August 23, 2014

Tony Somera

Bahala Na “Come What May”
created by GME Leo Giron, one of the original “bladed warriors” and a true World War II Hero.

Giron Arnis Escrima system composed of 20 styles:

1. De Fondo – Fighting in a planed position
2. Abanico – Fanning style
3. De salon – Hit and Run style
4. Abierta – Open body style
5. Sonkete – Poking style
6. Retirada – Retreating style
7. Elastico – Rubber band style
8. Fondo Fuerta – Planed in solid position
9. Contra Compas – Off beat timing style
10. Redonda – Circular style
11. Combate Adentro – Inside fighting
12. Tero Grave – Killing strike style
13. Macabebe – Double weapon style
14. Tero Pisada – Heavy striking style
15. Media Media – Half-Half style
16. Cadena de mano – Empty hand style
17. Escapo – Parrying style
18. Bolante – Vertical style
19. Miscla Contras – Multiple opponents
20. Larga Mano – Long weapon or killer style

These secrets now lie in the strong and capable hands of the heir to the Giron Arnis Escrima and Bahala Na Systems, Grand Master Tony Somera.

As a direct result of superior skill and devotion to the principles, philosophy, and purpose of Bahala Na Martial Arts combined with leadership and his master level instructorship, Master Tony Somera was promoted to the rand and responsibility of Grand Master by the late Grand Master and founder of Bahala Na Martial Arts Leo M. Giron. Grand Master Somera is the leading authority and promotes the art of Giron Arnis Escrima along with its rich Filipino history and culture. Tony Somera is the only person ever to be promoted to the rank of Master and then Grand Master by the late Grand Master Emeritus Leo M. Giron.

I have always found GM Tony to be a very skilled and knowledgeable instructor in the Bahala Na system. GM Tony has the integrity, morality, and honesty needed to lead the Bahala Na Martial Arts system for future generations.

-Dan Inosanto

An opportunity to train with Grand Master Somera, the heir of the Giron Arnis Escrima. Hand picked and groomed by the late GME Leo Giro, founder and creator of the Giron Arnis Escrima system. Grand Master Somera has over thirty six years of martial arts experience and twenty five years of continual classroom and personal training experience with GME Giron.

Grand Master Somera now offers an opportunity to those that would like to learn this combat proven art that was personally taught to him by the late World War II Hero and Filipono Martial art GME Giron. Included in Grand Master Somera’s martial art teaching is the rich Filipino culture and history that was given to him by GME Giron. Carrying on in its true tradition, integrity and understanding of Giron Arnis Escrima. Grand Master Somera also offers a certified affiliate program that is taught in a set curriculum that was created by Grand Master for those who are willing to learn and are unable to attend regular classes in Stockton, California. This is a step by step learning curriculum that was created by Grand Master Somera and GME Giron.

For fees and requirements for hosting a seminar, training camp, private lessons, or to apply for The Official Bahala Na Systems International Certified Affiliate program, please contact:

Tony Somera
Grand Master
P.O. Box 8584
Stockton, CA 95208

209-478-0371

information@gironarnisescrima.com
tonysomera@msn.com

www.gironarnisescrima.com
www.bahalana.org

Rene Latosa

Rene Latosa is an Escrima instructor with over 30 years of experience. He started his training at the first Escrima Academy established by Angel Cabales and Maximo Sarmiento in his hometown of Stockton, CA. He had the rare opportunity to not only learn from such greats as Angel and Max but world-renowned instructors such as Leo Giron and Dentoy Revilar. He later studied intensively from his own Father, (who had kept his knowledge secret from his son until he felt was ready to learn), several unique and effective Filipino combat fighting systems.

The Filipino martial art system Latosa developed and teaches is basically a method of educating students on how to understand ones body in relationship to movement. This system is a blend of the attributes which makes the many different systems of the Filipino martial arts similar. The basic system is based on five concepts – balance, focus, power, speed (timing and distance) and transition. The student must understand these concepts, then apply them to techniques, and adapt them to pre-fight, fight and post-fight situations. The student then knows and realizes what they (their body) can do in a given situation, and to depend on a techniques. It is the person behind the techniques and not the technique that makes it works. Latosa like to blend the balance of simple movements with complex concepts creating an avenue where the student has to think instead of copy.

