Wisdom of the Grand master

Professeur Paul-Raymond Buitron III,

I was honored that Grandmaster Peter Freedman asked me to write a bit on the pugilistic art that has placed me in trouble and taken me out of trouble throughout my life. At the age of 6 I was introduce B My Uncle Isidro Chapa into the Basque martial art system of Zipota which I have found out it was one of the indo European martial art systems. At the age of 18 I met Professeur Robert Paturel , at 19 I received a full scholarship From the French Federation of Savate to learn and so I left . Once in France the Federation sent me to train at INSEP with Richard Sylla, as well as with Micheal Gilbertwhere I was taught the apprentice of how to teach and become a Professeur. Here with Micheal Gilbert I had my Club for three years ASPTT-Chaudron. I met Viviani, Under Viviani I started to understand that Savate: Boxe Francaise was a sport a new discipline and it had become from two distinct fighting styles of the ring and street: Savate and Boxe Francaise. As well as the appendage discipline and concurrent disciplines of the arts. Such as Lutte Parissiene, Panacahe , La canne et Baton. Along with the different weapons taught after one became professeru of the arts. It was a brigade system that savate was. And many of the pieces of the puzzle have been lost due to petty politics and folks dying and never passing on the traditions. So, I was formed a Professeur of under three: Robert Paturel, Jean-Paul Viviani and Roger Lafond. In 1994 the International Guild of Danse De Rue Savate was formed. Danse De Rue Savate has been designed with a view to impact to peaceful by defending themselves against ruffians, thugs or bullies, and comprises not only empty hands but also the use of weapons in a style in which weight and strength play only a very minor part. Therefore, Danse De Rue Savate has been instituted with its pedagogy to express object of enabling an practitioners to meet and understand the possible kinds of subterfuge or foul play. The goal is the ability to achieve one objective: surviving a street situation. For me, nothing has changed; I continue practicing Savate according to traditions that I was instilled, yet the following are the main reasons why I teach and still practice this art for over 40 years. Many search Savate for various reasons; its rarity as a martial art, its valor in the combative realm and its proven effectiveness which is told in countless stories world wide. Its borrowing of techniques that have influenced many martial arts within the four corners of the globe since the 1800s to the present. I have researched the history and written 12 books on the subject in the past 20 years and it is not easy to trace the history of Savate. Its written documentation is limited and oral information is handed down from Professeur to Professeur cannot fully answer all the riddles. I have interviewed the remaining Professeurs which were 54 in 2013 and several have passed away since then, to archives that moment in time that illuminate this Pugilistic style. One understands fully that it is indigenous to France, yet it is very complicated to determine when and from where Savate began. We know who pioneered its spreading Maitre Michael Casseux Pisseux. Still, all the experts believe that Savate is older than its first public academy of 1803, its exact creation is obscure yet the usage of Savate as a self-defense technique reaches back in antiquity. Many confuse the different pugilistic styles that existed in France such as: Chausson, Savate, Zipota and Purring which are all mentioned in the same time frame. Usages of French foot fighting have used in various books dating as early as 1470. Today you have the sport Savate: Boxe Francaise, the martial entity of Danse De Rue Savate as well as some others dialects which have developed in the past ten years. By summarizing a life long practice and teaching experience in Savate, I have never stopped listening or learning. I have learned a lot from skilled instructors not only in the realm of Savate but of other Martial arts as well. Always paying homage and recognizing their instructions. The consensus of many Professeurs today and I feel the same is: Old savateurs were less aggressive and more dangerous, today savateurs are more technically aggressive and less dangerous. Today we see very fast blows, strong presence in a combative situation in the ring; yet the kicks are not as accurate as they were 20 years ago. . The mentality is sport so a savateur today doesn’t even have to defend oneself for the street. Why? Because the pedagogy and philosophy of the federation has removed the professors from passing that onward, truly a sad case of political control both in the federation and government. What makes a Danse de Rue Savate practitioner different than other martial artists? It is a system that is geared for survival, fighting and for developing mental toughness. The old philosophy was savateur does not fear death or hunger, never running from an ambush instead faces it and configuring its weakness. A savateur does not tremble in front of any man instead looks them in the eye. A true savateur will never leave his brother hanging instead will give him the helping hand. A true savateur will never entangle in a thorn bush yet can walk within them; is cordial, while always acknowledging God. The life of a savateur is a hard one. Many want to achieve its famous Silver Glove of Danse De Rue Savate and wishing to wear its red pants. The meaning of the red pants is another story. Regardless of what language of Savate is taught. Many want the silver glove for the prestige and respect that is attains. What many do not understand is that respect is earned and never bought. It is taught in the class room settings, in the ring and expressed in the street. One has to come regularly to class to understand the system and acknowledge its techniques, producing muscle memory which one day will be beneficial. From the beginning, you are taught fighting to win, with banter and seriousness a savateur is passed on the traditions The richness of the art is found in its ethical and cultural values as well as in its fundamentals, which are much more important than actual fighting. To me humility was the greatest lesson I learned. Thank you for your time…. Professeur Paul-Raymond Buitron III, Silver Glove 3º Technical Director of the International Guild of Danse de Rue Savate
International Guild of Danse de Rue Savate 220 W. Hillside Rd. #13 Laredo Texas 78041 956-401-4868 coolarrow@texas-hunts.com


