Category Archives: Eskrima

Bill McGrath Pekiti Tirsia Workshop – Tues 21st Sept

Quick reminder,

Bill McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia Eskrima will be at Wild Geese next Tuesday (21st September)

This is a 2 hour open training session run by Bill and our own Paul Cox. As Bill is over here on holiday he has not requested payment, however it is only right that each attendee off some kind of donation, the amount is up to you.
Needless to say we will be taking Bill for some after training refreshments, Irish style!

Any of you who are unfamiliar with Bill’s work or even Pekiti Tirsia eskrima, please check out his website:
and here for a profile of the man himself, which includes this picture:

We hope to see you all there.


Wild Geese

3 Incredible Workshops

We have three great workshops lined up for you guys over the next few weeks.
Kettlebell Coach Dave Hedges will be running a Level 2 Kettlebell Lifting Workshop on Sunday 22nd August.
This will be from 12 noon to 2pm.
The workshop will centre on the Turkish Get Up, one of the all time great full body movements that develops great shoulder and core strength. We will also look at the 1 handed swing, the Clean and the Push Press.
This workshop is open to all, no experience is needed, although may be helpful.
Cost will be €20.

Trainee Yoga Instructor, Anne Dempsey, has agreed to come in and use us as guinea pigs.
Anne has studying yoga for some time and recently embarked on a very in depth Instructor training program. When offered the chance to practice her teaching skills on us, she jumped on the chance.
Martial Artists have used yoga and yoga like stretches and movement patterns to balance out their training for years. In the west, we’ve overlooked this softer side of training and as a result we suffer tight hips, knees and backs as well as an array of other injuries and problems.
Anne will help us add a little balance to our training, realigning the spine, opening the hips and resetting the body.
This will take place on the Saturday 21st August from 2- 4.30pm.
Anne will not be charging for this, but I’m sure everyone will show their appreciation with a donation.

And last but certainly not least:
Bill McGrath is finally on his way over.
Bill has 30+ years training in the martial arts specialising in Pekiti Tirsia Eskrima, he’s also had 20+ years as a law enforcement officer during which time some of those skills have been tested and applied in real world
Bill will be holidaying in Ireland for a few days and has kindly offered to drop into Wild Geese and teach some of his system.
This will take place on Tuesday 21st September from 6pm till 8pm.

As with the Yoga, Bill is not charging for this, he is training us for his own pleasure. Although again, I’m sure you’ll all donate on the day.
There will also be a debrief held in the local boozer afterwards.

If you wish to take part in any of the above events, drop us a line:
Phone: 087 672 6090

Wild Geese Demo for

Yesterday we posted an interview Paul Cox gave for the youth charity , this video is the demonstration we gave.

In the clip you’ll see how we put the Filipino Martial Arts and Kenpo karate together to form a complete self defence system.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning /
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Paul Cox interview on

Wild Geese Martial Arts founder and chief instructor, Paul Cox, has just been interviewed by, supporting and empowering young people. offers young people a platform for personal and social development leading them to increased all-round wellbeing in their own lives and in how they engage with society as citizens. . is youth-led in design, development and content, ensuring it reaches young people in a way that appeals to them. Using the pull factors of youth written magazine-style articles and a vibrant online forum for discussion and debate, provides a safe online space for young people to realise that they are not alone in the issues they face whilst growing up and, importantly, that they can make a positive change to their own wellbeing and to the world around them.

Since its launch in mid-2005, has received over 400,000 website visitors, directly involved 100s of young people in its development, reached millions through the media, and received awards and widespread praise from young people, parents, educators, youth workers and health professionals. This ongoing success is testimony to the demand that is out there, not only for ways of addressing our young people’s health needs, but also for the provision of innovative and meaningful platforms for catalysing social change.
Only by taking new approaches to engaging and involving young people can their needs, and the needs of the wider society, be understood and met. is leading the way in this regard and signals a powerful opportunity that, with the right support, can only get better.
See our blog for all the latest news on MAKING A DIFFERENCE! is developed and managed by the youth-led Community Creations charity, is endorsed by key youth, health and community bodies and receives funding from a range of public, private and philanthropic sources

Now here’s the interview:

Wild Geese
every cause but our own
Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
+353 87 672 6090
Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

Knife Fighting Myths

This video was recently posted up by one of my facebook associates.

I feel it’s one of the most important videos I’ve sat and watched.

I’ll ask you to watch it now then carry on reading:

As you can see knives are extremely dangerous, two of the clips even show how a gun may not be enough to protect you from the blade. Others show how decisive responses may just save your life.
They may not save you from harm, but you just might survive.

