The Filipino Martial Arts are beginning to become more popular in our day and age. As the Chief Instructor of Bayani Warrior (www.bayaniwarrior.com), I get emails and messages from all over the USA (and sometimes the world) on my Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube asking about which Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) Schools I recommend in their area. While I am a Full-Time FMA teacher through Bayani Warrior and while I have instructors all over the country, I still believe it’s important to note that I have many friends and “older brothers” in the FMA community that I constantly talk about and recommend. These are all individuals I have had the Blessing of being able to meet, or train with personally. This is not a complete list, but rather, a growing one. There are numerous individuals that I want to seek to continue to learn with and grow from.
The following is a list of schools I recommend, and I have included their location and website for you all to check out. They may focus solely on FMA as I do, or contain FMA in their school’s curriculum. Regardless, I feel their knowledge, teaching methods, and skill are top-notch.
EAST COAST SCHOOLS
50-12 72nd Street, 2nd Floor Woodside, NY 11377 (www.trainurbanjungle.com)
Guro Joshua Votaw of Atienza Kali runs Urban Jungle, a Queens, NYC fitness center which also teaches classes in Atienza Kali. Urban Jungle truly echoes the vibe and energy of New York City. I would go there every few months or so to train in Atienza Kali, and every time I went there, I wouldn’t want to leave. The fitness classes are truly challenging and great for anyone interested in getting into top shape, and the Atienza Kali program is also second to none, being that Guro Josh Votaw is a Full Instructor in Atienza Kali.
Edgewater, NJ (for more information visit www.tumabak.com)
Guro Sean Brandt was my first instructor in Sayoc Kali. His group, Tumabak Kali, focuses on Sayoc and Atienza Kali training in the Edgewater area, which is nearby Hoboken, Englewood, and Jersey City. Guro Sean Brandt is a highly experienced not just in Sayoc and Atienza, but several other martial arts as well, and his years of experience training in different systems allows him to communicate to practitioners from a wide-range of backgrounds and systems, particularly those from Combat Sport backgrounds. If you live in the Northern NJ area, I recommend you check out his group.
(NOTE: As far as New Jersey schools go, the other individuals I have trained under are no longer teaching. I do have several friends teaching in private settings within the New Jersey area, as well as Bayani Warrior Instructors throughout New Jersey, so if you are interested, contact me and I can link you to them.)
Kapatid Martial Arts
175 Tompkins Ave, Pleasantville, NY 10570 (www.kapatidmartialarts.com)
While I have personally never set foot in this school, I have had the honor of speaking to and training briefly with Tuhon Patrick Consing, owner of Kapatid Martial Arts in Pleasantville, NY. I have met Tuhon Pat at the last three Sayoc Kali Sama Sama weekends, and this past Sama Sama I was able to actually train under him during one his training segments. His teaching style is firm, articulate, and direct, and his teaching skill echoes in his students, who I have also been fortunate to meet. He has also helped guide me in my endeavors as a martial arts instructor, and my current goal of being a martial arts school owner.
Counter-Assault Training Association
War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Danbury CT 06810 (call 203-733-7232 for more info)
The Counter Assault Training Association focuses on Wing Chun and Atienza Kali instruction. The two leaders, Guro Pete Gerardi and Guro Clint San Antonio are two of the best martial arts instructors I have had the honor of training with and learning from. They are truly dedicated to their training as well as the training of their students. If you are in Connecticut make sure to get the chance to train with them.
Lakas Filipino Martial Arts
Baltimore, Maryland (Visit www.lakasfma.com for more info)
Guro Joey Marana, head of Lakas Filipino Martial Arts in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the best FMA instructors I know and more importantly, one of my closest friends in the FMA community. He specializes in Inosanto Kali, Sayoc Kali, and Atienza Kali, and currently offers classes in these systems in the Baltimore, Maryland area. He is truly an Ambassador to the FMAs and he and I have had numerous conversations regarding our views on the state of FMA for the next generation. If you are in the Baltimore area, make sure to check out his classes.
