Showing posts with label kali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kali. 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...

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! 


April 18, 2015

The Barako Bared by Mei Magsino

   I am fortunate enough in my martial wanderings to have stumbled across my Guru Jeff Davidson whom has taken my student Lara and myself as his closed door students, an honor I am still getting used to.  One of the arts we have been introduced to is that of Barako Balisong, an art originating from the Batangas region of the Philippines. 
   As a sort of tribute I would like to reprint an article Mei Magsino wrote back in 2007 about the Barako "way" for lack of a better term.  Mei was a freelance journalist from Batangas whose life was taken last week in what appears to be a hired hit.  My thoughts and condolences go out to her family. 
   I have yet to meet Tito Jun nor any of my brothers and sisters, but this articles certainly paints a vivid picture of a kind of mentality and honor that is not common in today's society.  Thank you to Guru Doug Marcaida for turning me onto this article. 
  
The Barako Bared - Mei Magsino


SAY the word barako and immediately three meanings come to mind: the strong-flavored and robust brew of the liberica coffee; the sex-driven adult male boar ready for breeding; and that certain brand of Batangueño, the rough and tough Filipino male from the province of Batangas. All three possess virility, strength, fearlessness — yes, even the coffee, whose flavor practically leaps up from the cup and straight onto one’s tongue. All three carry within the pride of the Batangueños, who claim these qualities exclusively as their own.

It is the human barako, however, who is obviously the most fascinating, because he is at once simple and complex. In a province known to produce the export-quality balisong (fan knife), where every Batangueño is expected to be armed and efficient in the uses of the weapon made only in Batangas, the barako prefers the gun to protect himself and his loved ones. 



In the old days, before the permit to carry guns was heavily enforced, the barako would never leave home without his .45 sticking out of the waistband of his pants, pulling his karsonsilyo or undershorts down. He must be prepared, even with his undershorts down, to fight back if someone throws a challenge, a balisong, or even a bullet (through a gun barrel of course) at him. This also means that he should be a good shot, a sharp shooter if necessary, because to stay alive and keep his image as a barako or strongman, he would need to keep shooting until his enemy falls or runs away. A true barako also fights his enemy (or enemies) in the open, and face to face. 



In the book Batangas Forged in Fire, which features the province’s most prominent families, among other things, a blueblood, Teodoro Kalaw (husband of former senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw) is photographed standing straight in the barako pose, ready to fire the revolver on his right hand, even as he totes his coat on his left arm. Such was the way of the elite barako: classy, but still deadly. 




Barakos are also found in the pages of the nation’s history, such as the known man of action, Gen. Miguel Malvar, the last military leader to surrender to the Americans. Even a Batangueno who couldn’t walk showed kabarakuhan (bravery) in his own way. Although disabled by poliomyelitis, Apolinario Mabini was a man of thought who rose to supremacy as the brains behind the revolution and the first Philippine Republic.

Yet despite the show of virility and the stance of masculinity, the feared strongman known for his kills will often soften or tone down when faced with the woman who captured his heart. A barako is not rude toward the woman he loves. He is in fact gentle toward her and will do everything in his power to make his special woman feel important, even if it means carrying her books or pink, flowery handbag in public and ignoring the hoots of hecklers in the streets, although he is sure to confront them later when she is not around.


The barako is also loyal to his family. Although conflicts may arise between barako brothers and fathers, they all unite and fight for each other when trouble from outside forces threaten their family’s pride, honor, and existence. In many instances, the barako will ignore tempting offers of dubious fortune in order to make sure his family’s name remains untarnished. Indeed, the real barako would rather be poor than live with shame, just as he would rather die fighting than live in fear.

And fight the barakos did during World War II, ambushing and killing many Japanese soldiers. In retaliation, the Japanese massacred the city’s population, taking the lives of 18,000 of its 25,000 residents. Lipa City was also razed to the ground, with only five houses out of hundreds of old mansions left standing afterward. 


It was probably a sight that could have made anyone cry, but most probably not a barako, who is the sort of male who believes he is never ever supposed to shed a single tear, even during the wake of his own father, even in the face of their own death. The tears from the known strongmen, therefore, could mean only two things: One is that they are crocodile tears, designed to invoke pity. The other is that they belong to a fake barako.

