On The Edge

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Roland Dantes- National Treasure of the Philippines


KSW. Roland, how long have you been involved in Arnis and what inspired you?

R.D. Well, the living legend here with us, Remy Presas, was very instrumental in getting me started in the Filipino martial arts. You see, I was a physical education major in high school. In my senior year I was required to choose two elective subjects. I made the choice of Modern Arnis as an elective. At that time in the Philippines the foremost teacher of Arnis approved of by the Department of Education was Professor Remy Armador Presas. It was an honor to meet him and study under his guidance. Since that time, I would say I got hooked on the art of Arnis. The training with Professor opened up my personal ideas on the Philippine martial arts and broadened my scope and concepts of the art. It became very evident to me that Arnis blended very well with other forms of martial arts.

KSW. Roland, that is a truthful statement to the diversity of Arnis, it must have been an exciting beginning for you’re training. Without a doubt the Philippines are a melting pot of southeastern cultural martial arts and offer a very unique base of systems to extract technical information from. Would you agree the martial arts have provided a positive path of physical and spiritual development for people worldwide?

R.D. Yes, teachers of martial arts have touched our communities with positive results by sharing the value of personal development through self-defense, increased confidence, and a sense of pride. This was especially true for me while training under Professor Presas. It evolved me to understand myself and become more compassionate towards people no matter what region or country they came from.
Many years ago, martial arts were about protecting local people and your family from hoodlums or criminals. In villages, the true keepers of justice were the martial artists. Before a police officer could arrive at a crime, it was common for the martial artist to step up and challenge the ruthless criminal elements. This helped to provide a better community for all the people to live and lessened the immediate threat of danger. Martial artists have come a long way bringing certain positive attributes to light such as personal protection, confidence, loyalty, and self perceiverence. With time, martial arts not only addresses the physical art but excels personal goals further into spiritual refinement developing a spiritual strength that very few sports can attest to offer.

KSW. How true Roland, it goes without saying, Professor Remy Presas has been a motivational force for you for many, many years. As a young defiant youth in your past, to martial arts movie star and actor today, Professor Remy Presas has definitely influenced your life and enhanced the lives of thousands people worldwide. In his lifetime he committed a serious amount of dedication to the development of Modern Arnis.
I know as we sit here with Professor, he is in awe of how his dreams have come true with the worldwide propagation of Modern Arnis. What can you share with us about Professor and his time in the Philippines and how he is respected there?

R.D. Well the Professor, even to this day is a living legend. Yes he is a living legend Datu, because what he has accomplished in his goals. I remember in the early days when life was hard, he said to me, "Roland mark my word, I would like to propagate this art and share it with the rest of the world, because this art has so much to offer for everyone." Well, this is the year of the millineium. I take my hat off and I'm down on my knees with respect and honor to this man! Remy Presas is a living legend, a living testimony to the Philippine arts. When he was in the Philippines, he was twice chosen and presented the top Arnis award of our country, the Siglacas Award. Siglacas meant - Sigla Lacas two Filipino words, in broader English words "Sigla" means skill. "Lacas" is strength and power. Siglacas is skill, strength and power.
The Siglacas Award is given annually to the sports athletes who excel to the highest level in their individual sport category each year. It could be basketball, swimming, or boxing, and the Professor was twice awarded that honor for his efforts in Arnis. To this day, no such award has been presented to another Arnis practitioner in the Philippines. In the Philippines, many people felt we lost him because he moved to the United States to live here.
Hopefully, and I say hopefully, our future plans in the Philippines are to revive a National Arnis Award. I have spoken with the Department of Tourism in regards to eventually host an invitational goodwill tournament. A nationally sponsored event so practitioners of Philippine Martial Arts from around the world irregardless of style would be invited to the Philippines to meet and compete with other Arnis brothers of the martial arts.

KSW. Wow, that’s a big step Roland, it would be a great event in Filipino martial arts history. I know Professor Presas has inspired your desire to unite the tribes and he has actually offered to co-sponsor such an event to honor all the senior masters of the islands. Professor Presas has confided in me and is honored by your personal commitment to such a task. On several occasions he mentioned to me, “if anyone could achieve results in organizing a national event it would be Roland Dantes”! Additionally Roland, it is motivating to see you so excited about being involved in an international committee to assist all Philippine martial arts worldwide, what can you tell us of your work with Arnis Philippines.

R.D. Yes, the mother organization for all martial arts in the Philippines is Arnis Philippines. But let me touch first on the word Arnis. You see the terminologies in the Philippines is varied to a lot of people, sometimes the arts are referred to as kali, escrima or arnis. We have actually 52 dialects in the Philippines, mind you we have 7,000 100 plus islands and inlets. What the country did several years ago was rationalize the dialects and find one, which is "Tagolog," to make it our national language. In this manner communication from region to region, island to island is less confusing.
In the situation of travelers or visitors when you come to the Philippines everybody for the most part can understand and speak English. English is the medium of instruction in all schools, although tagolag and is required learning and a vital aspect of our educational curriculum. Now you can see why the term Arnis is used to describe our national art.

KSW. Okay, let's discuss specifically organizing the martial arts of the Philippines.

R.D. In the Philippines right now I hold the position of Commissioner for International Affairs for Arnis Philippines the official body under the Philippines Sports Commission.
Additionally each sport division has official representatives. For example, the Philippine Karate Association (PKA) is the official karate association recognized by the government. Additionally the Philippine Judo Association and the Philippine Aikido Association also have officers and board members. The independent sports groups have sets of officers whom sit in with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee to help establish national and regional guidelines for events and judging criteria.
Then also of course there are other groups. There is the World Escrima, Kali, Arnis Federation, W.E.K.A.F.. W.E.K.A.F. encompassed N.A.R.A.P.H.I.L., which was the first national organization and it was formed while the late President Marcos was in power, N.A.R.A.P.H.I.L. stands for the National Association Republic of the Philippines. All of these independent governing bodies are doing very well. Unfortunately, there are other groups when it comes to political affiliate that should not be happening. Ideally, as Commissioner of International Affairs I would like to see everyone coordinate their efforts and help each other regardless of association agenda because it is the art that is important and not so much the style. By assisting the other, independent Philippine arnis, kali, or escrima groups could communicate and support each other in whatever projects they are doing. In this way the Philippine martial arts have so much more to offer the world as a complete cultural art. Each independent style would truly compliment the other systems without political tensions. The goal and program of Arnis Philippines is to provide cultural information and assistance in these matters. Currently the governing body of Arnis Philippines invites all practitioners regardless of affiliation to communicate and ask the governing body of Arnis Philippines to assist in supporting their projects or events.
In fact, two years ago I went to the W.E.K.A.F. World Championships in Cebu. At that event, I was warmly welcomed by the W.E.K.A.F. President, Grandmaster Dionesia Canete. Additionally, I was invited to the Championship Night Ball where they presented the event awards to competitors from the Philippines and other countries worldwide. I personally commended Grandmaster Canete for a job well done, the event reflected on the country as a whole and I mentioned how important unity within our country is. Through sports events and Arnis competitions we can organize and communicate with groups to advance Arnis, Kali, and Escrima worldwide.
Independently, there are a lot of Arnis and Philippine martial arts groups worldwide and in the mother country. I would like to commend each and every group, because all of the individuals and styles are helping in one way or another to propagate the art.

To this day, the Philippine martial arts have become accepted and spread tremendously throughout the world. The art is easy to assimilate and blends into whatever discipline or art a person may practice whether it is Karate, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Thai Boxing, or JKD. The main reason Arnis is so instrumental today is because Arnis really enhances a practitioner’s knowledge base, especially when it comes to weaponry.
Incidentally, I would like to acknowledge Datu Kelly Worden for his tremendous efforts. I am just amazed at how he has progressed his martial arts career, especially in the field of Philippine martial arts. I take my hat off to him. I commend his specialization in the knife, the knife techniques of the Philippine martial arts. The principals of knife tactics will benefit anyone. You only need to see it once in action to understand how effective the Philippine bladed arts truly are. The Philippine martial arts are multi-functional no matter if you are armed or unarmed. This is the real value of what the Philippine martial arts can offer. A lot of people think it is pure weaponry. No, it is not. We have the terminology Mano y mano, which is hand-to-hand, or empty hand skill. In reality the art translates to mean whatever you learn with the stick will translate into other skills. The flow is different but the physical movement will over lap, weather it is with a knife, stick, sword, or even improvised weapons. Bottom line, the practitioner does not have to be dependant on a specific training tool or weapon to develop physical proficiency and become effective in self- defense situations. It is this depth of instruction, skill, and attribute development that Datu Kelly shares with students during his highly successful instructional programs. Not only the sheer amount of information relayed but his teaching style and instructional methodology is very much like Professor Presas and that is what impresses me the most. I have personally witnessed his style of instruction. The effectiveness of his teaching is really quite evident especially during his work with the U.S. Army Special Forces. Congratulations on your efforts and propagation of Modern Arnis and Philippine Martial Arts worldwide.

KSW. Thank you Roland for those kind words, I would like to discuss a politically intriguing subject as Professor Remy Presas listens in on our discussion. In many ways you are a direct link into the current state of the martial arts in the Philippines and worldwide. Professor Remy Presas has appointed his most senior instructors the title, Datu of Modern Arnis. These individuals he trusts to represent Modern Arnis with the responsibility of reaching out to spread the art of Modern Arnis to other schools and styles. Roland, could you clarify the meaning of this title or status?

R.D. Thank you for that question. I think there is a lot of people who have the wrong interpretation of the word Datu. First and foremost I was born in the south of the Philippines. I was born is Catabotto, which is on the island of Mindinao. The whole island of Mindinao is where you'll find the majority of Filipino Muslims, in the Muslim faith. A Datu can mean the leader of a tribe, a prince, a member of a family of higher class or status in the community. A Datu title doesn't imply it is an older person, no. Datu can be a young man or an old man. There is no age barrier when it comes to Datu. That title is given because an individual has achieved an accomplishment, has earned the respect. The title was given to them by a Muslim elder as a form of recognition for his accomplishments. Datu can mean all those things.

