Showing posts with label detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label detroit. Show all posts

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 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:









April 22, 2014

Samurai: Beyond the Sword - Review of the Samurai Exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts

For the second time this year (recall the review I did on the Portland Art Museum's exhibit "Samurai") we have had the luck to get wind of rare collections in cities we were visiting.  Just last week the Detroit Institute of Arts museum was the latest stop where the "Samurai: Beyond the Sword" blew away all expectations. 

Meant to illustrate the everyday life of a Samurai, the exhibit was encompassing without being redundant and boring.  Compared to the armor centered focus in Portland, BTS offered a few pieces of everything from armor, to weapons, to tea cups, and wood blocks.  Security was obnoxiously overbearing so I was only able to sneak a few shots of the lethally stunning blades from three to five hundred years ago, but as you can see they were amazing.  Razor sharp even after being dormant for generations, yet the craftsmanship is better than most you will find even today.

A number of pieces could be talked about but the one item my mind keeps floating back to is an amazingly well kept quiver with half a dozen arrows.  The shafts were straighter than any lathe could mill.  The arrow heads of various size carried an aire of death about them even through glass as if I could feel how heavy they were both in weight and intent.  Feathers lined the shaft just forward of the notch.  Seemingly perfect in their upright attention.


I personally love these types of exhibits.  A connection to a past that we are quickly losing.  A legacy where one may not agree with the tendencies of war, but no one can question the virtues of the men and women of the Samurai.  I walk away with a greater appreciation of all craftsmen and artisans.  Armor is functional.  Swords, axes, knives are functional tools.  People like Jeff Crowner are modern day bladesmiths who make functional art and should be celebrated as such.  I am reminded of all the "small" people who make every day livable in our country, and I am reminded that it is ok to pay a few more bucks for something made but someone local.  Why?  Because they matter more than a factory does in China.

If you get the chance to visit before June 1st you certainly will not be disappointed, and the quality of the naginata and katana blades is worth the $16 entry fee.

Click here for more info on Samurai: Beyond the Sword.