Training Martial Arts on the Road: Tips for Frequent Travelers

TRAINING MARTIAL ARTS ON THE ROAD

I love traveling solo. And one of my biggest dilemmas when I travel for more than a week, is having no one to train with. I need and want to train at least once a week. It drives me nuts sometimes when I don’t.

In Filipino martial arts, it’s important to have a training partner so you can practice drills and techniques more effectively. Usually, one acts as a feeder (teacher role) and the other, a receiver (student role). That’s why I find it difficult when I have to be away from my teacher and teammates for a long time.

So what does Eskrimadora the explorer (Hint hint: me!) do when she’s got no one to train with? Suck it up and practice solo! It’s surely not as fun as training with a partner. Often, it’s boring AF. But these blah things like solo training are essential to progress further—whether or not you’re a frequent traveler.

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Eat, Sleep, Train FMA: Balintawak Eskrima Training in Cebu (July 2015)

To be able to eat, sleep, train for a time is probably every ardent martial artist’s dream. This is the second time I joined a mini Filipino martial arts training camp like this. Back in January 2015, some of my teammates and I had a first taste of a 3-day Balintawak Eskrima Training… And we’ve been even hungrier ever since. This time around, we came back with two more Eskrima devoted teammates so they can also experience it.

Day 1 was action-packed. We started with the usual sightseeing in Cebu City, marveling at the Magellan’s Cross, Santo Niño Church and Fort San Pedro. A little trivia: Fort San Pedro is where GM Anciong Bacon used to train his Balintawak Eskrima students.

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What To Do In The Philippines

Aaah, where do I begin? The number of things to do in the Philippines is probably as plenty as its 7,107 islands. I don’t have the luxury of eternity to list everything. But here are top 7 things you can do when you visit the Philippines:

What to do in the Philippines if you need some vitamin sea?

1. Swim, skim, dive, surf, beach bum

El Nido

Image credit: Mitch Yu

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Meeting SGM Cacoy Canete of Doce Pares Eskrima Club

With SGM Cacoy Cañete

“The next time I get to Cebu, I’d like to meet SGM Cacoy Canete.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that to myself. I already lost count. At last, it happened, courtesy of Master V and Miss Dina!!!

Being an avid Eskrima fan and practitioner, it’s a dream come true for me to meet him. I bet all if not most Filipino martial artists would love to see him, too! Right??! No wonder I was over the moon when I’ve finally met him, in the flesh!

SGM Cacoy is still sharp and witty at 95-years-old. He has told our group a million jokes! And we enjoyed every bit of his punch lines. It’s very evident in his aura that he’s happy and fulfilled. He exudes so much happiness and it’s contagious. He’s a living proof that not taking life TOO seriously can bring you a long, cheerful life. So, go have fun and eat that cupcake already!

We also bought his latest book, The Art of Olisi-Baraw, and got it signed. Wohoo! We were still smiling from ear to ear long after our visit was over. What a wonderful way to end our 3-day Balintawak Eskrima training!

While I’m at it, I’ll shout out to the Universe, “The next time I get to Cebu, I’d like to meet GM Nick Elizar and Master Rodrigo Maranga.” Think positive and the Universe will conspire.

How about you, any Grandmasters you’d like to meet? Feel free to share in the comments! 🙂

Balintawak Eskrima Beach Training (January 2015)

Applied Eskrima Manila by the beach
Beach and Eskrima are two of my favorite things. Put them together and it’s a happiness explosion. Make it a sunrise or a sunset background and it’s heaven. We didn’t get the last one, but still it was pure joy.

The past couple of days of our 3-day Balintawak Eskrima training were a bit gloomy and stormy. Fortunately, we were blessed with a fine weather on our last day in Cebu—ideal for seaside training. So after our morning training and breakfast, Master V brought us to a nearby beach. Yay!

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Filipino Martial Arts: Balintawak Eskrima 3-Day Training (January 2015)

Applied Eskrima HQ Cebu

While everyone was catching Pope Francis fever, and others were partying at the Sinulog Festival, some of my Applied Eskrima teammates and I were learning the foundation of AE system. We flew in all the way from Manila to Cebu, where AE Headquarters is located, to get a 3-day intensive Filipino martial arts (Balintawak Eskrima) training with Master Virgil Cavada.

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Weapon Wednesday: The Kukris of Nepal

I’m krazy over kukri! One of the many reasons I visited Nepal was because of their national weapon, the kukri (also spelled as khukuri or kukuri). The Gurkhas (Nepalese soldiers) have been using these blades since the Gurkha war.

“If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”

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Street Harassment Has to Stop or Make It

Harassment

I just read an article about a Filipina traveler who got sexually harassed on the street while traveling in a foreign country I’d rather not mention. Apparently, after groping the poor girl, the perpetrators (yes, plural) left laughing.

Grrrrrrr!!!! My blood boils with wrath! I feel like slashing someone’s throat right now, preferably those fuckers who assaulted her.

If I ever find myself in that kind of predicament, I pray to the Universe that I’d have the opportunity to AT LEAST break my assailant’s arm and kick his groin.

Nobody

Stay safe everyone. And yes, that’s why learning some type of self-defense like Filipino martial arts is important. It’s better to know it and not need it than need it and not know it. Read: FMA as a great self-defense tool.

This was just supposed to be a tweet, but 140-characters are not enough to voice out my fury rant.

Mad Girl

I’m gonna smash you!

Ok, thanks, bye!

Feeling On Top of the World in Nepal

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa aka Monkey Temple

They say home is where the heart is. But can your heart or pieces of it be in many places? Because I think I’ve found home in Nepal. For a country so polar opposite of the Philippines, it made me feel a sense of belongingness. I fitted in perfectly like a piece of a missing puzzle. Though they (locals and foreigners) can’t even guess correctly where I’m from.

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Frustration Friday: Surfing

Alessa Quizon

Image source: Surfingmagazine.com

Surfing is really my first love—long before I discovered my passion for boxing, Muay Thai and Filipino Martial Arts. However, there are a ton of excuses reasons why I can’t fully commit to it. Or maybe I just don’t love it enough to pursue it. Let’s not get dramatic and see below.

Possible accidents – Surfing is an extreme sport. It’s very risky. Surfers, especially super newbies like me, are prone to many various injuries. Duh, I don’t wanna die yet or get injured to the point I can’t do martial arts or reggae dance anymore! I’m particularly scared of crashing on a reef, colliding with surfboards/other surfers, fin ripping my body, tangled cord—I could go on and on.

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