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Set of 6 DVD's focusing on the application of Derobio Escrima utilizing different weapons.For more…
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Mokomoko Invitational 2019 at Campbell Community Center

March 16, 2019 all day
I highly recommend this tournament in Northern California for those FMA/Karate/Shaolin guys out…See More
Mar 4

Guro Lawrence Motta's Blog (34)

On Follow ups

In a martial arts system that is primarily based on the block and counter theory, understanding and navigating the differences between blocking and countering is essential. That seems pretty simplistic and rather over stated but you might be surprised by how easy it is to forego one for the other or to lose sight of the functionality of a technique because you are too focused on either ham handed blocking or overly decorative counters. Transitions and…
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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on March 9, 2018 at 10:08am — No Comments

On Abaniko

Abaniko is a great style to learn for scenarios where your back is against an obstruction or hazard. Uncle Leo used to tell us it was good for fighting up against a wall or car or other barrier. It's important to remember that "Abaniko" translates as Fan. This is both a metaphor and a practical application. With the Abaniko techniques, we use the side of the blade to redirect and propel the opponent's weapon off the attack line. It takes precise timing and accurate placement of the weapon to…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on February 27, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

Elipses

We certainly enjoyed the unseasonable weather this past weekend and got out to do more advanced training. Thanks Janelle and Patt for putting in the hard work and taking a few knocks. Trust me, they delivered a few too.

Saturday's lesson centered around elliptical striking and blocking and the way it helps cut down intervals of time. By applying the principal of ellipses to our work, we bring round movements closer to straight lines and therefore cut down t…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on February 7, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Some notes on Macabebe

Estilo Macabebe is one of the 20 styles in the Giron system of Escrima. Uncle Leo explained that the name derived from the Macabebe tribe who were known for their double weapon fighting style. It is practiced with two similar length weapons and incorporates both Kob Kob and Sinawali techniques (more about those later). On the surface, defending yourself with two weapons rather than one seems a no brainer. More is better, right? But, the reality is much more complicated than the theory. Most…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on May 16, 2017 at 10:52am — 1 Comment

Diversity in Style

I wanted to have a brief chat about style. One thing I have learned over the years is that each player has their own style; distinct, individual, unique. Yet, how does that square with the need for conformity and consistency in curriculum? I have to teach the same technique to a wide range of individuals. Does that mean that I have to change the technique for each student or is it the student who needs to change? My Dad was a strict Biology professor. His opinion was that it was the…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on May 10, 2017 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Take your warrior with you

Topic for this week: Take your warrior with you. Last weekend, we decided to loop back on fundamentals. The students have been working through the week on angles 1-12 and now that they are getting advanced, they decided it would be good to review. I still teach the old way. Everyone has to go through each number completely before advancing to the next. It's the way I was taught and I think there is deep value in it. The Giron system, taught this way, is complex and highly technical. It's…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on April 4, 2017 at 2:48pm — No Comments

Situational control

Finally got back out on Saturday after weeks of unrelenting rain. Thanks to Janelle, Patt and Dan for…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on February 27, 2017 at 6:04pm — No Comments

Hammer time

Okay, so now I have freekin' seen it all! I just came across a video of a FMA…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on February 7, 2017 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Loyalty or obedience?

Remember that history is written by the conqueror and that obedience is often mistaken for…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on October 18, 2016 at 4:23pm — 1 Comment

Block hard

We recently worked on some consecutive, simple blocks. They were Roof on #1, Sweep on #2,…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on September 29, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

It all starts with the feet

I often refer to fencing techniques during instruction.  I spent a good part of my youth in a fencing school, practicing advances, retreats, lunges and other techniques.  My teacher was the father of one of my high school friends.  Maestro Meudt had a small club in Maryland called the Olympic Fencing Club and we would go there and train a lot and go to local competitions.  Later, I signed up for the team in college and I got to compete throughout the mid-Atlantic and once in…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on August 3, 2015 at 7:00pm — 5 Comments

