Thursday, March 27, 2014

Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance Inaugural Seminar

Well I haven't posted much this month (March is almost gone already), and just because I haven't posted on this blog doesn't mean I'm not actively working on creating opportunities for my students to train.  I have been steadily working on arranging for my TKD advanced students to help out and spar on a black belt exam, getting other students ready for an upcoming tournament, teaching on the side etc. etc. as well as arranging this seminar so my arnis students can have a cross training event like my TKD students do.  This is so much worth the effort, I can hardly wait for the 3rd of May.  After a lot of work, a lot of emails, phone calls etc.etc. I'm very glad to announce the following.

On May 3rd 2014 at the Roanoke Recreation Center in Roanoke TX Hidden Sword Martial Arts will be hosting the first (hopefully of several more to come) Filipino Martial Arts seminar for the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance (M.A.P.A.).  This kickoff seminar will feature three instructors who all earned instructor ranks and have trained in different Filipino Martial Art (FMAs) systems along with other martial art styles and all of whom teach the FMAs in their respective schools.  For a VERY low price of $15.00 for preregistration and $20.00 at the door every participant will receive over 3 hours of training and instruction from these three experienced martial arts instructors.  We know the price is way way low for us as professional instructors; cheaper even than a one hour private lesson, or frankly any seminar event like this that I have ever attended, however we decided to create an event to promote cross training in the martial arts first and a price structure that basically just covers our costs and time.

Guros Lynn, Martinez, and Beck all share a common bond in training at one time or another with with either Grand Masters Remy or Ernesto Presas; the creators of Modern Arnis and Kombatan Arnis respectively. the Guros also share their instructor's vision of  learning from, connecting, training with, and reaching out to martial artists of all styles and systems.  This seminar was created in the spirit of wanting to connect with other like minded practitioners and instructors in the FMAs, and then through discussion amongst others  we expanded the vision of the training opportunity to include students or instructors from all martial arts.  To register for the event go to

Modern Arnis seminar     

 (Note: type in Modern Arnis seminar in the search engine for the class, please be aware that there is small fee for internet and credit cards usage.  This is the Rec. Center website, none of the instructors have any control of this nor gain any income from these fees.)

Short Bios on the Instructors

Guro Abel Martinez has over 20 years training and teaching experience in the martial arts; earning black belt ranks in 5 arts; Northern Shaolin/Preying Manits Kung Fu (3rd), Progressive Jujitsu (4th), Progressive Jujitsu -Kempo (2nd), Modern Arnis (2nd) and Luzviminda Arnis( 1st).  Guro Martinez currently teaches Modern Arnis and Thai Chi at TNT Self Defense in Stephenville TX.

TNT Denfense Website

Guro Martinez will be instructing on connecting mid -close range distances with using solo baston flow drills.

Guro David Beck is a multilevel black belt in Hapkido (6th dan), TKD (4th dan) and Arnis Delon (lakan Isa, 1st dan).  Guro Beck has trained for over 30+ years in the martial arts and over 20 years in the FMAs training with Guro Anding Delon, GM Remy Presas, GM Ernesto Presas, Datu Tim Hartman, Guro Dan Inosanto  and others.  Guro Beck teaches Hapkido, TKD and Modern Arnis at Jerome's Gym in Richardson TX.  For more information see Guro Beck's website at

Beck Martial Arts website

Guro Beck will be teaching on the use of the punyo (butt of the stick) to aid in locking and striking of pressure points.

Guro Mark Lynn is a multi level black belt in Renbudo karate (7th dan), Pacific Archipelago Combatives (6th dan), Kombatan Arnis (Lakan Lima, 5th dan), Modern Arnis (Lakan Apat, 4th dan), and Kobudo (traditional weapons 1st dan) with over 30 years experience studying and teaching the martial arts.  Guro Lynn has received instruction from some of the leading teachers in the FMAs including GM Remy Presas, GM Ernesto Presas, Hock Hochheim, Datu Dieter Knuttle, SM Dan Anderson, Datu Hartman, Guro Dan Inosanto, The Masters of Tapi Tapi, to name but a few.  Guro Lynn is the chief instructor for Hidden Sword Martial Arts and currently teaches Modern Arnis and American Karate at the Roanoke Recreation Center in Roanoke TX.

Guro Lynn will be teaching on translating double stick techniques to empty hand defenses.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sparring School Culture part 4

School Culture 4
All pictures taken and printed by Mark Lynn for a college photography course project on the Proctor dojo, these are scans of the photos.

Sensei Proctor kicking Joseph
In previous posts in this series on School Culture I was comparing a sparring type school culture in posts 1 and 2 in a commercial school setting, this post is a continuation of my personal experience of training at my instructors home dojo that was a sparring type school as well which was started in post 3 of this series.

As I mentioned in my previous post one of the great things that developed in sensei Proctor’s home dojo was a deep bond between those that trained there.  This attitude was fostered and built into the training by sensei Proctor; for instance we have New Years Day workouts each year to celebrate the New Year and then celebrate lunch afterwards with family and friends.  Even if you didn’t workout people and students would still show up for lunch afterwards to

visit with old friends.  This is one of the great things about the sparring type of a school if it is fostered right is that feeling of family, comradely, that feeling we are special because we all go through this together.  

But there were some negatives as well.
Tony side kicking Meg

Looking back on it from an instructor’s point of view now, I’ve realized that I wasn’t really prepared to teach karate in this type of environment.  Sensei Proctor taught me how to fight which in and of itself was a valuable lesson, but as a young blue belt (early 20’s) being taught in this type of an environment I didn’t have the years of training in a formal class that sensei Proctor and the others had.  By not having the years of training under my belt I didn’t have the experience of practicing nor developing my kata, basic techniques, sparring drills, etc. etc. leaving me with  nothing or very little from which to draw from in order to develop others.  By not going through the type of training my sensei had, or put in the time he had to develop his kicking skills, I couldn’t or wouldn’t really develop the body mechanics or methods to pass on and teach that material later on in years. 

I’m not saying that I wasn’t trained in my basics (i.e. blocking, punching and kicking skills) because I was in the commercial schools and the private lessons when I was at college.  In fact I took over the karate program at the college I was attending because I knew more about the basics, kata and such than the black belt instructor who had gotten his black belt in Korea (when he was younger) and at the time I was a brand new 4th brown. The next year I ended up teaching the karate program three nights a week at two hours a night for my last year in college.

Sensei Proctor is/was a mentor to me who was and is still instrumental in my growth as a martial artist; he not only taught me karate and how to fight, he also encouraged me to look into the Filipino Martial Arts, Thai Boxing, JKD and other martial arts.  The down side was I had no real way to incorporate what I was learning, because I didn’t have that type of training foundation in the first place.  Also I had no idea how to lay out, design, or structure classes much less a curriculum when I really started teaching on my own in 1994 several years later.  I simply used the kata in our system as a basis to structure things around and went from there but as a curriculum it wasn’t really well thought out.  

While the sparring type school can build that feeling comradely, it can build good fighters, it can be used as an attitude building mechanism.  The big draw back I see in a school that is focused mainly on sparring and teaches kata or basics only as a method of rank progression is that it could be stunting the student’s growth in the martial arts, and in turn for many students of theirs in the future.