Latosa Concepts Escrima video. Examples 1

Latosa Concepts Escrima video. Examples

Screen shot 2014-07-27 at 5.14.34 PMCranking an old stiffffff body in to gear can be hard but there is only one way to do it…Get started! As time goes by, we’ll be posting some of what we are doing. Until then, I have posted some old and new clips. Some of what you see in the video is from when N. and I trained at the beach the other day. Other clips are from when more of us  had our sparring day at the beach about a month ago. And yet other clips are from before my shoulder / collar bone injury.

To the men helping me to get back to what I used to be regarding escrima. Thanks men for all the help and thanks for being my training partners. I know it can be painful from time to time. I feel the need for more hitting sit-ups!

Look forward to some more fun and more videos.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training



HMMMM! If they don’t hit you, you hit them back!

Preempting and So What Training. Me like! Add some other Latosa Escrima  FMA theories and techniques to MMA and you get this.

Enjoy, CW.

Mixed training routines with rest and explosion. LC strength and conditioning 5.

 Mixed training routines with rest and explosion. LC strength and conditioning 5.

I make it to Martin Rooney’s weekend seminars every time he comes to Copenhagen. The reasons for this are many. To start with he is a power house of positive energy, then we can start talking about all the knowledge he has and his ability to teach. Finally he walks the walk. As you can see in the video and on the YouTube channel, he works with fighters as well as other sports groups.

When I saw the video below I felt inspired to put this entry up. It made me think about my “stick- aerobics.” The name stick aerobics is a joke even though there is some truth to it. In the past, I have put things together like: box jumps, push ups, hitting sit-ups with hand weights, shadow boxing with hand weights, different bag work unarmed and with sticks. I have even used wt-dummies, side arm draws and weightlifting bars as heavy swords/staffs. The idea is simple, you work on explosive work and power or you work on the long haul. Even if you choose to train the long term burn you should be aware not to beat your self down to where you are training sloppy technique into your system. Remember that you are teaching your nervous system to perform an action again and again. If you teach your body to be tired and sloppy that what you will get. did you know that you can have chronically tired/fatigued nervous system?

Martin likes to build fighters up, you can see that in the video. One of the reasons I feel so inspired by him is the fact that MMA fighters and any other type of martial artist is expected to be a good athlete. That means power work, strength work, body weight work, and much more as well as being good at the art they choose. One way to achieve this is through exercises that are strength and power orientated and still closely related to the sport at hand. You can see some of the examples on the YouTube page TFWarriors1.

One of the reason I believe so much in balanced training is the changes I have experienced by looking at balanced training and do it … walking the walk! A good example is how a shoulder injury did not get better until I looked at the static strength in my shoulder as well as the mobility there.  Working with clients has become easier because of the widened view I have on what balanced is.

Any Hoo, enough about all that. Watch the video and use some rest based training to keep your power powerful, your speed quick and your focus on the end result. As you become better at the given skills you will be able to take shorter and shorter breaks and your power and speed will improve. If you are working on speed with a weapon and a tire then keep the speed up to a certain level at all times.

The last little tip is this: Try to put some actual fight related skills in with a mix of power/speed exercises. Have you ever done fig-8s with dumbbells?

Well do you feel inspired to start mixing things up? Here’s an idea for FMA.

Kung fu people have their wooden dummies and boxers have their speed bags and heavy bags. What do you do as a FMA person? Using training tools such as dummies, tires, heavy bags and so on can be a way to train aspects of self-defense/combative training.

The next question is why use the lifeless training partners? The answer is easy… Because your training partner can’t meet with you that day, you might want to work on some things ( point foot work or triggers possibly ?) without the added stress of a person hitting you in the head, maybe your partner doesn’t like getting hit with to much force, or you might even like to use it as warm up for strength and conditioning like I do. Another possibility when it comes to dummies etc can be speed drills. Using different weight sticks is a good way to work on speed as well.

I’ve seen different possibilities on the web and a few in person. I’ll mention a few and show some pictures which are links to videos.  As I have written before in other blog entries … the techniques and or ways of training are not something I support or not support. They are chosen only for the views of the training dummies / tools.

We will start with the first video which I have put up. It goes back to Stonewall-Shield.  Click Here or watch the video here on the blog.

That was straight forward and easy to understand. Wheels a metal frame and a tire can get you warmed up nicely if you use the require energy. The bag will also supply many possibilities for training alone if you pad your stick, don’t cut into it with real knives or use to much force with trainers.  The next video shows a possibility that someone put together with several tires. A few mods like some elastic cords connected to the bottom (connected to a weight) and some protective gloves could really be fun to work with. Heres the next video/picture link. Once again the personal trainer in me says, make sure you are using something heavy to avoid the vibrations going back to your joints.

