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Messages - maija

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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: Bystanders doing nothing...
« on: May 06, 2008, 11:54:05 AM »
Different situation, but worth linking to here. Previous thread about  'bystander apathy' :

Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior
« on: April 07, 2008, 02:39:26 PM »
Well said.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Liner lock issues
« on: April 04, 2008, 02:57:09 PM »
As I understand it, when closing a blade with a liner lock, say you have the blade in your left hand, you pull the locking mechanism to the left with your left thumb to release the blade and close the knife.
If you can create this same effect by twisting the cutting edge of the blade to the right, hence creating the same relative motion, this bypasses the lock and then you have a problem, as obviously this can happen at or after contact if there is any twist. I guess some locks are also easy to engage even with a normal grip which is a problem when you inadvertently pull on the lock, again if the blade twists at contact.
Some blades don't seem to have this issue, but I have heard of it as a potential hazard.
The Spyderco "Yohimbo" has a neat liner lock along the back which is cool.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Balintawak and Dog Brothers Martial Arts
« on: April 02, 2008, 08:45:49 PM »
Ah yes, the eternal question ...... how to close?
What does 'corto' do if it can't get past 'largo's' tip?
What does 'largo' do if 'corto' gets past that tip?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: "Toys"
« on: March 18, 2008, 06:29:14 AM »

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: March 14, 2008, 03:57:02 PM »
Aaah, the early Seagals .... those were the days. I think I prefer "Above The Law", though I also have a strange fondness for "Marked for Death" and of course Tommy Lee Jones makes "Under Siege" worth the wait for the last knife fight.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Vehicle issues
« on: March 12, 2008, 04:31:11 PM »
A friend of mine was getting money late at night, at an ATM I think. As he was walking back to his car that was parked in the parking lot, he saw a group of 3 guys pull up near by. One starts to walk over towards his car. My friend has no martial arts training, is not a fighter by nature, but is 6'4'' and quite large, so has generally not needed to deal with people stepping to him.
He saw the guy split off towards him, but he carried on to his car and had time to get in and turn the key but not close the door before the guy pointed a gun at him and demanded the money and the car aswell.
The guy was standing close enough so that when my friend put the car in gear and pulled away, the guy got knocked over by the door. My friend got away fine, but ended up with 3 bullet holes in his door and a shattered window from a 4th.
Talking with him later, he is conflicted as to if it was the "smart" thing to do, but as he said, he did not know that was what his reaction would be until it happened.
He also believes that because only 1 of the 3 came over, it was probably a gang "test" or something, in which case the guy lost face especially as he was knocked over. He wonders whether he would have fired at him otherwise.
As far as handy implements to carry in the front seat, how about the ubiquitous ballpoint pen? Most convenient for close quarter usage .....

Here is a link to a friend's site in Germany, go to the left side menu to "Main Focus On Technique" for a couple "inside the car techniques".
Aside: Andreas has hosted Maestro Sonny Umpad in Germany, and there a 2 short clips of him in the "Videogallery" section.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: March 07, 2008, 09:10:58 PM »
Shuai Chiao.
Beijing training:
John S Wang:

Short notice, but John S Wang will be in Santa Barbara this weekend teaching a series of classes. Info:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: March 07, 2008, 06:27:00 PM »
I've had 3 friends who all burned out teaching. 2 here in The Bay Area, and 1 in New Mexico. All left because they got tired of fighting "the system" and the stifling conditions they were expected to perform under. I helped one friend clear out of her classroom, and as a European, I was shocked at the state of the place - broken chairs, and torn up carpet in a dingey basement room with no natural light. This surrounded by a playground with no vegetation, black asphalt, bare concrete walls and outside, gang territory on all 4 sides of the school.
I believe she had about 30 students per class and I know for a fact she bought all the supplies out of her own pocket, sometimes including food.
If there is to be some authority figure, respected in the school, to arbitrate when fights occur, it seems the whole set up needs to change for the teachers already have too much on their plates. The Principals? They probably spend their time trying to meet quotas to keep the school going and fighting with the paper pushers above them. They have way too little time to familiarize themselves with the individual students, and KNOWING your students as individuals, I'm thinking, is the only way to arbitrate and educate in a reasonable manner.
I totally believe, 100%, that individuals need to stand up for themselves, children aswell as adults, but surely this has to go hand in hand with a moral understanding of what is right and wrong? All the fathers that have commented on this thread seem to have this lesson in mind as they educate their kids, but what of the probably larger percentage of kids that have no guidance? How will they define what is "righteous" behavior, especially when they are surrounded by violence on the streets and possibly at home?
If the parents are unavailable or incapable, then it's the school's job I guess, but I can't see how that's going to work in the little I've seen of the schools here.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: March 07, 2008, 04:51:18 PM »
Maxx,"....... I think I need to take my Toyama Ryu Remei Honbu and we should battle!"

