Lots of martial arts fun this past week.
On Tuesday, my friends Bobby Chuck and Manny Vallardes decided to ramp-up our Kali stickfighting game a bit by sparring with rattan sticks, as opposed to our usual padded training sticks. It makes a big difference! That slight element of pain (and fear) really changes your game plan. We all did very well, and managed to avoid any serious injuries, though a glancing blow to my elbow did cause a bit of discomfort.
There was more Kali goodness on Thursday, as Manny earned his Battlefield Kali Single Stick Instructor certification under Guro Burton Richardson. Like all of Burton’s instructor tests, sparring is an important part of the certification process, and I had the honor of sparring with Manny for two rounds during testing, while Bobby (also a Kali instructor) took the other two rounds. Everyone fought at a very high level.
Also that evening, JKD Instructor Shelton Yamashiro earned his Brown Belt in Burton’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Street Self-Defense. Shelton is a great grappler, and this was well-deserved. I rolled with him for one round as part of his test, and am pleased to report I made it through alive and in one piece.
It was more Kali fun on Saturday. A few friends and I met in the park to do a bit of sparring, using training sticks, rattan sticks, and training knives. I also taught everyone a few basic kettlebell moves. Kali and kettlebells… what a great way to spend an afternoon!