Interview with GM Rene Latosa

GM Rene posted this on his wall. Click on the picture link.

Enjoy the interview and have a great day.

Be Proactive in life and Training


Latosa Concepts, FMA. Change things up!

Latosa Concepts, FMA training. Change things up!

It’s been a  while since an escrima blog entry has been posted. It’s about time. The theme my training partner (MA) and I follow at the time is a good place to start.

What do you do when you train the martial art or self-defense you train? Think about that and try to find a pattern in the drills and exercises you perform. You should understand why the drills are built up the way they are to get the most out of them.

We are major believer in:

– Preempting

– Learning to attack /counter attack before learning to defend

– Training to win

– Being ready for any attack

– Changing drills up from time to time

The list goes on. Why train to win? If you spend the majority of your time putting yourself in a defensive scenario or in a bad situation you will get used to not fighting tooth and nail to avoid those situations. Don’t get me wrong here. There is a place for catastrophe training. There are also groups that are forced to train catastrophe training more than the rest of us because of  tactical reason and laws. There are also advantages to catastrophe training, stress acclamation etc. The problem comes once again when the person/group get too used to being in in a bad situation and forgets to bust their balls to avoid it.

Getting back to changing training routines up to avoid only training one way. MA and I like to train sparring and feeding drills to help us keep attacking /counter attacking no matter what is thrown at us. We do it for a period of time then change weapons or do it unarmed. We have trained together for quite while, this means the transition from no weapon to a cutting weapon to 2 blunt weapons is no real matter. We are getting back to Transition.  As part of the feeding drills we continue the attack flow to make sure we have won the situation.

What happens mentally here? We risk forgetting that the bag guy might still be standing. One of the drills we just started is the good guy starts with a preemptive attack. The BG follows up with one or a series of counters. Depending on who you are you might experience a difficulty continuing the preemptive flow because of the resistance. There you have one way to get something out of a simple change … mental strength and perseverance. Another might be the ability to read the BG’s counter in mid stream and change your own attack as a result. There you have it another reason to change things up … the ability to read your attacker/the assailant.

I had a client a while back. He was being stationed in a different kind of security job. The new scenario meant it was time to program his thought patterns so he was ready for the potentially seriousness scenarios that could arise. His reaction in such cases will have to be much harder than those from his former job assignment. We are getting back to the tactical requirements of situations and jobs here.

When thought patterns change the seriousness of the preemptive attacks and counter attack have to change as well. look at the two situation and see the difference. An every day example could be when a teacher has to control a student that is swinging his arms in an attempt to hit the teacher … more out of frustration. The second is less common, she is attacked on the way to the car after an aerobics class. In the second case she should be thinking about total survival which means there are no rules.  How many people have trained situations in which there are no rules? And how many people have rules for the no rules training?

So let me ask you this … Have you changed your training routine lately. If not, shake things up and train in a different way to stay on top of the game.

Just to round things up, GM Latosa has almost finished his new website. Check it out.

Ya’ll have a great day

Be Proactive in Life and Training


Q and A about Escrima

Q and A about Escrima

Entry from the Stonewall-Shield Blog. I hope there is some useful information in it. Old stuff is always relevant. Stay proactive in Life and training, CW.


Rolf F, the escrima instructor from Finland brought up some subject that would make a subject for our escrima part of this blog. I will touch on some of them.

Why do we train drills in the order that we do? We can look at the 1st grade drills. As with most systems, there is a mental aspect as well as a physical aspect to the training.  If a student learns to stand still and attack  an attacker, the student leans to focus on doing a good counter attack or striking the BAD GUY ( BG) before he gets his attack off. This is important because it limits the amount of things the students has to focus on. Just standing still, the student learns to read the BG which also makes it easier to see the windows of opportunity that are opened. The next step is moving to the best place in order to continue the attack. All this is done unarmed and armed. Foot work is then put into the drill after the student has begun to understand how timing and placement (of the student…GOOD GUY= GG) are best utilized.

If we look at the way of building up the mental aspects (attacking mentality), mechanical power generation aspects, timing and placement, we can also use the same teaching method for footwork and other subjects. When a student works at moving on-line, at an angle to the left or right (be it slightly or a lot) we teaching the basic of reading attacks and understanding the dangers the BG presence through his angles of attack.

All this is “fine and dandy” until there is not time to move your feet or take a step to create a buffer zone and a preferred angle to the attacker. GM Rene’s drills with the BOX training is the next evolution. When we keep the right foot or the left foot forward at all times we are keeping the pressure on and our steps are more simple in nature as well as shorter. This saves time! Time can save you life when the BG attacks. Where it get’s a little kinky is where the twist in my your body is the two positions put together. The feet are still in the right foot forward position and the body and weapon are moved to a body position that resembles the buffering angles that the beginner learns. This is also where students start to work with generating power through the torque of the body. The basics of dropping power, using the arch of the weapon to redirect the BG and / or the weapon, the basics of timing & speed, V’ing in, preempting, etc are all other subjects we can work on improving. It’s all about TIME! Remember that preempting is a form of “block & lock.”

Tipping the weapon for extra power and distance has it’s uses, dangers and weaknesses. This has been moved to the later student grades to avoid bad habits. There were tendencies to leave the weapon out in a danger zone as well as letting the tip of the weapon come down too low. We have to remember that distance is time. Tipping the weapon adds length and opens windows of possibilities for the BG. These are also some of the reasons that it has been moved to later student grades. GM Rene was very aware of of this fact when he held his seminars for us. His seminars were quite basic in design and at the same time quite complex. An example is how it’s sometimes harder for people to just hit an attacker than it is to defend and that is because of mindset alone. We have gone full circle. We are getting back to the 1st  student grade again.

Let me know if there are any other questions. I will answer them when there is time.

Ya’ll take care