I'll go get my Hakama!! :lol:....though I'm sure I'll get thrashed as I only started class a couple years back, and yes, I'm still practicing.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: March 06, 2008, 04:22:25 PM »
Hi Bruno,
I'm based in Oakland CA.
My primary arts are Visayan Corto Kadena Eskrima of maestro Sonny Umpad, and Gao style Bagua Zhang from Luo De Xiu of Taipei. I also practice Toyama Ryu Battodo under Sensei Mike Esmialzadeh aswell as Chen Pan Ling and Wu style Tai Chi. I used to foil fence as a kid, and honestly all edged weapon arts make me happy :-D
The first time I noticed Venezuelan martial arts was an article in The Journal of Asian Martial Arts, can't remember which issue I'm afraid. The photos showed some cool hand switching, nice and deceptive.....I'd be interested in learning more about it for sure.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: March 05, 2008, 06:44:52 AM »
What a fascinating combination of martial training you have. I have seen a little of a Venezuelan martial art using machete, perhaps it was similar to Garrotte?
I suspect I will not be making it to the DBMA camp, but if you ever find yourself a little further north here in the Bay Area, please be sure to let us know! 8-)

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Living, Training, and Fighting with Eyeglasses
« on: February 24, 2008, 01:31:55 PM »
I've worn glasses since I was a teenager, and though I am near sighted, so really do not need them at blade sparring range, I find if I take them off, I lose track of them.
I get the higher end lenses with built in polarization so they double as sunglasses, and preferably the frames that bend without breaking in case they get knocked off. For training they have actually protected my eyes on many occasions from stray training blade and stick tips.
Anything close contact however with grappling or throwing, you are screwed. They just don't cut it. I keep some daily wear contact lenses for those days. I guess I'd wear them more, but I'm getting to the astigmatism age also, so I STILL need glasses for close stuff while I'm wearing the contacts :-P. I much prefer peering over my glasses I guess....
My only trick for keeping track of them if you take them off, is to clip your keys to them.
I guess it's best to train with AND without them, like the old Eskrimadors who would train in low light conditions outside at night, candle light etc. However it is also nice to see the subtleties in focus sometimes to sharpen your angles.
Hey, perhaps you could bring out a new range of glasses that could double as weapons, you know, nice steel frames ..... :-D

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Donga ( Nguni Stickfighting )
« on: February 12, 2008, 05:33:56 PM »
I was curious how shortening the handle changed the way the weapon came to be used.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Donga ( Nguni Stickfighting )
« on: February 11, 2008, 08:36:31 AM »
Hi oldboy,
Fascinating info. According to Wikipedia, the Assegai has a shortened form called the Iklwa (Ixwa) for closer quarters. I'm curious if this is more like a spear head with a short handle, a double edged dagger for thrusting only, or more like a "barong", the leaf shaped blade from the Phillipines, so also used for cutting?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Umpad Corto-Kadena
« on: February 05, 2008, 05:02:37 PM »
Well, i finally dragged my ass into the 21st century and posted on Youtube :-D. I have not learned as yet how to edit .... working on that, so here instead is about 10 minutes of raw footage of a workout at Sonny's.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: February 02, 2008, 03:34:07 PM »
Weird, Finnish subtitles .... :lol:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris
« on: February 02, 2008, 03:31:46 PM »
When I was alot younger I had an Equestrian teacher who had been a Major in the British army. He must have been born in the 'teens or '20s, and had been one of the few British officers to complete the Italian Cavalry School training, apparently quite a feat.
He had served with the Gurkhas and had many stories of their fierceness and bravery. The one I remember had a Commanding Officer asking for volunteers to fly in low, jump from the aircraft behind enemy lines and complete some kind of mission. Only a handful of Gurkhas raised their hands which was most unusual as normally they would all volunteer. On asking why, the officer found out that the they thought they would be jumping without parachutes as he had forgotten to mention them!! Still, a handful were willing to go!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Judo = Hurts
« on: February 02, 2008, 03:16:28 PM »
This guy was VERY highly skilled and totally worth checking out.
His throws are amazing for sure, but just as impressive are they ways he avoids being thrown.
Mifune sensei:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: January 29, 2008, 02:30:26 PM »
New one from the director of Ong Bak: "Chocolate".
Like they say "No stunt double, real injuries" ...

