We're often asked if we have instructors in this location or that. The short answer is "No." That said, there are individuals across the country who have, to varying degrees, trained with us. One excellent example is my dear friend, J.C. Murphy. "Murph" lives in North Carolina. He holds a black belt in jujitsu and a brown belt in Shotokan karate, and he trained with us regularly for more than six years. Murph is one of the best martial artists I am privileged to know. That said, Murph does not have his own school. I believe any training he may continue to do, he does so either solo or with friends. If you ran across Murph, you'd do well to see if you could train with him. He's good – very good.
There are also friends like Brian VanCise of Instinctive Response Training in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brian is a great guy with a world of martial knowledge and skill who also has affiliate schools in Alma, Michigan and elsewhere. He trains with a great bunch of guys, and has invited me to teach there a couple of times. He seeks no rank or certification from me – rather, he seeks to learn as much as he can, from as many solid teachers as he can find. That is his approach to becoming the best possible martial artist he can be and, frankly, they don't get much better than that.
Another such friend is Brian Jacobs of Combat Serrada Escrima in Boston. A more dedicated student of the arts you'd be hard pressed to find. And you can find still others we recommend on our Links web page. None of them do exactly what we do, but everyone of them provides excellent instruction. If you are near any of them, we recommend training there.
If you are in Japan, contact my friend Pascal Masse. He has trained with me and is a very smart student of the arts (holds black belt rank in Japanese arts). Working with him actually helped us finish our published Workbook to our Fighting Footwork of Kuntao and Silat DVD series.
Book and Video Study Order
If the individuals identified above, as well as those listed on our Links web page are no where near you, but you still wish to study our art, then this is what we generally recommend: First, read our two books, Martial Arts America (a "why do" book written from my heart) and Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals (a "how to" book written from my head). These will tell you a lot about us – what we teach, what we don't and why, and why we train the way we do. Also check out the numerous articles on our web site map, We try to provide many pages of other useful training insights and information there.
Reinforcing what is important here, when it comes to the recommended order of our training material, the books are very important. Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals actually covers things in it that are not as deeply addressed in any of our the videos because frankly, it would be boring just watching someone talk in a video at the needed level of detail to adequately cover al the issues.
We recognize that book reading is something becoming increasingly less interesting for much of our new "texting" and "twittering" culture, but after reading those books, watch the videos in the order listed above. Watch them straight through, as an overview without focusing on any particular item. The idea is to first get a macro-view of what's presented in the videos. Again, in that initial viewing, do not get into any one thing or the other. Such a micro-view of anything presented during an overview will only be distracting. After viewing them all, you should have some idea as to what you may be ready to study in depth. If such is not the case, then simply follow the order listed.
As the video companion to our book, Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals, Fighting Arts of Indonesia reinforces what was written and well-illustrated in the book by showing many of the drills and techniques at speed. That book and video share the combat principles of kuntao-silat such as adhesion, whiplash, gyroscopic rotation, shearing, and seating. Once you fully understand those "fundamentals," then check out our web page, Capturing the Limb. There you will read about one more – one we did not discover until later.
With the fundamentals and principles presented now firmly under your belt, the time would be right to move on to our Reflex Action video. Sharing training drills that have proven themselves over time, Reflex Action actually develops critical hand skills and reflexes. Be aware, with the exception of a couple of solo training drills shared near the end of the video, these drills are two-man training drills – in other words, you will need a training partner to fully practice them.
Recognizing that finding the right training partner is not always easy, may we suggest the following: take our video, Fighting Forms of kuntao-Silat, and begin working on our form Elbow Exercise (that you can study solo). When you feel have it down sufficiently, go to a public park and practice it there. (That video comes with a workbook, so you will have notes available to you even in a park.) You may have to do that a few times, but who knows, while practicing in the park you might be observed by someone who is interested in what you do – someone who will actually come up and talk with you, eventually becoming a training partner. If they do, share with them that you are also studying two-man training drills that require a partner. Ask if they would like to see them and then study them as well. If you are so blest, you may find both a good training partner as well as a new good friend.
Slower Practice Actually Makes One Quicker
Aside from the preceding suggestions, if you feel that a little change in how you actually move, say, your hand this way or that, blends in better with skills you already developed in other prior training, then by all means incorporate such a change. The goal here is really that you take the material presented in the videos and make it fit YOU. We firmly believe that the art must change to fit the individual – not the other way around. And while we're speaking of "fit the individual", if you do not already have one, start an exercise program that includes weight training and cardio. No martial art works as well without the practitioner remaining in the best shape he can.
Seek a Good School
Lastly, as you practice what is taught in our videos, feel free to e-mail us with questions. Further, if you visit our area on vacation or for any other reason, feel free to stop by and play with us – no charge for playing in our regularly scheduled classes (be aware, you will have to wear both a cup and a pair of good training shoes).
In closing, here are three words that will serve you best in your training: practice, practice, practice. Whatever other advice you receive in regard to your training, none is as certain to provide success as the faithful application of those three words.
©Copyright Bob Orlando, 2009-2016
All rights reserved.
Aug. 6, 2016
by Bob Orlando