Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gathering of Tribes

This past holiday weekend I spent my Saturday from 10am til about 6pm @ a workshop called "The Gathering of Tribes," here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a rather knowledgeable and friendly, yet informal group of mainly Southeast Asian martial artists who get together to train at this 4 day event twice a year. People like Brian "Buzz" Smith (Kuntaw), Bobbe Edmunds (Silat), Cody Fielding (MMA / Sambo), Mushtaq Ali (Silat), Chuck Pippin (San Yun Do ), and others shared some of their insights and techniques throughout the weekend.

Saturday Buzz covered a very cool joint lock flow. Although I have been exposed to all but one of the 6 joint locks covered; it was the way he put them together that really impressed me. I like the way Buzz teaches. He has a lot of good insight and experience.

Bobbe covered some stick work w/a couple take downs and limb compressions. I love Bobbe's expression of life. He moves very well and has a great personality. I think Cody said it best; "Bobbe isn't someone you meet, he is someone you experience." So true. It was a great pleasure being introduced to him and training.

Cody went over some things that he learned from Randy Couture. Mainly pummeling (a Roman Greco clinching exercise), MMA shooting, some take downs and cage work. I REALLY had fun with that stuff!! :) ...and I got a chance to talk to Cody a bit later at the feast that evening. A really great guy. We exchanged some war stories from our youth... If you ever run into him maybe he'll tell you about the night his Porsche broke down in the red light district in New York... aaahhh it was like reuniting with an old buddy....

I had some personal training insights by the time the day was done also. I have been thinking a lot about how / what I train, what I call it, how I structure it, etc. maybe getting some new affiliation or possibly some other certification / licensing. I have been formulating a few ideas mainly regarding approach to training and future direction. The challenge for me has been finding other material and / or training affiliations that balance the things I feel important to training 1) Functionality / practicality, 2) Holistic Health - Sustainability of training, 3) Personal Development 4) Focus (sport vs. tactical combatives)...blah blah, etc. Few I have found cover all the areas I want to be covered in the mannar in which I like them covered. It always seems that I find one that covers this and another that covers that etc. Well to make a long story somewhat short I believe that I have almost come to a satisfying conclusion regarding all of that, but you all will have to wait to hear my climatic conclusion when I have more time to write! :(

In the meantime Hang Loose! :)

~Craig