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


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sundays at the Park - Processing

Sorry for the late post. I got caught up doing errands and other things and by the time things started to wind down I was too tired to write this up. Yesterday Ed brought up the incident of the girl who got attacked when asked to the prom.  The guys know I like to volunteer so Ed called me forward. He pulls out a knife folder, something that most of us carry, and then comes at me with it to show the group how I would react. Kind of assuming what was about to happen and seeing what he was holding in his hand I reacted. Hands went up, I stepped back and off to the side a little, and tried to go on defensive. Naturally this is what we trained for, but what went on in my mind was a another story. This is what Ed wanted to go over. How the mind processes a threat, an attack in action, specifically with a knife, though it can be against any weapon, anything that can be used as a weapon, or even empty hand.


 4 Stages


He said that there are 4 stages that the mind processes when an attack is in play: shock, fear, hesitation, and vanity. I'll try to explain each one to the best of my ability.

1) Shock - When someone pulls out a knife or any other weapon, and comes at you with  intent to hurt or kill, the first thing that the mind processes is shock. Manong Rich calls this the "Oh shit!" factor. Simply put, you get startled, shocked. "Oh shit he has a knife!" Or "Oh shit he has a gun!" The mind doesn't have any time to process anything else in that brief moment, but get shocked by what is seen, felt, and or heard. For example you may have been already cut or stabbed because you didn't see it coming. The body starts to pump adrenalin and now you start to feel the shock.

2) Fear - The next stage that the mind processes is fear. You see the threat advancing toward you (or continuing to come at you if you are already cut or stabbed) and most of the time the the hands go up like the mind is saying "What do I do?". This moves us to the next stage which is hesitation.

3) Hesitation - In this stage the mind processes hesitation in which 2 of the 4 F's of survival kick in: Fight or Flight. Think of a deer in headlights scenario. Many will freeze at first which ultimately will lead to getting cut or stabbed, which can eventually lead to serious injury and or death. After this brief moment of hesitation some will take flight and try to run away. The others will stand their ground and fight. This is where Vanity comes into play.

4) Vanity - In this stage, specifically for those who stand their ground and fight, the whole "I can take em!" comes into play. This can also get you killed if you over estimate where your true skills lie. What if the assailant really knows how to handle a knife? Have you REALLY trained properly for these types of situations?

From a martial stand point the answer is more than likely no. Reason being is that from a martial stand point you are simply going over a technique, learning the moves for that technique, and no more. For example how many of you learned to defend against a knife attack from above with a scissor block or X block? Not to say that this is wrong, because if it works then it works, but from a combative perspective there is probably a better solution. Reason being is that with this move both arms are occupied which doesn't leave anything available to defend against the other hand, the "live hand", nor the cut from the pull back of the knife. Plus you are also trying to fight against the assailants strength and what if the assailant is much stronger than you are? Have you tried that technique in a free flow sparring match? And if so, did it work? How successful were the techniques you learned? And here's a big one, did you spar against someone who was skilled with blades?


Work It Out


And going back to the 4 stages that the mind processes, Bernie explained that from a combative perspective you want to try to train in a way that will work them out. We train with blades and a lot of us carry folders so that should help lessen the shock of someone pulling out a knife and coming at you. This will also lessen the fear since we are constantly training with and against blades. The techniques learned and the confidence built from the amount of training with blades will help lessen the hesitation. And finally, the last thing to work on is to know where your true skills lie, and being able assess the situation properly to either engage or disengage because over confidence can get you killed.

So with all of that in mind Ed had us pair up. Your partner, the feeder, was to come at you with intent to cut or stab while you, the receiver were to properly avoid the attack. Obviously we were using trainers so that no one would actually get cut or stabbed. Don't want you to die out here people! lol. They were to cut or stab freely and we were also to be in motion so we weren't in a static position. This broke standard drill practices because you didn't know where the attack is coming from and you could move and run around.

During the drill both Bernie and Ed would go around and give input on what we were doing right and wrong. They would also show us how and where we could improve on certain things we were doing and show what other options were available. At first the receiver's objection was to simply avoid the attack. So footwork and simple body techniques that would put us in a better position. Then we slowly worked in techniques we could use to gain the advantage and become the feeder.