In the next one you can see the traditional way with the tire bound to a tree /pole. One, two or three tires would also supply the possibility for more techniques to be trained. But that’s only if you want to, otherwise one is more than enough. Another idea could be to hang some more tires at several different angle around the tree. That would give you a chance to work on footwork etc.

The next version I would like to mention is the cutting pole. I’m still working on how to put one in the yard without the people next door going nuts. A simple pole in the ground supplies a hard object to cut into with real bladed weapons. It gives a little idea of what happens when a knife/etc gets stuck or bounces back in unexpected ways.

Last but not least a very simple version on a rope.

All this brings me to the subject of why do it again. You can work on speed and power and many other aspects of training, but you have to train with partners/classes to be able to defend your self or have a chance at defending yourself. I like to tell people to train with helmets from time to time in order to make sure you are still hitting to target with timing. This can get tricky when you only train with a dummy.

That’s it for now, Keep it real out there.

Be Proactive in Life and Training


The difference in hitting with a stick and cutting.

I hope ya’ll are doing well. The title says it all. I thought I would write a little about training methods. When you look at different master, teachers and other people doing what they do you will see that a keen difference is present if you have an eye for it.

Before we get into striking vs. cutting I want to clarify something else. There are systems with a heap load of techniques and there are those with very few. If you look at the typical Arnis and Kali stereotypes there are 12 attacks and more. This translates into 12 or more responses to the attacks. On the other end of the spectrum there are 5 zones which have to be protected or 5 strikes zones which have to be protected against. Serrada and the teaching of GM Rene Latosa fall into this group. There is always more to learn after the beginning stages of development. In general, the Filipino weapons systems as a whole are called Escrima/Eskrima and then you have many subgroups. Kali, Arnis and Escrima are the common names. Once again take this with a grain of salt, there are always exceptions. There is one called (Kali) Illustrimo, which I would like to learn more about (through training!). You will see a person doing escrima that looks more like Kali and you will also find a Kali instructor teaching something very powerful as commonly seen in GM Latosa’s Escrima. Names can be interchangeable in some situations today.  All this is just to make sure we are on the same page when writing about general terms.

With that behind us, we can get into the idea of training with stick and using them as sticks or using sticks to simulate blade on blade training. Most people who have any pride in what they do will tell you that is about energy. For me and many other people who train Filipino or Filipino inspired systems that is very true. Ways of reacting to the energy are varied. Training the concepts and the general order of drills promoted by GM Latosa means we learn to strike with power in the beginning, as you would do with a blunt object. With time we learn to do passing techniques. (BTW. In my book, there are both hard passing and soft passing techniques. We are talking about more force to force as compared to letting the energy go where it wants. )  As more time goes by we start to learn how to stop crushing bones and joint and start cutting soft parts of the body.

When we look at Illustrimo, it’s all about slashing and not that much about crushing from the get go. A beginner learns to slash from the beginning levels. Where this is tricky is where people who start a system like this think they are using a stick/blunt weapon.

There is a great benefit that comes from knowing what you are training and why you are training a certain way. Are you slashing and pulling your weapon away to create distance? Are you learning to smash hard parts of the body for power and control or keeping the energy forward and focused on the attacker? I was very lucky when I started training escrima because Grand Master Latosa headed an org that consisted of Master Bill Newman and and many other top level instructors from Europe not to mention all the different instructors from Copenhagen. I had to adjust my techniques to the instructor that was teaching that day. Seminars held by an instructor from another country and seminars that were held by one of the Danish instructors kept me on my toes. It was all tied together and topped off by GM Rene twice a year.

When we look at everything we trained, the list was long, GM Rene’s box system was at the heart of staff, training single stick and double stick training, espada y daga, largo mono, sword and buckler, short blades and unarmed. Add to that the different personal styles that each instructor brought to the table.

One of the things we have to remember to look for is when we are watching people show a drill or a method of training, or even a demo, is the fact that they are bringing their own personal style to the table as well as what is trained in the system in general. You have to ask your self …. Why is he/she doing that? Is this a drill performed a specific way in order to develop a feeling for distance? Is it a seminar designed for fast track learning? We could use a police or military courses as an example for this. All this brings us back to what the blog post start with. Look to see if an instructor is showing how to use a stick as a bladed weapon or like a  blunt weapon. Look to see why they start to use a different set of techniques. Going from blunt weapon use to bladed weapon use might be an example. Look to see if distance is the true lesson or if focus and splitting timing is the true lesson of the drill.

