"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." - West African Proverb


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FCS Kali West Coast - San Diego 1st Year Anniversary

Today marks the 1st Year Anniversary of the FCS Kali West Coast - San Diego.   Last year we began our first official practice as a group at our "Luneta Park" - Heritage Park in Chula Vista, California. At this time last year there were only 5 of us and we were hoping to end the year with 10 people in our group.  Today as we celebrate we have 20 active members.  The following is a link to my blog post last year and what we looked like.

I am proud we have grown so much in the last year.  Of the twenty regular members, currently there are 7 - Level Two, and 4 -  Level One  practitioners.  This weekend we plan to celebrate our 1st Year Anniversary of FCS Kali West Coast San Diego with a camp out near the beach in San Onofre California, Manong RIch Verdejo and some of his FCS Kali Cali Crew will be joining us.

I want to thank all our members who have been with us the last year and welcome the new members, we are excited to see all you grow with us, and your support and dedication means a lot to not only us, the FCS Kali Family, but it's a tribute to Filipino Martial Arts.  Those on board  the FCS Kali West Coast train, welcome aboard and hang on for the ride, we will be going places!

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.
Bernard H.
Eduardo J.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Note from Kuya Bernard - A thought on Motivation

A Note from Kuya Bernard - A Thought for Motivation

I took this motivational speech from Bob Dorris, who is responsible for the submission master grappling dummy, and changed the words.

A quick motivator for you...

Do you practice FCS in between group practices? If not, think about this...

…would you ever consider taking music lessons and NOT practice in-between sessions? 

Or, would you take classes at a university, and NOTstudy in-between classes?

I'm sure you'd never consider doing that... it would be a waste of your time and money, and itwould waste your teachers' time as well.  So, why wouldn't you do that with your FCS training?  The point is, if you approach your FCS training the way you'd approach studying anything else, you'd make incredible progress compared to what most others make.

If you're not “hitting the books” in-betweentraining session, start now. You'll be glad you did.


Private Session with Manong Rich Verdejo and Guro Ray Khanomtom Cole

FCS Kali San Diego Crew:

Regular Sunday Group Practice at Heritage Park for 8/26/2012 has been cancelled.   

In place of this practice a Private Invitation Only Session with Manong Rich Verdejo and Guro Ray Khanomtom Cole will take place at Kuya Ed Jonson's house. 

San Diego Crew please check your emails or FB messages for details on this.  As always when we have Manong Rich or a special guest trainer teaching us, we are taking donations for their time.   

Any San Diego Crew members who have not heard about this and are interested in attending this special session, please message me in Facebook or via email for details.  FCSKaliSD@gmail.comm

Regular Sunday Group Practice will resume next week.

Maraming Salamat Po,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kadangyan's Madirigma - Music for the Filipino Warrior

Every once in awhile you come across something that is so right for what you are passionate about and it immediately becomes a part of you and you embrace it and know you will love it forever.   For me my Filipino Martial Arts came into my life like that last year, and this year as we approach our 1st Year Anniversary another cultural infusion has immersed me.  To compliment my Filipino Martial Arts buzz I have discovered an OPM band (Original Pilipino Music), the hypnotic sounds of Filipino Ethno Tribal music infused in a rock foundation that will inspire me further.  They've been around for awhile and maybe I am playing catch up, but to my readers I introduce,  Kadangyan Band.   Below is their latest album cover to give you a sense of this band and some links to Youtube of them performing Live.  I hope you like them, enjoy.

Their albums can be purchased at the following website, very reasonable, I downloaded both their albums for $10.00

Support OPM!

Maraming Salamat Po!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

FCS Kali San Diego Crew Sunday Group Practice - 8/19/2012

FCS Kali San Diego Group Practice will be held at Heritage Park at the usual area in the Outdoor Stage area or the park benches where we were last week on the other side of our hill.  

When:  8/19/2012     8:00am - 11:00am

Where:   Heritage Park
             1381 East Palomar Street
           Chula Vista, CA 91913

Erwin G., Bernard H., and Eduardo J.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I See the 2nd Ripple - FCS Kali San Diego Sunday and Wednesday Night Practice Commentary 8/15/2012

I see the 2nd ripple..... I want to first start off with an apology, apologies to the Readers of this blog I've been a little busy but confess I've had a little bit of writer's block as well, as a result I have fallen behind in keeping you all up to date on what's been happening out here in the West Coast.  We've been busy to say the least, so let me catch you all up.... 1) Last month a group of us tested out for Level 1 and Level 2 and that was another special day testing skills and wills, endurance, and heart.  2) In the last 2 months we have grown, it seems we are averaging a peak group count of 16 members, we have new faces eager and willing to train, I'm especially proud of the younger generation that is lowering our average age in the group, this is a very good thing to see!   3) Last Sunday Manong Rich began introducing Level 3 material, and we realized how really cool it is, this is the beginning of where it really gets interesting and deadly.  4) Tonight was the first night we began a renewed energy and discipline to have a mid week group practice on Wednesday nights, and we had a good turn out of 9 from our Sunday group, including a new younger generation brother trying our Kali for the first time.

