Lakas Filipino Martial Arts Podcast Episode 30: Guro Mark Mikita – The Iconoclast

I first became aware of Mark Mikita when I lived in Southern California. On a hot afternoon amidst the crawling West LA traffic on Washington Blvd, I saw his school. The exterior was white, with clean lettering and black Baybayin on the side. “Mi-ki-ta” I said to myself, reading the ancient syllabary. Above it all, clear and simple with no adornment, as if to boldly proclaim the art were the words “Filipino Kali”.

I would come to follow Guro Mark through his social media presence, and became fascinated with his videos. I admired how articulate and precise his language was, not unlike the detailed illustrations that he painted inside of his school. I remember being particularly intrigued as he taught Sumbrada, discussing the difference between blocks and line closures, describing exigence and contingency. More recently I learned through his content, that what I’ve called “thumb meat” for all these years is correctly named the “thenar eminence”. And as someone fascinated by etymology, and the origin of phrases and quotes I was also impressed with the correct attribution of well-known quotes on his extensive website.

These podcasts were always exclusively conducted in person, as I relished the energy of presence. But since the pandemic had restricted travel and meeting in person last year, it presented a perfect opportunity to continue these interviews virtually. A few months ago I heard or read Guro Mark state somewhere that he was working on an instructional on Sumbrada, and during that time with my own students we had selected the Sumbrada platform as point of interest, examining the various iterations of it across systems and styles. As the course was just released on his website, I thought this would be a perfect time to connect.

This episode is actually the first time I’ve wanted to focus on something so specifically, and it was a pleasure to really delve deeply into something that I’m so fascinated by, and Guro Mark is so passionate about. Unexpectedly, we both encountered some technical difficulties even after more than a year of Zoom classes and for me, virtual meetings at work. Thankfully, Guro Mark’s beautiful wife graciously stepped in for the assist, which is why her name appears on screen.

Again, I want to express my most sincere gratitude for Guro Mark’s words and insight, his generosity of thought and his valuable time.

You can find more information about Guro Mark Mikita at his website https://www.fightology.com/

and more about his Sumbrada course at https://www.fightology.com/mastering-sumbrada


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