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Topics - Spadaccino

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Martial Arts Topics / Saved a little kid's life today...
« on: September 27, 2004, 08:20:09 PM »
So, it was a typically quiet afternoon at the strip mall GNC that I manage. I was taking a break and just hanging by the front door, to get some fresh air. A mother in her mid-30s walked by with three kids. The oldest was a girl about 8 years old, who was pushing a baby carriage with an infant in it. Following them was a little boy about 4 or 5 years old tops, who was wearing leg braces and was walking with crutches. I don't know what was wrong with him, but he looked like a smaller version of Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carroll--definitely not in good shape.

Something bugged me from the start as they all walked by--mainly the fact that neither the mother nor the 8-year-old daughter was watching the crippled kid--he was literally about 12 or 15 feet behind them. They walked at a "normal" pace, which the crippled kid obviously couldn't maintain. The gap between them widened, and nobody seemed to care.

The mother then veered off and walked into the parking lot, to get something from her mini van. The daughter kept going straight on the mall sidewalk (pushing the baby carriage), heading towards the pizza joint. The crippled kid brought up the rear.

Suddenly, the crippled boy made a beeline for his mom. I watched in horror as he aimlessly headed for the edge of the curb, like a clueless dog with no road sense. A million things went thru my head in that moment--I actually froze for a second, saying to myself, "Sh!t, that kid's just gonna walk into the street!"

He kept going.

And a car was coming.

I suddenly snapped out of the surreal state of mind I was in, and ran over to the kid shouting "WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!" The kid heard me and stopped right at the edge of the curb. At that very instant, I ran in front of him to prevent him from going any further. The car stopped, and then proceeded cautiously. I looked over at the mother who was still by her car, staring in shock. She ran back and started yelling at the poor kid, "What are you doing? Don't you know to look both ways before you cross?" and blah, blah, blah. The kid started to cry. The mother said absolutely nothing to me--not even a simple "Thank you".

Man, that whole episode ticked me off. I don't mean to sound abrasive and/or judgemental, but that stupid woman should have been keeping an eye on her kid. Just the fact that she was letting him walk behind her (and quite far away at that) was just plain wrong. Maintain some sort of pace with the poor little guy! And then to just walk off to her van without looking at where he even was--what a friggin' idiot.

If I hadn't been working, I frankly would have told her off--but I didn't know what kind of ramifications would be involved, so I checked myself.

But I was SO tempted.

Stupid friggin' @#!%&.

Anyway, I said a couple of prayers afterwards--one thanking God for enabling me to save the little guy, and one asking God to make sure that the little guy gets treated better by his mom in the future.

What a crazy experience...

Martial Arts Topics / Prayers for Erin Toughill & Family
« on: September 24, 2004, 07:38:59 AM »
Meghan Toughill, the sister of NHB fighter Erin Toughill, was killed in a car accident this past weekend.  :cry:

Please keep Erin and her family in your prayers.

A nice Spanish military bolo, circa 1890:

Below is a link to a couple of articles concerning the origins of the Filipino martial arts of arnis, eskrima, and "kali":

Both articles on this link are very good (and Dr. Nepangue's piece first appeared in Mark V. Wiley's tremendous essay compilation, Arnis--Reflections on the History and Development of the Filipino Martial Arts), but it is primarily Celestino Macachor's "New Theories on the Origins of Eskrima", which really impacted me. This essay offers what I feel is the most plausible explanation for the much-talked-about (but little understood) Spanish influence on FMA--the form that influence took, when it started, etc.  The details concerning the Spanish "warrior priests" is something I wasn't previously aware of, though it makes sense--for example, the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, was a soldier himself.  IMO, Mr. Macachor is to be commended, for piecing this all together.




Martial Arts Topics / Ottoman Turkish-Filipino Moro Connection?
« on: June 27, 2004, 10:05:43 AM »
Does anyone know if there was ANY kind of contact between the Ottoman Turks and the Moros of the Southern Philippines in the 16th and 17th centuries?

I ask this for a couple of reasons:

1.  The Ottomans were big on consolidating all Muslim countries against the European Christian powers--and Spain was of course a major opponent.

2.  The Spanish in the PI sometimes compared the fighting ability of the Filipinos in general to that of Moors and Turks.

3.  The word kalis has been said to be derived from the Turkish term kilij, which simply means "sword", though it most often refers to a comparatively short and heavy saber (as opposed to the longer, thinner, and more elegant Persian shamshir).

Any input would be appreciated, as I've never been clear on this issue.



Martial Arts Topics / Attn: Sun_Helmet--Solomon Kane movie status?
« on: May 05, 2004, 07:34:46 AM »

I remember way back when, you had mentioned that a SOLOMON KANE flick was in the works.

