disseminating knowledge focused specifically on SE Asian arts.  The importance of exposing these arts and teachers to the world cannot be understated.  Prior to Mr. Wiley talking about Bong Abenir I had never even heard of him nor his system.  I cannot help but wonder how many more arts are out there that are dying every single year simply because those teachers/fighters have not had the outside exposure to document their art!  A huge thank you is due to Mark Wiley and Tambuli Media for helping keep these arts alive at the very least in print form.  For instance my old friend Dan Medina just released his text on Derobio Escrima, a rather closed off / reserved art up until now.  It is amazing that we finally have a publisher propagating these lost arts! 

Click here to order "Eskrima Street Defense"

The Principles of Abenir Kalis
  • Don’t waste moves; be flexible.
  • A parry which does not incorporate an attack is wasteful movement.
  • A defense is an attack, an attack is a defense.
  • Overwhelm your enemy with multiple attacks.
  • Striking directly at the enemy’s flesh is preferable to blocking the enemy’s weapon.
  • Your fighting position should be designed to make you a difficult target to hit.
  • Don’t be overconfident; be alert at all times.
  • Be fiercer in your attack than your enemy.
  • Be strong in your defense, and powerful in your offense.
  • Move with speed and precision using correct distance against the enemy.
  • The faster you hit the target, the better.
  • Hit the nearest targets and those open to you.
  • Attack when you see an opening.
  • Employ your defensive skills when needed.
  • Attack, attack, attack until the assailant ceases to be a threat to your safety.
  • Hand techniques should correspond with footwork.
  • Avoid wide movements in delivering your blows. Strike without telegraphing your attack.
  • Wrist locks and disarming techniques are only incidental. A strike could cause a disarm that only counts as one beat which is faster and more practical to use than complicated locks during a heated encounter, especially against multiple opponents.
  • Only engage in a fight if no other option of escape is possible.
  • Run if you must, fight if you must

November 24, 2014

Evidence of Pre Colonial Filipino Martial Arts & Blade Design In Relation to Techniques

Here are a couple of excellent articles by Manila Times Fight Times Editor Perry Gil S. Mallari that offer some serious food for thought before settling in to carve up that turkey.  I would like to see a more detailed writing on this research as it has some solid points, but does not expand much at all. 

"While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in existence long before the arrival of Spain. To me, three things serve as indicators of the existence of indigenous FMA: organized method of warfare, metallurgical technology and sophisticated blade culture. All three aforementioned were chronicled by the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines."  Click here to read the entire article.

Again Mallari teases the reader with a taste of his theory of blade design and how it is used but does not offer much depth.  I hope he comes out with some follow up articles offering more research and opinion. 

"Some escrimadors have the habit of bouncing their sticks on the opposite arm (or other bodily parts) either to reposition for another strike or to arrest the momentum of the weapon after a forceful swing. This practice may still work safely with a single-edged sword but if the practitioner carried this habit while using a double-bladed sword, he will definitely cut himself. The safer way of regaining control at the end of a fast cutting motion is to use the palm of the non-weapon hand to catch the wrist of the hand holding the sword. The catching hand not only prevents the other edge from cutting the wielder but it can also aid the weapon-hand in generating more force in cutting or hacking."  To read the entire article click here.

 

September 22, 2014

Jeff Davidson & The Brotherhood of the Blade Coming To Seattle

25 year veteran of the Southeast Asian and African martial arts Jeff Davidson is coming to Seattle for the first time October 4-5th 2014,  to offer a weekend of training aimed at improving your martial prowess and teaching some essential self defense.  This promises to be a great weekend of learning and fun with sticks and knives!  Open to all levels of experience and ranks, for more information on the seminar click here

Check out these video clips of Jeff teaching:









September 5, 2014

Brotherhood of the Blade Seminar - Seattle, WA.

I am very pleased to announce that Three Harmonies Martial Arts will be hosting Guru Jeff Davidson for his very first visit to the Pacific NW where he will be sharing his knowledge of Kali and West African Martial Arts with us on October 4-5th 2014.  All levels of experience are welcome to join us for this unique and fun training opportunity to learn to work weapons better and to defend yourself against said weapons.

