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

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. 

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 29, 2014

Way of the Warrior - Escrima

Here is an oldie but goodie for us stickheads... Way of the Warrior was a mini series BBC put out over 32 years ago highlighting a number of martial arts from various cultures.  In this segment we are introduced to Doce Pares Escrima via GM Canete. 

No better time to train some better carving techniques then the weekend after Dead Turkey Day:


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.

 

October 7, 2014

A Word of Gratitude to Guru Jeff Davidson

Here I sit well over 36 hours after a stellar weekend of training under the sharp eye of Guru Jeff Davidson, and my head is still reeling from the deluge of information!  I have been doing martial arts for well over 23 years and it is admittedly sometimes a bitter road to walk in terms of trying to find the right guidance and instruction regardless of style.  In the FMA it can often times lead to a lifetime of inaccurate details, strange power trips, and/or untested theories taught as fact (a dangerous ego stroke when weapons are involved).  My point is to find a good teacher is tough.  To find a great teacher is damned near impossible! 

I will write a more detailed review later when I get some time, but I wanted to take this moment to publicly thank Jeff for accepting me as a student, his patient teaching, and the willingness to take a newbie and build from the beginning.  After sifting through so much bullshit and assholes in the FMA I am happy to find a teacher whose pragmatic approach is shadowed only by his willingness and openness to share his understanding of these beautiful arts. 

We spent the weekend training Kali along with a cursory introduction to Yorba martial training from West Africa.  All of it was absolutely engaging and fascinating, we can't wait to get back on the mats with Guru Jeff.  Here is what a couple of attendees had to say:

"This weekend seminar was organized perfectly to start with a basic foundation on which everything else was built upon.  Moreover everything was taught, explained, and reviewed in a pragmatic fashion (ah...so that's why I do it like this)." - Mike


"When you first meet Guru Jeff Davidson, his brusque voice may make you think that he's a stiff-lipped sort of guy, but it's not long before you realize that not only is he very knowledgeable but he's got a great, dry sense of humor, is amazingly patient, and knows how to effectively break down the material in a way that you can actually understand it instead of just regurgitating patterns. In some martial arts seminars/workshops you'll find instructors that are frustrated when you don't learn something the first time and sometimes you'll find instructors just blaze through the material even if it's an "all levels" seminar. Not so with Guru Jeff - his pace kept me interested and effectively challenged and was more than willing to give us the time necessary with the more complicated tactics. I'm really glad that I was able to train with him and I look forward to learning more from his years of experience." - Elton P.

And to close here is a short clip from what Guru Jeff had to say on his blog Balisong Player (which should be on your daily check list):
"Well, I took these guys (and girl) in one weekend through material that would typically take me three months to cover with beginning students here in my own school – and they worked hard and diligently through every minute of it!  Invariably when I teach seminars like this, I always notice the point when students ‘cash-out’ mentally from overload.  I’m quite surprised and happy to say that these good folks worked doggedly through everything I gave them with 100% concentration and effort at all times – and then asked for a review on the second day! (at which point I myself was close to cashing out – lol).  Such students are the hallmark of a good Teacher, so kudos to Jake once again.    
To our new group in Seattle: thank you all for a wonderful weekend of training and camaraderie.  I hope there will many, many more to come.  Most of all, thank you for appreciating the true depth and richness of our beloved Art of Kali." To read his entire post please click here! 

Cannot thank you enough Jeff!  I will be seeing you in a few weeks to brush up and clean up what I am sure I will forget!  

Cheers
Jake

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 21, 2014

Cebuano Eskrima - Beyond the Myth

The origins of Filipino Eskrima/Arnis/Kali are the stuff of legends.  A history rife with war and constant defense against foreign conquerors, the native peoples of course had their indigenous fighting arts but quickly found their Spanish enemies were quite well versed in bladed combat as well as possessing superior steel.



This is a well done video digest based upon the book "Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth" by Dr. Ned R.A. Nepangue and Celestino C. Macachor.  I have not read the book but this video has piqued my interest.  I do not have enough knowledge nor training to argue with any of the facts laid out in this digest but either way there is some great history of both the martial arts as well as the Filipino Bladed Combat Arts.