Reality Check


This was a good reality check of where your skills were. Even if the attacks came at you slow you might find yourself getting cut or stab. Maybe you reacted wrong and went right into the attack. And obviously if the attacks were constant and fast you just couldn't avoid every single attack. Think of a boxing match where one is throwing a barrage of punches while the other is just standing there trying to defend. The defender just can't stop all of the attacks by standing there trying to block. Eventually one will get in.Now keep in mind we were doing this after our warm up so some were probably still trying to catch their breath from running up and down the hill. This made the drill more real.


Ooh New Stuff!


After doing that for a while Bernie and Erwin demonstrated some stick grappling they learned from the seminar that took place over at Kenpo Evolution MMA. It was put together by Manong Rich and Tuhon Ray Dionaldo, Guro Nate Hill, and Gladys Echeverria Nelson came to teach. Wish the Wifey and I could have made it. We'll have to catch them the next time they come out to So Cal. Anyway, they showed us 5 techniques. I've seen videos of these so it was cool to actually learn it. It would take too long to explain each one and this blog is already a novel so I'm going to close things up here and say if you want to learn them or any of the other stuff we do, come out and join us! We welcome anybody and everybody.

So yesterday's practice was a lot of fun and insightful. I'm seeing more and more on things I need to improve on and Ed even worked with me on some more Level II material. So anyway, till next time ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Funday Friday - By the Book


So today I trained by myself. The Wifey and kiddo was at home baking cookies so I had no distractions. I decided today that I would go by the book. Some of the things in Level II haven't been shown to me me yet so I tried to cover as much as I could.

I started out with my warm up as usual. The difference with today was instead of doing footwork with offences and defences I did body weight squats. Trying to change things up a little for the up coming weeks so I don't get bored doing the same old routine.

Then I pretty much went through all of Level I and II material from memory. I looked over the book to see if I missed anything. So I went from sticks, to knives, to empty hand. After doing this for about an hour I decided to end my training for the morning.

I need to ask to be shown more stuff from Level II at this Sunday's practice so that I have more to go over when I practice on my own. Well that's it for today folks. Tomorrows practice at the beach will be cancelled. I have to stay at home to watch the kiddo. Well happy training everyone. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekly Sunday Group Practice - Cancelled for Sunday, 4/20

Weekly Sunday Group Practice

FCS Kali West Coast - San Diego; training has been cancelled for Sunday, April 20th.  Have a great day with friends and family.  Be safe and keep training.  Happy Easter to all.  See you next week.

Maraming Salamat

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

You'll Poke Your Eye Out With That.

So today the Wifey and I went over Level 1 hand switches and disarms. She was tired from work so we didn't spend too much time on it. First we worked on the hand switching. We lightly went over them and a little bit of the application side too. Then we started working on disarms. I had to show her how to do Vine 1 and Vine 1 Corto. We did each one a few times until she got them down.

While working on Vine 2 Corto we started to get tied up so I wanted to quickly go over all of them so we went back to Vine 1. During the motions, instead of letting me complete the strip she let go and the stick flung right into her eye. The witch went DOWN SON! lol. No seriously, her head went slightly back and then she immediately covered her eye. It was like I saw it in slow motion. Now I saw it fly out of her hand, but I wasn't sure if it actually hit her so I asked, "Did that hit your eye?" There wasn't an answer so I went in for the comfort hug. I immediately apologized. Sorry babe. She was like "Why are you comforting me like the baby?" Hahaha. lol. I said we should put ice on it, but she said it would be too cold so I grabbed a frozen burrito.


There was actually  more hilarious dialog there, but to make a long story short we ended practice there. lol. Well till tomorrow where we poke out her other eye, hahaha, ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Morning Baby Is Snoring.

Today the Wifey and I got an early start so we didn't want to work with any weapons and wake up the kiddo. So today we worked on her Mano Mano Salute, and Mano Mano Template. We started out with the Salute. The only difference was just a change in the hand position in the last move so we didn't spend much time on it. We went over it a couple of times and then moved on.