Tonight  a great moment happened and it was special and I missed it.  Before I share it with you all, let me refer back to my opening words, I see the 2nd ripple.....  If you look back in my archives on this blog, it was the birth of our FCS Kali San Diego group, if I recall I had written something about our first days as the FCS Kali San Diego group dropped it's first stone in the pond, and the ripple was expanding out.  That was almost a year ago and as we approach our Sept. 25th date, the day of our 1 Year Anniversary, tonight I think we saw the second ripple of another stone being dropped and casting itself out to our universe.  

Back to the special moment this evening....  I arrived to this evening's group practice late, getting off work late and fighting traffic I had missed most of the early part of the practice.  At the end of practice, our lead, Kuya Ed shared something that happened earlier.  At our park it is vibrant with activity especially at dusk, there is a half mile track around us, basketball courts, a small community pool and amphitheater, and a large field used mainly for soccer. Our share of the community buzz is our activity of FCS Kali.   Ed retold a moment that had happened as practice had begun, an older generation "Kabayan" approached Ed and one of our newer members Allan and asked what we were doing, he asked "Are you guys doing Kali?"  As Ed and Allan explained to him yes it was Kali he proceeded to gush over how he remembered the Pilipino Marital Arts of Arnis and how his uncles and grandfather used to practice the art in the homeland, he went on to say he was very happy and proud to see that finally the younger generation was learning and respecting this part of Filipino culture. I wish I was there to have seen this for the way Ed retold what had happened early it was a heart warming moment.  

These are the moments that make what we are trying to do worth it.  Last year I had written how I was not only motivated to learn our Filipino Martial Arts for physical, mental discipline, and self defensive purposes, but for our culture and heritage. Though I missed this moment this evening, I know what a feeling it is. It is the same feeling I get when I share our group's progress with my father, he too feels the same way, he is proud to see us the younger generation preserving a part of our Filipino culture, I think of all the things I have ever tried, this may be one of the things he is most proud I am involved with.  So I call to my "kabayan" of the FCS Kali San Diego Crew, be motivated and energized, I know at times our busy schedules and lives may drain us to train, but think that what we do.  Be proud of what we are doing, it is not only for  personal development we learn the Art of FMA, but it is for our heritage and culture, be inspired

FCS Kali San Diego Crew, we thank you for being with us and appreciate your dedication.   Every Sunday as it should be, be thankful of each other and let's train hard.   

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.

P.S.   Sorry for now pictures lately, my good camera needs to be repaired, so I know....  get it fixed.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Congratulations from Manong Rich Verdejo 7/23/2012

An announcement from Manong Rich Verdejo:

Patrick Baxter
Marlon P Cabebe Jr
Angelo Fandino
Joshua Garcia
and finally Andrew Trieu Diep!

Eduardo Jonson
Erwin Garcia
Wendel-Sheryl Penetrante
Jeremy Shelledy
Glenda DeOcampo Monzon
Dan Jess Fandinio
Bernard Herrera

After 2hrs demonstrating curriculum under the sun, the FUN stuff began! all participants went through our Defend,Isolate and Man carry drill. Yes, it had to be up a 3 tier grassy knoll! Next, Level 1 candidates had to perform the same drill with a little more stress, Insert "Pepper Spray"! Nulify the attacker and carry your friend to the safe zone, while enduring the uncomfortable pain of pepper spray. The value of this drill plays an IMPORTANT role in our Cali Family.

Level 2 candidates displayed their relentless spirit. After carrying people up and down the hill, sparring rounds were next.
3 min - Empty Hands (boxing/kickboxing), 2 min - Padded stick fight and 1 min. LIVE BLADE knife tap with Gil Rich Verdejo. I can't even explain the level of difficulty of trying to tap a LIVE blade when you were running on fumes on the previous station.

Now for the extra credit.."Draw your blade while I zap you with a civilian Stun Gun" Every one lined up and drew..AWESOME!

After the test we had our usual grub on, bottles of whiskey and beer, enjoying the company with array of cigars.


Kudos to all, and proud to have each one in the Crew..You guys ran through my test like butter..gota take it up a knotch.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bruises, Aches, and Pains for the Long Road Home

A weekend of bruises, aches, pains, Ben Gay, and a family sized bottle of ibuprofen, and all with a smile... 