IMPACT Martial Arts Academy
3877 Holland Rd #400, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
IMPACT Martial Arts Academy in Virginia Beach, Virginia is more than just a martial arts school. It’s a positive, safe-haven for those interested in bettering their lives through the martial arts. The school owners, Guro Ervin Quintin and Simo Eloy Quintin are two close friends of mine, and are some of the most passionate individuals you will ever meet, as well as two of the most knowledgable martial artists you will meet. Their school offers instruction not just in Filipino Kali (Inosanto Kali and Sayoc Kali) but also Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu, and Muay Thai. The school really puts the word “family” in “family business” and the whole Quintin family takes an active role in maintaining the school as well as instructing classes at the school. In addition, there is truly a family-oriented feel throughout the school. If there is one school in Virginia Beach you check out, make sure it’s this one.
Warriors Way Martial Arts Academy
4020 Rhea Rd Ste 7C Wichita Falls, TX 76308 (www.warriorswaytx.com)
In the great state of Texas (where I recently moved to), Guro Harley Elmore runs one of the most popular schools in the state for Filipino Kali and Jeet Kune Do instruction, and for good reason. He is an instructor under the legendary Dan Inosanto in Filipino Kali and Jeet Kune Do, and he is also a Full-Instructor in Sayoc Kali under Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc. He also has in-depth experience with the Bahala Na Escrima system under Grandmaster Antonio Somera. I recently visited his school and I was amazed by the organization and design of the school. This is truly a school for those passionate about the martial arts, particularly the Southeast Asian arts of Kali and Silat. When it comes to teaching FMA in the state of Texas, I am glad that I have the guidance of someone like Guro Harley who is always willing to give great advice and help point me in the right direction.
Striker Fight Center
771 Shallowford Rd NE, Kennesaw, GA 3014 (www.strikerfightmma.com)
This is an MMA school that has some of the best MMA training you will find in the state of Georgia. They offer top-quality Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Judo, Wing Chun, and MMA. Not only that, but Guro Steven Broughman also offers training in Atienza Kali alongside my good friend Guro Khris Allen of Atienza Kali. Guros Steve and Guro Khris have decades of martial arts experience. Guro Steve has a Black Sash in Wing Chun, a Black Belt in Brazilian Jujitsu under Pedro Sauer, and Guro Khris holds a 7th Dan in Sanuces-Ryu Jujitsu under the Dr. Moses Powell lineage. This combined martial arts experience alongside their high-level of knowledge and skill in Atienza Kali allow them to reach a very wide audience. Their skills are incredible and I highly, highly recommend them if you are ever in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Tribal Tactics (Sherman Oaks, California visit www.tribal-tactics.com for info)
Guro Brian Calaustro heads Tribal Tactics, a group that specializes in Sayoc Kali and Atienza Kali instruction. Guro Brian recently helped assist with choreography on the hit TV show, “NCIS: LA” and is incredibly skilled and knowledgeable in the Filipino martial arts as a Full-Instructor in both Sayoc Kali and Atienza Kali. I have had the honor of learning from him during Atienza Kali instructor weekends as well as at the last few Sayoc Sama Sama events where he and his cousin, Tuhon Patrick Consing (who I mentioned earlier) put on the coolest display with Filipino Spear and Staff that I have ever seen.
4356 Coliseum Way Oakland, CA 94601 (www.sayocnorcal.com)
Sayoc NorCal is run by Tuhon Ricardo Kayanan and Guro John Perrings (aka Guro JP for short). Tuhon Ricardo is a Master Level instructor in Sayoc Kali and Guro JP possesses the title of “Keeper of the Knowledge” in the Sayoc Kali organization and is the highest ranking Associate instructor within the Sayoc organization. He is also an instructor in Atienza Kali. He, like Guro Brian, has also helped with choreography for NCIS: LA. For all my friends in the Northern CA area, I always tell them to check out his group for FMA training.
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