Barakos can be bullheaded. After the peacetime elections of 1949, a group of barakos from wealthy families took to hills at the defeat of their presidential bet, Jose P. Laurel, whom they believed was cheated. Backed by formidable gun power, they were ready to fight the government head on. Only the messengers sent by their fellow blueblood barakos who wanted peace were able to stop the planned bloodbath.

Some towns and cities in the province have more barakos than the others. Among them is the town of San Juan, in the easternmost part of Batangas, that also known for its coconut wine or lambanog.


Batangas City also once had a prominent barako, who by his skill and probably, by luck, was able to live long enough to run for public office and win. This barako made sure the city enjoyed peace and order. When he died, Batangueños praised him for his leadership. Now it is his nephew who sits behind his former desk.  


 Youngsters who aspire to be barakos or want political clout someday are known as barakitos. These young ones are often seen with the barakos, who take them under their wing as alagang barako (novice barakos). Already quite rowdy, barakitos oftentimes get bolder during election season.

At present, however, Batangueños themselves believe there are only a few barakos left walking the streets of the province. The decrease in the barako population could probably be due to the fact that in their obsession to be supremo de barakos, most of them have killed each other (matira ang matibay or only the bravest remains standing); in worst cases, the killing could have included members of each other’s family (ubusan ng lahi). Many barakos, after all, have failed to realize the difference between pride and foolishness.

April 10, 2015

Latest Additions to the Rungu Collection

The only good thing about my girl being gone to Africa is that when she returns it is usually with a gift of love and caring.  And in the case of being with me that typically means a gift that cuts, bludgeons, or otherwise renders opponents unable to comprehend the magnitude of their mistake in engagement.  This trip she brought me back two new styles of Rungu, a club the Masai are known to carry.  Of course one with the dent in it is a "antique" according to the kind salesmen, surely used by a Masai LOL! 

Really appreciate them regardless of their usage history, great additions to the collection.  Thank you babe! 


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!

January 11, 2015

Martial Arts DVD Sale

Once again I am cleaning out the closet so to speak of media in which I no longer need nor desire.  It is my hope that you can find a gem in this hodgepodge of titles well over 50% off.  As always shipping and handling is not included.  Email me for further information or questions: [email protected]

DVD:

"Neckbreaker" vol. I & II - Erik Paulson       $25/set

"The Mount"  - Erik Paulson                          $10

"Tackles, Takedowns, Throws & Counters"   $10
                      - Erik Paulson

"Quick Kills"   - Erik Paulson                         $10

"Killer Chicken Wings"   - Erik Paulson          $10

"Sun Style Taiji - Master Lei Shi Tai's Short Form"    $10

"Muay Thai Kickboxing w/ Rob Kaman
Vol. 2 Clinching and Knee's                            $10
Vol. 7 Advanced Fighting Techniques              $10

"Xande: Instructional Series / 5 DVD Set         $50
        - Xande Ribiero

"Showdown" - Superbrawl                              $10

"ADCC 2001: Over 99kg"                              $10

"Best of ADCC vol. Two"                               $10

"7 Star Beng Bu and Applications" - Pong Lai  $10

"Beng Bu & Knock Downs" - Ray Hayward    $10

"Omopolata Game" - Four Disk Set w/Joao Crus   $25

"Defensor Method Kali"                          set  $45
 - Espada y daga pt 1
 - Knife Tapping
 - 64 Attacks
 - Stick Dumog

 Going old school now with VHS:

"Dynamic Sumo"                            $5

"2003 US Sumo Open"                  $5

"2004 US Sumo Open"                  $5

"Combat Shuai Chiao: 3 vol set       $20


January 5, 2015

2015 Year of Flow

Happy New Years!  I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who are once again tuning in to the Ground Never Misses for yet another trip around the sun.  This year on both a private level as well as a martial level, I plan to focus on one concept: flow.  In Kali it is referred to as Sayaw, and many a teacher will judge or grade you on how smooth your Sayaw is. 

I hope not only to improve my fluidity in Kali, but I am also looking to flow a bit more in all aspects of my life.  In return I hope some fortune flows my way to help out with the debt and other lifely monkeys. 

