Showing posts with label FMA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FMA. Show all posts

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. 

April 18, 2015

The Barako Bared by Mei Magsino

   I am fortunate enough in my martial wanderings to have stumbled across my Guru Jeff Davidson whom has taken my student Lara and myself as his closed door students, an honor I am still getting used to.  One of the arts we have been introduced to is that of Barako Balisong, an art originating from the Batangas region of the Philippines. 
   As a sort of tribute I would like to reprint an article Mei Magsino wrote back in 2007 about the Barako "way" for lack of a better term.  Mei was a freelance journalist from Batangas whose life was taken last week in what appears to be a hired hit.  My thoughts and condolences go out to her family. 
   I have yet to meet Tito Jun nor any of my brothers and sisters, but this articles certainly paints a vivid picture of a kind of mentality and honor that is not common in today's society.  Thank you to Guru Doug Marcaida for turning me onto this article. 
The Barako Bared - Mei Magsino

SAY the word barako and immediately three meanings come to mind: the strong-flavored and robust brew of the liberica coffee; the sex-driven adult male boar ready for breeding; and that certain brand of Batangueño, the rough and tough Filipino male from the province of Batangas. All three possess virility, strength, fearlessness — yes, even the coffee, whose flavor practically leaps up from the cup and straight onto one’s tongue. All three carry within the pride of the Batangueños, who claim these qualities exclusively as their own.

It is the human barako, however, who is obviously the most fascinating, because he is at once simple and complex. In a province known to produce the export-quality balisong (fan knife), where every Batangueño is expected to be armed and efficient in the uses of the weapon made only in Batangas, the barako prefers the gun to protect himself and his loved ones. 

In the old days, before the permit to carry guns was heavily enforced, the barako would never leave home without his .45 sticking out of the waistband of his pants, pulling his karsonsilyo or undershorts down. He must be prepared, even with his undershorts down, to fight back if someone throws a challenge, a balisong, or even a bullet (through a gun barrel of course) at him. This also means that he should be a good shot, a sharp shooter if necessary, because to stay alive and keep his image as a barako or strongman, he would need to keep shooting until his enemy falls or runs away. A true barako also fights his enemy (or enemies) in the open, and face to face. 

In the book Batangas Forged in Fire, which features the province’s most prominent families, among other things, a blueblood, Teodoro Kalaw (husband of former senator Eva Estrada-Kalaw) is photographed standing straight in the barako pose, ready to fire the revolver on his right hand, even as he totes his coat on his left arm. Such was the way of the elite barako: classy, but still deadly. 

Barakos are also found in the pages of the nation’s history, such as the known man of action, Gen. Miguel Malvar, the last military leader to surrender to the Americans. Even a Batangueno who couldn’t walk showed kabarakuhan (bravery) in his own way. Although disabled by poliomyelitis, Apolinario Mabini was a man of thought who rose to supremacy as the brains behind the revolution and the first Philippine Republic.

Yet despite the show of virility and the stance of masculinity, the feared strongman known for his kills will often soften or tone down when faced with the woman who captured his heart. A barako is not rude toward the woman he loves. He is in fact gentle toward her and will do everything in his power to make his special woman feel important, even if it means carrying her books or pink, flowery handbag in public and ignoring the hoots of hecklers in the streets, although he is sure to confront them later when she is not around.

The barako is also loyal to his family. Although conflicts may arise between barako brothers and fathers, they all unite and fight for each other when trouble from outside forces threaten their family’s pride, honor, and existence. In many instances, the barako will ignore tempting offers of dubious fortune in order to make sure his family’s name remains untarnished. Indeed, the real barako would rather be poor than live with shame, just as he would rather die fighting than live in fear.

And fight the barakos did during World War II, ambushing and killing many Japanese soldiers. In retaliation, the Japanese massacred the city’s population, taking the lives of 18,000 of its 25,000 residents. Lipa City was also razed to the ground, with only five houses out of hundreds of old mansions left standing afterward. 

