Dec 2010, Russia, Moscow- seminar in knife and machete.
You know how sometimes a trip you are about to take is going to be better than you expected in every single way, only you didn’t know it yet? Well, that’s how it was with this seminar in Russia.
I must say it was a challenge for me, foremost due to the fact that the main theme of the seminar was to be knife fighting. And I was after all invited to a Pentjak Silat school which obviously has a well developed knife curriculum and what’s even worse, I knew for effect that there were highly experienced fighters ,well, just waiting for me

Now add to this another cute fact, that Russians have developed quite a few effective knife systems themselves (SPAS, Tolpar, KOI and more) and you understand the pressure. And of course there is that “little” issue of weight difference, I mean one hardly expects to walk in the room full of Russians and find all of them to be petite, now does one? 🙂
Well, after the smoke cleared, all I can say is that it was a profound and emotional experience, which I consider to be one of those life changing events. I walked in a room full of people that were strangers and I left knowing, that I leave behind friends and colleagues.

The whole thing was overwhelming, really, starting with the quality of the fighters gathered there. That was a noble congregation indeed, as there were representatives of such various styles as Sambo and Judo, boxing and Aikido, Silat (of course  :)) and Pekity Tersia (FMA) and even Kadochnkov Systema.

A true MMA event only with armed combat in mind. I am grateful to all the participants, your fighting spirit and skill is what makes these events so interesting. Your questions and analyses of what actually happened in combat, your will to put yourselves on the line and to test your knowledge and believes, all of that was truly humbled and honored to have been invited and to share these moments with you.
The seminar covered heavy bladed knife and it’s small street version, kubotan and medium staff , empty hand applications, multiple opponents and fighting in confined spaces and even katana (!). I was amazed at the eagerness of the participants to learn nonstop for hours…and hours…and hours…They just wouldn’t stop and frankly neither did I want to.

It was a great learning experience for me, to teach in such versatile environment, challenged and tested by experts from so many  different disciplines and often in “real” time as  we would stop the bout to discuss what had transpired and how it can be done better, everyone taking part in discussion. It didn’t feel like a seminar to me at all, it was more like being at some sort of crazy symposium where the mad scientists are wielding, bolo and knives and sticks and LITERALLY making their point :)!

Now add to this all this little fact. Michail and his school have decided to make A.C.T. a part of their weapon curriculum and for that I am grateful and honored beyond words.
So this seminar was one for the books (well for mine anyway :)) and makes a huge milestone for the whole school.
Welcome Michail and I am proud to have met you and your students!