Opening a dojo tomorrow. Starting 2010 off in style, doing what I love. I’ll keep you posted.



This weekend’s seminar was hugely successful. I say that not because a bunch of money was made, or someone looked really cool doing something, but because so many different instructors and students from up and down the East Coast came together. I was more than honored to be a part of this event. One of my fellow Aikido instructors, a wonderful gentleman by the name of James Woodard, visited us as a guest and participated in the entire seminar. He is senior to me in rank, experience, and ability, so it was wonderful to get to roll around with him and receive knowledge from him as such.

Let’s get on with it. Guro Israel Cruz also served in the Special Forces with my Kali instructor, Guro Sean Hurst. He is currently employed by NYPD. He taught a simple yet highly effective entry against aggressive punching, followed by a fundamental controlling position. From there, we did several follow ups based on how the partner would try to recover from the control position. He then showed us what I felt was the most painful compliance hold I have felt in a long time. Essentially a variation of what we call Yonkyo in Aikido, it’s right up there with Nikyo and Sankyo, extremely painful!!!

Anthony Peters taught a section using a tee shirt to counter knife attacks. He showed three methods that allow you to quickly remove your shirt and use it for combat. Then he addressed the basic angles of attack from long range, followed by using the shirt in middle range to cinch the attacking hand and disarm the knife.

Sean then went on to address our roles as Martial Artists in society, whether we are military, LEO, or civilian. Essentially, since we are equipped with the necessary skills, we are expected to act on the behalf of those that need our help, whether it’s providing CPR, or just writing down a license plate number. He then demonstrated the efficacy of the tactical light with two systems, one from Surefire and one from Phantom Warrior. Phantom Warrior only sells to military, so you can imagine that this unit had several special features for those that serve. Sean and Israel went on to demonstrate a very thorough overview of knife defense, covering all of the basic principles from the slash, thrust, hostage scenario, and knife versus knife grappling.

Then I did my portion, which felt like so little considering the pedigree of the instructors that came before, and in front of James, who is a senior Martial Artist as well. I went over a few basic trapping drills from Wing Chun/JKD, and briefly explained the purpose of trapping. I used the trapping drills as a review and a prefix for Aikido/grappling suffixes. In other words, each trap was concluded with a takedown or joint lock. In keeping with my current trend to emphasize individual critical thinking along with learning as a group, I encourage everyone to see these as patterns for ideas, rather than rigid facts to be memorized. I asked everyone to consider why these things would even be relevant to them, and if not, to freely discard them. Of course, afterwards, I gave my little speech about the role of Martial Artists.

Then my brother Joey did an awesome presentation of Panantukan striking sectors, along with the basic ideas of ground fighting for self defense. These were drawn from Silat. A lot of the stuff that he does is frankly over my head, and it’s hard for me to detail it without know exactly how to express what he taught.

Overall, the whole experience has left me feeling light and elated. I really love Martial Arts. Words are not enough.


The one question that I have had the hardest time answering is how much I will charge for classes. i have decided that, in the spirit of wanting to share our diminishing resources, that I will accept barter as the primary unit of payment for classes. So if you are interested in classes, please consider what you are willing to barter per hour of instruction wanted.

Here is a list of individual courses that I currently offer:

Aikido, Taijutsu. The unarmed techniques of Aikido
Aikido, Kenjutsu. The sword techniques of Aikido
Aikido, Jojutsu. The staff techniques of Aikido
Kali. A Filipino martial art that teaches you how to use and protect yourself with any weapon, and also includes empty handed techniques.
jeet Kune Do. A set of principles based on your own personal abilities that draws from several martial arts.
CCQT: Civilian Close Quarter Tactics. A system I developed when I was a member of The Guardian Angels to train the volunteers for safety patrols.

Expect to train outdoors and one on one. Expect to train during the day, with some afternoons/evenings available for a slightly higher barter fee. Sundays all day available for a slightly higher barter fee.

As far as what to barter: Be creative and show my your talents as well. We all have resources and talents at our disposal, and I’m willing to listen to any idea you may have.

Spread the word and let me know.


Autrelle Holland


I have a new morning regimen.  Basically, it’s four days of martial arts, two days of weightlifting.  Today, we went over some Panantukan (the boxing art in Kali) and Aikijo.

  • Panantukan: Jab-Cross Counters series
  • Aikijo: Kumijo 1 ~ 3, and linking 1 ~ 3 together for a longer Kumijo
  • Aikijo: 31 Kumijo 1-6 with the standard variations

The solutions that came up for linking the Kumijo were as interesting as they were instructive, and I will detail them later, when I have more time.

My basic plan is to get twice as good as I am now at martial arts in one year, and to be completely ripped in six months.  Look out world – here I come.