KSW. On that subject Roland, your father was a military man and a General in the Philippine Army. I understand by our past discussions he was also referred too as Datu by his people, is that correct?

R.D. Exactly, my father when he passed away he was a Brigadier General. At that time there were only four Generals of the Philippine Army. Each General represented one of the four major groups of islands in the Philippines. He was the Commanding General of the fourth military area, which in fact was all of the islands located in the south of the Philippines. That's Mindinao, Haloes, Sulu and Palowan, the territory of the islands closest to Indonesia and Malaysia. I have Filipino Muslim relations on my father's side of the family. The Muslim group that respected him called him Datu. In recognition of his accomplishments and being a successful military officer they gave him the title of Datu.
Additionally my father had a friend that was the mayor of Catobatu City, the province in which I was born. The Muslim group of that area had great respect for him. The admiration of his accomplishment, representing them, and for helping them out in all forms they gave him the title Datu. In that respect, if you were to address him you might call him Mayor. The Muslims, they would call him Datu. So Datu, can be a title for whatever category in society or position a person has achieved or become accomplished. That is a perfect example of my definition of what a Datu represents.

KSW. Here in America, there has been a small group of outspoken individuals that disagree with the usage of the title and imply that Professor Presas and those few he has appointed and promoted to Datu offend the mother country and status of Datu by using the title in association with the highest rank and level of Modern Arnis. Do you find it offensive that Professor Presas, who is here in the room with us right now, would use the title Datu to distinguish his most senior accomplished students?

R.D. No, not at all, that is why I called you Datu earlier in the interview Kelly, because I gave you that respect too. I admire what you have done in propagating the Filipino martial arts so I personally choose to call you Datu. That is a terminology out of respect for what you have accomplished. I would also like to point out, you and Professor's chosen few are not the only westerners to use the title Datu. I have a friend who married a Filipino Muslim. He is also American. The group of Muslim elders around the area he lived in gave him the Datu, because they loved him for what he had done for the people in their providence in Mindanao. He accepted their faith, by doing that as well they called him a Datu. Even if he did not accept their Muslim faith, they still would have called him Datu because of their admiration and respect for him. So as you see, the Professor giving you recognition for your commitment and achievement in Modern Arnis bestowed the rank and title of Datu to you. Professor has also shared with me in our conversations that you are without a doubt the most dynamic and knowledgeable martial artist he has promoted within Modern Arnis here in America.

KSW. Thank you Roland, and of course, thank you Professor, (Acknowledged). I owe a great deal of gratitude to Professor Presas, without him I surely wouldn't have excelled in the arts to the degree I have today. I am truly honored and being the first Datu promoted in America by Professor Presas was quite a shock to me especially back in 1988 at the time of my promotion. As a matter of fact I really didn't understand the promotion, it was Datu Shishir Inocallo, who explained and shared the status of Datu of Modern Arnis with me so many years ago. Additionally, it has forced me to take a stand, grow, and achieve higher levels of martial skills. Always keeping myself in check, doing the right thing with the right people for the betterment of the Arts. In the martial art circles we are connected through the brotherhood of the art and through the positive actions of martial artists worldwide. Our discipline guides us to improve and present ourselves as better citizens on a daily basis. This viewpoint is just a small example of how Professor Presas impacted my life.

Roland, many of our readers probably don’t realize that you were a former police officer in the Philippines and you have been quite involved with introducing the D.A.R.E. program in your country.

R.D. Yes, Datu Kelly, it is important for us as martial artists to become involved with today’s youth. My friend, Chuck Norris, works very hard here in America with his “Kick Drugs Out of America” program, which is very admirable. This is just an example how we as martial artists can become positive role models for kids. The Philippines is one of 80 member countries, that’s 80 countries worldwide involved in the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E. stands for the Drug Awareness Re-Education Program, the syllabus. The D.A.R.E. program involves police officers visiting elementary schools, both public and private schools. In the Philippines we start at Grade 4 and up. It has been extremely effective.
Today we have a much lower rate of drug involvement. A large majority of kids don't even try to experiment any more. Children learn about all sorts of drugs up to chemicals like glue and high-octane gasoline. Most importantly they now know what negative effects the drugs have on their health and their future. I was so touched by the children's positive response to the program. I became a role model sharing my experiences as a bodybuilder, martial artist, movie star, and a police officer as well. In this way children will see if they don't get involved with drugs they can achieve their goals and stay healthy. At the time of my involvement, I would ask the kids who is the most important person in this room? They kids would say excitedly "You, Mr. Dantes." I said, "No, it can't be me?" They looked around, then looked at each other ... suddenly they all yelled excitedly, "We, we are the ones!" I said, "Why?" The children replied, "We are the future of the nation! We are the future generation and we are the future of everyone. If we are healthy we will also know what we are doing is right." Now what would you do if someone you don't know is hanging around the school offering you candy or drugs to lure you away? The children answered, "I will look for my friend the police officer." So you see the D.A.R.E. Program interaction changes the image of the police officer. Most kids are afraid of the police officer. You know when I was a kid I was kind of afraid of cops. You get that feeling when you'd see a uniform even if you hadn't done anything wrong you think you should be caught doing something (laughter). Now we have instilled the concept of a police officer in uniform is your friend. I can honestly say without a doubt, the D.A.R.E. program has made a positive difference in my country and I am proud to have been involved as a role model for the future leaders of our society!

KSW. Roland, thank you. You have touched on an extremely important factor for our society today. The information you share with us clarifies your compassion for children and the future of our next generation worldwide. Roland is 100 percent correct, if you have children make every effort to get them involved in the D.A.R.E. program as well as other education programs emphasizing personal development.

R.D. Additionally, there’s is no question about it, martial arts for today's youth also addresses social concerns and provides the confidence and personal strength to stand up for themselves and not be mislead into negative peer pressure situations.
Thank you very much for sharing this time, to all the readers take the time to research the Philippine martial arts and you will never regret it. Not just for defense but for the wholesome development of your entire family. Salamat Po

Interview part 2

KSW. Just to get a better understanding of your foundation, let’s touch briefly on your physical education training and how that led to you becoming Mr. Philippines through bodybuilding?

R.D. Yes, bodybuilding came to me almost like an accident because I was actually playing high school basketball at that time and had an injury to my right knee from falling. The rehabilitation program I was brought into introduced me to the weight training, which led to bodybuilding. When I started getting results I dedicated myself totally (laughs) pretty soon I was competing. Fortunately, I met one gentleman who was instrumental in bodybuilding, Mr. Pedador (need spelling). I think he lives in San Francisco now. Mr. Pedador programmed my workouts and I entered my first competition and won the National Mr. Novice. This event was just for beginners of bodybuilding. Winning that event inspired me to push myself all the way.

KSW. Thank you that’s an exhilarating step for a young man’s future. Roland, theirs is no question how beneficial and dynamic weight training is, when did things really start to happen for you as a professional bodybuilder?

R.D. Well (laughter), my first time to win the Mr. Philippine’s title was in 1969. Part of that prize responsibility was to represent the Philippines in the Mr. Universe Contest. At that time, the Mr. Universe Contest took place in New York City. Mr. Universe comprises all the contestants from different countries. This 1969 was the year Arnold Schwarzenegger won and he represented Austria. As a representative of the Philippines I became the fourth runner up in the Mr. Universe Contest.

KSW. Through the competitive arena, Arnold and you became friends. Could you share a little insight into that friendship with our readers?

R.D. Strange things seem to happen for different reasons Datu Kelly. Sometimes I hear negative comments about Arnold and I get a little upset because I don’t think most people know the true personality of Arnold. Arnold is a very nice guy, a true gentleman. Because when I first met him he only knew a few words of English. Arnold really pushed himself learning more about conversational English attended college to further his communication skills and look what happened, in no time he reached his goal. Anyway, after Mr. Universe, I stayed here in the United States as a working student. I was enrolled at the University of Maryland and was taking more physical education courses and working part time as a gym instructor in a fitness studio in Baltimore. This was a chain of studios that branched out all the way to Florida. At that time, I didn’t know Arnold stayed in the United States too. By coincidence, Arnold worked with the same company I was working with. A year after the Mr. Universe Contest in 1970, we bumped into each other. I didn’t know he was hired by the same fitness studio. One day I reported to work and a huge crowd was forming outside of the fitness center. I thought there was a fire or something.. And said what’s going on? Someone replied, “Mr. Universe is here and he is working out.” I went inside and immediately Arnold recognized me, yelled out and waved his hand. “I remember you, you are Mr. Philippines,” and Arnold gave me a big hug surprising everyone, including me. After he finished his set, I was approached by so many people wanting pictures and autographs with him, I whispered in his ear asking him if he had time. Arnold replied, “No problem.” Went straight to the ladies, gave one a hug and kiss and said, “Come on let’s take some pictures.” Everyone was just shocked (laughing) Straight away the personality of the man and his charisma shined through. That’s the way he was even before he was a movie star.

KSW. Kind of like hanging with Elvis. That’s cool Roland, thank you for sharing those memories. Well, Roland, you are quite famous and well know also. Not only in the Philippines but also worldwide. Martial arts and bodybuilding opened the doors for your movie career.
Well, humble as you are, you are essentially the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Philippines and quite famous in your own right. I have enjoyed your movies for years and shared those films with my friends and students.
You have been instrumental in giving the Philippine Martial Arts a lot of exposure worldwide incorporating the Art in your action adventure movies. You include not only training and fighting sequences but the historical significance and cultural connection Arnis has with the people of the Philippines. Please share a bit about that history.

