Lakas Filipino Martial Arts Podcast Episode 22: Guro Steve Grody – The Flow

Guro Steve Grody is one of the pioneers in sharing JKD and Kali through video. He is the one that put Burton Richardson on, and propelled Mark Balluff to mega stardom. But what really set him apart at the time, and what is still immensely valuable to me was his emphasis on very specific components of the arts. Both highly specialized but also extremely universal, his tapes on hubad lubad, siko ordibas and chi sao presented material in great detail. But his tape on Sectoring was one of a kind, and like myself, millions of martial artists around the world studied that tape endlessly.

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One day while driving back from the Inosanto Academy in LA, I wondered about Steve Grody and as soon as I got home I looked him up. Not only did he continue to teach Kali and JKD, but he was a Swing Dance instructor! And he was a graffiti photographer! And it all made sense. So many of the great martial artists from the original Kali Academy had gone on and taken the lessons to heart in their lives. Whether it was their own martial art schools or systems, film or music, there are numerous examples of Guro Inosanto’s students expressing themselves honestly, and genuinely.

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When I started this podcast, it was with the intention of connecting live and in person with teachers who have had a meaningful impact, not only through martial art but in my life. So it was truly a privilege to sit down with (and meet for the first time!) someone who had already been a big influence on my learning, understanding and ultimate expression of myself.

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Plus it was very cool to talk about dance (all I knew about Swing Dance was those GAP commercials in the 90’s), and graffiti, all up in the mix just like variables in Kali. This was a wonderful experience in verbal and conceptual Sumbrada.

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Also, as member myself of Washington DC’s Double Down Kings (2DK, 2 Day Krush), the largest and longest running graffiti crew in the city, it was poetic for me to have Guro Steve’s interview as Episode 22.


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