Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's wrong with Aikido?

What's wrong with Aikido?

First let me briefly mention my background so that I don't sound like a total keyboard warrior.
I have about 4 years worth of Aikido training on and off. I also have about 10 years of Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA training. 

That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with Aikido. 
You might be thinking, if Wmpyr really has MMA training how could Wmpyr possibly think that Aikido is as good/legit as MMA?

If your a tough guy and can handle MMA training, great, go do it man. However not everyone can handle that. Maybe after a few years of traditional martial arts training they might become strong enough to move up to MMA training. 
However the average person may find combat sports way too rough. 
For the average person Aikido maybe a much better answer. 

Aikido has it's place, and I would rather train in Aikido than go to a BJJ or MMA gym right now. I'm over 40 years old and have nothing to prove. Last thing I need is for some young whipper snapper to make me his nemesis and heel hook my knee to a crippled life. 

The only problem with Aikido are the practitioners who think they can fight when they can't. BUT that is true of any style including MMA. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Martial Arts vs Sport

Based on the comments I get from Youtube, people seem to think that martial art and sport are 2 different things.

In other words these people do not really see Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, or MMA as a martial art. They see it as sport.

What's the difference between sport and martial arts? They will tell you that sports has rules, martial arts does not.

That definitely makes martial arts sound cooler.
It sounds like sport is not as effective.

So even if the statement is true, it's misleading.

Why? First of all combat sports is martial arts. At least the way I see it.
So Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, and MMA is martial arts in my point of view.

Why do I say this? Simply because sport to me is nothing more than sparring taken to the extreme.
And most martial arts do sparring or at the very least see the value of sparring.
So even if you insist that combat sports are not a martial art you cannot deny that it's 100% connected to martial arts.

Sport is a form of sparring. It's full contact sparring to the highest degree.

Most people who do not give sports any credit do not understand how high the level of competition is, how difficult it is to compete and do well. They have no clue.

Sport has rules for sure, but rather than looking at that as a limitation, I view it as a way to excel. Because of the rules, Boxers have amazing hands. If they were allowed to kick it would let them have an excuse to do something else and not sharpen their hand skills as much.

Sport makes you work on a specific set of skills and take it to a very high level because of those rules. The skills that you have from sport can be used in real combat.

However it may not come to play, you may not get a chance to use your Boxing skills, because let's say the bad guy took you down to the ground, or he pulled a knife or gun on you. Even though your Boxing skills never came into play, it doesn't mean that they are worthless. They were worthless in that particular moment, but in another situation who knows? If a Grappler beats a Boxer, it doesn't mean that Boxing is useless, the Boxer's punches are still dangerous.

Take a look at an Apache helicopter, it's an awesome combat helicopter, however can one say that it's better than a F-15 or a battle ship, or a tank? In certain situations the Apache shines, in others it was not meant for.

A self-defense situation can mean a lot of things, so the important thing is to understand when and how you can use your skills rather than criticize other styles.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tai Chi Master vs MMA fighter

For those that do not know, spoiler alert ahead!

The result was quick and brutal.
And in all honesty should not have been a surprise in my opinion.

Why did the Tai Chi master get demolished in a one sided violent fight?
More importantly why were so many people shocked at the outcome?

The answer to the first question is simple.
We had a teacher go up against a fighter. That's why the Tai Chi master lost.
This is what people fail to understand. If you accumulate a ton of knowledge, it doesn't automatically make you a good fighter.

In fact there are many good fighters that do not have a ton of knowledge, because fighting doesn't require knowledge.

The big difference here is knowledge versus applied knowledge.
So the Tai Chi master should have a very thorough and complete knowledge about Tai Chi.
The MMA fighter may not have a ton of knowledge about MMA which is comprised of cross training in a select couple of martial arts such as Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling. However the main thing is can he apply what he knows against a fully resisting opponent, can he fight against another human being to create opportunities to apply his techniques? And the answer is yes, yes he can.

Why were people so shocked at the outcome?
I'm gonna blame cinema. I really think that movies have shown the fantasy side of martial arts and not the reality side. We have become so accustomed to the fantasy side that the public can't understand what is real and what is fake.

