Thank You Sifu Dan

by Kevin Seaman

Sifu Dan,

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you’ve done to help me throughout the years. With next year marking the 30th year of training under your tutelage, I feel both fortunate and grateful to be an instructor in your organization and a student under your guidance. You are an extraordinary teacher with a wealth of knowledge in your field. One of the highlights of my sessions with you has always been the lecture portion of your classes. You have taught me a complete and TRUE understanding of Sigung Bruce’s Jun Fan Gung Fu and his Art and Philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. You have unselfishly shared experiences of your life, which has helped us; your students, gain a clearer understanding of the big picture in regard to the development of JKD and seeking ultimate freedom of expression as an individual. You have also clearly illustrated how each martial art we study expresses the culture of the people who developed these arts.

When I’ve had the ability to train at your Academy or in an Instructor’s Camp it has always been a rare and unique opportunity because the focus was not just on improving our personal skills, but also on helping us to better represent you and the arts we study by enabling us to become better, more knowledgeable teachers. I can say without hesitation Sifu, it is an exceptional experience to participate in your classes. It is always both very educational and inspirational training with you.

Since that day in 1984 when I was able to follow through with my goal and was accepted by you as a student of Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts, my development in the martial arts has been on a very positive and ascending path. You taught me to expect more from myself than I ever thought possible. I owe you a great deal of thanks for all you have shared with me, and for all you will share with me in the future. Your impression is one that will stay with me and benefit me for the remainder of my life, and one you can be sure I will pass on for generations to come. On this you have my word!

Mostly Sifu I want to thank you for being who you are as a person. Your warmth & personal nature has always been an inspiration in guiding me on my path through life. I have watched you carefully through the years and have never experienced a teacher who devoted such an unfathomable dedication to their students like you do. I can only hope I can emulate a gradient of the quality you possess. You are truly a Master Coach and Teacher of a monumental level and I am proud to call you my mentor.

With All my Love and Gratitude
Sincerely and Respectfully,

Kevin Seaman
Syracuse, NY

My Time and Experience in Martial Arts

My Time and Experience in Martial Arts
By Lynda Niemczak Hatch

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself… I was born with a profound hearing loss but it was not discovered till age 6 months when my parents took me to a pediatrician. I’m the only one in my family that has this invisible physical disability. But my loving parents had trained me well, and they also made sure I received my education starting from two and a half years old in special education for hearing-impaired, and onto elementary through high school, and then through four years of college with a Bachelor’s Science degree in Computer Sciences.

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How Is Your Safety Barometer?

by Diana Rathborne

While we can’t plan for everything or avoid all possibly hazardous situations, a good ‘Safety Barometer’ can keep you (and those in your charge) safe with a little practise and not too much work. Detailed below are the elements to developing your own self defense barometer and skill set.

First, pay attention to your surroundings. If something seems ‘off’, take a moment to identify what it is. Is it a person? Is something in the environment out of place? Is it something that is usually there, not? Is a door that should be closed, ajar? Are all the lights working, etc? This process is called the OODA loop. The OODA loop has been used by civilians and military alike for decades to observe, evaluate and change a situation to effect the safest outcome in a potentially violent encounter. The acronym stands for Observe – Orient – Decide – Act. The moment you observe something wrong, orient on what it is, decide what to do and do it. The process is fluid and requires constant reassment until you feel you are safe.

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Marine Corps, United States, one of the four armed services of the U.S. military.
Originally, its function was to supply guards to warships. Over the twentieth century,
however, the corps transformed into a multi-function organization that combines
ground and air combat units into a maritime force, trained to come from the sea to
fight on land (littoral warfare – of or pertaining to the shore of a lake, sea, or ocean.).

