Training with intent. What does this mean for Latosa Concepts, FMA?

Training with intent. What does this mean for Latosa Concepts, FMA? FMA terminology!

I hope ya’ll are doing well.

To start with we’ll have a quick update for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group in Copenhagen. Training during the last 2 weeks of July have been without training instruction from myself. The men have been making their own plans for training during these two weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.03.35Stig has done a great job arranging for our clubs ( forenings ) continued use of the room at Grøndals Center in Copenhagen. Once again a tip of the hat to him for doing such a great job.

For anybody who has has kept an eye on the FB page for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group, they will have seen my remarks about intent! What do we mean when we use this term?

Let’s get back to basics and the concepts that GM Rene Latosa teaches. There is balance, focus, power speed-distance-timing, and there is transition. Intent is when we hit with the desire to strike or counter strike with the idea of damaging. In short we mean it! If we look at my past and point karate tournaments, we can say that there was a time when I did not train with intent! The distance was wrong because we tried to be as far away from our opponent when punching. We also used a lot of energy on the draw back phase of the punch. If we train our selves to punch ( a given example ) out of range to have a real effect and we know what we are doing then there is no intent.

We can look at the number of training partners we have, and quickly come to the conclusion that we would run out of partners, if we follow through with strikes to the head (a given example ). We want to keep our training partners around because they are friends and are also needed to continuing getting better at what we do. How do we train intent then? The answer is we intend to hit the person, when we start the attack! Then we stop the power at a given range using power mechanisms ( a term I coined to better explain how we generate and control power.) The use of dropping power helps to improve balance and the ability to keep the energy moving. Helmet training or training with padded sticks is a way to not stop the power short of the head, arm, or what ever target or zone we attack.

eskrima free sparring latosa concepts escrimaWe have talked about the trinity of speed , timing and distance. We can look at them when examining our intent. If we choose a target or zone that is a long distance combo of the trinity, then we will have a given possible combination of speed timing and distance, ( this is simplified for this explanation / blog.) Another distance will have another combination. What’s important is that we have intent when performing the attacks / counter strikes.

You might say… what about focus? That’s easy. Are we putting power towards a placement besides the real target? Many people do this. They look great but if we look closely, we’ll see that the strikes is aimed at a spot next to the head ( a given target ). Some of the men have a hard time getting rid of this “nice guy gene.” What we have to remember is that we are training our partner, when we train our selves to aim at the target. Striking towards a spot besides the head again and again trains that pattern into our nervous system and it teaches our partner that there is no real danger! Even worse, if we are striking at a spot in front of the head and our training partner really doesn’t have to do anything. We have to remember that we are training our selves to function under stress and when that stress is not there, it’s all a joke. Someone throwing a strike at us that is in distance, focused, done with balance and power, and the ability to transition to another attack target helps to create that stress and get us ready.

All this might seem like a physical act for the uninitiated. What we are really talking about is a state of mind! We should not be afraid to let a strike go, that is set in motion with the idea of bashing a target in. The fact that we stop ourselves at the last moment should not change this fact. Many people have a hard time with that dark side of themselves. The truth of the matter is we train ourselves to do one thing or another. Are we teaching our selves to hit the air or break an arm when attacked? If you are training to defend yourself against the air, by all means keep thinking about hitting the air in front of your training partner.

I know what I train for:

  • 1. Defense of my family.
  • 2. Defense of myself.
  • 3. The mental and physical aspects of training.
  • 4. Spending time with friends, training partners and student.
  • 5. Giving back and continuing the transference of the knowledge that I was given by my instructors and mentors so my students can protect themselves and their families.


I could ramble on for along time about intent and the concepts GM Latosa teaches with his style of FMA, but it’s still my vacation. I hope your summer has been a great one. Remember that the first month of training is free for a while. you can read more here at DK FMA. It all start ups again on Monday the 3rd of August at 17:00. Wrestling room above the bowling centre at Grøndals Center in Copenhagen.

Stay proactive and remember your intent when living life and training.


Latosa Concepts, FMA Terminology and thoughts after the Copenhagen Middle Age Market / Fair.

Latosa Concepts, FMA Terminology and thoughts after the Copenhagen Middle Age Market / Fair

I hope ya’ll are doing well and you have had plenty of time with your family and friends lately.

1 maanedes gratis traening i selvforsvar i Koebenhavn

1 maanedes gratis traening i selvforsvar i Koebenhavn

Just a quick note before I get into the terminology and thoughts part of the post… Our club, Danish FMA and Self-Defense grp in Copenhagen,Denmark is having an enrolment offer right now. The first month of training is free. Heres the link!

