Friday, April 28, 2017

Lapu Lapu Corto Tanto Knife

Lapu Lapu Corto Tanto Knife

Made by DragonNails
Designed by Prof. Bram Frank

Review by Wmpyr

closed: 5 1/5"
open: 8 1/5"
blade: 3"
steel: 8Cr13MoV (Chinese AUS-8)
Hardness: HRC 56-58

The Lapu Lapu Corto Knife was designed based on Filipino Martial Arts concepts and self-defense techniques.

This knife is loaded with many unique special features! Knowing these features on the knife provides you with a complete self-defense system.

The Karambit and the Tanto are probably two of the most popular tactical knife designs today. So, it's no surprise that we now get the Lapu Lapu Corto in a Tanto blade shape.

The blade has a thick spine for rugged multi-use. The Tanto is practically designed for piercing through tough material. Plus the Tanto blade makes it easier to sharpen compared to other blade shapes.

***Breakdown of the System***

The Lapu Lapu Corto knife sits high on your pocket for easy access like the hilt of a sword.

In a crisis situation, you quickly draw the knife and simply use it closed as is, without worrying about deploying the blade. Keeping it simple and safe, so that one doesn't accidentally cut themselves with their own knife in a scuffle.

Let the knife do the work. In the closed position the Lapu Lapu Corto is a Kubotan/Yawara stick on steroids. You can strike with it like a mini war club. It will enhance your martial arts techniques or your brawling abilities.  

If using it closed doesn't get you out of the hairy mess, you can deploy the razor sharp blade by hooking and pulling, this is called a Kinetic Opening. Kinetic Openings are versatile because your not limited to just hooking off your pants pocket, you can Kin-Op your opponent's arms, collar bone, ankle, furniture, or even a near by tree!  

So whether you go with the original Persian blade shape or the Tanto blade shape (both are based off of swords), either way your getting all the bells and whistles of the Gunting style of self-defense knife.  

Do you want a smooth slicing and dicing machine or a rugged and crude piercing machine?

I give the Lapu Lapu Corto Tanto Knife 5 out of 5 stars! Home of the Lapu Lapu Corto Knife!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lapu Lapu Corto Knife review by Wmpyr

LLC Live Blade made by DragonNails
Desgined by Prof. Bram Frank

closed: 5 1/5"
open: 8 1/5"
blade: 3"
steel: 8Cr13MoV (Chinese AUS-8)
Hardness: HRC 56-58

*Full steel jimped liners for retention
*Post in the hole indexing for grip switching
*Post in the hole indexing for pocket retenion
*Flat spoon clip for indexing and retention
*Bramp kinetic opening 
*Bramp for tip control in fine cutting
*Bramp for trapping, hammering, joint locks
*Bramp for upside down braced cutting
*Non slip bio mechanical handle (firearm grip)
*Braille more than color coded for dim light
*Dual access pivot point
*Solid butt piece for counter weight
*Compound puzzle lock (dove tail joint lock)
*Functioning thong hole for lanyard

Review by Wmpyr

This is no ordinary knife, when you carry this with you, your not holding a knife, you have Filipino martial arts in the palm of your hand. I'm not joking, this knife is designed from Filipino martial arts concepts. Filipino martial arts are practiced by countless people around the world for practical self-defense.

This knife is a system. The many features on this knife teach you how to access the self-defense system it's based on. 

I feel comfortable with the Lapu Lapu Corto Knife system, because it's very clear for me what to do. Number one is to just access your knife as fast as you can. And since it sits high in my pocket, it's easy to access like the hilt of a sword. Plus I don't have to worry about deploying the blade at this point. 

Not worrying about the blade at this time is great for legal reasons, and also safety reasons! At the start of an altercation when things can be sudden and chaotic, I don't want to accidentally cut the wrong person or myself. 

Once the knife is in my hand, I simply use it closed like a mini war hammer. The over sized ramp and steel reinforced pommel help you with any striking needs. The Lapu Lapu Corto can do more, and it can be used as a Kubotan/Yawara Stick on steroids. 

If your a tactical knife fan, and you like the Emerson Wave function, then the Kinetic Opening should be right up your alley! However, the Kinetic Opening is not limited to just your pants pocket. You can use the ramp to hook and pull on just about anything! 

Trying to figure out different ways to do a Kinetic Opening is half the fun! You can be nice and do it on the bad guy's clothing, or you can be mean as can be and do it to their collarbone, ear, nostril, or lip!

With this knife your getting two tools in one, non-lethal self-defense impact tool and a razor sharp knife. Not only that, it has the ability to smoothly flow from one mode to the other. 

The martial arts concepts behind this knife is not complicated. Just knowing it's features will help guide you to it's intended self-defense system.    

I give this knife 5 out of 5 stars! Highest possible recommendation!