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: January 25, 2008, 02:09:13 PM »
"Uncle Bill"
 Kuntao Silat De Thouars from the late 1950s


Before his passing, Maestro Sonny Umpad asked me to teach his system, and though I suspect I will not have to deal with this question at the level that you do, it is still something I have thought about.
 "Still this leaves the question of how to teach the things which are not for everyone.  As I have discussed previously (see e.g. our clip “Rambling Ruminations on Knife) training knife for application, as versus the Artistic/Ritual flow drills, disarm patterns, etc., can call to something very dark that sleeps within us and that once awakened in unsound people it can lead to tragic choices in pivotal moments.  Indeed it seems to me quite likely that this is why many FMA teachers go the artistic route—the physical knowledge is transmitted, but cannot be readily activated without certain keys of understanding."

Maestro Sonny Umpad had seen "the dark side" and understood very well the implications of the knowledge he possessed. He was very aware that he could pass on skills to save life as well as, potentially, to take life. This is obviously why he taught privately out of his home, vetting potential students before taking them on, and even then watching for undesirable changes in those he chose to teach.
Interestingly I learned pretty much everything I know about tactics, human psychology, weaponry and 'dirty tricks' from him. Perhaps the equivalent of the 'keys of understanding' you mentioned? So he wasn't averse to sharing his experiences and knowledge when he thought it appropriate.
I believe Sonny's method of dealing with this dilemma was different from the norm, it was to focus on EVASIVE skills above all else. (DLO ?!)
Learning first and foremost how to 'not get hit' , or at least improve the odds, created a very different mind set than learning the '9/12/20 slashes of death' or whatever.
Targeting, weapon manipulation, follow-through etc were all mounted to this evasive foundation but were only added according to the maturity level of the student.
His basic message was, learn how to get away, not how to kill. If getting away entails harming another, then so be it, but understand the consequences.
One of his many great gifts IMHO was his ability to push peoples emotional buttons to see what was underneath, and hence how much he was willing to teach them.
He used many ploys: He would back you into corners to bring out aggression, go full speed with a slightly blunted machete, sending sparks flying by your head to bring out fear, he would tag your hands over and over and over again, for hours (or so it seemed!) to bring out pride, or sometimes he'd use me as a 'ringer' to flow with potential students, having me progressively hit them more and more to see how they would react to getting hit by a girl, to bring out ego!!
It was fascinating watching him work.
Anyway, your post got me thinking about this again, and recalled to me his most common answer to the question "What's my focus today"?
The first answer, always: "Don't get hit".

