Saturday, December 06, 2014

Marcaida Kali @ Detroit Kali-Silat!

We have had the distinct pleasure of training alongside of Kuya Doug Marcaida for more than a decade now, everywhere from our own backyard here in Metro Detroit, to New York, Canada, Ireland, and even the Philippines.  From our earliest days – back when Grandmaster Leo T. Gaje had christened our humble group Detroit Maphilindo – until today as we carry the banner of Detroit Kali-SilatKuya Doug has been an inspiration and a guiding light to our practice, as well as a true friend.

Over the years, Kuya graciously and unselfishly introduced us and brought us to train under a number of his own esteemed Teachers, and that gave us – among other priceless treasures – a measure of insight into his own personal development as a martial artist.  All along the Path as most of us average folks were ‘struggling’ with the material, Kuya Doug would be furiously refining, re-evaluating, and ultimately re-expressing the Art of Kali the way all true artists personalize their craft.

I like to think that somewhere in those hours of training, teaching, comparing notes, sharing theories, etc., that have take passed between Kuya and I throughout the years that I made some (perhaps small) contribution to his development as seen today.  In fact, it was quite some time ago that I respectfully suggested that Kuya “brand” his practice to reflect his undeniable personal contributions to this Art*.  For a time, we considered calling it Brotherhood of the Blade Kali, but even that would be terribly…what’s the word…” imprecise”, if you will.     

These days, thanks to the efforts of people like the good folks at Funker Tactical and the support of students and clubs all over the world, I’m very happy that the public at large is beginning to get the sense of something that I realized a long time ago: Kuya Doug Marcaida is without a doubt one of the great innovators of the Art of Kali in our generation.  He has at long last seen fit to rightfully personalize his System, and so we too at Detroit Kali-Silat are proud to teach and promote MARCAIDA KALI as our main Kali curriculum** to our students here and across the country.     



* Marcaida Kali is Kuya Doug’s system.  I just want to make it clear for the record that I suggested the name a long time ago!

** Yes, Barako Batangueno is still a closed-door class!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Brotherhood of the Blade Comes to Seattle!

I’ve just returned from a fantastic weekend of training with my dedicated student Jake Burroughs and his group in Seattle.  Jake is an exemplary martial artist in every way, whose impressive personal initiative has led him to seek out and learn from some of the BEST teachers in the Kung-Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Filipino Martial Arts world. Jake came out to see me here in Detroit earlier this year for some 1-on-1 training, and this past weekend was the first of what we hope will be many workshops for his students in the Pacific Northwest.

At the commencement of our first training session, as I looked out at the eager, smiling faces of his students as they stood ready with their sticks, I offered a caveat: “Guys, I’m telling you right now this is NOT going to be easy…”   So many people practice, teach, and generally regard Kali as a ‘B’-art of tapping and twirling sticks to endless repeating flow-drills.  So few people have actually been exposed to what I call the true beauty and grandeur of Filipino Martial Arts that I myself experienced over 25 years ago when I dedicated myself to this seldom travelled Path.  I wasn’t sure they realized what they were in for…

Well, I took these guys (and girl) in one weekend through material that would typically take me three months to cover with beginning students here in my own school – and they worked hard and diligently through every minute of it!  Invariably when I teach seminars like this, I always notice the point when students ‘cash-out’ mentally from overload.  I’m quite surprised and happy to say that these good folks worked doggedly through everything I gave them with 100% concentration and effort at all times – and then asked for a review on the second day! (at which point I myself was close to cashing out – lol).  Such students are the hallmark of a good Teacher, so kudos to Jake once again.    

To our new group in Seattle: thank you all for a wonderful weekend of training and camaraderie.  I hope there will many, many more to come.  Most of all, thank you for appreciating the true depth and richness of our beloved Art of Kali.


Guro Jeff Davidson
For anyone seeking top-notch martial arts instruction in the Seattle area Jake has my full endorsement.  For more info go to:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

And Now a Word from Our Canadian Host

Aye Jeff,

Nice little place you have here ! :)

It's been awhile since we rapped. Believe me, we've been busy, training non stop. I broke two fingers, cross training with jiu jitsu.  It's proven to be a blessing in disguise.