I think fantasy is fine, it can entertain and encourage us, but when there is too much of it, and people's minds are clouded in fantasy then this is bad because they are living a lie and they have false expectations. The public expects to see an 80 year old man, who is morally and ethically just, be able to defeat 10 bad guys at once with his Kung Fu skills. If this was real we would be fighting wars with highly trained Kung Fu experts armed with ancient weapons, rather than soldiers with firearms.

I believe that the Tai Chi master thought he was going to do well, why else would he have accepted the challenge match? He starts off confident with his arms raised up high. Sadly he got a dose of reality. This means that he didn't train seeking reality. In martial arts training, you should incorporate the pursuit of truth. If all we did was train martial arts for putting on a show, like a Hollywood fight scene, you can end up becoming very arrogant. And I've met people like that. I've met people who did point fighting and thought it was real fighting. You could even be a world champion Kickboxer and be an excellent fighter, but if you don't have a good sense of reality you can go into a bad neighborhood act tough and then get shot.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Author Bram Frank

Book Review by Wmpyr

If you like knives, then this book is going to make you drool like crazy. You can expect to see a ton of amazing knives designed by Professor Bram Frank. You will see many famous brands and world reknown knife makers mentioned in this book. 

Mini War Hammer

You will see that Professor Bram Frank has been awarded the highest credentials and martial arts pedigrees. But don't worry, you will also get to know the person behind the designs.  

Reading about a kid who loved knives, knights and armor, who eventually became a professor of warrior culture, and then to go on and produce the ultimate tactical knife. 

You get the sense that it was destiny for Professor Bram Frank to create his knives and win the Tactical Knife of the Year award. You will learn that the Professor didn't create just one or a handful of knives, he created an entire species. The Gunting Knives are in a very specific class of their own.   

Unlike other tactical knives that have one or two functions, the Gunting Knives have many features, each one designed for self-defense. We can go one more step further and say that the concepts utilized come from the teachings found in the Filipino Martial Arts. And yes, some of these knife techniques are demonstrated in step by step photos in this book. 

Filipino Martial Arts in the palm of your hand.

What is Filipino Martial Arts? Filipino Martial Arts specializes in sticks and blades, used by the military and Police. It has been featured in numerous Hollywood films such as The Bourne Identity, I am Frankenstein, and The Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones. 

It's just amazing how many different versions of the Gunting Knife exist. Many of the blade shapes are modeled after famous swords from history. There are so many different blade shapes, and the knives themselves have different forms, such as the fixed blades, neck knives, Karambit/Desangut, women friendly versions, Balisong/butterfly knife, Straight razor, emergency rescue knife, short sword, spring assisted opening, trainers, and non edge self-defense versions. Over 30 years in the making, you definitely feel like no stone has been unturned. 

However this book features so much more! There are concept design sketches, showing so many knives that I wish were produced today. There are diagrams to show you exactly how the unique Puzzle Lock works. 

You'll even get a look into the factory where the latest Gunting knives are made. And after seeing all of that you start to get a glimpse to understand just how much work, blood sweat and tears has gone into the making of the Gunting style of knives available today.   

You'll even see knives that are not part of the Gunting family of knives, more like a distant relative from a totally different maker, but the influences are there. 

So if you already own one of the Gunting Knives, this book will make you appreciate it ten fold, and if you don't, by the end you will be itching to own one of the most significant tactical knives ever made.  
Professor Bram Frank's knives Official website

Sunday, May 14, 2017


In a real life altercation, where things can be total chaos, and people are trying to make critical decisions under extreme pressure, the person with a clear mind will have an advantage. 

When you are unsure, that moment of hesitation creates an opening for your opponent to take advantage of. 

When I was in junior high school, one summer I went to a dormitory. There I got into my first real fight. The guy was a bully and had a very dark and twisted attitude about him. I punched him in the ribs with everything I had, then I grabbed his hair and proceeded to kick him repeatedly in the ribs with everything I had. I shoved him,  I was still standing and he was balled up on the ground, and I didn't know what to do, but I knew I had to do something. First thing that came to mind was soccer kick him in the face, but it seemed too extreme, second thing was to jump up in the air and double stomp him like Bruce Lee did in Enter the Dragon, which also seemed like too much. Third was to drop an elbow to the spine, but once again it seemed like too much, plus none of these moves I was familiar with, so I hesitated, instead I punched him in his back and felt like an idiot. 

