It was time again this year for the Ohana Unity Seminar in San Diego. I attend this seminar every year. There are instructors that come from all over the world to teach their art. It really is a great event. This year there was presenters in Kajukenbo, Tai Chi, Boxing, Panantukan, Kali/JKD, and Escrima. I really enjoyed the Tai Chi seminar by Dr. Mark Cheng, he really is a master of the arts. Previously my experience with Tai Chi is a couple of different weekend course’s to learn a mini 8 form for teaching and practicing in the health care setting. I am a Substance Abuse counselor by trade and it was something I wanted to share with my clients at work. I have completed the Chair Chi program, which is designed for wheel chair bound individuals but works great with clients in group therapy, and the Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance program at UCSD. So I was familiar with the basic forms. The Dr. showed the combat applications of the Opening, Hold the ball, Ward off, and Parting the Mane forms. Another favorite presenter of mine was Mark Sterwart who ran us through the footwork of his Kali/JKD. I’v been wanting to train with him to see his influences from his teachers Ted Lucaylucay, and Ted Wong who was a student of Bruce Lee. He ran us through the different ways to apply footwork to getting off angle and then closed with several Panantukan drills. Also present was another favorite of mine Guro Willie. He comes every year and never disappoints with his brand of Panantukan. The grand master of Derobio escrima also presented, he showed how the roots of escrima’s footwork can be traced back to dance. Then he closed with some Panantukan as well. There were some great Kaju presenters who came from the U.K. Their seminar was very strong and had that hard core feel to it. I will close with saying that their are several Kajukenbo elders who come from Hawaii to perform the opening ceremonies in true Hawaii fashion and they give the event that true authentic feel. I can’t wait till next years!
I originally learned this form/drill while training in Jerry Poteet’s linage while he was still alive. This drill is what I base my Jun Fan/JKD material off of when teaching my students. Ron Balicki said that we should learn the drill and then forget it, and that is the philosophy I share with my students. That is how we achieve “being formless”. I like the way this Sifu does the drill and use his video for reference.
We started this year off with a great Wei Kuen Do seminar by Sifu Leo Fong, Klein, and Jeff at 5 Elements Martial Arts. I really wanted to share Leo’s art with my friend’s school and give them the chance to meet a friend and training partner of Bruce Lee. Everybody had a great time learning and sharing. I even ended up assisting Klein with teaching Trap Boxing to the group. At the end of the day Leo shared some stories about him and Bruce Lee and Sifu Jimmy Lee. He even promoted me to 5 degree black belt in Wei Kuen Do. Even though this year started out rough with some changes at work and home, I intend to make the best of it! We’re going to welcome a new addition to the family later this year as well! My life is pretty much family, work, school, and Gung Fu. But it’s worth it!
So much happening in life. My journey with my wife, our son and family. School and work. Squeezing in my training in Eskrima-GungFu.
So far Iv been down with the flu or a cold since the start of the year. Last year ended well with my group being named an authorized training group for Giron Escrima. This means a lot to me because the time and effort I put into Giron style when Infirst started martial arts. But I am feeling excited about this year. My Eskrima is evolving and I am planning on getting some training in with some great people later this year. I am also focusing on my Modified Gung Fu practice. With family and school obligations finding training time can be tough but I plan to set and achieve some real goals this year. So hopefully the Dog will bring me luck, Happy New Year!
Early manual on JKD for new students from the Oakland school. I think it’s good to see how the original generation learned and practiced the art.
My friend and teacher Leo Fong has always said that we should be inspired by Bruce Lee, but not trying to imitate him in our training. I reflect on this as I consider my background in Eskrima, and JKD/WKD to where I want to be in my training. Hopefully I will get to see Sifu Leo next month at a local seminar and hear some more of his knowledge.