I will try not to offend anyone but I thought I would share with you some of the ideals I have been taught, that I think we all really need to think about in order to preserve the art and pass it on to the next generation in tact. First off Kali is not a stickfighting art it is a blade art and way to many people have lost sight of that. The stick is just a fairly safe way to train, and as we all know the stick can be used as a weapon. Everyone is obsessed with stick drills, knife drills, drills in general. In one class a motivated beginner can do basic drills with a live blade if they have a competent teacher. But the second you go outside of the drill they are in serious trouble. The drills are important yes, but you have to get comfortable outside of the drills as soon as possible. I think I remeber some guy named Bruce Lee who said " the truth lies outside of all set patterns" Two, most of the stickfighting we see on videos looks more like a hockey match where two guys grab each other and see how many times they can hit each other until somebody gives up. Training like that and in full body armor gives people a false sense of security. If you have to go live blade you can't afford to take one single hit, so we are loosing the basic skills, zoning, ranging, footwork, and timing. For example PTK is supposed to be a close range system yet with a stick or long blade almost everybody nowdays stay at long to middle range. Very few in the U.S.A at least are training extremely close range with a stick, let alone grappling in the mud with a stick, so they just throw out half of the system because they believe the new PTK is better than the old PTK or let politics or ego get in the way when in fact it all combines flawlessly when used in the proper range and situation. The locks, throws, and disarms other than the contradas only work at close range. Another problem with light technical sparring, it is great for footwork, ranging, and zoning but when all you do is practice closing in and hitting sticks three or four times and backing out you are missing the point. In a real fight, ideally you don't want any clicks, one maybe two clicks at most of the sticks or blades and then you want the enemies head laying on the ground. Our FMA is a war art period. Why do we practice taking someone out empty hands in one to two seconds, but when it comes to sticks and blades we dance around clicking sticks for ten minutes on one person and don't even bother closing in fast and practicing the locks, throws, thrusts that we need in a real situation to end it in one or two seconds. We need weapon control first, light technical sparring without any safety equipment. Then learn to apply the entire system at all ranges as it was developed for. Then all out sparring with a light glove and helmet maybe. We have the honor to train in a system that is battle tested and never watered down for sport, so by not training properly and learning how to apply all techniques at their proper ranges we are slowly destroying the art. Im not saying we need to go home everyday with a concussion but training outside in the gravel,in the mud,in low light conditions, in the rain and maybe even some torn clothing or a busted lip once in a while is excatly what the art deserves. Let alone what the masters deserve from us like Leo Gaje, Dan Inosanto, and all the other masters that came before them. It is getting so bad you can see so called Kali masters teaching inside blocking against a knife, when the very first rule of the knife is the second you meet resistance you go somewhere else on the body preferrably cutting the entire time the blade is in motion. People worrying about "defanging the snake" when you can zone in and cut off the head first and then take the hand if you get bored, just as easy but nobody does that because it requires proper zoning and timing the very things we are loosing because of improper training. And with the recent popularity the fma is seeing I think it is only going to get worse as the mcdojos move in and prostitute our beloved art. If you can take anything away from my post please remember we are a blade art. It requires fluidity, timing, finness. Not all power all the time. That is why Leo Gaje and Dan Inosanto can just toy with all of us because everyone is to busy trying to kill each other with one shot, swinging the stick like it is a ten pound sledgehammer. And the fact that very few teachers either don't understand or just don't teach the fact that the movements get smaller and tighter to the centerline as the range gets closer and closer. I am not a teacher only a student of a Maha Guru who refuses to engage in internet wars. He has almost seventy years training in over forty systems mainly Kali and dozens of styles of Silat. But the information he has been kind enough to share with me I think is too valuable not to share with the community. So please remember always think of the Blade and always think maime or kill the other person before they maime or kill you. And the only way you do that is as Leo Gaje always says "offense and counter offense". Stay safe but train correctly and train like your life depends on it. Just when you are patting yourself on the back for being fast at a drill someone might be right around the corner after class waiting to kill you with a real blade. And guess what, they won't be using patterns and the forty five degree angles that you are so used to.