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

By John Spezzano, RKC

Along with fighting in the ring, successfully completing a 10-day silent meditation and summiting Mt. Whitney in one 13-hour round trip push, the Russian Kettlebell Challenge ranks right up there with my most challenging accomplishments.  Three August days of hard iron, blazing sun and bleeding hands was a truly outstanding experience.  Kindly allow me to elaborate.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a skeptic to the core.  You can make any claim you want, I’ll be polite, but until I see and experience it first hand, I don’t give it much credence; but if, upon further inspection, it is what you say it is, I will defend it to the end.  Hence the reason I’ve trained with Guro Inosanto without break since 1993: he’s the real deal, constantly evolving and pushing the edges of himself, his training and his teaching.  That mindset also sums up my evolving relationship with “hard style” kettlebell training.  As Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC Team Leader and my personal coach, is so fond of reminding me, I initially remarked, what’s the big deal, bells are “just weights.”   I’m sure he’s chuckling reading this.  Suffice it to say there’s a reason Guro Dan trains “hard style” kettlebells with Pavel weekly, it is the real deal.
I’d met Pavel Tsatsouline a couple times at the Inosanto Academy prior to the RKC and yes, he seemed fit and very polite, but I just didn’t get what the hubbub was all about.  No offense to the man who singlehandedly brought kettlebells to the forefront of American strength and conditioning training, but I’ve been around truly world-class martial arts instructors like Guro Dan as my personal teachers for over 15 years, so it takes a bit to impress me.  Well, impress he does.  Pavel is, in no uncertain terms, a certifiable encyclopedia of strength, conditioning, joint stability, corrective exercise and general fitness, and he implements all of the above in a safe environment!  The breadth of his training knowledge is equaled only by his ability to cut to the core of a client’s physical limitations, and his ability to find shortcuts to remedy these limitations is truly uncanny.

Like in so many things that Guro Dan has introduced to those of us at the Academy, he does it in a way where we can decide its value for ourselves and go from there.  With over 25 years of martial arts training under my belt and well over a decade of teaching martial arts at the Academy and around the country and Europe as well as Defensive Tactics to numerous US law enforcement and military personnel, longevity is quickly becoming an important part of my training (just like Guro said it would).  Kettlebells undoubtedly gives me the ability to make the slide into middle age as enjoyable as possible!

In terms of the RKC weekend itself, I knew it would be physically demanding so I thoroughly prepared for the weekend prior to showing up.  Dr. Cheng had all the instructor candidates bleeding in practice so we would merely cry tears of joy those days in August under the hot sun at UCLA.  Thanks Doc!  That weekend we performed swings, cleans, snatches, dead lifts, and squats by the hundreds.  Turkish Get Ups, Goblet Squats, Walking See Saw Presses and Farmer’s Walks completed the training making the 3-day seminar as challenging mentally as it was physically.  My numerous years of study under Guro Dan prepared me well for the mental tasks that would come my way at the RKC.  I needed every trick I had to keep on point and get the maximum out of the weekend.

There is truly a TON of information passed out at the RKC weekend.  Like all seminars with true masters, you get what you’re ready to ingest.  I received some wonderful tips on perfecting my squat and my press, as well as corrective measures for saving clients’ lower backs and knees.  Just like the new Kali or JF/JKD student who is confused the first time they train with Guro Dan, my first RKC was brain overload.  But also like that first seminar with Guro Dan, the RKC was it was also completely outstanding and unforgettable.

Since completing the RKC, I’ve recently begun co-instructing the monthly kettlebell workshops at the Inosanto Academy with Dr. Cheng.  I’m also starting a class in Hollywood in the middle of September and I’ll be bringing “hard style” to the Monterey Bay at the end of the month as well.  Many thanks to Guro for introducing me to bells, to Pavel for bringing them to the US and to Doc for training me so thoroughly!

Please check or email for more info.

Michael In Lapu Lapu Land

Long time Inosanto Academy student and instructor Michael Mercado is now living in the Philipines and will be a contributing writer here at 

Your journey begins now with
“Michael in Lapu Lapu Land”

Just outside of Cebu City is an island, Mactan Island and on that island is the site of the confrontation between Lapu Lapu and Magellan.  I am in Cebu City an American Escrimador in a Disneyland of Filipino Martial Arts.  This place is magical and every Martial Artist should come here and experience it.  I’m very happy to be a witness to the happenings here and I want to share it with you.  I am Michael from Lapu Lapu Land.

The activities here are paramount in anticipation of the upcoming 10th World Escrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) World Tournament.  Events are scheduled to start July 22 to the 25th and already there are Escrimadors and Escrimadoras from all over the world here.  What is really exciting is that the local talents of the country are also here.  Grandmasters (GM) from all of the Philippines.  I’m so jazzed I’m ready to burst.