There will always be extra lesson from a drill. Enjoy those, but make sure you are looking for the real reason and motivation for the drill.

I’ll wind this up by writing a little about what MA and I did last night, when we trained espada y daga. We worked on traditional point foot work in order to keep the flow going and keep slashing and stabbing. There was no fancy turning around and some other things shown in the video below. Flow and staying at the long weapon distance was the goal of what we did. We trained unarmed vs unarmed, single stick vs single stick, and a lot of passing and cutting to target ( be it forearm, bicep, just above the knee, groin area, throat, etc.) The last part of training was with espada y daga set. There was a time when we used padded sticks to do cutting techniques.

Here is a video that shows flow training with espada y daga length weapons as well as other parts of what he teaches. I don’t know anything about the man. The video was picked solely for the espada y daga flow in the beginning. If you watch the whole video, ask your self when he is showing something with a blunt weapon in mind and when he is showing something with a cutting weapon in mind. Parts of it are a little bit too flashy for me, but that’s just me and my practical side.

Have a great day.

Be proactive in Life and Training


I watched this video while drinking my coffee. You’ll see which weapon the drill is made for.

From The Vault Escrima videos

I did it! I found some old dvd’s with demo’s and other stuff on them. There were some with other instructors. I’ll try to get a hold of them to make sure it’s OK to post a video with them. Until then I have posted a demo we did for a shoot fighting tournament around 10 years ago (?) There is another music track added to it because I knew YouTube would ban it due to music infringements. That means no cracking sounds from the hickory sticks striking. Sorry about that.

I am still looking for the GM Rene clips I have somewhere. We’ll se if those are the next videos posted. For those of you who notice little details you will see that we have different logo’s on. There is a bit of history there.

When GM Rene stopped working with the Germans, Master Bill stayed with the German org. Steve Tappin and the Scandinavian org. went it’s own way. That is the logo you can see on the tee shirts. Just to finish the story, politics and ego’s got in the way again and there was another split. The Scandinavian org and Tappin stopped working together. That is where Weapons Combat System came into the picture.

After 15+ years of politics I finally came home to where I belong by following the teachings of GM Rene Latosa again. Now I just want to train, teach a little and hopefully get to the states from time to time to get more feed back from GM Rene. OOH and post a few old videos from time to time. What can I say, I must be getting old.

Any HOO! Here’s the video. I’m just tired of all the heavy metal music with the videos right now. Live with it.

Be Proactive in Training and Life


Thoughts on real life self-defense.

Master Bill Newman liked to say that he was very happy with the escrimadors here in Copenhagen many years ago when GM Rene, Master Bill and many others were still part of the same organization. He would also say that we were good because we did not know defeat, you could see that in the nature of our attacks / counter attacks and we never gave up. We refused to accept defeat in any form. That is the essence of real life self-defense. The minute you focus on the possibility of defeat in a given situation, it affects the nature of your responses and actions.

For me it’s about self-defense and combative training. Because of this I have run into the mentality that martial arts is bla bla bla. When I trained at a local karate club there were two factions. There was a sports and “art” side/group and there was a a group that was pretty hardcore. The hardcore types drifted away with time, which made me do the same. I like the idea of discipline and many other things about what people “call” the art today. With that said we have to look at the real life applications and ask our selves if they would work if just one of a variety of factors changed.  Adrenaline and it’s effects on motor skills alone is one of the factors.

When we go back in time to when we were kids, we were tought to use this technique or that one to defend our selves so no one got hurt. We have to be sure we are not controlled by this same set of rules when we learn how to really defend ourselves today. That is the reason I do not teach kids what I teach other people. With that said I do say you will learn more later. I was taught to be the man of the family, and the ugly consequences of it,  if my father never came home from work. It’s a hard burden for a young boy. I would not wish it on anybody else. There were reasons I will not get into here, but there was a reason for what was taught to me. That way of learning changed me for life. Having a girl friend that was raped at one time in her life and another that I suspected was raped reenforced this way of living. Working security has reenforced many thought once again. What I am trying to say/write is that we can hope the world was/is what we wish for, but there are some solid truths that we have to acknowledge.  Regarding this subject you can check out When is there a lethal threat.

All this ties into why the combative arts are not focused on many of the same facets of defense as martial arts. Assumptions that an attacker follows some kind of fair play code are dangerous. Assumptions that we can knock a man out with a single blow are very over stated. Just look back at the beginning of MMA when karate fighters fought  BJJ fighters. It was very hard to get that one all or nothing punch to work. The BJJ guys almost always won because of this.