Now let’s get back to the terminology post. My son and I were at the KMM , København Middelalder Market, yesterday. It was cool to see friend, my old instructor and earlier students there as well as getting some “one on one time” with my boy.

Some of the things we talked about were the historical facts and how battles really was waged. In may cases the Battle of the Nation (BON) matches were good examples of what really happened. Long axes and the like were used to pull people down as well as long attack weapons. In short, groups really did team up on the enemy when they had a chance.The one on one fighting skills, we all like to think of, was just one part of the conflicts. When we look at the way people are pulled down to the ground in the BON matches, there is a certain truth to it. When you were down on the ground it was easier to be killed.

The man on man skills are just part of what really happened in real life. This is one reason We take advantage of take downs in our FMA training classes, see here. With that said the take downs are not everything and they should be trained accordingly in small percentages. When we train catastrophe training drills all the time, we stop working as hard as we can to avoid them. This is one criticism of the sword people, who are critics of the BON matches. 

When I had the club for police and military on Artillerivej, we worked on drills for getting up from the ground as fast as possible, simply because the street is like the Battle of Nations matches in that you have to expect an attack from behind from an assailants friends / team mates. More on this subject here.

RANT!!!!! for the Danes reading this…what you see at the KMM are matches not fights! I had to lend an ear to so many fathers telling their sons that the fight was wild! They were matches between two teams. There were rules and the way they fought was /is governed by the equipment and rules they have. EN KAMP ER IKKE EN SLAGSMÅL!

That’s out of my system now. The grumpy old man has to show himself from time to time.

When you look at some of the latest video from our club you will see some of the drills are for learning to control distance. This could be because you are smart enough to pick up something long if/when you are ever at a party and your brother-in-law decide s to stab you from across the table! ;) Just joking, I hope!

gratis selvforsvar træning i københavn

gratis selvforsvar træning i københavn

In reality, we have to control distance in a conflict to use the weapons at our disposal. This might be our hands, elbow, or a metal bike pump. And yes they still do exist. You get the idea.The more we learn to control distance, the more we can control the conflict. This might be knocking something out of someones hand or just smashing their hand enough to make them think about what they are doing. It could also be moving in so close that we can perform a take down.

All this gets back to one of our basic goals in a conflict. We want to control the situation and the outcome. The more we control different elements of the conflict the better our chances of controlling the outcome.

I could go on for a while like this but we all have other things to do. Make sure you are up on where GM Latosa is at the moment. He is travelling and it’s well worth the time to go to one or even several of his seminars. Some of the best experiences for me, were when I travelled with the group to different clubs here in DK and Germany to get as many seminars in as possible. I’m looking forward to when I start travelling again.

Our club, Danish FMA and Self-defense grp, mail is

Club website:

FaceBook Page is is here.

The closed FaceBook grp for our club is here.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training






Danish FMA and Self-Defense grp. update 05-2015.

Danish FMA and Self-Defense grp. training update  05-2015.

I’ll be touching on the summer training plan, the new 4th grade students, new members and a few other other subjects in this blog post.

To start with, I hope ya’ll are doing well. Lets’ get straight to it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.03.35Congratulations to J.K. and N.H. on passing the 4th grade level for Latosa Concepts, FMA. The grades are well deserved men! Both men have been with me a while now and have worked long and hard for the grades they have. I don’t give grades away. The next grade will most likely go much quicker now that they have a good foundation to build on. They have worked on bettering all the grade requirements for the previous grades as well as building a solid basic working knowledge of the 2 stick open-8 drills for 4th gr. as well as the 2 stick high, high, low drill. They have worked on some of the many types of sparring drills we use. An example is a 1 stick free sparring drill in which A attacks twice and B attacks once, then they continue repeating the sequence again and again.

To get the 4th student grade, the men had a grading requirement drill that goes with thestokkekamp københavnmed Dansk FMA Gruppe 3 4th. It is a palm stick drill and unarmed drill in one, as with many of the drills we work on. The reason being transition. Add to that, all the drills that are a common drill for each and every person in the club and you have a handful of drills and subjects for the men to work on.

They will be starting on 2 stick fig-8 drills and live hand drills as well as many other subjects and improvements of the earlier grades. We are finished with the kindergarten drills.