I sat in on a press conference of WEKAF held June 22.   Supreme Grandmaster Dionisio (Diony pronounced as “J” or Jiony) Canete fielded questions from reporters and elaborated on the upcoming tournament.  Others present were; Michael Canete President of WEKAF; Master Gerald Canete; Master Percival Pableo four time World Champion and now head trainer of the Filipino team; and Grandmaster Alfredo Carin of the Carin Doce Pares Club.  These are but a few of those present but other systems representatives were there as well.

GM Diony Canete’s school is full of activity as the Filipino team prepares and trains for the tournament.  Lots of sparring in armor and those practicing forms.  Behind the scenes are those planning and preparing in the offices.

GM Carin is getting ready to receive those who want seminars.  Small groups of 5 to 7 training in the Carin system.  The seminar will be taught by GM Alfredo and his brother Master Jun Carin.  Assistants will be available so that the instruction can be one on one.  This is appealing and much to the JKD tradition that the most efficient learning is one on one.  There are many similarities in the Carin system and the JKD philosophy.  It is combat oriented and what is taught is immediately applicable to a self defense mode. 

Those interested should contact GM Alfredo Carin:
Inting Carin’s Doce Pares
phone number: 011 63 32 416 1559. 
23 – ET. Abella St Cebu City Philippines 6000.

I can be reached at
011 63 32 236 3560.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are in Cebu City.

Michael Mercado
Managing Director
Carin Doce Pares Club


written by Bryan K. Mossey

“A thinking mans guide to training, and fight preparation”

First off, I wrote this article for a couple of my friends, who are pro MMA fighters. They asked me to share some of my thoughts on MMA fight preparation. This article is just that, my thoughts! I do not propose this as “the way,” only “a way,” to prepare yourself for MMA competition. If I am able to impart anything that is helpful to you, I owe it to my instructors; Guro Dan Inosanto, Mike Mathews, Mike Parker, Mark McFann, Ajarn Chai, Pedro Sauer or my countless other strength, conditioning, and rehabilitation coaches.  Each area discussed could easily be a book unto itself. This is not the definitive guide to anything, and my sole goal is that it will spark the reader to learn more, seek help, and prepare to win. With that in mind, lets get started!


You can not objectively evaluate your own performance, or push yourself hard enough to prepare for competition. Pro MMA Fighters today have several coaches, as not everyone is a subject matter expert in every field. The smart fighter seeks out the best coaches in each discipline, in order to progress as a fighter. That being said, it is important to have a head coach that monitors overall progress, conditioning, diet, and athletic performance so as to achieve the game plan set out for the fight. However, this is a best case scenario, and as a coach, you must wear several hats at one time, and as a fighter, you must take advantage of the best available coaches that you have access to. There are no perfect plans, only perfect intentions. Do the best you can with what is available to you. Failing to develop a good plan based upon your available resources is planning to fail.

Typical Staff

Head coach
Strength and conditioning coach
Boxing / Muay Thai coach
Wrestling freestyle / Greco Roman coach
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach
Unbelievably supportive family and friends

Planning Considerations

Time to Prepare
Strengths and Weakness

Preparation Time

I have found that it is impossible to remain in competition shape year round. Mentally, and physically. You must allow down time for mental and physical recovery. This is not to say you should go into pizza, beer, and movie mode. However, you must take more rest time, and decrease the intensity in post fight training. I have found that keeping yourself at 70% of your optimal athletic conditioning year round, you will be able to get in competition shape in a relatively short period of time. I consider 8 weeks to be the minimum cycle needed for fight prep, if you are already at 70%. How close you are to your optimal competition performance, will dictate your required work out schedule. Obviously, if you only have a week before your fight, this changes the game drastically.


Cardio is king and unless you have prepared yourself for sport specific competition you are planning to fail. Each sport requires its own level of sport specific preparation. You can run a marathon, but that does not translate into 10 rounds on the heavy bag. I have found that a sport specific cardio program for MMA consists of both low impact long distance training, and burst interval cardio training. Long distance builds your overall endurance, and burst interval training most resembles the scramble or flurry in MMA competition. I believe cardio conditioning should be done 6 days a week. This consists of running, mixing it up from 3-5 mile runs, to sprints and bleachers. This can also be accomplished on an elliptical fitness machine with varied intensity for 30 second to 1 minute bursts. When the adrenaline has dumped, only your cardio conditioning will save you, for fatigue doth make cowards of us all.