I developed an interest in swords and started foil fencing at the age of 9, perhaps not the obvious choice of a female, only child, but go figure :-) and this interest in martial arts in general, and weapons in particular has stayed with me since then. I have trained for most of my adult life and am now 44 years old.
I connected with the Dog Brothers through my FMA teacher Maestro Sonny Umpad during the filming of the "Grandfathers Speak" DVD series and was very impressed with their respect for the "old knowledge" of generations past and how they connected it to practical, modern day material.
I joined the DBMA Martial Arts Forum soon after and started checking out what they were about. One thing led to another and last summer I attended my first Gathering and fought 2 blade fights with the "shock knives". It was just a small taste of what the rest of the tribe do and with far less risk of injury than the stick fighters accept as the cost of stepping on to the mat (I left with only a few bruised ribs), and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
There is no faking when faced with the strong emotions that a fight brings up, before, during and after. And everything you learn from those few minutes, whether you hit or take hits, whether you lose focus, freeze, forget everything you thought you knew, or find hidden strengths inside you never knew you had, you now have something to take home and work on. From real, personal experience.
I believe we all have an obligation to engage and participate in our lives to the fullest, and to take responsibility for ourselves and what we care about. Fear, aggression, anger, powerlessness, are all parts of the human experience are just as worthy of exploration and understanding as some of the "easier" stuff, not just in the context of fighting, but for living life in general.
Most people never have to find out what they are capable of under a fight/flight/freeze situation, but honestly I feel the need to know this about myself, and would hope that I would be standing next to someone else who knows too, if the sh#t ever hit the fan.
All in all, this is the most respectful, knowledgeable, interesting and polite group of martial artists I have ever met."Higher consciousness through harder contact" ? They could be onto something ..

House Painter

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: January 17, 2008, 04:29:29 PM »
I'll have to check this movie out. Truly MMA! Nice defensive and offensive sections.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4 Elements query to Marc Denny
« on: January 06, 2008, 08:53:40 AM »
Just thought I'd add this, though it veers from the 4 elements to Hsing-I 's (also written Xing Yi) 5 elements and 12 animals. Still, the idea is the same, just one way of separating 'flavors' of intent and fighting method.
Here is a clip of my teacher Luo De Xiu demonstrating the attitudes associated with "chicken/rooster".

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Umpad Corto-Kadena
« on: January 04, 2008, 06:05:54 PM »
FYI there are a couple new clips up of Sonny training students on the "video clips of interest" thread, posted today.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: January 04, 2008, 12:03:11 PM »
Here are a couple of clips of Maestro Sonny Umpad along with some of his students training at his house. These are just the beginning of a series we are putting together to give a flavor of Sonny's work.
It is a long process though because we all have hours of footage of our training sessions, and it's on VHS, so despite what seemed like accurate labeling at the time :roll: still means hours of review now to catch the neat stuff.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Working out While Sick??
« on: January 04, 2008, 11:46:34 AM »
Peregrine, your drawing and dry firing made me think of knife throwing from a draw.
Maestro Umpad said for a while he used to throw a knife at a target the first thing when he awoke every morning, to focus his mind. It might fit nicely with recovery sleeping..... If you are worried about damaging things in the house when you miss, just sharpen up some kebab sticks or skewers....

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: January 04, 2008, 09:12:33 AM »
Thanks Karsk,
I've not seen the Cyrano Movie, looks like fun! and it brings to mind another favorite I forgot to mention earlier. "The Duelists".
The book "By The Sword" by Richard Cohen, has an interesting section about the real sword experts that got involved in the movie business. It is also a fascinating read about the evolution of dueling and swordplay through the ages.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: January 02, 2008, 01:47:00 PM »
Hi Tom,
Yes I do like "The Hunted", though I would probably put that in the "partial" category.  The knife fight near the end is cool, but I have to confess the "hold on a minute whilst I fashion myself a blade over the campfire as I wait for my adversary" made my eyes roll a bit.

"The Mechanic" is awesome. Great ending!!
I'll check out "Sha Po Lang", I like Donnie Yen. Apart from his Asian movies, he has an all too short sword fight in "Blade 2" which is also neat.

Martial Arts Topics / Movie Fights
« on: January 02, 2008, 10:11:53 AM »
The subject of fight choreography has come up a bit lately, so I have to ask, what are you guys' favorites?
Obviously 'movie' and 'realism' don't really fit in the same sentence, but there are definitely more satisfying vs more irritating fight sequences out there.
I'm always looking for recommendations, so any suggestions?
Here are a few of my suggestions: For complete movies, one of my personal favorites is "The Yakuza" with Robert Mitchum. I also enjoyed the "Bourne" trilogy, "Time and Tide",The "Zatoichi" series, "Ong Bak", "Hero", "Fist of Legend", and the latest Bruce Willis "Live Free or Die Hard" which was hilarious.
There are also particular moments in movies that were neat, though the rest sucked, but I'll leave those for now....