When Rene left the Stockton area he had the opportunity to introduce the Filipino art to various Police SWAT Teams and to the Air Force Security forces in the Virginia area while stationed in the Air Force. Rene was later stationed in Europe where he is the first person to introduce and teach the Filipino martial arts to England and Europe. He eventually authored a book both in English and German, spent three years developing Escrima in England and Europe and eventually headed the largest organization of Escrima practitioners in Europe. Used to multi-tasking, he did this while serving his time in the US Air Force where he played football and was on the boxing team.

Today, Latosa travels throughout the US and Europe giving seminars, still multi-tasking, Rene holds a full time job as a Deputy Administrator for Management Services at the SF Housing Authority, this is after his retirement from the Federal Government as Director of Contracting. He is married and has three daughters. More information is at his website at: www.escrima-concepts.com.

Wally Jay

The Founder of Small Circle Ju Jitsu

Growing up in the art of Kodenkan Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu, I had heard the name “Professor Wally Jay” before, but I did not actually meet him until I was in my mid-twenties and training with Guro Dan Inosanto at his Culver City school on Washington Blvd.
Sometime in the early 1980′s, Professor Wally Jay happened to be in the area and stopped by to see “Bruce Lee’s student,” Dan Inosanto. It was one of those “after-class moments” and Professor Jay happened to use me to demonstrate how his Small Circle Theory could be applied to virtually all techniques to increase their effectiveness and speed of application. To say that he flung me around effortlessly would be an understatement! Not only was I impressed with the intense pain, speed and effectiveness of the locks, I was even more impressed by the flow the Professor was able to do. The lock flows seemed to fit in perfectly with the weapons flow that I was learning from Guro Dan.


Guro Dan Inosanto (on left) and Tim Tackett (right
Take a break with Professor Jay at Camp Danzan-Ryu.


Professor Wally jay demonstrates some of the painful
“fine points” of a wrist lock to Guro Dan and tim Tackett.

Over the next several years Prof. Jay visited the Inosanto Academy on many occasions to hold seminars and share his expertise with Guro Dan and his students. It was easy to tell that Professor Jay respected Guro Dan and his accomplishments. From Guro Dan’s side, Professor Jay was like a grandfather. I had the pleasure of hosting Professor Jay while he was in Los Angeles. He stayed at my apartment in Santa Monica, and we had some great times as he reminisced about growing up in Hawaii, training in Jujitsu with Prof. Henry S. Okazaki, his early years in Judo, and the evolution of his Small Circle system of Jujitsu.
In 1988, Professor Jay asked me to be in his book, “Small Circle Jujitsu,” published by Ohara Publications. I had the privilege of being on the receiving end of many of his techniques. He also asked me to write the actual technique descriptions for all of the photo sequences.
I have reproduced the short introduction from his book, so that interested students can learn about Professor Jay’s history and background in more detail:
Professor Wally Jay is the Grandmaster of Jujitsu America. He is ranked as a tenth dan in jujitsu and a sixth dan in judo. In 1969 he was inducted into BLACK BELT magazine’s Hall of Fame. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 15, 1917 of Chinese descent, Jay spent his early years as a sheltered and frail child. At the age of 11, he turned to a community boxing program in the hope of gaining much needed confidence, direction, and sense of personal security.
Under Jimmy Mitchell he learned the basics of boxing and a great deal more. Perhaps this is where he learned how great an impact instructors can actually have on their students–a lesson not lost on the talented Chinese-Hawaiian over the years, nor forgotten as he progressed through his martial arts studies.
In 1935 Jay turned to jujitsu under Paul Kaelemakule. Then in 1938-39 while attending Oregon State College, he studied boxing under coach Jim Dixon. By 1940, he was back in Hawaii, studying jujitsu again. This time, howeve, it was under the tutelage of Juan Gomez, a top disciple of Henry S. Okazaki. By 1944, Jay had received his first-degree black belt in Danzan Ryu jujitsu, and the following year, he was awarded his second-degree black belt along with his instructor’s certificate from Gomez. Since it was mandatory for the new instructors to know massage and how to care for injuries, Jay also received his masseur’s diploma from Okazaki.
It was also during this time that the young marital artist began studying judo under Hawaiian champion Ken Kawachi. It is Kawachi whom Jay credits with stressing the use of decisive wrist action that would later become one of the primary focal points in his Small-Circle Theory Jujitsu.