Last Saturday was FCS Kali West Coast's first event of the year and will go down already as one of the best events we will do this year.  Over a month ago Manong Rich Verdejo was asked by one of FCS Kali's closest friends, L.D. "Stoney" Stone from the East Coast family if we could some how help a cause that was very special to him, the Long Road Home Project founded by Casey Miller.  Manong Rich with no hesitation accepted the task on hand and immediately approached the West Coast brothers that he was going to host a benefit for Casey Miller's project. When Rich presented this idea, it only took a few minutes to realize that this meant a lot to him and Stoney, and we were going to do this, and after hearing what the benefit was for, how could one say no.  

The Long Road Home Project's mission is threefold:  1) to help heal our veterans, 2) to raise awareness of the challenges faced by our returning service people, and 3) to  raise monies to help our veterans live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Casey Miller's project spearheads all three objectives with a coast to coast biking journey across America by 5 U.S. veterans, but before every project can begin, funding must be secured, and this is where those sponsoring this honorable cause have pledged to help. Long Road Home Project needs $75,000 to begin their ride of awareness for veterans across America.

So we all get by with a a little help from our friends, so the song goes....  In the previous weeks Manong Rich was able to put together a training seminar benefit that would showcase the talents of various disciplines and expertise of Rich's friends.... Ajay J. - former professional Muay Thai fighter - Muay Thai Clench technique, Matt Parks - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Ground Escapes, Bernard Herrera - Retired SWAT - Home Firearms Tactics, and finally FCS Kali's Manong Rich Verdejo - Knife Tactics.  The event was hosted generously at Maurice Gomez's MG Kenpo Academy in Duarte, CA.

The turnout was good, we had over 20 participants stay the whole afternoon for the seminar. Manong Rich started the seminar with a warm welcome, tapered with a sobering reminder of why we are there besides camaraderie and learning, he noted how the challenges of the returning service people are not just physical but deeper, and that this among many more reasons is why we are all here today. We quickly moved into the learning segments, Ajay covered the Muay Thai Clench and how it could be used outside the ring. Ajay's instruction was excellent, clear, concise and effective as felt by everyone.  I would bet nobody came out of that afternoon without some form of neck ache. Personally I have not had my head shaken around like that since my Tijuana days in college where part of the ritual was having a shot of tequila and your head violently shaken around, except at least learning the clench had no whistle blowing in your ear, LOL!   Matt's instruction on basic ground escapes from his BJJ discipline was just as informative, and again for me and I am sure others who never had any grappling experience, this was an excellent lesson. I have come to further respect the ground game, especially after FCS Kali disciples were "volunteered" to roll with Matt, thank you Bernard!  Manong Rich then followed with his knife blade tactics, demonstrating his technique with of course live blade, what I have always loved about Maonng Rich's tutelage, is he is very passionate about his subject matter, so even with a hoarse voice which he acquired that afternoon from either the clench or some BJJ hold from Matt, he pushed on. The seminar ended with Bernard covering his opinions on firearm tactics in the home, keeping in mind strategy on securing/containing a room, and basic common sense awareness to be mindful of in case the worst scenario were to ever happen in your home. The seminar ended in the late afternoon, and what better way to end the day than a pack of us raid the closest Thai restaurant down the block at Thai City Restaurant, excellent food!

All said and done, the seminar pulled in $797.00 for Casey and his project, word is there are still more donations to come in and be added, so the tally at the time of this posting may need updating.  Saturday was a long day, and at the end of the day when finally getting home late that night early Sunday morning, I reflected.  Bruises, sore muscles, aches and pains, a slightly swollen top of my foot due to a couple heel stomps during the exercises, all worth it as I reached for the Advil and re-hydrated. As my aching body allowed me to get some sleep, I felt good about a great day for a great cause, I then thought of what was next... in 6 hours back to FCS Kali training at our Luneta park for our weekly Sunday Group practice.


To End, here is a note from Manong Rich Verdejo:

"I want to Thank instructors Ajay and Bernard for taking the 2hr drive up with SD crew. Thank you Instructor, Matt Parks for letting me survive a full 15 seconds before putting me in that Damn Triangle, lol. I want to Thank GM Carrie Wong and daughter Cassidy Wong for training with me :) Thank you Karen Delgado for letting me use our precious weekend to support a GREAT cause. Thank-you Maurice Gomez for donating your home..MG KENPO ACADEMY.

Finally, thank you all that donated their time and money to Casey Miller's "The Long Road Home Project" We had such an awesome event and feel blessed to see old and new friends training for the cause. I'm happy to say It was a SUCCESSFUL event."

Rich Verdejo

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Group Practice Commentary June 3, 2012

June has already started off as a busy month for everyone, with the start of summer the week before and ongoing graduations being celebrated across the Nation, we wondering who would show up for Group Practice last Sunday.   We had a pretty good turn out, while some of our usual core group was out for one reason or another we were happy to see familiar and new faces come to Group Practice.   As we stood waiting in the parking lot, slowly but surely some of our usual core group began to show up and we were relieved, but as they stepped int our Luneta., brothers that we have trained with surprised us yesterday, the return of the ever playful and joyful Marlon, and our brother from the local Doce Pares group, Darrell.  Both Marlon and Darrell not only brought themselves, but fresh faces to the group, we welcome Luis and Mark.

