Lakas Filipino Martial Arts Podcast Episode 9: Tuhon Brian Calaustro – The Tactician

Tuhon Brian Calaustro is one of the select few to be awarded the rank of Tuhon in the Sayoc Kali system. He is the founder and head instructor of his Southern California school, Tribal Tactics and for the few years before leaving Los Angeles he was my primary Sayoc teacher. I say teacher, rather than instructor because of the immense influence he had on my development, showing and revealing facets of the system that closed the seams of my learning. Transitioning from one phase to another, changing positions and touching points that bridged time and space. Fitting, that the first time I met Tuhon was my introduction to Sayoc group tactics. Expecting to undergo an evolution of search and rescue in the dark of night, we quickly switched our guard to an exercise in concealment, observation and recovery. Then-Guro Brian took leadership of our team and executed our objectives with complete trust in his training. Tuhon Brian would later text me, years later “Remember everyday is a training day! We make adjustments in flow in real time. Never static or stationary.” The memory of rain in utter darkness collided with my future self’s experience in those words, and his voice still echoes in the silence, calling forth the words of his teacher, and the guidance of our Pamana Tuhon.

We were blessed to know his late wife Leonore, and our picture of her with during our daughter Hope’s baptism is a memory that makes me smile. In fact, I remember clearly immediately after the baptism as we were waiting for our reception to begin, Tuhon Brian asked if we wanted to train right there beside the church. Just last month, Tuhon Brian traveled to Bali for the opening and dedication of the Leonore G. Calaustro Learning Centre in honor of her life and memory. For more information on this tremendous legacy or The Bali Children’s Project please visit click HERE.

I had the privilege to meet up with Tuhon during a recent visit to Southern California, actually at one of my family’s favorite breakfast spots in Claremont. Like all of my episodes, this is off the cuff, right where we were, capturing the moment. Making adjustments in flow, in real time.


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