Many martial arts, particularly Filipino Martial Arts talk about the fellowship and brotherhood (and sisterhood) that comes from our passion for what we do. In Sayoc Kali we use the term “tribe”, both as an acknowledgement of the indigenous tribal culture of the Philippines and also to signify the community that we take part in. This morning we welcomed three new potential students to the Sayoc Atienza class. While we had the opportunity to cover some great material, we also discussed the importance of why we train and the context that our lives often hold these martial arts in. Sayoc Kali not only welcomes, but encourage family to participate in our training. In any given class, students may see my toddler coming out to play or meet other members of my family. Students in turn, have on occasion brought their own children, spouses and even parents. Guro Dan Inosanto has often stated that we train in these arts for the love of our families, and for our love of life. We all train to grow, to evolve and get better. And with the time and diligence we will definitely do so, but especially in this “energy based” system we get even better when those who we surround ourselves get better too. There are no egos here, and we teach and push each other to be the best we can be. There is no “crab mentality” here. We all get better together; we all come up together.
This afternoon the training continued with an instructor gathering in Los Angeles. Sayoc Kali instructors from all around Southern California represented. At the invitation of Full Instructor Brian Calaustro (Tribal Tactics) and hosted by Guro Zee Alhusaini (Sayoc LA), Guro Steve Feng (Sayoc San Gabriel Valley), Guro Jon Auzenne (Close Combat Martial Arts), Guro Mike Woodworth (Sayoc San Dieg0), Reza (Sayoc LA), our own Guro Sensei John Rellias and myself came together for some great eats and even better training. Many of us have trained together now for many years, and long before we ever even thought about teaching we were training just like Lauren, Michael Ann and Andrew started this morning. And just like in our own classes here in Claremont, our gather in Los Angeles had girlfriends, wives, children and dogs running around and coming together as a tribe, getting better together as family. We don’t all move or train or even teach the same. And in our family not everyone plays the same role. But our kids and our loved ones learn with us and through us. And with our struggles, our challenges and successes, we all come up together.