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


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FCS Kali Club of San Diego - Group Practice Commentary 1/29/2012

Seems we're getting more physical with our group practices these days, not only beginning our Level 2 curriculum, but we've been supplementing our workouts with boxing and hapkido/taekwondo kicks. For most of us not used to these exercises and techniques, it's a workout.  I like it though, martial arts is not only about form and technique, but forging bodies and minds.  To properly follow form, one's body should be honed to perform it, so it's good for us.  Blood, sweat and tears just makes you stronger. For now the sweat comes easy, the blood and tears to follow when Manong Rich puts us through Level 2 Curriculum testing 3-4 months from now. I can hear the evil laugh now...  mu ha ha ha, mu ha ha ha!

L to R:  Paolo, Angelo, Patrick, Bernard, Jeremy, Daniel, Ed
Front Row:   Eliah, Glenda 

I'd like to highlight one of our members, and I admire the hell out of this brother of ours.  If you haven't taken notice, Patrick has the use of one arm.  Patrick serves not only as an inspiration to our Group, but should be for everyone.  Part of our last Sunday Group practice we did human wheel barrels up our practice grounds grassy hill, and guess what.... he was up the hill first!  I also recall during our Level 1 Curriculum test out with Manong Rich, during the basketball game phase Manong had us undergo, guess who was in the thick of it all scoring for his team, Patrick.   We can all learn something from Patrick, nothing should be an obstacle in our lives, you  may have to adapt and overcome, but there is a way.   Our group has been developing the FCS  fighting system for him and it's pretty cool that for almost every drill we perform, an adjusted or abbreviated version of the same technique has been devised for him, allowing him to still "flow" with us, his moves may need to be quicker and sharper, but it works.  So I'll end with this note, when you think something is too hard for you and you're facing difficulties, just shut up already... work harder.

Maraming salamat po,

Erwin G.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

FCS Kali San Diego - Group Practice Commentary 1-22-2012

Back to work!   It's been 2 weeks since we had our Level 1 Curriculum Test outs from Manong Rich, all have recovered and all of us are more or less back to normal.   I am sure I am not the only who actually took more than a week to feel the aches and pains from our test out fade away, however the memory of pepper spray is still vivid, got spice anyone?  It's great to see more of us wearing "black" and having that Level 1 under our belt, "Viva El FCS Kali!"

Apologies for not posting about last week's Group Practice but it's been a busy week, I was working on another club project designing FCS Kali West Coast/San Diego's first logo for a shirt, we are close to finalizing the graphic and hope to have our first official shirt soon. 

Back to our training... Last week we began delving into Level 2 Curriculum, and today we covered more of the same introduction. We have begun learning steps #13-36 in the Mano Mano template Form. We are also mixing it up with some training in basic boxing technique of footwork and punching, I really like this supplement to our training for cardio and contact drills.  We are still short of our normal group size as some of our members were away on personal time away but as the new year rolls along we will be back to our usual numbers.   To the eight of us who worked out this chilly Sunday morning, good to be with you!

L to R:   Erwin, Wendell, Bernard, Angelo, Eliah, Daniel, Jeremy, Patrick

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Firearms Instruction Seminar - Just a Note from Manong Rich Verdejo

Looking to see if any FCS members are interested to attend this seminar with me. My friend is one of the Instuctors here. (Only with firearm experience). 

Special Classifier Match / FREE Intro to IPSC Class – 22 Jan, 2012
Interested in a FREE Introduction to IPSC class? Looking to get your first USPSA classification? Are there other divisions you’d like to get classified in? PRG can help you with all three!

Prado Running Gun
19069 Van Buren Blvd
Suite 114-319
Riverside, CA 92508

Phone: 951-251-IPSC

PRG will have a 6 stage “special classifier match” with FREE Intro to IPSC class on 22 Jan 2012. Match fee for this special match is $35 for the first gun/division. $10 for any subsequent division. The class and match start will be at 9am. You do not need to shoot the match to attend the class. 

We have a limited amount of loaner holsters and mag pouches courtesy of Safariland. If you need to borrow either, please let us know ahead of time with your gun model so that we can confirm inventory and hold them for you.

Contact Manong Rich Verdejo for those interested in this seminar, this is not an FCS requirement and is only for those interested supplementing or adding a new skill.