Brotherhood of the Blade
w/ Guru Jeff Davidson

October 4-5th 2014
942 N. 95th St.
Seattle, WA. 

Saturday October 4th:
10am-1pm
3-6pm

Sunday October 5th:
9am-11:30

$105 - Entire Weekend       
$65   - Single Session

*Please bring a pair of sticks, training knives (NO LIVE BLADES), eye protection, a notebook, and an open attitude and mind*

To Register or for questions please contact Jake Burroughs at [email protected] / 206-941-3232

Jeff Davidson brings over 25 years of practical martial skills to Seattle where he will be teaching his deep knowledge of the bladed arts along with sharing the pedagogy of Yoruba martial systems from West Africa.  We are fortunate to have someone so skilled stop by and share with us.  For more info click here. 






May 15, 2014

Sea of Fusion Martial Arts Gathering

Our friends Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson just visited gorgeous Ireland to offer training in the stick, blade, empty hand, and of course Shillelagh for the Sea of Fusion Festival!  Grab your morning java and crank up the pipes while checking out the mechanics and techniques of Sea of Fusion 2014:


May 9, 2014

Pekiti Tirsia Kali DVD Review: "Advanced Footwork & Lost Secrets of the Filipino Martial Arts"

One of the greatest things Leo Gaje gave the west when he started teaching Pekiti Tirsia Kali was structure and order.  Many Filipino martial arts instructors are notorious for being completely unorganized with any kind of cohesive learning model, comparatively Gaje was ahead of his time.  Gaje's top student Tim Waid has followed in his teachers footsteps with his latest offering in his DVD series on Pekiti Tirsia Kali (PTK) combatives; "Advanced Footwork and Lost Secrets of the Filipino Martial Arts."



This will be the third DVD in the series I have reviewed of Tim's, and as with all of his work technically these instructional's are top notch.  The production value is second to none with superb editing offering clean chapter breaks and no glitches across the 75 minute DVD.  As with previous productions the addition of the boom camera is one of the greatest aspects of Tim's DVDs.  Giving the student literally a birds eye view of the instruction enables one to get as close to 3D as possible via a 2D media outlet.  In an art as complex and involved as kali these innovations may seem trite to most, but to those of us who have been around the FMA for the past 20 years you know how important multiple angles and different views are when trying to learn such an advanced art.  Waid also incorporates the use of chalk lines on the floor of his training space.  These footwork diagrams certainly help the student. 

Tim Waid's entire life has been consumed by two things... training Pekiti Tirsia Kali and his service in the Marine Corp.  A full time instructor who just launched his new site PTK - SMF Waid's resume reads like a technical manual on combatives and strategy.  One must keep this in mind when viewing his DVD's as he is intense and rather militaristic in his delivery which coupled with diligent drilling ensures technical proficiency.  His analyzation of the footwork is amazing concise and keep in mind this is someone who has dedicated his ENTIRE martial arts life to a single sole system.  This is his pure expression of PTK as he knows it.



That said it is important for any potential buyers of this DVD to take the title seriously, this REALLY is advanced material!  The student must have a foundation in the footwork and basics of PTK specifically to get anything out of this instructional.  For instance the footwork you learn in Doce Pares will not suffice as a foundation for the work in this DVD.  It is not that the basics of any art are inefficient, just that you need to thoroughly understand the fundamentals of Pekiti Tirsia specifically to reap any of the benefits of Advanced Footwork.  Waid does show several repeats of the technique he just taught, but overall is moving rather quickly through various drills, illustrating the importance of understanding range and proper angling.  If you do not have the basics I would highly suggest purchasing the Basic Footwork DVD first and working these fundamentals thoroughly with a partner, otherwise you are wasting your pennies.