It was probably a sight that could have made anyone cry, but most probably not a barako, who is the sort of male who believes he is never ever supposed to shed a single tear, even during the wake of his own father, even in the face of their own death. The tears from the known strongmen, therefore, could mean only two things: One is that they are crocodile tears, designed to invoke pity. The other is that they belong to a fake barako.

Barakos can be bullheaded. After the peacetime elections of 1949, a group of barakos from wealthy families took to hills at the defeat of their presidential bet, Jose P. Laurel, whom they believed was cheated. Backed by formidable gun power, they were ready to fight the government head on. Only the messengers sent by their fellow blueblood barakos who wanted peace were able to stop the planned bloodbath.

Some towns and cities in the province have more barakos than the others. Among them is the town of San Juan, in the easternmost part of Batangas, that also known for its coconut wine or lambanog.

Batangas City also once had a prominent barako, who by his skill and probably, by luck, was able to live long enough to run for public office and win. This barako made sure the city enjoyed peace and order. When he died, Batangueños praised him for his leadership. Now it is his nephew who sits behind his former desk.  

 Youngsters who aspire to be barakos or want political clout someday are known as barakitos. These young ones are often seen with the barakos, who take them under their wing as alagang barako (novice barakos). Already quite rowdy, barakitos oftentimes get bolder during election season.

At present, however, Batangueños themselves believe there are only a few barakos left walking the streets of the province. The decrease in the barako population could probably be due to the fact that in their obsession to be supremo de barakos, most of them have killed each other (matira ang matibay or only the bravest remains standing); in worst cases, the killing could have included members of each other’s family (ubusan ng lahi). Many barakos, after all, have failed to realize the difference between pride and foolishness.

April 10, 2015

Latest Additions to the Rungu Collection

The only good thing about my girl being gone to Africa is that when she returns it is usually with a gift of love and caring.  And in the case of being with me that typically means a gift that cuts, bludgeons, or otherwise renders opponents unable to comprehend the magnitude of their mistake in engagement.  This trip she brought me back two new styles of Rungu, a club the Masai are known to carry.  Of course one with the dent in it is a "antique" according to the kind salesmen, surely used by a Masai LOL! 

Really appreciate them regardless of their usage history, great additions to the collection.  Thank you babe! 

February 15, 2015

Doug Marcaida and Jeff Davidson Invade Greece June 12-14th 2015

My friend and coach Guru Jeff Davidson will be joining his partner in crime Guru Doug Marcaida in Greece June 12-14th of 2015.  If you are in the area make sure to put this on your calendar!

November 24, 2014

Evidence of Pre Colonial Filipino Martial Arts & Blade Design In Relation to Techniques

Here are a couple of excellent articles by Manila Times Fight Times Editor Perry Gil S. Mallari that offer some serious food for thought before settling in to carve up that turkey.  I would like to see a more detailed writing on this research as it has some solid points, but does not expand much at all. 

"While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in existence long before the arrival of Spain. To me, three things serve as indicators of the existence of indigenous FMA: organized method of warfare, metallurgical technology and sophisticated blade culture. All three aforementioned were chronicled by the Spaniards when they arrived in the Philippines."  Click here to read the entire article.

Again Mallari teases the reader with a taste of his theory of blade design and how it is used but does not offer much depth.  I hope he comes out with some follow up articles offering more research and opinion. 

"Some escrimadors have the habit of bouncing their sticks on the opposite arm (or other bodily parts) either to reposition for another strike or to arrest the momentum of the weapon after a forceful swing. This practice may still work safely with a single-edged sword but if the practitioner carried this habit while using a double-bladed sword, he will definitely cut himself. The safer way of regaining control at the end of a fast cutting motion is to use the palm of the non-weapon hand to catch the wrist of the hand holding the sword. The catching hand not only prevents the other edge from cutting the wielder but it can also aid the weapon-hand in generating more force in cutting or hacking."  To read the entire article click here.


November 18, 2014

Training With Guru Jeff Davidson

Once again I have had the distinct pleasure to train with Guru Jeff Davidson of the Detroit Maphilindo Pitbulls.  I believe all things happen for a reason and though I had followed his blog and online offerings for years, it wasn't until earlier this year I decided to reach out and ask to train with Jeff.  He accepted and as they say the rest is history. 