From the authors:
We would like to pay tribute to these CEBUANO ICONS OF ESKRIMA:

• Solferino "Kapitan Perong Pak-an" Borinaga
• Pantaleon "Leon Kilat" Villegas
• Laurente "Laguno" Sabanal
• Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal
• Lorenzo Saavedra
• Teodoro "Doring" Saavedra
• Fr. Jose Ortega
• Floro Villabrille
• Felicisimo Dizon
• Artemio Paez
• Meliton Indangan
• Regino Ilustrisimo
• Antonio Ilustrisimo
• Jose D. Caballero
• Juanito Lacoste
• Venancio "Anciong" Bacon
• Julian Goc-ong
• Jack Santos
• Telesporo Subingsubing
• Lucky Lucaylucay
• Ted Lucaylucay
• Timoteo "Timor" Maranga
• Eulogio "Yoling" Canete
• Filemon "Momoy" Canete
• Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete
• Dionisio Canete
• Vicente "Inting" Carin
• Atty. Jose Villasin
• Teofilo Velez
• Alberto Dacayana, Sr.
• Filemon Caburnay
• Johnny Chiuten
• Sonny Umpad
• Eduardo "Dadoy" Sombilon
• Jose "Joego" Milan
• Antonio "Tony" Diego
• Epifanio "Yuly" Romo
• Esing Atillo
• Uldarico "Poldeng" Llano
• Nonito "Dodong" Limchua
• Ondo Caburnay
• Jesus Abella
• Pablicito "Pabling" Cabahug

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? 

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 27, 2014

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Takedowns and Disarms

Bill McGrath showcases some disarms and fast takedowns from the Pekiti Tirsia Kali system of combat.  Pekiti is one of the most scientific in terms of the approach to real world combatives.  More and more I am hearing about weapon based attacks both locally here in the Pacific NW as well as globally around the world.  If you are interested in learning how to defend yourself in such situations come join us to train Wednesday nights at 6pm and Saturday at 9am.


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.


December 16, 2013

Pekiti Tirsia Kali In Action

Thankfully most practitioners of Pekiti Tirsia Kali (PTK) are moral upstanding folk, so we do not have much in the way of "real" PTK be used in self defense on Youtube.  So the next best thing is full contact stick fighting, and we cannot speak of such competitions without mentioning one of PTK most talented and skilled fighters... Tom Bisio. 

One of Leo Gaje's earliest US students, Tom Bisio has since moved on to make quite the name for himself in Chinese martial and healing arts circles, but his slick style lives on in video.  Aggressive.  Strong.  Accurate.  Tom maintains a reputation well over two decades after his training in PTK!  Know your roots, and train. Here is why:






December 2, 2013

The Foundational Strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Weapon Based Combat in Seattle, WA.

As you all hunker down on Cyber Monday reaping deals at the stroke of a key, take a moment and fill out my new poll to your right regarding weapon carry and use please.  As always I am scouring the net looking for quality martial arts material to share and I must admit a severe lacking of it from the FMA community as a whole.  Below is a rough draft of my teachers (Meynard Ancheta of PTK SoCal) Foundational Strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali.

Here at Three Harmonies we train PTK twice a week; Wednesday nights at 6pm and Saturday mornings at 9am.  All are welcome to join us regardless of experience!  Kali is a great way to get in shape AND learn how to defend you and your family!  For more info email Jake: [email protected]

Enjoy,
Jake

 
It is simply this: The foundation of strategy in Pekiti Trisia Kali is to CLOSE IN ON THE THIRDS. Whereby, the practitioner may accomplish the following:
1. Attack from a superior position.
2. Increase options while reducing the opponent's options.
3. Isolate and dominate the opponent’s capacity for action. 

By virtue of your superior position you limit the opponent's and increase your own options thereby you can effectively isolate him (or his limbs) and dominate the combative event. The foundation of strategy of Pekiti Tirsia Kali is EXPLICITLY stated in the name of the art: PEKITI (to close or to close in), TIRSIA (thirds).
Combat Bladefighting tactics are executed according to this strategy.
Tactics and training must provide skills for protection, evasion against opponent’s strikes, and the ability never to be hit because our strategy leads us to seek for the Superior Position. The superior position makes everything else possible. The live blade provides instant realization of this principle. Protection from strikes and attacks are accomplished by footwork mobility and maneuver, that is obtaining the superior position.
The ability to strike the opponent first, deliver a variety offense and counter offensive attacks is another effect of Superior Position. The second element of the foundation strategy means that we have more options to strike the opponent first and counter any strike he may deliver. Opponent weapons are destroyed by direct strikes to the weapon hand or incapacitation by striking vital areas off-time of opponent’s strikes. This is the virtue of having more options than your opponent.
Superior position and the variety of our attack options allow us to Isolate and dominate the opponent or combative event. The ability to quarter, control, and neutralize the threat regardless of terrain, environment, or multiple adversaries is a direct result of the first two elements of the strategic foundation. The three elements of the strategic foundation work in unison and Pekiti Tirsia Kali has the methodology to teach this strategic approach to combat.