Maraming Salamat Po,

Manong Rich Verdejo


Monday, January 9, 2012

FCS Cali San Diego - 1st Level 1 Curriculum Test Out Commentary

Adversity and challenges are a good thing, especially on a physical level, although I think physical and mental challenges are one in the same, sometimes it's 50-50%, 10-90%, or 90-10% ratios, it doesn't matter in the end one controls or dominates the other but are married together, as the saying goes if it doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger.

Yesterday was one of those moments for all of us who participated in San Diego's First Level 1 Curriculum Test Out conducted by Manong Rich Verdejo.  For the last few weeks our San Diego Group has been preparing and practicing.  The preceding reputation of Manong Rich and his slightly unorthodox testing methods didn't help put us at complete ease, so all we could do was take it hand, think "have fun" with it, and bring it. 

Friday night I felt like a high school kid the night  before a big exam and or game, yes there were a few more practices the days before Sunday, and Saturday night another quick review and final brush up, however it was one of those moments where only you yourself knows how much you did to prepare and if you are ready or not, the only thing left to do was just do it and the dice will fall where they land.  My gear bag was ready and even though I had everything prepared and ready to go, couldn't help but feel those butterflies.

Other than the extra gear in my bag, I tried to stay within routine Sunday morning, knowing it was going to be an extra long and grueling day I woke trying to start hydration early, to get mentally sharp extra cups of coffee, and eating a small breakfast.  I turned on my TV to relax, and what come's on...? "Apocalpyse Now" and it's the scene where they slaughter the carabao.  I think to myself, good sign, bad sign? LOL!

From the San Diego Group:  Ed, Bernard, Dan, Glenda,Wendell, and myself tested out, Manong Rich brought down a couple students from L.A., with Jim being one of them testing, so that made for a total of 7 candidates testing. 

The Test Out began at about 9:00am, after paying our respects with salutation, and so it began. We promptly began with a pick up game of 7 on 7 full court basketball , no outside shots, only baseline with emphasis with layups, 1 point baskets, first one to 13 wins.  As strange as it seems to begin a martial arts test out it made some sense later.   Right off the bat it was a typical display of chaos and confusion, teammates unrecognizing on who's team they were, until we all had to quickly adjust to skills levels of each other, coordinating strategy and execution in split second decisions, and quickly evolving team work.... does this all sound like where it's going, those who know Manong Rich, he has a reason for everything.  It became apparent that whichever team lost this 13 point game, would suffer some type of penalty for the test out, the team I found myself on, we were quickly down at the beginning by as much as 5-6 points, we came back and made it a contest, we ended up losing the game by 1 point, fortunately!   Losing team ended up doing a 1/4 mile lap for each point they lost by, so only one lap for us but with our sticks above our heads!  Whew!

As I mentioned, there is a reason for everything with Manong Rich, as we came back from our jog, he pointed out the value of what we went through emphasizing that what we had to do on the court to come together for the team and for one's self during the game, is no different from the training we have been doing that may one day defend us from harm, a great point made, although I believe the ulterior motive behind the game was to also get us winded for the later phases of the test out.   lol!

The rest of the testing was more what we expected, following the pickup game we proceeded to don the head and body gear, demonstrating various strikes on each other. After this we moved to an area of our "Luneta' that was hilly and uneven.  More demonstration of technique and skills like we have been drilling, however the twist being performing this on the hillside up and down with your partner aggressing and the other defending from the high and low advantages.  Next was mano mano drills and practical application with some take downs. All this was followed by knife tapping drills, again a demonstration of practical for the curriculum.   

Lastly the climax and pulling the surprise out of the bag... and it was a spicy one, literally.  The final challenge, the gut check and courage test.  Our group got to experience the effects of Pepper Spray.  Again besides the "What the..." factor and the personal challenge of metal and mental, there was reasoning to the "seasoning" for Manong Rich.   How do you react to certain adversities, can you keep your mind from panic, can you tough it out, can you overcome and still perform what you have to?   It's one of those things you don't know till it happens, well we all personally learned something about ourselves Sunday that's for sure, and we were all for the better, sore and beat up, but stronger.   Personally in the end it was a great experience all together, I mean how many people you meet on average can say they have experienced pepper spray...?  Today I told my co-workers what I did on my Sunday, and they were like "wow! good for you on the whole testing thing, but I loved the look of "WTF?" when I mentioned the pepper spray.  LOL!  Pretty cool.

To sum it up, a quote from my fellow contributor,  "Great time with Manong Rich and testing, we didn't do too bad, a few muscle strains, twisted ankles, slight bruising, and only 1 trip to the ER for 5 stitches. Doing it FCS Kali West Coast style. Thank you again Manong Rich."

