2011 was a great year for Inland Empire Filipino Martial Arts! It wasn’t that long ago that we started classes here in Claremont. What began as a single class in the park has become an official training group representing Sayoc Kali & Atienza Kali, as well as an Inosanto Kali course offered (now for it’s eighth session) through the City of Claremont. We are proud to be one of the Sayoc LA groups, counted alongside the groups in Burbank, Los Angeles, Monrovia, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and Oceanside (San Diego) under the instruction of Guro Brian Calaustro (Tribal Tactics), Guro Travis Downing (Sayoc LA) and Guro Joey Pena (Filipino Combatives).
We started off the year with curriculum as our primary objective. The Sayoc Atienza class goal was to install the Sayoc LA short blade foundation material: Transition Drills 1-5 and Panantukan Set 1 of 12. We reviewed all of our basics, improved on our current strengths, and developed new and evolved skill sets. Our group retained our core, but welcomed new members and wished our best to students moving on: Tony started the Sayoc Hawaii training group, Eric was deployed to Afghanistan and Mike headed off to Basic Training.
We also had opportunities individually and as a group to train with some of the world’s best Filipino Martial Arts instructors. Sayoc LA/Filipino Combatives West Coast brought Tuhon Felix Cortes in February for a workshop in Long Beach, working on C-Template 1, the Hidden Template and Combative Mindset. In April, Guro Joey Pena and I made the pilgrimage to Atienza Kali Sama Sama in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, where we worked Bolo, short blade, Bolo and knife, and tons of other AK material. Guro Brian Calaustro also gave a Sayoc Members Only workshop in Ontario that covered lakads, digables and Guard 5. In May, Tuhon Carl Atienza came out for the Atienza Kali training group in Long Beach, and then in July we went out to Sayoc Kali Sama Sama, again the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Sayoc LA hosted Tuhon Tom and the Sayoc Tactical Pistol 1.0 course in August, and then in September I travelled up North to the Tribal Weapons seminar taught by Tuhon Rafael Kayanan at Sayoc NorCal. Tuhon Carl came out again in October and this time instructed on the finer points of long blade, such as cutting, multiple person tactics and even security protocols. IEFMA also attended the 4th Annual FMA Congregation, alongside Tuhon Felix and the Filipino Combatives West Coast crew. A few weeks later I attended Sayoc Instructor Weekend, and spent a great deal of time with Pamana Tuhon himself on our Logical Order of Thinking progression. Last month Guro Brian gathered the Sayoc Instructors in SoCal, and then this past weekend IEFMA held it’s final Sayoc Atienza class for the year.
After class, we discussed preparation and survival over lunch and reflected on our own year. We did install Transition Drills 1-5 and worked through Panantukan Set 1. I completed my personal Legacy Project after probably hundreds of hours of training and footage. My final version included a paper and curriculum spread out over six DVD’s. I could not have done it without my instructors, brothers-in-arms, students and friends especially Guro Jon Auzenne, Guro Victor Gendrano, John, Brent and Craig. I’m also proud to welcome my brothers into the ranks of instructors, including John Rellias (Sayoc Kali), Nick Pena (Filipino Combatives) and Phil Acosta (Atienza Kali).
Next year we have projectiles, whip and mass attack on the agenda. It’s going to be a good one. Until then, enjoy the holidays. As you spend time with your families, friends and loved ones take a mental picture. Capture the moment and experience it as fully as you can. Treasure each second, remember each smile and hold on to those close to you. Then ask yourself what you would or would not do to protect them. How much are those memories worth, and how valuable are those moments? If someone threatened to take them away, if something threatened to never let them happen again, what would you do? Do you have the information to do what you need to do? If not, let’s work it out in 2012.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,