New here... a few questions

Discussion in 'Kombatan' started by amadeus, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. amadeus

    amadeus New Member

    So i have been very interested in learning Escrima/Arnis for some time now but as I live in the mid-west it is hard to find instruction anywhere. I have found 2 places however and they are both Kombatan lineage. One is run by Julius Melegrito the other is taught by Scott Taylor who in turn was taught by Marvin Dickerson who supposedly trained under one of Grandmaster Presas Sr. students (since they're in the same city I assume this would be Melegrito) as well as Grandmaster Presas himself. I know absolutely nothing about Taylor or Dickerson so my first question would be does anyone know anything about them or their claims and why they would no longer be affiliated with Presas' association? As for Melegrito I have heard a few things from several people and his name keeps popping up (and not in a good way) when I look around Escrima/Arnis sites. My fiance trained with him/taught at his school when it was just a Tang Soo Do dojo and she mainly keeps going back to him being extremely greedy. However, while this may come into play later, I'm more interested in what he's like as a teacher and why he is no longer affiliated with Kombatan? I've looked around and tried to dredge up the answer myself but I keep running into cryptic answers that aren't really answers, so I would appreciate a straight up response if anyone knows.

    Would it be worth looking into classes with any of these people?

    Beyond that would it be worth my time to invest in some DVD's to try and learn? If so, do you have any recommendation?

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  2. Malmo

    Malmo New Member


    First, where are you located? I'm guessing since you mentioned Julius that you are in Nebraska.

    If so, you should contact one of my students - Dean Truax at:

    He is a great practitioner and is certified under Inosanto. He trained with me when he lived in Arkansas, but wasn't here long enough to complete his training in Kombatan.

    His background, including training with me, involves the Filipino Martial Arts, Kuntao, Silat, Jun Fun/Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and BJJ. He offers very reasonable rates and isn't looking to get rich quick!


    John R. Malmo

    IPMAF/Kombatan - Midwest Chief Instructor
  3. armas

    armas Junior Member

    Hi Amadeus,

    I have met and became a friend of Julius Melegrito. And if your question about him is character and background. He is a true martial artist and a good person. He might have had a falling out with the Kombatan family. No problem. I don't even give a damn. He was very well trained by GGM Ernesto and GM Jan(ernesto Jr). In fact, Jan Presas and Julius used to be just like brothers. If you are looking for FMA training then go and train with him. Like every other kombatan instructor there is going to be variations on how we teach, train our students and develop our techniques. Even variations on how we do the techniques taught to us. Please understand that the GGM ERnesto made sure that we have the same knowledge learnt but we had to put our personality into the gift of knowledge imparted to us. Thereby making Kombatan your own.

    I recommend Julius melegrito to you. LIke malmo said he has a vast background of knowledge. He may have his own version but it is still FMA. Hope this advice helps. Then after that take seminars of Kombatan from our brothers who are qualified to teach and compare notes. As long as you are studying FMA, it does not really matter if it is Kombatan, Doce pares, etc. Have fun in learning and keep an open mind.
  4. If you search the forum there is a good thread about FMA DVDs knocking around.

    Good luck with finding an instructor!
  5. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas

    Politics plagues the Martial Arts world like a bad disease... Just ignore it and train... Screw the politics and don't even bother about why so and so does not like so and so...

    Just train, train hard, and train often... I don't know anything about politics, I'm not Obama...
  6. The value of good instruction is priceless though.
  7. Labantayo

    Labantayo Junior Member

    My only bit of advice, train under someone who still has direct contact with the people they learned from. It doesnt matter what art or style you learn.
  8. amadeus

    amadeus New Member

    Thank you all for your answers. I train in both Judo and BJJ (and 10th Planet BJJ at that), so I understand the stupidity of martial arts politics. Still not everything I've heard boils down to politics. In this world I still believe that character matters and as I said, my fiance' personally knows Melegrito and her opinion holds alot of weight with me. So I don't mean to disregard those that have good/high opinions of Melegrito. Still I would prefer to train with someone who doesn't have questions surrounding them.

    Again thank you all. And Malmo especially you... I'll look into Omaha Kali.
  9. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas

    Yes, politics surround the Martial Arts world all the time...

    When I look for a school here's some of what I look for...

    1. Can they teach you how to fight? Some schools can't...

    2. Do they let the politics affect their students? Yes, I've seen it happen... I've seen a school here who let the politics affect their students... Even to the point that you don't see that school's students participating in the local tourneys... That says a lot about their instructors... And I can bet you 10 bucks for a chicken that those instructors probably told them some BS on why not to join... Those tourneys are good for interaction and not letting your students go is ridiculous... Especially when a majority of their students are kids that needs that interaction...

    There are other things I look for in a school... But just cause bad things are said about an instructor does not mean he can't teach... Take a free 1st day class and decide for yourself... For me, it's if they can teach you how to fight is the most important... But others may say otherwise... It's all up to you...
  10. Battle Born Arnis

    Battle Born Arnis New Member

    Essentially it is a judgement call. Try it, if you are comfortable with your instructor's character, that is great. Of course, being a capable teacher is also a big factor in choosing to study under that trainer.

    No matter how good or bad of a character someone is, there will always be someone smudging their name. Does the negative comments that you hear necessarily mean bad. Perhaps....then perhaps not. Get as much objective data you can and maybe take a trial class then go with your own impressions. It is very hard to get away from politics.

    As for DVDs, they are to me supplementary materials. The bulk of my knowledge comes from my instructor, which is why I am fortunate to have found a very good one. And the interaction with my classmates inside and outside of class plays a tremendous part in improving my skills and knowledge. The video materials as well as books helps only supplementary materials.

    Outside of DVDs and books, it really is great to take notes. It serves as a reference guide as well as a checklist during training.
  11. johnzag

    johnzag Junior Member

    I don't want to get into the debate on Master Melegrito's ability, personality or anything else relating to an assesment of the individual but my suggestion would be to go take a class and make your own mind up.
    I have been traveling a lot over the last few years and have often found myself looking for a new place to train. I do think it takes a couple of classes to work out an instructors capability but at the end the school you train at will depend on what you personally are after.

    The only thing I will say is that if you are going to train in Kombatan make sure its with someone who has a connection with GGM or atleast with the IPMAF family. I say this as if GGM comes to the states you definetly want to be able to attend his seminars and if you really interested it will make things easier heading over to the philippines to train.

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