Guro Dan Inosanto (center) ?being the student?
as Professor Wally Jay demonstrates at Camp Danzan-Ryu.


Guro Dan Inosanto practices the Small Circle Theory
as Professor Jay looks on.

In 1950, Jay moved form Hawaii to Northern California where he began teaching judo. While the first few years were difficult, he went on to excel in judo as an instructor and a coach, so much so that within a decade, he had produced many local, regional, national, and international champions in the traditional sport. By the early 1960s, Jay received his third-degree black belt rank in judo and was also named Judo Coach of the Year.
In 1962 Jay attracted the attention of a 22-year old martial artist from Seattle named Bruce Lee. Lee was amazed how someone with little formal training in judo could go on to produce champions. However. from the many long hours that Lee spent at Jay’s dojo (training hall) with friend Jimmy Lee, the legendary martial artist saw the value of Jay’s broad background in the fighting arts. Jay had adopted various techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, kung fu, weightlifting and jujitsu, and brought them together in what he called his Small Circle Theory Jujitsu. Like Jay and his innovative instructors before him, Bruce Lee knew that talent, technique, and style knew no traditional boundaries and that excellence carried no single banner or flag. The three martial artists spent many long hours exchanging theories, fighting principles, and techniques, and over the following years, a strong bond of trust and friendship developed. As their reputations grew, they remained friends, and while Bruce Lee went on to take Hollywood, Hong Kong, and the martial arts world by storm, Wally Jay established the ten principles that would set his mark in the world of jujitsu.
Since 1979 Professor Wally Jay has devoted all of his time to Small-Circle Jujitsu instruction, holding clinics in England, France, Norway, Sweden, West Germany, Holland, Singapore, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Scotland, as well as throughout the United States and Canada.
Jay was also the team captain of the U.S. representative team that took part in a cultural exchange program to the People’s Republic of China. In 1985, his exhibitions with Jim Silvan at the International Wushu Championships in Xian, China, drew high praise and applause from those present. It was after that demonstration that Jay was singled out by three prominent Asian sports magazines, and as a result, was later invited to return to China.
From his lifetime of contributions to jujitsu and the martial arts, Jay has received numerous honors and awards. He is a recipient of the National AAU Bud Estes Pionieer Memorial Award, has had a classroom named after him in Alameda, California, and in 1965, was named the city’s Man of the Year. For his efforts in his community, Jay also received the Mayor’s Medallion, joining such prestigious company as the late President John F. Kennedy and the late Minnesota politician and former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey.
In 1982 Wally Jay was honored at a dinner in Waikiki, Hawaii, by former students, with a long list of notable friends in attendance, including Richard Kim, Ed Parker, Pat McCarthy, Ken Kawachi, Don Jacob and Juan Gomez. Leonard Lim, representing the Governor of California, presented Jay with a special Governor’s Proclamation honoring his service and contributions to California. With all these honors and awards the truly humble and talented martial artiest remains firm in praising the many other pioneers in the field who have helped or influenced his own career–pioneers, who Jay says, deserve recognition as well.
In this regard, Wally Jay is behind a drive to find a sponsor to support a “Jujitsu Hall of Fame” in order to recognize those who have contributed so much to the betterment of this fighting art. Jay is sincerely interested in giving something back to the art he feels has given him so much.


Guro Dan Inosanto and his wife, Paula, with
Professor Wally Jay (on left)


Professor Wally Jay at a seminar
in Santa Monica in the mid-1960?s

In addition to maintaining an active and full-traveling seminar schedule, Professor Wally Jay serves as the technical advisor to a number of national and international jujitsu organizations and associations. He is a grandfather several times over and presently resides in Alameda.

THEORY OF THE SMALL CIRCLE:

Professor Wally Jay’s system has the following major elements:
1. Balance
2. Mobility and stability
3. Avoid the collision of head-on forces
4. Mental resistance and distraction
5. Focus on the smallest point possible (proper direction of force)
6. Energy Transfer
7. Create a base
8. Sticking, control and sensitivity
9. Rotational momentum
10. Transitional flow


Professor Wally Jay – still ready at age 86.

The Small Tightening Circle:

This principle is the essence behind the entire system. The centuries- old traditional big circular movements are caused by the push or pull action of the wrists. When applied, these larger circular movements allow the attacker a larger area of escape. Conversely, the small circular movement caused by the push and pull wrist action, allows the attacker less time and less room to escape. This condensed movement speeds the defender’s application time and reduces the reaction time of the attacker. The speed is directly related to the size of the circle. The tighter and smaller the circle, the quicker the application and the smaller the area of escape.

