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


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

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.