Broken into a half dozen chapter, Advanced Footwork offers the following scene selections:
  • Footwork Strategy
  • Counter-Offense System
  • Offense / Attack System
  • Lost Secrets 1-3
  • Lost Secrets 4-6
  • Lost Secrets 7-9
Each chapter has sub-chapters wherein lie the marrow of the lessons.  For instance Tim Waid teaches the universal evasion angle in the initial "Lost Secret" chapter.  Not only does he teach it, he EXPLAINS the reasoning WHY you step that direction instead of just any other angle.  Again this is a welcomed departure from 90% of the FMA instructionals out there where for the most part individuals show off and demonstrate but rarely actually teach and explain. 

The secrets are the training methods.  Not really a secret, nor lost, huh?  Anyone who has been in the martial arts for more then a few years should know that the sole secret in any art is training.  Waid offers insights into the intent of engaging with weapons at range which I also feel is a unique attribute of this DVD.  Retailing for $79.95 makes this one of the more expensive DVD instructionals on the market, and currently is not available for electronic download so you will need a DVD player. Though the price may be prohibitive this DVD (and honestly so far what I have seen of the entire series) is second to none.  There is absolutely no similar information available on the Pekiti Tirsia Kali system out there, and honestly I have not seen any FMA instructional come close to the quality and depth of Tim Waid's Authentic Pekiti Tirsia Kali Training Series.

So tell the wifey you need a small allowance, a free weekend, and get online grabbing yourself a great new blade such as the TROIKA as well as Tim's series of DVDs, and train your ass off!  A wonderful resource for those not close to an instructor or even veterans of PTK who wish to witness Waid's expression of the art. 

For more titles, or to order "Advanced Footwork" click here to be redirected to Tim Waid's brand new website!



May 8, 2014

Orihinal Eskrima & Grappling

Thanks to DSTRYRsg for this awesome little clip.  These Ecuadorian cats train in both Cacoy Eskrima and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and seem to have an amazingly open attitude in their expression and exploration of combat.  Admittingly my Spanglish is piss poor so I am not sure what they are saying all the time but the technique and strategy speak for themselves. 

I certainly have questions and head scratching moments in this short clip, but more importantly I think they address a subject often completely ignored in FMA... realistic situations/scenarios where a foundation in grappling is key.  Is it ideal to fight on your butt or knees?  No.  But one never knows where/what position we may have to engage someone in, so it is paramount that we learn solid fundamentals both standing as well as on the ground.

 

It is a biased opinion, but a right one none the less... the overwhelming majority of "tuhons" and "masters" in the FMA world would benefit greatly from some private lessons in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from a qualified instructor.  I have seen a lot of folks out there replicating (poorly) moves they saw on Youtube or the UFC within the context of FMA, and quite frankly it is pitiful and painful to witness.  So before you get too critical of these guys ask yourself what you are doing to push the limitation of your understanding and skills? 

April 26, 2014

Using the Scarf as a Weapon: The Kali Way

One of the fundamental concepts of Kali is fluid transition and constant movement with any weapon at hand.  Fundamental techniques and foundational footwork training allow anything in your hands to become a weapon, even such things as scarfs or sarongs.  Classified as flexible weapons, this video showcases Guro's Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson last year offering another awesome learning opportunity from the Brotherhood of the Blade.

Smooth, fluid, devastating... would you guys be interested in a Brotherhood of the Blade gathering out here on the west coast?  We train Kali every Wednesday night at 6pm, and Saturday mornings at 9am.  Come out and play!  In the meantime study these clips. 





April 18, 2014

Kali - Africa Stylee with the Spear and Rungu

The Maasai of East Africa have two main weapons, the spear and the rungu (Swahili) a wooden club used to bludgeon and throw.  Typically 18-24 inches long these solid clubs weigh no more then 20 ounces.  Exceptionally balanced with a solid ball on one end, the rungu is a weapon that begs to be swung and in the hands of trained Kali practitioner is a pure slobber knocker! 


I want to thank my girl for such a thoughtful and original gift from her travels abroad where she found a hand carved one.  It will be cherished for years to come. 