Here's the first one I came across:
Nothing wrong with it, though nothing particularly innovative. I guess the tiresomely predictable sound track and an endorsement from "Batman" kinda negated any positive feelings I had about their actual training ideas ..... OK, I liked the focus mitt stuff.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4 Elements query to Marc Denny
« on: December 13, 2007, 05:28:18 PM »
Cool stuff!
Interestingly, if the 5 elements of Hsing-I are arranged pictorially, there are 4 at the cardinal points (NSE&W) and the 5th, Earth, is in the center as it contains all the others ...

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: December 13, 2007, 05:22:21 PM »
Tonite we dine in Cleveland!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4 Elements query to Marc Denny
« on: December 12, 2007, 06:22:00 PM »
Hsing-I, one of the so called Chinese internal arts uses 5 Elements, also present in Chinese medical theory, to differentiate "energies" or spirit /  flavors of motion.
Hsing-I systems have: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Depending in which combination the elements are used, causes either a constructive cycle, or a destructive cycle. E.g. The energy of Wood feeds Fire energy, but the energy of Water destroys Fire energy. The ideas in the system help to evaluate the best tactics to overcome different adversaries.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Boxing Thread
« on: November 23, 2007, 02:56:10 PM »
Frank Allen has a great workout space on the Lower East Side. I have trained with him on occasion and his "Fighting For Health" class is a blast.
A few years back when I was at class, Verne "The Bulldog" Williams was there watching and giving tips on boxing which was very cool. Frank is a mine of information about all kinds of martial arts, history and meditation aswell as being a great story teller. Well recommended if you are in NYC.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe
« on: November 20, 2007, 08:25:53 PM »
Congrats Linda! :mrgreen:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Are Traditional Martial Arts Dead?
« on: November 20, 2007, 08:21:37 PM »
Aah this is going to be an interesting thread....
SB_Mig said: ....(and we do this why?), said in the context of learning the meaning behind the movements in TMA.
That, to me, just about sums it up.
WHY you do what you do is the reason behind all the traditional teachings, and generally the thing that is lost first before an art stagnates and dies.
In times past it REALLY mattered if something worked or not. Martial arts schools were not esoteric places back in the day, they hired themselves out to protect caravans from bandits and to whoever else would pay. Villagers/ Tribes learned to protect themselves from adversaries and the rich and powerful kept guards to protect them from ambush and assassination....and to do it to their enemies.
Obviously weapons figured largely, bladed and otherwise, and challenges and dueling were common.
Today we live in a society where it is "inappropriate" to test your skills to their fullest extent, so TMA are faced with a question of how to train and pass on meaningful learning that is difficult to use and test in real life?
If the teacher does not understand strategy (...and we do this why?), how is an art ever going to mean anything to the next generation?
My teacher maestro Sonny Umpad taught by directly teaching strategy. In fact he said " I am not teaching you, I am showing you what I do". He did not want you to copy him, he wanted you to take what he did and make it yours by understanding the "why" behind his movements. You learned by getting hit (alot!) until you understood why and how to prevail.
I suspect one reason that MMA is so much more popular is that it is actually "testable". Is Contender A better than Contender B? Well, let's see....
Obviously MMA still has rules to follow, and sometimes the ability to endure getting hit figures much greater than fluid skill, but I do think that the breaking down of the barriers between martial styles (striking/stand up/ground etc) found in MMA could breathe some fresh air into the dark corners of TMA and hopefully get some  interest in researching the "old ways".
"The Book Of 5 Rings" still sells today because strategy/ human psychology has not changed so very much in 450 years. If the "why?" stays connected to TMA I believe they will survive to grow and innovate, if not............

Martial Arts Topics / Re: More or less technical?
« on: October 24, 2007, 05:32:31 PM »
.....Well, the short answer, from a blade perspective is to create a situation where your opponent is busy striking or blocking something that isn't there, whilst you are striking them and exiting somewhere else...!
How do you make this happen? Sonny would say "learn to tell a lie"!!
If, like the maestro, you are a master of deception, you can pull this off, however there are stages of practice that lead to this.
Honestly it all starts with the footwork, which in our system is the "pendulum". Then it's all about learning range, angle and timing using the random flow practice which is at the core of Sonny's "training way" , also a 360 degree, movement based practice.
Constantly learning to change and adapt in motion is great practice for 'keeping your feet under you', and learning to keep your options open for as long as possible i.e working on evasion instead of wasting the weapon on a block and only committing to a strike when a target is good, helps keep your power contained.
Above all this is training the eyes and the mind to not freeze in time so you always have somewhere to "go" next, and that is one meaning of "kadena".......

