October 7, 2014

A Word of Gratitude to Guru Jeff Davidson

Here I sit well over 36 hours after a stellar weekend of training under the sharp eye of Guru Jeff Davidson, and my head is still reeling from the deluge of information!  I have been doing martial arts for well over 23 years and it is admittedly sometimes a bitter road to walk in terms of trying to find the right guidance and instruction regardless of style.  In the FMA it can often times lead to a lifetime of inaccurate details, strange power trips, and/or untested theories taught as fact (a dangerous ego stroke when weapons are involved).  My point is to find a good teacher is tough.  To find a great teacher is damned near impossible! 

I will write a more detailed review later when I get some time, but I wanted to take this moment to publicly thank Jeff for accepting me as a student, his patient teaching, and the willingness to take a newbie and build from the beginning.  After sifting through so much bullshit and assholes in the FMA I am happy to find a teacher whose pragmatic approach is shadowed only by his willingness and openness to share his understanding of these beautiful arts. 

We spent the weekend training Kali along with a cursory introduction to Yorba martial training from West Africa.  All of it was absolutely engaging and fascinating, we can't wait to get back on the mats with Guru Jeff.  Here is what a couple of attendees had to say:

"This weekend seminar was organized perfectly to start with a basic foundation on which everything else was built upon.  Moreover everything was taught, explained, and reviewed in a pragmatic fashion (ah...so that's why I do it like this)." - Mike


"When you first meet Guru Jeff Davidson, his brusque voice may make you think that he's a stiff-lipped sort of guy, but it's not long before you realize that not only is he very knowledgeable but he's got a great, dry sense of humor, is amazingly patient, and knows how to effectively break down the material in a way that you can actually understand it instead of just regurgitating patterns. In some martial arts seminars/workshops you'll find instructors that are frustrated when you don't learn something the first time and sometimes you'll find instructors just blaze through the material even if it's an "all levels" seminar. Not so with Guru Jeff - his pace kept me interested and effectively challenged and was more than willing to give us the time necessary with the more complicated tactics. I'm really glad that I was able to train with him and I look forward to learning more from his years of experience." - Elton P.

And to close here is a short clip from what Guru Jeff had to say on his blog Balisong Player (which should be on your daily check list):
"Well, I took these guys (and girl) in one weekend through material that would typically take me three months to cover with beginning students here in my own school – and they worked hard and diligently through every minute of it!  Invariably when I teach seminars like this, I always notice the point when students ‘cash-out’ mentally from overload.  I’m quite surprised and happy to say that these good folks worked doggedly through everything I gave them with 100% concentration and effort at all times – and then asked for a review on the second day! (at which point I myself was close to cashing out – lol).  Such students are the hallmark of a good Teacher, so kudos to Jake once again.    
To our new group in Seattle: thank you all for a wonderful weekend of training and camaraderie.  I hope there will many, many more to come.  Most of all, thank you for appreciating the true depth and richness of our beloved Art of Kali." To read his entire post please click here! 

Cannot thank you enough Jeff!  I will be seeing you in a few weeks to brush up and clean up what I am sure I will forget!  

Cheers
Jake

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