November 25, 2013

Mark Wileys "Mastering Eskrima Disarms" - Book Review

Dead Turkey day is literally right around the corner and I cannot think of a more appropriate martial art to discuss then the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) of Eskrima / Arnis / Kali!?  And what better topic then Mark Wiley's latest book; "Mastering Eskrima Disarms?"  A long overdue text on common defensive measures found in all styles and subsystems of the FMA (and really in all martial arts), addressing disarms would seem simple, but when looking at the broader scope of the subject we find it to be much more difficult to organize and pedagogically formulate.  I am grateful that a seasoned researcher such as Mark Wiley tackled this subject, as I consider him the Tom Clancy of FMA writing. 

Mark Wiley is a special kind of duck.  Not only are his research skills top notch, but he has a kind attitude and honest love for the arts that grant him unprecedented access to teachers in all sub-styles of the FMA; something unheard of within a traditionally closed off and paranoid culture.  Without this kind of relationship within the community taking on a book of this scope would be incomplete at best.  Indeed Wiley dedicates the ninth and final chapter of the text to a photo collage of various teachers from a multitude of styles showcasing a number of different disarms.  Just shy of 100 pages these photos collected over years of travel and training throughout the USA and Philippines, are meant to showcase the similarities of each system based on the foundation of principle found across all systems of FMA.  It is brilliant to see old friends such as Dan Medina and GM Remy Presas included, as well as some great shots of the legends! 

Discussing disarms is tricky as many feel they are impossible to pull off in real combat, and Wiley acknowledges this straight away by organizing "Mastering Eskrima Disarms" into two parts and eight chapters.  Discussing assumptions that are dangerous, how to progress in your training, and then guiding the reader through ranges, gates, and positional footwork.  ALL key aspects often overlooked by zealous students who want to train the "cool" disarm!  Another fundamental mistake is the difference between training for edged combat versus bladed combat.  Whereas with one it is completely safe to grab the weapon, but with the other it could be a decisive mistake!  Again Wiley addresses all these issues by laying out foundational principles that are universal. 

Part one of the text is broken into three chapters:
  1. Principles of Effective Disarms 
  2. Supporting Structures (includes joint control concepts as well as modes of engagement)
  3. Grip Release Concepts (arguably the best chapter, encompassing a wide variety of techniques into five fundamental concepts)
I like Marks approach to categorizing as he avoids using style specific terms regarding footwork and the like.  As any practitioner of the FMA knows terms are relative and often confusing.  Within one system one can find five different names for the same technique or footwork pattern, but Mark avoids such pitfalls by employing the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid)!  This is so important when writing a general text that covers techniques found in all martial arts. 

Covering all aspects of weapon engagement as well, Wiley hits the note addressing stick vs. blade, double vs. single, as well as weapon vs. empty hand.  Any student with more then 2 years under their blade will be able to learn these principles and apply their own styles disarms and variations without any trouble.  Wiley has showcased the principles but has avoided trying to become a repository of every single disarm from every single angle!  That would be redundant and distracting. 

One area of discussion missing from this book is that of the clinch and ground grappling.  I confess
this may be a separate subject in the authors mind and thus the exclusion.  But it has been this reviewers limited experience in my 20+ years in the FMA that when dealing with the real threat of a weapon, the bull rush into a clinch of some sorts is VERY common!  This also often leads to the ground.  I would love to hear how  Prof. Wiley would deal with such threats and disarming from the perspective of being nearly smothered.  Again this is less of a criticism and more of question, as Mark may look at this subject in a totally different light (hinting at a book idea Mr. Wiley ;). 

"Mastering Eskrima Disarms" includes over 950 photographs and really these are the only criticisms I have of the otherwise excellent book!  The instructional sequences are pretty clear but can be a bit dark at times, shot in black and white I confess I am never a fan of both parties (demonstrater and demonstratee) being dressed in the same color.  White and black lay better contrast and allow for some depth in photo's such as these.  Though not cost effective, color photo's and/or multiple angles have become the norm in martial art texts and when discussing weapon based arts are almost essential. 

Retailing at $29 (Amazon has it listed under $25), "Mastering Eskrima Disarms" is a must have for any practitioner of the FMA, and really anyone interested in a great text on joint manipulation and weapon engagement.  Wiley addresses the subject honestly and with real world wisdom that is often washed out in the world of weapon work.  This also makes a great gift for the martial artist on your holiday list, so before grabbing the Golok and carving that Turkey take a moment and order this fundamental text! 



You can order "Mastering Eskrima Disarms" by Mark Wiley by clicking here and you will be redirected to Amazon!