Strengths and Weaknesses

You must analyze your strengths and weaknesses. If your weakness is your boxing, then you need to spend more time in this area. If your strength is wrestling, then obviously you should spend less time in this area. You must also consider your opponent. If your opponent is a better striker than you, and your plan is to take him down, then you should obviously be spending more time working on countering striking, and working for the take down. The below is a generic MMA workout schedule that assumes you are equally strong in all areas, and does not take into account a game plan for the opposition. It also assumes that you are already in good physical condition entering your fight prep. Each program should be tailored specifically for the fighter. As no one plan is good for everyone. This should be viewed as a baseline upon which to begin planning.

Game Plan

In making a game plan for a fight, you should do your homework on who you will be fighting. Get film footage if possible, and watch it constantly to analyze for weaknesses.
A few things to find out about your opponent, and environment.

  • How much do they weigh walking around? This will help you determine the size of sparring partners you will need.
  • How much weight do they cut for a fight? This will give you some indication of expected dehydration and stamina.
  • How much time between weigh in and the fight? This will tell you how much they can potentially put back on in weight before the fight.
  • How tall are they, and what is their reach? Again this will aid in the selection of sparring partners
  • How long have they trained and in what arts? This will give you some idea of proficiency and what skill set your sparring partners should have.
  • Who have they trained with? This can help you determine the quality of the instruction they have received.
  • What arts have they competed in, and how well did they do? If they have done well with a certain discipline in the past you can expect them to use it again when the heat is on. Muscle memory always wins.
  • When was the last time they competed, and did they win or loose? This can tell you about the mind set of your opponent. If they lost, are they hungry or have they lost their confidence.
  • How many total matches have they had, and how did they win or loose the match? There is no substitute for experience and if they have done something in the past it is likely that they will do it again.
  • Where will they be training to prep for the fight i.e. sea level and weather.
  • Where will you be fighting, and how closely does the climate match up to your training environment.

Know your enemy and your environment! Without this information you are planning in a vacuum.

Resistance Training

One of the most hotly debated areas is resistance training. I submit that it is a critical component of your training. Anyone who has ever clinched with a guy who is strong will immediately understand this. Coming from a powerlifting, and bodybuilding background, there are things that are good in each world. However, your max squat and your calf development for symmetry, hardly translate into your fighting ability. Your ability to sustain contraction and muscle endurance over time, however, does. I prefer an all body workout, 3 times a week, that consists of 1 exercise per body part, 3-5 drop sets decreasing weight each time, 10 reps each set, no rest between sets so that it becomes an endurance building cardio exercise. Again, this must be developed based on the individual fighter, and tailored to address any physical weaknesses, and previous injuries. I have found great results doing this workout beginning with cardio training intervals, and then ending with cardio training intervals.
The order of these exercises has been laid out to take advantage of the modified pre-exhaustion concept. Keep in mind we are not working for a one time maximum lift, nor are we working to develop maximum muscle development. Our goal is endurance contraction over time.

Resistance Training Routine

Standing Calf Raises
Leg Extensions
Leg Press or Squat
Hamstring Curls or Stiff Legged Deadlift
Lateral Dumbbell Raises or Military Press
Bench Press or Fly’s
Bent Over Row or Lat Pulls
Forearm Curls
Seated or Barbell Curls
Triceps Pushdowns or Dips

Core Training

This is one of the greatest areas of expansion in training today. Gone are the days where the core can be ignored. Core conditioning of your abs, flexors, and low back are the key to explosion for takedowns, crushing kicks, and position control. This area has seen a rapid expansion in all professional sports, as it is now understood that your core conditioning is in direct relation to your athletic performance. Again, there are lots of ways to train your core using kettle bells, therapy balls, or just basic yoga exercises. What is not in debate, is that you should work your core 6 days a week, along with your cardio. One thing I would add to the importance of core conditioning is working your calves and forearms. You can train calves, abs, and forearms daily, as they require a tremendous amount of work to push past normal levels of fitness, as they are used constantly. They recover very quickly, so overtraining them is not as big a concern. Below are a few exercises I like to do between resistance training sets at the gym, and also between sparring rounds. They are simple, effective, and work very well. Take your pick. I like to mix and match. I like to get around 10-15 sets in succession to failure. Do not rest between sets. If you start to fail switch exercises, and keep going.