A funny thing happened, a book had fallen out of my bookshelf. I picked it up and gave it a look, it was titled "the art of team coaching". It wasn't until I opened it up and started glancing through it, that I realized, I was meant to find that book. The opening quote in the book was written by a lad that although I didn't recognize, we played for the same lacrosse team growing up, the "whitby warriors". Could it just be coincidence? I don't think so. Intrigued, I kept reading and reading and reading...

As I progressed through the book, I realized that although I'm a fighter first, there are people close to me, who view me also as a coach and leader and that a part of me needs to fill those roles. I made notes, planned new drills and approaches to drilling techniques so that my teammates could not only reproduce the drills, but could understand the drills and make it their own.

I went back to the videos of your seminar and ran those exercises until every member of our team knew them. On my days off, I arranged to have one on one training sessions with different members of our clan to not only polish techniques but to build on them. Another funny thing happened, in the process of trying to make my teammates better at our craft, I was able to understand techniques differently, to make them my own and string them together, sometimes seamlessly, with other techniques.

I... and I do mean "we" had found a new "flow". Steve was a big part of that. In trying to make him a better fighter, he is making me a better fighter and a better coach. At 15 yrs old, he is holding his own against grown men who have far more experience and rank than himself. He has forgotten fear. His heart, skill and ability to push the pace of a fight speak for themselves. I credit him with a lot, but it isn't just him. Every member of our clan has added a puzzle piece to a larger picture. We are piecing together video clips to show you what we've been up to.

I want to thank you again for your time spent here with us, you and Jeff Danuloff.

I trust you are well and I look forward to sitting down again and exchanging thoughts and stories. I am intrigued by the picture you have posted on your blog of the gentleman standing amongst the various weapons.

It is only now that I see the link between that picture and a story you told me about your travels.

A good story to hear around a fire,
or a titty bar.... ;)

Take good care my friend.

Ps- your ancient Chinese secret ju-ju in a bottle is very potent. I've been calling it
"Boo boo, be gone". You weren't kidding about it healing bruises. Wow does it work well.

My very best, from myself and the rest of the warparty clan.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Seminar Review!

Guru Jeff Danuloff, Kirk Rodrigues, Guru Jeff Davidson
My name is Kirk Rodrigues, I represent “Warparty Tradecraft”.  We practice the sport and art of “Apache” knife fighting.  Apache knife fighting takes components of several different martial arts: the knife skills of Kali, the footwork and body movement of boxing, the strategies of point sparring and combines them for competitive sport application.

We practice many Kali knife drills for skill but as competitors, we have found many of the drills do not mesh well in high speed sparring. We have found that drills and sparring are often times, two very different animals. As a coach, it is my responsibility to push my team to be the very best they can be. Although it is a side factor, our goal is not for self defense but rather for performance.

We compete in a charity event every November called “Kick the Crap Out of Cancer”. The event showcases knife and stick fighting and competitors come from all over.

To give my team an egde on the competition, I wanted to bridge the gap between drills and sparring, by bringing in members of the Brotherhood of the Blade Guru Jeff Davidson and assistant Guru Jeff Danuloff, who specialize in tactical knife applications.

They were great company and are always welcome in my home.  I brought them with me to see a typical Friday night, training at multiple gyms so they could analyze and help me forge the nexus I was hoping for.

Their seminar was nothing short of fantastic. I heard one student say “It’s like they’re doing magic” when they started running their drills. Guru Davidson gave us a set of drills to practice which should help us bridge the divide. We video tape everything for reference and Guru Davidson’s material was no exception.

We are still dissecting and perfecting his lessons each day, developing them and finding a better flow each time, teaching our bodies to perform through repetition.

Not only was I looking for help with our training, I was looking to bond a new relationship between our schools, expanding our tribe. In the company of our new Brothers, we found that.

I want to thank them and show respect for the time they traveled and spent with us. We look forward to having them join us again.

My sincere and absolute best,

Kirk Church Alexander Rodrigues.
– Warparty Tradecraft and Toro Clan Niagara

Monday, September 01, 2014

Knife Skillz in Ontario!


This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a small seminar – Basic Knife Skillz – to a dedicated and enthusiastic group of martial artists in the scenic town of Port Colborne, Ontario.  I had a great time, and I think everyone else did as well.  One thing for sure, I LOVE teaching and reviewing the basics.  Solid basics make for a firm foundation on the path to Mastery.   

A special thanks to our gracious host Kirk Rodrigues.  Welcome to The Family!