R.D. Thank you very much, I feel honored by your statements Datu … I owe a lot first and foremost again to Professor Presas. It was actually Pacific Connection that broke me into the movie world and started my career. Because of the success of Pacific Connection with me playing the lead with Hollywood stars like Nancy Kwan, Guy Madison, Dean Stockwell and the Japanese Samurai actor Hiroshi Tanaka, who also starred with Charles Bronson in the American Western Classic “The Red Sun.” That initial exposure gave me the break I needed to become established in the movies. Sometime after the Mr. Universe Contest, I returned to the Philippines and was a guest on a television talk show. A movie producer approached me after the show and offered me the role. I didn’t even know I was going to play the lead role I was just excited to be asked. When I found out the movie was about the Filipino Martial Arts and Arnis to be featured in the film, straight away it must have been destiny because I was then a student of the Professor (Presas). It coincided that I knew the Art because of the Professor and right away we worked close together as the Professor choreographed the beautiful fight scenes, Arnis verses the Samurai. With due respect, of course, to the Japanese martial arts, the Professor Presas choreographed the fight scenes in a way that we never put down or plays down. The Japanese art in the fight scenes it played on even lead just to give the respect, so to speak. The Pacific Connection was beautifully choreographed and the success of that movie led to the follow up movie, Sticks of Death. After the movie, many Hollywood producers and actors realized the beauty and value of the Filipino Martial Arts and included the Philippine Martial Arts in their armed and unarmed combat scenes. In fact, Steven Segal’s empty hand, a lot of his moves come from the Mano y mano techniques of the Filipino Martial Arts. I worked with Chuck Norris in Delta Force II. The film was shot in the Philippines. They even consented to my proposal that they include the Balisong with Chuck Norris fighting the bad guy, actor attacking him with the Filipino knife Balisong, the Fan Knife, the Butterfly Knife.

KSW. Thank you, Roland. Roland, could you discuss the meeting you had with Dan Inosanto.

R.D. Yes, I first met Dan in 1975, Professor Presas and I were invited to his school in Torrence, California. Hollywood actor Dean Stockwell drove us to the training center. When we arrived a class was in attendance and Richard Bustillo was beating the drums for rhythm, it was a very impressive class. After the training session ended, Dan asked the Professor to give a demonstration. Dean Stockwell and I assisted in the Arnis presentation. Following the demo, Dan's students purchased copies of Professor's book and rattan sticks brought in from the Philippines. It was indeed a very eventful meeting enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Several years later in 1981, I believe, on the island of Kuai, in Hawaii, I had been invited by the Filipino Arnis Committee to show my film, "Sticks of Death" for a fundraiser. They approached me in the Philippines to participate in a cultural event so I brought Arnis Sticks of Death for a special showing in Hawaii, first Honolulu, then Kuai. I was surprised when I got to the island, it was public holiday. The governor, George Archosi, had declared it a special holiday in honor of Grandmaster Floro Villabrille, who lived in Hawaii for many years. A big event was scheduled to celebrate the Kali Grandmaster. The premier showing of "Arnis, Sticks of Death," and the celebration event just so happened to be scheduled for the same evening. A very exciting time for Philippine Martial Arts. A very dynamic demonstration in honor of Grandmaster Villabrille was presented. Master Ben Lagasa, Greg Lantayao, Lucky Lucaylucay, Master Bao Bao, Wally Jay and others. So many skilled martial artists together. Imagine a public holiday declared on that island just to honor and celebrate Grandmaster Villabrille, life long commitment to the Philippines Martial Arts of Escrima and Arnis.

KSW. Dean Stockwell became involved in Arnis mainly for the movie Pacific Connection. Did Dean continue his training after the movie?

R.D. Yes, Dean and I worked together on that movie project, Professor Presas was selected as the technical consultant for the fight scenes and additionally trained Dean Stockwell, Guy Madison and Alehandro Reyes in the Philippine Martial Arts. Dean got so enthused with Arnis that his training embraced the complete Modern Arnis curriculum. Dean studied long and hard at Arnis. Several years after the movie when I came to the United States I met with Dean and he had a group of Arnisadors all training at his home in the Hollywood Hills. I believe it was 1981 in Tapanga Canyon. Dean shared his knowledge with quite a few other actors including Jack Nicholson whom he was close friends with. Dean was filming a TV series or movie he wasn't shy, he was very dedicated to Arnis and let it be known that he loved the art.

KSW. That's pretty cool. Roland, maybe you could expound on the state of the art here in America?

R.D. Yes, yes. I would have to say it's incredible that's the word I would use to describe the explosion of Philippine Martial Arts over the years. The acceptance of Arnis, Kali, Escrima and the Philippine Martial Arts which interconnects any martial arts discipline has become a reality to the martial artists here in the United States, as well as Canada, Europe and worldwide. I would like to commend all the propagator of Filipino Martial Arts for their hard work and personal efforts. Additionally, my personal respects to you, Datu Kelly Worden, because you've accomplished so much in terms of incorporating the flow, and following through with what Professor Presas refers to as the "Art within your Art." Just watching you instruct I can see you've interconnected so many concepts from one discipline to another. Your methodology beautifully flows from weaponry to empty hand and vice versa. I honor you for your convictions, it is no wonder Professor entrusted you with the coveted title of Datu because you deserve it. As Professor recently confided to me personally, you are the most dynamic and creative of all his Modern Arnis students and senior of the very few he has promoted to Datu in his many years of teaching, a true honor I attest to.

KSW. Roland, a close friend and martial arts brother of ours was recently promoted to the status of Datu. What can you tell us about Halford Jones?

R.D. Yes, Halford has been a long time resident of the Philippines. He is married to a Filipino. Halford has dedicated an enormous amount of years to training and researching the Philippine Martial Arts. I believe it was Grandmaster Porfilio Lanada that recognized Halford Jones for his contribution for what he has done for the Lanada system and Philippine martial arts in general. Grandmaster Lanada is a very good friend of mine and I spent time with him last year. He is recovering very well. As the Filipino martial arts world knows, Grandmaster Lanada unfortunately suffered a stroke about two years ago, I am happy to say I spoke with him last year and he is recovering well.

KSW. Since we are talking about close friends, I'm excited to inform you that Christopher Ricketts was here in the United States and spent time teaching on the west coast. Sgt. Kevin Underwood arranged for his visit and I was more than happy to offer him a couple days with my military group of soldiers at Fort Lewis, Washington. He trained mostly Espada Daggar and we had a great time. Of course, it is good for the military to experience the value of cross training in different styles. Christopher Ricketts is a very dynamic instructor and also a very close friend of the late Edgar Sulite. If I remember correctly in our past conversations, Edgar Sulite was also a close friend of your's while you were both in the Philippines. It seems like such a small world sometimes since we have all come together recently. I was totally excited to have Christopher Ricketts to come through, as one of the inheritors of the Kali Illistrimo System, he has much to share, as well as Tony Diego, Christopher's senior in the system. Edgar Sulite was great practitioner and he is missed dearly by the Filipino martial arts community. I know you were instrumental in assisting him in his efforts to spread his art. Additionally, Thopher presented me with one of Edgar's knives and his first book in which a picture of your wife and you were in. Can you share a little about Thopher and Edgar?

R.D. Thank you again Datu Kelly, Thopher Ricketts was one of the stalwarts of the KAFAHIL, which is the Karate Federation of the Philippines. In his younger days, I call him younger because I am much older than him. I will put it that way (laughter). He was under the direct guidance of the late Dr. Gilarimo Lengson. KAFAPHIL is the Filipino style we call it that way because it incorporated additional techniques not traditionally Okinawa or Goju karate. He did this in such a way he could not call it traditional karate such as the JKA, Japanese Karate Association, mainly because JKA had set standards and Dr. Lengson modified traditional karate into a Filipino style of its own. Dr. Lengston was a compadre of Professor Presas along with another Grandmaster Johnny Chutan; they were very close. Together they worked in establishing a combination of styles. So, Thopher was one student I noticed in those years that was very good in his techniques and forms. At that time, I was hosting a martial arts show. In fact, it was the first one on national TV, very successful. We lasted for about 3 1/2 years. I was sports casting for that show on three different channels. We were the first one's to put up live, full contact karate martial arts shows on television in the Philippines. It was an afternoon program on the weekends and we had very good ratings. At that time we had the U.S. Air Force, Clark Air Base, so the Air Force guys would come over and fight full contact with the gloves and safety equipment. Some of them even competed in the first Arnis competition. We had one competition because the show sponsors didn't know about Philippine Martial Arts. That's the sad part of it, right in the Philippines, the Philippine Martial Arts unfortunately should I say, did not have much support then, you know like other martial arts. To get the program it was then called Karate-Arnis Filipino that was the name of the show, "Karate-Arnis Filipino" that means "Karate in the Filipino-way and Arnis."
So we had full contact competitions and Thopher was one of the competitors regularly. We had weekly champions and monthly champions. As competition progressed each monthly champion would fight in the finalization of the show to establish the champion of the year. If I am correct in my memory, Thopher reached the finals one year, but that was how I remember Thopher years ago. Those were exciting times in my career so long ago. Thopher was quite close tot he KAFAPHIL Group. My younger brother actually was more senior to him because he was with the Master Johnny Chuiten and Dr. Lengston as well. I would like to invite him here to the United States when he has time. He is an airlines pilot right now and travels all around the world. He flies for Saudi Air but he is a martial artist too and knows Thopher very well. My wife and I in fact were invited to Thopher's wedding in the Philippines. He has done very well and has accomplished a lot for the Philippine Martial Arts I have to commend Thopher for that.

KSW. Let's talk briefly about Edgar Sulite. Edgar has passed recently and I think people would enjoy hearing how special he was to the arts and about his dynamic impact on the martial arts.

