"Old Man Style"

Discussion in 'Lameco' started by Guro Dave Gould, May 14, 2010.

  1. Guro Dave Gould


    Hi guys,

    I hope that all are well and that everyone is keeping challenged by their daily training. As I get older I notice the affect that gravity has on the human body and one can only question how that affects ones ability to move and ones over all combative effect.

    I notice that as I advance in years my priorities change ever so slightly concerning the combative equation. The end goal remains the same which is to survive but how I realize that goal seems to differ from decade to decade. I do notice where physical youth is lacking now it is exceedingly compensated with efficiency and the need to utilize ones mind more. Whereby minimizing risk while maximizing gain has been the adopted mantra in training and fighting thereby replacing the reckless goals and endless energy that youth seems to offer us in abundance.

    This reminds me of something that Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite discussed with me many years ago when I had first started training with him. He told me that as he got older he was not able to be as aggressive and explosive as in previous years when he was younger and that he also had fallen victim to being forced to change his combative priorties as dictated by necessity in liu of something more achievable from the vantage point of an older person who does not have youth to fall back on. He then told me of the "Old Man Style" and he used Antonio "Tatang" Illustrisimo as his example.

    Coming from the "De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal" approach in utilizing "solo-baston" and "doble-baston" where striking with full power and speed (intention) until your hands bled and then you were expected to continue striking in an effort to enhance your combative stamina and endurance, Punong Guro Sulite really began to see the value of the edged weapon genre and the opportunities & advantages which edged weapons lended itself to an older person. He considered the art of fighting with a stick as a younger persons game and as one advanced in age one should adapt more to edged weapons such as knife, machete or sword. As edged weapons offered more opportunities which did not demand as much physical effort or strain on the human body and simultaneously limited risk in its usage in comparison to its counter part being impact weapons.

    With edged weapons the verdict is rendered and delivered with deadly and swift results, but ones objectives with the blade are easier to realize as opposed to striking with impact weapons where the need for power and speed are ever present and once we tire we become more and more vulnerable to a younger opponent. Which is why ones mind and the ability to judge each situation with clarity becomes more and more essential, as one bad decision could lead to difficult consequences if acting out of haste. Then I think of "Tatang" Illustrisimo who even in his 90`s was a force to be rekined with and no-one young or old would want to see him place them in his sights while engaging with a "pinuti" or "Itak". He was as respected and feared as much as an older person as when he were younger, and as I advance in age decade after decade I see myself adopting his method of training and fighting more and more from a strategic point of view.

    Not to take anything away from those who prefer impact weapons over edged weapons. Manong Jose D. Caballero of De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal well into his 80`s was well respected and feared for his abilities with a stick and although he had to slightly adjust and modify his art to cater to his advanced age he was a warrior to the end and could severely F*** up your day with vengeance and fury if you made the mistake of crossing paths with him in anger or redemption. But alot of maintenance is required to be able to stay on top of such a demanding weapon combination as impact weapons over all.

    Just as years ago Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite saw himself leaning closer and closer to edged weapons as he planned to drift into old age, I in like manner see myself leaning more and more in that direction as each decade robs from me a younger mans stamina and endurance. I expect to go well into old age relying on impact weapons where applicable but I always have my blade well within reach just in case my older age seems to compromise my situation, the blade is there acting as a Guardian Angel to perform at optimum effect should I find my self in a weakend state staring death square in the eyes.

    I still train and give my utmost in utilizing impact weapons and I plan on doing so for many years to come, but edged weapons and the advantage which they bring to an older person are ever within my reach and as one decade diminishes into the next my dependence on edged weapons ever so clearly reveals itself with strong purpose.

    Although I welcome all responses this post is catered more for those who are getting on in years, my question to you is have you questioned the effect of impact weapons as you get older? And if so are you training more and more with edged weapons to offset those disadvantages which seem to plague us as we get older and force us to resolve our problems with more finite solutions? I await youre responses... Train well, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  2. Edgedweapons

    Edgedweapons New Member

    Edgedweapons are great, dont know any grappling? fighting multiple attackers? a knife can easily solve those problems.

    but the thing is (IMHO) depending on the Knife laws, if the legal length is a max 3 inches it may take a lot more stickings to neutralize a threat. one shot kills or one hitter quitters with a knife is not as probable.
  3. Guro Dave Gould



    Thanks for your response. Yes, you are correct, a knife can easily solve many problems, so can a well placed bullet for the matter! However these weapon choices may also create more problems then they may resolve, self-defense like anything else has to be adminstered in moderation, especially in societies where there are strict laws forbidding, or at a minimum scrutinizing, the use of specific weapons. In todays society response has to be determined exclusively by escalation of force laws which necessitates one to act and to what degree with which one may act.

