Kawit, empty hand, checking hand, the good hand. Terms i have heard to describe the weaker of the two hands. I know there are many styles of FMA that focuses on different aspects of the style such as footwork or power or even the ranges. There are even styles that teaches doble sobliti (double stick) first. All I believe are important. And what I believe to be more important is the kawit hand or empty hand. As practitioner we know that we differ from the other Martial arts by the teaching of weapon first but another “hidden” aspect is the checking hand. The checking hand although more predominantly taught to media and corto fighters it is essential to us. The empty or kawit hand is there to manipulate our opponent by placing their weapon wherever we choose, by controlling the tempo and the be able to generate a large amount of force in confined spaces.

The checking hand allows us to not only the obvious which is check the opponent’s hand but to control it as well. With our checking hand we can manipulate our opponents weapon hand and their body. And if your checking hand is sensitive enough you wouldn’t even need to look at your opponent but because you have a tactile connection you already know what he or she is going to do just by the feel of their weapon hand.

Another aspect of the kawit hand is controlling your opponents speed. Because you manipulate your opponent you can set them up to move their body is a position where it would take them an extra 4-5 seconds to reset while only taking you 1. So to your opponent it looks like your faster but in reality you just made them slower.

One of the biggest critics against corto style fighting is the lack of power. Because they’re not enough space to generate the proper velocity to ensure maximum damage. But excecuted correct you can us your checking hand to move your opponent towards your weapon while your weapon is moving toward your opponent. Thus generating twice the amount of power in less space.

As you can see the kawit is a strong weapon min any FMAers arsenal. And to sum it up here is what I tell my students.

“Your weapon hand kills your opponent, the other one saves your life.”
-Francis T. B. Serrano
Guro Visayan Legacy Association

Its been hard trying to market FMASCHOOL.com, difficult because I am my own worst client. As someone with marketing experience, I know that its crucial that I follow up with any and all contacts I
might have made in my events. It’s important to have a booth ready to go with staff ready to answer any questions that might arise. But it is also important to get their contact info. Just giving them my flyer or business care won’t do any good. It is up to the vendor to follow up. I know this, and any marketing person worth his salt knows this. But I can’t seem to do it. Maybe this is what keeps me from success. My own lack of follow through?

So with that to any and all who wants to market anything. Showing up isn’t good enough anymore, its showing up everyday is what counts. Push for it and never give up on your dream.


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That old saying the Best Defense is a very good offense does not apply in combative sports. Yes it might apply to foothball or basketball(yay Lakers) but not to sports such as boxing or eskrima. At least not to the way you think it is.

If you were in a situation that would require you to fight than defense can not completely be gone. For at all times you must be aware of the opponents counters. But this is were I believe many practicioners of WEKAF style fighting is forgeting. In the match just hitting your opponent with out any regard to your defense is not a true representation of your skills. But most of the time the fighters just let the armor absorb all the strikes and once they start fighting opponents that can really do some damage then what are they going to do? Imagine if boxing great Manny Pacquiao were to only do offense well as fast as he is one lucky punch will knock even him out. So he has to incorporate some defense of circling, head weaving, and checking.

So in conclusion to my rant, to fight without any defense at all just makes you a 50% fighter. No matter how good your offense may be.

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When I was a little boy one of the things that was alway hard for me was to share. Share my toys my friends just anything that belonged to me well it stayed with me. I am just a stingy little boy. I guess it had to do with being the youngest and there was at least 16 years between my sister and I. So in that context i am an only child.

But as I grew older I knew that sharing was important. And now I share all the time. But when is it okay not to share?

Eversince Visayan Legacy split from the main school it has been awkward. I mean I still have friends from the old school. And I look forward to see them in tournaments and seminars. But now it’s different.

Now that they decided to stay with their teacher why are some of them still asking us to be their corner man and or prepare them for the upcoming tournament. Why are they not asking their leaders and or teachers? I just find it so unfair that they are expecting us to sti help the when in our time of need they decided to abandon us. Let’s me be clear although they are still my friends. Their decision to stay with that person still hurt. To me it felt lime they put their self interest first before doing what is obviously right. ( Oh btw if you are reading this and you are one of those people. Sorry but this is how I feel )

Now at tournaments they come up and ask if we can be their corner man or have a session with them to train. I am so not down with that.

1. Why aren’t they askig their teachers? I mean they choose to stay with him so have him help you. But more often than not if we do help them they go and give credit to their teacher not the one that actual helped them.

2. As a school owner my point of view has changed. I find myself thinking of my students first more and more often. And my students pay me to teach them what I know, why then should others get it for free? It’s not fair to my students.

So sharing all the time. Well not in this case.

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More often than not I get a lot of questions and comments about FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) and it’s effectiveness. Well it doesn’t take much convincing that FMA is designed for real world application. And yes I know we don’t walk around with sticks everyday. But any true Filipino Martial Artist knows what makes this effective isn’t the tool it’s the “tool” that thinks that I need a stick to kick their ass. Just kidding what makes this dangerous isn’t the stick it’s the person that wields it.

And here’s why:

1. Extension. A stick is an extension of my arm meaning that I can still do the same move with a small variation.

2. Faster than you. A stick can travel almost 50x’s faster than your fist. And we train to block and counter with a fast moving sticks being wielded against us. Well if we can move block evade counter circumnavigate dodge with a stick traveling at high velocity than how much easier would it be when it is traveling at a slower rate?