Taming the savage within

I watch a few videos from time to time on techniques and real life situations.  I am often surprised by how barbaric and savage we have become as humans.  Maybe it was always this way and we are only seeing more of it since the birth of the information age.  But, I don't remember things being this savage; almost bestial.  Have we not evolved at all?  Are we devolving back into unrestrained, banal, barbarism?  It seems like we are.  So, train.  Train so you have some skills to fall back on…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on March 16, 2015 at 2:38pm — 2 Comments

Bad habits

Had a great early morning training session with Dan and Janelle working on absolute basics.  I've heard it was Arnold Palmer who said "Practice doesn't make Perfect, perfect practice makes perfect".  It's funny how we all get into habits; little things that throw off our game.  I notice it myself in my daily routine.  I do my warm ups every morning at 4:30 during the week and sometimes, I phone…
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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on February 16, 2015 at 3:48pm — 2 Comments

Larga Mano

Some thoughts on Larga Mano:

There is a difference between Larga Mano and using a long weapon.  Just using a long weapon does not mean you are playing Larga Mano.  Often I see long weapons used in close quarters or Medio range; even as close a Corto.  But this is not Larga Mano.  There are principles to Larga Mano that include range, footwork, timing and tactics.  Larga Mano principles can even be applied to empty hands if you think about it.  The choice of weapon is not all we should…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on December 10, 2014 at 2:47pm — 7 Comments

Holding the line

So, I keep an eye out for Escrima videos on FB and various other sights.  I like to see what other people are doing and keep tabs on the progression of organizations I have either been associated with or admire.  I see a lot of people who claim to carry on a legacy art and I often question the validity of their techniques.  At best, I think we can only manage to carry on principals of a legacy art but not wholly and perfectly the actual techniques.  So, some nod to creativity and…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on June 2, 2014 at 5:13pm — 5 Comments

Commitment

I started off the class on Saturday morning with a recommendation on some really nice documentary work done by the PBS people on the making of and philosophy surrounding traditional sword craft in Japan. For anyone who may be interested, here is a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt97sGtZX4s. What I have always admired about the Japanese culture is the level of commitment both expected…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on March 17, 2014 at 5:38pm — 2 Comments

Goodbye friend

Back home with a hot cup of coffee on a gray day.  Just got home from my friend's funeral.  Grand Master Tony Somera was laid to rest today.  18 years ago I met him.  He was then Master Somera, teaching under Grand Master Leo Giron.  I spent many years under GM Tony's tutelage; from 1995 until 2009.  He was a great teacher, a funny friend and great caretaker of the art of Escrima.  He was also best man at my wedding.  I traveled to England, Germany and Italy with GM Tony as well as many…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on November 12, 2013 at 4:05pm — 1 Comment

Notes from the field

Spoiler Alert!  For those of you who are squeamish about hunting, stop reading now.  Okay, so a couple weeks ago my brother and I headed out to Wyoming to go deer and antelope hunting.  We had a great time crawling around agricultural fields trying to get close to some really nice animals.  We harvested one nice Mule deer buck that weighed in at about 285# and had a serviceable rack.   On the last day, my brother still had an antelope tag so when we spotted a solo buck trotting through the…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on October 25, 2012 at 3:47pm — 5 Comments

Stick to it

We had a great class Saturday and it was topped off by having one of my students pass her #1 test.  Now, this isn't an earth shattering event as I have had many students get to this point but in Pat's case, it is really significant.  Pat was one of my first students way back in the day when I was teaching cardio boxing at the Oakland Athletic Club.  Pat is one of those students who had life insert itself into her training.  Before she had the chance to test her #1's in Escrima, she met a man…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on September 24, 2012 at 2:31pm — 1 Comment

Eleven years like water

John Prine wrote a line that comes to me on days like today "the years just flow by like a broken down dam".  I stood in front of a tight framing crew 11 years ago and wept while I told them to high-tail it out of the city before they took out the bridges.  I was furious, still am.  And, I was heart broken.  I never felt so worthless in my life.  All the years of training and all I could do, like so many, was watch the events unfold on TV; hoping for the best, coming to grips with the…

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Added by Guro Lawrence Motta on September 11, 2012 at 4:40pm — 4 Comments

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