    In all honesty regarding the legal system, I believe that the use of an impact weapon would be looked upon with far less scrutiny than the use of a knife or sword by a Judge and Jury, if a life were taken and the case were heard in a court of law. Clearly, defending ones life would be less scrutinized while utilizing empty-hand options over weapon based options. But when your life is in great peril of being lost and it is either react with whatever is at hand or perish than all options are on the table, seriously what good does a Jury of your peers do for you if you are dead? Which is why I train all types of weapons and weapon combinations which I feel to be viable options in defending life and limb in the cold hard streets which await us all. Just because the use of certain weapons are "currently" against the law does not mean that you should ignore them and choose not to train them in the privacy of your own home. The good thing about living here in the United States of America is that if we do not agree with a set of laws we have the ability to have those laws changed based on majority decision while exercising our constitutional rights to national and local elections. If our government does not hear us then we have the option to replace all incumbants with new representatives which serve the will of the people as opposed to the will of an elite class who place themselves above and apart from the general population and who seve only in their own best interests.

    I train in shooting, I train all aspects of edged weapons, I train all aspects of impact weapons, I train numerous weapons of opportunity, I train various empty hand fighting styles and I train ground fighting with and without weapons to serve different purposes. When my life depends on how I will react and to what degree by which I react depends solely on the situation and the varying degrees of threat assessment which I may face. If my life is at risk and I truly feel that unless I react with deadly force that I will die than all options will be considered and carried out without bias or predjudice. My post above was more based on appropriate weapon selection which favored the disadvantages of an older person over the abilities of a younger person moreso than stating that edged weapons were more effective than impact weapons. Each genre of weapon has its advantages and each has its disadvantages unique to the nomenclature of each weapon and individual purpose to which each serves.

    Again, thank you for your comment. Train well, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    This was a thought-provoking post and what you have said about changing towards the blade as age and injuries pile up has been very true of me. I can't move as fast--and that was never my strongest attribute--or take as much damage or go as long as I used to. The blade has become more and more a focus of my personal training; I still emphasize the stick with my (college-aged) students. One thing with the stick is that the ability to grab it and lock with it opens up some fascinating material that helps keep people interested even when it isn't necessarily very practical in applications, and that can matter in keeping people training. For me personally, the knife is strongly my focus and I do find myself thinking less and less in terms of the stick. The knife can be with me, and needs fewer attributes to be effective--including that its presence alone can scare off attackers in a way a stick might not (rightly or wrongly).
  5. Edgedweapons

    Edgedweapons New Member

    Edgedweapons is a prime focus in my training even still at 27 years old. secondary is stand up, then followed up by developing a really good clinch game.

    although i train other aspects, ranges, and weapons I prefer in training in this order for self defense.
  6. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member


    If I hear what you're saying correctly, edged weapons is also a mental game and this "game" is also something us older guys tend to play once we've understood that we're not going to bang with the 20-somethings on a regular basis anymore. Channeling your physical skills and aggression into physical dominance is a natural high but that ship sailed away from me a while back; on the other hand a cursory glance on what's sitting on my night stand will definitely tell you what my priorities have become. Once you accept the level of finality that edged weapons introduce to the mix it's easy to accept how firearms are merely a logical addition to a force continuum that has a very narrow focus. Is this FMA? I guess it depends on how broadly (and how narrowly) you define the beast. By the same token I can still practice how to swing a stick and learn to appreciate the subtleties of an art that just keeps on giving back the more that I practice.


  7. Guro Dave Gould


    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments, very interesting indeed... now to respond:

    Arnisador you wrote:

    "The knife can be with me, and needs fewer attributes to be effective--including that its presence alone can scare off attackers in a way a stick might not (rightly or wrongly)".

