|Posted by Barry Cuda on September 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM|
Hey everybody, time to rant and rave some more. There seems to be some confusion out there about what constitutes a master or grand master in the martial arts. First off the title master or grand master is not something you can buy on the internet, especially from someone that is outside of your art. The reason there are so many people with internet ranking mills is because there are so many people willing to be ranked under them. I dont see how this helps someone as a martial arts instructor. Heres how I see it; if you want to be called Sensei or Sifu. you have to have students to teach. Telling the world you are an instructor when you dont have any students is wrong. Being a black belt is one thing, but if you dont teach, you are a guy with a black belt. Period. To be a master you have to have students that are Sifu/Guro level. How can you be a master if you havent brought up people to instructor level. When you have students that are instructor level then you can call yourself master. To be a grandmaster you have to have students that promoted their students to instructor level. So to be a grand master you have to be so active as an instructor, that your top students [now masters] have promoted their own students to instructor level .This is why there should be no 35 year old grand masters.To teach people that long that they have their own certified instructors can take a lifetime. Being a grand master is based on your body of work, not just on your claims. If all you have to back up your claim is a certificate from a certificate mill then you are wrong. People that dont even make a living teching martial arts are grand masters. Who are you fooling?
|Posted by Barry Cuda on September 7, 2011 at 12:20 AM|
I am so fed up with all these self proclaimed asses on facebook. All proud members of the mutual ass kissing society. That means there is a whole group of people with ziltch martial arts credentials except for the titles they bestow on themselves."Ill acnowledge your'e a master if you acnowledge Im one too". Now all these jerkoffs take turns sending each other master certificates one after the other. Plenty of "in the spirit of budo" and "ous ous" Meanwhie I looked at plenty of videos and saw nothing but a bunch of fat, out of shape wanna be's pretending to be FMA and JKD instructors. Wearing gi's no less. And with more electrical tape stripes on their belt than you can imagine. If they stayed with their Karate I wouldnt mind, but. I learned JKD and Kali from the TOP. Dan Inosanto and Paul Vunak.Ten years, not one weekend! If anybody knows good Kali from bad, and good JKD from bad, its me. Im not saying Im the best there is, Im not. I have plenty of seniors in the JKD/Kali world. Im very good at what I do, thats what I hear. Blade Smart is a brand name, thats all. Its not an excuse to make my self a founder and grandmaster.There is only one Sigung/grandmaster in JKD and he's dead. Period. Sifu Chris Kent talks about all these wack jobs that think you can just put another word in front of JKD and make it your own. Call it something else but not JKD. There is only one JKD and that was Bruce Lee's. No combat JKD, no street fighting JKD, no ultimate JKD. Just JKD. Nobody is just happy with the truth. I want all my students and friends to know, everything I do must have the utmost in integrety. I will never join any organization to be a master, dont want to be recognized as a master especialy with some self proclamed wanna be's organization. My knowledge is Bruce Lee to Dan to me, Bruce Lee to Richard Bustillo to me, Bruce Lee to Larry Hartsell to me.Bruce to Dan to Vunak to me. No middle man in my lineage. Wow that felt good. Thanks for reading, Barry.
