I knew of Bob Burgee before I knew Bob Burgee. More accurately, I knew about Edges2 and trainingblades.com before I met the Guro Bob himself. His were, and still are some of the best training blades ever produced. Alongside the Sayoc Tactical line of trainers, the Official Vital Template series had the signature red cord wrap, the “large” (but really huge) training blades Pamana Tuhon was posing with on the website, the standard straights, the mini’s and even the long straight swords Guros Travis and Joey had at their school, Integrated Martial Arts in Long Beach, CA. Guro Bob was a Maryland guy it turned out, like me, and I would come to meet him soon after at the Sayoc Sama Sama’s in PA. His blades had smooth, rounded points and edges, clean lines simulating the blade grind and tightly wound wraps that have lasted even til now, 15 years later.
In his incredible training blade career, Guro Bob along with his father produced a staggering 30,000 blades over a 25 year period, and many including myself count his productions as some of our favorite blades to train with. During our overlapping time together in the Sayoc system, I would see Guro Bob at various seminar and events always with his camera and recording equipment. I would wait excitedly for his preview videos to drop on YouTube and the DVD’s he produced for the Sayoc Kali system were as greatly enhancing in my own skills and development as the aluminum gems I thrust into my training partner’s vital targets.
Now, as a full-time producer and Technical Director alongside Sensei Erik Paulson’s team at CSW, (Guro) Bob is still on the grind, filming, editing and producing an amazing body of work to support and nurture the CSW organization, it’s students and affiliates.
I had a random day off work, after working almost two weeks straight so the most natural thing I did was reach out to Bob and see if he would be available for this podcast. I’m a huge fan of his own podcast with Alan Baker for CSW Podcast, and it was a tremendous privilege and opportunity to hang out with this humble hunk of a workhorse for a morning. He talked about his origin beginnings in Maryland, his adventures with different teachers, students and arts, his training blade grinding days and now his exciting work with CSW.