Archive for September, 2015

SEPTEMBER 2015 – And so we are back in the USA again to support the growth and progress of LIGHTNING SCIENTIFIC ARNIS – LIGHTNING COMBATIVES.  We accomplish this through a series of seminars and workshops on selected topics from the vast curriculum.


We kick things off with DC Lightning Scientific Arnis headed by Angelo Garcia where we did a 2-day seminar on the use of the Knife with the principles of Lanseta Serrada. We bring this forward into control positions for misdirection, trapping and sectoring to hunt for better opportunities. Day 2 we work on the “short stick” in Serrada and taking it to an  aggressive methodology of “triggered” striking, we also escalate to working on attack substitutions in close-range.  Its great to see you guys pick up the material so well and I’m looking forward to throwing more stuff at you guys in the future.



We also conducted rank testing to round off the weekend and promoted several individuals to their next levels:

Level 2
Stephen Aquila
Randall Padgett
Yemi Omotola (took his test in Israel)

Level 1
Jeffery Taylor


Organized by Excell Martial Arts Center in Houston, Texas under Robert Montifar we do a 1-day seminar on the Sport aspects of stickfighting to support the growing circuit in tournament stickfighting followed by working on the classical roots of LSA in the second half of the seminar organized by Robert Montifar. Thanks to Pastor Wong for the use of your facilities! My deepest gratitude go to the Montifar Family for their hospitality and keeping me fed!




We were also invited to give this same seminar to Dallas by Christy Jackson to give them an edge in their  Stickcombat Championships under their ATA banner schools. Good luck at your tournaments, kick ass and take names! 😛


Dallas ATA


In MKG (Minesota Kali Group) Seattle under Andy Wilson, we work on the development of the Double Stick form of Bigay-Tama.  Double-stick control drills and walking drills comprise the first part of Day-1 with the second half on working on the drill proper putting more detail into the roles of Feeder and Receiver as well as the various techniques available in both roles.  On Day-2 we put emphasis on the close quarter aspects of stickfighting focusing on the principle of “Sagasa”, and working centerline pressure.  This lesson covered entry, point of contact, power striking on the centerline and disengaging.  The lesson also covered logical attack substitutions depending on range and opportunity.


MKG Seattle

Andy is a great guy with lot of Martial Arts experience and i enjoy picking his brains about different teaching methods and training styles.  Conversations with him are very interesting and eye-opening regarding training methods, training philosophies, and the teaching experience in general.  Thumbs-up to Bryce and Vince who worked on bringing the new guys up to speed on their testing material.  A bellyful of thanks go to Czar for his hospitality and all the others who make my trip there a blast! More “gastro-tourism” yeah!

Rank testing was also conducted in Seattle, with the following individuals passing their testing requirements.

Level 2
Vincent Beltran – MKG Seattle
Bryce Tillet – MKG Seattle
James Bryndza – Abbotsford FMA, Canada

Level 1
Mandy Wong – MKG Seattle
Czar Peralta  – MKG Seattle
Victor Young – MKG Seattle
Edmund Ng – MKG Seattle
Jose Ramos – MKG Seattle
Julie Rea – MKG Seattle

Also in attendance was Brando Marasigan who made the long drive down from Canada, Chief Instructor of Abbotsford FMA in Canada which is also affiliated with our LIGHTNING COMBATIVES organization.  It’s always a pleasure to have you join just down here where its a little warmer.

All-in-all it was a very busy trip, a lot was accomplished, a lot of material covered.  But best of all is the continuing friendship through our love of the Filipino Martial Arts.  See you next year!


We can add YOUR school to next year’s tour! email at:


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visit our schools in : TEL AVIV | | PETACH TIKVAH | RISHON



I am a bit of a traditionalist, but being a Filipino living a broad, my perspective has somehow shifted a bit. To me, the practice of FMA now goes beyond teaching techniques, it is now equally about passing on part of the culture in which it was developed along with part of the languange and cultural nuances that go with it. In this day and age, people can pick up techniques anywhere, the internet is wide and vast and Youtube is a click away. But I find this stale in comparison to training in the spirit the technique was intended.  Strong roots to me are important.  It provides a strong backbone on which to anchor your progress.  It is the foundation of your understanding.

Filipino martial arts can be learned by anyone. It follows no specific creed or ideology. Except perhaps the purpose of survival. FMA systems are the products of the experience, bias, traditions, synthesis, favor and idiosyncrasies of its founders. If anything, it is a continuously evolving beast growing from the experiences of its practitioners. Some old traditions die, some get preserved, some mutate or evolve to address some new threat or danger, or adapt to some new weapon system or technology.

the blind men and the elephant

the blind men and the elephant

FMA is the freest, most liberating martial art I’ve seen. It is not easy to see the big picture though. It is like blind men describing an elephant. They can only describe what is within their grasp. “Eskrima, Kali, Arnis” – these are the names they now commonly go under. These names bring flavor and context to the style or methodology espoused, but are potentially divisive so I prefer to call it FMA.

Different names, different styles, different contexts and methodologies.  Which is better? In the end it becomes nitpicking and hair-splitting. We would be further serviced by these discussions and comparisons when they are framed in discussions of principles and contexts instead of Issues and intrigue like “which is better, stick, bolo or knife?” or ” is it Kali, Eskrima or Arnis?” or “is it traditional, classical, military or self defense?”

There are many paths in FMA. Some of those who have had the fortune to have been instructed traditionally by the “old names” sometimes feel the need to preserve their teachers legacy, tradition and culture. Others find a new path to take their tradition. Some would find its applications in Military, Security, civilian Self Defense. Some would be able to integrate it into the repertoire of already formidable fighting systems. Some find satisfaction in the realm of Sport and find enjoyment in the practice of friendly competition. In the end it’s about finding something that resonates with you, your mindset, your philosophy.

And it is up to us instructors of these new generations to carry the torch for those who were ahead of us. We have a two-fold mission, to preserve the roots of our traditions if not the traditions themselves, to remember this to the next generation,  and to keep things relevant in our generation and the future and that it is not just about memorizing the techniques of styles or systems.  It is about “doing right” by the legacies we become a part of and looking at what kind of instructors we have become as well as the future instructors we are creating.  It is no longer just about passing on techniques but is about the planting the seeds, and stoking the passion for this aspect of our culture, fighting art and legacy.

So FMA is like this “elephant”.  Its much more than “ears, trunk, legs, tusks”, etc.  The sum of its parts make it a formidable, dangerous, fearsome and beautiful creature.