Next we worked on Mano Mano Form. We went over it together to make sure she remembered everything and then I had her do it on her own. I had her do it a few times and we tried to pick out anything that needed cleaning up. Then we went into application of Mano Mano Template. Again we went over it a few times and we tried to pick out anything that needed cleaning up. We ended it there so she could et ready for work.

Later in the day I worked on my 1-36 of 64 Stick Form and Cincoteros. Not sure if I'm doing the Cincoteros right according to curriculum, but the main idea is to complete 5 strikes so I'm playing around with it. This is fun because its a lot like Carenza. I also worked on left hand striking and trying to do 1-36 Stick Form on left hand. I want my left to be as accurate and controlled as my right.

Well that's it for today. I still have a lot to learn and remember for my Level II so I'm going to keep at it until I get it. Anyway, I'm about to do some Plyo with the Wifey so happy training everyone. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday - Back To Basics

Today the wifey and I are going back to basics to better prepare her for her Level I. We're doing a simple 30 minutes a day to go over a section or two making sure that she has the material down, that we refine her movements, and slowly try to work out any mistakes that we see. Our goal is to try to do this daily until she feels confident on all of the material.

Just like any practice we started out with the Warriors Salute. The difference this time was instead of her just going through the motions I had her try to explain what the movements mean. We went over it a few times to make sure she had it down.

After that we went over 1-12 of 64 Stick Form and Basic Defenses. The main thing she needed to clean up was her foot work on defenses. So we went over the drill several times to try to clean things up. This was a bit challenging due to space restraints and our little one running around us, but we got through it. Then we went over ranges and basic strikes using both hands.

So it was a short and sweet practice. You don't need to do hours at a time to train even though having that option would allow you to absorb the material faster. But it's enough to slowly get it to stick. I'm going to go over a couple of things for Level II before I call it a night. Till tomorrow, have a good one and happy training. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sundays At The Park - Reflexes

Today Ed brought up the high school stabbing that happened recently in Pennsylvania. He discussed how one person was able to stab and cut so many before being stopped. How so many were amazed that one person would be capable of doing that. He went on to talk about how little to none of the people who were injured probably did not have the proper training to defend against a knife and how that lack of knowledge more than likely helped assist in their injuries because they didn't train the proper reflexes and responses to those types of attacks. Bernie helped elaborate on that by explaining how most people react and respond when they do get cut, not knowing they will versus how people react and respond when assuming that they already will get cut. And this brought us full circle as to why we do what we do.
So today Ed wanted to concentrate on training the reflexes because had those people had the proper training, maybe they could have moved in a way to pass the initial attack, or at least lessen the damage, and then increase the distance by running away. Even better if someone had the proper training to have possibly stopped him sooner. So our warm up started out with foot work.

He explained how we always start with foot work because even if none of the hands are used during an attack, the foot work can set us up in the right angles to move us toward a safer zone be it advancing or retreating. First we went over our basic foot work, and then applied it with some reflex drills.

We then moved on to training defenses for 1-7 of 64 Stick Form. Ed demonstrated how the foot work leads the defenses because without the hands the foot work alone sets us up for passes. He then showed us a technique that would use the opponents energy against them instead of trying to stop the movements. This would allow us to use less energy as well. While going over the drill he emphasized how the drill is more about training the reflexes than the technique itself because there are a lot of different types of techniques that can be used for each strike.

Next we went into reflexive training off the 4 Count into Punyo Entry. To simplify it we just went in on number 3, but the feeder would go in at any given moment and can even do fakes before moving in. This was a lot of fun, on the fly,  and felt more realistic. I mean how often would you see someone complete a 4 Count in real fight right? Usually something would happen within the first 1-3 strikes. Though I do remember Manong Rich showing us a video where the the 4 Count did complete. It happened really fast though. You almost had to just listen to the hit of the bastons to catch it.

