Serrada and Latosa Escrima Concepts

Discussion in 'Serrada' started by geezer, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. geezer

    geezer Member

    I studied under GM Rene Latosa, starting back in the mid '80s back when he taught 'PMAS Combat Escrima". Now it's known as "Escrima Concepts". GGM Angel Cabales was Rene's first instructor and the Latosa system still conserves many serrada movements although considerably altered to reflect Latosa's emphasis on power, "directness", and simplicity. I know that there are a lot of politics and bruised egos among the different groups with connections to Cabales, Sarmiento, Revilar and other great names inthe FMA's. But out here in the sticks, Phoenix that is, we're happy just to find another player! So, if you stay with a broad interpretation of the heritage of serrada, I guess this is the place for me to be posting. Any other Latosa Concepts people out there? And the rest of you to weigh in?
  2. tsefreeflow

    tsefreeflow New Member

    Welcome, not sure if I would say here in Phoenix is in the sticks =0), but I guess thats interpretation.
    I figured I would just ask, but why would anyone want to or need to change a system that has been proven in battle to their own interpretations? Its not a problem if one choses to but I am just curious on why one would feel the need to? Further if you change these things you posted then its not Serrada at all, besides being only a ghost of Serrada. You also have directness in quotes, but yet in the true system of Serrada I have seen no other system as direct. I would think if you change that, then you are getting further from Serrada. Not saying Latosa is one of these, but most who change the system is because they dont have a understanding of the system. Whats your thoughts on this?
  3. medic

    medic Junior Member

    To start with I have very limited knowledge of Latosa escrima, but besides Serrada, I believe he also studied under his father in a different style, therefore getting a "different flavor". I also believe that his father being an old time escrima practitioner was battle tested.
  4. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Latosa and Serrada

    I'd be interested in hearing whether you thought that Mr. Latosa's focus on the machete falls in line with the underlying intentions of Serrada Eskrima?


  5. geezer

    geezer Member

    Why change "Traditional" Serrada indeed?

    I'd say "Medic" is on the right track. If you check out Rene Latosa's history as posted on his website, you'll see that he studied Serrada under Angel Cabales, Cadena de Mano under Max Sarmiento, Larga Mano techniques under Leo Giron, and THEN got whupped by has dad, John Latosa. Until that point he never knew that his own father had been a great master escrimador who had put his art aside to make a new life when he arrived in America. If I may attempt to sumarize the account given by GM Latosa, every time he asked his father to repeat a technique, his father would do something seemingly different, but equally effective. Finally it hit him (literally and figuratively) that his father was teaching combat CONCEPTS, not just techniques. Apparently, this was the seed which grew over 35 years into the present Latosa Escrima Concepts. Another factor that needs to be considered is body type. I've read that GGM Cabales was a very small man, even for a Filipino, standing at about five feet tall. His physical gifts were apparently his amazing agility and speed. This would have definately affected his style of Serrada. On the other hand, Rene Latosa is a tall, powerfully built man, over six feet tall and 200 lean pounds in his prime. He played football and boxed for the US Air Force. Naturally, he would favor the direct, powerful moves that worked best for him. Back in the 80's, when I was more active in the art, I recall him discussing how the different body types and gifts of some of his senior students and associates, such as Brady Brazil and Cedric Concon, influenced their techniques or "personal style". In fact, to expect that students will not change and adapt what they learn seems pretty rigid to me. For too many years I was a "Senior Instructor and Personal Disciple" of a certain famous Kung-fu Grandmaster who enforced that kind of rigidity. One day I woke up and resigned from his organization. Latosa by contrast always encouraged me to ask questions. I prefer that approach.
  6. tsefreeflow

    tsefreeflow New Member

    Agreed, I ask questions too like I did above. It was mearly curiosity on why people change things. Strict rigidity to a set system is not what is intendedly taught in Serrada, at least not by Master Tacosa, but you find yourself being taught a technique that works so well, it makes no sense to change it. Of course there are some that ones body style may not favor, so you adapt it to your personal physique, which is fine and probably needs to happen. Of course also the movements vary individual to individual, but it is true to be said that those who have the closest movement to Angel and who have studied beside and under him for a very long time are the best at his system. In reality many do change the system because they dont KNOW the system. If you know the system well then there is no need to change its core. Now this is not true in everyone, some change it for the fact that they favor certain ranges and so they take what they can feel confortable in using from Serrada at a range they are confortable in and disregard the rest. It seems a lot like the roots of JKD which as of today has been taken to far extremes and has actually degressed in the last 5-10 years.
  7. geezer

    geezer Member

    Your reference to JKD is apt. Bruce Lee began JKD in order to move beyond the constraints of a single "style", in his case, Grandmaster Yip Man's Wing Chun. Loyal Wing Chun practitioners responded that their's was a complete and battle tested system, and any attempt to change it at it's core would only dilute and weaken the art. Many today among Wing Chun's divided and splintered sects still feel this way, even as they use Bruce Lee's legacy to promote themselves. The prevailing attitude seems to be that any deviation from the traditional system shows both arrogance and ignorance. In fairness, most who loudly trumpet their new styles to the world are unqualified at best. Yet, on the other hand, all truly great masters, from Bruce Lee to Picasso, break with the status quo to leave their own mark. Picasso? Yeah, well I'm also an artist and art teacher, and after all, we ARE talking about Martial ARTS.

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