Prof Bram Frank's website:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Perspectives of Modular Instructor Guide book review

Author: Bram Frank

review by Wmpyr

After reading this book, I feel anxious, it's that nervous energy you get because you want to go out 

there and practice! After twenty years of training and teaching Filipino martial arts, I thought that my 

core foundations were built. Sure there are plenty of instructors that can teach me new techniques, new 

details, new strategies, but those are all icing on the cake, the cake is done my friends, or so I 

thought. Professor Bram Frank's book is showing me how to take my cake to the next level. Now that's 

exciting! That's why I feel this jitteriness!

This book is loaded with easy to understand illustrations, even some gory gruesome photos, step by step 

photos, and what knife nuts like to say, knife porn.  

The main ideas are repeated over and over again, so it's drilled into your mind. I swear reading this 

book feels like I'm training.

And how can you not like a martial arts book where the Black Knight from Monty Python (one of my 

favorite films of all time) is one of the main principals! 

We also have a Star Trek Deep Space 9 reference, many Bruce Lee quotes, and I also like how there are 

mucho references to other martial arts styles as well, and not in a negative light but in a positive 

light mind you. I also enjoyed that it explains how to teach.

And since my Filipino martial arts teacher's teacher was Professor Remy Presas it was awesome to read 

about Professor Bram Frank's wild yet enlightening stories with Professor Remy Presas. 

However all of that is just the frosting, the true gem is the CSSDSC (Common Sense Self-Defense Street 

Combat) program itself. 

You are logically told why a knife is the best answer to self-defense.
Not only do you learn what Biomechanical Shutdown is, but why it's the best.

And in my personal opinion, the Modular System helps a person understand the most complicated aspect of 

Filipino martial arts in the simplest of manner without leaving anything out. 
You learn in pieces that can be built and put together like Lego. 

So the idea is to adapt to the chaos that is real combat, rather than trying to forcefully make your 

fixed set of techniques happen. It makes perfect sense to me, you go against nature you lose, you go 

with it, well it's the only way. 

I think that sums up the book, it's like that saying, simple to learn, life time to master!   

Professor Bram Frank's website:

Friday, March 31, 2017


Author: Bram Frank

review by Wmpyr

If you have been seriously training in Filipino martial arts, then chances are your instructor or in my case my instructor's instructor (Professor Remy Presas) is bound to be featured in this book.

Since the explosion of Youtube, we have many opportunities to see actual video footage of these exceptional martial arts teachers. So it was nice to see many of these "familiar faces" featured in this book, so that I could further understand some of their personal history and background.

Looking through a who's who of Filipino martial arts experts compiled into Professor Bram Frank's book gives the reader some insight into the rich history of Filipino martial arts, and how each one of the leading practitioners have served to be building blocks to develop the community that is Filipino martial arts.

In other words the teachers give back to society by passing on their knowledge. This keeps the art alive and well as it progresses to the next era. Professor Bram Frank's book let's you peep into the Filipino martial art's circle of life.  

As much as it was great to look up certain instructors in this book or learn about new ones, which I did until wee hours in the morning, even better was at the start of the book, Professor Bram Frank states that this is not about comparing who is better, or who is right, but instead it's about setting differences aside, respecting the different perspectives and directions of each individual, and uniting under the Filipino martial arts banner to spread the art.

Reading this book made me proud to be a part of this community. From my personal experiences I can say that Filipino martial arts practitioners have been very generous to share their knowledge with me. They have also given me very kind words of support and encouragement. I am very grateful for that and the best way that I feel I can say "Thank you" is to continue this tradition and help others learn the art.  

Professor Bram Frank's website:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

decoding the haymaker to further understand eskrima

In Western Boxing people know that, you need to make punches that quickly return and have your hands up. This is evident when you punch a bag that bounces back. Each time it bounces back that simulates an attack from your opponent, and it can be so fast that you need to keep your hands up to guard your head.

All this makes sense, however, we can ask the question, if all this makes sense, then why do we throw big haymaker punches?

From a knife fighting perspective, you can see people cut water bottles and other targets using big wild swings, this is because big swinging motions have the most power. These big swinging moves can totally leave you wide open and may not be the smartest move to do, but at the right time it can cause some major damage.

In Eskrima we have big swinging haymaker style moves, but we also have more compact slashes. These slashes work great with weapons especially bladed weapons, but when translated to empty hands the slashing motions of Eskrima do not have your hands up.

As we mentioned at first, from a Boxing perspective this is not a good idea.
However in Eskrima, our slashes may not have our arms up guarding our head like a Boxer, it is designed to close the distance and bash the enemy with your forearms.

In Eskrima, when our arms are crossed, we use the forearms to safely clinch and fight from there.       

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sensitivity skills in martial arts

Many people see Aikido people practicing and they say it looks like it's fake.
It looks like they are going along with each other, like a dance.