After going over several types of reflexive drills we went back into curriculum and practiced our Punyo Entries. I'm glad we did because I need more practice with this. It's only 4 total that I need to know so I really don't have any excuse to get these down sooner. Two on the right and two on the left. Ed helped point out the mistakes I was making which were making it harder for me get down the moves. I was wondering why the first left entry always felt weird to me even though I got the rhythm down. It was as simple as taking a step in to help close the distance.

Anyway, after going over Punyo Entries Bernie had us go into Hubad. He also explained how the foot work leads in this drill as well. He then made it reflexive training by gradually adding in variations and change ups. So now the drill wasn't stagnant, but free flowing and on the fly.


Then we went into Mano Mano template and from there into Knife Template. And just like last week he had us mix it all up again and end it with a disarm so that the drill would continue with your partner changing roles. This became very reflexive. Not just from having to react and respond to the feeder, but as the feeder continuing on to the next move like say pulling out a knife. What I liked about this was that at any moment we could change roles so if my partner pulled out a knife to do Knife Template, I could go right away for a disarm or just continue with the drill. My partner and I kept on fighting to control the situation and things started to get really sloppy, but I liked that. It showed me how something like that would really look and feel like where both are fighting for control.


Bernie ended our training by showing us this cool template using one or two bolos. It could be with one or multiple partners. I've seen videos of Tuhon Ray doing this. I could see this being used in film easily. Not only did it look cool, but it did show how you could defend against multiple opponents who are on opposite sides of you. It also went along with our reflexive training.

Well today's practice was a lot of fun. Next week we won't be having our group practice due to Easter Sunday. Well that's all for today. Happy training everyone. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Samahan High School Conference


Today we helped out at the Samahan High School Conference at San Diego State University. Our class was about FMA or Filipino Martial Arts. Bernie prepared a presentation that went over many things regarding FMA including some history of FMA; FMA in the mainstream; how FMA, though in the mainstream, the general public doesn't know that it is FMA; how many Filipinos do not know that we have our own martial art; as well as some FMA schools that are available in Southern California.


The presentation was very informative. It had good facts and pictures, and we also demonstrated a few moves during the presentation. After the PowerPoint presentation we had some volunteers come up to the front of the stage to learn some basic techniques. We taught  some basic foot work, 1-6 of 64 Stick Form, some knife tapping and a little Hubad. After Bernie and James demonstrated the practical applications of the techniques shown.


It was awesome to see the kids excited about FMA. One particular student looked very excited and eager to learn. I even over heard him say that he has been looking for about 2 years for a place to learn i his area, but has been unsuccessful. This brought it back to one of the points that Bernie brought up in the presentation where many will keep to themselves about it, don't publicly advertise about it, or maybe they just don't do a good job about advertising it, or use FMA as a sub teaching to draw people in to their school. For example I can have a school called Warriors Guild. It can be all about FMA, but nothing in the name speaks that. Or maybe my school is called Warriors Guild and its about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but we also offer stick fighting.


Anyway, I hope he finds a place to learn soon. Someone with that much drive will be great. Well that's it for today. Hope to see you guys tomorrow at the park. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Funday Friday - Punyo Entries


Today we worked on things that we haven't worked much on the last couple of weeks which ultimately showed last Sunday which was Punyo Entries. Before getting to that we did our usual type warm up, but with a concentration on the left and with a counter strike with each defense. Starting with with Open Female, to Open Male, to Closed Female, to Closed Male, to Diamond in which we did two double Redondos on each back step, and then finally with side stepping. We also worked on hand switching from the 1-12 of 64 Stick Form.

From there we worked on Sinawali and double baston 4 count. For the 4 Count drill we primarily focused on the one strike per beat drill. This mean that each stick will hit one designated target per beat. It almost feels like Sinawali since you are striking with each stick consecutively. It can also get confusing because the striking doesn't quite follow Sinawali. Now our warm up was done.

After doing that we went into Punyo Entries. I kept on messing up on the first left hand entry last Sunday because I just haven't been practicing it lately so I forgot the movements. So I made sure we went over that one until I got the rhythm back down. James and I went through all of the Punyo Entries for Level II. We both went at it a while to make sure we had them down, but I feel like I still need a more practice on it to make them smoother from transitioning from one to the next. All good though. Technically I'm still learning Level II material so no need to beat myself too much about it. I'll get it down soon.