R.D. Yes, he was Datu Kelly, he was a very dynamic martial artist, as a young man, I first met him when he came to Manila. Edgar came from Osami City which is the Mindinnao, the same island that I am from. I had never met him before, but he had seen one of my films. I'm not sure if it was "Pacific Connection" or "Sticks of Death". He found out where my gym was located, I had a gym at that time with my partner, Rusty Santos. Professor knows him too very well. At that time in Manila, this young man came over and introduced himself and he said he was a practitioner of Arnis. His master was Master Caballara from the south. I said oh, I had heard that name but I never had the chance to meet Master Caballara. I would to have loved to meet him. So straight away Edgar said, "Can I show you our moves?" Of course, I responded I would love to see your art. I had one side of the gym which was like a private training area so it was just him and I. So when I saw him move, I said to myself "This guy is good." And Edgar said to me, "very good techniques you have." We got along great and he asked me "Would you mind if I trained here?" "Of course, look, you are welcome to work out here anytime you want to." Straight away I told him. Because he had just moved here with his family in Passai City, I even drove him home, you know .. and I said, "You come over here (to my gym) and I will get you some private students while you are here working out." That's how we got to know each other very well, Edgar shared with me his now world renowned Lameco style. In fact, the year he passed away he contacted me and wanted to have a reunion together. I said I would love to go meet him in the Philippines. I was still in Australia at that time. I was so shocked when I heard about him passing. Thopher contacted me and informed me of the sad night that it happened, all very sudden. I have to commend Edgar for the time he had spent in the United States. When he came here, he was able to propagate his Lameco style, Largo, Medio, Corto. Which is long range, medium range and close quarters that's what Lameco means. He was able to share this system with other forms of martial arts. Before he left for the United States he called me up and said "I'm doing a book, I'm going to make a book Brother Roland." I said, don't forget to mention the other masters too, so I commend him, may he rest in peace. I know he is with God. So, well done Edgar.

KSW. Thank you Roland. This has been Kelly Worden for KLAY Radio "On the Edge" with Roland Dantes, world famous martial artist, former Mr. Philippines Body Builder, great practitioner of the martial arts and close friend of Professor Remy Presas. We will be hearing more from Roland Dantes when we cross reference our interview with Professor Remy Presas. Roland, thank you for joining us today.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Puppet or self realized ?

Being an American, I as well as many others in the martial arts have become conditioned to seek change and adaptability within almost all aspects of life. In the martial arts this practice has become a natural transition over the last 25 years or so. Prior to that it was considered a breach of tradition, looked down on, and at the very least a disloyal slap in the face of the teacher who shared his sacred art with you.

Many early innovators of the martial arts established the path of self-discovery and are directly responsible for the changes experienced today. Who am I referring to? Well it’s all about choosing a cultural connection to specific arts, master instructors such as Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi, Musashi, Venancio Anciong Bacon, Yip Man, Bruce Lee, Ed Parker, Peter Urban, Wally Jay, and many, many, other dynamic leaders. Surely anyone reading this article will have they’re own list of whom they feel stepped up, created a dynasty, and impacted lives worldwide.

One thing most, if not all these innovative self-thinking leaders had in common was a rebellious attitude. Additionally, no matter how much their initial rebellion shocked and impacted the arts of the time, each innovator evolved back to a point of embracing the essence of traditional values. What are those values? Respect, discipline, loyalty, honesty, trust, reliability, these and other key elements. Again, I know those reading along could add to this list and possibly wonder how I could have missed important aspects such as integrity or allegiance, crucial essentials contained within the arts we all are suppose to respect and embrace. That being said possibly they are now critical of my own lack of comprehension on the subject. Well, that’s just a thought, but it would seem within the perspective of one mere article not all aspects of any subject can be documented.

Moving on, the term tradition can mean custom, ritual, ceremonial, routine, institution, society, formal procedure, and quite a few other descriptive synonyms. Getting all that out of the way, what is my point?
No doubt I am about to enlighten some readers, yet upset others, so be it. I am known to speak my opinion and to me political posturing isn’t acceptable nor justifiable just to temper the impact of what I perceive to be truth in honor.

I can’t do it myself, so I’ll take his!

As we all know the world of martial arts was extremely disrupted with the loss of the late Grandmaster and Founder of Modern Arnis. Yes, I am referring to “Professor Remy Armador Presas. Professor sacrificed much in his life to make the art of Modern Arnis known worldwide. Following his heart, Professor came to the self-realization that Modern Arnis could benefit and impact all martial art systems as “the art within your art!” What a great concept, beyond that, what an amazing marketing tool to spread the Filipino martial arts so dear to his heart. Yes and thankfully without question, Professor Presas realized the fulfillment of his dream before he passed away August 28th 2001. Dreams, sadly are rarely realized without extreme sacrifice, shouldn’t we all pause and ponder this, oh come on, just a bit?

I ask all who are reading this article, in your lifetime what have you truly sacrificed in an attempt to gain your claim to fame, fortune, or even peer or public acknowledgement? In some ways the results of sacrifice might be like intentionally committing a crime just to facilitate a change your life. Maybe not directly a crime to you personally, but those who are impacted by your commitment become embroiled within a self imposed prison of lost association.
Yes I know, not a pretty analogy, but one that at least impacts our emotional fortitude enough to realize how much the reality of sacrifice could change our lives and the lives of our loved ones. One thing for sure, it is not called sacrifice for no reason at all, eh? Agreed? Hummm, well if not, you are either to shallow, to arrogant, raised with a silver spoon in you’re mouth, or just to chicken sh-t to let your imagination open the door to realize what the word sacrifice really means to those who have actually experienced it’s wrath. (Gee, don't ya just love my honesty?)

With or without your assistance!

The Presas Name is alive and Remy Jr. continues the evolution. For those within Modern Arnis who have not taken the time to meet and train with Remy Presas Jr. all I can say, “it is truly you're loss.”

We as a Modern Arnis family have always chosen our own directions, yet there was always a common denominator that motivated us to maintain our connection to the art. That of course was the charismatic vivaciousness of Professor Remy Presas, the founder of the art. Without question, his dynamic energy was a magnet that energized us all, his words, movements, sincerity, and love of life.

Literally those are all attributes possessed by his son Remy Presas Jr. Of course surely not as refined as of yet, but make no mistake, when you are talking to Remy Jr. you will feel much of the spirit of his father resonating from his words and mannerisms. Yes, Remy Presas Jr. fills the room and the training floor with the same spirit as his father. For those of us who have experienced this phenomenon we realize training with Remy Jr. has allowed us to connect to the Professor in a way we all thought had been lost. No, Remy Jr. does not replace the love we shared with and for his father Professor Remy Armador Presas, nor does he try to. Together we all rekindle the joy and spirit of Professor by sharing the art he loved so dearly while seeking to keep the Presas name a vital constituent within Modern Arnis. Please tell me, yourself, and you’re students honestly, that Professor Presas would not be ecstatically thrilled to see the Presas name actively propagating the art he founded. With that being stated I am also curious if those reading my prospective of the Modern Arnis evolution, believe Professor Presas himself would ignore the efforts and personal sacrifices of his eldest son? Well? Would he?

Although Remy Jr. is not the only Presas family member skilled in the original teachings of their father, Remy Jr. appears to be the only one willing to stand forth to be acknowledged. Yes, following not only his birth right as the eldest son in an established family lineage, but also Remy Jr.’ personal vow of commitment to the Presas Modern Arnis legacy declared directly to his father just prior to the passing August 31st 2001.

What’z ‘yer name boy?

Much has changed in Modern Arnis in the last several years; initially many practitioners stepped up as successors claiming leadership. One student of Modern Arnis even claimed he was the new Grandmaster, sadly with only 8 total years in Modern Arnis; his status is looked on as more of a clown than a leader. Yet another has taken the position as a Founder of Modern Arnis and refers to himself as Professor. Sure there are discrepancies in how each of us perceive these claims, but it cannot be ignored that Professor himself did not, nor would not have allowed such arrogance to be propagated at any time if he were living today. So it is up to those within his circle of trust to step beyond personal ego and accept Professor’s art as a gift of enlightenment not as a destiny of dictatorship available to anyone who feels tenure is theirs for the taking. There was and is only one founder of Modern Arnis, adding numbers to the name means nothing but deception or deceit, truly there was and is only one Professor of Modern Arnis as well. I would go so far as to say a Grandmaster or direct Heir of the system is yet to be realized. Although Modern Arnis is, as it is named Modern, the essence of the art is not contained within the techniques and concepts as much as it is recognized by the name Presas! So should it be maintained if possible?

Those who are professing grandmaster status within Modern Arnis are ignoring the very words that drove each and every one of us to evolve while establishing our own unique personal expressions of the art. Simply put, Professor Presas encouraged each and every one of us to “Do Your own Work!” To “Make It Your own.” Hummm, not to try and be him, not to ride his coat tail, or walk in his shoes. However romantic it may seem to be the Grandmaster of Modern Arnis or say you are the heir to Remy Armador Presas. How many people are really willing to sacrifice what he sacrificed on his path to fame and world legendary status? Do you really want to try those shoes on for size? The real walk in Professor’ shoes might take you into the reality of a inescapable Twilight Zone episode. A trip that finds you without a Country, without a family, ensnared within a rotating door of recycled friends and students. The security and tranquility of home is merely a lonely hotel in a different city, year after year. Without a doubt I can now visualize a whole line of self appointed Heirs lined up and looking for the quick way out “grabbing Todo the dog and clicking their Ruby Slippers in an effort to return to the safety of a life they once knew.” Surely, Professor’s life was not all Wine and Roses. Now, before you judge my words and bark back at me in rage or anger, think about it, really, just think about it…

Got game, who’s game is it really?

Honestly, are any of us pure Modern Arnis? In truth we as seniors of the art are all progressive leaders of our own visions, not Professor Presas’ vision, nor do we possess his dreams, desires, or personal skills. Modern Arnis was ever changing, always evolving; Modern Arnis was and is Presas Modern Arnis. Unless our name is Presas, we as practitioners are merely practitioners of our own subsystems of Modern Arnis. This is an honorable status to attain; to preserve what has been taught to us and to progressively evolve our own expression of validity through self-realization or personal development, to do exactly what Professor Presas did when he created Modern Arnis!

