Saturday, December 18, 2010


Workouts this month started out with Sangot - one of the key 'tools' in the VCKE toolbox. Spent a bunch of time with this. Then we had an awesome open workout working on the cusps of movement, and connecting weight shift/drop with the weapon. All things arrive together. Some Sikaran pendulum work, then Boksai.
Last time out we worked on range, and sensing the limits, and moving into the open space behind strikes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Workouts

It's been all about tip/base .... leading to disengagements, tip and angle. Where's the still point?
On to sangot .... Very tricky .... :-)
Leaning towards shifting workout to Wednesdays.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Clip on Youtube

Clip I posted to show the Maestro teaching a concept - starting simple, adding difficulty and intensity.
"Add it up" as he would say.
Hint - Watch the feeding ....

October Eskrima

Still working on integrating left and right hands. Worked on gunting, timing, the 'FMA waltz' passing off and cutting with stepping.
'Feeding' is an important component of the learning arc. Learning how to feed a partner at different levels of intensity and difficulty helps both partners integrate appropriate reactions within the flow.

Yesterday we moved on to disengagements - tip, plane and body.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Eskrima

Last week we worked on tip/base and hiwa exercises on the pendulum, also the use of the live hand. This week we continue with this and look at double sword feeding and defense.

Book Recommendation

More of a series of essays than a coherent book, but great information to those interested in swords, combat, dueling and history:
"The Secret History of the Sword: Adventures in Ancient Martial Arts" by J. Christopher Amberger

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Change of Venue

As of October 1st Visayan Eskrima classes will not be @ Suigetsukan dojo. There will be one training session per week - starting 3pm on Thursdays. There will also possibly be one weekend class a month - probably a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Those on my e-mail list will get details of venues.
Those interested in training please contact me here, or via the website:

Weekend with Rory Miller

Rory was back in town again over the weekend of Sept11/12.

2 days of training at The East Bay rats clubhouse - kindly lent to us for the event - thanks Trev :-)

Day 1 was a repeat of some of the material from the spring seminar, but now in a more realistic environment - concrete, obstacles, dirt etc.
The one step drill was the basis for investigating different ideas, from technical - pressure points, locks, ground work etc, to mindset. We also did some blindfolded in-fighting.

Day 2 was scenario day, a superb series of situations, sometimes with only one person as the focus, sometimes with all of us participating. De-brief of tactics and justification to a 'jury' of peers was part and parcel of the experience. Constructing scenarios in an art indeed.

We talked of uncertainty, social conditioning, ethical considerations, chaos, adrenal responses, intuition, mental states, 'play' as a training method, shades of gray, back and white, on and on ....
A fascinating weekend and a damn fine time.

Much to digest, train, play with ......

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Training Day

We were all saddened to hear of Luo Laoshi's loss, and I hope many of you will be able to make it on Sunday so we can show our support.
If you need any more information, you can contact us at either:, or

August 29th Training Day

Hsing-I and Ba Gua Training Day

You are invited to a special day of training on Sunday August 29, from 12 - 7 at the Suigetsukan Dojo in Oakland , CA .

Because Luo De Xiu was called back to Taiwan unexpectedly and unable to make it out to California this year, we've decided to hold a day of training to celebrate the Yizong system. Although it's no replacement for Luo Laoshi's class, we are very excited to gather and train together and have a blast.

This day of training with focus primarily on Hsing-I Five Elements and two-person training - the An Shen Pao form.  In addition, we would like to cover some of the training methods of Gao Style Ba Gua if time permits.

The hosts of this event will be Maija Soderholm, Eric Nomburg, Joe Davis and Jess O'Brien, all of whom have been training the Yizong system of martial arts since at least 2000. 

Everyone is welcome for a day of solid training!  All proceeds will be sent on to Luo Laoshi in Taiwan .

