May 28, 2015

"The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" - Book Review

One of the greatest things about being involved in the martial arts for 25+ years is that you get to see your friends and training partners grow in the art, excel in training, and with most, eventually they give back.  Professor Dan Medina of the rarely seen art Derobio Escrima is no exception as he has finally put out a treatise on his style and fighting method!

I met Dan in Albuquerque, NM. where we both had a short layover in life.  Demonstrating the art of Derobio at any opportunity he had, what struck me vividly about Dan was his unflinching willingness to share his art.  For a "secret" style his heart is too big to hold back, and perhaps to a fault the book "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is no different.

One hundred and forty five pages is barely enough to scratch the surface of any system but Medina does a solid job of not getting too verbose and trying too hard to cover EVERY thing in a system... it's just not possible.  Instead Medina focuses on just a handful of techniques that represent the integral locking and counter locking movements Derobio is renown for.  Honestly a lot of the details are so minute that it would be damn near impossible to capture in a print format.  It seems Dan knew this and therefore did not try to over saturate the text but rather offer a taste of what the style is like.

The book opens with a wonderful chapter on the history of both Derobio and Dan Medina, both of which are fascinating histories.  Arguably the best chapter of the book, but I have been nostalgic for historical text lately so perhaps the opinion is a bit biased.



From there Dan dives right into the heart of the system and the fundamentals.  He includes a quick chapter on etiquette and how to properly hold your weapon etc.  A topic often overlooked but important in the context of martial arts, but more specifically weapon based arts.  The techniques shown are not what I would call super advanced though most folks do overestimate how difficult it is to properly execute a standing submission/lock, so lots of personal instruction and practice is surely needed.  I will offer this tip... pay attention closely to what Prof. Medina does with his free/checking hand in many of the photos.  The forearm check is surely not unique to Derobio but I will say that I have seen few execute it as smoothly and perfectly as Dan!

The sole criticism I harbor for "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" is that some of the pictures are unclear and a bit cramped.  Perhaps it is  my old eyes starting to fail me but I find it sometimes difficult to see what it is happening in the picture.  There are also a handful that are cropped too tightly and are cutting off parts of demonstrators.

Once again Tambuli Media brings you something different and fun.  If rare systems of Filipino martial arts interest you then make sure you add "The Secret Art of Derobio Escrima" to your shelf.  Click here to order today! 


May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

Take a momentary break from your picnics and celebratory fun today and remember to thank our men and women who have sacrificed life, limb, and sanity for this country.  Equally as important that we remember our veterans when we hit the polls to vote on our so called "leaders." Lets stop the endless involvement in military campaigns that cost us our kids and gain us absolutely nothing.  Imagine a day when Memorial Day comes and this ceaseless combat is nothing more then a memory.

May 22, 2015

Rener Gracie Returns to the Emerald City

We are just over a week away from Rener Gracie returning to the Seattle area for another round of seminars.  Next Sunday will be a marathon day of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self defense with four seminars back to back to back to back!! 

I have said it tons before but just in case you weren't listening... Rener is one of the young guard coming up under Rorion and Helio who is a bit of an anomaly.  For being so young he is without a doubt one of the best instructors I have stumbled across.  Confident, engaging, with a predetermined lesson plan that all gets packaged up with his quick witted humor a Rener seminar is not to be missed. 

Open to all experience levels and affiliations.


May 13, 2015

5 Year Old Nunchaku Master







Every now and again I run across a video such as this that makes me second guess my desire NOT to have children.  Dressed to the nines and mimicking the great Bruce Lee PERFECTLY with killer nunchaku (commonly referred to as 'Numchucks') skills! But then I am slapped back into reality when I see children and their keepers at the airport, grocery store, or unfortunately many a restaurant.  

A kind reminder to check out the Bruce Lee exhibit in the ID of Seattle at the Wing Luke museum. 

May 8, 2015

Metamoris = Mega Misogynistic

Spend any amount of time in the martial art / sport realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and you cannot help but notice an inordinate amount of machismo, and unfortunately machismo is accompanied by its close relative sexism.  It is something many of us ignore, or laugh off, but in reality it is becoming a serious issue in our community and it is perpetuated by folks such as Ralek Gracie and his promotion Metamoris which has a PPV event this weekend. 

As if trying to monopolize submission only events via offering exclusive contracts to stars such as Gary Tonon where one of the many ludicrous stipulations was that he can only fight in Metamoris events (keeping in mind there are only two a year), was not enough... Coupled with a purposeful ploy at bumping submission only PPV promoters such as Copa Podio where Metamoris scheduled there events on the same days as Copa twice in an apparent effort to directly compete with PPV audiences.  I suppose there is nothing technically "illegal" with these kinds of behavior but in general they are considered a giant dick move that really is not needed in such a niche community. 

But I personally draw the line when Ralek and his organization is blatantly sexist and misogynistic in there attitude and approach to once again not including any female fighters on the card! 
"We had one match and it was cool, but that was more of. 'Thats cool and that was interesting and I want to see that again if the girls are cute.'You know how it is.  The UFC wouldn't even have a women's division if it wasn't for Ronda Rousey."  - Ralek Gracie in response to no women's matches on the Metamoris 6 card. 

So prior to spending your hard earned money on the Metamoris 6 card this Mothers Day weekend, think about how you would like Ralek to address your mother, sister, aunt, or wife in one of his "Women Empowerment" seminars!?  We have enough problems in this world where we do not need to feed (literally) those who are just plain racist, sexist, or just down right assholish in our martial community.  Please do not support Metamoris for any of the crapola reasons I have listed.  Take your mom out to a nice meal on you instead.  Much better time and money spent, I promise. 

May 4, 2015

Traditional Igbo Wrestling

Not sure if this is the Igbo tribe, but was too awesome to pass up
In Nigeria the women of the Igbo tribe prove that they too can hold their mud when it comes to combat sports:



Thanks to Wrestling Roots for finding awesomely rare clips and news online! 

BJJ Scout: Ronda Rousey - Judo In MMA

While the IJF is busy trying to differentiate itself by limiting what its members can train / participate / compete in, Ronda Rousey continues her tear through every opponent out there by simply perfecting an amazingly successful hand full of techniques into one comprehensive strategy.  The result is nothing short of beautiful:



Thanks to BJJ Scout for yet another awesome breakdown!