The next subject is fight day. I had planned on doing this last week, everybody’s jobs got in the way. We might break it up into sections of training, so everybody gets a chance… once again because of work etc. It’s important to have a full contact version of training from time to time to make sure nobody has taught themselves to not hit the attacker. I know it sounds weird, but I have seen it many times with higher grades and lower grades. It pure and simple muscle memory / nervous system memory.

With that said, Look into some padding for your arms and hands men. If you don’t haveFMA og selvforsvar træning i københavn hockey gloves…get them. I use hard shin guard /protectors for soccer / football (Eu). Crotch protection is worth it as well. For those people who want a vest, we have two. I know some of the men have their own helmets. They are worth the investment. As we progress, helmet training with out padded sticks is the next progression of the training. This gets back to muscle / nervous system memory and the mental ability to really trust what you can do. There is nothing like a person hitting full force to crutch your head when it comes to a BULLSH_t DETECTOR. With that said, we start on that training when each person is ready for it.

The T-shirts are ready. I hope to pick them up this week. I know my t-shirts are ready for retirement after so many training sessions. I’ll look into the shorts and pant next.

The summer training plan is up at the Danish FMA and Self-Defense grp. website now. Click here to see more. I’ll be posting some information about the summer event as soon as possible. It will most likely be the usual. Bring your own food and babe. We’ll see what we work out for training. Maybe an introduction  to what we do for non members of the grp. / club.

We are starting a “1st month free campaign for the club.” When you start trainingselvforsvar træning i københavn 2 with us, you train free the first month. It’s time to get some more people into training. S. K. needs a polishing before he test for his grade… 3rd LC, FMA grade. This will be a good time for new members to start. Hopefully there will be plenty of outdoor classes ( Saturdays) now that the weather is getting warmer here in DK.

What should new members expect? That’s a good question. My lovely wife says thatEscrima træning i københavn med Dansk fma 1 she is used to seeing what we do. So I can’t use her as a gauge anymore. Allan Nielsen, Club Secretary, and I were talking about how his friends look at what we do. They say we are extreme. New members are not expected to handle the same attacks and pressure that the 2 new 4th grade students are expected to handle.

The 1st grade is basically designed to help people learn to see the angel and learn to understand the basic body mechanics that we talk about. You learn these things as well as learning to defend yourself against basic attacks. In short it is a learning process. Nobody will be hitting you with 100% power and intent. When we had our circle training last week. People were expected to perform to their own abilities when they were put into the middle of the circle ( aka  “Lions Den”). Btw, that’s just us having fun with the name of the drill. We should never forget that we are just big boys and girls! You gotta have fun.

Regarding strength and condition during our classes. We do not expect anything Escrima træning i københavn med Dansk fma 4other than you doing your best. A typical strength and condition drill is push ups. We do a set number or the number that you can do. If you can’t do one version of push-up then you do a version that you can do. N.H. is a physical therapist and I am a PT, kettlebell coach etc. You are in good hands.

It your responsibility to fit into the grp as a new member. We do not and will not accept trouble makers into the grp. PERIOD! We are down to earth people, who want to have fun training our abilities to defend ourselves and our families. See the link here for the club website. If you don’t read Danish we will translate.

Escrima /Self-Defense terminology posts are coming up. I have just had many different hats on of late. Old Farts need their sleep sometimes! ;)

The club webpage is

Facebook page is

Email is

That’s it for now, Stay Proactive in Life and Training

C Williamson 

Instructor Danish FMA and Self-Defense group in Copenhagen.



Drills vs fight training in FMA. Latosa Concept, FMA and Danish FMA group terminology

Drills vs fight training in FMA. Latosa Concept, FMA and Danish FMA group terminology

dansk fma og selvforsvar gruppe i københavnI hope ya’ll are doing well. It’s time for more ranting and terminology. Before that, I’d like to remind you that we are open for new members now. You can see the guys who were at training the other day in the picture. So write to us so we can plan a training session with our club.

Now to the subject at hand. When we do drills, they are usually some counter attacks and other mixes of techniques that are related or put together for other reasons. One might be to learn how to hit with control when starting the first 2 stick drill. Most people need some time to feel that they have control of the left handed strike. I’ll put a video below to show what I mean. Drills can be put together to get use the stress level, so the students can focus on improving something like the timing of the strike and foot work with the left hand… if we stick with the given example above!

