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? Continue reading


OFF BALANCE AND IN PAIN: The subtle art of breaking bones and knocking people down.

A while back, I had the pleasure of attending Guru Mike Casto’s Stealing Bases Seminar in Louisville, KY. I have worked with Guru Mike in the past, tag teaming a seminar in Nashville and also attending a small workshop with him on balance breaking in Alabama. Guru Mike is the founder of the AGPS system of Silat, which is the culmination of Guru Mike’s 35 years of extensive training in Pencak Silat, Tai Chi, and FMA. AGPS stands for Anjing Gembala Pencak Silat. Anjing Gembala translates as “Sheep Dog.” This reflects Guru Mike’s personal philosophy, in which practitioners of the martial arts should utilize their knowledge and experience in the protection of not only themselves, but of others. The sheep dog philosophy is one that I very much share as a combat veteran of the US Army. Continue reading

BALINTAWAK ESKRIMA/ ARNIS: Training methods and a little history

Balintawak Eskrima/Arnis is the term to refer to the modern family of systems that developed through the direct tutelage of Venancio Bacon, founder and Grandmaster of the Balintawak Club. Bacon was a student of the legendary Lorenzo Saavedra, a man considered to be one of the founding fathers of Cebuano Eskrima. The Saavedras were at the helm of the founding of the first organized Eskrima club called the Labangon Fencing Club in 1921. Upon the dissolution of Labangon, the Saavedras and Canetes along with Bacon and other Eskrimadors formed the Doce Pares club in 1932. Continue reading


Eskrima is one of 3 general terms for the weapons based martial art systems of the Philippines. Also known as Kali and Arnis, the martial arts of the Philippine archipelago are among the most sophisticated in the world. The Filipino martial arts (FMA) are as rich and diverse as Filipino culture itself. The word Eskrima is derived from the Spanish term esgrimir, which means to wield or fight with weapons. Arnis (Arnis de Mano), comes from the old Spanish term armas which roughly translates to skill with weapons. Both Eskrima and Arnis are used widely throughout the Philippines as general terms of reference for the Filipino Martial Arts. Some other less common terms for referencing the arts are: Pananandata, Estoque, Estoqui, Estokada. Many empty hand styles also exist and are known as: Panantunkan, Suntukan, Pangamut, Sikaran, Layog, Dumog, Buno, Silat, Kuntao, and others, depending on region and time period. Continue reading


Welcome to the first of hopefully many entries into this blog. I would like to start things off by addressing the reason why I have chosen to call this blog Martial Science Forum. As some of you who know me personally or have trained with me, my passion is the Filipino Martial Arts – Balintawak in particular. In FMA circles, some of my friends have taken to calling me the Professor due to my hyper analytical nature and overall zeal for digging deep into the history, tradition, and mechanical theories of what we do. However, my experience is not limited to FMA. I also hold instructor ranks in Japanese and Chinese arts, have done a good deal of training in JKD and Wing Chun, and I hold two bachelors degrees in History and Anthropology. Over the years, I have applied the same level of academic focus and scrutiny to my martial arts training and study; it is this type of analysis that I will attempt to convey in this blog. Continue reading