Core Training Exercises

  • Therapy ball leg lifts
  • Therapy ball crunches
  • Therapy ball pushups
  • Therapy ball superman lifts
  • Therapy ball wall squat and hold
  • One arm side stands
  • Push up position hold one arm and both arms
  • Therapy band or cable pull trunk twists
  • Chopping wood with an axe rotating left and right swing
  • Jumping on Tractor tire
  • Jumping jack
  • Push ups
  • Squat jumps
  • Crunches
  • Mountain Climbers


Have a training schedule set in stone, and have your couches and training partners commit to it. If you rely on getting your own butt to the gym, inevitably you will have the I am tired and sore day, and unless you know there is someone there waiting on you, it will be all to easy to skip that required workout. Also, understand that it is your consistency in training, and not your intensity, that will promote your development as a fighter. You can not miss three workouts, and make it up with 1 hour of training harder. Commitment, dedication, and discipline are the keys to success.

Training Schedule

Again this is fighter dependant. Most people have full time jobs, families, children, and a life, so unless you have a UFC contract with money coming in, and live with your mom, this has to be modified. Below is a minimum schedule based upon already being a well rounded fighter. It also does not take into account the game plan you have developed to exploit your opponents weaknesses. You will notice cardio, resistance training, core training, and isolation sparring are recurring themes. This training schedule is designed to continue your development in both striking, grappling, and conditioning.


Cardio Conditioning
Core Training
Resistance Training

TuesdayWrestling / Ground and Pound

Cardio Conditioning
Core Training
30 minute sport specific exercises, i.e. duck walk, pummeling
1 Hour technical training
30 minutes light to medium isolation sparring

Wednesday – Boxing / Muay Thai

Cardio Conditioning
Core Training
Resistance Training
30 minute sport specific exercises, i.e. jump rope, shadow boxing, heavy bag
1 Hour technical training
30 minutes light to medium isolation sparring

Thursday – Jiu-Jitsu

Cardio Conditioning
Core Training
30 minute sport specific exercises, i.e. shrimping, upa, bridging, rolling
1 Hour technical training
30 minutes light to medium isolation sparring


Cardio Conditioning
Core Training
Resistance Training

Saturday – Heavy Free Sparring

Cardio Conditioning
Core Training

Sunday Rest

If you get depressed its usually from eating to lean or overtraining. Go eat a burger and the saturated fat will have you jumping around like David Lea Roth and feeling great again.

Student of the Game

If you are planning to compete in any sport, it behooves you to study that sport every waking moment. Watch as much of it on TV, DVD, Tivo etc. For MMA you should watch boxing matches, thai boxing matches, K1, amateur wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and of course MMA matches. You must become a student of all disciplines so that you understand the essence of each. You must understand the strengths, and weaknesses, in each art. When you watch, be neither for or against what you are watching. Only when you look at something as it is, and not based upon your own bias, can you objectively evaluate its performance. Also, study fighters that resemble your style for things you can use, and more importantly look for things that work against your style, and body type. Ignorance is not your friend in the fighting arts, and more often than not, what you don’t know hurts. Also look for things that are regularly pulled off in your sport. If you never see the play called, and when you do, it never works, that might be something to consider. Did it work or not, because of the attributes of the fighter, or is it the attributes of the technique that could readily be learned by most fighters? Just because you can learn the exact mechanics of how Michael Jordon does a 360 two handed dunk, does not mean that you will ever be able to do it that way. Be realistic in your evaluation of technique for your game based upon your own attributes, physical skills and level of training. And above all, diligently train in each of the arts you plan to use in MMA. If you never spend any real time in Muay Thai, BJJ, Boxing, or Wrestling, but only jumble it all together right from the beginning, you will be neither technical nor functional as a fighter. Respect each art, and each teacher of that art, for they have spent a lifetime perfecting the craft. Dedicate yourself to training in each of the arts AS THEY ARE TAUGHT. Only then will you ever appreciate, or truly understand the benefits of each art, and realize them in your own personal development.