All drills are not fight training! I repeat, ALL DRILLS ARE NOT FIGHT TRAINING! If I was going to do a crash course for military, CPO ( VIP protection) etc, Then most drills would be fight training. When we teach people in a club setting, then we are looking at developing skills that we don’t have time to improve with the crash course. At least with most people, there will always be the élite learners.

Not only that, but a given drill at a beginner level would not look like the same drill for an intermediate level student or advanced level student. We post a lot of videos compared to other FMA clubs, but we don’t post everything! We have the training, we show the world via videos and we have the next level of understanding that doesn’t end up on video.

As the guys start to develop skills we turn up the stress level via different tools. this could be more honest attacks from the BG ( bad guy ), it could be via more attackers, noise, catastrophe position, other starting weapon positions, and much more.

Once a student has learned to understand the distance of a stab ( using the low counter strike to the attacking weapon hand) then he / she can go on to doing a #2 strike to the head and moving more offline, or even preempting with online footwork. Then when the live hand has been developed to a given level, we can add the live hand control to the same attack when the BG stabs low. Hopefully you see where we are going.

We can look at a drill as a stick drill or we can look at it as a bladed drill. Blades always command more respect. People can be and often are more brave when attacked by an attacker wielding a blunt weapon. Just by changing the attackers weapon, we start all over again with building the confidence of the student and thereby their ability to do more than just a basic drill. They can start more true to life fight drills. This is why people look differently when the fight really starts.

You’ll hear me yelling yes!, even though a student has reacted outside the drill parameters at times. That is because they have taken a simple drill for skills sake and started to adapt it to real fight / self-defense situations.

I hope you don’t really think the FMA videos showing a long series of counter strikes is supposed to be what it looks like when we use our training in real life ( if we are so unlucky that we have to )

You will hear GM Rene talk about keeping to the basics and those of us who have learned from him, will most likely always have our student look at the basic concepts as they progress. Are they maintaining balance as they learn new skills and learn to function under more and more pressure? Do they still command control of timing and distance when they add 2 sticks to a list of t he tools they can use?  Can that take that same cross strike with the stick and transfer the same power to the use of the live hand while they attack to the head when the attacker stabs ?

In short, the many drills for developing the skills of a warrior are not the same skills and drills that would be used to develop a soldier in a short amount of time. There are going to be extra drills and possibly slower paths of learning. And later on the ability to ascend to a higher level of understanding and skill will/can be the result. (Given the fact that the student is ready for the learning curve and more). The funny thing is things get easier later on when we take our time in the beginning! In other words the second 2 stick grade for the guys will be easier because we spent the time on the second single stick grade.

I could write about this subject for along time. There are so many combinations of timing, distance and more that it could be a book. But my old fingers are getting tired and the sun is shinning. AND it’s Friday!

Do some training this weekend and make sure you spend some time with your family. enjoy their company and remember what you do have in your life.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training


Dino Power!



Self-defense training vs bodyguard training video, Latosa Concepts, FMA

Self-defense training vs bodyguard training video, Latosa Concepts, FMA terminology

We have a new training room in the centre of Copenhagen, Grøndals Center, now. Check it out.

Proactive in Life and Training



What the heck is it …. Escrima, Kali, Arnis, or something else?

What the heck is it …. Escrima, Kali, Arnis, or something else like mma, the spear, or even krav maga?

What the heck is it? Regardless of what you train, you will see people doing something that “belongs to another system.” Sorry folks if you thought what you did belonged to your system and that system alone!

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

Let’s start with the idea of FMA. If we were to say traditional Filipino Martial Arts, we would have to decide at what year we started saying things were not real FMA. Espada y daga comes from Spain … or does it? Are we going to include the mostly muslim arts such as Silat? Are we going to include the arts from one island and not another? Are we going to include the variations that you might see because some one is big and strong as compared to a 5ft islander?

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 19.39.36You see where I am going. It gets complicated.  We’ll start with Karate and the systems that look/move some what like karate. The Japanese got around and the fact that ww2 helped to popularise Japanese arts such as judo made it easier to become popular on the  Filipine islands. Hollywood jumped on the band wagon and there was no looking back. The hard way many karate styles moves, can be seen in many movies. Looking at the softer and more dynamic kung fu styles tv shows and the expectation of that art even more. It’s kinda like assumed fighting style differences in two hand european sword fight and short sword fighting. They are at two ends of the spectrum…. and the same thing in some ways.

