Craftsman’s Corner and LC, FMA update.11-09-2016

Craftsman’s Corner and LC, FMA update.11-09-2016

I hope are doing well. I thought it was time to have some videos regarding the craftsman’s side of what we are interested in. The fact, that I work with my hands, as well as make many of the Escrima / Kali trainers that I / we use, simple makes videos like the one bellow a must. As those people who can really create with their hands, will tell you, it can be a meditative experience. That meditative experience is mentioned in video and it helps to heal and bring balance. That alone makes the videos a must here on this blog. Balance is after all one of the main concepts GM Rene Latosa teaches.

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-18-35-48The second point for today is our little get-to-gether  aka the “Melon Bash.” Men are just big boys and that means we have to play to stay happy. Any self respecting person will tell you the same. We got together and swung rattan sticks, stainless trainers and much more at the likes of oranges, apples,pineapples, and of course the notorious ZOMBIE MELONS! we managed to make quite a big pile of fruit salad around the cutting pole.

Apart from just watching things explode, many lessons were learned. Balance became imperative, hitting the target helped quite a bit, controlling distance was improved, and most af all… seeing what happens to things when they are hit, crushed and cut. Just as developing balance helps us to have power, it helps us to control the attackers power…the same lesson is learned when watching what happens to the notorious zombie melons. The number one rule of the game is not to be hit, stabbed or cut, if at all possible. Seeing what happens to the fruit with such little force should make every person more aware of what we are training ourselves to protect ourselves against.

For the members who didn’t show up because they were sleeping in after a night drinking, or just being lazy, you missed out. Once again, many thanks for the hospitality A.

Any HOOO! Enjoy!

Stay proactive in Life




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






Self-defense training with the Danish FMA and Self-defense Grp video

Self-defense training with the Danish FMA and Self-defense Grp video

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


Balance, balance disrupting and power mechanisms. Latosa Concepts, FMA terminology.

Latosa Concepts from GM Rene LatosaWhat is balance disruption? Why do we learn about power mechanisms and balance?

Danish FMA and Self-defense grp terminology.

To start with, we have to know how to keep our balance while moving and standing before we can learn to disrupt another persons balance. Why do I say this? We’ll start with an assumption … you are a big fellow! Well, a time is going to come when a person is bigger than you and you can not rely on sheer size. There are also the cases of people who have a natural sense of balance … kinda like cats. Do you know anybody who works on a ship / boat? In order to disrupt someones balance in as many ways as possible we have to know what the mechanisms are. Proprioception (knowing where your body is in time and space) plays in here as well. Balance and proprioception get used in each others place all the time. We’ll save that for another day and just use common terms. The way we stand, in it’s self, tells us how to disrupt an attackers balance. By learning how to stand in a strong position and give the energy of our attack (or control techniques) a path into the opponent / attackers, we start to learn about disrupting balance. Does our body break at the hip or some other joint? If it does, we know we can disrupt an attackers balance in that same spot. Even more so if we stand well and strong, with the ability to explode with force! By understanding how our own body combines the explosive ability of major joints we can figure out how to disrupt an attackers balance by a compound attack to his 2 joints or more. By understanding how the breaking of the wrist can lead to the locking out of the elbow and that in turn pulls the shoulder out of a strong position, we learn how to take an assailant down by way of his wrist. Please note, you are taking a chance when doing this in many cases. One guy I know is a perfect example of the people running around on the street, who do not feel pain like we do. He could just stands there and looks at a person who tried to apply locks to him. I know of at least two other people who are the same. Trust me when I say that, they are out there. If a person has some tolerance for pain but is not immune to it we can recruit speed, timing and distance as a helping hand. Do you recognize the trinity? We can also learn to use the movement of the assailant to disrupt his balance. We start to play with some of the ideas of mass and energy when we work with high triggers. In order to attack an assailant balance we can use his movement and movement patterns to our advantage. When we look at pain, we can start to see other ways of effecting change in an attacker. Pain does terrible and wonderful things to all of us. And NO! … I am not into S&M. Give me a few years and I might get into it; I’m not there yet. Any hoo! … Looking at the people who do not feel pain in the normal way again, we can change things up. We can use equalizers to create pain and cause a disruption in someones balance. Here’s a simple example for you. Let someone push a pen or something else hard into your collar bone, chest plate or even the small bones of your hand. It’s funny how pain in/on your collar bone can buckle your knees! Another way to create havoc in the nervous system is through an emotional response. The startle reflex can be used against a person. The karate people are not far of base in some aspect. Just yelling in someones face causes a reaction. The psychological reaction in the person makes life easy in some cases. In others it might cause an attacking spear reaction. Looking at the different ways to cause balance disruption, we have been different ways to skin the cat. One of the reasons that a training session has a theme is to work on one or two of the subjects. It’s hard to say that this method or this method is the best at a given time. We will not know how we feel and other factors until we are in that time/situation on that given day. You might be in a Mike Tyson kinda mood that day or you might be in a mellow mood that day and take pity on the poor fellow. The method you use will change depending on your mood as long as you have trained different methods enough to make them a part of your real library of methods/tools.  This is why we should look at balance, high outside positions and low outside and inside position. We decrease the stress, so there is time to learn the tools of the trade before putting a person ( that means us) in a heated close quarters inside position, and with a weapon involved to boot! That’s it for this round. The old fart is tired of writing. 😉 Have a great day! Stay proactive in Training and Life CW