               L to R:  Bernard, Darrell, Marlon, Mark, Ed, Luis, Angelo, Dan, Jeremy, Josh

Group Practice was more or less review towards our Level 2 test our preparation, however with our visitors for yesterday we also did a quick showing our FCS Kali basics.   I like it when new faces or visitors join us for Group Practice, for one the energy added tot he work out is positive, I think it picks up everyone's workout trying to display our skills in good light and spirit.  New faces also helps create new dynamics and energy, so I'm hoping our guests were impressed enough to come join us again and hopefully become regulars.   I'm getting a good feeling, it's gonna be good hot summer, and in the horizon, FCS Kali West Coast/ San Diego's 1st year Anniversary is coming up!

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G., Bernard H., and Eduardo J.

BENEFIT SEMINAR for The Long Road Home Project

BENEFIT SEMINAR for The Long Road Home Project by Casey Miller . 

Check the link 

All proceeds will go help fund this project, Casey and a few other War Veterans launch this July 15th. 

TIME: June 23. Saturday 12-4pm.

VENUE: MG Kenpo Academy Studio
2163 Huntington Dr.
Duarte, CA 91010

DONATION: $30-$50


Bernard Herrera (30yrs of LEO and Martial Arts) will cover Firearm tactics in your home. We will simulate CLEARING a room and what to do if you've controlled the suspect - will be using AIRSOFT GUNS for simulations! Also what to SAY/DO in a 911 situation if there has been shots fired.

Matt Parks (Former Air Defense Artillery and a brown belt in Brazillian Juijitsu with 15 yrs. of Martial Arts ) will cover ground escapes and reversals.

Rich Verdejo (FCS Blade tactics) will cover..Learn how to use the knife fast in combat.
Reaching out to family and friends. Things are getting rough and I want you guys to have SOME training and will benefit our Veterans as well!


Manong Rich Verdejo


Sunday, May 27, 2012

FCS Kali Training in Baldwin Hills with Manong Rich Verdejo Commentary 5-26-2012

Yesterday a handful of FCS Kali San Diego Crew trekked up to Baldwin Hill, CA to train with Manong Rich Verdejo.   As we are a united FCS Kali West Coast Family we have begun to support each other's training sites with our first visit to one of Manong Rich's stomping grounds.  Our hope is to mix up our training by supporting each other's sites wherein L.A. and San Diego FCS Kali crews can train and bond together.   From the San Diego Crew: Bernard, Patrick, Wendell, and myself took the couple hours drive up to northern L.A., this weekend was an off week to meet some of the other Cali Crew members as it was the Memorial Holiday weekend, but it was good to meet and work with Andrew.   

Under the grace of Maurice Gomez of MG Kenpo Academy we used his facility to train FCS Kali for a few hours,  MG Kenpo is a great studio, well matted and equipped and it was an honor to be able to use this facility. A great thank you to Maurice and making us feel welcomed to your place, much respect to the American Kenpo Family!  

Manong Rich reviewed with us some Level 2 curriculum for further pointers and clean up as we get prepared for Level 2 test out.  The last part of our training we began some instruction in  "espada y daga", this is very fun and exciting  to see and get our hands on,  I love getting instruction from Manong Rich, his insight on blade concepts is a treasure, I can see as we progress, Manong Rich cannot wait for us to get our skills to the point to really do some exciting work... We'll get there Manong, maybe not all at the same time, but we will get there!

Happy Memorial Weekend FCS Kali Fmaily, please be sure to remember our Fallen and thank a Serviceman for their Service!

Maraming Salamat Po to those in the Serivce of our Country!

Erwin G.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FCS Kali Sponsors the Long Road Home Project

Fellow Martial Artists and Blog Readers,

Please visit the Long Road Home Project website, FCS Kali is proud to support this very special and worthy cause to help our returning veterans.  Stay tuned for more detail, in the meantime ask yourself...

What can we do to help

our troops as they come home? 

To find out how you can help please click on the icon below...

The Long Road Home Project

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

JUST A NOTE: Hidden Rules when it comes to CROSS TRAINING by Manong Rich Verdejo

There are plenty of HIDDEN RULEs in the Martial Arts world. Here's an example of a hidden, but IMPORTANT rule to cross training.

Rule #1 : If you are a student still under the guidance of another Instructor, PLEASE notify that you will vistit/cross train with another group. It is a sign of RESPECT to let him/her know.

If you do decide to cross train, make sure it's not to compare ARTS, but to add on to your PERSONAL growth!

We are a very open group, always welcoming anyone with GOOD intensions and energy to visit or share our training time.