|Posted by Barry Cuda on March 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM|
Back in 1985, after years of JiuJitsu training, I started learning Arnis Lanada. It seemed so secret and exotic at the time, and I loved it. I always read everything I could on the martial arts and the Filipino arts were virtually unheard of at that time. I thought it was so cool that I was learning something that nobody heard of. (I was in my early 20′s you know. LOL) In the summer of ’86 I flew out to LA for a week at the IMB to train with Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo. I was completely blown away at the utter mastery of these instructors. I felt like I reached Nirvana. I ad never seen a martial art so advanced and complete as the Filipino Martial Arts as taught by Inosanto. It seemed like everything I had learned up to that point was a waste of time compared to what I learned that week. It was then that I decided to dedicate my life to learning this amazing system.In the 80′s the biggest martial arts fad was the so-called Ninja craze. Everything was ninja, ninja, ninja. Schools were popping up everywhere with schools teaching Tae Kwon Do and Ninjitsu, Judo and Ninjitsu and on and on. Still, Kali was rarely heard of and at the forefront was Dan Inosanto. There were the Presas brothers and a few others, but the Filipino arts were far from popular.I remember in ’86 when I became a student of Paul Vunak, he was teaching us an unheard of art called Brazilian JiuJitsu taught by the unheard of Gracie Brothers, but I’ll get to that later. When Inosanto’s top students, Paul Vunak, Burt Richardson, Cass Magda and others starting becoming successful in their own right, Jeet Kune Do suddenly became popular. After a few seminars with thesepeople, everybody suddenly did JKD. Now you see people teaching Tae Kwon Do and JKD, Judo and JKD, ad nauseum. Ninjitsu had died and JKD was the new fad. What made matters worse was by 1990 some of the other people that trained with Bruce Lee jumped on the bandwagon and started teaching “Original Jeet Kune Do”. Where were these people in the 80′s? Who knows? But, now JKD was finally popular. Bruce Lee had been dead for 17 years, and the figure head of JKD was Inosanto. People who had never taught martial arts for a living were now billing themselves as Bruce Lee’s original students, and not only raking in the big bucks, but making instructors too! I would think to myself, “What a mess!” People would ask me if I taught “Original Jeet Kune Do” or that “concepts stuff” that Dan Inosanto taught. It wowed me that whenever something became popular, people would jump on board and promote themselves as that until the next art would become popular. In the 90′s, when the Gracie brothers shot to stardom with the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, everybody flocked to ground fighting. The same people that started out as Ninja masters, then JKD masters, were now ground fighting masters. It’s now 2005 and I have been actively teaching since 1986, watching the fads come and go. So what about my beloved Filipino Martial Arts? They are finally popular and it makes me want to wretch. I honestly never thought it could happen, but it has. The three main people I have trained with are Dan Inosanto, Paul Vunak, and Wing Chun Instructor Randy Williams. These three people are the most amazing martial artists that I have ever seen, and still, they are humble enough to always acknowledge where they came from and are diplomats at representing their arts. They have never turned their back on those that came before them and claimed to have invented some crazy new thing. Now that we are in the 21st century the latest fad is Filipino Martial Arts, especially knife fighting According to Grandmaster Ben Largusa, who was the top disciple of Kali Grandmaster Floro Villabraille, the Filipino knife and stick arts date back to the First Century. Now that’s a long time of war, fighting, and conflict to make the Filipino Martial Arts a complete, sophisticated and proven system. These facts no longer seem to matter because the Filipino arts are the newest fad. Personally, I can’t wait for the next fad, so I don’t have to worry about competing with all these self-promoting yahoos. We have people out there that are saying traditional Filipino arts aren’t effective, that Filipino knife fighting is just dueling with knives, which they say is bad. We have knife masters, blade masters, knife defense masters, Sgt. at Arms, knife tactical masters and all kinds of crap. Even renowned martial artist and Wun Hop Kuen Do Grandmaster Al Dacascos has invented his own Filipino system. Why? Because Kung Fu isn’t the big money maker anymore. The Filipino arts are. Open up any martial arts magazine and all you see are ads for Mexican knife fighting, Indian knife fighting, tactical knife fighting, etc. Where were these self promoters 15-20 years ago? They were teaching ninjitsu and ground fighting, that’s where! I have seen websites promoting “The Tribe of Tactical Knife Fighting” that doesn’t mention once what art they are supposedly doing, or where they learned it. There is even one guy that talks about the “deadly myth of the knife fighter” and says 99 percent of people doing the Filipino arts are wrong and only he is right because he hung out in bars and has seen some stuff.The funny thing about the martial arts in general is that if somebody knocks every thing else and sounds authoritative, people will flock to him. It truly is a sad state of affairs. This has been going on before I have been in the arts, and will always be there. Can anybody say “Touch of Death”? Personally, I worked in a prison, and I have “seen some stuff” too. Even had to use Kali to survive. I went through a dark period in my life where I drank in bars and bought drugs in some very scary places. Saw some stuff there too, and it was Kali that saved my life.I guess I could call myself a master of the tactical weapons and say I made all this up, but I have too much respect for those who came before me and were gracious enough to share their knowledge and love of the martial arts with me.