I must admit that his tutelage comes at a very pivotal time for me as quality people in general but specifically quality martial artists have become a rare commodity in my life.  Guru Jeff sees something in me that others choose to look past, most likely because they are too preoccupied with trying to get something from me.  Regardless I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have such a talented and giving teacher both in the martial realm and spiritual. 

As if the gift of having a solid teacher was not enough imagine my surprise when Guru Jeff offered to accept both my student Lara and myself as closed door disciples!  We could not be more honored and grateful for such a wonderful opportunity and thankfully we were both accepted.  Many more great things coming in the future! 


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 ( 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!  


September 5, 2014

Brotherhood of the Blade Seminar - Seattle, WA.

I am very pleased to announce that Three Harmonies Martial Arts will be hosting Guru Jeff Davidson for his very first visit to the Pacific NW where he will be sharing his knowledge of Kali and West African Martial Arts with us on October 4-5th 2014.  All levels of experience are welcome to join us for this unique and fun training opportunity to learn to work weapons better and to defend yourself against said weapons.

Brotherhood of the Blade
w/ Guru Jeff Davidson

October 4-5th 2014
942 N. 95th St.
Seattle, WA. 

Saturday October 4th:

Sunday October 5th:

$105 - Entire Weekend       
$65   - Single Session

*Please bring a pair of sticks, training knives (NO LIVE BLADES), eye protection, a notebook, and an open attitude and mind*

To Register or for questions please contact Jake Burroughs at [email protected] / 206-941-3232

Jeff Davidson brings over 25 years of practical martial skills to Seattle where he will be teaching his deep knowledge of the bladed arts along with sharing the pedagogy of Yoruba martial systems from West Africa.  We are fortunate to have someone so skilled stop by and share with us.  For more info click here. 

May 21, 2014

Cebuano Eskrima - Beyond the Myth

The origins of Filipino Eskrima/Arnis/Kali are the stuff of legends.  A history rife with war and constant defense against foreign conquerors, the native peoples of course had their indigenous fighting arts but quickly found their Spanish enemies were quite well versed in bladed combat as well as possessing superior steel.

This is a well done video digest based upon the book "Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth" by Dr. Ned R.A. Nepangue and Celestino C. Macachor.  I have not read the book but this video has piqued my interest.  I do not have enough knowledge nor training to argue with any of the facts laid out in this digest but either way there is some great history of both the martial arts as well as the Filipino Bladed Combat Arts.

From the authors:
We would like to pay tribute to these CEBUANO ICONS OF ESKRIMA:

• Solferino "Kapitan Perong Pak-an" Borinaga
• Pantaleon "Leon Kilat" Villegas
• Laurente "Laguno" Sabanal
• Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal
• Lorenzo Saavedra
• Teodoro "Doring" Saavedra
• Fr. Jose Ortega
• Floro Villabrille
• Felicisimo Dizon
• Artemio Paez
• Meliton Indangan
• Regino Ilustrisimo
• Antonio Ilustrisimo
• Jose D. Caballero
• Juanito Lacoste
• Venancio "Anciong" Bacon
• Julian Goc-ong
• Jack Santos
• Telesporo Subingsubing
• Lucky Lucaylucay
• Ted Lucaylucay
• Timoteo "Timor" Maranga
• Eulogio "Yoling" Canete
• Filemon "Momoy" Canete
• Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete
• Dionisio Canete
• Vicente "Inting" Carin
• Atty. Jose Villasin
• Teofilo Velez
• Alberto Dacayana, Sr.
• Filemon Caburnay
• Johnny Chiuten
• Sonny Umpad
• Eduardo "Dadoy" Sombilon
• Jose "Joego" Milan
• Antonio "Tony" Diego
• Epifanio "Yuly" Romo
• Esing Atillo
• Uldarico "Poldeng" Llano
• Nonito "Dodong" Limchua
• Ondo Caburnay
• Jesus Abella
• Pablicito "Pabling" Cabahug

December 28, 2012

Brennan's Blades: The PNW Best Kept FMA Secret

Guro Scott Brennan is a 30+ year veteran of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), and is arguably the foremost authority in Lucaylucay Kali in the Pacific NW.  Being a Sheriff brings a whole new perspective to his teachings and training, as does being an amateur blade smith!  I was fortunate enough to host Scott last month for a introductory seminar on Lucaylucay blade work at Three Harmonies. 