After this we went over knife tapping. I need to get better at reading the pluck. In my opinion its the easiest one to miss, which makes it very lethal. Basically the feeder will pluck your parrying arm out of the way so they can go for an inside attack. Your goal is to pluck the pluck, if that makes sense, and follow through with your parry. My problem is that I keep misreading it as the feeder trying to setup for say a thrust, or possibly setting up for an over head slash, in which I'm naturally waiting for one of those things to happen, in which its too late because I'm getting cut by a different attack. Obviously for the drill the feeder will wait until I respond properly, but its frustrating that I miss it so often.

Again another good practice. Be nice if we could squeeze another practice in during the week but scheduling issues and not having a babysitter makes it hard. Just got to do the best that I can with what I have though. Also, trying to take it easy while waiting for my ribs to heal really sucks. I'm getting really bored during the week now especially since I was practicing everyday pre injury. So I'm thinking about training on the daily again, but lightly just so I don't go crazy during the day.

Anyway, training tomorrow at the beach is cancelled because we will be at San Diego State for a presentation on FMA in the morning. I believe around 10 or 10:30am and will go on for about an hour. If you are free in the morning come out. It should be fun as well as educational. Ok hope to see you there. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sundays at the Park - Follow The Beat


Sorry for the late post. Got busy after practice and got too tired to finish writing this last night. Yesterday we focused a lot on Sinawali and how it translates from bastons to empty hand. Ed brought his music box so we could listen to some Carenza music while we trained. Training with the music was fun. I broke into a pretty good sweat during our warm up.

We first started with some baston warm up drills which helps loosen up the the body and joints. From there we started to do some Sinawali. We started with Heaven 6, Standard 6, and then Earth 6. After doing each for a while Ed had us mix everything up with no set pattern, all while following to the beat of the music. This could get really tiring really fast because the music would speed up here and there.

Then we went into doing different variations of 4 Count holding two bastons. We first started out doing the 4 Count on each side, then did the 4 Count with two beats per side, and finally did the 4 Count with 1 beat per side. The Sinawali helped with the last variation because we had to interchange sides per strike. A little confusing at first, but if you just follow the beat it became simple. Doing 4 Count can feel a little awkward without a partner because you feel like you are having to stop the strike. And following through with the strike can make you feel like you are just fanning so you really have to keep in mind what you are targeting when you are doing this by yourself.

Then after that we did some concentration mitt drills using the principals of Sinawali for empty hand and with Punyo Mano Entry. Ed demonstrated the motions and Bernie explained how the Punyo Mano Entry relates from baston versus empty hand and how it flows into the Sinawali pattern. This was fun because we actually got to hit something and I haven't gotten to use my concentration mitts in a while. We did a couple of variations of this and then we went into Punyo Entries and transitions with bastons.

We did a few variations of this. We first started out with the first Punyo Entry which is on the right. The we did a Punyo Entry which started out on the right which would transition to your left after a chamber. From there we would go into a Punyo Entry with the left. I still a lot more work on these just because it really hard to practice them without a partner in my opinion. After doing this for a while Bernie had us work on some Hubad.

We went over several variations of Hubad and worked on both sides. Since some of us haven't worked on the left side much with hubad we would get mixed up on a few of the drills including me. For the most part though I was ok since I have been practicing more on my left side, but a few just got really confusing at first. One thing he added this time though was to try to make contact so your partner would really have to work to keep that from happening. After doing this for a while Bernie had us go into Mano Mano Template.

Bernie walked us through it for those who didn't know it or needed a refresher. After we did this for a while we went into Knife Template. Again Bernie walked us through it. I like doing these drills. The actions and reactions from each side feel more realistic especially with the contact you have to make. After doing these drills for a while Bernie had us do knife tapping.

Then finally he had us put everything together and had us go from Hubad, to Mano Mano Template, to Knife Tapping, to Knife Template, to Disarm. I liked this drill alot because it showed how everything ties together and how you can flow from one drill to the next and even change rolls at any given moment, as well as going in and out of any given drill. After all of these drills and working with a few different partners I'm also starting to pick up on how a few of our members like to fight. Makes me wonder if they are doing the same with me.

