I returned to the Inosanto Academy on June 2nd for my second (the 18th annual) ‘Train with the Legends’ seminar. The occasion was also marked by Guro Dan’s 80th birthday. The seminar included–although not limited to–a curriculum of Kali, Silat, BJJ, Wing Chun, and Muay Thai Boxing (afterall, Bruce Lee’s philosophy of Jeet Kune Do is deeply rooted within all of Guro’s instruction & affiliate instructors). It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by all 4 legendary instructors (Guro Dan Inosanto, Professor Jean Jacques Machado, Sifu Francis Fong, and Ajarn Chai Sirisute, in addition to Ajarn Brian Dobbler), as well as 40+ martial artists from all over the world.
My ultimate goal is to achieve technical knowledge and skills at a level that is considered proficient for teaching Kali, Silat, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai. According to Guro Dan, “Before you can teach, you must learn. Before you can learn, you must first learn how to learn.” I couldn’t agree more. Last year, I did my best to soak in everything but my brain fatigue was so intense that I forgot all of the afternoon Wing Chun sessions. After surviving last year’s 40-hr seminar, I was more mentally prepared this year. I already established rapport with multiple training partners and I was familiar with the Legends format, many of the drills and the teaching styles of each instructor. In addition, I learned how to quickly identify similarities across the arts and techniques. This allowed me to more easily absorb key differences between techniques (although I continue to struggle with knife drills…perhaps because I find it hard to bring myself to practice cutting another human being–it’s a brutal form of fighting that doesn’t fit my personality–but I need to overcome this mental block and acquire the coordination).
I don’t really have a “main art” but I have logged over 1.5 years of training in BJJ and ~25 hrs of private instruction under Coach Jack McVicker. I injured my knee in March, 1 week prior to Pan Ams and was forced to withdrawal and subsequently limit my mixed martial arts training. However, I was capable of participating in all sessions at Legends (I admit I did sit out of some Silat takedowns and some kicking MT drills). By day 4, I found myself evolving as a BJJ practitioner. I started to become more aware of how to borrow and integrate takedowns, trapping, mobility and coordination drills into my Jits game. Although I have been feeling really blue after my injury, I left this year’s Legends seminar feeling inspired by some of the greatest martial artists in the world. I cannot wait to resume my training after my knee is repaired and rehabilitated. In the meantime, I’ll be observing classes at McVicker’s Martial Arts Academy, and doing what I can with supplemental at-home online MMA training.