    Absolutely, you are correct in that a knife can always be with you regardless of wheter it is actualy "with you" on your person or not. If not on your person It will always be with you in the form of a screw driver, an Ink Pen, a Pencil, an Ice pick, a sharp piece of wood that you find on the ground, the neck of a broken beer bottle, a chisel, a razor blade, a fork or anything else that you can come across with a pointed tip or a sharp edge. As for it scaring off an attacker just based on it being presented during a probable conflict, again you are correct. When someone decides to accost you, you can bet your ass that the decision will be made based on the attacker seeing himself playing an advantageous position in committing the crime, with you being presented as less of a risk to the criminal.

    Criminals always prey on the weak, that is where they find their strength, very few criminals will try and attack some one who they perceive as being stronger than they are. Once an equalizer, such as a knife, has been introduced into the equation the whoe equation changes from the perspective of the criminal. With the knife being present now the criminal has to realize that now he may be hurt or killed himself and will have to re-evaluate his position and weigh the danger that he now faces to see if he thinks that the risk justifies the reward. Chances are most criminals would just move on to weaker prey, unless that is he feels that he still has the advantage, such as him being armed with a gun or something else which possesses at least as much or more stopping power than the knife which was introduced. Some criminals are just crazy and short of you calling in an air strike on their position they are going to attack you, because they just want to attack you. And it is this small percentile of the criminal population for which we must train with diligence and strong purpose in defense of bodily harm, for only if we are totally committed and prepared to fight until death literally robs us from the field of battle will we stand a chance in defending our lives against soeme one with the mindset of non logical thought, or worse yet someone reacting while on mind altering drugs where there is no thresh hold of pain for them to feel.

    Steve, great insight and a great response. Lameco Eskrima was never presented to us, the students of Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite, as a knife fighting system, or a stick fighting sytem or an empty-hand fighting system. Rather it was presented to us as one fighting system which tranlates itself equally with anything that you can place in the human hand to the point of having nothing in which case the knowledge would translate itself bone to bone. So there is never a preferential weapon or weapon combination just the need to find the right tool for the right job and the system in the form of combative attributes would provide the solution from that point forward.

    Edgar G. Sulite never saw the weapons that we use in Lameco Eskrima as the preferred weapons of choice, as he felt that there was only one weapon in Lameco Eskrima and that was the human mind. The sword, or knife, or stick was not an extention of his hand but rather they were extentions of his mind. The mind revealed what has to be done and the body carries out the mission utilizing the best instrument designed by which to achieve the objective to be met. This is FMA to me, not stick fighting, or knife fighting, or empty-hand fighting but fighting while utilizing anything at hand to achieve the end goal, which is to survive.

    Punong Guro Sulite has said several times that when you change the way that you look at things the things that you look at change. This is very true in all walks of life, it was not until humans began to see themselves having the ability to fly that man started to realize that dream and make it happen. If we never saw ourselves going to the moon we never would have gone. To elaborate on this point, when I was in the military I had to undergo alot of shooting classes and I always saw the act of shooting as being one dimensional. You point, you shoot and you kill. It was not until we brought in a former "Tunnel Rat" from the Vietnam war to give a presentation on shooting that my understanding of shooting a weapon was enhanced beyond imagination and met with astoundment and enthusiasm.

    This guy was a "Tunnel-Rat" in the Cu-Chi tunnel complex chasing down Viet-Cong through the tunnels of South Viet-Nam during the Vietnam war, not a safe duty assignment to pull by any means. He was presented with the dilema of making the art of shooting in a very normal sense of the word transcend itself to encompass a very unusual environment where shooting is less than ideal. The Tunnels were dug 30 to 50 meters below the ground stretching some 3,000 miles from Cambodia into all parts of South Vietnam which would open up into huge complexes used for administrative offices, hospitals, Kitchens, mess halls, barracks etc, all underground. The majority of the 3,000 miles of tunnel were dug through hard granite and when you fire a round in the tunnel complex the bullet would continue for great distances ricocheting from wall to wall, ground to ceiling until it comes to rest in someone or something. So it was ilogical to shoot inside the tunnel complex because you could not control the round.