Guro Ron Kosakowski

A very beautiful but deadly fighting method of the Philippines…

In the Philippines, when speaking of what is referred to as the grappling aspects, you will hear words like Buno and Dumog. They mean the same however, there are in different dialects spoken in the Philippines so one word may have a whole different definition on another Philippine island. Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje refers to Buno having more to do with striking with the hands. There is also Layug from another dialect which also refers to the grappling aspects. Guro Dan Inosanto uses those words often…so did the late Larry Hartsell. Layug is more with the take downs from standing and Kuntzi, the standing locking tactics moreover than ground work though locking is still done on the ground of course. (Please note, I am not a Filipino dialect expert…this information here is what I have learned from various Philippine Guro’s of Filipino Martial Arts over the years.)

Not to get off the subject but according to Whiley’s book, he says Dumog is the influence in Kuntao’s fighting methods. Though I can see the reason why due to the fact many fighting tactics look very similar. Being heavily involved in both Dumog and Kuntao I tend to disagree with that from my research. I say that because Kuntao would be the older structured fighting method that arrived in the Philippines long before any other structured progression oriented system did.

In the Inosanto Kali/Arnis/Eskrima system, it is the 7th area of the weapon styles, which includes all this:
Pangamut, Kamot-Kamot (also spelled Kamut) or Empty Hands or Panantukin (Boxing to include use of the elbows, finger jabs, shoulders or whatever part of the whole arm that can be used to strike with) All vital targets are pin-pointed in practice for good combative habits. Some systems have a vertical fist hitting methods similar to Wing Chun. The classical two knuckle horizonal punch in ancient times was basically used for softer areas of the body.

Pananjakman and/or Sikaran (Kicking to include use of Knees and Shin)

Dumog, Layug, or Buno (Grappling) and Kuntzi (Locking)

Ankab Pagkusi also known as kini mutai by some instructors (Bite and Pinch)

Sagong Labo or Higot-Hubud-Lubud (“Tying-untying, and blending the two”, a trapping range sensitivity exercise) It is important to realize that these are all included as one…not JUST wrestling, as wrestling is popularly known as today in tournament grappling in the eyes of the mainstream public.

Just so you know, the info above is in my web site http://www.psdtc.com/Kali put in there from notes I took over the years.

We all know by now that wrestling is the nature of man. You put two 5 yr old boys in the back yard to play, they will eventually end up wrestling together. It is the nature of man showing dominance evolving the “alpha dog” so to speak. Dumog is a structured progression with a heavy emphasis on conditioning. Many of the conditioning exercises you see are very similar to what you see in Kuntao and Silat where they really stress conditioning the leg strength and the core of the body not to mention fore-arm strength along with grip strength conditioning. There is a live training method that is “sport” oriented, depending on the Dumog teacher. That method is used to gain good sensitivity on finding leverage and off balancing while searching for joint manipulations. Its kind of cool…you do it with a 6 foot diameter circle. You see who can take who out of the circle or you try to take him down within the circle. Its a great training method to develop skill in finding leverage. Like many modern war-like sports, this is a way to practice and maintain skills in takedowns and locking when there is no actual “war” going on.

