Thursday, April 25, 2013

Poetry Corner!

Illustration suggested by R.T.

Hi, Guro.  This "poem" came to me this morning.  I don't know why.  It's actually a little embarrassing but I thought you may want to read it.  I haven't written a poem in 15 years and even then they were English assignments.  Please enjoy and try not to laugh too hard!  I actually believe that nature is the best training hall.  However, I tried to put into words what I thought of the Bothoan Batangas and thought you'd get a kick out of it. 
Bothoan Batangas
Unassuming, I walk through the door
a child among warriors.
Thundering beats greet my ears.  Rhythmic sounds from far away lands.
Pipe tobacco.  An all familiar smell.  Welcoming.
Thinly carpeted floors protects the earth, not me.
Walls of heavy wood.  A strong core.  Never damaged.  Never breaking.
Weapons of war hang from these walls.  Where are they from?
They beg to clash steel and cut flesh just once more.
Flags of journeys.
Pictures of Masters.  Inspiration.  Aspiration.  Honor.  Deadly.  Teachers.
Ricky walks through the door.  Wine seeps into the earth for a fallen brother.
A baston tree built lazily in the corner.  Be lazy.
The demon dog stares me down.  Make sure you belong.
Armor that does not protect constantly falling.
Windows covered for there are secrets here.
A Batangas knife spins and flashes here.
Wooden pain swings and tick-bangs here.
The Tekpi
hard, locking, breaking here.
Slow and smooth and fast
a Tiger lives here.
He shows me the Way.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Hey everybody - exciting announcement here: Starting this very week we will be running 3 classes per week at the home of our friends The Detroit Jiu-Jitsu Academy!  The school is located at: 

13939 Michigan Ave., 
Dearborn, MI 48126

Our Kali and Silat classes at The Detroit Jiu-Jitsu Academy will be held from 7:30pm-9:00pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Everyone currently training with us in Oak Park is welcome to attend.

We brought Kali and Silat to the great city of Dearborn over ten years ago and we are very happy to be back in the groove on Michigan Avenue in our own HUGE training area complete with mats and plenty of room to swing a stick.  Park in the back and come right upstairs through our own entrance (next to the main door).  Need more info?  Call me at 248 981 7495.

See you in class!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Why is Jones Hitting the Bottle?

We're back from a T-E-R-R-I-F-F-I-C weekend at SMAF!  Stay tuned for details...

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Seminars are GREAT

I had the pleasure of Guro Davidson’s teaching at several seminars.  I had been drawn to silat in high school because it seemed to offer much more complexity and subtlety than what I saw in the bulk of martial arts schools I had attended. I could tell from the movements in the silat system I began at that time, that there was much more to the art than was being taught--either because my instructors kept it to themselves or, more likely, had lost touch with the depth of their art and had homogenized it.  
After 7 years I felt I had learned relatively little of use, relatively little to differentiate it from any other run of the mill martial arts school save for some stylized movements in jurus whose martial application was neither practiced nor explained.   I chose to change arts but my desire to learn what I considered to be effective silat continued.  
That desire was first sated during seminars with Ka Jeff.  His instruction on those few occasions at seminars restored my hope that I may again find good instruction.   He is a very approachable, humble and inquiring martial artist and instructor and generous in his teaching approach.  I may very well have learned more from him about silat in a few hours than I had in the 7 years I spent training long ago.  He is a clean, crisp and sensitive/perceptive practitioner and his understanding and application of techniques is nuanced, subtle and precise.  Most importantly, he knows how to teach what he does.  
 He is also the only person I have seen teach an authentic african martial art--which was a pleasure to be introduced to.  And he learned it there, off the well-traveled path, doing it.   
His breadth of knowledge on Malaysian Silat, Kali, and African martial arts of Yoruba is impressive as is his ability to integrate them. Were it possible to make a daily 900 mile commute I would attend his school in a heartbeat.  If any serious martial artists need a reason to tour Detroit, Michigan, you’ve got one.