Rule#2: If you decide to become an affiliate or member of our group and your previous Instructor is an affiliate or friend of the FCS Family, it is VERY important that we get a letter of recommendation or a verbal confirmation that he/she gives you their blessing. If not, we will NOT accept you as a member, but will still be allowed to visit.

Because we are very open to the public, we try our best to keep POLITICS out and do what is BEST for our FCS FAMILY and extended Martial Arts Family. 

Train TRUE, Train REAL, Train Intense...but with RESPECT
Just another NOTE

Manong Rich Verdejo


Monday, April 30, 2012

FCS Kali San Diego Group Practice commentary 4-29-2012

It's been a funny and routine expectation now when I arrive to work Monday morning my co-workers expect to see me with bruises and aches and pains from sore and stiff muscles.  Then as I reach for the Advil in the First Aid kit, they hear me groan from that I feel like I had been thrown from a moving train as a result of Group Practice drills or being accidentally hit from a stick or fist, I love it, it only means it was a good day of practice.  

Group Practice was led by Manong Rich Verdejo last Sunday, however without beginning with a returning visit from our honorable guest Guro Nars Babao and two new visitors to our practice, Lukas and Marco.  As Manong Rich arrived, we were also honored to have one of America's Finest and Elite serving proudly in the Navy, our friend Ajay.  We welcome familiar and new faces to Group Practice and we hope they enjoyed their morning with us.  

L to R: Wendell, Josh, Patrick, Guro Nars, Ed, Ajay, Manong Rich, Odin, Marco, Lukas, Bernard, Dan, Angelo

Group practice began with warm ups of sprints up our infamous hill and then straight into basic strike and block review to show the newcomers our basic moves, we also covered mano-mano template form and stick template forms, and Panantukin drills.   When Manong Rich arrived with Ajay we went straight into knife tactics, and Silat style take downs with knife drawing.  While we cover a lot of work during our 3-4 hours at our "Luneta" park at Heritage Park,  our time always passes quickly.  What makes it fun and more than bearable and familiar is the feeling of comraderie and family, as much as we tease each other to lighten the practice, it's all in family and brotherly love, and this is what I have come to love most with my FCS Kali Family.   Although we all lead different lives and paths, we come together once a week and it's a great familiar feeling to get away from our usual routines.  I hope the others feel the same way looking forward to the comraderie, albeit sometimes it is hard to get up early Sunday morning between a late Saturday evening or other family obligations.  We have even found time to start doing things out of the practice whether it be having a post practice lunch, a cigar and spirit sitting (for those who partake), catching a movie as a Group - two weeks ago a handful of us went to watch "The Raid", which by the way for any martial arts practitioner is a must see movie!  I do know one thing, if I miss one of these practices, I wonder what the Group is doing, and I miss it.  So here is to my FCS Family, I am thankful for you All.  It was a Good Day....

Maraming Salamt Po!

Erwin G.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sunday Group Practice Commentary 4-15-2012

Changing it Up

So Group Practice was a little different in not only agenda but also in Venue.   Our Group which was led by "Kuya" Ed this last Sunday, declared a last minute venue change to meet at his house for Sunday Group Practice.   What gives? It was something for us just to see.  Anyone who knows my brother-in-law knows that he loves to workout, workout in his backyard that is, and by that we mean train his body with his landscaping skills.  Since I have known him I can't recall his current house ever having a static looking backyard for over a year, whenever he gets the itch he changes it, whether it is the layout of the backyard, the furniture, the landscaping, adding or taking away a plant or rock, etc...  You name it he has probably done it to his backyard short of installing a pool or jaccuzi (SHHHH.... don't give him ideas).   Anyways what Kuya Ed changed this time was to for the most part turn his backyard into an FCS training grounds.  As you will kinda see in the pictures below he has cleared 3 areas for training, where he used to have a picnic bench area and fire pit, it is now cleared and used as "rings" or sparring areas.   He has setup an area for mat work (practicing falls and breaks) punching bags for power work, and a hanging set of tires for stick work.   Still a work in progress he will be setting up an area for knife throwing.

Last Sunday we worked in groups of threes where we rotated like you would do with station work.   One group worked on the punching bags, another group on the mats, another working on tthe tires, and in the 2 ring areas stick and mano-mano sparring or flow drills.   This type of station work was fun and covered a lot of areas and ground in a few hours.Need I say that in San Diego it was a beautiful day, and to be in a backyard with our great weather, it was awesome training.  I guess Kuya Ed is setting the bar for the rest of us to follow, I'm already thinking how to set up my tires and my knife throwing are in my backyard, maybe even clear out an rea for sparring, move a tree or two, trim down some bushes,build up a wall. Now if to just get some help..... "YO! KUYA ED....  Feel like working out?"


Sunday, April 15, 2012

I think we are going to make this required viewing for all FCS San Diego Members. LOL!   Awesome!