Did he piss people off? You bet!

Did it deter him from following his heart and dream? To honestly, do what? Honestly, if you ever had a personal conversation with Professor you know it was more than just establish Modern Arnis! Yes that was truly a dream, but possibly his real motivation was to make his Grandfather, his Father, and the whole world, respect the name “Presas!” Am I wrong?

Please Take my name and shove it ?

I don’t think so!

Now before everyone gets all excited and pissed off at me, think how you’re personal family name should be respected if you should fall prey to an untimely death. Could anyone just inherit or take your family name and identity while ignoring direct generation lineage potentially passed to the firstborn son? Keep in mind this is just my opinion, my opinion is just that, mine. Remy Presas Jr. knows nothing of what I write, Professor Presas himself could not restraint my opinion yet Professor Presas trusted my judgment and referred to me in his final days not as a student but as his brother!

Many people within Modern Arnis or even the martial arts community as a whole consider me outspoken and over-opinionated. More importantly to me, even my critics understand and know I don’t deviate from my views to appease political pressures or reap financial gains, it’s called honor. Those who claim they loved the Professor yet disregard his Son, should take a little time to reflect on how Professor Presas himself would respond to this disrespect to Traditional Family lineage.

In the time I have known and embraced Remy Jr. his skill has evolved and developed faster than anyone else I have known in Modern Arnis. Honestly I am amazed and those words do not pass over my lips very often. I suppose many are asking if that is possible?

Presas bloodline!

What did you expect ?

Let’s examine briefly Dr. Remy Jr.’ commitment to the art since reuniting with his father just prior to his passing. Much like his father, Remy Presas Jr. is an extremely spiritual man, for mysterious reasons he feels the divine spirit of his father guides him in the art. Dreams and visions come to Remy Jr.; although he is a private person he will share perspective of the sacred energy that brings a sense of peace and fulfillment to his life. “It is a connection to my father, how else can I explain it!”

Ecstatic and alive, Remy Jr. also questions the logic of his newly defined love for the same art that catapulted his own father from his life. Internally he seeks an answer as to how his ability has evolved so quickly into a valid teacher of the Filipino arts. Of course there is no doubt his accelerated progression can be directly credited to his personal dedication to fulfill his Father's last wish, “to keep the Presas name alive in Modern Arnis.” Furthermore categorically his technical balance should be attributed to Rodel Dagooc, Dr. Wilfredo Matias, and according to Remy Jr., myself.

Balanced today as a man who has stood on his own since his youth Remy Jr. has dedicated his life to higher education, earning no less than two Doctorates and one Masters Degree. It is through his analytical mind that Dr. Remy Jr.’ has developed the ability to assimilate the traditional elements of Modern Arnis as originally taught to the family while living in the Philippines.

Three pillars of strength,

Other men behind the man !

There is no question that Rodel Dagooc was an inspiration, brother, and mentor to Dr. Remy Jr., the son of his teacher. Upon meeting Rodel in San Pablo, California it became evident to me that Rodel had taken a role in reuniting the Presas family with the art of Modern Arnis. The respect Rodel held for Professor Presas emulated in his compassion to share openly and instill the dynamics of the art directly to the Presas family, specifically Remy Jr.
This was our first seminar together, Remy Jr., Mary Ann, Mary Jane, Demitrio, Rodel, myself, and yes even the renowned Wally Jay stepped onto the floor to energize our family tribute to Modern Arnis.

Personally meeting Rodel was inspirational, as an arnisador he is an amazingly skilled dynamic teacher, fighter, and leader. Without any pretense he openly embraced the role of mentor, guide, and training partner. For me the experience was not only enlightening, but humbling, and extremely educational. Rodel treated the family reminiscent of royalty, as if they were the children of the King he revered! In question, are they not?

Rodel Dagooc impressed and enriched the lives of everyone he came in contact with during his stay in the United States. He is a true master of Arnis and a tribute to his dedication to Professor Remy Presas and the art of Modern Arnis!
Upon Rodel’s return to the Philippines, Dr. Remy Jr. continued his quest to seek guidance and leadership. A magnetic spirit force united him with Modern Arnis master Dr. Wilfredo Matias. Referred to by his friends as Dr. Willy, he was an original “core” student in the Philippines during the developmental stages of Modern Arnis. Early on, Dr. Willy came to America to study Dentistry. Shortly after Professor Presas exiled to America, Dr. Willy reestablished an undying bond as a close friend and compradre of Professor Remy Presas.

Prior to his recent death, Dr. Matias was the highest ranked Modern Arnis practitioner not only here in America but outside of the Philippines. Truly an amazing practitioner in his own right, Dr. Willy was a humble man who shared his insight with those he cared about, all others mattered not. Fame was never a concern, only the love of his family, friends, and art. As a personal confidant to Professor Presas, unbeknownst to others Dr. Willy literally assisted in the development of the higher progressions of Modern Arnis. Not only was his traditional methodology extremely refined, his Tapi Tapi combinations were as dynamic and elusive as the Professor’s himself. Let me clarify, as a humble man, you would never hear those words come from Dr. Wilfredo Matias, he attributed everything in his art to the Grandmaster of Modern Arnis and revered his relationship with Professor Remy Presas to the highest degree.
It was this spirit he shared with Remy Jr., Dr. Willy became a father and mentor (if you will) to the son of the man he admired most, fulfilling a dream to somehow repay Professor Presas for the gift he received as a Compadre to the Grandmaster.

I have always felt since meeting and training with Dr. Matias that he was a classic example of Professor Presas himself. The two Arnisador's had much in common, evolving together, Professor taught him well. Dr. Willy's skill was exceedingly refined, surely not average by any arnisador standards. Professor truly would have been proud of his Compadre sharing the art, with us, and his eldest son Dr. Remy P. Presas.

In personal conversations with Dr. Matias at my home in Tacoma Washington, Dr. Willy swore the spirit or life force of Professor Presas also visited him at different times even prior to Professor passing away. Anyone reading this knows of his almost mystical ability to summons you to call, or contact him. More than once did I myself share that connection and communicated within days or even hours of Professor crossing my mind’s eye.

Are you ready for the truth?

Maybe later….

In a personal interview with Rosemary Presas I was told of Professor possessing “Anting Anting”. Yes there is a video interview with Roland Dantes and myself discussing this same subject. In the future there may be much to share about this phenomenon. Whatever the case, let us all agree Professor Presas was a powerful man with a spirit for life. I don’t hesitate when I say, “in my own opinion Dr. Remy Presas Jr. possesses many of his fathers’ personal characteristics and dynamic attributes!”

Dr. Remy Jr. ability to assimilate the traditional elements of Modern Arnis as taught in the Philippines while integrating the modern progressions instructed here in the U.S. is a tribute to the foundational skills his Father taught and shared directly with him as a young man.

The Presas name,

What does it truly mean to you?

Dr. Remy Jr. has begun a very informative historical accounting of Professor's life in the Philippines and will be sharing stories of the family's dreams of establishing Modern Arnis in the early days. Many of the stories are already being compiled for completion.

Dr. Remy Presas Jr. is a very personable caring man. His efforts are blossoming daily with extremely positive results. His MARPPIO Organization, Modern Arnis Remy P. Presas International Organization seminars are becoming very popular and much like his father, Dr. Remy Jr. is establishing a solid following of supportive students and schools. Annually Dr. Presas has presented his progressive art in Tacoma Washington and is now in his fifth year of successful events.

If you truly wish to embrace the spirit of Presas Modern Arnis take the time to seek out “the Son for the Founder” and train in the only direct Presas Family Lineage organization of Modern Arnis, you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Common Sense Self Defense!



Exerpt from the Travel Wrench TRAINING MANUAL

The Travel Wrench is a Devastatingly Effective Yet Low Profile Non-Lethal Force Tool for Personal Protection





As if you didn't already know, Impact strikes will cause severe pain and injury. The Travel Wrench and other Self Protection tools should only be implemented if no other option exists. That being said if you can't do the "Boot Scoot Boogie" and get the hell outa Dodge City when the shit hits the fan, stand and shut down the threat, protect yourself and you're family!

The information contained within this book is for defensive use and only to prevent or deter physical harm from being inflicted on you or a loved one.

Use of the information provided could lead to criminal or civil charges if misused in any manner. Common sense, social consciousness and conflict avoidance is strongly recommended!




The Travel Wrench is a Devastatingly Effective Yet Low Profile Non-Lethal Force Tool for Personal Protection




Common sense is a contributing factor of survival and living, cultivate it! Keep in mind, never use a weapon of any kind if the confrontation can be de-escalated or evaded. Accelerated force levels should be mentally honed to become instinctual not anger motivated. Stay calm as possible to allow you to protect yourself with common sense not rage. When witnesses are close by a confrontation, do not appear to be the aggressor. If you are verbally trying to deter the situation, use brief statements to enforce your position. If it appears that you are out skilled, out manned, or unable to retaliate the moment of confrontation, compliancy can be advantageous, temporarily calming the attacker. This method may also offer you the opportunity to gain a closer proximity to the aggressor's vital targets. One strike may be all you'll have time for, disengage and seek safety!

The Travel Wrench only weighs two ounces, combined with the quick clip Lightweight Carry Sheath and you have a great little defensive tool that is easy to carry, easy to use, and adapts to almost every form of martial arts or defensive tactics!
Simple Deploy, Easy Carry, just clip and slide the sheath into the pant waist band, insert your index finger, press forward with downward pressure and grip tightly!

