Showing posts with label escrima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label escrima. 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...

September 29, 2015

Balintawak Arnis West Coast Training Camp w. Bobby Taboada

Any serious stickhead in the Pacific NW will surely not want to miss training with legendary maestro Bobby Taboaba as he shares his knowledge and wisdom of Balintawak Arnis Saturday October 2-4th 2015, at his West Coast Training Camp.  I have never trained with the man so I look forward to learning some new techniques and approaches to the Filipino Martial Arts. 
Oh, and just in case you have never seen the man work....

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! 


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.

 

November 18, 2014

Training With Guru Jeff Davidson

Once again I have had the distinct pleasure to train with Guru Jeff Davidson of the Detroit Maphilindo Pitbulls.  I believe all things happen for a reason and though I had followed his blog and online offerings for years, it wasn't until earlier this year I decided to reach out and ask to train with Jeff.  He accepted and as they say the rest is history. 

I must admit that his tutelage comes at a very pivotal time for me as quality people in general but specifically quality martial artists have become a rare commodity in my life.  Guru Jeff sees something in me that others choose to look past, most likely because they are too preoccupied with trying to get something from me.  Regardless I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have such a talented and giving teacher both in the martial realm and spiritual. 

As if the gift of having a solid teacher was not enough imagine my surprise when Guru Jeff offered to accept both my student Lara and myself as closed door disciples!  We could not be more honored and grateful for such a wonderful opportunity and thankfully we were both accepted.  Many more great things coming in the future! 


Mabuhay! 

October 16, 2014

Knifemaker Jeff Crowner: Buyer Beware!!!

Buyer be ware... knife maker Jeff Crowner previously of Oregon, now living in Texas, is keen on ripping off customers!  If you are thinking of buying a custom made blade for your self or a loved one this holiday season I certainly would suggest you spend your money elsewhere.

I first spoke to Jeff nearly a year ago at the suggestion of my then Kali teacher Meynard, who claimed Jeff was an amazing craftsman whose blades were little known but some of the best he had seen.  So I reached out to Mr. Crowner in an effort to help promote and get some word out about his blades via my blog.  I explained I was a freelance writer who ran a blog and was working on a couple of articles for possible submission to various magazines and if possible I would like to somehow incorporate his blade work into said articles.  I told him I had never reviewed a blade before and he seemed genuinely excited about working together and even offered the opportunity to write for some online ezines and what not that he was involved with.  He also stated that he would have to charge me something and I said that was fine if he did not mind me paying it off in several payments.  No problem says he.  That was last fall.

Fast forward to June 20th of this year... after $300 of checks to Jeff had been cashed I was patiently waiting for my blade as he had told me he was sending the blade ASAP.  I get a random text stating "No way I am making a blade for you.  I will refund your money."

Naturally I tried to get ahold of him to ask if this meant for me and if so, why!?  But got no reply and to this day have no clue why he decided to back out of his side of the agreement.  But whatever, I gave him my address once more and waited for a check.

To save a long drawn out story, Jeff has yet to reimburse my money and it seems he has no intention to.  He has tried to slander me even getting to the point where lawyers were calling me and naturally when I explained they were being led on a wild goose chase they scoffed at the waste of time.  I have no clue what his problem is nor do I care any longer.  Buyer beware with Jeff Crowner and his collaborations.

Jeff's old site is still around but is most recent one Jeff Crowner blades states the account is suspended and it seems he is trying to erase his presence online.  Looks like he moved to Texas and now wants to hide how much of a rip off artist he is.  His previous number I have is 541-852-6039.  Buyer beware my kali and silat heads! 


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. 






July 1, 2014

Khukuri The Blade & The Beer

Even the beer aisle is telling me to go train Kali!  What better way to crack into the summer and celebrate the freedom of our country via a beer named in honor of the Gurkha's... the warriors that fought for Nepal (and later England).  The Khukuri is the infamous blade used by the Gurkha's who had a reputation as being some of the most fierce and brave warriors ever to walk the earth.
 
Just like the cut of the blade this beer is smooth, crisp, with a perfect finish for the warm days ahead.  Echoing the political situation of the two countries, this beer is not from Nepal per se, but rather is made in the UK in honor of the people of Nepal. 

Pour a pint, grab your sticks and do some training!  A truly enjoyable lager for the summer. 



June 18, 2014

Six Life Saving Rules to Survive A Serious Fight

Once again Kru Doug Marcaida of Rochester Kali offers some solid advice in a nicely edited video for our viewing pleasure.  True training in self defense is becoming rare and hard to find.  Many martial arts academies gravitate towards the sportive aspects of their given style, often ignoring certain key aspects such as "dirty" fighting (whatever that means) and weapon engagement.  Some great food for thought in these short 6 minutes:



June 8, 2014

Long Range Training With Weapons

Leo Giron (1911-2002)
Understanding of range and how to keep it / when to close it, is pivotal to any combatant but especially more so when weapons are involved (weapon vs weapon, or weapon vs empty hands).  Fencers certainly know this as do solid Escrimadors!  My training with Guro Jeff last time I visited Detroit was centered around range (more accurately my lack of understanding of it!!) and I have learned I need to better understand how and when to engage in lieu of blindly entering into medio or corto. 

Not at all related to the following clip is this excellent article on Largo Mano (long range) and how it relates to western fencing.  An excerpt:
   "The influence of western swordsmanship was evident in the names of some systems of FMA. One good example is “estocada,” which was derived from the word “estoc,” a French sword designed for piercing chain mail.
   The influences of western fencing most probably made its way to the native FMA during the rise of the Ilustrado class during the Spanish colonial period. Ilustrado, which is a Spanish word for “erudite” pertains to the middle class or educated Filipinos during that period. A good case in point is the Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who was both an adept in western fencing and arnis. Rizal taught arnis to young boys during his exile in Dapitan."

Click here to read the entire article. 

Here is a quick clip of Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson teaching in Ireland and offering some sound pointers on range maintenance and timing. 


May 19, 2014

Double Impact in the Sea O' Fusion

Here is another great highlight clip from the Sea of Fusion seminars in Ireland a couple of weeks ago featuring Guro's Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson.  Great stuff from solid instructors, I look forward to seeing more:



Some kind words from Guro Jeff on Guro Liam McDonald:

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!



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.