Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Gathering - 2010

Proverbial Group Shot

The annual Gathering of the Tribes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, celebrated a milestone that few groups of this nature reach: 10 years.

Of all the times I have attended this event, I can honestly say this gathering had the most open and upbeat feeling of them all.

Gracious hosts, Chuck and Jeanne, opened their home and land to the hooligans freely and suspended the normalcy of life to be available to us out-of-towners. We owe them both a great deal for making this happen year after year.

The caliber of character of the attendees has only become better over time. This year saw many new people, brought mostly by friends who dragged them along. It was the largest turnout I can recall, especially of those bringing along their families.

Daylight hours were spent on the main stage with primary instructors along with break out sessions. The primary activities were geared to anyone with step-by-step training. The extracurricular stuff was quite specialized and more spontaneous.

Day one traditionally starts off with Innovative Martial Arts hosts Chuck Pippin and Don Young. They focused on intention and tapping into that bit that says, “TIME TO GO NOW!”

Terry Trahan followed with an effective defense against a low line attack.

Bobbe Edmonds went over some keen aspects of Hubud with the assistance of two of his guys, Todd and Josh. What he showed takes this training tool beyond the mere drill where many stop with it (I was guilty of this too, once).

After lunch, I went over one way to establish a comfort level when on the ground. Many thanks to Buddha and Buzz for the midnight rolling ramblings the evening prior!

Brian ‘Buzz’ Smith was next up and with the high number of new people about, he went over his very effective principles of “What time is it?” and “Can I have my allowance?” I love the various ways Buzz shares knowledge. He presents it in a way that sticks.

The end of the first day is when we take care of any business that needs to happen. We started off with a little gentle ribbing of Bobbe with a gift basket of uniquely Dutch offerings.

A gift for DeEdmonds

Last year Bobbe was unable to be with us and we compensated as best we could…. As he was able to be with us this year and he has a penchant for running about without shoes and we had put some slippers on him last year, we presented him with a pair. Excellent work, Tina, I am sure you are on Bobbe’s naughty list now.

"...and I still call you friends?"

This year saw the induction of several people into KSMA. We invited Chuck Sullivan, Hannah DeWinter, Amberly Fletcher, Geoffrey Bosmann and Jacob Kuznicki to the group. I expect them all to be great.

Welcome to KSMA

Up next, we expanded the Brotherhood by adding Bobbe Edmonds and Brian ‘Buzz’ Smith to the upper ranks and I am truly honored to have them as driving members of the group. We look forward to any ideas or insights they may have.

Bobbe had some business to take care of as well and promoted Todd Erven and (let’s just call him) Joe to Na Guru. From what I witnessed from both of them (and a spirited exchange of elbows between Todd and I that allegedly happened) and via conversation, they deserve it.

Buzz and his pixie, Deb, had something up their sleeve as well and presented Chuck with a really cool shadow box with his motto, “Life in Every Breath,” blazoned on the glass. It was a very nice present for someone that has given so much to advance the group and is a cancer survivor. Chuck really is a cut above the rest.

Bobbe then took center stage to rub all our noses in it as a lead up to presenting Buzz with a present from a good number of us to celebrate his 60th birthday.

Chuck has been honing his skills as a knife maker and really stepped up for this one. Photos really do not do it justice. Its name is Guardian of the Tribe and here is the description from the certificate that came with it:

"The steel is a random pattern Damascus billet, forged specifically for this project. It began as 16 layers of high carbon steel, folded five times…to end up with 256 layers. The billet was forged in collaboration with Master Blacksmith Tim Carr, of Black Bear Forge. Chuck then stock removed, polished and etched to bring out the figure of the layers.

The handle is fashioned from a single piece of cocobolo, with red micarta and brass spacers. The guard is also brass. Hand fitted and shaped, the handle is fixed to the tang with a tough binary epoxy, as well as pinned with brass.

The sheath is made from oak-cured leather, custom formed and hardened to fit the blade. The sheath was also designed with a reversible sleeve to enable it to be left or right handed."

"Now I have a nice knife to cut my steak with!"

Truly this is an awesome piece.

Chuck’s work can be seen here. He will work with you to get you the blade you want. I should mention that throughout the entire weekend there were people making knives with Chuck’s guiding hand. Check out Tony’s post on his experience.

Firing up the forge

The Quench

The Quench - FLAME ON!

Steps in the process

After all this frivolity, it was time to clean up and get ready for a night of hanging out. It is always a feast for the mind as well as the belly. The variety of food and conversation left us quite satisfied.

We had a great round table discussion lasting well into the evening Saturday night which was a lot of fun with much laughter and appreciation for what we have.

WAY too much jocularity

Late nights are par for the course and I am sure many of us caught up on sleep after the weekend ended.

Day two this year was just a fun-filled as Saturday with each session having a good number of participants.

Craig Gray, a great instructor, shared some of the gun disarms of Krav Maga. If you are within driving distance to any of his seminars, it is well worth the distance. Less of the martial artist, Craig is about getting it finished with minimal thought. I appreciate his approach.

Sean Stark was up next and with the help of Sterling Heibeck. They showed us a good flow from Pencak Silat Pertempuran. After his presentation, Sean awarded Sterling with the rank of Pelatih. We were all honored to be there and I am especially proud of Sterling. Great job, brother!

After lunch, KSMA noob, Geoffrey Bosmann showed us some neck manipulations and a little close range kali.

Ian Robbins wrapped up the day with an impromptu boxing clinic that many enjoyed greatly.

All in all, this year’s gathering had a great number expectations set upon it last year. It by far exceeded those, and they can only get better.


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