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: October 24, 2007, 04:40:20 PM »
I started out watching this with the same reaction as you guys, and then I got to just watching the 'training partners" fall over, again and again. I reckon they did a pretty good acting job, so then I started wondering whether there could be something to it....?
I know you can effect the spine and nervous system by shocking it, like an internal whiplash, using 2 quick strikes in opposing directions, though i've never seen or felt anything as dramatic as in the clips, generally just a momentary freezing point to set up the next strike or whatever.
The knee strike clip is no mystery, just breaking the structure high low.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: More or less technical?
« on: October 23, 2007, 04:55:29 PM »
IMHO there is a huge gap in the majority of martial systems between learning techniques and fighting. Some never even progress to realistic application at all.
There's been some comments on other threads about the worthiness of these "more complicated" or perhaps "traditional" parts of systems that don't seem overly practical in a "real" context, but I think that all knowledge that has been passed down to us is worth at least exploring.
The BIG question is how to get to where you need to be for it to be applicable?
Karsk writes about the concept of 'ma' in the Japanese arts which carries this feeling of being in the right place at the right time .... obviously being in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time are not desirable :-)
So.... How do you enter? How do you keep your power contained and your feet underneath you? What happens if something unexpected happens, can you adapt? How do you sustain as little damage as possible (especially with bladed weapons)? How do you learn to recognize and exploit your opponent's weaknesses? How do you exit?
Answer these questions ( I'm sure these guys can add a few more!) and the technical stuff is the frosting on the cake.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: October 23, 2007, 04:32:42 PM »
Just got forwarded this:
Quite interesting.  Anyone know of this guy?
These shearing techniques are found quite alot in the "internal arts", though I'm sure they occur in other systems aswell. Clip #2 (found on the left of the page) with the 'spiral' leg strike is classic Bagua.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: October 10, 2007, 01:10:15 PM »
Gatka vid. Nice stuff round 2min30 double sword, 5min staff, and 6min30 to end.
...yes, the baubles on the ends of the spinning thing are weapons, and the 'whipsword' is really sharp. Saw a demo in India and the guy cut himself quite badly when he mistimed a maneuver.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Book of Five Rings
« on: September 29, 2007, 04:01:01 PM »
I've read this book more times than I can remember. It's very smart. The "way of strategy" does not seem to have changed much in the last 500 or so years and Musashi's ideas are still applicable today to zero-sum games.
He was known for wielding 2 long swords, but IMHO, directly relating the techniques he describes to double stick, or whatever, would be vastly underestimating the concepts that make up most of the book. As he says, if you "know the ways of men", the weapons become secondary.
I bet Musashi could do more damage with a plastic spoon than most people wielding a stick ... if plastic spoons had been invented in the 16th century.. :lol:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Control Position
« on: September 27, 2007, 04:54:09 PM »
What I understood from the comment "the bad guy controls the technique used" was, that depending on which way the guy resists, or what he decides to do next is of no matter, as either "over" or "under" will work (dependent on the direction the "bad guy's" force takes).
Being generally smaller and lighter than most people I work out with, it makes more sense for me to use their force against them instead of using mine.
If I was bigger it would be of no concern, as I could impose my will whatever the situation. Unfortunately this is not so!
I do not perceive the concept as a "receiver" mentality because (in theory :-) ) I already control the situation, I'm just not set on what "technique" to use.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: What Styles do you Blend into your Kali?
« on: September 10, 2007, 04:47:49 PM »
My Toyama Ryu teacher is Sensei Mike Esmialzadeh. He trained for many years with Obata Sensei, from when he first came to the States, and is a high ranking black belt in this system. He has his own school here in Oakland CA. You can see their website at:
I teach out of this school too (VCKE and Bagua), and because Sensei Mike E is also a teacher of Aikido, Jiujutsu and Inayan Eskrima he is fabulous to cross train with and get his insights into the connections (and differences) between different arts, ideas and cultures.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: What Styles do you Blend into your Kali?
« on: September 07, 2007, 06:10:24 PM »
Hi Maxx,
You asked about Kenjutstu. One of the arts I train is Toyama Ryu Battodo which contains partner practice as one section of it's curriculum. It also puts a large emphasis on Tamashegiri (target cutting with live blades).
Also, your question about combining your Kali with other arts. I've always thought of Sonny Umpad's VCKE as a system of strategy more than anything else. Undoubtedly his art is Filipino, but his ideas mount onto so many other arts that the underlying concepts can seemingly take anything up another notch. My training partners come from very varied backgrounds, Western Boxing, Jiu Jutsu, Wing Chun among others, and every one of them has benefited from Sonny's Eskrima.
The Bagua I train interconnects very smoothly with the empty hand concepts in Eskrima, hands and feet.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior
« on: September 03, 2007, 08:58:08 AM »
Yesterday was the last day of 2 full weekends (6 hrs per day) plus the week in between (3 hrs per evening) of seminars with my Bagua teacher Luo De Xiu of Taiwan. He is 52 years old. He worked out with us for the whole time, demonstrating forms and techniques constantly, so that he had personally worked with everyone in the room.
Being struck by him is like having an anaconda that has swallowed a lead pipe land on your body! The bruising on my arms and shins can attest to that, aswell as the neck and spinal adjustments i received from his demonstrations of his shaking/shocking power (used to create a gap if your opponent is well rooted or leaning on you) and the suei jiao type throws typical of the system.
He started practicing martial arts as a kid and has only ever practiced the Chinese "internal" arts - Tai Chi, Hsing-I, Bagua. Now concentrating mostly on Bagua. He fought full contact for many years, fighting those who came to "check out" his teacher's school and also in the Taiwanese National full contact tournaments.
He is incredibly strong, flexible and fluid in his movement aswell as being a funny, generous teacher who seems happy and well adjusted in his life. He likes the occasional glass of wine and a good cigar, and i swear he looks younger every year.....
At 44 years old myself I am definitely looking at how to evolve my practice and i think i have my role model because whatever he is doing is working!!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Umpad Corto-Kadena
« on: September 01, 2007, 10:25:59 AM »
Thanks Peregrine and Robert. It was cool to play and flow with you guys and fun to hang out at the Gathering. Remember next time you make it to the mainland you need to spend some time with us here in the Bay Area.....