Monday, April 2, 2012

FCS Kali Cali San Diego Group Practice with Manong Rich Verdejo April Fool's Day 2012

FCS Kali Cali San Diego Group welcomed another visit from our Manong Rich Verdejo, was it coincidence that the weekend  Mng. Rich visits us that it was April Fool's Weekend? Somewhere in Rich's mind and heart I am sure he had it planned, at the very least what he had in store for us.   Usually Mng. Rich's visit is just a Sunday affair, however over the weekend he came down early Saturday afternoon to begin a quick 2 hour session with those who could be there. This session was more or less review and showing of some new material, however the best part of the evening was post practice relaxing with Manong Rich, a hearty meal prepared by Bernard's wife and hosted by Ed and Armi. Then of course spirits and stogies into the late evening.  

                                             L to R:  Wendel, Jim, Manong Rich, Erwin

Albeit this may have been no spirit binging session, it was enough to satisfy, good company and post meal luxuries certainly made for less snappy early awakening for Sunday's actual Group Practice, we even ended early just after midnight.  For me at 2:00am before going to bed that evening/morning, I hadn't thought that Sunday was APRIL FOOL's Day.....  (insert Manong Rich's evil laugh here)  muhaha...muhaha.....!

So here's a run down of the Sunday Group Practice....

April 1, 2012

06:00 - First April Fool's joke of the day, on myself.... Woke up because of wrongly set alarm, tried to sleep an extra hour before 8:00am Group Practice.

07:00 - Crawl out of bed - slightly hung over and dehydrated. Limp downstairs and begin re-hydration therapy:  ibuprofen, water, and coffee w/ small breakfast.

07:50 - Josh and I head to "Luneta' Heritage Park to meet the Group for Practice, but not before visiting gas and pump convenience store - get Gatorade for needed re-hydration and 5 hour energy boost shot.

08:00 - Bernard, Patrick, Jeremy, Wendel, my son Josh and me are at the Park, some begin warm-ups, I continue re-hyrdatio and coffee therapy.  BTW.... It's chilly this morning because of the overnight rain.

08:45 - Ed, Jim, and Manong Rich arrive.

08:50 - Running a warm up lap around the duck pond.

09:05 - Up and down the hill suicide runs.

09:10 - Bear crawl suicide up our 3 tiered grassy knoll hill. (We need to come up with a nickname for this now becoming infamous hill that has become part of our routine/torture.. "cough" I mean training.) 

09:15 - APRIL FOOL's!  Guess what Group...? Suicide Fireman Carries up the hill.

09:20 - The fun continues, in group's of three - Rescue Carries, you guessed it, up the hill, everyone take a turn getting carried up the hill.  (by this time I'm wide awake, the brief burst of energy I was feeling from coffee and 5 Hour energy boost, is gone, instead my legs are on fire from the suicides!  lol!)

09:30 - With a partner, Stick Drill suicides on each tier of our hill.  The idea was to work on speed of our "redondos".

09:40 - More Stick Drills, this time, break the stick, working on power and speed, and yes this was done suicide style.

09:55 - Pause for Group Picture with broken sticks.

                         L to R Back Row:   Josh, Bernard, Jeremy, Patrick, Jim
                         L to R Front Row:   Wendel, Ed, Manong Rich, Glenda      


10:00 - Back to work. Review of break-in/entries with stick. 

10:20  - APRIL Fool's!  thought we were done with suicides or with the stick...?  Back to the hill. With your partner, practice entry immediately followed by abaniko and witik strikes. Do not hit your partner!  Somewhere here I got grazed in the mouth by Jeremy for the 2nd time in as many days, the Saturday night before he grazed by his stick on the temple.  No worries, no marks left.  I like to think that I was skilled enough to have avoided catching the full blows because of my prowess, however it was more luck and my failure not to block these strikes!   lol!

10:45 - Knife tapping drills and take downs with "Intent".  As Manong Rich moves us forward he reminds us what we are really doing and learning, so during our knife tapping practice he wanted to see more intensity, and the partner with the knife show some intent so the defender has to contend with the threat more realistically. I think Mng. Rich just enjoyed watching us throw each other around.   lol!

11:10 - Introduction of another knife drill template.

11:25 - Battle Royale! Based on the "honor" system and the warfare played out in the movie "Role Models", we had our own little Group warfare with padded sticks, Team A versus Team B -  3 Rounds.   You know I can't even remember who won this round, but all I remember is the group I was in, we tried a circular/cover each other's back defense, as we were supposed to let the other team attack us.  I guess this somewhat worked, but a key lesson taken from this, sometimes the best laid plans go out the window once the hit is on, or during battle fog and adrenaline rushes.