The combative version is just that. You don’t roll around like Judo or BJJ looking for leg locks, chokes and arm bars (though there is rolling like most grappling styles when two of the same skill levels are involved). The idea is to maim and kill so you will see hair pulling, eye gouging, biting, pinching, grabbing the testicles, etc., to make joint manipulations or should I say, breaking the joints that much easier…i.e., having no resistance so it is easier to go in for the kill. We call it the blend of pain and leverage compliance. If we were to compare it to a more modern grappling system, we can compare it to old time Catch As Catch Can or Catch Wrestling, which has quite the brutal side to it.

Many have asked me over the years, can a BJJ man beat a Dumog man? I will bet many of you involved in FMA’s have heard that before also. To answer that, read what I just said above and you tell me. Then again, who is training harder and putting more hours of fighting? That’s quite the determining factor in any martial art comparison. I just so happen to like both personally, so I can blend, or separate as necessary.

Another edge a real Dumog man, especially in ancient times has over other types of grappling is, the finger tips are usually dipped in poison. Some of these poison formulas made from a combination of Philippine indigenous animals and insects mixed with oils from poisonous plants. All of which can kill a man in less than a minute when scratched or especially if it touches the eyes or lips. Not to sporting huh? Is it considered cheating in real combat when survival is the outcome of the battle?

The origins of Dumog are bleak…it seems like there are many historical versions. One is, Indian influence in combination with native indigenous methods back when there was a Hindu influence in the Philippines. Indian grappling influence is possible due to India having some influence in the Philippines going back before there was Islam and Christianity which are now the more dominating religions there. More than likely through the influence of the traders in the Hindu-Malayan culture, which had influenced a big part of the surrounding Majapahit Empire at the time! The history of many FMA origins is debatable because a lot of info was once handed down through word of mouth by tribal elders generation after generation prior the Spanish rule. The writings prior the the alpabet arriving in the Philippines through the Spanish are refered to as sanscrit…more accuratly called Babayan, which was on leaves or rice turned into paper or carved into wood. Much of those old writings that was not destroyed by the Spanish thinking it was the writings of the devil. Much of the rest just rotted in the tropical weathering down there so a lot of old story’s are unfortunately dying out in modern times. However, many of us are trying to hold on to ancient history through preserving the martial art and culture. Many museums have small pieces of ancient Babayan writings in the Philippines.

For those of you who do Silat, or Kuntao (depending on the Kuntao style) you will see the fighting and grabbing methods are very similar to Dumog. Or as I usually say, it is all the same but different!


Guro Ronnie Royce Base

Injured or not…

A teacher’s obligation doesn’t end after training. It’s a life long task he must fulfill. For him, students are not just students but sons and brothers. Whenever he can, where ever he is and whatever it takes, he will always be there for them whenever they need his guidance. He let his students consume his time and person for their benefits freely and willingly, without any reservations… for whatever they will obtain will also be his own achievements. Their victory or defeat he considers his. He is their keeper… their mentor… their father… their brother… their friend. Anything they want him to be, a teacher will become, to show how much they mean to him. He demands nothing but excellence in their character and skill because all that matters to him is how they will grow as better persons. He doesn’t ask much his students can’t afford and even that they can give more than enough, still, no amount could compensate what he had sacrificed for them. But teachers are shallow people. Just a simple thank you will make them smile… and when you don’t feel saying thank you or ever be ungrateful; they will just proceed on performing their responsibilities anyway…


Michael Blea 

Retired Mobile Strike Team Commander

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As a retired Mobile Strike Team Commander I have gleaned quite a bit in the 27 years on the job. Aside from being a Commander I was (and still Am) also a Range Master and Master Defensive Tactics Instructor. Throughout my career many have come up to me RE: carrying edged weapons (conventional knife). The question has been asked as to what type of blade, blade length, fixed or folder, exotic like the karambit etc. My retort is if you currently carry a knife on duty you need to be sure that you know how and when to deploy it and of course how to use it quickly and effectively. We in LE maintain that it is a tool and defensive last ditch tool. It is important to know the role and pecking order of the tools on your person (Use of force hands feet, etc. , restraints (cuffs) expandable baton, mags and of course edged weapons / knives). The role of the edged weapon for us is that of a utility tool and last ditch weapon as necessary. In my neck of the woods (Albuquerque, New Mexico) we train our Officers in the basic angles of attack for defensive and offensive purposes. However the role of the knife remains primarily as a tool and not a weapon (it is however a weapon of opportunity if and when you are in grave danger). Your Dept. May have protocols RE edged weapons yet many PD’s don’t. The use also begs the question as to how many knives should one Officer carry…. My recommendation is two. (I know, I know two is one and one is none). However, your Dept. May state otherwise. And “PLEASE” take at least a basic class like we teach our troops 12 count cut/thrust type of class. You won’t be a GM Leo Gaje Gran Tujon Supremo but you will at the very least have a more real understanding and will be ready if you need to use your edged weapon as a weapon of opportunity…. P.s. Please check your use of force protocols to make sure you stay within those parameters.


