Sayas-Lastra Arnis

Discussion in 'General' started by ekezstkz, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. ekezstkz

    ekezstkz New Member

    This is in response to Buwaya' request on Sayas-Lastra Arnis. During my 2 years with PG Lastra it was called Lastra School of Arnis. It is considered a Largo Mano system, which was passed on from Grandfather to his older brother Jorge Lastra then on to Eddie. Prior to him learning the art he studied under Master Norlito Sorian, I believe that was a form of Largo Mano too.

    As with majority of the FMA taught we had the basic footworks of male and female triangle. In the beginning we only practiced the "cinco teros" strikes and drilled them until PG Lastra felt it was time to introduce the next set to complete the "doce teros". If my memory serves me correctly it (6-12 strikes) was for the corto range. The drills conducted were called "Communication" drills similar to "sumbrada" in other systems/styles. One player would do the "cinco teros" strikes then the other would defend using distance with proper blocking only. Players would then switch attacker/defender roles. Next would be another set of comminication drills which defender would evade, block and counter strike. As we all progressed he added more variables to the equation. Pretty soon we were just "free flowing". I practice we used siniwali, X,V strikes but PG just kept it basic and from there we all just found our own "flow".

    PG Eddie is a very soft spoken but effective instructor, if you asked him a question he would answer, explain and demonstrate. I cannot express enought thanks for what PG Eddie has passed on to me!!! It has been quite sometime since I have spoken or emailed him, but eventually I will get in touch.

    Please note that this is written from my own personal training experience with PG Eddie S. Lastra. Again, I only trained with him for 2 years and was not one of his higher ranked students. He is in Mark V. Wiley' book "Filipino Fighting Arts Theory and Practice".

    Hopefully this gives some insight on Sayas-Lastra Arnis.

  2. monkey

    monkey -== Banned ==-


    Sounds a lot like what we did under jose Presas.Corto or close cutting kuntao.The only differance I see may be in the 1-6 which were obinico type.For example the 1 to temple is not a straight or slash like most but,rather ark to throw off the angle of its intended strike.
  3. MattCarter

    MattCarter New Member

    Does anyone know of how to reach PG Eddie Lastra? Does Sayas-Lastra Arnis hava a web site?

    Thank you,
  4. fernast

    fernast Junior Member

  5. Fan the Madman

    Fan the Madman Circles with Knives

    Sayas-Lastra is pretty much a dying art. As far as I know PG Eddie is no longer promoting the style, people like Guro Curtis Knight (who was one of my teachers) are way out in places like Corbin, KY and dang hard to contact. Guro Wes Lamay (my other teacher) is focused on his primary style (ChiLin Chuan Fa).
    I exchanged some email with Marlon Fuentes back in 2007, who had lost touch with Eddie. I will hit him up and see if the situation has changed...

    Ultimately I have to say Lastra Arnis is one of the best Largo systems I've ever seen.. but in my town there is a plenty good Inosanto-Lacoste teacher. Why should I take rice from his bowl and try to teach Lastra? It's not like most people are going to bother with the critical components of it anyway (like doing 2000 cuts a day)!

    Better to enjoy my gongfu. The Arnis is something I will keep for my "cane walking days" lol.

    The best website on Lastra Arnis I know of is . I'd hit him up for more clews ....
  6. NJMMADude

    NJMMADude New Member

    NO! If you could be instrumental in passing the system along, then you should take that opportunity! You said yourself that Lastra Arnis is dying, but it is one of the best largo systems out there. Why not keep it alive? It obviously has something of value or you would not have said what you did about it.

    I, for one, would be happy with a system where one of the critical components was 2000 cuts a day. That alone tells me that it is a practical system rooted in the basics, vs. a system that gives the student plenty of flash and confusing techniques locked in complicated drills and terminology.

    V striking, X striking, Siniwali, + Cinco Teros + Doce Teros + simple triangle and V footwork + addition of the live hand in corto range + leading up to drilling it all together, leading up to free sparring = a functional system of Arnis that is probably a family treasure, and would be sad to see die off the face of the earth.

  7. Fan the Madman

    Fan the Madman Circles with Knives

    I don't know bro.. one has to be realistic. How many people are going to go in for 2000 cuts a day and having arms and hands that are covered in welts and "stick hickies"? Not many I can tell you! I know why *I* did it.. I had been studying Baguazhang for about 3 years as my first martial style, with a branch of Bagua that was basically "no-touch". When I was transferred to the Portsmouth/VA-Beach area I took the plunge and went looking for filipino martial arts, and for the people who could teach me how to fight as surely and swiftly as possible.
    I went into Guro Wes' class and when asked if I had any martial arts background I said "No.. just some qi gong" (which was true after a fashion). At some point later on in drill I got startled and my hands came up in a bagua guard. Wes was like "Cool who trained you?" and I shrugged it off because I felt I had nothing. He took it as a potential challenge and swept me down HARD (in fairness I'm a BIG guy, Wes is short, and he had alot of military guys come in and try to prove stuff).
    I got up grinning, thrilled that this was a teacher who would *actually HIT me*.