Sunday August 29, 2010 from 12am - 7pm
Suigetsukan Dojo: 103 International Blvd, Oakland, CA
$50 for the day

For more information see:

Friday, July 16, 2010

June/July Workouts

We've been working on fulcrums, turning into pandol with a single stick, the relationship between gunting and the checking hand. Under/over placement. Differences between usage with stick and sword. Connecting shoulder movement to checking hand insertion.
This week we started working with the bugsai - transitions from largo to medio to corto.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eric Luo Seminars 2010

Back again - August 22nd through August 29th

Sonny's Birthday Celebration Workout

Great get together on Thursday. Will post photos soon :-D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weekend with Mick Coup

Was fortunate enough to have Mike Hagan, who lives just down the road in San Jose, host Mick Coup again. Two 7 hour days this time.
I asked Mick how specific I could be in describing the drills we did, and he said he himself has described most of what he does already, so not to worry.
So here we go
Mick's C2 system is based on a simple series of strikes, broken down into High Line, Low Line, and Off Line, Primary Tools and Secondary Tools. Primary being the 'money shots', the Secondary getting you the time/space to get back to the Primary.
We worked on power generation, continuity and transitions on palm heel, elbows to front and behind, hammer fists, knees, shin kicks, head butts and eye gouges.
Mick uses these great pads that are kinda head sized to represent the opponents head, and for all the drills, that white dot in the center is your focus for targeting.
First day we also added indexing, and the so called GLF drill ...a.k.a. Go Like Fuck: 2 pad holders - one holds up a target and you keep hitting it until they put it down, at which point you look around and find the other holder who now has a target up which can be across the room, or right behind you, and you keep hitting that until they put the pad down and you go back to the first pad holder.
At it's simplest this is just right hand palm heel repeatedly between 2 targets.
2nd day we added to this drill - the pad holders now transitioning between targets, simulating an opponent reeling back, dropping down, then hitting the floor for instance, at which point they take the target away, and the 2nd holder appears, say high off line, as though their friend has shown up or something etc etc.
You go until you get gassed ... and then some, and the 'supervisor' aka Mick stops the drill - both holders pads are down.
Added having to run to the door and turn the handle at the end of the drill - Mick says he'll get people to phone their cell phones or write something down as drill enders too.
Added a 'spoiler' - a person covering your eyes, draping their arm over yours, tugging on your pant leg etc representing some hindrance in the way, not generally other opponents to be attacked, but representing tree branches, getting your clothing caught up on something, or someone pulling you back.
Same drill but wearing dark goggles you can barely see through, then same but glasses with black tape over most but not all, so you had to move your head around to find the targets.
Same drill but multiple pad holders, switching up so only one target shows at a time (directed by a supervisor) and 2 spoilers.
Then more stress was added to the drill - all drills start with your eyes shut, feet together, but then we added a pad holder shoving you hard, off balance, as the start. The switchovers happen when you feel a strike from the 2nd holder - generally a shoulder/back strike, not to the face for safety.
Then from a one knee on the ground position so the start from eyes closed, is getting knocked over and fighting up from the ground.
We also did a cool drill with only one pad holder/ one target, but 2 attackers - called it 2 pigs in a trough! The idea is to get as many strikes on the target as you can whilst keeping the other guy off. That was hilarious, exhausting and fun.
The other interesting one was again only one target holder, this time transitioning between targets, and you have to strike the targets whilst some one yanks you around from behind by a tie around your waist - left to right, letting you go so you overshoot, then pulling you back just before you contact - palm heels, knees and kicks. Very funny.
The drills are very chaotic, and the pad holders actually have the harder job, moving, thinking, co-ordinating with eachother and the supervisor. Great training in itself.
The live drill at the end only had 2 volunteers. You get a helmet, neck protector and groin guard. Each participant has a safety guy, and there is an overall supervisor. Guys start about 4 feet apart doing push ups facing away from eachother. At the whistle blow, the safety guys lean ontop of the participants so they have to fight up from the ground and then launch at eachother. 'Fight' lasts about 5 seconds or so when the whistle bows and the safety guys grab the players and yank them off eachother... the fighter are meant to ignore the whistle and keep going till they are pulled off. Then straight down to push ups and same again to a total of 3 rounds.
Great weekend.
To Mike and Suzan Hagan, thanks for hosting and assisting, and as always, to Tony Cortina for his great input.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May Workouts