The visual appearance of the Travel Wrench is deceptive and few people have any idea exactly what it is on initial examination. Designed as a lightweight defensive striking tool, the "L" shaped high-density plastic can be dismissed as nothing more than a sport wrench, key ring, or massage tool for arthritis or acupressure.
When questioned about it by authority figures, one person offered it was a tool to adjust the side draft carburetors on his Austin Healy sports car, another said it was a acupressure massage tool, still another referenced a suitcase handle, as well as other interesting stories.

Visual Appearance, What the hell is it?

A Wrench? A Massage Tool?
Clothes Hanger? Key Chain?
Skateboard Wrench?
All of the above and more!
Two distinct sizes fit large and small hands, allow for Female or Male usage, with functional nut removing hex head holes for covert carry!

IMPORTANT FACTOR: It can rarely be turned against you
without proper understanding or some form of training!

Originally the Travel Wrench was designed to assist martial artists in developing confidence in empty hand striking skills and precision targeting. The first models were called DTL or Impact Kerambits and changed later to offer a more covert public carry tool for personal protection. The Kerambit of old was a simple yet potential lethal palm knife used in the “barrio” or rough streets of the Philippines.
Re-designed in 1993 by Kelly S. Worden for non-lethal usage, the Travel Wrench (Kerambit), has experienced acceptance worldwide. Civilians, bodyguards, police officers, and military personnel have carried and passed through customs and security checks almost everywhere in the world. This includes U.S., Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, Singapore, Japan, Kuwait, and other high security check-points. As a discrete personal protection tool it attracts very little attention and allows the carrier to walk with confidence from home to vehicle, parking garages to work, public parks, shopping, cash machines, or sporting events. Let’s face it, the potential for crimes or criminal acts in our society is at an unprecedented high and completely unpredictable. We can become targets for assault or robbery at a moment’s notice. Of course, there are no guarantees that we could actually detour an assault, even a trained fighter runs the risk of defeat in a street confrontation. Most criminals are not looking for a fight just an easy victim. The appearance of confidence and awareness can be enough to create the aura that you are not a person to be toyed with or even to be approached with bad intentions.
The predator feeds off the power of fear in their prey through deception to lure you into a trap. Also visual and verbal intimidation is used to distract or position you for physical control and violence. As mentioned, most criminals are seeking an easy victim not an opponent to detour their power play.

Turning the tables and creating the deception of you cowering allows you a brief moment to retaliate, this would be considered “Attack by Draw” (“ABD”). ABD is one of several Jeet Kune Do strategies developed by Bruce Lee and the intent is to open the attacker up for a quick counter strike while he is psychologically gloating and transitioning for a more dominant position of control. The physical image of cowering is similar to a fetal position whether standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone, we just draw our hands and arms in and cover our face and torso. No doubt to someone seeking to intimidate and control us, this is a sign that the power play was extremely functional and well orchestrated. Strategies such as “ABD” are simple yet essential in establishing a personal defensive system you can process and apply instinctively.

Survival Strategy
Personally we can deceptively use the cowering position as giving up or use it as a trap, coiling like a snake preparing to strike. When kicked, a dog will drop it’s head just prior to striking out viciously with it’s teeth in an aggressive defensive counter attack. This is a natural instinct in it's crudest form. The dog appears as though it is ready to cower away and then unsuspectingly strikes before the attacker can react. We humans have suppressed this crude attribute of survival in an effort to become more civilized. Fear and anger are interactive, use your adrenaline wisely. Process fear into controlled anger and strike when the opportunity presents itself! Hesitation will limit your defensive capabilities and could mentally trap your response due to adrenal overload. If you stop to think, you may already be trapped!You must instinctually react in a calculated manner, think about situations before they happen. When watching the evening news or reading about an assault, you need to ask yourself honestly "what would or could I do in a similar situation?"

Physical Intimidation = Emotional Fear
Attackers Grab to Control and Instill Fear !

Over the years, a myriad of self-defense implements have filled the void for individuals seeking a Non-Lethal alternative to edged weapons and firearms. Impact weapons such as the PR-24© or a telescopic baton, although formidable and dynamically functional in the hands of a trained practitioner have limited concealment capabilities, and can be cumbersome for daily conventional carry. Thus the value of the Travel Wrench with a waist band carry, pant pocket, sport coat, or as a key ring, this two ounce high density plastic tool is easily accessible, inconspicuous, and highly functional.
If you cannot come up with a decent self-assuring answer, you need help! Seek a professional with skills and knowledge to assist you in creating valid survival plans. I have mentioned many times in seminar that we become conditioned to social guidelines, even in extreme situations we rarely allow our survival instincts to take precedent over our thought process. We suppress animal instincts in an effort to become more civilized based on the ideals that social laws will govern behavior and everyone should abide by the same laws.
Without a doubt this ideology is flawed. Friends, family, and innocent individuals from all walks-of-life fall prey to the criminal element. Many criminals live right next door and closer than most of us wish to think about.
In essence, the majority of society are becoming victims in waiting.
Targeting the hand to neutralize the grip can be considered a SDA, strike hard with any hard object, if that doesn’t detour the assault,

ABC= Attack By Combination
When confronted step away to gain range and target options. The above distance would be considered medium range. Kicks, knees, elbows and hand strikes all function at medium range. Perception and Reaction speed is crucial to execute a SDA = Single Direct Attack

It is extremely important to take charge of our own destiny. Re-cultivate our “Animal Instincts” or more appropriately, human instinctual response attributes. Personal defense survival skills being at the top of the list, it does not matter how much money or how many toys you have if you are a “sitting duck.” Avoiding situations is a logical step in self preservation, be aware of people around you and don’t get caught off guard. You may even have to take the stance of being rude in public to set up proper awareness perimeters. Think of how you would instruct your wife or daughter to avoid verbal or physical engagements while walking to their destination and “practice what you preach.” This is a good tactical mindset of observation implemented between home and destination or vehicle and destination. A mentally prepared distraction technique, even if it is only verbal, can assist in detouring a conversation you should not engage in. Being rude to one person you do not know can actually prove to be safer than trying to assist in giving directions or being detained for any reason unimportant to you!
Never let anyone get this close, Be aware !

Step Forward and Turn Wrist to Release Grab

In today’s crowded streets, you can wave at just about anyone and have them wave back until they realize that they actually do not know you. By then, you have created a distraction, avoided the verbal engagement and detoured the confrontation. Physical reactions include distractions such as tossing a few coins in the confronter's face and changing your destination path. Learn to be more evasive, walk at a faster pace, or even run. Do not hesitate to enter a place of business to avoid a physical conflict and re-evaluate the situation, contact help or report your concerns to another person. The clothes you wear can limit mobility, try to dress appropriately for the task at hand. Back up defense options include shriek alarms, OC Spray, hand held striking tools, and knowledge of selfdefense.

Vertical Punch Strike at Center Mass
Sternum and Solar Plexus
Followed by an Upper Cut to the chin
Strike at 12:00 Position

Kelly S. Worden designed the Impact Kerambit/Travel Wrench after the Barrio Knife of the Philippine and Indonesian martial arts, sometimes referred to as a "Sickle Knife." The updated version is small and blunt and the instructional curriculum is a combination of the most effective martial arts systems practiced today. Concepts and tactics of Modern Arnis, JKD, Wing Chun, JuJitsu, Western Boxing, Silat and other dynamic systems are blended into a cohesive defensive method that offers blocks, deflections, striking, locks, throws, traps, and controls. Most importantly, it is the “master tool” that cross references the attributes of stick, knife, and empty hand!

Let us look at holding and gripping the Impact Kerambit / Travel Wrench defensive tool. This is a simple task of placing the index finger into the "large loop" and gripping the shaft with the lower probe facing away from the body and grip tightly. In karate training, it is said and instructed that the top two knuckles of a closed fist provide the strongest striking impact area for punching. This fist position is sometimes referred to as the fore fist. To stabilize the striking position of the wrist, place the lower probe against a wall, a door frame, or post, and shift your wrist subtlety to allow the upper index finger ring to touch the surface simultaneously with the lower probe.
Using the previously mentioned grip will be the most efficient ergonomically correct hand position for striking and is an easy adjustment of proper wrist alignment. (Note the position of the top two knuckles and the alignment of the top and lower probes on the Travel Wrench!)

In a self-defense situation, the impact of the Travel Wrench is direct and extremely penetrating, so rarely is full force blows needed to detour an aggressor. Additionally most aggressors will respond to a strike by jerking away or collapsing when struck, this slightly dissipates the pressure at your wrist Always tightly grip any impact weapon and be aware of “Grip Shock” on impact. The next strongest impact area of a closed fist is the base of the fist, sometimes referred to as the hammer fist. The hammer fist Travel Wrench disperses a great deal of force in a small area at impact and when executed creates the least amount of physical strain being absorbed through the wrist area.

The gripping action of the hammer fist is identical to the fore fist grip but there is no need to flex the wrist forward since all the force of the defensive impact directs itself toward the base of the fist and the lower probe area. To practice, grip the Travel Wrench tightly and position your closed fist with the Travel Wrench on a smooth hard surface (a scrap piece of wood works well) and begin striking repeatedly increasing the force with each impact strike. While gripping the Kerambit/Travel Wrench in your hand, extend your opposite arm and lightly strike your own forearm, wrist, or fist area just to get an idea of the pain level implemented with a minimal amount of force. Get together with a training partner and exchange placement targeting to different parts of the body utilizing vertical fist and hammer fist positions without making hard impact. Also grinding and scraping the surface will give you a great appreciation for the control power while executing locks and traps. On nerve points and directly on bone surface an oscillating motion increases pain compliance during application of containment techniques.

