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February 9, 2017

TOO TACTI-COOL FOR SCHOOL: A word of caution for the would-be tactical trainer

This week, I am choosing to share an article written by Daniel “Mumbakki” Foronda, a former member of PTK and a professional trainer for the Russian Military living in Moscow. Here, he is addressing the issue of the overuse of the “Tactical” terminology and the militarization of the Filipino Martial Arts. I am sharing this because it is a topic of which I often find myself acutely aware in my own teaching and training. As a combat veteran, I absolutely HATE the “militarization” of martial arts by trainers and other people who have no experience in the military whatsoever. A lot of the “tactical arts” bear no resemblance to what military units are actually taught. Many of these imposters can talk the talk and look the part, but none have walked the walk and lived through events that they are supposedly preparing you for. Many do quit well and have solid followings, but are they really qualified to teach?

All modern military-style combatives are simple and based on a rudimentary set of skills that can be taught and learned quickly by a wide variety of people with varying mental and physical capabilities. This translates to a core set of skills that have a high probability of working under stress and pressure without months of training and hours per week to keep them polished. This is one the things that I have endeavored to bring to my Counter Blade Tactics (CBT) curriculum and something that I love about the elegant simplicity of Balintawak. Comparing what you are being taught by a tactical trainer to what is described above may be the first steps in assessing whether or not you are being misled.

Another way to spot the fakes is through their wardrobe. Most law enforcement and professional military train to do their combat tasks while wearing their uniform and kit all day long, and honestly, it gets old after a while. I prefer to wear comfortable workout attire to teach and train. If I were going to go to war, that would be a different section of my wardrobe. Another factor of consideration is what I like to call “shoot me first fashion.” If you look the part and find yourself in a bad situation you may end up being the first target because you stand out as someone who is likely armed or at least can handle yourself. In some contexts this is good, but in others it is a liability. Instead, I prefer the concept of going gray, also called gray man philosophy. This is basically the idea of dressing functionally but not standing out. I advise all of you guys to look into this as it is something that many upper tier military personnel take very seriously.
Bottom line, beware of the catalog commandos in BDU’s, combat boots, and Oakleys.

Here is an extreme example, but think about the lesson here. For your viewing pleasure, The Curious Case of A.J. Dickens.



For the most part, people who engage in the tactical markets and do not have REAL experience, are just deceptively marketing their product to people who did not have the opportunity and/or the balls to serve. It’s all  dress up and pretend, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. But people who have done it in real life do not look at it as a marketing tool. It is just what we do or have done, and many of use do not like to “play” at it. It is a serious life and death lifestyle.

Mumbakki hits the nail on the head with this article and I cannot put it in any better terms, so please follow the link below and feel free to comment and share to show your support. I usually try to keep the content original, however I am not above sharing the work of similar like-minded individuals. As Michele de Montaigne said, “I quote others to better express myself.” So, if any of you out there would ever like to contribute something to the blog, regardless of style, please let me know.


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Guro Jerome Teague

Jerome Teague is a former member of the US Army and an Iraq War Veteran and founder of Counter Blade Tactics.

His Filipino Martial Arts experience includes training in Balintawak, Panantukan/ Suntukan, Modern Arnis, Villabrille- Largusa Kali, Inosanto-Lacoste Kali, and elements of Indonesian Silat.

Jerome is the highest ranking US instructor and the Regional Representative for the Southeastern United States for the Applied Eskrima Saavedra System, as well as the Head of Nickelstick Balintawak Bull Chapter USA. Jerome is also the USA Representative for Sifu Jesus Moya's Applied Panantukan System.

He also holds the rank of Yondan with instructor certification in traditional Japanese Budo and Ninpo arts, which is regularly integrated into training with focus on grappling and joint manipulation/ breaking as well as soft-control techniques.

Jerome has spent the last 10 years teaching and training full time. While he emphasizes Balintawak as his primary system, he has refined his personal teaching to combine and streamline all his experience into his regular teaching.