Ed finished up with showing us a little bit of Tabak Toyok. I feel like I really suck at this. Probably doesn't help that I don't have any to practice with though. lol. So I guess that will be on the purchase list.

Damn it I forgot to take pictures again. All good. We had a really good practice yesterday. Ed brought his music box so we were able to practice to some Carenza Music, the weather was awesome, and our group is starting to get bigger. We covered a good amount of material as well so I have more to think about and work on through out the week. Well until next time folks. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Beach Day Saturdays - Me, Myselfie, And...... That's It.


So both the wifey and baby were feeling under the weather today so to be safe they decided to stay home. Too bad though because it was really nice out. Sun was shining, warm with a cool breeze. All good though.

As usual I warmed up with footwork combined with defenses and or offenses. This helps speed up the warm up and knocks out two birds with one stone. After my warm up I did some Sinawali and mixed up some Redondo and Aboniko here and there. This way I'm constantly working both my right and my left. After that I pretty much went through all of my Level One material and started working on some Level Two material. To kind of go with the theme of working both hands I even worked my left by doing the 1-12 Stick Form with my left. First by following the same movements as the right, and then by mirroring the movements of the right. Bernie showed that to me the other week and it helped a lot with my left.

Another thing I worked on today was Hand Switches, again to help work my left. So I did the Hand Switches from 1-12 Stick Form, and then played around with hand switches from the basic strikes. I started out with my heavy baston first so that when I switched to my lighter baston it would be faster.

I also played around more with Hubad with blades in hands. I worked on both the right and left sides. Along with that I practiced doing Hubad, but deploying a blade or two at certain times. I also worked on Empty Hand Hubad, Knife Tapping, Knife Template, Mano Mano Template, and played around with Karambit. Finally, I finished off with a little Carenza.


Did I mention my Polymer trainers came in?! I actually got them on the 3rd so I was able to train with them yesterday at the park. Anyway, I had a really good practice today. Looking forward for tomorrow to practice with the group. So happy training everyone and see you guys tomorrow. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Funday Friday - Multitasking


Belmont Park

We had to move locations today because there was a rowing event going on over at Crown Point. No biggie. We relocated to Belmont Park, across from the Bahia, where the play ground is so that way Osairis could have his fun too. We unloaded picked a spot and got started.

Warm Up

Today's theme seemed to focus on multitasking. Specifically, foot work with defenses and counters. Before we get into that though we started off with a warm up. We did some Sinawali in the air to warm up the arms. We played around with it and I showed James how I would throw in either Redondos or Abonikos in between.


After that we worked on some baston disarms. We worked on all of the disarms learned from Level One. So snake Largo and Corto. Then Vine Largo and Corto. We did this a couple of times to make sure we still remembered everything. By this time Osairis was ready to go play so we took a short break so he could have some fun. After playing in the playground for a while and running around the place and stomping in the water puddles we went back so James and I could start up again.

Hand Swtiches

We started to work on hand switches from 1-12 like what we did from last Sunday's group practice. We like this drill a lot because of how it works both sides. After a while James's knee started to feel uncomfortable because we forgot to warm up our lower body (since I was already running around the place with Osairis my knees and legs got warmed up and loose) so we decided, "lets work on foot work then to warm up our legs and knees. "


We started out with Open Female Triangle. Like always we mixed it up with defenses. We then moved on Open Male Triangle. Then we went into Closed Female Triangle and Closed Male Triangle making sure that each movement had a defensive move. Finally we went into Diamond, but this time we mixed it up and did two defenses and two offenses. The video below shows an example of how we did this.

Music made by yours truly.


After doing this for a while we finished off with knife tapping. I have to say that it can be tough training when you have a kid to cater to, but you can make it work. He gets his fun time and I get mine. Simple as that. And hopefully all of this exposure will encourage him to get into it when he gets older. Well that's it for today. Hope to see you guys out there tomorrow morning. ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.