SPECIFIC TARGETING: It doesn’t take a martial arts degree to figure out what hurts, literally anything hit, hurts. Another option for development is researching or by referencing a diagram of an anatomy chart or acupuncture chart. Just a brief viewing will allow you to determine what areas of the body are susceptible to impact pain. As previously mentioned, impact tools generally seek bone to create pain and a reactionary response of compliance. With proper placement of an impact tool, targeting muscle groups can be just as effective and possibly less physically damaging to the attacking individual. Muscle targeting is effective due to the fact the nerve centers of the body are located directly on and around specific muscle, tendon, and ligament junctions. By focusing on the concept of de-fanging the snake or destroying the attacking weapon, we can target specific nerve or pressure points on the arm while defending our perimeter. Ideally, this allows the defender adequate time to disengage and escape to avoid further attacks or ample time to launch a neutralizing counter attack to control the outcome of the confrontation.
Hammer Fist to targeted nerve or pressure point location on the hand !
Vertical Fist Strike targets pressure point on ribcage!
Upper Cut pressure point under chin!

The Travel Wrench’s concise instructional method of extracting techniques from multiple systems is more effective and takes less effort and strength to execute than the empty hand techniques from which they originate. The progressive curriculum extracts from the base arts and blends them into a versatile self-defense system referred to as Natural Spirit Connecting the Systems. The curriculum is specifically divided into sub-systems encompassing a direct reflection of what Kelly S. Worden has personally absorbed by training under some of the world’s most skilled martial arts instructors. Remy A. Presas, the Grandmaster of Modern Arnis, Bruce Lee’s first student Jesse Glover, Ted Lucaylucay, Sonny Umpad, Leonard Trigg, Dr. Brett Jacques and others. This information has been processed and refined into multiple tactical defense systems that embrace Military Hand-to-Hand, Wortac Tactical Knife, Modern Arnis, Destroy Trap Lock for personal protection as well as an aggressive Street Defense curriculum called Renegade JKD. One of the many proving grounds, Mr. Worden has refined his instructional methods, is as the primary Impact and Edged Weapon Instructors for the 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis, Washington which embraces all the theories and concepts in Mr. Worden’s diverse arsenal of arts!

Order your personal protection Travel Wrench Package today !


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Yearly, every Labor Day Weekend, I open the Natural Spirit Int’l doors of camaraderie for 4 days of extensive training, style alliance, gourmet food, and personal interaction at Raft Island Washington. This year is different in only one way,,, we got five days to join together, work out, train hard, rock, roll, and party on Garth!

Literally the Water and Steel experience is now in it’s twenty-sixth year! It is a martial art cross training dream where arts such as Modern Arnis, American Sombo, Non Classical Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Lucay lucay JKD/Kali, Kajukenbo, Shotokan, Isshinryu, Goju Ryu, Renegade JKD, Tae Kwon Do, Kempo, and other arts all co-exist seeking the path to Connect The Systems.
I established the cohesive methodology of “Connecting the Systems” with a vision of bringing some of the best instructors in the industry first to the Mountains of Wenatchee Washington and now to the beautiful waterfront retreat of Raft Island For 26 years the “Warrior Retreat” and now “Water and Steel” has remained a martial art treasure with attendees from all corners of the World! . The following is a personal reflection of my efforts and experiences organizing the legendary training camp “WATER AND STEEL!”

Stepping Up, To Rock Down!

Looking back on the first camps I organized starting in 1980 I have to chuckle just a little, the logic of hitting the mountains just to kick ass seemed strange to most everyone. I was lucky to have access to an old Boy Scout Camp at Mission Ridge Washington. At least the vision of an actual facility for camping tempered the initial impact felt by those willing to attend. Honestly the camp was barely that, the only shower was an open broken-down lean-to shack with a water hose coming from a Mountain Well. Talk about cold showers! Tents, out-house toilets, and personal cooking on Hibachi grills was the extent of modern accommodations. There was a main lodge but it was almost as rustic as the shower shack which consisted of a old garden hose hanging over a broken wooden door on a concrete slab. I guess that could be the beauty of youth; we were just excited to be doing something different and most importantly training in martial arts!

Gone but never forgotten, “miss ‘ya ‘bro !

The late Earl Squalls a top regional karate point fighter and forms competitor and myself were the featured instructors at the very first camp. Earl Squalls was a dreamer and a highly skilled practitioner. In point karate competition during the 1980’s few were more deceptive or faster off the line, Earl could kick you three times grab your groin while sliding between your legs and stealth away smiling. As an entertainer on the floor many considered him the top showman of the NW Karate Open Circuit, he could make everyone gasp at his phenomenal hand speed or kicking combinations executed with movie star charisma and poise. In all actuality I don’t think Earl Squalls ever wanted to step off the floor of competition, he walked, talked, and breathed martial arts. In forms competition Earl was the consummate blender of styles. Earl wasn’t my teacher, he was my training partner but few teachers brought me to the level of physical control while executing techniques that Earl did. Earl did not like to get hit, his highly refined evasive skills and physical control of movement was pretty much unsurpassed in the Northwest area. He could kick and strike so fast you could not see it coming until it touched you like a summer breeze, lightning fast with impeccable control. Looking back, Earl was such a gentle caring person. He loved fighting but never wanted to hurt anyone. His path in life was not an easy one, from his inner-city Chicago street life he knew what pain was and did not want to experience it physically, emotionally, or spiritually, if he caused pain to others it truly effected his conscious being and he probably took it harder than the person he hit. Growing up as a youth in Chicago he was exposed to a large group of instructors who taught neighborhood kids and learned the fundamentals of Shori-Goju while personally developing his own unique kicking methodology and the style he eventually called “Inner-Core martial arts.” It’s funny how we actually complimented each others skills and styles, I was a rough and tumble, just want to get my hands on ya kind of practitioner and Earl was the magician of movement! Earl did his best to draw those attributes out in me, and truly guided me along the path to free style development. Briefly, Earl would step into the forms competition and literally free flow with such focus, power, poise, and dynamic form few could even guess what style he was. He was all styles and no styles at the same time, I guess if I had to put a finger on specifically what Earl presented I would call it “stylized Improvised Form.” In that regard he was every bit as dynamic as Bruce Lee and really just barely missed his calling. He had a goal, skills, and a dream, sadly and in all honesty Earl’s vision and faith could not pull him from the tangled web of a miscalculated lifestyle. Earl Squalls died fighting during a National AAA Karate Tournament in 1987of a brain-seizure due to physical complications that possibly included mal-nutrition and drug use. Whatever the reason, it was a great loss to his family, friends, and the martial arts community, in my eyes he died a legend and I still speak of his skills with awe!

Keeping the game alive!

As time progressed the Boy Scouts Association actually invested money in the facility and year after year we experienced improvements when we returned for our annual event. The training camp was called the “Warrior Retreat” and established a strong following of practitioners willing to make the trek into the Mountains of Wenatchee Washington. A couple years in a row I loaded up a “cargo truck” and brought my professional 20-foot boxing ring to the mountain retreat for competition matches. I can only imagine the inquisitive thoughts of other road travelers staring at the gypsy band wagon caravan as we hauled evident fighting equipment stacked high and wide on multiple trucks and trailers through the mountain passes. The year was 1983 and the competition was a round-robin event consisting of “one round of continuous Arnis live stick fighting, one round of full contact PKA style karate, and one round of karate point fighting. The person who won the greatest number of matches was the overall winner. The stick matches experienced the most injuries, broken hands, fingers, and facial cuts. Low budget boxing headgear with eye goggles and one hand pad was all the protective gear worn, the full contact karate and point fighting was a breeze once a person got past the stick fighting. The event winner that year was Bill Armfield who drove all the way to Wenatchee, Washington from Chino, California. The following year Bill was injured in a trampoline accident and was confined to a wheelchair for close to 10 years. Bill returned to the Water and Steel camp in 1993 training on crutches, Bill Armfield is truly a dedicated and disciplined martial artists and is respected by all who have had the privilege to train with him.

Serious diversity and brotherhood !

Over the years, Worden’s Warrior Retreat and later The Water and Steel Training Camps have been filled with brotherhood and a diversity of Instructional staff and curricula rarely offered to the martial arts public.
Those who have shared their arts with the camp participants over the years include, Jesse Glover, Jim Keating, Bob Anderson, Dr, Brett Jacques, Ted Lucaylucay, Leonard Trigg, Maurice Smith, Burton Richardson, Mike Janich, Richard Ryan, David Harris, Bong Sun Jornales, Vic Harris, Dr. W.P. Yip, Joe Simonet, and an array of other dynamic teachers of the art.

Let’s see if I can touch on some of the dynamic instructors who have shared their art at the Natural Spirit training camps. The first camps featured primarily instruction in progressive fighting, forms, and Arnis. For the most part, Combat Arnis became the vehicle that made the camps distinct, in the early 80’s there was not much Arnis available in Washington State. I was teaching Combat Arnis and learned the art from J. Cui Brocka who was a student of Ernesto Presas. Creating a diverse atmosphere in unique practical tactics was a real challenge, especially breaking the style barriers set in stone within the traditional martial art community.

Baad ass professional willing to share !

Bob Anderson a revered Kajukenbo heavy hitter from Bellingham Washington was the first instructor I invited to share his art. Drawing from his multi-dimensional skills we really complimented each other’s teaching styles. As a former Outlaw Motorcycle club member, Bob Anderson brought reality to the training floor. Furthermore another element of martial prowess came forth as we trained, the new cultivation and amalgamation of our two arts. We were unifying without thought and those who trained with us also radically evolved. In prospective just as Kajukenbo was originally established as a cross training system so was our systems evolving, solely based on developing functional fighting skills. As the first Americanized Hawaiian fighting art Kajukenbo established a structured foundation through traditional balance of multi-disciplined concepts intended to adapt to the individuals tactical needs and attributes. In this regard Bob Anderson’s infusion with Natural Spirit brought a great diversity to the training arena and the Natural Spirit camps. Today as a leading authority on Executive Protection, Bob Anderson instructs Firearms, Logistics of protective details, Electronic Security, Electronic Countermeasures (bugging/counter bugging), Bomb Search and Identification, and many other interesting aspects of the job. Much of this information is also shared during instructional sessions as well as relaxation lectures during the Water and Steel training camp!

