August 24, 2015

Buakaw Practicing Muay Chaiya

Thanks to my friend and coach Tim Cartmell for sharing this clip.  I love Buakaw for a multitude of reasons, one of which is because he seems to be the consummate humble student.  Always learning, always training, always with a smile.  Much respect.

Enjoy the Thai Hair Metal and awesome ankle pick at 2:30!!!


August 12, 2015

Pai Da Sticks Available

Going through some old boxes I happened upon about 5 Pai Da sticks that I am selling for $25ea.  These are from China and were brought over by my teacher Mike Martello (RIP) when he taught some seminars utilizing Pai Da sticks for conditioning and qigong.

Via gentle stimulation along meridian lines and one pressure cavities, one can clear blockages and heal minor injuries with persistent usage. If you are interested please send me an email at: three_harmonies@hotmail.com

Here is a clip of Mike teaching the Pai Da (and so much more) almost ten years ago in New Mexico.  Skip to 5:30 mark for the actual Pai Da segment.  Miss you Mike.


August 11, 2015

"Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. - Book Review

Tambuli Media has once again facilitated getting one of the foremost authorities on FMA, Sam Buot Sr., to sit down and write a comprehensive text on Balintawak Eskrima.  Without a doubt Mark Wiley (founder of Tambuli Media) is the greatest gift to Filipino Martial Arts in the 20th century as he has managed to get masters to speak whom may of otherwise died without sharing this knowledge.  "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is arguably one of the more important treatise Tambuli has published. 

Balintawak Eskrima has a reputation for being incredibly fast, overwhelming, and its practitioners are notorious for their disarming prowess.  Buot tries to cover the foundation of the art within 240 pages and I must say I think he does a commendable job.   After a brief history Buot dedicates 30 pages to the masters of Balintawak from Anciong Bacon, to Dr. Cres Go.  This is the heart of the book.  The loyalty and respect Buot displays in his detailed biopic of each teacher is inspiring.  To get a glimpse into the lives of any one of these teachers is a treat, but Buot really does an amazing job highlighting the masters of the art, many of whom none of us in the west would ever even know about otherwise. 

Buot insists the core of Balintawak is in the defense, which in his opinion is the most difficult to master and why he dedicated three chapters to the subject unto itself.  One of the trademarks of Balintawak is their fast response while blocking or covering.  The speed in which they grab the weapon and/or their opponents hand can never be properly conveyed in print media, but Buot does an excellent job especially transliterating the Buot Ball Concept. 

Throughout the book Buot uses different senior students under him showcasing the various generations of Balintawak who all bring something unique and different to the table.  I really like this small detail because it shows the heart and dedication of loyal students as well as an unspoken level of respect and admiration from the teacher to said students.  One of the only criticisms I have of the book is once again photography wise where we have two demonstrators wearing the same style and color of clothing and the photos are sometimes cropped too tightly.  When it comes to the flow of photographs and the comprehension of the student these minute details are extremely important in this reviewers opinion. 

Part 5 which includes chapters 12-14 focus on application and techniques of Balintawak illustrating their renowned disarming arsenal.  Buots decades of experience shine through in this section with little nuggets of info sprinkled in between the lines.  He speaks of feints, fakes, and what many would call "dirty" tactics but in reality... this is self defense!  As an attorney he also offers a short, but concise chapter dedicated solely to knife fighting.  It is one page long and worth the cost of the book itself.  I am not going to summarize the chapter here to encourage you to seek it out and read it yourself, but may I say in a world of machismo and bravado it is refreshing to hear a voice of reason and common sense in the FMA!  Kudos Mr. Buot. 

With each book Mark Wiley sends me to review I can see the hard work and effort he puts into each published text.  I feel like a broken record but "Balintawak Eskrima" by Sam Buot Sr. is Tambuli's best FMA book yet!  I cannot recommend this book highly enough to practitioners of FMA, historians, or just general martial artists looking for a solid read.  And for those practitioners of Balintawak I cannot believe you can look at this book as anything less than THE treatise on an amazing legacy that is still growing. 

To purchase "Balintawak Eskrima" click here

And for those folks in the Pac NW whom are interested in learning Balintawak, we are fortunate enough to have Prof Bobby Taboada coming to town in October 2015.  Check out Seattle Balintawak for more information. 

August 8, 2015

Nine Year Itch

09 No Gi Worlds L-R: Dave Meyer / BJJ / JAB
Nine years ago on today's date I started my formal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training under Brian Johnson at the NW Jiu Jitsu Academy.  I am grateful he accepted my big goofy ass as a student, and it would be the understatement of the decade to say I have learned countless lessons both on and off the mat from Brian.  For that I am thankful.  I look forward to nine more years sharing the mat! 

July 25, 2015

Tambuli Media

For those book worms like me there is no better source for Filipinio Martial Arts titles, nor Chinese for that matter, then Tambuli Media, and I am very happy to announce a new affiliation with Tambuli.  For any order placed via the link to your left, or by clicking here, The Ground Never Misses will get 25%! 

So if you are looking to add a new title to your collection, or you have a martial artist with a birthday coming up make sure to use the hyperlink and the rest is taken care of.  Simple.  Check out Tambuli Media today and see what you have been missing.  And check back for some future reviews of Tambuli titles here on the Ground Never Misses. 


July 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Saku

Wanted to send out a cheers to my all time favorite MMA fighter Kazushi "The Gracie Hunter" Sakuraba!  I hope someday to meet you and shake your hand, until then please accept a remote Happy Birthday, and thank you for your contributions to martial arts and MMA. 

Here is a great HL tribute to the one of the most respectful fighters ever, one whom never knew the word fear though many coughRicksonGraciecough feared him...



July 12, 2015

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson KO's Ellenberger

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson was the main event at the UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale, and he showed up to his first headlining event with style... placing a pinpoint accurate spinning heel kick Thompson KO'ed Jake Ellenberger, whom many felt would be Stephen's toughest opponent yet. 

   Congrats to RCJ's very own Wonderboy!!  It has been exciting watching you climb the rungs of mixed martial arts.