Technical vs. Functional

I would submit that your goal should be to become a technical, and a functional fighter in balance. We have all seen guys who look awesome on the focus mitts or armbar drills, but can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. That’s because it is much easier to work to perfect your technique, than it is to glove up, and get a bloody nose. Martial artist like most human endeavors err towards the path of least resistance. This leads into a maze of technical drills that do not produce functional fighters. You can not simulate being exhausted anymore than you can simulate an adrenaline rush. Drills are a very important part of your training if you keep them in context. If you can’t throw an uppercut, then you should probably work uppercut drills. Use drills to develop your weaknesses. Drills can help you develop a tool, your timing, your sensitivity, and your range. However, once you have done the drill, you must go back to sparring to become functional with that tool against someone who is taller, shorter, faster, slower, stronger and weaker. In one of my students last fights, he hit his opponent with what was probably the worst technical cross I had ever seen. His left hand was down, his arm was bent in a chicken wing, he did not roll his shoulder or hip etc, etc etc. But he knocked the guy on his ass. My point is, keep a good perspective on technique in your training. Be a technical, and more importantly a functional fighter.

Drills are the road to technical proficiency, sparring is the road to being functional.
Without conditioning you can be neither technical or functional. Be conditioned, and not technical, or functional, and you will look great at the pool, and on a stretcher.

Sparring Isolation

When sparring it is important to work the specific art and techniques that you have been training. It makes no sense to learn the double leg takedown, and then when you spar, only do the head and arm that you are good at. Work the techniques being taught, and go slow enough that you are gradually becoming functional with the material being trained that day. Isolation sparring is one of the best tools in your training arsenal. If your jab is weak, then do rounds of sparring using only the jab. Try not to only focus on doing the things you are good at. If you are weak at mount escapes, you must put yourself in the mounted position over and over again, until it becomes your strength.

Sparring Progression

Isolation sparring has tremendous advantages for developing your tools. However, as you progress in your training cycle, you must begin to mix it up more. Such as striking to take downs, or take downs to grappling, or grappling to ground and pound. Ultimately, you want to progress to all discipline/range sparring the closer you get to your fight. If you stay focused on isolation, you wont be able to put the entire game together with proper timing and execution.

Sparring Mindset

Check the ego at the door, and work to develop your weaknesses. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is sparring heavy all the time. If your goal is to beat the heck out of your training partners, you won’t have any training partners, and you will get hurt and wont be able to fight anyway. At the end of every sparring session, you should do an after action report. What did I do well? What did I do poorly? Most importantly, what must I do to overcome my weaknesses? Adjust your workouts accordingly. Drills are there for you to develop your weaknesses. Do the drills you need to grow, not the ones you like.

Sparring Duration

One of the things I like to do is make sure that sparring rounds are 1 minute longer than the rounds you will have to fight. If you are going to be competing for 5 minute rounds, you should spar 6 minute rounds. I am not a fan of rest periods. You will usually have a 1 minute break between rounds in competition. I like to use the minute to do pushup, sit-ups, jumping jacks etc. This develops unbelievable stamina, and mental toughness. Then when you are in competition, and your round is shorter, and you get to rest, you will be raring to go. I like to cycle in a fresh sparring partner each round. This will push you even harder, as you will be exhausted while your partner is fresh, and pushing you beyond your limits. For your last round of sparring, go against your toughest partner. Training to fight the best guy for your last round, will develop mental toughness and the will to win against insurmountable odds.

Hurt or Injured?

Everyone gets hurt in training, or you aren’t training. A hurt is a black eye, sprained ankle, dislocated pinky toe, fat lip, etc etc. General rule of thumb, ice is good. It helps reduce swelling, and pain. It also speeds oxygen to the injured tissue and speeds recovery. Use in 20 minute intervals, several times a day until better. Heat is good for muscle spasm. If you are hurt, you most often need to make a slight modification and keep on training. Hot baths with epson salts can really work wonders. Injured is a torn muscle, broken arm, torn meniscus etc etc. If you are injured, seek medical attention and forget training. Don’t be a moron. You will only make it worse, and if you don’t wait to recover, you will more than likely injure it worse, or hurt something else trying to overcompensate. I am still trying to learn this lesson myself. Keep ace bandages, band aids, aleve, ice packs, bio-freeze, and epson salts on tap they are your friend.

