Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

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So a couple of weeks ago a local channel thought us interesting enough to feature on their channel.  They thought my wife and I were a unique and interesting combination.  Neta, with her love of LARP and costumes, and me, running a Filipino Martial Arts School in Israel.

They followed us around for a couple of days to get a glimpse of our lives and in general had a pretty good conversation with them.

So without further ado here’s a link to the clip of the show from Channel 1, sorry but no English translations available.

Here’s the link:

Warrior Family

Lightning Scientific Arnis Israel

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————find us at http://www.lsai.co.il

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

and affiliate schools in: THE PHILIPPINES | ISRAEL | WASHINGTON DC | SEATTLE | HOUSTON TX| CANADA | STEVENAGE UK | AUSTRALIA | SINGAPORE| VIETNAM | HONGKONG

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Doing something you love doing makes things feel less like work.  You know it’s work and that you have to sometimes treat it like work, but at the end of the day you know it is more than than that. Some will say it’s their passion, their advocacy, their mission.  To me it’s a way of life.  I guess you could say I’ve got escrima, kali, arnis on my mind.

Life is mercurial, many things change…but not this. This has been one of the constants in my life and has become part of my identity.  It may seem to be simplistic to define myself as such but I’m a pretty simple man.

Though I teach, I can never stop being a student.  You learn something new every day. Maybe not always a groundbreaking revelation, mostly it’s the little things, a little tweak here, an micro-adjustment there.  Sometimes we are just growing old… but at least still growing.  

So there you go! I talk a lot in the videos so good luck. 

Hope it’s helpful.

LIKE | FOLLOW | SHARE

Part 1 – Getting Started and a little Personal (8m 13s)

Part 2 – Mang Ben – Who it all came From  (14m 57s)

Part 3 – Moving to Israel (14m 49s)

Part 4 – To Infinity (14m 54s)

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

and affiliate schools in: THE PHILIPPINES | ISRAEL | WASHINGTON DC | SEATTLE | HOUSTON TX | DALLAS TX | CANADA | STEVENAGE UK | AUSTRALIA | SINGAPORE| VIETNAM | HONGKONG

B0D89405-A040-4DF6-AABA-05BDC7C04F2AThere are no secrets to someone who has diligence, resourcefulness and persistence to uncover it. There’s too much talk about “secret” techniques and hidden knowledge. Too much hype about some “magic bullet” of a technique that defeats all. Or that a technique is so special that it is kept a secret.

Unless it’s magic or supernatural… it is not a secret.
Or maybe… its just being kept secret from you?

F7F21522-E4ED-40F4-9528-D64E5A0F2162Instead I would rather the focus be on a better understanding of the mechanics of the movements and the types of strategies it allows you to perform.

Complete mastery of a style or system, in my opinion, is a lifelong endeavor. We could only be so lucky to have a teacher or mentor who could guide us all the way along this journey. But life, being finite and all, we all will have to walk this road on our own eventually. So it is imperative that we have a solid understanding of the underlying mechanics, physics, contexts and concepts surrounding our techniques.

This is why I find it ridiculous when some people make grandiose claims of secret techniques and of secret interpretations of fighting moves. So here’s a toolkit to decode these mysteries.

1. Break it down into movements – there is no combat without movement. You need to move to get from point “a” to point “b”… so does an attack.
2. Define the Intent. Is it an “attack”, is it a “defense”. Is it a pro-active movement or a set up or a reaction?
3. Identify your goal. Fight? Flight? Or Freeze?
4. Add movement. Forward, Backward… sideways? Who moves first, who moves next? This way you know who is directing the action.
5. Substitute. Replace some movements. Instead of “attack”, block. Instead of “block”, attack. It gives you a different perspective of the movement at hand. Do you want to add a disarm, takedown, throw?

There’s no magic to this. Just hard study. Just doesn’t forget to test it first in class. Because the worst place to find out it doesn’t work is on the street.

Lightning Scientific Arnis Israel

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————find us at http://www.lsai.co.il

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

and affiliate schools in: THE PHILIPPINES | ISRAEL | WASHINGTON DC | SEATTLE | HOUSTON TX| CANADA | STEVENAGE UK | AUSTRALIA | SINGAPORE| VIETNAM | HONGKONG


2017 has been a busy year, busy enough that I’ve let slip work on this blog so i’m sorry its been silent for a while. So where to begin?

Lets start with:
FEBRUARY
Wallace Collection
Did some decompressing in London.  Took a walk around and found myself at the Wallace Collection.  An excellent mix of china, jewelry, arms and armour.  in general a great way to get into the spirit of things.

Lightning Kali Combatives Seminar – Stevenage
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This was the first trip for the year.  Checking up on the Lightning Kali Combatives group headed by Tom Pena.  This year I’m accompanied by Ofer, one of the Instructors in training from the Israel HQ.  The seminar saw some new blood as we refined core principles in Bigay Tama, Agaw Baston and some Stick Takedowns and light groundwork.  The core group also did an in-house review session to bolster the two-man drills and emphasize attribute development.

Royal Armoury – Leeds

Naturally at some point we took a break and finally got to set aside time to visit the Royal Armoury in Leeds.  This is a HUGE collection of arms and armour.  Too much to take in  all in one day… probably need to do it again.

Tel Aviv Seminar –  Lanseta Serrada

Back home and refreshed after the UK trip, ready to inflict some education we do a seminar on the principles behind Lanseta Serrada or filipino knifework using the principles of tersiya serada kadenilya y espada y daga.