Latosa Concepts Escrima

Latosa Concepts Escrima

When we look at the many arts of the Filipinos arts today. You will see the same differences. But which one is more FMA true? Is Balintawak or Silat the correct FMA version? All this is what makes FMA so great. A person can train a hard powerful style for a while and then train a more fluid style. That person could learn from a Lago Mano specialist and then learn from a Sarrada instructor.

Lets make it even more confusing. Lets say that the person above get’s into GM Latosa style more. Many of the people in Europe find that his way of training FMA fits them better. I am one. My instructor of many years, Lars Lind learned from GM Rene Latosa for many years. We trained hard hits first. The fancy stuff came later because we trained with sticks to start with. I found that a combination of GM Latosa’s style and the style I trained under Master Lind fit me best. Another person who trained a lot of Wing Tsun would add influences from WT.

Latosa Concepts pict. 1Now let’s look at what happens when you reach a certain level of understanding of the fighting arts. Regardless of the system, many truths hold true. A wrist lock / disarm may look a little different, because one system derives it grounding concepts from weapons and the other from pure unarmed  vs. unarmed fights. Systems like Krav Maga which are popular at the moment because it’s the latest trend, tend to pick up techniques and concepts from other fighting arts. An example is how a system consisting of a few techniques trained in many situations grew to have flying circular kicks and more.

LC link to GM Rene playlistWhat we do in Latosa Concepts is based largely on weapons fighting with power and balance as the first lessons and concepts like transition are later subjects. We deviate from the core of the system as we learn more and develop more “tools” such as hard passing, jamming and soft passing. Characteristic elements of fma such as “defanging the snake” and live / life hand use are developed as the person learns more about speed, timing and distance.

Picture 105When I started Escrima under Latosa’s European head Master Bill and the Danish head Master Lind, the unarmed training was kept to a minimum in the beginning because there was a partnership between the WT organisation and GM Latosa. Today we train palm stick and unarmed as well as stick training from the very first day. Politics don’t get in the way any more. But, which form is more FMA in it’s style? The one without the unarmed or the one with the unarmed training.

Once again the waters are becoming murky!

Latosa Concepts Escrima. Training, seminars and friends past and presentThe short answer to what it is: it defends on your understanding of martial arts, the concepts that drive what you know, the philosophies that are involved and at what level the person performing the art is at. Let’s add a few more factors like instructor experience, the ability of the student to perform the given art as it was meant to be done ( or as we think it was meant to be done), and many other.

As I get older I use softer techniques in the place of hard techniques. Passing takes the place of jamming ( you see jamming a lot in krav maga). Reading attacks and what happening takes the place of preempting and I become a nicer person in general. ;) I am moving from a hard FMA style to a softer more fluid one. Which one is more FMA authentic? Is it less authentic because you are young and hard or is it more authentic because you are older, more apt to injury and smarter?

Latosa Concepts Escrima. Training, seminars and friends past and presentI have not gotten into the general differences in escrima / eskrima , kali, arnis, silat, and so on because this blog post would go on forever. The words are interchangeable in some cases and very telling of the art in other cases. I will mess with your brain a little though! Is the feminine V footwork the same as sprawling in anti-grapling (mma)? If you think about it, there is not much of a skip and hop from one technique to the next when we think in concepts and the reasons for each technique. What drives the actions?

I don’t want to jinks it, but it looks like we might have a new place to train. keep your fingers crossed. If it happens we’ll be open for more members. I am looking forward to seeing more people train FMA in Denmark. Check out the club blog here.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training



Latosa Concepts Escrima Terminology. Locks vs. balance disruption.

Latosa Concepts Escrima Terminology. Locks vs. balance disruption.

The title says it all. What is best, locks or balance disruption ? Or some kind of mix that can be adjusted depending on the need / situation.

Before that, I’d like to say I hope ya’ll are doing well. The water well of blog posts has been dry because of my work hours lately. Btw, I hope your Christmas was a great one and New Years evening were great. Welcome to 2015!

Now, let’s get right into it. What do we do? The answer is FMA. What situations do we train for? That answer is a weapon situation. Be it something we pick up to defend ourselves or a situation, in which an assailant attacks us with a weapon, or we are not sure what he has/ doesn’t have.

Our unarmed training is based on weapons concepts, mentalities and techniques. If we deviate from that and move into the lock and control direction, we have to be aware that we are moving down a dirt road that can have some unsuspected pot holes and loose gravel. In short, I always have said that deviating from the safe road is a risk, so be aware of what you are doing, if you decide to take that road. We assume that all attackers and potential attackers are armed. Imagine someone coming at you with a knife moving none stop.

