By Marvin Mendoza
It was my first day training under the master of this new system I've been introduced to by a dear and trusted friend.
The dojo was small compared to the one im used to but their mats are worned out and rough evidence of countless of hours logged on to the perfection of technique.
Though it was my first day in their system I'm in no way a novice myself I have taught aikido and submission grappling for most of my adult life and was used to this sort of thing. But what they had to offer was different- The Blade- the master is a kind looking man but you can sense a power a skill behind the smile that im anxious to see...
We started out with usual routine warm ups followed by the basics then he showed how to hold a kali stick...the rough texture of the rattan dug deep in my palm but somehow felt at home with it. We started to learn the basics of the blade and the accuracy and fluidity of the master's skill is awe inspiring...
I tried my best to mimick what the master was doing but mostly I felt slow, a fish out of the water while the master flowed in and out of his attacking space swinging the stick like a natural extension of his limbs...His name is Bong Abenir and his system Abenir Kalis.
I have always trained empty hand so the weapon aspect felt different not awakward but it made you feel alive.
Time came for us to spar , my opponent is someone I didnt know but we were paired to do a knife fight armed with sturdy short sticks as stand ins...
My adrenaline raced as we threatened each other with our weapons he stepped in i drew a breath stepped offline and stabbed him point blank in the chest he reeled back and felt the tip of my weapon our skirmish drew on into the 2 min mark each getting stabbed or slashed we got into a clinch so i pushed him with my shoulder pinning him to the wall pulled my weapon arm out and stabbed him once more ending the match. I was sweating and my arms felt like a ton..
Master Bong watched from the sideline...i was thinking to myself that wasnt so bad. Then master Bong asked me to step up and spar with him this time empty hands.
In the back of my head every reptilian brain cell is screaming at me "RUN FOOL!" But I was there and I had to do it. The timer started, he threw a jab I parried and he closed in...all i saw was the ceilling and both my feet up in the air the only thing that saved me was a well practiced breakfall, gravity took hold and down i went...it was the fastest takedown or sweep I have ever experienced.
And all I can say about the experience was... "I was hooked on AK" and never looked back to my old systems since.