Few better ‘witt a blade, get the edge !

As time progressed others became interested in my method of integrating and blending the arts. In 1983 Jim Keating had contacted me for a seminar at his school in Walla Walla Washington and we hit it off extremely well. Jim was insightful and creative in his own right teaching a combination system of Kenpo, Goju Ryu, Ernesto Presas Arnis, Kali from the Inosanto lineage and other arts as well. I invited Jim to become a featured instructor at the next upcoming Warrior Retreat in Wenatchee Washington. Without question Jim had a dynamic presentation and the combination of Bob Anderson, Jim Keating and myself created a unified training regime rarely experienced and honestly way ahead of it’s time for Washington State and evidently worldwide. Here it is, 20 plus years later and we are back together again, ready to “Shake the Pillars of Hell”at Raft Island and the Water and Steel Training Camp!

International exposure for ‘da local boyz !
Don’t call me sir, just Jesse !

The year was 1993; Greg Walker and Full Contact Magazine entered the scene at the Wenatchee training center, the beautiful mountainous region was in full summer bloom and the camp rocked for 3 solid days of hard training.
Jesse Glover joined the instructional staff for the first time. Greg Walker was so impressed with the camp and the presentation of the instructional programs he wrote two extremely positive articles for the First Edition of Full Contact magazine. One specifically on the NSI Warrior Retreat (forerunner to Water and Steel) and another featuring Jesse Glover, his relationship with Bruce Lee, and the evolution of Jesse’s teaching methodology. Another very positive factor came about from the interaction with Greg Walker at the training camp, he asked Jim Keating and myself to become assistant editors and staff writers for the new Full Contact magazine. Since that time, Jesse has instructed at numerous Water and Steel camps and seminars. Without hesitating I would say the Non Classical method of Jesse Glover has provided a dynamic bridge to connect the systems within Natural Spirit. Integrated directly into the Western Boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Modern Arnis, NSI Kuntao, Small Circle Jujitsu, JKD Jun Fan, American Sambo, and other elements of the fighting arts. Non Classical Gung Fu offers an in-depth prospective of sensitivity development, striking speed, power development and a great deal more, it is the basis of NSI centerline close quarter attachment and striking concepts! The late night standing grappling sessions bring the real truth to light, functional aggression! THANK YOU JESSE GLOVER!

Politics or candy ass jealousy ?

Hey, What the fuck is new? As politics goes, back then behind the scenes Jim and I were being verbally attacked and discredited directly by a young JKD loud mouth. His beef was as shallow as his skill coupled with no hair on his ass or balls to back his play. Looking back now he was almost crying seeking to our ruthless street like reputations and the negative impact such reputations would have on the new Full Contact magazine. Funny, it ain’t like Jim and I have ever professed to being part of the Church Choir, have we now? It just so happened that his candy ass words actually worked against him and benefited us, we were propelled into the editorial positions of the magazine and the piss-ant received no ink after that. As they say, success is the best revenge, for the most part we both enjoyed some great International magazine exposure via Full Contact and Fighting Knives magazines, and ‘da rest is history!

So many great camps have materialized over the years; one year just to shake things up in the JKD community I invited Maurice Smith, Burton Richardson, Bob Anderson, and Jim Keating to all join me in the mountains for a slam and jam camp. It was a great success and truly demonstrated the positive impact training camps have in creating an atmosphere for networking and interaction between different styles. Seeking to bring NSI Renegade JKD into the public eye my focus was to demonstrate why Natural Spirit was as diverse as JKD, and the results were evident.

Brotherhood is one of the main reasons the Natural Spirit Int’l camps are so well received. This statement is the very premise as to why I continue to organize the camps year after year. It is not just the relationships of the participants but also the instructors. Strong bonds and lifelong friendships have truly blossomed over the years. The context of this article is rather limiting to touch on all the great teachers who have shared their arts, but honestly I need to briefly address Ted Lucay Lucay and his valuable input into the training camps.

Bridging Original JKD with Renegade JKD !

First off, it was Professor Leonard Trigg whom introduced Guru Ted and I many years ago. We immediately hit it off and enjoyed many long hours of training, reflections of the art, and most of all humorous conversations involving the politics of JKD. Often Guru Ted and Leonard Trigg while staying at my home would laugh so hard they would chase me out of the room just so they could catch their breath. Guru Ted liked to quote my statements and was shocked at my ability to put politics into honest and humorous prospective. A distinct quote from Guru Ted I remember was “ Datu Kelly says things that others only think about saying!” and then of course he would start laughing until his stomach or jaw hurt. Guru Ted was a riot, and was quite honest in his beliefs as well. In many ways Guru Ted had become reclusive due to the JKD politics, his connection with Professor Trigg, myself, and the training camps brought him back into a motivational phase of progression in his own art. His knowledge base was really immeasurable, this of course was due to the depth of his classical training and his ability to extract concepts and cross reference systems into a systemized improvisational presentation that flowed like white water rapids. Guru Ted’s blade to boxing theory as well as his stick-boxing curriculum embraced the simplicity of what JKD originally professed. This approach opened the practitioner’s eyes to refine attributes and seek personal progressions allowing the individual to comprehend the parallels in all movement not the dissimilarities.

Guru Ted found truth in Renegade JKD; he both supported and applauded my rebellious protest to voice the over-commercialization of JKD, or what has become a misguided path to “seeking freedom of expression in the arts!”

Integrity, Time, and Trust !

Professor Leonard Trigg was a confidant of Guru Ted Lucaylucay, today he is the heir of the Lucaylucay JKD/Kali system. It is with great pride Professor Trigg methodically moves forward to document the teachings of Maestro Ted as Trigg refers to him and his memory. It is a blessing to my education and development of my art to have known Professor Trigg for over 26 years as an advisor, friend, teacher, and colleague. As a featured instructor at the Water and Steel camp for over 8 years he has offered an encyclopedia of martial knowledge to all who have emptied their cup to absorb what is useful in his teachings. A classical old school boxer, Professor Trigg is a modern Icon of technical and tactical proficiency. The arts he has mastered are to numerous to mention but cover the spectrum of Thai Boxing, Silat, Arnis, Wing Chun, JKD, Tai Chi, and countless others, few I have ever met are as educated within the arts as Professor Leonard Trigg!

Can’t Get Enough Of That Funky Stuff !

It would seem almost to good to be true, but all those within the brotherhood of Natural Spirit Int’l have experienced years of incalculable education. The associations with great teachers are continually expanding year after year. “Connecting the Systems” is a worldwide acknowledged path of development. Over the past 15 years another individual has been instrumental in adding depth to the NSI system. Dr. Brett Jacques of the American Sombo System is the technical director of grappling and counter ground fighting. Additionally Dr. Jacques insight into improvised weapons and multiple attackers is almost unsurpassed in the martial arts industry. By instructing concepts and training methodology from the Sombo Wheel, Dr. Jacques process of enhancing a practitioners personal skills is more JKD than most approaches to “the absorb what is useful” theories being presented by progressive teachers of JKD today. Unique, dynamic, and tough as nails, Dr. Brett Jacques American Sambo system is integrated deeply into the NSI instructional curricula. Look to pickup a solid connection into the functional elements of American Sambo at this year’s Water and Steel Camp. Nothing could be more true, from Jesse Glover’s Non Classical Gung Fu, Ted Lucay Lucay’s Kali JKD, Umpad’s Corto Cadena Eskrima, Presas Modern Arnis, Old School Kajukenbo, Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Goju Ryu, Renegade JKD, WKA Int’l style Kickboxing, Standing Grappling to Ground and Pound, Stick Fighting, Knife Fighting, Silent Fighter Dummy Training, and everything in between, N.S.I. Water and Steel always delivers,,,, Take the Challenge….

Escape, Train, and Rock Steady….
Eat, Drink, and be Weary…

That’s the Natural Spirit Way !

The “26th. Annual 2006 Water and Steel” Raft Island training retreat is nestled in a large meadow surrounded by forest on the waterfront shores of Puget Sound. As you drive over the bridge you realize it is an Island Sanctuary, far away from the hustle and bustle of city traffic and noise pollution. The tranquility of a salt water breeze sweeps through the trees as birds sing in harmony along wilderness trails leading to the beach and private dock facilities that stretch deep beyond the waters edge.. Sea otters, raccoons, and a small herd of deer forage the fields and shoreline for food as Bald Eagle’s majestically soar the sky or perch within the towering trees. During the glimmer of a moon lit evening the woods come alive with the untamed sounds of nature as it echo’s within the natural habitat embracing the Raft Island training retreat. Truly the ambiance, brotherhood, and martial arts experience at Raft Island is not an atmosphere easily forgotten or dismissed as practitioners return seeking to revive heart felt memories and capture new ones year after year!

Hop, skip, and jump, or we could take this boat !

Although Raft Island is a short distance away from the historic and rustic waterfront town of Gig Harbor where tourists seek to discover or purchase antiques and gifts from the past, few wish to leave the Raft Island tranquility. The Raft Island facility is totally self-efficient with modern cabins, an on site professional cooking staff, group meeting lodge, and waterfront access to swim, canoe, fish, or relax. Honestly, just about everyone trains extensively for 10 hours a day and then seeks the nightlife of professional massage treatments, waterfront discussions, or moon light howls over a cold beer! The real truth is “it is always your choice to workout or relax” simple as that….

What you waiting for, a personal invitation ???
This is it !
Reserve Your Spot Today !

To seek the path of truth and experience Datu Kelly S. Worden’s 26th. Annual “ 2006 Water and Steel Training Camp,” August 31st., September 1st., 2nd., 3rd., & 4th., 2006 at Raft Island Washington*
* Five days of training, food, and cabins for $650.00 * Reserve your spot now!
* Contact Natural Spirit Int’l
@ 253-202-7418 http://www.kellyworden.com/ or e-mail kellysworden@comcast.net