I said to myself: "what in the world was that? The stupidest punch ever!" Well, he yelled out: "You win! Stop! I give up!" So I stopped and he got up extended his hand, as I reluctantly went to shake it, he punched me with the other hand, he rocked my head way back, to this day my vision do not match.

Moral of the tale, do not hesitate. In order not to hesitate, you need to know exactly what to do, you need to know what to expect, so that you can act upon a clear mind and complete your mission.

That fight took place around 1992, before the UFC. If I had known MMA, I would have been able to control him by going to the ground and wearing him down systematically. I didn't have to get the Mount and destroy his face like Pat Smith did to Scott Morris in UFC 2. However I could have had much better control. If I didn't want to commit that much at least I would have known that there was no control and I needed to leave completely or finish the job like Wanderlei Silva had done many times in PRIDE and stomped this guy, but at least I would have known, what that would be like, how far to take it, and that I wasn't going to kill the guy.     

There were many things that I could have done, but either way, the main thing was I hesitated, my mind was not where it needed to be. So I was totally vulnerable. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tai Chi vs MMA

I recently saw the infamous video that has China all stirred up.
A former MMA fighter goes up against an alleged Tai Chi master.
I also got to have a discussion about it with my long time martial arts friend.

The result is of no surprise to me.
Get any Tai Chi master and have him go up against a pro fighter and the result would probably be the same. Quick destruction of someone that clearly doesn't know how to fight.

1. So why does this happen?
2. Why is it of no surprise?
3. What good is Tai Chi?

1. Why does this happen?
The Tai Chi master loses because he doesn't know how to fight. His opponent a former MMA fighter does. It's as simple as that.

2. Why is it of no surprise?
I've said it before that the purpose of a traditional martial arts school is to pass it on. That's what a tradition is. So the Tai Chi master is a scholar who knows just about everything there is to learn about the style and passes it on. That has nothing to do with fighting.

Your asking for a curator of a museum, or a master librarian to go perform. It's not going to happen.

3. What good is Tai Chi?
So if learning Tai Chi is not going to result in defeating the MMA fighter, then what good is it? The benefits are actually too numerous to list. The only thing you can't do is to expect the Tai Chi techniques to be superior in a fight against a real fighter.

Conclusion The life of a fighter is straight forward, your going to become tough, and then your going to become an athlete. Your going to win some and lose some, you learn that fighting is tougher than you. At the end your going to realize that you've shortened your life or at the very least decreased the comfort of your life. You will however know what real fighting is like, and you will have that experience.

Traditional martial arts like Tai Chi offers so much more. But in return you won't be the fighter that you think or expect to be especially if you've seen one too many movies.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What is a warrior?


To me a warrior is someone that may use the rules to their advantage but they don't hide behind it. When I competed in BJJ, I followed the rules, but I expected my opponent to cheat. 

To me a warrior is someone that is always ready for combat. There is a difference between paranoid and prepared. Paranoid is when you cannot function in normal society, being prepared is when your smart.  

To me a warrior is someone that can and will live in less comfort, they definitely don't demand comfort, in fact they may see the discomfort as a challenge they are willing to face and conquer. Things like ice in your drink, AC, hot showers are all not necessary to sustain life.  

To me a warrior is someone that has a code of honor. Don't expect others to follow your code, and don't force your code on others. Having a code isn't for putting yourself up on a pedestal and looking down on others, but it's just a guide you follow to help you live a better quality of life. When you meet someone that also has a code you are more likely to appreciate them and make good friends.

To me a warrior is someone that never underestimates an enemy or task. 

To me a warrior is someone that always expects the worst but hopes for the best. Never lose hope.

To me a warrior is someone that doesn't over step their boundaries. If you think you can get away with something, most people will cross the line, a warrior will not, because it's not about success or failure, it's the principal of things. 

To me a warrior is someone that only fights someone stronger than they are. A bully is someone that picks on a weaker person, the warrior is the opposite they see it cowardly to do so, but honorable to defend the weak. 

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: