DVD Review – “Strategic Knife Defense w/ Leo T. Gaje Jr.”

imageThe Pekiti Tirsia Kali community at large has been patiently waiting for lineage holder Leo T. Gaje Jr. to produce a series of instructional DVDs to accompany his already crazy busy seminar teachings.  Well my steel wielding carvers your wait is up as Tim Waid in conjunction with his teacher Leo T. Gaje Jr. have released the first DVDs to be produced by the Pekiti Tirsia Kali Global Organization.  Volume one in the classic series is “Strategic Knife Defense: Defensive Tactics for Law Enforcement”

With the goal of presenting the authentic Pekiti Tirsia Kali system of combat blade fighting, this “classic” DVD is an absolute must have for anyone interested in not only blade fighting, but just the historical footage of Leo Gaje teaching back in 1987 is priceless!  I have heard there is tons of footage of Gaje teaching seminars, private lessons, etc. throughout the decades he has been teaching the world over.  Waid and Gaje have decided to release these teachings and footage for practitioners to see the authentic system of Kali as it was handed down to Gaje, whom in turn hands it down to his senior most students.

As stated above this video footage was taken over 25 years ago where it seems this was to be the first in a series of instructionals geared towards the law enforcement community, so though the quality is not the HD crystal clear image we all have grown accustomed to, the producers and editors did an amazing job of restoring the footage and transferring it to DVD.

image  Again basic editing was involved in this recording back in the day, but there are a few moments where camera angles change or they zoom in where needed.  Overall the quality of the instructional is not affected by any of the video technology.  Sound quality is excellent as well, as I never found myself straining to hear anything explained.

Beginning to end the disc runs an hour long and has an easy to navigate menu where the DVD is broken into six basic categories:

  • Intro / Knife Attacks
  • Counter Knife Attacks
  • Knife Jabbing Attacks
  • Knife Tapping
  • Baton Tactics
  • Empty Hand Tactics

INSTRUCTIONAL CONTENT:  Aimed as a basic introduction to the knife and bladed combatives for law enforcement personnel, “Strategic Knife Defense” is a great starting block for anyone new to bladed weapon arts, or situations where one may encounter a bladed aggressor (security / LEO / military / bouncers etc.).  To quote Gaje:
“The purpose of this video is to get the officer acquainted with edged weapons, and to understand principle movements and strategy of knife fighting.”
imageDrawn from the fundamental principles of PTK, Gaje takes viewers through the common attacks someone wielding a knife would use, as well as the fundamental counter movements to these most common slashes and thrusts.  These angles of attack are common movements we use in everyday life, yet when we look at them in a martial context we see the reason why our predecessors created the art the way they did.
By no means is this a collection of techniques thrown into an hour long video, actually quite the contrary.  Gaje takes the time to explain exactly why someone will attack in this manner, and why you respond the way you do.  Throughout the video he shows a number of various counter strikes, joint locks (some seem a bit flashy as I doubt they would be very high percentage on a fully resisting opponent), and a couple of take downs.  Overall the message is clear… a large repertoire of techniques is useless without the fundamental building blocks to execute said techniques.
The “Knife Tapping” chapter, though only a few minutes long, offers some very interesting insight into Leo Gaje’s teaching methodology.  In this chapter he emphasizes acceptance of the blade being the primary focus of knife tapping drills.  Though just touched upon it is interesting to note the wisdom in the young Gaje’s experience where he was talking about combat psychology and blade psychology way before it was a cool subject on internet chat rooms.
If the purpose of this DVD was to inform LEO about the dangers and benefits of edged weapon defense, and lay down the foundation for future training volumes then Gaje succeeded in his endeavor.  I am not sure if this series will continue on with his teachings of strategic knife defense, but in the baton chapter Gaje mentions future volumes.
Historians, teachers, or practitioners of Pekiti Tirsia Kali will not want to miss this volume simply to see there grand teacher moving and training 25 years ago.  A classic by all means and at $40 it is a hell of a steal!
Click here to go directly to the PTKGO secure online store!
Train Hard.  Train Smart.Jake

Tim Waid (L) alongside his teacher Leo Gaje.


This is not the
current cover!

I was recently asked to be the contributing “Internal Chinese Martial Arts” editor of Britain’s very own online martial magazine Combat Network Magazine.

This was a bit of a last minute thing so I scrambled to get a piece out on the move “Step Up to the Seven Stars” from Taijiquan, a classic entry technique.   Let me know what you think!

Check out the article and pics here!

Thanks to the Shadow and DKB Images for assistance with the article.  Thanks
to NWJJA and Brian Johnson  for use of the dojo for photos.


imageWhile the majority of you were laying on the couch recouping, a handful of dedicated grapplers had some great training today!  Wanted to send a big thanks to the four who actually read this blog; Karliss the Latvian Destroyer / Motorcycle Matt / The Baconater / and Kelland  “The Rape Dummy” (BTW for once I had nothing to do with that nickname!).  Great training partners and a solid workout the day after mucho gluttony and self abuse!

I thought I would leave you with some solid quotes I recently found in the Nov-Dec. issue of Europe’s awesome new Jits rag, “Jiu Jitsu Style.”    JJS is hard to find on the newsstands over here (seen it once or twice at the downtown B&N, but nothing consistent), so I suggest subscribing to their electronic version (available on i Phones and pads).  It is not only cheaper, but you get the mag immediately, and it is packed full of interesting interviews, techniques, and product reviews.  Their interviewers actually ask some interesting and engaging questions (for instance this issue has Fabio Gurgel talking about the ugly break-up of the original Alliance troop in 2001).

imageJJS is a step up from the similar Jiu Jitsu Magazine found stateside, with both of them blowing Gracie magazine out of the water (Gracie has become a mere shell of its former self, which was never that great!).

Anyways… some interesting meditation material here.  Enjoy!

Fabio Gurgel on Alliance’s success through the years at major competitions:

“When we went to competition Jacare never put any pressure on us, it was always fun.  He taught me how to enjoy the moment of the fight, not before or after, but when you are on the mat…. we just learned how to enjoy the competition.   I think this lesson is what gave me success in the competitions and is the backbone of Alliance’s success at the moment.”

“You cannot build a successful team if you are only looking at your top students… The basics need to be very solid.”

Asked if one needs to compete to teach:

“Of course, you must know the feeling of competition, this is important.  If you compete you may not be the best competitor, but you know the feeling and can help your students to prepare.”  

Nicolai Holt on competition:

“If you want to test your BJJ, you have to do it in competition.”

Nicolai Holt on the sport vs. self defense debate:

“I do not perceive a debate.  If you train sport jiu jitsu, you will be better able to handle a self defense situation.”

Worlds Youngest Black Belt on the far left!

Check out some pics from Coach Mike’s kids class at NWJJA!  After the new year Coach Mike will also be adding a Saturday morning class in addition to Tues and Thurs evenings.  Mike is doing a fantastic job with the little ones, stop in today and sign your kids up for the most effective martial art out there and one of the best ways to get, and stay in, shape all your life!

Train hard, Train smart!

Coach Leary crushing the competition!


Coach Mike is a passionate teacher and intelligent
grappler.  Uber intelligence powered by
a state of the art solar panel on top of his head!

imageimageHappy holidays everyone!  I hope you have a great end to 2011 and stay safe and warm with those close to you.

Also wanted to give a heads up to NWJJA students… I will have an open mat Monday Dec. 26th at 11am for those of you in need of choking, or being choked, from the holidays!  Gi or no gi does not matter, just show up and wrestle.

Please spread this message all over email and facebook.


imageLast minute stocking stuffer!  Just wanted to remind all that I have the following “Gracie” magazineissues for sale in sets. I am willing to part with individual issues but discounted rates will not apply. Email me for S&H and to place your order: [email protected]
Set #1                                                              Set #2($90)  ($25)
Issue # 110                                                      Issue # 124111                                                             125112                                                            126113   127115117120122123124125126127128157158162Here is the schedule for Three Harmonies Students for the remainder of the year:

imageDec. 24th – No Class

Dec. 26th – Class 9:30am / NO 6pm classes

Dec. 28th – No Class

Dec. 31st. – No Class

Jan. 2, 2012 – Regular schedule resumes

Be safe and stay jolly!

imageHere are the newly revised IBJJF rules for 2012 in English!!  Save the PDF as it is going to be invaluable to study for both practitioners and coaches alike!

Click here to link to the color document!

Train hard… 2012 is going to be a kickass year for jits!

Alright you procrastinators, here is your last chance to make Merry that fool in your life who gets enjoyment out of punching others in the head, getting round kicked in the thigh, and knows how to deal with skin diseases you never knew existed!

I have trained under Tim Cartmell for over the past decade.  Mostly in the stand up arts, but as I have dedicated my life to BJJ Tim has been instrumental in my grappling game.  Below are a number of gift ideas that are sure to please the most finicky of fighters, as Tim’s info is top notch!

imageGranted all opinions on this blog are biased because they are my opinions, but I really don’t think anyone can argue that the one pivotal book EVERY martial artist needs to have actively resting on their bookshelf is “Effortless Combat Throws” though it looks like it is currently out of print.  Regardless of experience or background, this text is the quintessential book on throws and takedowns as it is principle based, not stylistically based.   The DVD of the same title is excellent as well!

“Standing Grappling: Escapes & Counters” is another essential stocking stuffer.  Again, not sportive in it’s approach Tim offers escapes and counters for a variety of common holds and pins one potentially could run into in a self defense situation.  Based on leverage and technique, size and strength are not needed for these easy to learn techniques.  PERFECT for women training for self defense!  Click here and go to the bottom of the page to order your “Escapes and Counters” DVD!

Following in the footsteps of “Standing Grappling,” Tim put his “Ground Proofing” curriculum on disc.  Geared towards practitioners and teachers who do not have any ground fighting in their school curriculum.  Again not sportive based Tim and his Shen Wu crew teach how to safely fall down, protect yourself on the ground, escape common holds and pins, attain the dominant position, and safely rise to your feet!  If you are training in a system / style that has no training on the ground then this disc is a MUST HAVE!

imageWrapping up the grappling aspect of Tim’s work is THE book on guard passing, aptly titled “Passing the Guard” Tim and co-author Ed Benneville share the secrets to effectively pass the guard (arguably one of the most difficult tasks ALL grapplers need to deal with!).  Packed full of techniques, this text delves into the strategy and tactics as well in order to make a more complete game for the reader.  I also love the 2nd edition incorporation of solo drills and added techniques!  Again THE essential book on the subject of guard passing.

From here we delve into the more specialized works of Tim Cartmell, namely translations and DVD’s of the classic Chinese martial arts.

Tim has translated, and co-authored some great titles including:

  • “Xing Yi Nei Gong” co-authored with Dan Miller, this text offers great insight into the ancient art of Xing Yi Quan including important translations and basic theories.  Again this title has been OOP and hard to find, accompanied by exuberant prices when it is found.  I suggest ebay as a source for any hard to find books.  A DVD was also produced of “Xing Yi Nei Gong.”
  • “The Method of Chinese Wrestling” is a great translation of Tong Zhongyi’s classic on the Chinese wrestling art of Shuai Chiao.  Very little quality work is available in english on Shuai Chiao, and this translation is a great addition.
  • “A Study of Taijiquan” by Sun Lu Tang was one of the first books ever written on Taijiquan, making it historically a very important text.  Expert translator Tim Cartmell offers his translation of the art he studied under Sun Jian Yun (Sun Lu Tang’s daughter).  Tim is one of the foremost experts in the United States on Sun Taijiquan.
  • “Chin Na Fa” by Jinsheng Liu, was a fun project Tim embarked on as he felt this text offered some insight into grappling applied in self defense situations from a traditional Chinese martial point of view.
  • “Practical Chin Na” by Zhao Da Yuan is again, arguably THE text on joint manipulation (again from a Chinese based stand point, obviously not applicable to ground grappling today).  And yet once again I write with bad tidings… hard to find, as are the DVD’s that were made in conjunction!  Click on the title link and Amazon will redirect you to some used sellers.

imageTim’s latest project involved a comprehensive overview of the Sun Taijiquan system that was encapsulated in a text book and DVD set that has set new standards in terms of production quality and detailed information.  “Traditional Sun Style Taijiquan” co-written with Troyce Thome, covers the entire Sun Taijiquan curriculum minus combative techniques.  Posture testing, footwork, proper alignment, and the entire traditional form are taught in a succinct manner.  This text offers details on Taijiquan that any practitioner can benefit from, not just Sun players.
And I must mention that the second chapter on the history of Taijiquan is probably the most eloquently written piece I have ever seen.  😉
To go hand in hand with the oversized text Tim also produced a 5 DVD set that students can learn the entire Sun Taijiquan system from.  Techniques are demonstrated but a more thorough disc is upcoming regarding applications.  Sold individually at $40, or as a set for $150 click here to order!

Here is a great review of Tim’s DVD series!
One way or another I think you can find something of interest on this list.  If you are in the So Cal area stop by Ace Jiu Jitsu and train with Tim in person!  His lessons will take your skills to the next level.
Merry Holidays,Jake Nicely done girl!!!

Here is a slick takedown Tim is renown for, from the Budo Jake Rolled Up Episode 27:

imageCountdown is on for those of you who decide to participate in the bedlam known as the Holidays.  Chanukah starts Tuesday.  Little Baby Jesus Day is in less then 7 days, and Kwanzaa starts the following day.  So for those of you still undecided about what to buy that grappler in your life who has it all here I offer a few ideas that will please even the most stubborn of cauliflower eared wrestlers, and all of these gift ideas are supporting your local community and business people!

You can click here to be directed to the NWJJA store link.  Or to order the groundbreaking DVD series you can link to the Amazon page by clicking here!  Or you can contact me directly to place an order as well: [email protected] / 206-941-3232

Brian’s “Basic 12 – BJJ Curriculum” is one of the finest programs put on DVD and all three volumes are available!  $40 each, or you can order the set at $100.
Here is what some folks are saying:

“Brian did a great job of presenting the material where anyone could understand it. With the many examples he gives of each technique how can you go wrong?    Gabe and I started with vol. 1 and can now successfully do the top control and work our way around the body as the dvd instructs. It really is like being in a class with Brian. This week we’re going into the arm bar from the mount to back. The detail that Brian gives and the how and whys are priceless for this humble beginner. Also absolutely LOVE the rear naked choke. Not to mention the work out from doing these techniques using mild resistance.”  – Mike G. 

  • NWJJA T-Shirts are also available in limited sizes: $20
  • NWJJA Rash Guards: $40
  • NWJJA Back Pack $40
  • NWJJA Patches (LG) $12 / (SM) $8

Nothing beats lesson’s when you are a martial artist, and one on one training is essential for the  advancement and progression of students.  Private training allows the instructor to focus on one person and their specific needs for an hour.   A pack of lessons make for great stocking stuffers: Private Lessons with Brian Johnson can be arranged through me as well and are $75/hour.
Or perhaps you are looking to get in shape for the New Year, in which case come on down and sign up for lessons!   BJJ is a fun way to get into shape, learn self defense and now you can join the circuit training at NWJJA as well!  Tuition starts at $110 / month.
Skip the ties and socks this year and give your grappling loved one what he or she REALLY wants; some Jits!
Remember to slow down and appreciate what you have.
Have a safe and happy holiday folks!


Minus the stupid haircut this will be my new, not so little, nephew in 10 years if I have anything to say about it!  This kid is awesome!