Let’s say you have an aikido background. Some of the angles that you might directs energy can be a deviation down that dirt road we mentioned before. A simple balance disruption, that looks somewhat like a lock you might see in aikido, can be shorter time wise and open the door for strikes using our improvised equalizer or what ever we strike with. If we think of one of GM Rene Latosa’s concepts, focus, we want to keep our intention and energy pointing towards the attacker. We are talking raw FMA here.

So what’s better. It depends on your training, your desire to wrestle with a person with weapon in hand, and many other factors like job description and so on. It might even be an emergency technique. Those people, who have trained with me, have heard me say … ” we should be busting our balls to not be in a situation in which we have to perform emergency environmental actions/ reactions.”  When we find our selves in these possible situations our training should make us work HARD at getting out of it, AND NOT look like Billy Jack in the center of a circle of attackers. Don’t accepts bad positioning in short. If you are not an old fart that knows who Billy Jack is, check out some older films.

We can look at a vine disarm, that we train from the outside position. The vine disarm is performed after the worlds best disarm… A strike to the head. It’s the safest too, by the way. The men learn that the vine disarm is as much a attack to the attackers balance, as it is a doorway to a lock, by way of the elbow or shoulder. They also learn to let go of the lock if it’s not working. They should just continue with a flow of attacks to the persons balance, mental state and/or body. Forcing a lock that “just taint workin” is a fools folly down a dirt road with out headlights. And the pot holes!

Why is it a folly? We are talking about weapons! look around the “inter web” for example of knife cuts and stabs. Look at the videos showing people dying 2-5 minutes after being stabbed because they bleed out. Time is precious. Forcing locks takes times. We don’t want to focus on making a lock work while we are getting stabbed.

Now let’s say you are in control of the situation and you decide to perform a lock because the time is right for it. Then more power to you. Knowing when to do it and when not to is the key. It’s kinda like knowing you don’t have Mike Tyson stored up in you after a double shift at work. In such a case being smart, not strong could help greatly. The ways we create and direct energy, learned by way of weapons training, can easily redirected into locks and breaks. We just have to be aware of the timing and dangers.

Am I bashing locks? The answer is NO! I use them from time to time. They are just harder to perform than many people think. They take an uncanny timing, when we are talking about what most people can do. Then add the layers of knives, crazy people who don’t care about you or even want to put you in the ground. Add your heart pounding out of your chest and your fine motor skills out for the count, add people who don’t feel pain and many other factors.

One of the guys in our group has a long history of Aikido. Once he has more routine and a few more grades under his belt he will be in a position to pick, when and where he perfumes a lock. To be honest, more than me, most likely. He has the years under his belt. Add a better FMA understanding and he will be on his way. How many years of training in locks do you have? How many years of honest FMA training do you have? You see where I going, I hope

That’s it, no more preeeeeeachin from the old fart. Ya’ll have a great day and a Happy New Year.

Proactive in Life and Training


Training for stressful real life situations. Latosa Concepts Terminology

Training for stressful real life situations. Latosa Concepts Terminology.

The mental aspect of self-defense has always been the pink elephant in the room that people refuse to talk about or see. In the Noir video below they look at some of the training and talk about some of the issues people should think about. Be it hand to hand self-defense, blunt weapons, sharp weapons or firearms, we have to be really honest to be prepared for the possible situations we can end up in.

Please note, before we get too far into the rabbit hole… I’m not talking about living, eating and breathing these issues 24 hrs a day. Do your training and get on with life. Love, share and have fun. Add the training in when it’s time, and get on with life afterwards. I’m an old fart with a younger wife, 2 kids, a grandchild and some great friends and students. There are other things in life when I’m not training. I’m sure you have more to see to than me.

Any hoo! Back to the subject. My wife and I reacted differently to a situation in which I had to fight a gang, when we were on the way home from a party. Her reaction to it, and mine, were completely different. I had no problems with the attackers being bloodied and hurt. The cold and far from pretty reality of it was a shock for her.

As I have written before, my childhood was not what people like to think about when they think of childhood. I was raised to be ready to defend my family against a real threat. My family could have been / was in danger, when some specific people got out of prison.  It was expected that I could pick up a gun and defend my brother and sister, not to mention my mother. My wife’s upbringing was much more devoid of the harsh facts of life. That’s why we are soo good together. We are at balance.

