Guro Daniel Lonero – Maryland Seminar 2017

This past Labor Day Weekend, Lakas Filipino Martial Arts was privileged to host Guro Daniel Lonero for our third annual seminar. What started two years ago as a collaboration with Mark Eveleigh has now become an annual event. This year’s location was new, about half an hour North of Baltimore City into the county. Lakas is heavily influenced and built as a Sayoc and Atienza Kali tribe, with an emphasis on family, camaraderie and brotherhood. Up in the hills of Hunt Valley, we had the pleasure of training in the open air, even with at times pouring rain, gusty winds and even piercing sun.

Guro Daniel focused this weekend on Kali & Silat, and we started Saturday with foundational double stick coordination drills. While familiar at the surface, we went through different variables and progressions that suited beginners as well as challenged experienced students. We changed levels, varied the combinations, matched one stick versus two, and even covered patterns rarely seen. Guro Daniel connected these drills with their application, their movements with Filipino masters, disarms, strategies and meanings. After an explanation of saluations and break, we concluded the afternoon with Hubad and empty hand sensitivity, going over switching hands, timing traps and even transitions into sweeps and Silat. The day felt like we were caught in a downpour, in the rainy season of the Philippines. But it made it dramatic, and only enhanced our connection with the art, with nature and with each other.

Sunday started with more stick work, but quickly emphasized single stick. I had asked Guro Daniel about some of the Sumbrada material, and he gave a world class presentation of Sumbrada components, starting with pre-Sumbrada skill building, to freelance variables, to multiple opponent applications. It was one of, if not absolutely the most thorough, well presented progressions of this valuable area of Kali that I have ever seen. One of the things that I have truly come to appreciate in my training is seeing the links and connections to other systems and arts, and this was truly eye opening in bridging aspects of the Inosanto Method with Sayoc Fighting System & Atienza Kali. We finished the afternoon with an excellent portion on Filipino kicking, that included kick counters at long range, combining footwork with hands for entry, and using kicks to set up Silat and takedown transitions. Lastly, we covered some of the fundamental aspects of knife tapping, which truly rounded out the entire weekend as Guro Daniel spoke about balance, of grounding of relaxation and tension and reflex.

Conceptually, Guro Daniel shared some absolute gems. While there were concepts and themes spread throughout, there were constants that perfused through the entirety of the weekend. Guro Daniel spoke of balance, of groundedness, of rhythm and of progression. He reminded us that while we are taught the structure, the techniques and execution of martial art, to not forget the presentation, the legacy, the creativity and the fun.

Thank you to Guro Daniel for the incredible instruction, and Simo Marie for the articulate demonstration and personal guidance. Thank you also to everyone that came to support. Whether you are regularly training with me or I see you at events, your presence helped make the weekend as great as it was, and your passion and involvement in Filipino Martial Arts is what keeps these arts alive. Thank you most of all to Guro Dan Inosanto, whose commitment, dedication, passion and guidance illuminates our past and brightens our future.

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