    The "Tunnel-Rats" came up with a solution which was to master the art of Ricocheting the rounds off of the walls, ground and ceiling in the small tunnels and most times they did not have to actualy put eyes on their enemies just put a round down tunnel anytime that they heard a noise and chances are after ricocheting a few rounds from their 1911 off of a few walls they would find their target and often did so. This opened up a whole new world of shooting and by the time that this concept reached me at Ft. Bragg, N.C. in the early 80`s it had been refined to the point that it was a dead on science, another element of shooting which had to be Mastered and fully understood. When he had us start by ricocheting rounds off of pavement, or the side of concrete or brick buildings, up concrete stair wells, and off of steel man whole covers i thought that he was crazy. That is until I started to bounce my rounds on target and even though I was not aiming directly at what I wanted to shoot through bouncing a round off the pavement with a good understanding of geometry I was able to hit what I was shooting at. It was the same to me as adjusting for trajectory, wind, and distance on a 1000 meter target with a rifle, only I made those adjustment on the pavement and decided on a degree of bounce, lift and distance from the ground to target. After awhile I got really good at it and regardles of whether I was shooting conventionaly, using mill-dots, adjusting for trajectory and wind or bouncing round off the pavement I was able to hit what I was shooting at spot on. As well he demonstrated how to make a lethal round non lethal to control a crowd in riot status by bouncing a shot gun blast off the ground at a certain angle and ricochet the individual pellets of the shot into the legs of the rioting crowd making a potentially lethal action less-than-lethal and considering the alternative effective and to the point.

    I quickly came to realize that by adopting this type of training it offered up different vantage points for me, if I could not acquire a clean shot from a conventional point of view I was able to secure a shot bouncing it off of a wall, the ground or up a concrete stairwell into an acquired target with little effort. My FMA is the same, just because people say that something is improbable and has never been done does not mean that it is impossible and can not be done, fighting is about perspective and what is impossible from a certain vantage point is more than probable from another vantage point. When we change the way that we look at things, the things that we look at change...

    Go well guys, ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  8. Pau

    Pau New Member

    Well in MEX we have a prob cus ALL edged weapons are considerd ilegal by the law.
    So if by a bad timing you go and get questioned by police you are in BIGGGGG troble, they dont care what its for you are going to spend lots of $$$$ for them to let you go and of cors they will not give you your blade back.

    So most guys i know we try to hide them realy well.

    Hi from mex
  9. Guro Dave Gould



    Hola, y como le va? Espero que todo le encuentre bien. Bienvenidos al nuestro foro!

    It is hard to believe that all bladed weapons are illegal in Mexico, I have spent alot of time in your country and nearly everyone has a machete on them when working in the fields or a kitchen knife on them when working or eating in the numerous side walk cafes in and around Mexico City. Maybe it is illegal to carry a knife for self defense but there are certainly many blades available to one at nearly all times. Again I reiterate that it is important to train with other impromptu items found in your immediate environment such as a screw driver, chisel, ink pen, pencil, ice pick and numerous other things which are "knife" like in nomenclature that are not illegal with which you could make do in a pinch.

    As well if some one comes through your window at night while breaking into your house and you happen to grab ahold of a kitchen knife, which you normally use for cooking, with which to defend yourself I do not believe even Mexico would convict you of that. It is illegal to carry a knife for self defense purposes in quite a few countries now, but this should not restrain you from training the knowledge as the knowledge does cross over to numerous other items found in our immediate environment which are legal to possess. When it comes down to it it is better to be alive and have to pay a small bribe than to be dead in which case all of the money in the world will be quite insignificant to you and will do you little good in that regard.

    De donde es usted en Mexico Pau? Con quien entrena usted? Otra vez, bienvenidos al nuestro foro! ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
  10. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    This is one of the reasons why I have the preference of stabbing over slashing in knife work...it lends itself much better to some improvised weapons that get treated with the same aim as knives.
  11. Pau

    Pau New Member

    Gracias Guro Dave

    We met some time ago the firts time you came to MEX (lets not talk of that........expiriens) im the guy you went to diner with Howard you last day and i have bean in contact with Juan Carlos over the past months.

    so i hope you are well and to see you soon in Mex

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