A Training Group?

Rick Vargas Kali Silat and Self Defense Training Group.

I lead and teach what I call a Kali Silat and Self Defense “Training Group.”  It’s not a martial arts organization, school, or even exclusive style.  I don’t promote, give belts, or certify anyone.  It’s my vehicle for sharing martial arts I have learned and still study, with interested men and women.

Admittedly, there is little interest in what I choose to do because so many people are about emblems, belts, certificates, patches, and the whatnot trappings of martial arts.  My training group doesn’t even have uniforms, wear what you’d like.

What’s a Training Group?  Why a training group?

Isn’t a “school” or “dojo” better?  Well, more profitable maybe, better; maybe not, and here’s why.  I am not a member of any martial arts organization that I provide kickbacks to.  I don’t pay annual dues, attend mandatory camps, re certify every year, or have to maintain a certain number of members under me to maintain my “qualifications.”

Those are often part of being a school or organization.  It’s good for the style or organization, but can be a burden on the local instructor who just wants to help others.

I can help others with my humble martial offerings.  I have past training, knowledge, and skills that cannot be taken away from me, memberships or not.  I study, train, and develop martial skills and concepts continually.

I have a core of materials I like to teach, from among my own past training and certifications, but it’s not a mandatory set for each student.  Sometimes I train one student in one set of skills and another in a different set.  Why?  Cause I focus on the students’ needs and capabilities.  Some want to learn basic no frills self defense.  Cool, we can do that.  Some want to learn to express themselves through the beauty of martial movement.  Some want to learn exotic fighting skills.

Then there’s the matter of abilities and capabilities.

My older students don’t train in high kicking taekwondo techniques, those take longer to develop skill in, so why require they work on that?  But, boy they can whack you with a stick!  Mature female students don’t often want to train full contact kickboxing, but benefit from learning how to defend themselves from being grabbed in an elevator from a molester.

Some of my students are not athletic, they can’t do 3 minutes worth of a drill all at once, in a self defense situation they won’t win a fight.  But I’m not preparing them for the Olympics, they have to train to make one move, their first move,  and it be an effective move.

School and organizations can’t provide this level of flexibility.

I haven’t really trained gun defense.  One of my students mentioned he had.  I asked him to show me and now I’m learning from him, and can share it to the group.  That’s something else a school or dojo won’t do; bring in influences outside of their “Style.” If I think it worthwhile we will fit it in to the training.

Another student is a high caliber wrestler.  Chatting with him I found he’s of the opinion that someone who is a quality striker doesn’t have to master wrestling like him, that he’d focus on teaching the striker about getting up from takedowns, cause he says, and I accept, a wrestler will get you down!  I can’t wait for him to add some of that to the mix.

In the training group environment I can customize things more for each member.  If someone doesn’t get the 26-31 of the 64 attacks but likes the sinawali’s,  we can work more on those.  Don’t want to kickbox but do want to learn to defend yourself against a grab punch, we do that on that basis.  You like Kali and Silat movement just for fun, I think it’s fun too.

The environment of my training group is friendlier and more casual than Karate training in my early days.  We could not budge from a stance, could not look around, could not speak or scratch an itch.  It’s effective but archaic training  I can teach you the same things without terrorizing you in the process, and you’ll learn just as well, if not way, way, better.

In my group if you need to go to the bathroom just don’t do it in the middle of defending against a punch, you don’t have to ask permission, need a drink of water, get it.  Feel tired, sit out for a bit shame free.

Yet, it’s not for everybody.  Mercenaries, Seal Team Six, Professional cage fighters, Bodyguards and Bouncers will find this training group underwhelming.

It’s honestly designed for the average person who would like to learn some self defense and martial skills, without the stress of the killer training you find in MMA gyms Marine Corps boot camp, or the goofy unrealistic training of the average karate school.  It is exciting and often fun.  That’s why I run it as a training group.  We train, in a variety of things.  We converse and laugh.  We train with a focus on the individual. We train seriously and for fun.   It’s a training group intended for responsible grownups.

Come Join us Saturday mornings 10am Black Lightning Martial Arts in Dbaru

Coach Rick


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