The last few scenes from the video show images taken from old manuscripts, the type of training texts that medieval warriors would have studied. Needles to say, knives and bladed weapons were far more prominent than they are today, look at the illustrated techniques and you see things that many instructors say don’t work.

Most instructors wouldn’t have a clue.

Some do.

Wild Geese instructor Paul Cox is one of the few people in Europe to be registered as a Doce Pares eskrima black belt. Many hold black belts, but only a few are registered in the Philippines, Paul is one of these. He also has real experience of defending against armed attackers.
Paul is a direct student of Grandmaster Danny Guba. Danny is a man who has used blades and has had blades used on him. He knows what works. He learned from legendary blade fighters such as Vincent Carin and others in the Doce Pares fraternity.
The Philippines have a strong blade culture, if there’s going to be a fight, somebody is going to get cut.
These are the people we at Wild Geese learn from.

We don’t water down their information when we teach it, we know ho important it is and how it just may save your life.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
+353 87 672 6090

The Art of the Masters

Whats the most fundamental skill a martial artist must develop?
The skill that is a common thread regardless of the individuals style or syetem?

It’s what makes the master seem untouchable.
It’s why the novice is so unpredictable.

It’s the difference between effortlesly beating an opponent and being in a fight.

What is this great skill?


At some point in out martial arts career we’ve al thought that we were a bit tasty and really put it up to our superiors in a sparring session.
More often than not we were put straight back in our box.
But if your coach is twice your age and half your size, how is it is seemingly untouchable and able to pick you off at will?
It’s his sense of timing, his ability to read the situation and move only as much as he needs and no more.

At Wild Geese, we’re all about effeciencey. You cannot be effecient without good timing.

So how do you learn this skill?
By learning to flow with a training partner. Free play and sparring are the keys to developing a keen sense of timing. Learning to move as he moves, when to exploit he openings and offering up your “openings” as a trap.

The Filipino’s use many such drills, as do Tai Chi, Wing Chun and many of the Chinese styles. BJJ players will also spend time “rolling” which is the same thing. Playing with the training partner with a predetermined level of resistance, attempting to apply various techniques while not falling victim to your opponents.
At first there should be complete cooperation between the partners so that a basic level of skill may be accomplished, then as that skill improves, the resistance should go up in response.

The end game is basically free sparring whee anything goes.

Although there is absolutely no need to rush to the anything goes stage. A degree of cooperation is necessarry in order to best develop the skills and techniques. All out sparring should be kept for special occaisions.

Add some flow into your own training and you will very quiclky see your abilities improve. You won’t have any new techniques bt you will lear when to best apply the techniques you have.

This is timing.

This is the art.


Wild Geese
every cause but our own
+353 87 672 6090

Knives part 2

So last time we looked at the numbers of murders involving a knife or edged weapon in Ireland, and saw the percentage of deaths had pretty much doubled since the turn of the millennium.

Now I’m not interested in the reasons, all I care about is that it happens and what we can do to prevent it happening to us.

I don’t want to be a statistic, do you?

Oh, by the way, the last post was the stats for the reported murders. Add to that the deaths going unreported and then add on again for the assaults and injuries that were not fatal.

So what do we do about it? Do you cross the line and carry a blade yourself?

No that’s not the answer, you become one of them. And do you think that in the real world you could cut somebody up? Even if you are able to draw your weapon during a struggle, can you live with the knowledge that you used it on a person, scarring, deforming and potentially killing them?

I hope the answer is no. Unless you’re in downtown Baghdad that is.

So instead we have to fortify ourselves in other ways.

First and foremost is to stay out of trouble. Duh, obviously!

But we have to accept that sometimes we may have to fight back. Regardless of whether or not you see a blade, always assume there is one and fight accordingly. The Filipino martial arts have been fighting this way for ever and have developed skills for checking and trapping as they strike.
The boxing style of punching does leave one open to the knife and the old “take one and give two back” philosophy is no longer valid. You must learn to strike while covering your openings or checking his weapons.

But ultimately you need to end the fight as soon as is possible. That means full on aggression and commitment, drop him and get out of there, no hanging around, no follow ups, just do a 4 minute mile to the nearest safe area.

Please don’t be a hero, always try to avoid trouble, failing that escape, confronting it should always be a last option. If you take on a blade, you will get cut, even if you win you may still end up badly or even fatally injured.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Self Defence, Blade Awareness & Security Tactics

This is the last call for anybody interested in the escrima concepts seminar this weekend at Dublin’s Martial Arts Academy, Magennis Place, Pearse St.
Right opposite the DART station.

We are starting at 11am sharp on Sat morning and will be covering weapon and knife defence, blade awareness and self defence/self protection tactics for both civilian and the security industry.