From No Pain To Pain Involves a Tiny Movement:

The intensified action to a smaller base creates excruciating pain and it can be pinpointed more accurately because of the wrist action of push and pull. The defender is able to control the degree of pain he desires to inflict. From no pain to pain involves a tiny movement of the finger, wrist or palm. It may be a controlled submission hold, which may be painless when the hold is released, or result in broken bones or dislocated joints when the action is intensified, or one that produces partial strangulation or unconsciousness depending on the defender’s discretion.

The physics of this principle are actually quite simple. (See diagrams 1a. and 1b.) The forces behind classical jujutsu come from one direction, whereas this system applies force from two opposite directions causing spiralling and tightening circle.

NOTE: Earlier this year (2003) Professor Wally Jay officially retired at age 86. His son, Leon Jay, is an accomplished martial artist in his own right and has inherited the Small Circle System from his father.


Professor Wally Jay ties up Mike Belzer
using his famous “pretzel hold.”

Chris Sayoc

Guess Who?
Guess Who?

Bill McGrath

Tuhon Bill McGrath began his training in the Pekiti-Tirsia system under Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje in 1975 at the age of 14; and received his 1st Level Instructorship (Guro) at the age of 20. In 1982 Grand Master Gaje moved his family to Texas and invited Guro McGrath to operate the National Headquarters School of Pekiti-Tirsia with him. Guro McGrath operated the National Headquarters School from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he returned to New York and was offered a position as a New York State Court Officer. In 1987 Guro McGrath was promoted by Grand Tuhon Gaje to the rank of Maginõo (Elder). In 1994 Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje promoted Mr. McGrath to the rank of Tuhon Guro (Chief Instructor), the first person outside the Tortal family to attain such rank in the Pekiti-Tirsia System. In 1994 Grand Tuhon Gaje and Tuhon McGrath formed Pekiti-Tirsia International, the governing body for practitioners of the Pekiti-Tirsia International System worldwide.

Today Tuhon McGrath is President of Pekiti-Tirsia International as well as the Chief Impact Weapons Instructor for the New York State Court System and author of the New York State Court Officers Defensive Tactics manual. He is certified by the F.B.I. as a Police Defense Tactics Instructor and by the State of New York as a Police Firearms Instructor (pistol) and is a Life member of the NRA.

For more information on the Tuhon McGrath and the
Pekiti-Tirsia system, please go to: http://pekiti.com/

Bill Gebhardt

Bill Gebhardt was the head instructor and founder of the State College Martial Arts Academy in State College, Pennsylvania. Mr. Gebhardt’s martial arts training spanned over twenty years.

At the age of 16, Bill started in the martial arts as part of Sifu Kevin Seaman’s private backyard group. He diligently focused and developed into a professional in the fields of martial arts and business. He was Kevin Seaman’s Senior Most student, and holds a Full Instructor credential in both Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD and the Filipino Martial Arts under Sifu Seaman.

Bill Gebhardt received his instructor certification in Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do in 1992 under Sifu Dan Inosanto, the man personally chosen by Bruce Lee to carry on the art and philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. Bill also held an instructor credential in Filipino Martial Arts under Guro Inosanto, which he also received in 1992.

Competitively, Bill fought in full-contact stick fighting matches on regional, national and international levels. He placed second in his division in full-contact stick fighting at the world Championships in January 1992, which were held at the Aquino Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines. As a competitive coach and trainer, he trained dozens of fighters in amateur Thai Boxing, boxing, Shoot Wrestling, and contact stick fighting. He acted as a guiding light for students and competitors of all ages.

Bill Gebhardt was a certified instructor in Thai Boxing under Master Surachai Sirisute, President and Founder of the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A., and served as the Pennsylvania State Representative for the TBA.

A boxing coach and instructor, Bill was certified through USA Boxing, the nation’ largest amateur governing body. In 1993, he was voted the State College Jaycee’s Outstanding Fitness Leader of 1993-1994. He was the proud father of an 8 year old son, Jordan – his most prized accomplishment.