Getting back to the mind set. I have taught students to train to survive first for quite a while. When they are aware of the dangers of “being nice” and how they risk their own well being, then they can train those applications of techniques if they wish. It is based on a realistic understanding of what can happen. This is also why the teachings of GM Latosa have always been so truthful for me. Good honest hits!

MA, The other instructor for the LC Group, and I can train some nerdy aspects of self-dense, with that said it is not for beginners to train. ( we trained espada y daga yesterday) There is a whole basis of reactions and knowledge that are built up over time. That basis has to be built up before being overly nice / fancy in a self-defense situation is possible. Mental strength in many situations has to be built up in some people and others just have it. Some people can see past the pain they are feeling and focus on damaging you with a vengeance.

What’s funny about this is, If we go back in time martial arts were self-defense. The term means art of war. What happened? I can’t give you all the answers without a looooong winded answer. The art of war contains the will to stop, damage, injure and/or kill an attacker and more.  We have forgotten this. To get a little peek into one western view of it go to Bullet Proof Your Mind.  We are getting back to the earlier post When is there a lethal threat.” 

When it’s all over with and done, each of us has to decide how far we are willing to take  the most realistic aspects of self-defense. If you train enough you can move between the different severities of your response to a situation, but that takes time, experience and ability to think under fire. Many people don’t have that. How many people have said “try to cave my head in to a training partner.”  Not many, I would bet. It’s not pretty, or anything else. It is effective!

As I wrote before I will look through some of the dvd’s soon to post some more From the Vault and Strength and Conditioning videos.

Be Proactive in Life and Training


Latosa Concepts, FMA. Why train with two sticks/weapons?

Latosa Concepts, FMA. Why train with two sticks/weapons?

To start with, I know this is not the eco-friendly list of places to buy food and more. The sun was shining and MA, my training partner, and I got to talking about some Filipino martial arts ideas that he had been reading about. We ended up recording a little video to help people become better at working on two stick training and why they should do it.

Depending on who you are teaching, there can be different ways to get some one to understand and use tools and concepts. Splitting a beat / rhythm and getting past the pattern that will trap you in the end is always one of those subjects that some students pick up and others don’t pick up easily. Double stick training is a good way to make people aware of the beat so they can split it. If your standard figure-8 is closed with out too many open windows your shoulders are going to have to roll with the strikes. Body flow working with footwork will help improve the power you generate.

Here comes the saddening part. There are some instructors, who teach a pattern as a secret weapon. If you are being told this, you are being tricked. The patterns ( be is traditional fig. 8, open 8, heavenly 6, etc. ) are there to teach you other concepts and ideas. Some could be general coordination, the ability to split timing, the ability to prepare the next attack quickly, or the ability to generate power via flow.  A case in point could be how your live hand becomes more effective  through training the traditional fig. 8 with 2 stick. If you are training your fig.-8 correctly, each strike starts as an attack. It may end up being nullified because of a counter strike from your opponent, but it should be performed as a powerful attack. It might be that strike which ends the conflict. When looking at a single weapon or self-defense tool  each counter strike or pre-emptive strike should give you the time to do what you have to, be it a tactical function or just getting the h… out of dodge before the attackers friends decide to assault you.

Any Hoo! Enough of that. We recorded this video to help you get started with your two stick training so you can really train with one stick. Ya’ll have a good day and I hope the sun is shining on you where ever you are.

Be Proactive in life and Training


Latosa Concepts edged weapons training with heavy bag video

I promised to put his video up last night when I was working with power mechanism. The video shows some of the training that can be done with a nok knife and a heavy bag. I recorded the video when I was at Butcherslab in Copenhagen the other day. Once again, thanks for all the mails and messages. Enjoy and have a great day.

Be Proactive in Life and Training


Latosa Concepts power mechanism video 2

Latosa Concepts power mechanism video 2

I got around to putting the next video up. This one show another aspect of power generation for striking power. I will try to put another video up to round the subject off. In This video you can see another way to generate power and speed for weapons training as well as unarmed training and so on.

Ya’ll have a great day

Be Proactive in Life and Training


Latosa Concepts power mechanisms video 1

 Latosa Concepts power mechanisms video 1

I have promised to take the camera with me when I train for a while. I finally got around to it today. I was at Butcherslab in Copenhagen today. Before warming up and doing some overhead squats and other exercises I filmed the video below. There will be some more video to go along with it in the future.

Just as a quick note, I coined “power / control mechanisms” to help people start to see the different ways to control power and generate power. Using the correct words tends to help with the understanding process.

As always keep your questions coming, use the contact form here. That’s it for now, ya’ll have a great day.

Be Proactive in Life and Training