Thank You

•12.07.2012 • 1 Comment

For the last three years it has been my great privilege to build and develop the Inland Empire Filipino Martial Arts presence in Southern California’s Inland Empire.  Last week my family and I made the move back to my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland and although it has been an exciting and hopeful transition, it is tinged with a pang of bittersweet.  I want to take the time to publicly thank my instructors, namely Guro Dan Inosanto, Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc, Tuhon Carl Atienza, Guro Travis Downing, Guro Joey Pena, Guro Brian Calaustro and Guro Ramon Rubia for sharing their knowledge and skill with me over the last nine years living in the Los Angeles area.  Without you none of this would even have existed.  Thank you to my brothers who trained and came up with me, especially Guro Steve Feng, Guro Jon Auzenne, Guro Victor Gendrano, Guro Ed Cadiz, Professor John Tessier, Guro Darryl Goen, Guro Mike Woodworth, Guro Zee Alhusaini, Guro Phil Acosta, Guro Gerard Noel, Guro Nick Pena and the whole Sayoc LA/Atienza Long Beach/Filipino Combatives West Coast family.    Lastly, my most heartfelt and sincere thanks to all of my students in the IEFMA Sayoc Atienza group and the Filipino Martial Arts class through the City of Claremont.  Guro Dan has told us that the highest form of learning is to teach.  Because of you I have learned and grown immensely.  Thank you so much.

I will still be in town from time to time and I look forward to meeting with you for training and or social eating (or even anti-social eating)!  I am grateful to have Guro Steve Feng of Sayoc SGV assuming oversight over the IEFMA Sayoc Atienza group that will continue under the leadership of Sensei John Rellias.  He is my most senior student and a trusted friend.  City of Claremont students have been referred to Guro Bryan Stoops of Stoops Martial Arts in Chino Hills.  He is a colleague and brother in these arts, and has a tremendous wealth of information and ability to offer.  Anyone ever in the Baltimore area is encouraged to look me up.  I’d love to keep in touch as much as I can.

As genuinely as I can, I truly thank each and every one of you.  My current contact information will still be valid and I will continue to stay involved with the IEFMA website and Inland Empire Filipino Martial Arts Facebook page.

Baltimore Filipino Martial Arts will debut in 2013.



Guro Joe Marana

Sayoc Kali – Atienza Kali – Inosanto Filipino Martial Arts

New Videos Posted

•09.12.2012 • 1 Comment

New videos posted today!

These clips demonstrate some of the ways we train empty hand Filipino Boxing, also known as Panantukan.  The first clip displays some of the ways we train, and the second clip actually discusses some of the techniques shown therein:

For all the new students in our Tuesday night class who learned Heaven 6 for the first time, here is a repost of a video I completed earlier this year for your reference/review:

Be sure to check our YouTube Channel and our Facebook Page!

New Class Location

•08.10.2012 • Leave a Comment

IEFMA Sayoc Atienza Kali students be advised:

Weekend classes (previously held in Claremont on Friday evenings OR Saturday mornings) have changed location.  Our new venue will be at the Academy of Martial Arts in Fontana on Friday evenings at 8:30pm.  We are excited and grateful to Sensei Blair for welcoming our group and to Guro John Rellias for facilitating this opportunity.

August 2012 Schedule

•07.25.2012 • Leave a Comment

City of Claremont Filipino Martial Arts is halfway through it’s Summer 2012 session!  The last four classes in this unconventional weapons course will cover impact weapons so bring your sticks!  The next Fall 2012 session starts in September, again on Tuesday evenings at 8pm.  Keep an eye out for new registration links.

Kali 101 – Hubad

•06.09.2012 • Leave a Comment

Growing up, the Filipino American community in Baltimore was extremely small.  In a city that was predominantly Black and a county that was mostly White, the influences to my Asian American identity were almost exclusively limited to the personal family and friends I was exposed to.  Sometimes I even learned about the Philippines, the Filipino culture and even my own family from those that I would least expect to.  In high school I became great friends with another martial arts student, and while I studied Taekwon-Do while he trained in American Kenpo I distinctly remember the time he wanted to show me a hand drill that he had learned at Joe Palanzo’s school.  As I threw a straight punch to his chest, he parried with his left hand, flowed into a “waiter’s hand” with his right and then slapped down with his left hand again in order to throw his own counter punch.  The three count flow drill, unbeknownst to me was my first exposure to Filipino Kali.

Shortly after that, my own teacher Mr. Carlos Patalinghug, Jr. decided to show my brothers and I this drill: hubad.  For whatever reason it was only my brothers and I at the school that evening so he knelt in front of us and had us start.  We learned to “wedge”, then “transfer” and slap down to return our own open hand angle chop.  He showed us two versions that night, but this is the first.

For all those learning now, this is my thank you to those that had shared with me then.  This is my hope to continue the cycle.

City of Claremont Summer 2012

•05.02.2012 • Leave a Comment

Registration is now open for Filipino Martial Arts through the City of Claremont Department of Parks and Recreation!  As usual this is a ten week session offered on Tuesday evenings at 8pm, starting on Tuesday June 5th.  Please check out the online catalog, and I’ll see you in class!

Summer Brochure:


Class Schedule Update UPDATE!

