Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

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

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



Ten Years and Counting!

Posted: March 24, 2018 in Events, History, Training

10 years! Let’s get started!

to infinity and beyond!

This party has been rolling for 10 years! Happy 10th Anniversary LSAIsrael!

So first things first none of this would be possible without the support of my wife, Neta Shermister, who has been with me through all the challenges of promoting Filipino Martial Arts outside the Philippines as well as the day to day tasks of running a club here in LSAIsrael HQ.

Also to the students members of our organization. Some of you have been with me since the beginning. For that I am honored. WE have put down roots here and you are part of it. Root and Branch, that’s what you are, leaf, flower fruit, all part of the same organism.

Our school has been through many changes since we started out in the park in 2008. For sure, as many things are usually in Israel, there will always be changes, hopefully good changes and growth. To the new peeps, welcome. You are standing at the start of a new beginning, a new decade. So here’s to looking ahead and lets see where the next ten years gets us!!!

This year we celebrated by going out of town to Eilat for a weekend seminar with students and friends from abroad. Sun, Sand and Stickfighting!!!

evening blade work session

Special thanks go to Tom Peña, head of Lightning Kali Combatives, our representative in Stevenage, UK, his student Viorel and Petra who all especially came to join us that weekend! Filipino Martial Arts is alive and well in Israel!

So deal with it! You are stuck with me, hehehe.

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


A Bright Idea

Posted: January 24, 2018 in Events, Training

A few weekends ago we had the opportunity to work with our friends at TACTICOOL to shed some light on the Olight M1X Striker EDC Defensive Light, a Tactical Flashlight at 1000 Lumens – its features, advantages and the opportunities it can create.

Specs sheet:

So how is it like to work a Tactical Flashlight?

In general, it is almost identical to work with as the classical Filipino weapon called the Dulo-Dulo or Palmstick except for some key differences where it has an distinct advantage.

Flashing the light at someone’s eyes at the speed of… well, “light”, has the effect of being punched in the eyeballs which results in confusion, momentary paralysis and pain which the defender can utilize to either escape or escalate the situation. We used this phenomena on each other during the sessions to experience the physiological and psychological response to a “light-punch” to the face.


We also made use of the “tactical” crown which with enough force is enough to cut skin and damage tendons as well as rigid enough fo applying pain-compliance techniques. Made from aircraft aluminum it has a has a very good feel in the hand and grips well. It’s most dazzling feature for me was the sturdy pocket clip which made it very accessible and easy to find and deploy at a moments notice.


Combining these features with some knowledge in FMA make it a very effective defensive tool. So for me in the end I find it an excellent escalation from a regular pen or palm stick.


Over all, a brilliant collaboration with our friends at TACTICOOL, and from us here at Lightning Scientific Arnis Israel, we’ll be back a few more bright ideas.

find us at

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


MARCH 3-5, 2016 – Here at LSAIsrael, we do our best to outdo ourselves with each next activity. This year we held our 2nd Winter Camp in Eilat in the south of Israel. Great sunny weather the whole weekend, we exceeded our planned 10 hours of training! In addition to our planned training hours we had a bonus session of some good old fashioned stick sparring and friend and guest instructor Brenton Welford gave us a taste of Kalis Ilustrismo.

Eilat is a great venue for these camps for its accessibility to all sorts of entertainment and other fun leisure activities indoor and outdoor. It also has night activities for those who need a little something to wrap up the day.

Seminar topics vary every year. This years focus was to beef up our core material. We have a very broad curriculum and these weekend seminar campsare great opportunities to cover the material with more depth. It is also a great time for people to make friendships and forge bonds. The camps are very much a family affair where members can bring along relatives and family.

