Frequently asked questions

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How do I get started? 

Contact us by email or phone and drop by for a visit. We welcome all first time visitors and give them a complimentary training session.

What if I don’t have any training gear?

We can lend you what you need until you can get your own gear.

I am nervous that I will hold others back because I never done any thing like this before. How would a raw beginner like my self fit into your class?

We always make that extra time to pull you aside and work privately with you until you can catch up and feel more comfortable about fitting in with everybody else. The students here are very humble and patient. They enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.

How do I move up the ladder in grade or rank?

First you must invest your time in to this art. You have to know the content and be able to perform all the material given to you. But mostly you must teach others in front of Guro Freedman or other Guro’s so they can understand your depth in this art. When you teach what you know comes out and from that is how we see what level you truly are on.

Does it cost extra for advancing in rank?

No it does not. Only that you must invest your time into your self. The more you practice physically at home on your own time the quicker you will develop coordination, timing, speed, control and movement. And in that you will move up the ladder in grade much faster here. So it is up to each individual to advance them selves. It cost nothing extra but their own time invested into them selves.

Do you use really sharp knives to train with?

No we do not do this right away. We use different kinds of materials for different types of training drills. If you are practicing mugging type of attacks we will use aluminum training blades. This is so you can feel cold metal places against your skin without taking injury of a cut. It gets you use to feeling this so if it ever happens for real you wont panic as much. We use rubber training blades for knife fighting drills against the body. This is because rubber bends and is more forgiving to your bones. Whacking your bones over time can cause internal damage to bone marrow which makes the blood in your body. So we want to avoid that so your training is healthier. We use plastic swords for cutting drills on the body while in motion to help you understand how to fight and defend with a sword technique and to teach you the strategy of edge weapons. You will learn different methods for slashing and thrusting on the human anatomy with grace of movement. Lastly we use live blades (sharp knives & swords) to teach you how to cut through different types of materials and targets. This is so you will have true working knowledge of how and why you should deliver a cut certain ways with certain edge weapons. We never use live blades on the body because of accidental cutting that can occur. We wish all students of Brewster Arnis to learn a real martial art but without going through dangerous injuries that could of been avoided.

What about ground fighting, do you teach that as well? All my friends do MMA

Yes we actually do. Because you could slip and fall to the ground or be pulled down by your attacker. In Dumog (Filipino Jujutsu) it is very effective for close quarters. The difference in our ground fighting than what you will see on TV MMA etc.. is we play by no rules. So we can bite, scratch, twist small joints, crush the wind pipe, snap a neck, break bones, poke the eye, strike with all parts of our bodies to areas that would not be considered legal in the UFC or any MMA ring or square circle for that matter. We are playing for keeps. Our trophy is our life. And you will learn both types of grappling with a weapon and without a weapon. We like to teach how to fight your way back up to your feet as soon as possible. So you will learn how to use a weapon or empty hand from lying down, seated, kneeling and squatting positions. This way you will have a better chance of surviving in case you should ever go down to the ground.

But isn’t that dirty fighting? poking the eye, crushing a windpipe, breaking a leg? 

Well in reality if you find your self fighting a clean fight in a life or death situation your tactics suck.. and could very well fail. So call it what you will but we like to call it or think of it as surviving. Use all means to win and that means surviving. Some times good people must do bad things to survive and that is a fact. We don’t like hurting other people but when they are trying to hurt us or a loved one you must be willing and able to do the unthinkable. We can help you with this.

What about defending against multiple opponents?  is that a practical question to ask you or is it even possible? 

Well it is a practical question and a good one. The answer however can be a little tricky to understand. Because it all depends on the persons will power to survive this kind of attack. We do have drills against multiple opponents so that if this should ever happen to you, you are kind of use to it and have been given different types of solutions to this problem. In this kind of situations your eye sight and your footwork will come into play big time. Your breathing is the key to not panic. Panic will cause you to make all kinds of blunders and mistakes. We teach you how to weave in and out of multiple people while controlling your breathing. Then we add in options you can apply. Our approach to this problem of multiple attackers so far has been very successful. The people who have trained here and have been attacked by more than one opponent did really well. So we can help you prepare for this if it ever should arise. There is a great deal I have not touch upon here and that can be explained better in person.

What about sparring? do you spar at all and how do you do it without injuring each other?

Yes we do all kinds of sparring. We do single stick sparring first.. then we do knife sparring, sword sparring, flexible weapon sparring, staff sparring, empty hand sparring etc.. but we do it in many different ways. Sparring is a science to prepare you for actual battle. There are different elements we try to build in your skill level through sparring. So we have you work on things while sparring and each sparring session you are coached while you are sparring.. some times you will be stopped and things you did will be explained in great detail. Then depending on the action you took during your sparring a drill will be made up right there on the spot to help you solve the problem you are having.

I am afraid of getting hurt while sparring. I need to work the next day to support my family. How do I spar without taking injury? 

That is a great question. First you will have on body armor and a helmet. Even though you are wearing protective gear you do not strike with full power. We are not trying to kill each other but rather learn how every thing we are learning works in a fight. So we emphasize teaching you more about fighting strategy than about whacking some one with multiple blows as hard as you possibly can. Nor get into a wrestling match during a stick fight or knife fight. We have different kinds of sparring drills that awaken different parts of your coordination in your body and your mind will come alive with new creative thinking abilities. Our drills will help you to understand combat without taking injury. When two people just go head to head and whack it out the only thing that comes out of that is injury. We try to steer our students in a direction to want more than that. To reach higher levels of consciousness through creative drills and good coaching. And we do this well.

How is it that all of your students I have met so far from beginner to advance level are so humble and kind? 

It is the way we teach here. We teach a real martial art. That means it is in its complete form. When you learn a complete martial art that has every thing in it and all your questions are answered it has a calming effect on your Soul. It really does. Your ego starts to leave and your confidence starts to grow. It carries over into every part of your live and you are more likable. Plus I love my students and they can feel that.

Hi Guro Freedman, I have been to one of your classes already and I plan on joining your group soon, I just wanted to ask you a question first. Why don’t you run your classes like other schools? you know very strict.. like when your in the service?

Because most people that seek me out have issues with their bodies (old or new injuries) or they have been attacked before and are afraid to just leave their homes without escorts or family members. Some people that come here work in extremely stressful jobs. So I use humor to disarm their fears and to help lower their stress. And it works well to. People learn twice as fast and they enjoy our class at the same time. Yes there are those who prefer that military style of teaching and for those people there are a lot of other schools they can join. They are welcome to higher me to teach their private group of people and I could teach that way as well. But not here. There are to many people here that learn better the way i teach now.