Pointy End Goes In This Way
John Kovacs, M.A.

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Seems like an eye blink ago when I was sixteen. This thing called time has over taken me. A mere moment ago I was young kid living in New York City. I was young teenager enjoying the seventies in the Big Apple and all that it offered. How can you even begin to explain to the young people of today that they really missed out on some the greatest music that ever will be? Or what a disco experience was like? How does one describe the smell of the old Bowery along with CBGB’s and the grit? When I visit Forty Second Street today, it looks like Disneyland to me, Lion King Reigns supreme. Gone are the porn shops and Kung-Fu stores that sold posters of Bruce Lee. Union Square Park is so gentrified I feel like I am in a foreign country.
Martial Arts in the City were a very different thing back then. You knew peoples provenance. If your lineage was not traceable you were put on notice. A few guys from an infamous dojo on the lower East Side would have fun “visiting” people who seemed suspect in their so called “credentials”. Tournaments pitted “East Coast versus West Coast”, “Karate versus Kung-Fu”, and Aaron Banks put on the greatest martial art extravaganza on the planet. There was still some semblance of stylistic “purity” back then, in that you could tell a Goju-Ryu man from a Tae Kwon Do man. Shotokan was clearly distinguishable from various Kung-Fu. No such thing as what is now called “MMA” back then. Although when we had style versus style disputes in a tenement hallway or South Bronx rooftop, things became a bit dicey to say the least.
When it came to the street of course it was all about survival. We had guys who would show us “Jail House” boxing, and we would always have fun with the brothers “slap boxing” in the street. Improvised weapons ruled the day. Cheap, simple and efficient were the guiding ideology. None of us knew anything about “FMA” back then. We had seen some Iaido and Kendo but not much else. Some guys knew a bit about native weapon fighting from family, like some guys we knew from the islands. I had experienced a bit of Magyar Gypsy knife while visiting Hungary. But nothing was fancy or full of heavy “theory”. Pointy end goes in this way was the operative theme.
Quick deployment and concealability, and the ability to ambush someone dominated our approach. An icepick in a paper bag was unseen but felt when thrust forward. A cheap fish weight attached to a dog collar hit like a black jack. A box cutter and screw driver were subway specials – and I don’t mean the sandwich version. Cheap, accessible and disposable made sense to us. None of us could afford a nice knife, although some guys would carry a Case pocket knife. We knew about the “throw away”. We learned that from many of the underworld types – gangsters, gang members and guys we knew from the “joint”. No glamor in shanking a dude multiple times with an ice pick. No movie fantasy about guts spilling open from a box cutter slash through a thin t-shirt on a hot summer day. When the stuff hit the proverbial fan it was on.
Today I see a lot of what I call “fancy stuff”. Expensive exotic looking curved knives from faraway places are sold all over the internet. Beautiful folders and fixed blades that while costly and nice eye candy, you would be hard pressed to throw away if ever used. I see knife “templates” that while fun to practice, are too complicated to perform under unpredictable circumstances and duress. By and large I don’t see deployment taught and the need for a truly predatory mind set. Some guys are making money selling workshops teaching the fancy fluff and stuff. While I don’t begrudge them in trying to earn a living, it would be nice if they could interject an occasional “real” method or principle in what they propagate.
But I get it. People say they want to learn “self-defense”. But in my experience when you attempt to teach that, people get appalled. They blanch and change color right before your eyes. They say things like “wait that is too intense for me, can you tone it down” or “I don’t know if I could ever do that to somebody”. But teach them a form of religion disguised as martial arts, or a form of rolling around the mat like dogs in heat, and they sign up in droves. Some families have made a great deal of money brain washing the masses on the efficacy of their invincible legendary methods. And yes, maybe on some beach in Brazil, mano a mano with mucho machisimo, it has validity, but in crowded bar, or moving crowded subway car, I don’t know. If you are in the street when you are being ambushed by multiple predators, probably armed and in low light conditions, it ain’t a Jackie Chan movie. And a huge obese aging pony tailed Aikido Guy who never gets a scratch in the movies when fighting the bad guys, is not coming to your rescue. And what if the defender is unarmed? Are people by and large still so gullible? The first mistake of a defender is that he was caught unarmed. And if he is armed, he needs to be trained and willing to use his covert weapon of choice.
The combat mindset should be an important principle to inculcate. Does not matter what you know if you are not willing or unable to make it so. Keep it simple. Learn blunt impact and edged weapon methods with an eye toward ultimate survival. Become familiar with firearms. It never ceases to amaze me how so many martial art “experts” I know who are teaching public workshops and classes know nothing about firearms. They self same Guros also make lame excuses about this ignorance. But yet they often teach gun disarms! In my simple logic how can you defend yourself against something if you don’t know how to use it and how it functions (and hence its strengths and weaknesses)? This is also my logic when I see martial art “experts” teaching students how to defend themselves against a blunt impact weapon or a knife. And of course if you don’t understand the mind set of true predator, it puts you in a moral and ethical conundrum. The predator has no “compassion” or “empathy” as a so called “normal” person would be conditioned to have. So that passive “just re-direct and control” “non-Violent” approach is gonna get ya killed. Doesn’t anyone see the lack of logic in the term “non-violent” martial arts? Self-protection will be anything but non-violent.
Train hard. Use your common sense if you can. Become well rounded in your approach. Keep it simple. Don’t buy into the fancy stuff. And if you do, have fun with it but don’t confuse it for authentic self-protection. If you train in a so called martial-art for the exercise benefits, that’s wonderful. But try to comprehend that authentic martial arts for real world survival is not about just the workout. If you live in a gun culture please at least become familiar with what that means. You don’t need to be an expert shooter by any means. But at least have a cursory knowledge for your own benefit.