First and foremost anyone interested in the FMA living up in the island counties of our great green state of Washington, look no further then Scott Brennan.  Sharp wit, laid back attitude, coupled with a knack for teaching and working with groups give Scott that needed bonus many look for in a teacher.  Though I only spent a few hours with him I have been around long enough to know if someone can teach or just preach.  Scott is without a doubt the former, offering insight not only into the techniques of Lucaylucay Kali, but more importantly the mindset and approach to training that Master Ted Lucaylucay imparted to Scott.  Peppered with stories throughout the workshop it was a pleasure to touch hands with Scott.

Now onto the meat of this review... Brennan's Blades, quality training blades.  Of course everyone says that, but what does it really mean in the end?  Typically you dish out good money for a trainer that hopefully is weighted right, has a solid fit handle wise, and holds up.  Rarely do you get the opportunity we did with being able to handle and work with all the blades Scott had for sale at the workshop.  I know I handled at least half a dozen different knife types and grips, and I was also lucky enough to take home a espsda y' daga set in the form of a Barong, as well as a Bolo shaped blade.

Bolo(L): $50 / Barong Espada y Daga Set: $75

Made out of quality aluminum with intricately cut handles made from actual iron wood (I believe) these trainers are simply the best weighted and highest quality in regards to grips!  Scott has spent decades collecting blades and blade patterns from all over the world and he has templates and designs to fit even the rarest of request.  That's right, got a blade you want a trainer for?  Send him the specs and he will make you a quality trainer for any style blade or cut you desire! 

I cannot comment too deeply on the durability of the trainers as I have not purposefully tried to thrash them, but even knocking them around with other metal trainers they seemed no worse the wear minus a few scratches.  High quality at an an affordable price, which of course varies depending on the piece(s) you are acquiring.

You can contact Scott Brennan at:
[email protected]

December 3, 2012

DVD Review: "Martial Arts: Secrets of the Asian Masters

Welcome to our Filipino Martial Art (FMA) stocking stuffer edition of  the Ground Never Misses.  Today we check out local FMA teacher Myrlino Hufana, and Barclay Powers who have produced, written, directed, and presented "Martial Arts: Secrets of the Asian Masters." A full length documentary featuring various teachers representing various systems and traditions found throughout the islands of the Philippines, "Secrets of the Asian Masters" brings to light the beauty and practicality the FMA are renown for.

The 2011 "Best Sports Documentary" recipient at the New York International Film Fest, "Secrets..." offers footage of some of the least known masters of their respective styles (different teachers refer to their arts under one of three general terms; Arnis / Kali / Escrima), and insight into their thinking.  Each segment is different, where Hufana seemed to just let the teachers speak and offer everything from stories to teaching methods, to the future of FMA.  Admittingly a couple teachers boast a bit more bravado then needed, but overall the general theme is the preservation and concern for the future of what many believe is a integral cultural export from the Philippines.

Over a dozen teachers are featured including Rolando Hong / Jayson Vicente / Rodel Dagooc / Frank Sobrino / Jerry Dela Cruz / Nico Palma / Manolo Del Rosario / Rodrigo Maranga & his son / Romulo Romo / Peachie Baron Seguin / Antonio Diego / Jason & Jerson Tortal /  and the Hufana family.  Many of these teachers have NEVER been featured in any book, DVD, or even online in many cases!  Access to these teachers is not easy and the pre-production of this venture was not cheap nor easy.  But in the end I feel Hufana has reached his goal, and that is to make accessible the great teachers of the FMA!

I had the pleasure of meeting Myrlino Hufana Friday night at the screening of the "Bladed Hand," and I must say though our time was short, the sincerity and passion he has to share the FMA cannot be understated!  The way he looks at both himself and his film, as an extension of his persona, is as a conduit for the masses to garner access to some of the living legends that most of us would never have an opportunity to train with, see, or learn from.