Here are two of my brothers from Detroit Kali showcasing some smooth Sayaw:






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

December 9, 2014

Martial Arts Book Collection For Sale

Stuck for stocking stuffer ideas for the martial artist in your life?  I have been slowly culling my redonkuless book collection.  In addition to the various martial arts texts I also have a number of Asian philosophy, religion, and healing books.  Contact me for more info.  I am happy to ship anywhere, but keep in mind none of the prices reflect S&H.
   I have a number of various Chinese manuals on Praying Mantis Boxing, and Baji Quan that are not listed.  These are in Chinese, email me for more info. [email protected]

"Mastering the Rubber Guard" - Eddie Bravo                   $30
"Mastering the Twister"            - Eddie Bravo                   $15
"Mastering Sambo for MMA"  - Scott Sonnen                 $15
"Mastering MMA: The Guard" - Antonio Nogueria          $10
"Advanced BJJ Techniques"     - Marcelo Garcia              $50
"BJJ Theory & Technique"       - Renzo and Royler Gracie $25
"Fundamentals of Shuai Chiao" - Daniel Weng                   $25
"Warriors of Stillness vol I"       - Jan Diepersloot              $20
"Tao of Yiquan: Warriors of Stillness vol II"                       $20
"Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua Throwing" - Mark Small                 $25
"Martial Arts of Ancient Greece" - Kostas Deruenis         $10
"Fighting Strategies of Muay Thai" - Villa Lobos               $10
"Muay Thai Textbook"                                                    $20
"Comprehensive Applications of Shaolin Chin Na"
                                                    - Yang Jwing Ming       $10
"Muay Thai Advanced Thai Techniques" - Delp                $10
"JuJitsu: Japans Ultimate Martial Art - Daniel Craig         $10
"Baguazhang Theory & Applications"
                           - Liang Shou Yu & Yang Jwing Ming    $15
"Healing Art of Qigong"                - Hong Liu                   $10
"Combat Techniques of Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua"
                                                   Lu Shengli                     $15
"Essential Guide to Sumo"              - Buckingham              $5
"Father of Judo - Jigoro Kano"      - Brian Watson            $30
"Dictionary of Martial Arts"            - Frederick                 $5
 "Last Samurai"                               - Marc Ravina            $5
"Gaijin Yokozuna: Biography of Chad Rowan"
                                                      - Paenek                   $10
"Root of Chinese Qigong"               - Yang Jwing Ming     $5
"Yiquan and the Nature of Energy"  - Fong Ha                 $10
"Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts"
                                                       - Tedeschi                $5
"Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health - YJM            $5
"Wrestling Tough"                           - Mike Chapman       $5
"Chinese Healing Arts"                    - William Berk          $2
"Dachengquan"                              - Wang Xuanjie         $20
"Nei Gong Authentic Classic"         - Tom Bisio              $10
"Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy" - Jerry Allan Johnson $250
"Zen in the Martial Arts"                 - Joe Hyams              $2 (or a beer;)
"Wushu Among Chinese Moslems" - U/K Author            $5
"A Tooth From the Tigers Mouth"   - Tom Bisio               $5
"The Way of Qigong"                      - Ken Cohen            $12
"Wu Style Taijiquan"                        - Wang Peisheng      $10
"Body Mind Mastery"                     - Dan Millman          $5
"Light of the Kensei"                       - G. Bluestone          $10
"Karate"                                         - Bruce Tegner         $5
"Seven Star Mantis: Section I & II  - Lee Kam Wing      $20 ea.
"Soft Weapons: Nine Section Whip & Rope Dart"
                                                      - Li Keqin                $10
"Chinese Weapons"                        - ETC Werner          $5
"Sword Polishers Record"              - Adam Hsu              $5
"Iron Palm in 100 Days"                 - Lee Ying Arng        $20
"Ultimate Iron Palm"                      - Wing Lam               $10
"Dynamic Strength"                        - Harry Wong           $5
"Kama"                                         - Toshishiro Obata     $30
"Chinese Gung Fu"                        - Bruce Lee               $5
"Ip Man"                                        - Ip Ching                 $5
"Jeet Kune Do: Entering to Grappling" - Hartsell              $5
"Scholar Warrior"                          - Deng Ming Dao      $10
"The Martial Way and its Virtues"   - FJ Chu                   $5
"Secrets of Iron Fist Training"         - Jamal                      $30
"Iron Fist Training in Hung Gar"      - Jamal                      $30
"Jun Fan / Jeet Kune Do Textbook" - Chris Kent             $5
"Praying Mantis Kung Fu vol. 1-5"  - Paul Eng                $10 ea
"Praying Mantis Seizing the Cicada" - Stuart Alve Olson  $20
"Praying Mantis Kung Fu"               - HB Un                   $5
"Taiji Praying Mantis Freehand Routines vol I & II"
                                                      - Lam Wing Kit        $10 ea
"Kung Fu Basics"                           - Paul Eng                 $5
"Qigong Empowerment"                - Liang Shou Yu         $10
"Still as a Mountain, Powerful as Thunder"
                                                     - YP Dong                $5
"Chi Kung Way of Power"             - Lam Kam Chuen    $5
"Creating an Abundant Practice"    - Andrea Adler         $10
"Who Can Ride the Dragon"          - Zhang Yu Huan      $10
"Taichi Health for Life"                   - BK Frantzis           $5
"Mastering Kung Fu"                     - Garrett Gee           $5
"Chinese Wrestling" Written by Dong Zhong Yi
                              Translated by Marcus Brinkman      $20
"Art of Throwing"                           - Tedeschi               $10
"The Gracie Diet"  Signed               - Rorion Gracie       $20
"Jiujitsu Vol III"                               - George Kirby      $5
"The Complete Kano JiuJitsu"         - Irving Hancock    $10
"A Discourse on the History of Praying Mantis Boxing
in China for the Last One Hundred Years"                     $15
"Jade Emperors Mind Seal Classic"  - Olson                $5
"Dynamic Jiu Jitsu"                          - Wally Jay            $10
"Kwan Dao"                                   - Leung Ting          $10
"Hsing I"                                        - Robert Smith        $5
"Illustrated Shaolin Grappling Kung Fu" - Yong Wun     $5
"Secret Chin Na Techniques of Hung Gar" - Jamal        $20
"Simplified Capture Skills"                                           $5
"Essence of Shaolin White Crane"   - Yang Jwing Ming $10
"Hsing Yi"                       - Liang Shou Yu & YJM       $10
"Wu Shu Standard Course"             - Joseph Eager     $20 

