It's not so much about the tool that you're using. But it's actually the heart and mindset you put into what you're doing. - B.A.
Training with my good friend Steffen Billhardt at AK Bahay Ezkrima. A big guy with a humble attitude. Like him, we had a lot of foreign students who come and go here for training. . And like him there were a few exeptions such as Sebastian Rauch, Bradley Castle, Nero Lynx Smith,Gilles Blessed, Javier Naranjo, Jorge Talaya who came all the way here to the Philippines to really learn and understand our way. These are but few examples of people who were already accomplished martial artists in their own right even before they came here, yet had the humbleness to set those aside for a while and began emptying their cup in order to recieve what little we can offer that may help them. For which they trained hard and fought even harder. They aren't just the typical guys who merely asks for certificates after a few days or a month of training. If ever they got one, it was given to them freely and wholeheartedly. They understood the real value and the culture of what Filipino martial arts is. They came to understand the identity as to why we do this and that instead of merely conforming with what they want or what they insists upon or to have us copy what others are doing. They respected and accepted the uniqueness of FMA as it is. These are the types of people worth teaching and keeping.
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art
MESSAGE BY GURO SEBASTIAN RAUCH:
Maraming salamat po for mentioning me Maestro.
It's nice to see Steffen going at it. Indeed a nice and humble guy!
I really can recommend to everybody that is considering going to the Philippines for training to follow that dream. It is a very special experience to train in the home country of this beautiful art.
I had a great time in Manila for sure. 5 hours of training, every day is not easy especially when you keep in mind the climate...but it was so worth it.
With Master Bong I've found somebody who is truly interested in teaching me in order to help me progress....not just for the money, not just showing off and teaching random techniques but somebody who cares about his students, who takes his art very seriously and who obviously is pretty damn good in what he does.
The reason why I decided to go with AK is because it really focuses on the blade side of FMA and it is all about application. It's not a style that cares on how beautiful techniques might look in order to attract the masses but rather puts functionality first in order to make things work.