Seminar Topics – LSAIsrael Winter Camp – Eilat 2016

Day 1
– Short Stick Pushing and Trapping
– Solo Baston serrada

Day 2
– Hand to Hand Combat
– Close Quarters Knife
– Empty Hand knife defense
– Doble Baston on the beach

Day 3
– Kalis Ilustrisimo workshop

Buffet meals, the only open indoor pool in winter, open bar on drinks, on-stage evening entertainment, various other outdoor activities. Maybe next seminar you should join us 😛

All-in-all it was a full and awesome weekend and we look forward to improving the experience each year.

Thanks go to Neta and Ofer for making the arrangements and making sure everything went awesome!


Photo Credits to Ariel Raskin, great photos man! – you can view the albums here:

Day 1Day 2Day 3


With the Holidays over here coming to a close, its time to think about training.

Here are a few options to sort out your week:


a week in arnis – choose your workout!

find us at

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



movementIn Baston Serrada, movement is the key whether it is to the rear, sideways or forward. It is the key to making you elusive and mobile.

The role of footwork is to support your goal. If it is to evade danger or dodge an attack or to engage a threat your feet are supposed to bring you to the best possible position to accomplish the task of hitting your opponent.



kambio (back foot moves first)

The kambio also know as “triangle” footwork changes your position by swinging your back foot forward to the other side of your opponent, and pulling your front foot behind you to support your balance and provide forward pressure. The kambio also provides forward pressure.  This is important because it discourages your opponent from charging forward.  This forward motion also brings you closer and around your opponents blindside.



seguida (push from back foot)

The seguida is a forward diagonal side-step which allows you to stay behind your opponent’s weapon. This side stepping maneuver allows you to maintain checking pressure on your opponent by pushing from your rear foot, like a basketball player trying to bypass his guard.



retirada (push back from front foot)

We call the retreating diagonal footwork a Retirada. Its simple a “backward” seguida or shuffle. Its footwork that allows you to keep your weapon in the same position while moving backwards.




The “lutang” or the floating step is a backwards stepping movement done by the lead leg sort of like in the “cha-cha”. The lead leg is brought backwards to hover behind the body to evade an attack to the lead leg. It then returns to its former position after.

On point of contact with your opponent’s weapon you will have several options. If Baston Serrada is the one you chose, redirecting your opponents attack improves your chances of a successful execution of technique. We also redirect the attack for less obvious reasons such as absorbing the impact, improving our position, moving our weapon to a more advantageous angle, releasing pressure and getting out-of-the-way of your opponents other weapons.

The “checking” motion is an integral part of Baston Serrada, not just for the continuous pressure it provides and the continuous flow of information you get from contact with your opponent, but also for the potential it represents when you put a weapon in that hand. when converted into the “dagger-hand”, it develops cutting, slashing and stabbing attributes. This elevates your level of potential lethality.

This is an inward half-circle “cupping” motion, as if you are scooping water in the palm of your hand. This is a great follow-up after the espada y daga block. Used in conjunction with a kambio, it can get you outside the line of attack effectively and in the same motion, get you behind your opponents weapon-side shoulder and away from your opponents other weapons. From this position you gain a line of attack on the edge of your opponents peripheral vision on both the highline and lowline for either a banda y banda or a krus..

This is an outward “brushing-away” motion. When used against a backhand strike it moves you into the centerline giving you access to the face, head, collarbones, chest, pretty much any part of the body in the center. The risk though is that when you are in the center, you are accessible to your opponents other weapons on the other side of his body.

It’s like a “joystick”. If you are able to catch your opponents stick with your hand when you block, it puts you in a “double-stick position. So now, with “your” newly acquired weapon you can fan it inwards or outwards, or lift it up or down depending on the goal you want to accomplish.

Movement is the first of our 3 Rules we follow as a basic guide to survival.  Quoting “Ender’s Game,” his mentor says, “there is no combat without movement.” For us it is never about fancy footwork but rather about increasing our chances of survival.

*these terms are my own and have been utilized for lack of an official terms for these movements

De Salon, Corto, Tercia Serrada, What do they all have in common? In general they connote close-combat fighting but they each have their own nuance. So, what do they mean, specifically?