Here is an open letter written by my friend and coach Brian J. Johnson on the meaning of BEING a black belt.  My comments will follow below.

and in most cases it still does. When I started BJJ the thought of getting a black belt seemed near impossible. In a way that was freeing. “ok well, now I’ll just practice jiu-jitsu and strive for improvment beacuse I LOVE JIU-JITSU”! As a result Oct. 27th of 2005 I was awarded my Black Belt ( a complete and total shock! “why are all these people showing up for class”?… I never claimed to be all that bright).
It seems as of late some instructors have well, let me see…”jumped the shark” ( If your not familiar with that refernce I’m sure you can google it ). Now I have been pretty good at staying away from the politics and dramas that sometimes go with having a dojo and I hope that dose’nt change…so I will try to tread lightly.

   Students: ask yourself what is more important, having a BB or being a BB. No one say’s ” I just want to get married”. “I don’t care who too I just want that certificate” ( at least I hope not). You should strive for a deep quality relationship with someone you truly love and as result you should then get married and get that piece of paper!…ok, ok I realize I am talking to a mostly male audience so I’ll put it like this… put a black belt on a turd what do you got?

   Coaches: Quality control is up to us! I have learned alot about this in the last year… We should er on the side of having higher standards! I for one am going to re-commit myself to producing the best possible BJJ practitioners I can! I won’t get suckered into the buisness of handing out belts to grow a “team” of black belts.

   Don’t get me wrong it is noble to want to achieve BB, it is noble to award a BB. Let’s just make sure that we don’t loose sight of what this art is all about!!!!…and make sure that:
   Please share this with everyone you know that trains, teaches, competes, dreams, loves! the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.”

-Brian J. Johnson

This letter is in response to an individual in the local BJJ community who was just recently promoted to black belt.  Out of respect for my coach I will not name the individual here, but any local BJJ cat that is reading this blog knows him, as he has literally bounced from one dojo to another over the past several years.  For instance he left our academy about 18 months ago as a two stripe blue belt (he came to the academy about 6 months prior with that rank).  After TELLING our coach Brian that he was ready for a purple belt, and subsequently being told “You are not at the purple belt level reflective of my academy yet, but lets work on your game and get you there.” by Brian… this individual decided to move to greener pastures.

Now my numbers are not always real solid, but even if I am off by 6 months, this individual went from blue belt to black belt in under 2 years!  Now keep in mind I have rolled with this man and in all honesty he is bigger and stronger than I am he usually dominated the positions.  As far as submitting… rarely did he nail a submission, and overall his defense was good as I rarely nailed a sub as well.  That is me, 18 months ago… a three stripe blue belt.  You would think a cat just this side of a black belt would be dominating my rookie ass no!?

image   I do not understand people.  I do not understand why you would want something you have not earned.  Why someone would offer something so meaningful and important as a black belt in BJJ, so easily and without merit.  Coming from the traditional Chinese martial arts I have dealt with this bullshit for years, and the state (currently swirling the bowl!) of affairs for CMA is due largely in part to similar type practices.  Sadly I knew these days would come where belts are handed out like candy.

In the end, if you are reading this, homie I wish you the best!  Sincerely!  I look forward to seeing some clips of you fighting in tournaments at the black belt level to prove your skills and to shut up critics like me!  When I see that day, I will offer my apologies.

Happy Frickin’ Holidays,


imageThree Harmonies students please note the following classes will be cancelled:
December 24 / 28 / 31st.

Have a safe and merry holiday season, and a wonderful new year!


Our good friend James Foster has started offering some online clips and tutorial’s from his BJJ classes recently, and below is a great breakdown of the bow and arrow choke from back mount.  I have been working a lot of back mount and seat belt grip lately so this fits in PERFECTLY with my game!  Thanks coach!

For those of you unaware of Coach Foster, he is a second degree black belt in the Seattle area (Kent, WA.) with a very successful academy, Fosters Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.   A super nice cat and great coach, if Brian was not in town James is the man I would be training under!