The seminar runs Sat 1100 – 1700 and Sunday 1100 – 1500.
€50/day, or €80 for both days.

We will also be asking all the Irish FMA instructors to sit down over a pint and discuss the formation of the Irish Council of Eskrima, Kali, Arnis Instructors.

See you there.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Irish Council of Eskrima Kali Arnis Instructors

Right, it’s about time we got the ball rolling properly.

In 2006 3 people got together and formed a non political umbrella organisation in the UK in order to promote the Filipino martial arts and ensure it’s quality is maintained at a high level. It was fortunate that one of those 3 was Pat O’Malley, in the last 2 years he has cajoled, bribed and bullied representatives of around 20 styles of FMA to join the council.

There are now similar councils in the Philippines (to whom we all answer, yes even Pat!), Italy and New Zealand. I believe Australia and Germany are in the process of forming.

Here in Ireland we are a minority, but we have several notable groups, including in no particular order, and by no means exclusive:
Sayoc Kali
Atienza Kali
Doce Pares Eskrima
Warriors Eskrima
Kalis Illustrissimo

I’m sure here are a few more round, lurking under the radar.
There is plenty of room for us all to work together to bring FMA into the light, ensure only qualified instructors are teaching and gain proper recognition.
Having FMA featured in various movies (Bourne, The Hunted etc) and documentaries (Mind, Body &…., Human Weapon and Fight Quest) is great for us, but we could be doing more to promote ourselves.

Drop me a line, or email if your interested in bettering your art. Sure, why wouldn’t you?

The rules and regs of the British council are here the other councils have basically emulated this, and we all report to the Philippine council.

Any questions can be directed to either me or the British council.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

PS, Don’t forget the upcoming Escrima Concepts weekend

The Wrong End Of the Stick

I often find that peoples view of the Filipino Martial Arts is somewhat inaccurate. I hope here to put it right.

FMA otherwise known as Eskrima, Kali or Arnis are the fighting arts native to the Philippines, and are a complete combat method. Unfortunately the popular view of these arts is that it’s just “Stick Fighting”.

This was illustrated most clearly by the owner of the Martial Arts Academy when he offered to make up posters to advertise our class. Guess what we got.

Yep, you guessed it. “Learn Stick Fighting”

Now while we do train with sticks, no argument there, we also fight with sticks. This is the start point for any new FMAer, learn to swing a stick. But that’s just the beginning.

As I said it’s a complete fighting system used throughout the ages to fight off rival tribes and invasions (including Magellan and the Spanish and later the Japanese in world war 2), would stick fighting cover this.

No. Most people fail to see the unarmed combat, the knife/machete use and defence. The Filipino method is to teach you to instinctively use any weapon that comes to hand to fight against any weapon that comes at you. Be it a punch, kick, blade or blunt instrument. It is this versatility that attracted notable martial artists like Ed Parker, Bruce Lee and Dan Innosanto to add elements taken from Kali/Arnis and add it into their respective styles.

Within FMA there are many areas to cover and masters do specialise, Momoy Canete specialised in longer range Espada y Daga, Cacoy Canete specialised in close range stick fighting. Antonio Illustrisimo specialised in the blade, Joe Borces uses “eskrido” a combination of traditional FMA and Aikido/Judo methods.
But these are the masters. Any student must be able to defend themselves against unarmed and armed attacks while they themselves may or may not be armed.

I have my students fighting 1 on 1, 2 on 1, 2 on 2, every man for themselves and many other combo’s.
I have an unarmed guy fighting against a knife man, or a single stick fighting against double stick. We allow disarms but expect the fight to continue so a fight er becomes used to loosing a weapon but carrying on unarmed, or to suddenly find a weapon and instantly use it.

The competitions may be about “stick fighting” but FMA is about surviving by using whatever comes to hand. It’s about assuming the other guy is armed. It’s about adapting to any scenario.

We are lucky to have had coverage on the recent TV shows. Our own Doce Pares HQ in Cebu was visited in the BBC’s Mind, Body & Kick ass Moves and the History Channels Human Weapon. While Fight Quest remained in Manila showing Pekiti Tirsia and Modern Arnis. Where different aspects of our arts are being shown. But for more info come and visit us, look on you tube (Rapid Arnis have some good clips).

We are also hosting FMA master and Security Expert Steve Tappin in May. Expect to see how FMA is truly effective on the streets of Europe as Steve regularly travel to the worst spots in Europe to train their respective police and security forces.
I almost feel sorry for the criminals, almost.

Come to Steve’s seminar and see how your own training can be enhanced by the Filipino martial arts.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own