Finally felt up to writing a short review of the weekend…..


Justin and I rolled in about 14 minutes before 9 on Friday morning…I was scheduled to teach at 9 so we made it at my usual time if not a little earlier. The format was different this time around with some longer classes for the most part and just one track of shorter classes a day.

My first class was taught alongside my old chum Tim Ruzicki. It had the very creative name of ‘punching and kicking’ and that is exactly what we did:) Time and I took turns passing the lead back and forth to each other every 30 minutes or so. I think it went rather well considering neither of us really had a game plan or even a discussion as to what we were going to teach…we have teamed up before so this just felt like an extension of our previous joint ventures. This class was the first 3 hours of a six hour class.

On Friday afternoon I taught an hour and half class on the mountain axe…of course I forgot my good axe at home and I forgot the duct tape to construct some trainers but it all worked out. This is the first time I taught this as a seminar class and I noticed a few tweaks that need to be made to the presentation…but at least no one got brained. I think I need to spend just a bit more time on the concept of movement and theory over rote technique. I look forward to any feedback concerning this class.

After my axe class I took James Loriega’s navaja class…this was a 8 hhour class divided into two 3 hour sessions. I was really happy to see that I was going to have a chance for 6 hours of training with the navaja since it is one of my primary studies in wma. There was some review which is always always welcome but for the most part we did alot of things that we had never worked on before…well at least I had never worked on with James before. We did some excellent work with the scorpion tail of the traditional folding knife and a few really nice things from the clinch. We also got to work some on the recortes and my understanding of the concept was greatly improved over what I was doing on my own…doing the same basic thing but more developed and i got to throw kicks and Tom Badillo…what more could I ask for?

Consumption was at a minimum for me this year and I actually slept decently for a change.

Saturday morning found Tim and I teaching the second half of our striking class followed by me teach combat sambo. The turn out was low for the sambo and I expected as much seeing the the focus seems to be less about groveling on the ground at these sort of events than I would prefer but no matter really since the number of people who attended the class was the absolute max that we could have safely had int he room, it all turned out for the best…and I worked the hell out of them! The afternoon was the second part of the Navaja class.

Justin, kirk and I went out for Thai food on Saturday night…Thai food has been a tradition for me ever since ISMAC 1 in Lansing so very long ago.

Sunday I took it easy and only to Bruno Cruicchi’s class on Garrote Larense during the mid day slot. There was some much needed review of material that we had learned when he visited a few years ago in Ohio. We also learned some new material and talked about the possibly of distance learning via internet web conferences. As always Bruno did a great job.

As anyone knows… goodbyes can drag on for hours at these events, so if I missed anyone please accept this late farewell from me. I had to get back since I not only had some business to attend to but my 14th wedding anniversary was on Monday. As much as I would have liked to stay for Mondays classes it just was not possible this time around.

Overall a great time and a great location…food which was a problem last years seems to have been a minor issue this time around. Everyone either brought food or ordered it ahead of time to avoid the hassles of last year. A big thank you to Jared, Jon and the rest of AoC [especially the runners] for making this another great year.

Session 5-17-09

Just Matt and I today…Justin is on the injured list, and new guy John had a family thing. We will be back on schedule in two weeks hopefully.

We started by going over the saber material we learned from Randal last week. I retained more of it than I thought so that is always a good thing. We also reviewed some of the longsword material and mountain axe as well.

We then threw on our jackets for some sambo

1 rd grip work

3 rds freestyle sambo

We then worked on about 5 or 6 concepts from combative sambo, throwing, striking and submissions…blending ti all together.

This coming weekend ISMAC…see you there, assuming you all are going:)


Session 5-10-09

We were paid a visit by our friendly RMA/JDP instructor Randal Gustitis this weekend. Saturday he and I traded navaja instruction for Cossack saber instruction and managed to play with axes and rapiers and everything in between, spending 4 or 5 hours in the LOD.


Sunday we started the training early at about 1 PM going over the saber material from Saturday and spending about 3 hours on it even though it seemed fly by.

We had a new guy start this week, very nice and very enthusiastic yet safety conscious, which is always a relief. He is open minded but very interested in Medieval martial arts so we spent a good amount of time with Randal leading us through some German longsword basics….we then went over a few of the things we do at NEOHEMAS so he could get a glimpse of the sort of thing he was in store for…we failed to scare him off.

We then played just a few bouts of singlestick. We ended the session with a quick run through of Polish saber technique from Randal.

This whole weekend had more of a mini-seminar like feel to it and we got alot of great new material to work on with the saber plus my mountain axe understanding was added to since there seems to be a good deal of crossover material….definitely saw things done with the saber that I was already doing with the axe. I would have to say my understanding of why I am doing some of the things I do with the axe has been greatly increased just this weekend. I have to say that my brain is a bit mushy right now though and I feel like I have an information hangover…I will need a few days to recover.