    He later said when I got up grinning he knew I was a good guy who downplayed my background out of humility and insecurity.
    So I trained with him and with his teacher Mr. Knight for a few years. But I was a person with martial background (even if I couldn't fight for S**t). And I was ready to get hit and grind out the reps if I was guaranteed to be a monster from it.

    Most people won't do this. They just won't do the work. They don't want to get beat up, they don't want to do 2000 cuts with a pipe, they don't want to work over and over and over on basic cinco tero based stuff.

    I don't particularly care for the "zillion techniques" approach of Inosanto-LaCoste.. but if that's my friend's rice bowl.. I mean.. he makes it work. Of course he practices.

    I can't make people practice, and he simply doesn't try (though he's honest and tells them).

    Same with the local Cimande teacher.

    But honestly I'd rather have students than not have them. And if I tried to teach Lastra I would be practicing alone in the park.
    If either of my nephews ever decides to train.. I will use the Lastra Arnis as their base. It's very good stuff. But I really think the future of the system isn't in commercial classes. It's just not a good product to "sell". You can't pay a studio rent with it.. and my position on rent is pretty simple...
    1.) I'm going to make enough in tuition to cover my rent for space..
    2.) I'm going to see lots of smiling faces ready to have lots of fun training.

    I don't expect to get both. That's for MMA coaches and McDojo types with a viable business model and a following.

    With teaching bagua I get #2 (i.e. no profits but I have people to teach).

    With Lastra I would have neither #1 or #2.

    Like I said.. maybe my nephews will want to be "monsters" :D
  8. NJMMADude

    NJMMADude New Member

    Sad to hear. If I were near you you'd have at least one smiling face ready to work hard. It's a shame to think of the facade and the tiddlywinks that the many people expect from martial arts now. Sayas-Lastra sounds like a great system, and like you I don't resonate with systems that have thousands of techniques. I'd rather take a few techniques and hone them to perfection than have a buffet of options which I can't pull off in real time because I have too many things to work on.

    Maybe try a local Y or something? There has to be at least a few people in your area who would respect and value the training.
  9. Ryno

    Ryno New Member

    I teach with the Seattle LESKAS/LSAI club now, but prior to that spent 7 years with PG Eddie and guro Robert. His lessons on footwork, mobility and timing still keep sinking in, even though I haven't trained with him since about '98. As far as realistic blade systems go, I can't speak highly enough of the Sayas-Lastra system.

    The last time I talked to Eddie was several years ago, and he wasn't actively teaching, and had moved down to the Livermore area I believe. I'm not sure if his brother Robert is still teaching or not, or even if he's still in the Vallejo area or not. Eddie is a really great and approachable guy, so he may be open to doing some private lessons if anyone can get in contact with him. I'll try to track down his contact info, but no promises there.

    Edit: Eddie also plays guitar, and he's got contact info up on his site for that:
  10. pinoyronin

    pinoyronin New Member


    I must say i was shocked to see that their were people who trained in this system. I dont think it is as well known as the other fma systems around the world. It is one thing to have a thousand techniques, when it comes time for action we find it a few movements that are actually used then alot.

    Too many systems have been forgotten because the information was not spread out to another generation. There doesnt have to be alot of people to pass it on to, just those who are trully "interested and willing to spend the time.
  11. Ryno

    Ryno New Member

    Regionally, Eddie was one of the biggest FMA promoters in the Vallejo/East Bay area for the better part of the '90s. Outside of Stockton, Vallejo had one of the largest populations of Filipino Americans in Northern California, so it was a pretty good area to be close to if you were interested in FMA.

    We had a pretty good core in the Lastra School of Arnis for a number of years, and he also taught a few private students as well. Unfortunately he would sometimes get caught up with his work, and the club would sometimes go on hiatus for a few months. He toyed with the idea of just teaching FMA full time over the years, but I don't think he was wild about the financial risks and the potential impact of having a sell-able martial art might have on the system.

    Although Eddie doesn't seem to be currently teaching, I'd be curious to know if his brother Robert was still active, or his nephew, or any of the other senior guys were still playing sticks. I'll try to contact Eddie shortly, and will try to give an update if I find out anything.
  12. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Thanks,true words indeed. A few good people is all that is required to pass on a system.

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