Grand master Peter Freedman

Photo by Bob Hubbard  http://martialphotos.com/ 

I have had this question said/asked to me many time before through out my teaching career in martial arts. But I am writing today because a fellow martial arts teacher asked what I would have said to the student in question if his student had asked me. So here is my reply:

Students who train for a very long time (years) say they still have no confidence in their art or them selves, if they had to protect them selves. I gave this much thought through out the many passing years. And there are many different reasons some one can feel this way.. But one of the main reasons I have come to understand, is lack of experience.

Once you learn a martial art it is very important that you teach it. Some feel funny about becoming some one else boss telling them what to do. But that is part of your confidence building. Learning to take charge and put others on the right path of each drill being taught. Some people are afraid they don’t have all the answers. They are afraid that some one will question them and they may not know the answer. So you tell them you don’t know and go find the answer for them. Now you just learned some thing you didn’t know before that question was asked. This is all part of your confidence building and martial art.

Students may ask you questions and one answer may not be enough to help them to understand. So now you have to teach your self how to answer the same questions with different arrangements of answers. This will help you to become stronger in what you already know and have. You are on your path to building self confidence.

By teaching you also learn heightened awareness. You must be aware of what everybody is doing in the dojo while your back is turned. You have to know who is having a tough time with the exercises or drills and who is not. Who came in a bad mood and are they going to become a problem that day for other students causing injuries. If so you must pull them aside and talk to them about that issue. That takes guts to do and is why in order to build self confidence in any martial art and in your self you must teach it.
By building up your own awareness you can tell who has health issues in your dojo. Who is a fast learner and who is a slow learner. It takes time to come to understand your self and that can happen by learning to understand others first. You will see your self in some people in way that will help you to become more conscious of your self which will make you a better person. You will be able to profile people’s behavior patterns and body language to notice trouble before it can reach you or your family while walking out and about. You will become your own body guard.

Bottom line is if you want to have confidence in a martial art then teach it. Watch how confident you will become over time.
I have had students in the past who quit or I told I could no longer teach them. And this is why, they didn’t want to teach the art. They probably thought I was taking advantage of them by making them teach or that I was lazy and didn’t want to teach my self.. boy were they wrong!

GM Peter Freedman

Grand master and founder of Brewster Arnis, GM George Brewster training with Guro Peter Freedman 


Grand mater Peter Freedman is feature in Bram Franks book on Grand maters