Diet and Supplementation

A hugely debated topic. This is for someone who is already in shape, and is not looking drop 20 pounds to make weight for a fight. Again, this is a very basic general guideline for diet and supplementation. I have had good results with eating 6 meals a day. General rule is to get protein with every meal. Protein is the building block for muscle, and without it you will not be able to recover. I prefer 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass at target weight per day. You must have carbohydrates for fuel if you are going to train this hard. Keep the carbs moderate to light and you will be burning fat for fuel, as well and leaning up as you approach your target weight. Stay away from white carbs i.e. bread, biscuits, white rice. I prefer brown rice, oatmeal, and some pasta. Take sugar out of the diet completely. Veggies as much as you can stand however, stay away from the yellow ones and focus on greens and reds. Eat primarily lean meats of fish, steak, turkey, chicken. Light to no carbs after 7pm. No cokes, diet cokes, or juices. Nothing fried, or covered in anything. Grilling is your friend. Drink water and tea. Hydration and its importance is another entire book. Suffice to say that you should always have a bottle of water in your hand. Keep supplementation basic. Protein powder, creatine, fish oil, glutamine, glucosamine with MSM, calcium, wheat grass, and a multi-vitamin are a good place to start. Take them daily and they will help with your recovery and overall health.

Pulling Weight

No one competes these days at their walk around weight. It is a generally accepted principle that your optimal fighting weight is less than your normal weight. The elusive goal is to be bigger, stronger, faster and in better shape than your opponent at your given fight weight, without being so exhaust that you can’t fight. To achieve this I have seen any manner of rudimentary torture deployed. Everything from riding a bike in a sauna for days, to taking ex-lax to crap your way down to target weight. Don’t ask me how I know. Bodybuilders, boxer and wrestlers all know how to make weight and you can learn from each of them. To this end however, I believe most people are entirely off base on how to approach cutting weight. Making weight should be considered at the beginning of your pre-fight planning. Obviously, this comes back to how much time your have to prep. If you are doing an 8 week cycle to prep then your diet should be modified to reflect how much weight you are trying to cut.
This is not something that should be considered the night before as you are crying in the sauna. You will be preparing yourself for the butt kicking of a lifetime, because you are too exhausted to even stand up. Personally, I like to see the fighter be at target weight or lower a week out from the fight. This allows me to actually feed the fighter and carb load 3 days out to come up to weight and not down. The result of which is a fighter that is fueled, rested, and hydrated. Not starved, exhausted and dehydrated. Dehydration, low potassium, and low sodium are a formula for death. Just ask a anyone that has seen a bodybuilder pass out, or die in preparation. Just because you can drop 10 pounds in a day, does not make it a good idea, and certainly does not make it optimal for competitive athletic performance.

Basic Meal Plan

Egg whites and oatmeal

Protein Powder or Bar

Lean meat, veggies, brown rice / pasta

Protein Powder or Bar

Lean meat, veggies

Protein Powder or Bar


We have covered a lot of ground here. Coaches, planning, diet, cardio training, resistance training, workout program, making weight, and even some thoughts on sparring progression. Fighting, and preparing to fight is not a simple game. Hopefully, I have given you a few things to think about that will spark you to evaluate your own training. If you are considering competition, as most things in life, developing a good plan is critical. Train hard, but more importantly train smart!


Daguhoy Filipino Museum

written by Tony Somera

During the transition of the Bahala Na Filipino Martial Arts Association relocating their training club from North Stockton to South Stockton, Tony Somera, Grandmaster of the Bahala Na Martial Arts Association, looked to his brothers and sisters at the Daguhoy Lodge.  You see, Tony Somera has been an active member of the Legionarios del Trabajo in America for over 25 years.  His prayers were answered by the elders of the Daguhoy Lodge, who welcomed him and the Bahala Na Martial Arts Association to come and “play” at the Daguhoy Lodge that is in the Historic Downtown Little Manila District. This had a great cultural and historical meaning to Grandmaster Somera because of the fact that the new Bahala Na home was to be located in the historic building of the Daguhoy, where many early manong’s and manang’s made the Daguhoy their home, and because of the rich cultural and historical area of Stockton in which Tony Somera serves as a board member of the Little Manila Foundation.

During some house cleaning of the Daguhoy, Tony decided to tackle the basement.  stumbled across many treasures.  When he was a child, his father had told him, “The basement is off limits because of the many spirits and ghost that have been seen there.”   Of course Tony was a little hesitant at first, but after being down in the basement for the first few hours, he felt at ease and safe.

To Tony’s amazement, under all the decaying boxes was hidden treasure.  Old boxes of personal belongings from the manongs; old suitcases; old furniture, and old pictures from the 1920’s through the 1960’s: what a fantastic find!   But what to do with all of this hidden treasure?