One last thing to mention, what I'm really proud and impressed upon from our Group, only 7 actually tested, the rest participated even though it was not a test out for them.  What can I say? You guys are awesome.

Now where's my Advil...

Erwin G.

FCS Cali San Diego -1st Level Curriculum Test Out - January 8th , 2012


FCS Cali - January 8th, 2012 - Level 1 Curriculum Test Out - Just A Note from Manong Rich Verdejo

The Level 1 test met the FCS Cali standards..."crazy" lol!  I'm pretty sure we're the first or only group to start a test with a game of Basketball. The moral of the game was footwork,cardio,identifying teammates, reading/aniticipating opposing teams movements, adapting and creating plays on the spot which leads to split decisions and committing to it, all this and more in a simple game. I came not to see another Level 1 class, but to see what these guys are capable to apply. So, the next fun thing was to do basics in application...on uneven ground..and lastly the funnest of all was surprising the Crew with pepper-spray! Everyone did AWESOME, I really do appreciate the heart the crew has. Though not everyone was testing, everyone participated to the end! 

Congratulations to those going to Level 2 and thank you to all for making it fun. OK, enough with "Hi-5 johnnies" and get back to work!

Manong Rich Verdejo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

FCS Kali Club of San Diego - Level 1 Curriculum Test Out - January 8th, 2012

To All,

This Sunday morning Manong Rich Verdejo will be down to test out candidates for Level 1 FCS Curriculum.   The Test Out may take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on what Mng. Rich has in store for us and how he wants to conduct the testing, so please make necessary arrangements.  

Candidates be prepared for anything:  Please bring extra gear, clothing, refreshments, etc... whatever you think you may need to be prepared for a challenging test out.  Candidates please be reminded to have your $50.00 cover fee for the test out, and to have signed up as official members with FCS Kali, if you have any questions on this please contact Bernard or me, we can be reached via the email address: or through our Facebook accounts.

For All others who are not testing out:  All are still welcome to participate in the "workout" with the candidates, however the focus will be on the candidates.  As usual there will be a $15.00 collection per person to respect Manong Rich's visit. 

We will begin our Sunday morning workout at the usual time and place of 8:00am at the Basketball Courts at Heritage Park.   Manong Rich should arrive around 9:00am and we will follow his lead for the rest of the morning.

Good luck to All Level 1 Candidates!

Maraming Salamat Po,
Erwin G.


What:  Level 1 Candidates Curriculum Test Out  

Where:  Heritage Park, 1381 East Palomar Street
               Chula Vista, CA 91913-4802
               Near the Basketball Courts

When:   1/8/2012 - 8:00am  - ?


FCS Cali Family Post - Words from Jim Rosas

Brothers and Sisters of FCS,

So this blog site being for all of us, please feel free to send us something you want to share or find interesting to post.  We are Family here and the more all contribute, the more interesting and important our blog site becomes for us, so if you have something you want to post please send it to us for consideration at our e-mail address.  Below is a shout from our FCS Cali brother, Jim Rosas.  As you will see Martial Arts training does so much for us in many ways....


"Okay so since starting up with FCS and training under Rich I've dropped about 35 lbs., lost
about 10% body fat, my blood pressure went from"normal high" to much lower and healthy, 
and my testing heart rate went from 75 to 55. All this because I took the initiative to change 
my eating habits and set goals with my workouts with his guidance. Thanks to Manong Rich 
Verdejo. Still a long way from my goals but getting there."

Jim Rosas


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

FCS Kali Club San Diego - Group Practice Commentary January 1st, 2012

So I stumbled out of bed at 7am on New Year's Day with only 5 hours of sleep and a slight hangover, part of me wishing there was no practice as I hydrated and got myself together for practice.  A couple big cups of coffee later at 8am at our "Luneta" found that about half our usual group made it to practice, it's understandable, it WAS New Year's day and some still had Family obligations to fulfill.   Those who made it to GP made the most of our last group practice before the scheduled Level 1 Test Out with Manong Rich Verdejo. Group practice again concentrated straight up Level 1 Curriculum, hopefully we are ready.   I don't know what to expect really other than that to also expect the unexpected and some twist or twisted test for us from Manong Rich. LOL!  Check back next week for the details and I am sure pics and maybe video from Manong Rich.  Wish us luck!

Maraming Salamat Po,

Erwin G.