3. We start training weapon first. That is because FMA has a military point of view. In any military training across the globe and history. All soldiers are first taught how to fight with a weapon. And when they go out on the field of battle they carry as much weapons as they can carry. Why? It’s because they want to have as much of an advantage over their enemy. So they teach them how to wield their weapons first and then move into empty hands. But ask any soldier, once you take a way their weapons are they any less dangerous?

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This is the first time I didn’t go to a big tournament with the guys. But it was Jules birthday and well I had to go. Actually I had to go to both. So I went to Julies birthday but before that I’ve packed my bags for I am heading to Fremont California or the 2010 tournament. And here is my ROAD TRIP.

12:24 AM drove for about 45 mins and mother nature calls (or roared) and so I’m here at Santa Clarita’s IHop answering the call. As soon as I was done I stepped out to find out that not all Ihops are 24 Hours. Oops.

2:02 AM not really sure where I am but I am in petro iron skillet stop. Why is this trip requireing me to use the can a lot? What the heck did I eat at Julie’s

3:30 AM again not sure where I am but pulled over at a denny’s nap time. Oh btw I drank that 5 hour energy drink and one hour later I’m sleepy. What a rip off.

I know I should really sleep but the one hour drive wasn’t too bad. I was able to turn on the cruise control and just coast man. The whole drive I just kept thinking how beautiful Julie was tonight. She was wearing this cream colored dress and it was so nice to hear about special moments people had with her. It was really great to see Auntie Trini and Uncle Lawry. Auntie was telling me that she is going to Vegas for her 75th birthday and in July the whole clan is going to Hawaii for Uncle’s 80th birthday. I love them so much.

4:30 AM FINAL PUSH. I’ve decided to not make anymore stops. I was driving on Highway 158 and the sun starting to peak through the hills. To be honest if this was the only reason why I went just so I can this Majestic Moment it would be worth it.

7:35 AM so the GPS kept saying that I will arrive at my destination at 7:35 AM and I was starting to have my doubts. But I did make it. Tried calling Josh but no answer and called Kim and he was able to tell me where their room was so I can take a quick shower.

8:00 AM I’m downstairs saying hi to everyone.

Now it’s 2:19 AM Monday morning and I’m back home safe and sound. Josh was able to drive back with me and he actually drove the lion share of it back so I was able to catch some sleep. But overall it was a great quick road trip and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Last night I trained with the guys for th first time this year. And it was intense to say the

least. Instead or swinging the regular rattan stick I swung a heavy kamagong stick. And it was bulky and the weight shifted too much to keep any sort of balance to it and unless you are an experience escrimador I don’t recommend for new practicioners to be wielding it. It will just hurt your wrist.

Hitting the tires and th bags with those heavy sticks were no jokes. But when we switched to the lighter sticks I was flying

But my back is sore and I can’t get up.

I love stickfighting
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So today’s class I find myself developing more and more as an escrimador. Today we worked on the ABC blade technique. When my students asked why are we using the full stick when a knife is a lot shorter than that. I said well if you can clear a 24″ stick while acting like it’s a blade the how much more easier it is when it’s a 4″ knife? Which makes so much freekin sense that it made me wonder hmm did I always know that or was it something I did during my days as a student and never really understood why. I am so happy with my student’s progress that I remember how they use to twirl now I am very proud to see the excell.

Then I wanted to re-emphasize the kawi hand. Cause I truly believe that the stick hand kills your enemy but it’s your kawit hand is what will save your life.

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In my personal studies of the scripture, it is clear that God does convey His message to us in many ways. But one unique way is through our dreams. Unique meaning that only a faitful few can interpret them. In the case of Joseph were Pharaoh couldn’t interpret his own dream. Again with King Nebachanezzer. Joseph
himself said the business of interpreting dreams is God work.

Last night I had a dream. And here is what I saw. In the dream I joined a very old style of martial arts. I want to say it’s Kung Fu for it was very heavy on the traditions and that the Grandmaster’s word is law. Well there was a technique or move that I developed but the move has requirements in order for it to work. I was carrying an old muskett, you know the kind that was used during the American Revolution. And affixed on it was a bayonet. The move requires someone from behind me to grab me. And the move has me killing the enemy behind me by cutting his throat and down to his heart.

When I showed that to my old grandmaster he said that the move is not how they do things. And he ordered me to never so that move again. Perplexed why would he say that, and when I asked him why not? He yelled at me, and then as I was about to react, I woke up.

What do you think that means? My friends have said that my Jedi power is dream interetations. I always thought that God blessed me with this gift and now I need to use it. I think I have interpret it already but I shall pray more to see it more clearly.

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This past November was the WEKAF USA Western Regional and after seeing the Cebu tournament I sure was glad there were less people. It was hosted by Master Steve Del Castillo and this year’s venue was surely unique. For at the same j
E the tournament was happening there was an ANIME expo going on. And thatsure made things interesting. All these Anime Fans were dressed up in their favorite character and the weird thing was our group was the weird one.

As far as Visayan Legacy all our fighters placed second or higher and of course we took home the coveted team trophy. All around a great tournament. And was capped off with dinner with the whole stick fam. It’s always great hanging out with my stickfighting family.