To a certain extent they are correct.
The first thing in Aikido is that you learn that you must comply with your partner so that when they throw or take you down, it doesn't hurt you. If you resist or go against the technique you can get injured badly. So yeah you are "going with" your partner so that you learn how not to get hurt when someone does a move like this to you.

The second thing is that by "going with" your partner, your learning how to feel your opponent's force. Now this may sound mystical but you can look at it from a physics point of view. If they throw or take you down, that requires energy and force, by complying to their technique you are learning how to sense that force and go with it. Kind of like a wave in the ocean, if you go with the wave you can find spots to breathe and naturally come up, but if you go against it, you can drown and wear yourself out. Or even a car crash, if you relax and go with the force, you can minimize the damage and only have superficial injuries, but if you tense up, you can really hurt yourself badly.

Trying to read the force is called sensitivity training. Many martial art styles have figured out that having good sensitivity can make you a much better warrior. So they have implemented ways to develop sensitivity.

Chinese styles like Wing Chun and Tai Chi practice sensitivity from hand partner exercises. Filipino martial arts also have something similar.

Back when I was learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, I noticed that when we sparred 99% of the time, we began from our knees. The first martial art that I ever encountered that worked from the knees a whole lot was none other than Aikido. So I tried to incorporate some Aikido into my BJJ practice.

It wasn't so much the techniques that I incorporated but the principals and especially the sensitivity. Once I started to do that, my BJJ skills became much better. I was able to transition from position to position, technique to technique much better. I was able to relax and become more efficient because I was tensing up less and trying to read my opponent's energy instead.

I decided to write about this today because I saw a video on Youtube with a Rickson Gracie black belt talking about connecting and disconnecting in what Rickson calls Invisible Jiu-jitsu. As I was watching the video I immediately thought, oh he is talking about sensitivity.

The difference though is not about connecting and disconnecting from your opponent, because the way I learned things was that if I'm separated from my opponent they can hit me and throw me, but if I connect with them, and become one with them, we become joined like we are one entity, then it becomes hard for them to throw themselves, or hit themselves.

So I don't exactly 100% agree with what the Rickson Gracie black belt said. But I am 100% for sensitivity. I remember in Russian martial arts training the idea of becoming one with your opponent was introduced to me from a Sambo throw. It makes it harder for your opponent to throw you and easier for you to sense when to throw them.

Becoming one with your opponent is the key principal in Aikido. To blend in with their movement, I always thought it sounded very ninja like. To me a good ninja would have Tai Sabaki similar to an Aikido ka.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Aikido in MMA

I recently saw a video on Youtube where a guy was talking about why we don't see Aikido techniques in MMA.

I think there are two common reasons as to why this is.

1) Because they don't work.
2) Because Aikido is for self-defense/combat, while MMA is a sport/duel.

I disagree strongly with both reasons.

The people who think that we don't see Aikido techniques in MMA because they don't work, still operate in a way of thinking where they believe that certain techniques work and don't work.

They are wrong in my opinion because any technique has the potential to work, fail, and everything in between. Simply put, there are no guarantees.

Instead of viewing the technique as it works or not, I think people should become more responsible and say I don't know how to make this technique work, rather than blame the technique.

Many people see BJJ as a style that works, so if we get a BJJ technique like a rear naked choke, if you are a beginner and you walk into a BJJ school, I guarantee that the RNC will not work for you, in fact probably non of the BJJ techniques will work for you the first week that your there.

Moving on to opinion number two, where people think that Aikido techniques are not seen in MMA because they are designed for combat and not sport.

I disagree with this statement too, because whether we are talking about combat, a street fight, bar fight, dark alley fight, self-defense, home invasion, sport, fighting on grass or sand, multiple attackers, these are all just scenarios. And the main thing is that the body mechanics, human aggression, stress, timing, physical contact, things like this do not change.

So if I'm going to use an Aikido wrist lock technique it doesn't matter what scenario, as far as what it takes to execute the technique it won't change, because I'm doing it to a human being in a physical confrontation. Now if I do the technique and his buddy comes up to me from behind and kicks me in the junk, it doesn't mean that the technique failed, it means that it was the wrong time for me to do the move, or the strategy was not good. 

So why do we not see Aikido moves in MMA?
Simply put because there are not enough Aikido people interested in competing in MMA.How many Aikido schools are there where they focus on competing in MMA? How many MMA fighters cross train with Aikido people? Now ask the same two questions with Muay Thai, wrestling, Boxing, and BJJ.

How many Judo and Sambo people do MMA at a televised level? Not many, how many Tae Kwon Do and Karate people do MMA at a televised level, probably even less than the Judo and Sambo people. So you can imagine, something like Aikido, Tai Chi, Systema, Wing Chun, and Eskrima, would be close to zero.