Lakas Filipino Martial Arts Podcast Episode 10: Guro Paul McCarthy – The British Ninja

When we finally got a break, I remarked to Paul, “it’s good you were able to take time from work to train!” To which he an answered, “well fortunately for me, this is my work!” Earlier this year I had the pleasure to partner up with Paul McCarthy, “The British Ninja” at the Inosanto Instructors Conference at the Inosanto Academy in Marina del Rey. I had known Paul for a while, even from when I still lived there and attended the Academy regularly. In that time I had become a great fan of his Cognitive Kali work. To this day, I continue to share his TED Talk with students and friends and refer to it frequently.

And not just me. Now living here in Baltimore I try and see Guro Inosanto at various times through the year along the East Coast, from New York to Philadelphia to Virginia. And I’ve heard students, teachers and my seniors talk about and praise it. As I told Paul myself, his work is a great tribute to and representation of Guro Inosanto and the many facets and benefits of our Filipino Martial Art of Kali. Guro Inosanto constantly advises his students, that as we grow and age and evolve, that our training will have to change. And not just our combative training, our diets, our conditioning and recovery all goes along with it. But just like his own teachers told him, Guro tells us that there are many health benefits to Kali. Paul has embraced that concept and emphasized the benefits of movement itself. Physical as well as cognitive benefits. We all know intuitively that yoga, that stretching, that being active is good not only for our bodies but also for our minds. But Paul has backed this up with research, with academia. And in a few weeks he has created something I could only have dreamed of, even to just attend.

The 2018 UCLA Martial Arts & Wellness Symposium “aims to increase awareness and understanding that martial arts is a valuable resource for becoming, staying and thriving as a healthy human being” and to my knowledge is the first of its kind to ever do so. It is a perfectly fitting evolution that combines Paul’s vast love of martial arts with his academic endeavors, his strengths working as an educator and a devoted student of Guro Inosanto’s teachings. At the same Instructor Camp that I partnered up with Paul in just this past March, we had a few minutes to sit down before our training began. In the car under the cover from the rare rainstorm in Southern California, we talked about martial arts, movement and the great rewards we have both been blessed with in our lives. One of my favorite quotes is from Kahlil Gibran, “work is love made visible.” And whether it is in the daily training, his online presence or the upcoming symposium, Paul’s love for martial arts is truly visible.

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