A lot of times I talk about how bad Stockton is. It's a shame because there are any number of really good people living here. What we do have is a lot of gangs. Gangs are a natural magnet for young people who have been through a lot in their young lives and however tough they may be, are still very human and crave family and belonging. Some one who will have their backs in a world that can crucify you, if you try to go it alone. Many of life's problems is having to go against groups of other people working in solidarity. Most gangsters are kids and at their level of thinking, other traditional gangs is as far as their minds can percieve group activity and its benifits. The Police? A gang. Well... they work as one, wear the same clothes and can be extremely violent if you don't give them what they want. This thinking holds true for the military. But suited banker's are examples of gangsters'. Their gang's are Chase, Wells Fargo, etc. Yah, you say. OK, They are a bunch of hard asses who will be on your ass for their money and at some point will come out and take what you've got to get even. Sounds like a gang to me. There are a lot men working together to get something everyday from someone. We still have tribes and tribal warfare, we just call it business now days. So when I see the strife and turmoil that periodically pops their heads up in FMA, I can only take it with a grain of salt. It's natural. Filipino Martial Artist's stand behind a brand, wether it's Serrada, Baha la na, Doce Pares, Balintawak, or name the system and their will be those with their hands up ready to fight for their system. It's natural. This is the nature of man. We are tribal beings. Sticking together and finding solace in numbers has served man well since day one. Going it alone is a recipe for a harder life and shorter life expectancy. This is just the way it is. So if you aren't doing someething in FMA like their system does it or if you aren't teaching the way they teach...or sparring,...or doing espada y daga...or any thing else like they do it, you can get a lot of criticism, after all...you aren't one of the real group who does it right. Now, leaders of groups over time can learn to use people's natural instinct to belong to a group. If they are smarter than most, they use the we against them mentality in their own favor. Protecting the group from those "bad" others gains them loyalty and servitude. In many cases if a leader does not do what the group thinks is proper, the leader will be replaced with another more leader. If a Wolf pack leader ever shows even a smidgeon of weakness, his pack will turn upon him and rip him to shreds. Yes, pack mentality is alive and well. Many feel a lot of comfort in belonging to a group, having back-up and being led by a respected leader. Some people can give much of their life to the needs of the group and I respect this. These things are on my mind as I am about to back to L.,A. My last visit to L.A. was interesting to say the least. The last thing that I ever wanted to do was get physical. I walked away after entertaining three very physical men. I go to L.A. to push my art. I don't ever say that my art is better than any other. I don't ever say to leave any system and come to learn from me. I just stand in the park and show what I do. You can like it, or not like it. I don't have any thing bad to say about any leader of any system of FMA, what or how they do things. Nobody is forced to come and meet me, they are all volunteers. I understand the nature of man and his foibles. Some men just do not understand themselves. But, I do know that most men won't take on something that is too dangerous, something that they feel they have a lot of chance of losing at and that's why the group-think is so important to some people. It just wasn't cool to have someone trying to get my attention while teaching them and then have his friends try take me from behind. But, it is the very nature of many men to do this, we are pack oriented. I've repeatedly said that I don't want to fight anymore: I never said that I couldn't. So L.A. I am coming down again to enjoy the sights, taste the foods, ogle the pretty women and hopefully share a few teaching moments with any one wishing to learn Serrada Escrima. Nobody has all of the answers and nobody ever will, but the almighty. I may or may not have something that could plug a hole in someone's offence or defense. I'm hoping that I do and wish to share my art. I'll be in L.A. this weekend and I am available to teach, so please contact me if you wish. I love FMA and Serrada Escrima and that's why I'm coming down to L.A., just someone hoping to share, grow, learn and teach and who wants to leave the gang mentality back in Stockton. I'll kind of be on vacation and on vacation we hope to get away from the norm, relax and just enjoy. Hope we can enjoy some Escrima together.