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! 


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 21, 2014

Canne de Combat with Salem Assli

I had the distinct fortune of training with Prof. Salem Assli on Friday night in the art of Canne de Combat, French cane combat.  This was the first time he had ever taught the art in the Pacific NW and over 25 folks showed their support at MKG Seattle for the seminar.  My interest was piqued because of my Kali background and the fact that Canne de Combat is not that common over here.

The first thing that struck me was the emphasis on posture and structure.  As if studying at the Paris Opera School of Ballet, Salem stated we could not learn the more advanced moves without perfecting our posture and technique.  The fluidity and grace with which Salem moved was truly inspiring.  His posture was never compromised as he demonstrated both basic and advanced techniques from Canne de Combat. 

Salem is a good instructor building us in steps and making the participants repeat the basic five strikes over and over before having us partner up and work both very regimented drills along with more free form type exercises.  This progression was very helpful in regards to remembering the movements that weren't so complex as they were different then what most are used to when working weapons (at least from a FMA perspective).

Technique wise the angles of attack were very familiar (only so many ways to swing a stick effectively) but the method of execution certainly was not.  Breaking down the basics Salem was constantly reminding us of the difference between sport and self defense, demonstrating the variations with speed and intent!  I must admit there is much more depth to the art then I originally gave credit and the fluidity in which Prof. Assli moved certainly got my attention.  His understanding of range and distance was second to none.  Very, very impressive!



My one and only criticism (was also my partners) was the incessant noise at MKG.  Though an impressively large and well equipped gym, the background noise of another class on the adjacent mat, the hum of fans and fluorescent lights, coupled with the grunting and dropping of weights in the other room from the Crossfit class was truly deafening.  To the point where even Prof. Assli stopped and asked if weights were being dropped above us!  Often times I could not hear the instructions from the instructor.  Not an environment conducive to learning, I can only imagine when classes are in full swing with all mats going!!! 

A big thank you to Professor Salem Assli who visits Seattle every year to offer Savate seminars.  Also thanks to Andy Wilson of MKG for hosting Salem.  And lastly to my awesome partner Lara for making it easy to learn and train in a seminar environment.