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Umpad Corto-Kadena
« on: August 15, 2007, 07:34:29 AM »
I got the go ahead from Guro Chris to post a little of his article about the Moro part of Sonny's system. I believe Guro Jay and others have more to add, but here is what he wrote:

     " Sonny’s Moro footwork is the subject of some confusion. Sonny told us it was based on the “Sayow Moro-Moro”, which is a classical Filipino dance. Others have tried to link the movements to the “Comedia”, or stage play of the same name. Some claim it is related to the “Moro-Moro” style Eskrima of Grand Master Telesporo Subing Subing. Sonny never met the master, although he expressed interest in this art. Some say these movements are called “linambay”, or “crab”, because of the proximity of the player’s body to the ground.

      Sonny’s Moro footwork basically consists of toes pointing out, movements started high and ending low. Also, it refers to the moving along in a low crouch in order to get under an opponent’s blows. The Moro crouch adds tremendous power and sweep to downward blows. When the player finally uncoils upward from the crouch, he is able to put his entire body behind the blow. The low crouching positions of the Moro footwork also allows the practitioner to disappear during combat by suddenly dropping out of the line of sight. This tactic can create openings and opportunities during a conflict.

      In addition to power, this footwork allows one to make a smaller target of oneself. Once, while working nightclub security, I was encircled by rowdy customers. When charged, I hit the closest, dropped into a Moro, and affected my escape. I came up behind the brawlers, and my backups and I were able to overcome the problem."

Hopefully the whole of Guro Chris's article will be published soon. We have been working on the photographs these past couple of weeks.

More to follow....

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