Latosa Concepts, FMA Terminology 3. Balance.

Latosa Concepts, FMA Terminology 3. Balance.

As you have seen with the previous two entries for Latosa Concepts, FMA Terminology, I have written about subjects that were relevant at the moment. With this entry we will be getting back to basics.

Balance is required to do almost anything. The question is what is balance.  Before getting into the martial arts aspect of it we will start with the bare basics of balance. While writing this, I am standing on a balance board at the desk. How am I physically able to do that. To start with my body had to learn how to cope with gravity and it’s own weight. If we look at a baby that has to learn how to sit up and then stand up. The muscles in our body have to learn how to time what could be called a tug-of-war between the two sides of the body. (we are sticking with the front and back side of the body to keep it simple). If one side is too strong we fall that way. We also need core structure to hold us up and function as a base for the rest to work off of.

How does this pertain to martial arts? The same process is happening the whole time we are trying to stand solidly against an attack or while performing an attack or some other movement. A simplified example could be when comparing a baby learning to sit up and myself writing at the desk while standing on a balance board.

A beginner in Filipino Martial Arts will have to learn how to find their balance in simple situations to start with. This will have to do with how and where to have place their weapons while in a relaxed and ready state as well as in an attack or movement. From there the next job will be to learn how not to fall out of the position while under pressure from one or more attackers. As well as the physical act of standing and coping with attacks and adjustments we have to look at developing the Power Mechanisms that we use to generate and absorb / deflect / destroy an attackers power.

This brings us to finding a balance regarding our mental energy. When we are in a state of arousal our nervous system reacts to this. Adrenaline kicks in and parts of our nervous system shuts down taking certain motor skill with it as well as many other handy tools we could use in a fight. By learning to relax at moments we choose, we increase our ability to act and react in the best possible way.  The ability to explode with power and intensity then relax a moment afterwards has to be trained over time. We are talking about training a mental balance. To get back to the first example we  used, we have to cope and adjust. Instead of gravity it is the adrenaline rush and other effects we are coping with.

You know what’s coming now…. What else? The last thing I’ll write about is the ability to balance our exertion of energy and which power mechanisms we use according to our surroundings and the tools we are using. In other words Transition. This has to do with environmental balance and environmental training. I remember when I trained with GM Latosa in California. The first thing he did was put me on loose gravel because he knew what kind of power and speed I was capable of. On top of that he had me on the balls of my feet (both of them). I had to adjust quickly. What happened? Instead of using a pushing back leg as a main power mechanism, dropping power took over. Once again this adjustment was an act of balancing my environment with my movements.

If you want to physically train your balance while working on general strength and condition, then you need to work on complex exercises. What I did Sunday was a good example. Two of the exercises:

1. Burpee, sumo dead lift, curl performed in an explosive movement.

2. Landmine one arm deep squat, stand and rotate to ball of back foot, perform an over head press. Once again this is a an explosive movement.

3. Kettlebell and sandbag training are always good because you are working with asymmetrical forces and complex movements.

As usual I could go on for a while so I’ll just stop here so your ear/eyes are not bent too much. Keep the questions coming and keep an eye out for the next terminology post. Ya’ll have a great holiday.

Time to get off the balance board.

Be Proactive in Life and Training