Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Is it December already?

Greetings from KSMA-land. This year was somewhat quiet with the exception of the wickedly fun Summer Jam. The next one should be a blast and once we know when and where and what not, we will let you know. Health issues seem to be the name of the game of late. We anxiously await news from Bobbe and what the recovery will be like. I have colon cancer and the chemotherapy limits my training to essentially non-contact stuff as bruises won't go away quickly now. Because of the cancer, the KSMA Des Moines school is going to close when the lease is up. Hats off to Jake for stepping up to cover a couple of classes per week to keep it alive before we go back underground. Surprisingly, we have had some new people show up. Guess I should have said I was closing earlier. My prognosis is fairly good in the sense that I will be around for a while (relative term), but it is stage 4 and fairly significant. I am approaching every day on its own. Be safe and make the most of the holiday hoopla.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Jam 2012

The Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts 2012 Summer Jam was a success! Terry Trahan, co-director of KSMA and leader of KSMA Denver made the trek with two of his students, along with several of my students as well as a couple others who heard about us attended also.
The first day started off with Terry discussing and having us spend time in his Pikal methodology. This was good to participate in as it ties and blends in well with what we do locally as there are similar roots. The fundamentals help reduce telegraphing movement and encourage closing in. It’s the subtile movements that can be difficult to learn, but Terry has a way of loosening up those learning from him to get them to understand.
My first session was a drill we call Nick’s Stick which is a modified medio sumbrada using two sticks which I took back to largo range. This is one of a few drills we use to help understand how to use each hand independently of the other. Aside from being tools of blunt force trauma, the movements of the sticks translate to other tools or empty hands and we also could see the way they integrate well with the Pikal Terry showed just before this session.
After lunch, we kept the fun rolling with a session with hubud with switches and their applications within that. It was a good exploration in taking things outside the drill. An aside - if you have a number of drill-like components in your system, you really should look at busting out of that in ways that break the rhythm and allow you to move in on control the situation. Once the cognitive aspects of the principle movements are established, time to see what else you can do with it. Try it, you’ll grow.
Terry then led us through some flow sparring. This is always an eye-opener for some and a workout for all. The biggest hurdle most have to overcome is actually going slow. It is a great way to feel and understand how you move and how your opponent moves. We were all pretty spent. Johnny head-butted me in the nose...still hurts to blow it. Nice one, Johnny.
That evening we had the hanging out time that has become such a regular feature of these gatherings we can’t think of not having it. Food, a little libation and good times all around. 
Sunday morning (usually a struggle but not this time - guess we are mellowing some) Terry and I began what became pretty much an all day lecture. Terry and I touched on the legal term, “self defense,” preclusion along with Means, Opportunity and Intent, your responsibilities, the OODA loop, E&E, and the realities of an attack. All of those were fleshed out pretty well through the day along with some medical things and the “check yourself jurus.” As a break from all that, a few guys from another school in the area came by and show us a small bit of what they do in the samurai arts (thanks for walking all over us, guys! If you were there, you’d know what I mean).
Sunday evening was mediocre cajun food and then hanging out watching Metal Evolution episodes from VH1 Classic - a really good series by and by. Took Terry down memory lanes with that - always a good time.

Who is in for the next one?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

KSMA Summer Jam 2012

KSMA has had a long standing commitment to coming together to share what we know with others in tandem with learning from whom we are able. In that tradition, we are having the first KSMA Summer Jam in Des Moines, IA, on June 23 and 24 of 2012.
This is a chance to train with a variety of people, see old friends and make new ones.
A major part focus for this event is for instructors to share aspects of their arts with those outside their normal circle. We welcome any who wish to participate. We will be following a format similar to past successful events. There will be a series of sessions throughout the weekend from the various instructors. While we encourage you to attend all sessions to get a full appreciation of the event, it is not required. Please contact us if you have an interest in sharing what you know, and we can establish a time for you to do so during the Summer Jam.
Co-directors Terry Trahan and Jay Carstensen will be teaching elements of Aneh Palu Kali-Silat. Others will be announced as they come on board.
Saturday evening will consist of a hang out session/potluck dinner as breaking bread and sharing water is an essential aspect of our community. This is a time for us to swap stories of high adventure and just kick back and build relationships.

Cost will be $50. Contact Jay about lodging options.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I heard two stories recently about how the skills of improvisation comedy apply to everyday life and business. One of those referenced Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, specifically the section, “Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat”. This struck a cord with me. I feel a few of those points can be applied to martial arts and then back to life. Let’s go down her list and compare.
“Agree and say yes.” In Fey’s words, she means to keep an open mind and start with yes and see where that takes you. You may not agree with what is happening, but it is a place to start. To me, this means accepting what is happening right now and acknowledge it is occurring. An apt analogy could be, “man that looks like a fist coming my way. And it’s getting bigger.” It may not be physical either. The verbal equivalent could be if someone is getting in your face, check yourself. Don’t escalate the situation. Keep control of the situation by repeating back what they are telling you, let them know you hear what they are saying and attempt to de-escalate the scene.
“Yes, And...” Ms. Fey suggests at his point, we add something to the conversation. In the case of the fist above, you could see it and (re)act (to)on that stimulus with something you have practiced for just such an instance. With de-escalating, you may agree with what they are saying and offer a way to defuse what’s going on.
“Make statements.” Ms. Fey suggests now is the point to offer your opinions and be part of the solution. In the case of a non-verbal confrontation, you will be hitting and doing damage. Verbally, you can state clearly that you are going to make things right by leaving.
“There are no mistakes, only opportunities.” Here, Ms. Fey states that you have to make to best of the situation you are in and recognize that things could go wrong. In a physical confrontation, actions performed by you may not go off they way you had hoped, but you can’t linger on that. You need to keep plugging away to get out of the circumstance. In the verbal situation, you may say the wrong thing at the wrong time, so you need to accept that, apologize, and move on.

As is true with improvisation, the same goes with martial arts: practice. The more you explore, the more you are able to adapt to the moment and just flow with it to get what needs done, done. Join us at Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts to learn the skills you need to get out of a situation when you have to.

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