Tony went to the elders of the Daguhoy lodge and proposed that he would like to display all the items, much like a museum.  The answer from the Daguhoy was, “Tony the basement is your project.  Do what you would like to do, Bahala Na.”  So, after weeks of preparation, the Daguhoy Filipino Museum was made ready for people to enjoy.

If you are ready to go back in time to see how the manong’s lived and how they enjoyed the company of their fellow brothers and sisters, come to the Daguhoy Lodge Museum, the first Filipino Museum in California.  The Daguhoy Filipino Museum is open Wednesday nights from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon.  Tony Somera also offers Filipino Arnis Escrima classes during this time, and the class is open  to all people who are interested in learning the Filipino Martial Arts. For information, contact Tony Somera, Founder of The Daguhoy Filipino Museum at  or write to BNSI.

Travel & Training In Japan

Reprinted with permission from “Diversified Combat Systems” Monthly Newsletter April 2007
Photos Courtesy of John Maidment

Despite years in the martial arts, I never visited Asia during my active years. My motivation for finally going was a girl, of course – my friend, Saki Inoue – and my new found passion, photography.
Saki was attending UCLA for a year, visiting here from Tokyo, and we were lucky enough to meet at a fashion show. She was my primary model during 2006, and we became good friends over this time. Before she returned to Japan in September 2006, I inquired if she had a photographer for her university graduation, which was to be in March. When I was told “no,” I offered to do it, and from there we made plans for my trip. I also knew that it would be a trip where I could visit some unique places for travel photography as well, and that we could do somemore photoshoots together.
The trip lasted eight days, and except for one morning and one evening, I was busy the whole time. We explored the restaurants and sights of Shibuya (the district where my hotel for the first three nights was located). Neon lights and billboards were everywhere; litter was nowhere. “Such a clean city,” was one of my earliest observations. We also travelled by the Metro Rail system to Asakusa to a large temple located almost in the center of Tokyo, and one day, her parents drove us just outside of the city to visit temples and shrines in and around Kamakura City. Being some eight hundred years old, these statues, cemeteries and buildings were amazing. The grounds were well maintained, with gardens and paths, and stairs – there seemed to be always stairs to climb, as many of these places were located on hills.
Other places of interest we visited were Roppangi Hills, a shopping plaza that included office buildings, an observation tower (which we did not enter), condominiums, and of course, stores. A short train ride from there was Tokyo Tower, which kind of looks like the Eiffel Tower, and from its observation deck, we enjoyed a 360-degree view of night time Tokyo.
Saki’s graduation was on the 22nd of March, just 2 days after my arrival, but I was well prepared and got some great photos during the diploma presentation, as they allowed me to move around directly in front of the large classroom. I was able to meet many of her classmates, one of her teachers, and the former and current deans of the university. The faculty was Caucasion, and all the students could speak English to some degree, most quite well. After the diplomas were presented, there was a reception, and later that night, there was an after-party club, where I was once again the official photographer, couresty of Saki.
During my trip, I got to go to a party held in a park, under the cherry blossom trees, which were not in bloom, unfortunately. It was also the coldest and windiest day of the trip! These parties are frequently held in the spring, from what I understand, and that day there were many groups celebrating.
Later that evening, we went to see a comedy show – an improvisational performance conducted by Saki’s acting coach and some of his friends. Despite the language barrier, it was quite funny, and they were also able to speak some English. During the show, I volunteered a suggestion for one of their skits and they used it! After the show, they sat with Saki and me for awhile. It was at this club that I met a girl who said she had trained with Sifu Yori Nakamura for three years in JKD.
Speaking of martial arts, Saki had trained privately with me several times while living in Los Angeles, and we reviewed her material while I was in Japan. We trained three times, once outdoors in Kinuta Park, near her family’s residence. We covered some Jun Fan kickboxing, trapping and self-defense, plus drills from the Filipino martial arts, including double stick, single stick and empty hands. Last year, Saki used the skills she had learned during the talent portion of the Miss Japanese Summer Festival, and placed first! Besides training for personal enjoyment and self-defense, she also hopes the martial arts knowledge will be useful to her as an actress.

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Sifu/Guro John Maidment in Kinuta Park, Tokyo

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Saki Inoue training in the Fililpino Martial Arts with Guro John Maidment during his visit to Tokyo, Japan


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Shibya Street at Night

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Tokyo Tower

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Roppangi (2 photos)