Francis Fong

Sifu Francis Fong has over 30 years experience in Wing Chun Kung Fu and is considered by many to be one of the finest Wing Chun instructors in the U.S.A. Beginning his study under Sifu Jiu Wan in Hong Kong back in 1965, he later decided to share his knowledge and passion for training in the arts by moving to the United States. In 1973, he traveled to New York, relocating two years later to Atlanta, GA. It was at this time, he opened the Francis Fong Martial Arts Academy. While working on the movie “Sharky’s Machine” in 1981, in Atlanta, Sifu Francis met recognized martial arts legend Guro Dan Inosanto, who later introduced him to the studies of: Jun Fan Gung Fu/Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino martial arts.

He is currently the ‘Georgia Representative’ for Guro Dan Inosanto with full ‘Senior Instructor’ rankings in both Filipino Martial Arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu (JKD Concepts).

Additionally, Sifu Francis is an instructor in Muay Thai and is recognized as the ‘Director of the Southeastern Region’ for the Thai Boxing Association U.S.A. under the direction of Ajarn (Master) “Chai” Sirisute.

Sifu Francis is an honorable member of the Defensive Tactics Instructor Association of the state of Georgia and has been a certified ‘Head Police Defensive Tactics Instructor,’ whom has trained police officers, S.W.A.T. teams, and “ Fort Benning Rangers” in close quarters tactics.

Due to his diverse background and experience, the U.S. Army sought his help in updating Army training manuals to include principles in the arts of: Wing Chun, Muay Thai and Filipino Kali. He maintains ‘Special Deputy Sheriff’ classification in the Training/Special Operations Division in the state of South Carolina.

Over the years, Sifu Francis has trained many students across the globe, including the personally training of several well-known celebrities and professional athletes. He has also served as a consultant to a wide array of industry-related venues. He has been multi-featured in various martial arts publications, including “Inside Kung Fu” magazine, of which the 1988 feature nominated him for “Instructor of the Year.”

Later, in April of 1999, “Inside Kung Fu” magazine featured “Sifu Francis Fong: Teaching Old Arts to a New Generation”. (See Articles & Affiliations) In 1999, the Francis Fong Academy gained worldwide recognition by Martialinfo.com for the Golden and Black Belt Award for Web Site design, which it won alongside Jet Li’s official site.

Sifu Francis is also well known for his knowledge in Eastern healing tec hniques. In recent years, he conducted “The Winning Mindset Workshop” with Keynote Speaker Jim Brault. This workshop, held for Eastman Kodak Company executives, focused on bridging anatomy and physiology when applied to the dynamics of martial arts.

As a healer, he applies various manipulative techniques using sensitivity, strength, and balance to promote and direct the Qi (chi/energy) throughout the body’s Qi channels. In this way, the Qi can flow in a balanced and unobstructed manner, thereby optimizing the patient’s holistic health and maintaining a strong sense of well-being. Sifu’s clientele includes a diverse background of people, ranging from both sports personalities to executives and pilots for NetJets, Inc.

Additionally, Sifu Fong conducts the popular seminar “Energy for Health – Oriental Perspective,” which demonstrates control of energy techniques and using energy to improve the total well being of the client – mind, body and spirit. Sifu’s seminar is an integral part of the Labyrinz Human Empowerment Training Workshops, held at the LifeSpan Health Center in Hilton Head Island, SC.

Additional information on the LifeSpan Health Center can be found on the internet at www.labyrinz.com and www.lifespanhealthcenter.com.

Sifu Fong’s dynamic teaching style and warm personality make both his classes and seminars a wonderful learning experience for all.

Erik Paulson

For the last twenty-two years, Erik Paulson has studied the art of grappling. Having gained worldwide fame competing in many pay-per-view, no-holds-barred tournaments, he is now undefeated in Japan where he is the World Light-Heavyweight Shootwrestling Champion.
Furthermore, Mr. Paulson has spent the last decade training under such noted instructors as the Machado Brothers, Rickson Gracie, Larry Hartsell, Yorinaga Nakamura, Gene Lebell and the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto.

Erik’s system blends Judo, Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman Wrestling with techniques and submissions from Shootwrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo and Catchascatchcan. Erik is famous for his unbelievable repertoire of submission holds and is recognized as a virtual encyclopedia of leg locks.

In addition to his skill as a fighter, Erik’s reputation as an outstanding grappling instructor make him extremely in-demand for both National and International seminars.