De Salon connotes a close range of fighting in the context of fighting indoors, in a closed space with very little room to maneuver. “Salon”, meaning living room or parlour, it conveys the sense that a lot the techniques would be in small frames with small footwork.

Corto also means close range fighting (coming from the three ranges of fighting largo, media, corto), but with emphasis on the weapon movements. Understanding that in the close range, shorter strikes with either chopping or curving angles would be more efficient in hitting and recovering than long arcing strikes. The shorter strikes also expose your arms less in the close range.

Tercia Serrada suggests the principle of “closing-in and jamming” your opponents movements from the “outside”. It also means meeting the attack and redirecting it so that you can expose your opponents weak-side, blind-spot or back.

These are the Core Principles in doing proper Baston Serrada.

intercepting in baston serrada

intercepting in baston serrada


I already mentioned when I defined Corto that the strikes are meant to be short. But lets refine our definition. In the close range, body positioning is tighter, somewhat similar to a south-paw boxer. Hands are at chest-height, the elbow is close to the ribs, knees bent, the stick in front of the face guarding the body. From this position, full arcing strikes become risky because they make the body over extend making them hard to recover after execution. What is efficient in this range though are shorter, chopping strikes that don’t overextend the arm, exposing the body. Shorter strikes also allow you to reposition your stick faster if you need it to block or defend against a strike you didn’t expect as well as allow you to re-chamber your strike so that you can hit more times.


So I’m now going to break things down into Action Sets. These are sets of movements that could either be interpreted as an attack or a defense, depending on the scenario. These are the building blocks that we will use to put together the full movement that is Baston Serrada.

Banda Y Banda

banda y banda

banda y banda

The word “banda” means bounce. So it translates to a “rebounding strike.” What makes it different from a “halfstrike” which returns to its point-of-origin, is that a “banda y banda” strike rebounds to the other side of the body. To further refine this, the chopping action of the banda y banda comes in at a 45 degree angle on one side and exits at a 45 degree angle on the other side creating a “V” shape. This is the angle of the bounce of the banda y banda. The angle makes it easier to move the stick from one side to the other and vice-versa.

Espada y Daga

espada y daga

espada y daga

Literally, it means sword and dagger, but in this case we are referring to the involvement of the empty hand in a checking or pushing motion where the intent of it is to detect and monitor your opponents movements. Basically, the empty hand moves to the sticks position after it has hit its target. This creates a continuous pressure on point of contact giving you a better chance to overwhelm your opponents position.




The Krus is an inverted vertical strike, like a swinging pendulum, that gets its name from the shape it makes when it is blocked by a horizontal block, forming a “cross”. The objective of this strike is a snapping sneak attack on the lowline towards the knees, groin or elbow. It is also an effective strike when your checking hand is in the way by being on top of your weapon hand.


When performing Baston Serrada, it important to check several things

1. Accuracy – Make sure your are hitting what you are aiming for. It’s nice to have a little luck on your side in a fight, but knowing that you can hit anything you aim at is better insurance.

2. Sensitivity – You must successfully detect the intent and motion of your opponent by feeling the pressure of their movements from point of contact. You must also learn to follow your opponents movements and to redirect them to a safe position from which you can take control and counter attack.

3. Timing – The speed and timing of your block, check and counter attack have to be tight enough that there are no gaps in which your opponent can interrupt you. This also means entering at the proper moment and disengaging safely.

4. Pressure – This refers to the line of pressure your strike creates and not necessarily the power behind your strike. It also refers to the process of pushing and jamming your opponents movements continuously and putting him off-balance.

5. Control – We can look at this 2 ways. Controlling your self and controlling your opponent.

a. For yourself, make sure you know where you stick is at all times. Make sure you know what your position is relative to your opponent. Make sure that you can put yourself where you want to be.

b. On your opponent, make sure you know where his weapon is, know if he has a second weapon in the other hand. Drive your opponent where you want him to be.


