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


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

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.