11:35 - Last battle - Manong Rich, Ed, and Bernard Vs. the rest of Us - me, Glenda, Jeremy, Wendel, and Patrick.  Now this I remember.   With every pass "The 3" made they took one of us down but in the end Manong Rich was the sole survivor of the 3 and had to deal with 2 remaining on our side.   I do remember getting my blow into Manong Rich, however without me getting grazed in the face (again) from his padded stick just after I nicked him in the torso, by honor he wins, eventually the rest of my team finished off Manong Rich, but not without a valiant, and glorious padded death...   It was a good death. 

11:45 - April Fool's Day FCS Kali Cali San Diego Group Practice Done.

After thoughts:  Another great Group Practice with my FCS Kali brothers and sister, and Manong Rich.  I am thankful for the group I am with, it's a good group and because of the diversity of personalities and backgrounds it is a well made group.  I know it's been a couple weeks since my last blog on our happenings here in San Diego, and while my fervor has not diminished,sometimes daily life and personal events get in the way of the Flow of things.  This weekend I feel I am getting back on track and in this practice I believe there was a renewed energy as well in the Group, must be Spring arriving!  What is ahead of us...? I see Level 2.   Let's keep the Flow going San Diego... carry on,

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G. 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

FCS Kali Manong Rich Verdejo Bio

FCS Kali West Coast is the unification of two California organizations - FCS Cali (Baldwin Hills) and FCS Kali Club of San Diego (San Diego/Chula Vista) under the direction of official West Coast FCS Representative and Manong, Rich Verdejo.   Manong Rich has just opened his FCS Cali website please visit FCS Cali.   Below is an excerpt highlighting Manong Rich from his Bio.

FCS Kali San Diego is led by Manong Rich Verdejo

Born August 31, 1973 in Quezon City, Philippines, Rich Verdejo actually didn't grow up around Martial Arts especially Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Filipinos were too busy trying to make a living instead of keeping certain cultures alive. Oddly enough, it wasn't until the family moved to the United States in 1978 where his mother exposed him to "Kung-Fu Theatre". For years, he never knew there were schools for such things in America. Always wanted to learn martial arts he was only limited to mimicing what's on TV being just as daring as in playing with knives and jumping off furniture.
Fast forward to his teen-age years and his passion to learn martial arts never left. In fact, not wanting to join in just any school, a journey to find the right Art and the right Teacher grew. Growing up in Baldwin Park California, selection of martial Arts was very limited, but learning how to fight was a necessity. Seeing the movie "Perfect Weapon" sparked an interest in the Art of Kenpo, Ed Parker's American Kenpo. Towards the end of 1992, he met Johnny Garcia that taught Kenpo in his back-yard. Remebering all those Kung-Fu movies, a back-yard school was the perfect setting.
His Kenpo training began with his knuckles on concrete floors and sparring without gear. Not incorporating the belt system, he was taught a raw form of Kenpo.  It was simply to learn how to fight.
In 1994 Garcia sent him to train at the Ed Parker's Kenpo studio in Pasadena, Ca. There his understanding of theories, concepts and physics of motion began. 5th degree Paul Gerard was the Head Instructor there at the time, but there were many Black Belts to train under. Not knowing who to learn from, Larry Kongaika (3rd brown) took him under his wing. A student-teacher bond quickly developed like an older brother passing down his knowledge to the younger one. It was Sheri Parker who told Larry Kongaika to keep an eye on that kid, He has raw skills. Rich would often be one of the last people leaving the Studio showing his dedication into learning.  He was often invited to jump in class with the advanced members. To have a beginner train with the advance students and black belts was rare. He was given opportunity to start teaching class at Purple belt. He finally earned his black belt in 1998. In 2003, He was awarded his 3rd degree and became Manager/Head Instructor of the Ed Parker Studio till it closed in 2005. He will always say his foundation is Ed Paker's Kenpo.
Like most Filipinos in his generation, It wasn't till mid-90's he learn that the Philippines had their own martial art called Kali/Arnis de Mano/Eskrima. It was his Hawaiian-Filipino friend Jaime Pajo that spark the interest in seeking out his FMA roots.  During down time at the Studio, He would teach Jaime, Ed Parker's Kenpo and in return Jaime taught him Kali. This led to meeting Tuhon Ray Dionaldo while a kenpo seminar in Florida in 2001.  Not knowing who he was, Rich noticed a gentleman in a Kali uniform, lined up with the beginners. It wasn't till the end when He was introduced and performed a demo. Shocked to see the  Founder of Filipino Combat Systems aka FCS Kali  in line with the beginners, Rich gave Tuhon Ray his out most respect. Rich having some knowledge of Kali, he and Tuhon Ray shared information. So impressed he began to study under Tuhon Ray. 2003 Rich became the California Co-representative for Filipino Combat Systems. In 2008, he was awarded full Instructorship by Tuhon Ray and became West Coast Regional Rep in 2010.
On his martial arts journey Rich has befriended and touched hands with many Guros, Professional Fighters, Grandmasters, Military and Law Enforcement personnel. Always searching for new tactics and ways of learning the art of war, he hopes his journey never ends.
"Ed Parker's Kenpo will always be my foundation and FCS Kali will always be in my blood!"  