People like to think a trained person could JUST DO THIS AND THAT! Well, those people don’t know anything about the truth. What about the people who have what I would call … the standard lack of training for real life. That’s the wrist lock training while the attackers is counting the number of lights hanging from the ceiling. In the video below they talk about just shooting an attacker in the leg. Lets talk about JUST SHOOTING AN ATTACKER IN THE LEG. In our fma world that would be doing a disarm of the knife that the person is attacking me /us while then doing some pretty hollywood series of techniques. That would make me / you the hero of the movie.

We can start with the shooting of the leg, then look at the act of doing a disarm in real life. When I was going to shooting weekly, I was a better shot than most Danish LEO. The Danish thought pattern is that guns should not be used. I agree that they are our last resort. This is where the BUT comes in. If you wear a gun on your hip and you are paid to protect and serve, shouldn’t you be damn good at using it, if you are forced to use the firearm? I say yes. There’s the elephant in the room. That’s not idealistic and proper. it would demand weekly training on the range. This training would also have aspects of what you see in the video. Getting your pulse rate up and performing under very controlled and unrealistic pressure. Real life is much more stressful. Now lets add a moving target. Now lets add a nut case that does not feel pain, is close enough that he/ they fall on you and continue attacking. And now the assailant is angry on top of that. These are just some of the factors we could talk about.

Physically we perform badly under real life pressure because our nervous systems switches over to fight or flight. We become physically uncoordinated because our nervous system can not do the puuuurty Hollywood finely tuned  movement adjustment and maneuvers. Now lets add the fact that a knife strike horror in the minds of people when they are assaulted or threatened with them. Now lets add the fact that the knife welding attacker does not have our moral compass. He doesn’t care if you have 2 kids, a grandchild and a wonderful women at a home.  He is drunk, on drugs or is a hardened criminal. Now lets add the fact that he does not feel pain when he is worked up. I am one of those people. I know others, they block out pain when focused on the mission at hand. We all have it when it is activated and we all have different activation levels / triggers.

Now you can JUST take the knife from that person above while he and his friends are doing their best to stab, punch, kick and yes possibly shoot you. Remember that your heart is beating so loudly that you can’t hear anything but your heart in your ears.

You might say that the situation seems hopeless. It might, if you are ignoring the HONKING PINK ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM. Knowing they are there is half the battle. Learning to work with our thought patterns under stress is another and  ….. doing the work is even more important. With that comes the ability to adjust under pressure and really recognise when you can just shoot the attacker in the leg. In our fma world, knowing when we have the time to fend off that drunk knife wielding dude ( or knife carrying gang member ) with the chair ( or bike ;) ) that we see next to us.

If you have the stomach, look up KNIFE WOUNDS on google image. For the people who read this and say the author is a nut case. More power to you, I hope you live well and long. For the people who think like I do … get your butt in gear and train for real life. Then go play basketball with your son, visits your daughter and see your grandchild. And when the night comes, love that purty lady with all your heart.

For other blog post for professionals, click here…. And Here


The site for the Danish FMA and Self-defense grp is here. We are still working on it, so check it out from time to time. It will be a traditional go to site to see training information and so on for the club (forening). The LC Blog will continue to be my baby and my sounding board for thoughts about training and the mental aspects of training. In short a blog.


Ya’ll have a great day and stay proactive in life and training

C Williamson

Founder of Latosa Concepts Escrima

Member of the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters.

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters. Mental aspects of self-defence.

I hope ya’ll are doing well. It’s video time for the psychological self-defence aspect of protecting ourselves and our families. There is plenty of stuff if you listen and think.

The “meat hippy in me”  thought this was worth watching / listening to. ( I like to listen to podcast now rather than watch videos. I’m just an old fart after all ;)  ).

I try to keep the politics out of this hobby that I call a blog. So, sorry about the political nature of the video. With that said, Glenn Greenwald talks about some things people do and don’t do when they think they are being watched. A little more insight into the nature of our fellow men / governments is always good to have. The more we understand others and ourselves, the more we can avoid conflicts.

On a side note, we are real close to starting the “forening” as the Danes word it. Have a great day! the last bylaws are being ironed out.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training



Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society. A Rant?

Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society.

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

I hope ya’ll are doing well. This is going to be a bit of a rant or me just bitc….g about a subject and some thoughts on the subject.

It’s no secret that I am training my self up again after a nasty collar bone injury. This goes for normal strength and conditioning and LC Escrima training. Speaking of which, thanks for a cool training session at the beach yesterday Niklas! This old fart could feel it afterwards. I’m glad that I stayed at the beach to just lay around for a while. I’m looking forward to next time we train together.