Begin training with a progression in mind. It is important to develop the proper escalation of movements to ensure smooth power delivery and coordination. Develop a rhythm. The timing will become evident to you as you improve. Emphasize and develop the use of proper attributes (strength, speed, stamina).

Banda y Banda  

banda y banda

banda y banda

Start slow with the Banda y Banda. Pay attention to body mechanics. Another important part of the dynamics is how the body moves with the strikes. Ideally the body should be powering the strikes from the ground through the hips.

1. One way to ensure this is to start from the abierta position with the heel of the back foot raised.

2. As you execute the first strike of the Banda y Banda, drop the back heel of your foot. This twists your waist and opens your hip which drives the force through your leg, up back into your arm and out to the stick.

3. On contact, the stick should bounce upward to the other side of your body. On the backhand strike of the Banda y Banda, power it by raising the heel of your back foot and push from your toe. This will push the force up your leg and through your waist, twisting it into your strike.

4. Bounce the strike back into the abierta position.

5. Make sure the tip of your stick points upwards throughout the drill.

Espada y Daga + Banda y Banda

espada y daga banda y banda

espada y daga, banda y banda

This is an escalation of the Banda y Banda drill. The objective is to properly apply the “dagger” hand in a checking position in-between the bouncing sticks.

1. Start like you would normally do the Banda y Banda from the abierta position, checking hand on the centerline, back heel raised.

2. Thrust your empty hand forward, right after your first strike as it bounces to the other side. make sure the shoulder of your weapon hand faces forward and drop your back heel.

3. Twist your waist, raise the heel and push from the toes of your back foot as you perform the return strike of your Banda y Banda. Point the elbow of your empty hand forward, with the empthy hand under your chin.

4. Return your stick to the abierta position and move your hand forward into the checking position.

5. Repeat as necessary.

Espada y Daga + Krus + Banda y Banda

espada y daga, krus,  banda y banda

espada y daga, krus, banda y banda

We can further escalate these movements by adding the “krus”. What this does is that it adds the element of unpredictability by adding a low angle strike which gives you additional options of a strike when the point of your stick is low and a strike on the lowline which can be unexpected. Espada y Daga

1. Start like you would normally do the Banda y Banda from the abierta positon, checking hand on the centerline, back heel raised.

2. Thrust your empty hand forward, right after your first strike as it bounces to the other side. make sure the shoulder of your weapon hand faces forward and drop your back heel. Krus

3. Shift your weight from your front leg to your back leg, lean back sideways from your waist to create a pendulum like movement as you swing your stick upward in a snapping strike from under your arm.

4. From contact, chamber your stick on top of your empty hand side bicep. Banda y Banda

5. Twist your waist, raise the heel and push from the toes of your back foot as you perform the return strike of your Banda y Banda. Point the elbow of your empty hand forward, with the empty hand under your chin.

6. Return your stick to the abierta position and move your hand forward into the checking position.

7. Repeat as necessary.


Baston Serrada operates as action-sets on triggers from point of contact. The information you get from point of contact should trigger your reaction, whether it is to go completely on the offensive, redirect the attack and counter, or stay on the defensive. It is ideal to “blind-side” your opponent by going to the outside, but you should still be able to hold your ground on the inside if you cant regardless of the attack. A constant barrage of strikes from multiple angles assisted by the “checking hand should keep your opponent off-balance. Some simple rules of thumb are:

1. redirect the attack

2. move to a better position

3. neutralize the weapon / weapon hand

4. off-balance your opponent

5. attack from an unexpected angle

6. keep hitting

7. repeat as necessary, not necessarily in any order


There are obviously other options that may be inserted into this structure. We still have not covered the different possible blocks that work well with Baston Serrada, nor the different types of disruptive attacks you can insert between the movements, as well as positions favorable for disarms or takedowns. This makes Baston Serrada a very flexible system. I didnt say its going to be easy though. As with anything worthwhile, you must put in the time and effort to develop these skills to their highest potential.