                                                                  -Rich Verdejo

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FCS Cali - Manong Rich Verdejo's Website

Congratulations to Manong Rich Verdejo and the opening of his FCS Cali web page!


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Usage of Manong/Manang in General and in FCS Kali, by Manong Rich Verdejo

Just a note:
The usage of Manong/Manang in general and in FCS Kali

Coming from the Spanish word hermano and hermana, it is somewhat a term of endearment for elder brother and elder sister. Depending on the dialect/region simular words like Kuya/Ate and Manoy/Many are also used. Kuya/Ate is commonly directed to those related or closer to the speaker. It is common to call someone Manong and Manang instead of calling them by name, especially if the name is unknown as a gesture of respect. Some believe that Manong/Manang are titles for those old enough to be considered Uncle/Auntie. Some use them simply for older brother/sister. People younger than the speaker may be called Manong and Manang by virtue of status and not by age difference. This seems to be getting more popular as these words are being loosely used and accepted. For instance, you can often hear people say to the bus-driver, cashier or market owner say "Salamat Manong" or "Salamat Manang." even though they seem to be same in age or even slighty younger than the speaker. Ofcourse, it will not be said to someone of a large age gap younger to the speaker. In some cases it can even be seen as an insult, meaning someone who's old-fashioned or a prude -- like saying: "napakamanang mo naman."

In FCS Kali the term Manong and Manang is a term referring to a Senior Student. Not yet of Guro status, but knowledgeable enough to teach the fundimentals (like a Level 1 Instructor). Even within in our system, we are not exempt to keeping the basics of our culture. As an Instructor myself, I too will call a fellow student of the art Manong/Manang/Kuya/Ate regardless of rank and will NOT introduce myself as "Manong Rich" to that person. I will simply call myself Rich and if he/she wishes to call me Manong, then it's by their repect to back me. These terms are not limited to, but reletively based on the repsept level whether it be of age or rank. Understanding this can give you a better way of usage with these terms in the Filipino community. 

As for me, It started as a nickname given by other Guro's from other systems. A younger friend of mine always referred to me as just "manong" They constantly asked "Manong who?", she would reply "Rich, ofcourse!". So as an inside joke, I was nicknamed Manong shortly after. 

FCS Cali Crew
"Manong" Rich

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Top Ten Traits of Great Martial Artist

This is from Bob Dorris, Smart Athletics (Grappling Dummy); just something to think about.

1. Take notes every time you train, & write down whatever you learn OR ideas you come up with.
2. Always show up for training ...even when you physically can't train.
3. When you have a question about fighting, find a good answer for it before you train again.
4. Always be the most focused person in the training session.
5. Study (not just “practice”) fighting in between training sessions.
6. Practice outside of class far more than you practice in class (otherwise, you CAN'T possibly expect to be any better than anyone else in class).
7. Recognize that training partners will come and go, but insist that you stay constant.
8. Develop (or learn) a philosophy relating martial arts to life.
9. Call yourself a martial artist (don't just “do” martial arts).
10.Insist that you become the most skilled (martial arts-wise)person you know.

If you don't see those traits in yourself, tape that list up on your mirror and start becoming that person. Practice, Practice, Practice

Monday, March 5, 2012

FCS Kali Group Practice Commentary for 3-4-2012

It's always a special day when we have either new people join us for training, or a Guro come join us for Group Practice, last Sunday we had both.   We love it when both happens and yesterday it was a dual pleasure to have this occurrence.  Is it me, but when either event happens the energy seems to flow better and the motivation and concentration and intensity is better during Group Practice, no matter it's all good! 

Guro Nar Babao joined us for Sunday morning and it was a treat to have a fellow local Filipino Martial Guro train with us, as always our system respects and is open minded to any discipline.  Anyone who knows Guro Nar, he is passionate about training so it was a win-win situation for him and our group to have him join us as he gave us some insight to some drills and technique.  As I mentioned we also had a couple new faces train with the group.   One of my son's friends joined us yesterday after seeing and learning that my son was learning Filipino Martial Arts, so it was great o have another younger generation get his feet wet with us and my son has a friend and hopefully a full time training partner now to motivate him.   :)    The second newcomer is one of our dedicated FCS Kali San Diego member Dan's friend, Ron, another fellow Pinoy and we welcome both Odin and Ron to Group Practice, we hope to see them become regulars in the coming months.   If this is a sign of how things will be in 2012, FCS Kali San Diego May have a very nice group size by the time of our 1st year celebration, let's see how far we have come then.  Keep the flow going San Diego, keep the Flow.

  L to R: Bernard, Dan, Angelo, Patrick, Ed, Josh, Aleah, Glenda, Guro Nar, Odin, Jeremy, Wendell, Ron

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.