Misgav Seminar – Haru Dojo
LSAIsrael gets invited to introduce and present Filipino Martial Arts at the Haru Dojo north of Tel Aviv.  2 hours to get there but well worth it.  It  is always a great experience to present Filipino Martial Arts to potential practitioners.

APRIL
Yemi
There’s nothing like getting some training in while on vacation. At least that was what was on Yemi’s mind.  Member of the DC club under Angelo Garcia, he came over to get some training time a halfstrike has t the HQ participating almost daily in classes and private training.  Of course downtime is awesome since the beach is so close and the food always good.  And yes… some training did happen.

MAY
Knife Show
We get invited pretty often to the local Knife expos here and get some time for demonstrations and such.  Always a good thing as we get to highlight and showcase  different aspects of a broad system.  This one was out of town at Emeq Hefer, Kibbutz north of Tel Aviv. So its always a good thing to have a new audience to present to since as much as FMA is now getting popular, it is still not as mainstream as we think.

JUNE
Dojo Festival – Sachne
Every year we take the club out roughing it… ok semi-roughing it. Dojo Festival is an annual festival where many groups of martial artists come together as a little weekend community sharing in several martial arts related activities.  There’s a lot of fun had for everyone.

JULY
I took a little vacation trip this year and decided to hang out with my buddy Tom.  Funny thing how things work out as David Bardos, half of the dynamic duo, of our Australia group was also there. Wish your were there too Irvin de Castro.  It’s also a funny thing what we consider vacation.
Swung by the British Museum

As well as had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend, not the old guy. Always good to meet up Shaun!IMG_3438


Tel Avi – dulo-dulo seminar
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And im back in Tel-aviv.  In this seminar we introduce a little known  self defense multip[lier called the dulo dulo, a little piece of wood just a little longer than the palm.  I think we handled this one pretty well.

SEPTEMBER

Visiting Training Group Leaders

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As the BER months come around so do some old students.  Angelo Garcia, DC Training Group Leader and Eldad Jaeger of our Hongkong Group were in town to get training upgrades… sabich.  Time flies when your having fun and we do get a lot of that as we spent nearly every day of almost as month just smacking each other around.  I think these 2 just fell in love. Can anyone say Whirlwind Bromance?


OCTOBER

Lightning Scientific Arnis in the USA

Coppell ATA – Dallas

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Katy – Houston

MKG Seattle

So I’m Stateside in October checking up on how we Lightning is doing in Houston, Dallas and Seattle and the looking is good.  That sounded weird. Seeing lots of growth in skill and understanding and that LSAI is developoing firm roots in these communities.  Thanks go to the efforts of Robert Montifar in Texas for rounding them up  whipping them into shape.  Same goes to the MKG Seattle peeps and the hard work of Bryce Tillet and Vince Beltran through the gudance and mentoring of Guro Andy Wilson, MKG Seattle Head Honcho and Owner.  Special thanks goes to Czar who keeps me well fed and comfy!


NOVEMBER

Visiting Guests and Friends

I can’t be abroad all the time so its always great when people come over.  We had a visit from the guys from the BKMO – British Krav Maga Organization. Looking to working together more with Wayne Edwards and company again!

DECEMBER
My gratitude goes to everyone who make these activities  and trips a joy and and experience.  True the year isn’t over yet but it’s good to get a perspective of how the year has been.  Its been good so I cant wait for the next!  Things are still in the works so stay in touch for the update on our Annual HannuChristmas Party!!!
I never really tire of these things so keep me busy!!!

Fighting Is Only The Beggining

Posted: January 27, 2017 in Ramblings

Fighting is only the Beginning

The Martial Arts, or the Art of Mars, the Roman God of War are collectively what we call sets of fighting techniques organized into a system or method regardless of race or culture that can be effectively passed on from person to person or to a group of individuals.

Ever since man has assigned value to something, anything be it food, shelter, mates or offspring man has had to fight to either protect it or take it. Through success and failure man has slowly compiled this knowledge into methods, techniques and system of effectively controlling, subduing and killing threats.

So Fighting is only the beggining.

Man’s growth in knowledge and evolution through trial and error predispose him to constantly try different methods to improve his craft and make efficient his goal hence the adoption of weapons as tools to improve efficiency and so ushering the birth of systems of individual and multiple combat.

So this is what we do as teachers regardless of creed, caste or religion. We pass on knowledge. We develop skill. We create opportunities for our students to develop and train their skills. We train people in the Arts of Mars, for whatever our purpose.

That brings me to this point. Why do we study it?

It is ridiculous and arrogant to think that the Martial Arts, one of man’s greatest developments is useful for only one thing, the destruction of fellow man. It’s a simplistic thought without factoring in the rest of human knowledge, experience, understanding and pschology.

Everyone has some reason from the practical, physical, academic, cultural, artistic or spiritual. We have found value in it that goes beyond killing. A value that goes beyond self defense or simply fighting. Every practitioner has his own reason.

So Fight on whatever your reason!

Teachers can only show you paths.

It’s up to you find yours and walk it.

It’s about skill, not gimmicks.

It is about the development of lasting skill. A transferable skill to different combinations of weapon sets. It is about connecting skills that work well together.  It is about skill that improves with age. It is about understanding things to its completeness. It is about total understanding and not flashy gimmicks or trendy fads or fancy uniforms and gear we see in movies. It is about the flexible understanding of principles. Not about memorized sets or cookie-cutter solutions.

It is about skill that gets better with experience. It is about understanding that deepens with testing yourself.

Unlock your inner potential.

and affiliate schools in: THE PHILIPPINES | ISRAEL WASHINGTON DC SEATTLE HOUSTON TXCANADA STEVENAGE UK | AUSTRALIA | SINGAPORE

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.