Category Archives: fma

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

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

Escrima Concepts Seminar

Quick note, Steve Tappin of Escrima Concepts has confirmed he will be coming to Ireland to teach a seminar for us.

If you’re an eskrimador, martial artist or security professional, don’t miss this opportunity to train with one of the best in the industry.

Steve agreed to take time out from his busy schedule (check out the calender page on his website) travelling to teach all over europe, to come to us for the weekend of May 2-4th.

Call back for more info, as soon as I get the artwork sorted out I’ll have info posted here.

Wild Geese Martial Arts
any cause but our own

12th Anniversary of the Black Eagle Society

Post taken from the Rapid Arnis forum site, view the original posts here

The Black Eagle Society

The Black Eagle Society was founded in the Summer of 1996. The inaugural meeting took place in a wood in Barnet, North London.
The meeting had been arranged by Pat O’Malley and Simon Wells (of LaPunti Arnis de Abaniko) who first tried to get this format of fighting off the ground back in 1992, also in attendance at this first meeting of the Black Eagles were, Jonathan Broster, Shiraz Hussain and two of Wells’ students.
Pat O’Malley and Simon Wells are known as the two original founders of the Black Eagle Society. Simon, after only a short time, left the group leaving Pat in sole charge of the organization which still hosts events to this day.

The name Black Eagle Society was chosen to pay tribute to the influence on the founding members of the Lapunti Arnis de Abaniko style because both Pat O’Malley and Simon Wells were training with Lapunti at the time, the emblem of Lapunti shows a black eagle clutching two sticks.
The group’s first logo was designed by Jonathan Broster and shows a cartoon eagle holding a stick in its winged hand. The motto of the group is “Vera Est”, Latin for: “It is real”. The cartoon eagle logo was later replaced with a Celtic designed eagle to also depict the fact that the group originally comes from the Celtic region of Great Britain.

The group was formed in response to the desire among some members to move beyond the WEKAF style, armoured stick fighting events and incorporate a higher degree of realism in the bouts.
The rules and equipment used were, and remain, minimal. Curiously, no winner is declared after each bout; instead, it is for the two contestants and those watching to draw their own conclusions and learn what they can from the match.

Rules & Equipment
Put simply, each fighter should be able to walk away from the bout as friends. Bouts are fought over one three minute round, with either fighter having the right to end the bout at any time. Each fighter wears a headguard of their choice (routinely a WEKAF helmet), light gloves, such as cricket gloves (if desired) and a groin protector.
The rules permit any thrust or strike with one stick, two sticks or any combination of wooden weapons, together with any punches, kicks or other blows, as well as throws and ground-fighting techniques.

At the inaugural meeting it was decided that full membership of the group would be open to those who had participated in no less than three separate official Black Eagle meetings.

Since its inception many other Filipino martial arts styles and practitioners have participated and many top FMA notables including John Harvey, Phil Norman and Neil McLeod have participated in society meetings on previous occasions.

An interesting comparison has at times been drawn between the bouts of the Black Eagles and those of the Dog Brothers.
Where the Dog Brothers have a heavy grappling influence, by way of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there has always been less emphasis on ground fighting in Black Eagle Society bouts, where striking, fast stick handling, blocking, footwork and evasion tactics of the traditional Filipino martial arts have been more evident. More importance is placed on the use of the weapon and all in the Society accept that if there were no headguard and the stick were to be replaced with the more traditionally used sword, grappling would very seldom happen in a real Eskrima Kali Arnis bout. All players (as the participants are known) try to stay as close to the traditional Eskrima Kali Arnis as possible, unlike the Dog Brothers who are known to mix various arts from other countries in to their format.

Celebrating it’s 12th Anniversary, April 15th 2008 will see the biggest ever meeting of the Black Eagle Society.
This is the UK’s Original NHB FMA event with just head gear, light gloves and groin box that has over the last 12 years attracted many top UK FMA practitioners.

With each bout timed to a maximum of 3 minutes the meets are open to all serious non egotistcal FMAers who wish to test their skills up against like minded afficianados of the Filipino martial arts.
This meeting will see both novice and expearianced Black Eagle Society members coming together to enjoy that days sparring. This event is only open to those FMAers who wish to participate in the days sparring matches, no casual spectators allowed.

All players may also video both their own and other bouts on the day.

The event will be held in Dartford, Kent. Venue to be announced in the new year to all those who wish to participate.

If you would like further details, get in touch.


Pat O’Malley
Co-Founder of The Black Eagle Society.

British Council FMA Festival

Wild Geese Martial Arts have a close affiliation with the British Council of Kali Escrima Arnis Instructors ( and attended both last years FMA festival and this years massive FMA festival.

Fortunately, Peter Lewis of Zu-Bu Kails Illustrissimo has saved me the trouble of writing a review, have a look at this special edition of the FMA Digest:

Read and enjoy. This event, and the growing strength of the British council shows us that martial arts and martial artists from different styles and backgrounds can get along and work together.

Lets drop the politics, were too much a minority to be fractured.

Oh and news just in, Steve Tappin of Escrima Concepts (read about him in the report) has confirmed that he’ll be coming to Dublin to present a seminar. I’ll post more details soon.

Wild Geese Martial Arts
any cause but our own