The focus for this month is on hand evasion, and timing.
Used the sangot, short blade, largo and long blades for different variations on the problems, and how to solve them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Response to Violence Seminar with Rory Miller May 9th 2010

Had an awesome weekend training with Rory Miller.
Excellent material for mind and body.
As martial artists, we train many 'solutions', but in reality, what are the problems that we are training FOR?
Understanding the problem, seeing a situation as it really is, dictates your best options at any moment.
Also check out his blog:
And read this book - "Meditations on Violence"
Looking forward to "7" - Due for release in May 2011.

Yizong Website in English

Luo de Xiu will be here again in August 2010 - Will post the schedule as soon as I get it, until then here is the new English language version of his website:

Monday, May 3, 2010

April Workouts

Last part of April we worked with cutting from the draw, tip down blocking, back grip and switching.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April Workouts

So far this month we've focused on Largo and evasion and hata. Had a great group a week ago - Ken, Jay, Greg and Renato all came to flow.
Last night we switched to sickle to improve evasion, body movement and staying 'in'.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Website

The New Website is finally up!
Hoping to add new content every month.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What we worked on - March

Last week of March we worked on Largo cane style striking with power. Using heavy canes, we looked at the body mechanics, weight shifting, torquing, and releasing the strike.
Worked on half speed flow using the same body mechanics but releasing the weapon quarter speed, working now with a lighter weapon. Also worked on expression of the strikes, calling out strikes to give feedback to the feeder - good for hata.
Lastly, worked on feeding 2 connected angles in one strike.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What we worked on ..... March 2010

This week we did some asymmetric flow - sword vs empty hand, to emphasize body angulation and the positioning of the checking hand (touching from the center).
Moved to short blade flow with pendulum and then on to pangamot touching points.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Book Recommendation

The Life Giving Sword by Yagyu Munenori
Strategy and tactics have really not changed so much in 400 years .....

What we worked on ..... March 2010

The focus for this week was 'hiwa' or slicing. The use of the belly of the blade - working with the arc rather than with straight lines.
Worked force to force, mirroring and their offensive and defensive uses.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What we worked on ..... March 2010

Going to try to keep a log on what we worked on in class - hopefully every week ... we'll see :-)

At the end of February, we free flowed for most of the evening, and came to the inevitable conclusion that the hardest part of dueling is not getting hit yourself - either on the way in, simultaneously on hitting the opponent, or then on the exit.
Conclusions ...? Must improve the defensive line and evasion skills, work on accuracy in judging the edge of the range, and accuracy in judging the timing - one's own, and that of the opponent.

Last week we started looking in more depth at the 'moro foundation exercises', which, when added to the pendulum stepping, are a great solo practice to understand the footwork and body angles used in flowing and dueling.

We practiced holding the wall and flush blocking. Flowed Largo style, and added the hiwa concept.
We also started mirroring and pairing, and considered their uses as an offensive and defensive tactics.
We mostly used the metal blades to work on accuracy of blade angle vs cutting angle, and accuracy in target acquisition.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Youtube Channel

Just a reminder that my Youtube channel is Rndmflw which has all the uploads of Sonny that I have put up, and in the favorites section, you will find those put up by Jay Pugao, along with hella martial arts clips that have taken my interest.

The Eskrima Crew in Sion, Switzerland

Chronologically in the wrong place, but I went to teach some of Sonny's peeps in Germany and Switzerland last November. Here's a picture of the crew in Sion.
Good Times :-)

Year of the Metal Tiger - 2010

OK .... So it's been a while - most remiss of me.
New Years resolution is to keep updating more regularly with news and notes of interest.

First off - Change in Eskrima class schedule and Bagua open workouts:
Visayan Eskrima is now twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.30pm - 8.30pm at Suigetsukan Dojo (International and 1st Ave in Oakland CA)

Bagua Open workout (Open to Bagua students from the morning classes and to continuing students of the Yizong system of Luo De Xiu) 1st Sunday of the month 4pm -6pm also at Suigetsukan