That said, it is important for me to note that this is NOT an instructional DVD by any means.  Yes we get small glimpses of each instructor moving and demonstrating both solo and partner techniques.  But overall you are not sitting down "learning" anything in terms of movements or techniques.  What the viewer takes away from a documentary like "Secrets of the Asian Masters" is just how rich and important the martial tradition of any culture is, let alone the various ethnicity's found within the Philippine Islands!

Technically "Secrets" is shot very well with decent production work.  Some of the interviews and shots are a bit tight for my liking, but overall each scene and interview offers clear video and excellent audio production coupled with sharp editing, and one can see how this won the Best Sports Documentary category of the 2011 New York International Film Festival.  Whether you are a martial artist, a fan of Philippine culture, or just someone interested in great independent documentary work, you do not want to miss "Martial Arts: Secrets of the Asian Masters."  

To order "Martial Arts: Secrets of the Asian  Masters" click here to be redirected to the website (this used to be title "Voices of the Masters") where you can pay with Paypal!  

"Secrets" marks the first step we need to take towards exposing the world to the cultural tradition of the Philippines.  A great professional production and addition to your FMA library.


December 1, 2012

Bladed Hand PNW Screening

What a great night of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) here in Seattle!  Jay Ignacio (producer, director, editor), and co-producer Sonny Sisson brought his 90 minute documentary on the impact of FMA on the Filipino culture worldwide to a packed house at Kane Hall at the University of Washington last night.

Filmed over several years on three different continents, "The Bladed Hand" is the first, dare I say only, film to address the question; "What is the Filipino cultural gift to the world?"  Answer... their martial traditions!  Unique.  Beautiful.  Rich in tradition, the FMA represent the heart and soul of a people rich in culture that for the most part is unknown outside of the PI!  And the filmmakers noted..."FMA is more popular and understood outside of the Philippines then with the people whom it originated."

Jay Ignacio was meticulous in his research and editing ensuring inter family politics and bullshit were left out of the film (for those unaware jealousy and secrecy are the Achilles heal with the FMA), leaving only a pure transmission of the heart of FMA.  Do not be mistaken, this is NOT an instructional film!  Though teachers demonstrate their techniques and movements, the film focuses on the larger picture and does not focus on teaching any specific moves or techniques. Interviews with such luminaries as Danny Inosanto, Leo Gaje Jr., Ron Balicki, Jeff Imada, etc. make this documentary all the more authoritive in its scope.   

It was great to see such support from the local FMA community, which is not really surprising since we have such a strong contingent of FMA practitioners here in the PAC NW!  I finally got to meet Mr. Hufana, as well as catch up with a few old friends.  Wish I had more time to stick around and make some new ones, but all in due time. 

If you missed out on the screening here in Seattle you will have to be patient and wait until after the first of the year, as Jay promises a release early next year with a DVD packed with extras and additional interviews.  However you get ahold of it make sure you see this film, I cannot stress how important the work that Jay has done for the FMA community worldwide. 
Click here for more info and to be directed to The Bladed Hand FB page.


October 8, 2010

Philipino Martial Arts Supplies

Arvin Logarta runs Philipino Martial Arts Supplies over on the islands, and is producing some excellent quality Kamagong Iron wood training weapons!  I have one of his Ginunting's and the quality is top notch!

I was severely impressed with the weight, design, and computability of the hardwood Ginunting!  The design of the weapon is spot on in regards to the blade and handle.  Often trainer Ginunting's have an overemphasized curve to them which is not at all accurate.  But if you check out the picture below you will see a beautiful piece for training or decoration.   I look forward to checking out some of his other designs.

His rattan seems strong and sturdy.  I have banged them up a bit and they are holding well, but the true test will be time.

The only negative aspect to ordering with PMAS is the shipping!  Arvin prefers to use UPS for tracking purposes and quite frankly the shipping is going to run you about as much as your order!  Too much IMO! But on the flip side I have yet to find this type of quality wood with training weapons.

If you order up some weapons let Arvin know Jake sent you!  Super nice guy with great products that are hard to find in the US.