Contact James quickly as he is offering a deal on private lessons for the month of December for any and all (do not have to be a member!).

I would love to be sitting down writing out a report of the Jacare’ seminar I attended over the weekend, but unfortunately it was cancelled.   Apparently the host, John “Salami” was stricken quite ill, and I sincerely hope he gets much better!  Rumor is they will be re-scheduling Jacare’ ASAP after the first of the year.

If I may offer a suggestion as someone who has hosted seminars, workshops, and the like for the past 12 years: always get the personal information of those attending the seminar (phone # / email), and have a list that can be accessible to a partner or responsible student.  That way when folks are coming in from 150 miles away you can contact them ASAP and let them know seminars are cancelled!  Facebook is NOT a message delivery system!

So I hope to offer a review sometime early next year as I am still very stoked to have an Alliance affiliate so close.  I also found out the same group plans on hosting Eddie Bravo, and Sambo expert Igor Yakimov! Promising training opportunities coming up!


imageA new kid has popped up on the grappling tournament block, the United Grappling Federation claims to be  “The premier western state grappling tournament provider.”  I look forward to some fresh blood in the area and hopefully I can make both the Washington, and Oregon state championships.  The format sounds VERY similar to Grappling X, which made an appearance this past summer in Oregon.  Overall it was a decent tournament, but suffered from the same ailments most local and regional ones do; slow starts, dead mat time, questionable refereeing, etc.  Lets see if UGF can step up and take the reins!

I am not sure who is behind the organization but here is there preamble if you will:

After competing in dozens of tournaments and speaking with many other competitors and spectators alike, we decided to form our own organization to provide what competitors and spectators wanted most: high quality tournaments that run on time, experienced referees, top of the line medals, event specific t-shirts and much more. The United Grappling Federation was founded in 2010 with the sole purpose to become the premier provider for Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments across the Western United States.

imageA reminder their is no class Saturday Dec. 10th for Three Harmonies Students.  Stay home and train solo;)

Have a great weekend!

Here is the match between Rafael Mendes and Justin Rader.  I have been working a similar game in terms of omoplata’s and rolling inverted.  I am no where near as talented, nor mobile, as either of these grappling giants but one must admit if a 6′ 4″ 205# redneck from Ohio could nail omo’s like this and transition so smoothly from position to submission… that would be awesome!


imageFounder of Alliance BJJ, one of only five students to be promoted to black belt by Rolls Gracie before his passing, and one of the few individuals who can boast nearly 4 decades, DECADES, on the mat…. Romero “Jacare” Calvacanti will be in Oregon this weekend for a special seminar that you do not want to miss!

I have had the fortune to train with a handful of red-black belts in my short time in BJJ (Rigan Machado / Carlos Machado / JJ Machado / Fabio Santos) and I cherish the lessons from the “old guard” as they have forgotten more about grappling then I will ever know.  I have wanted to train with Jacare for many, many years and finally I have the opportunity to make it happen as one of his brown belts has opened up Alliance Oregon which means only one thing…. MUCH tougher competition to come at the local tournament scene!

Here is some rare footage of Jacare rolling:

This is exactly what we need to do to our politician’s here in America!  A little tomo nage to shut down that bullshit bill!!

What I want for Xmas… America to get their priorities straight.  We have SO many more important issues to deal with then wether two people, regardless of their orientation, want to get married.  Don’t we?  Why must we continue to fragment our society with meaningless marginalization?

Get over your bullshit phobia’s and learn to to focus on something a bit more meaningful.

Just a friendly reminder this holiday season while you are shopping for your martial arts teachers, oh and family too, if you link to Amazon.com via my blog, I get credit points for the purchases you make.  After X amount I can cash these in for money or credit at Amazon myself.

Not that I encourage you using an evil conglomerate who is trying to take over the world like Amazon, but IF you do please enter their website via the link under the blog roll on the left hand side of this page.