Any Hoo! Back to the subject. Some of us were training at the beach and doing our best to not feel the heat. It was a hot day! For myself, I was doing my best to not feel my hectic schedule and the lack of sleep. In short “old fart stuff”! I felt all the 8,10,& 20 kg boxes I lift all day long. ;) The inspiration for this blog entry came from the fact that there was a group training at the beach not far away, and the instructor and 2 group members seem to really not understand the idea of personal space when walking by. Some would call it just stupid where I come from in Texas and in some circles here in DK. Provoking people training escrima is just silly! Add to that they did it twice just to prove a point….?

Any Hoo!! Back to the subject. Personal space is different everywhere in the world. In crowded country/cities, where there is a true mix of poor and other economic groups, like some Philippine cities, you will find people walking up against you without thinking about it. The New York streets could be another example of many people packed together in a small space. Here in DK, there is an odd mix of an understanding of personal space and a general respect, and there is a blatant habit of just doing something like walking too close when there is A LOT of space all around. It’s something you expect from teenage boys learning to find boundaries not instructors with a t-shirt proclaiming instructor for a club in Hellerup / Copenhagen. You see it also in young children of 1-5 years old because they are so focused on an end goal ( or something they saw) that they forget the world around them. Think of a 3 yr. old at the beach with his/her bucket and shovel and they have to dig right there beside you because they saw something in the sand. You smile and giggle at it when there is no expectation of normal social codes and more. It’s cute in many ways. And yes, I wrote cute. Blackmail me. ;)

It does not belong in the realm of instructors of crossfit! (hint), personal trainers!, self-defense trainers! and other coaches or teachers! There is supposed to be an understanding of respect for personal space! This understanding of respect for others personal space transcends other subjects like other people’s feeling as well as their opinions. As a personal trainer/ instructor, you have to understand the type of person you are working with. Once again, another reason, that I had a hard time not just getting down right angry at the lack of respect the instructor showed. Many of the people ( in the area ) who were curious asked if they could sit down close by and watch or just showed some respect and walked around…. leaving  a decent amount of space between them self and us. There are always dumb teenage boy trying to prove something and provoke a response, but they don’t have a t-shirt on declaring “instructor……” and they are not responsible for a group. They are not paid to lead!

You could say that it was not worth getting worked up about. Forget it and move on. We have to remember, that instructors set a tone for the group in which they are a members of or teach in. It’s the same for higher grades in martial arts. This is getting back to the big brother / little brother idea. Sociologist have performed studies on behaviour in groups. It’s common knowledge that one person cheating seems to open the flood gate for the next few then the whole group. There is a cool video on the subject. The speaker uses the expression….  fudge factor. If someone, like an instructor, does not respect one groups personal space then the people he is teaching tend let themselves invade other people space. There were many families and groups at the beach who experience the same thing we did. This will not end here, btw. I am just cooling down before I talk with the local club responsible.

When I was running around in clubs in Texas, chasing women and dancing, there were places, where almost everyone was nice, because anyone was ready to fight for keeps, if pushed to far. A fight could get real ugly really fast! The very unprofessional instructors and his two groupies would not last long where I come from. Then we could look at the totally unprofessional behaviour of the person and the implications down the line….. economic, and moral. I can tell you there are several people at the beach that day who will never get close to the club in question.

One reason this angers me so, is because, I take teaching very seriously. Instructors are guides in life in many ways.  That’s why I like to be called coach. A coach sets an example while trying to give to those willing to listen. Yet another reason I like instructors like R. Latosa & Martin Rooney. One of the reason I took the job of training the ice skaters, was that I like to see the development of young people to a type of person with a life code not to mention the development of tools and abilities that might make them an olympic athlete. When I say/write life code, I am referring to a way of treating others as you would like to be treated, a way of living up to a higher moral way of treating others, & living as well as showing respect for one self.

Good instructors / coaches and other teaching professionals try to understand the people they train / coach so that they can help them as much as possible. They want to inspire not lead people down the wrong path of blatant disrespect. This leads to the student not respecting themselves in the end and the cycle starts all over again.

To see a Ted Talk video about the “fudge factor”  click here. It’s really cool.The Ted Site has a better video format. That was my rant! The next blog post will be about Latosa Concepts Escrima training. We might even put some video up.

BTW, excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes. There might be a few more than usual.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training.