I recently saw a poster for the new Van Helsing movie, and I couldn't help but notice that they have apparently "borrowed" SK's "look", and it got me to thinking...

What's up with the Solomon Kane movie project?  Will our Puritan Swashbuckler ever see the light of day, cinematically speaking?



Martial Arts Topics / I can no longer stickfight... :(
« on: March 17, 2004, 03:34:48 PM »
For the past couple of years, I've been dealing with a thinning retina in my right eye--apparently, it's something that can happen with age (though I'm trying to find out more about this).  The eye doctor had told me that a heavy blow to the head could possibly detach it, but, like with so many things, doctors tend to be rather vague...

Anyway, I recently had my yearly exam, and now I have a thinning retina in my left eye too, and the doctors at my eyecare center are recommending that I give up stickfighting, and everything else that may cause a hard blow to the head.

This has come as quite a depressing shock to me.

This means that I should not engage in:

1.  FMA full-contact stick/sword sparring.  :(

2.  My experimental English singlestick sparring.  :(

3.  Any standing grappling involving high-amplitude throws.  :(

In addition, I had wanted to someday try my hand at jukendo (Japanese bayonet fencing), but I suspect that the thrusts from a ridgid dummy rifle/bayonet could be very jarring, and should likewise be avoided.     :(  :cry:

This leaves me with conventional Western fencing, and BJJ groundwork (both of which are good, albeit limited on some level).  

What I want to know is, given my situation, what are my current FMA options, if any?  Would I just be limited to drills, or maybe sparring with hard rubber knives?

Any input would be appreciated.

Don't get me wrong--no activity is worth risking my vision, but I really love stickfighting in all it's incarnations, and so this news has understandably bummed me out.




Martial Arts Topics / Catch wrestling armbar
« on: February 08, 2004, 08:20:04 PM »
Here's a cool pic of catch wrestler Nat Pendleton performing an armbar in assistance to a pin (top pic):

This link was recently posted on by good ol' Scuffler, our resident wrestling historian.

It shows the submission approach that was often favored by catch wrestlers--ie., using subs to coerce a guy into a pin.  Scuffler pointed out how Pendleton is on his side, so as not to have his own shoulders touch the mat, while his opponent is bridging to attempt to avoid the pin.

Martial Arts Topics / Eskrimadors in Jean LaFitte's pirate force?
« on: November 05, 2003, 08:42:35 AM »
I've occasionally read that there were some Filipinos amongst the many nationalities in Jean LaFitte's band of pirates in New Orleans, and it has been claimed that they were eskrimadors.

Can anyone shed any more light on this?



Martial Arts Topics / Tapered sticks in LSA?
« on: October 11, 2003, 04:46:21 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I've often seen photos of GM Benjamin Luna Lema, of Lightning Scientific Arnis, using a stick that appears to be tapered, and with the grip wrapped in some material.  I found this interesting, as it would make the stick in question balance and therefore handle more like a sword.  Does anyone have any info on this or any other tapered sticks used in FMA?



Martial Arts Topics / My Mother Passed Away 8/4/03
« on: August 10, 2003, 06:39:56 AM »
Hello Everyone,

Things have been busy for me as of late; my mother (who suffered from Alzheimer's and congestive heart failure) recently died.

This has been a very difficult two years (the time that she was in a nursing home), and I have had a lot on my plate (and still do, now that I have to sell her old house, which I have been living in), but I simply wanted to thank Guro Crafty for having such a great website, where I could "get away" from time to time and share MA experiences with fellow enthusiasts.  I would also like to thank all the practioners of various martial arts and combat sports that post on this site; I have learned something from each and every one of you.

It will be some time before I return to doing any "epic"-sized posts, but I will be around.

Best Regards To All,

David Black Mastro

Martial Arts Topics / Quality talibong replicas--where?
« on: June 08, 2003, 07:13:09 AM »
Does anyone know of any cutlery houses that make nice talibongs?  I love that style of sword.


I hope all is well with you, sir.

I have been busy with various domestic matters (among other things), and have thus been absent from the DB site for some time.

Remember the big ol' FMA vs. WMA thread where you quoted from the late 16th century Spanish writer who commented on the failure of early Spanish expeditions (Magellan, Villa Lobos, etc), and said that the key to the Spanish maintaining a presence in the Philippines was the arquebus?  Could you please repost that quote, together with the author and book that it came from?  My research is (I feel) coming to a head on this topic, and that quote is a key point, in illustrating the difference between the Spanish experiences in the New World, and those in the Philippines.

I also recently managed to finally see Sir John Smythe's Certain Discourses Militarie, and some of his comments on the Spanish (specifically in regards to their conquests in the New World) are also interesting, and seem to only verify my findings on this subject.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bahala Na,

David Black Mastro

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