This past Fourth of July weekend I had the extraordinary opportunity to attend our annual Sayoc Kali Sama Sama, this year held in St. Cloud, FL.  It was a truly awesome privilege, to be able to train alongside and learn directly under some of the best Filipino Martial Artists in the world.

Some of the training highlights of the weekend included: learning some of the Sayoc Tactical Group’s military curriculum, framing and empty hand positioning, establishing fluid lines of cutting, Sayoc Kali Transition Drills, karambit training, Vital Template 3 of 9 and tons more!  As a student of the Sayoc Kali system for the past 10 years I can genuinely say that I am amazed at both the breadth and depth of instruction that Pamana Tuhon, the Council of Tuhons and my seniors and peers have to impart.  My fundamentals strengthened immensely, my curriculum expanded by leaps and bounds and I am reinvigorated as both a student as well as an instructor.

It was also a pleasure to see my brothers in Sayoc Kali from Southern California.  Guro Jon Auzenne is one of my closest friends and training partners, and in the last few years we would meet every week to train or work on Sayoc related projects.  And although we don’t see each other with the same frequency, it was awesome to train and spend time with him.  Guro Mike Woodworth has also been a great friend over the last few years, training with us in Sayoc Kali and Atienza Kali and offering much needed and appreciated support with our injuries and movement issues!  Craig was one of my most committed students in Inland Empire Filipino Martial Arts and it was my privilege to witness him experience his first Sama Sama and enter the process of being considered for instructorship candidacy.  Lastly, my teacher and guide Guro Brian Calaustro as always provided insight, instruction and comraderie as he always did while under him, and still does with all of the students and instructors in the SoCal area that he oversees.

There are my FMA brothers from around the country as well, those that I have seen since first starting in the system, and those I just met this year.  It is a family reunion, where we catch up, update and bring each other to new physical, mental and bonded levels.  I am indebted to my brothers and sisters in the Sayoc tribe.  Most of all, it is always a treasured experience to spend time with Pamana Tuhon Sayoc, Pamana Silak and their family.  I cannot thank them enough for their wisdom, generosity, hospitality and kindness.

For those of you who have considered attending Sayoc Sama Sama, make it happen!  We have already begun the countdown to next year, and it would be great to have you with us.  Everyone interested in Sayoc Kali All Blade All the Time instruction should seek out Guro Dr. Bob Shin and Maharlika Martial Arts in Columbia, MD at 7:30pm on Tuesday nights, or can contact me as well.

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