April 17, 2014

Guro Jeff Davidson and his Maphilindo Detroit Pitbulls

This past week I had the privledge and honor to train with Guro Jeff Davidson in Detroit, MI.  Jeff has been studying martial arts since he was a teenager, specifically over 26 years training in the ways of the blade via Kali.  One of Leo Gaje's earliest students here in the US, a disciple of Tito Jun, as well as being one of the only westerners I have ever heard of who has trained in West African Wrestling, Jeff's approach to the arts is unique and beautiful.  I wanted to publicly thank him for his time and teachings.  My Kali and grappling are better already! 

He heavily reminds me of my CMA teacher Mike Martello who passed a few years back, to the point he nearly had me in tears a couple times with how similar the aire about them is.  I have followed Jeff's blog The Balisong Journal for years, why this trip home I decided to reach out... I am not sure.  But I am sure of one thing and that is I don't believe in coincidences.  "No one finds me on accident" - Jeff Davidson

Though our time was brief I took away a ton from Jeff's teachings.  I can promise you will see more of him and his approach in the future.  In the meantime check out these videos which do not convey just how smooth and gentle Guro Jeff Davidson really is.  You will also see Guro Doug Marcaida with highlights from past Brotherhood of the Blade gatherings:






March 1, 2014

PTKGO Online Sale This Weekend Only: Pekiti Tirsia Kali DVDs 30% Off

Hey stickheads make sure to check out Professor Tim Waid's 30% off sale on Pekiti Tirsia Kali Global Organizations store page.  Tim Waid has been studying Pekiti Tirsia Kali for over 20 years and he is unique in the fact that he has never, EVER, trained another system of martial art or FMA!  A veteran of the Marine Corp Tim Waid has some of the best instructionals on the market.  I will be reviewing his "Advanced Footwork" here shortly.  In the meantime check out the 30% savings on DVDs and shirts by clicking here.





February 18, 2014

Weapon Based Self Defense

Because this is awesome!! 
It is evident that the general public desires the skill set to defend against an armed assailant as the results of the poll where I asked "What would you like to see covered in a self defense book?"  And why wouldn't you desire this knowledge?  Our masters had to deal with weapons of all sorts, and in modern society weapon based attacks are all too common (though violent crime with guns has dramatically dropped in the last couple of years).

So if you would please vote on the latest poll to your right -> and then check out our friend Darrin Cook over at Big Stick Combat, as he has written a couple of posts regarding concealed carry weapons and the responsibilities involved with carrying. 


Multiple Attackers
  5 (35%)
De- Escalation Tech.
  4 (28%)
Weapons Retention
  4 (28%)
Weapons Defense
  12 (85%)
Psychology / Intent
  11 (78%)
Ground Defense
  8 (57%)
Clinch Work
  8 (57%)
Situational Awareness
  9 (64%)
Training Approach
  10 (71%)
Finishing Techniques
  3 (21%)
Other (please comment)
  0 (0%)

January 29, 2014

Pekiti Tirsia Kali - Leslie Buck, Tactical Arts & Kali Gear.com

Leslie Buck runs the Tactical Arts Academy in Austin, Texas whom also runs Kali Gear dot com a great equipment and training source for the Filipino Martial enthusiast.  Buck has been a senior student of Leo Gaje's for decades now and brings a lot to the table when it comes to combatives in general and Pekiti Tirsia Kali specifically. Kali Gear offers protective equipment as well as some of the best blades out there by master blade-smith Jeff Crowner.  Here are a couple of video clips that offer the viewer a glimpse of Buck's approach to the arts and teaching.





I am going to make 2014 the year of the blade here on The Ground Never Misses with some exciting new things coming such as blade reviews, PTK DVD reviews, seminars and training opportunities, and a couple of writing projects as well.  In general I hope to offer quality information in regards to weapon based self defense from any angle that is logical (a powerfully needed filter in a world rife with fantasy).  So by all means please send me info and links to anything FMA related, does not have to specifically any one system. 

Also if you are interested in training in the most scientifically technical approach to the blade, then join us Wednesday night and Saturday morning for Pekiti Tirsia Kali here in Seattle, WA. Give me a call or email for more details.