•04.26.2012 • Leave a Comment

May & June Sayoc Atienza Schedule

Friday, May 4th at 2000

NO CLASS the weekend of Saturday, May 12th

NO CLASS the weekend of Saturday, May 19th

Saturday, May 26th at 0900

Saturday, June 2nd at 0900

Saturday, June 9th at 0900

Saturday, June 16th at 0900

Saturday, June 23rd at 0900

Saturday, June 30th at 0900

NO CLASS Saturday, July 7th

NO CLASS Saturday, July 14th

Filipino Martial Arts for Families & Children with Special Needs

•04.15.2012 • 2 Comments

Last year as I worked on my Legacy Project for Sayoc Kali, one of my instructors Guro Joey urged me not only to demonstrate an understanding of the curriculum but also to take the material and really do something with it. He encouraged me to make it mine, to put it in my own life and context and functionalize it so that it is meaningful and unique to me. Just a few months later at our Sayoc Kali Sama Sama I found it particularly poignant when Tuhon Tom Kier moved with his family during our Sayaw, a time not only of preparation for conflict but an opportunity to engage with our brothers, sisters as a family. Every year during our Sayaws I circle the fire three times, and with each round I dedicate my thoughts to my wife and children. Although they are not always with me in proximity, they are always with me in my heart and mind. They are the reason I am where I am today, and greatly responsible for the person that I try to be. If there is any ounce of good in me, it is only because of them and the Grace of God.

I am a proud father of my sons and daughter, but I hold a special place for my oldest son William. As many of you know my son was born very prematurely and unfortunately encountered very traumatic circumstances close to and in the months following his birth. His first few months of life were spent in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, only to be followed a few weeks after his discharge by a few months more in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His injuries were catastrophic, and as a result he has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, cortical visual impairment and a whole host of related diagnoses and has endured multiple surgeries for his brain, heart, stomach, hips and legs. He has far more strength than I do, and the only thing that exceeds his fortitude is his loving heart. He shows me that I am stronger than I am, I am more than I believe and I can be better than myself.

In the three primary Filipino Martial Arts systems that I practice and have the privilege to represent, the family and tribe are central to our philosophies. Our families propel us and drive our training, they are the reason we train and fight so hard. We are not separate from our families nor our tribe, and our conceptualization of combat is always rooted in this context. Most of us are not young men beating our chests for status or attention, and if we would ever have to use the technology we have been taught there is a good chance it may be with our wives, children or families present. With this in mind, I began fleshing out already proven and existing material and adapting techniques and concepts to our own specific and unique needs. With my son’s level of involvement he is encumbered in a heavy special needs wheelchair, and cannot observe, engage or even communicate with me or my wife in the same ways that other children would normally do. But we are no victims to circumstance, and my training has taught me to be a Feeder, not a passive recipient to life’s challenges. My family, no matter the specific situation is and always will be my primary security protocol; it is my life’s job to take care of them, to protect and provide for them unconditionally.

I began with a few video clips and with Pamana Tuhon Sayoc’s suggestions and permission I would like to present my ideas on using our Filipino Martial Arts for parents, guardians and family who take care of children with special needs.  A debt of gratitude must be expressed to Pamana Tuhon, Tuhon Carl and Guro Dan for everything they have taught and shared.  My instructors Guro Joey, Guro Travis and Guro Brian for their guidance and instruction, my brothers Guro Steve and Guro Jon for always working with me on my projects and ideas, my students for staying with me, and a special thanks to my wife who constantly puts up with my antics.

This past Easter season, I found myself thinking about my faith and the belief that there are angels and archangels that watch over us. For my profession I take care of sick infants in the same Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that my son was born into. I wondered about the spirits and angels in our midst that watch over these babies, and I remembered our second son Gabriel who we lost at birth. I find solace in the thought that he, the dearly departed and those angels entrusted with our charge who continue to guard and protect us continue to do so on their end. This project is my promise to work within my own faculties, my physical ability and mental creativity and build on the Filipino Martial Arts that I have been blessed with, and hold so dear. This is for my instructors and students, my brothers and sisters-in-arms, my family and above all for my son William.

IEFMA Sayoc Atienza Class 04.14.12

•04.14.2012 • Leave a Comment

This morning we warmed up with standing grapple skills then went into Sayoc Stick Grappling.  Next we covered Guro Pat Consing’s Silak Concepts Drill from Sayoc Kali and inserted Atienza Kali Lock Set Isolations from Knife Evolution 1, and covered variations pulling from the Inosanto-Lacoste and Maphilindo martial arts.

Kali 101

•04.06.2012 • Leave a Comment

A few years back now, my wife’s cousin suggested that I film some basic Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) material for him to start showing and practicing with his children.  While I do not want to encourage a “Learn FMA by YouTube” program, I do think that exposing friends, family and anyone else simply interested or curious to our art can have it’s benefits.  It may spark an interest in the cultural components of their selves, identities or family history, it may encourage more diligent solo practice for current students and ideally it would entice future students to go and seek qualified instructors for hands on training.

So here is the start of our “Kali 101” series, what I intend to be ongoing clips that demonstrate, showcase or educate the public on fundamental movements of the Filipino Martial Arts.  This first clip of many starts with the double stick basics of Sinawali, the name of the indigenous arts of my mother’s hometown province of Pampanga.  Thank you to the Patalinghug family of Doce Pares Eskrima (GM Cacoy Canete System) and Guro Dan Inosanto (Inosanto-Lacoste Kali) for giving me my base in Sinawali and introducing me to a part of my family’s past.  And special thanks to Kuya Marvin and his twins for the inspiration to start this in the first place.  Dominic and Victoria this is for you.

“Queng leon queng tigre ecu tatacut, queca pa?” (I fear neither lions nor tigers, why should I be afraid of you?) – Pampanga Warrior’s Motto taken from Galang’s “Complete Sinawali: Filipino Double-Weapon Fighting”