|Posted by Barry Cuda on March 1, 2011 at 6:59 PM|
As stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld might say, “What’s the deal with REALITY-BASED MARTIAL ARTS?” Is this new trend the alternative to all the “fantasy-based martial arts” that have been around for centuries? I started training in the martial arts when I was just a teen, and I have been teaching professionally since 1986. My first experience in the martial arts was in Shotokan Karate and Jiu Jitsu. As I got older I began training in Kickboxing and Wing Chun. Back in the early 80s the Times Square section of Manhattan was a very dangerous place, but that’s where the Bruce Lee triple features were shown. I used to take the A Train (another dangerous place to be) a couple of times a week to watch my movie idol. At least once a week I had to fight to defend myself and my traditional martial arts training worked out just fine. In the mid-80s I began training in the Filipino Martial Arts and JKD. I became a Corrections Officer in 1989 and my Kali training saved my life on more than one occasion. The situations that a Correctional Officer experiences in a maximum security prison are as real as it gets, and again it was traditional martial arts training and good old fashioned hard work that saved my skin.The martial arts like everything else in life goes through different fads. It happens in music, fashion and other facets of pop culture. In the 80s the big fad was Ninjitsu and all the self-promoters claimed to be ninjas. In the 90s, people that took a JKD seminar and read Bruce Lee’s books jumped on the bandwagon and claimed to teach Jeet Kune Do. When the Gracie brothers came to fame everyone promoted their own groundfighting system.It seems now that the big fad is “REALITY-BASED MARTIAL ARTS”, and I’m sure the guy who coined that term is laughing all the way to the bank. I learned a long time ago that you can’t reinvent the wheel and that there is nothing new under the sun. This holds true even in the martial So what are these so-called “REALITY-BASED” systems? Mostly they are the same arts people have been practicing for years like Kenpo, Jiu Jitsu, Kali, and Wrestling. The big difference is nobody bows in at the beginning of class and instead of a school uniform, you wear army fatigues or street clothes. Instead of sparring, you get to beat up on somebody wearing a helmet and a chest protector who pretends to be a bad guy or a terrorist.The next question is “Who are these inventors of this revolutionary new method of combat?” The answer is that some of them are plain old martial arts instructors like me. They probably realized they couldmake more money claiming to reinvent the wheel than by teaching a real martial art. Some of these self-promoters are just wanna-bes without any real martial arts background other than taking a few JKD/Kali seminars and buying some instructional DVDs.Most martial arts are based in reality. Karate, Kung Fu, Kali, and other systems all earned their place on the battlefield. Just saying that a system is a new kind of “REALITY-BASED” system is doing a disservice to everybody in the martial arts. There are so many incredibly talented martial arts instructors that could drop the name of whatever style that they teach and call it “REALITY-BASED COMBAT”. The main reason we don’t is, I guess we have respect for the arts we learned and respect for the instructors that shared their knowledge with us.If I wanted to, I could stop calling what I teach Filipino Martial Arts and start calling it “REALITY-BASED COMBAT”. I could make videos and write articles about how I invented something new and exciting, but who would I be fooling?
Probably not any of you.
|Posted by Barry Cuda on March 1, 2011 at 6:02 PM|
One of my favorite methods of testing a knife defense technique is using the magic marker test. Give your training partner a big magic marker to simulate a knife and have them attack you. How easy is it to do your technique without getting ink all over your hands? You can use the marker test for all kinds of knife defenses. If you are a kicker, have your partner attack you with the marker and see if you can get off a kick without getting ink all over your leg. You can also try grabbing the knife hand while your opponent tries to cut your hands and arms. Even the slightest line of ink on your body translates into a life threatening wound. You will see that maybe the knife defense you have learned isnt cutting it [pun intended]. Theres got to be a better way. Thats why I developed Blade Smart System.
|Posted by Barry Cuda on March 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM|
Hi, Im Barry Cuda and this is my 2 cents. It seems the longer I teach martial arts [since 1986] the more I hate martial arts. Actually I hate what I see other people doing. One of the things that sets me apart from the pack is that I also worked in law enforcement, specificaly corrections. Working in a prison is a great way to hone your martial arts skills. I learned pretty quickly what worked and what was bullshit. As a Kali instructor, the knife techniques I taught were the ones I had to use several times to save my own ass. To this day I see all kinds of martial arts instructors teaching the worst made up knife defenses imaginable. These guys believe what they are doing is practical and they are really doing their students an injustice. In the real world the way people attack other people with knives is not what is being taught. People are teaching a defense against a straight thrust that locks out so the martial artist can do their thing. First of all knife attacks are vicious, a person intent on doing damage to you with a knife is almost unstoppable, and the knife only needs to graze you to kill you. When I get a new Kali student the first thing I do is put a knife in their hand. Immediately they realize how dangerous the knife actually is. This is the reason I put together my new system called Blade Smart. Its based on the knife work of Kali and the real knife knife attacks I have seen and lived through. I have a great new dvd called Blade Smart and can be ordered here. Thats it for now, Ill be back with another 2 cents