12th Session – Knives!

September 27, 2010

Post-Knife Fighting Smiles

We went edgy for our 12th session witha great intro into knife fighting from Canadian Kung Fu expert Kirk. He brought wooden knives and walked us through a series of knife disarmament and striking moves.

Kirk defends Shanrah's deadly wooden knife attack

Wow. Knife fighting is serious business. The remainder of the session included a refresher on basic kick and punch techniques as well as some sparring at then end.

Thanks to Kaleena, Bernard, Kirk, Ryan, Bonnie-Jill, Galen and Bill for their enthusiastically sweaty participation. Tons more photos are here.

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More mayhem

September 7, 2010

We’ll be gathering once again to learn and practice fight techniques on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 11am. As usual we’ll be meeting at Clover Park in Santa Monica. Interested in participating but never done any martial arts? No worries, we’re here to learn new skills and not to bang each other up. Sparring is entirely optional for everyone and not everyone spars, so its OK to watch that part of the session. If you plan on participating, email me or find me on Twitter (@georgeruiz) and let me know. Looking forward to seeing you on the 26th.

We mastered the art of flying

Amazingly great turnout for the 11th session of W2FC! All the trash tweets between American Mark Gantt (The Bannen Way) and Canadian Ryan Copple (Riese the Series) brought out a crowd. Apart from Ryan and Mark, we had Kaleena Kiff, Galen Fletcher, Casey McKinnon, Rudy Jahchan, Barrett Garese, Bernard X., Frank Krueger, Bill C. and from Savate Team USA, Jeff Conley who co-ran the session with me. I know I’m leaving a couple of people out who attended and watched the session, but I’m blanking, having been clocked on the jaw a few too many times today.

Two hours of punching and kick techniques culminated in session where Jeff and I padded up and let people beat on us for 2 minutes at a time. But the real finale was the showdown between Mark and Ryan, um, wait…neither elected to fight, instead they appointed champions and Galen took on Jesse in the Battle of Riese vs Bannen. I’m calling it a draw, but click over to Flickr where we have a lot more photos from the event.

See you all next month.

We are gathering again for another session of W2FC on Sunday April 25, 2010. It’s open to all wishing to learn and train in martial arts techniques. Sparring is always voluntary. It will be held at Clover Park as usual at 11am. If you got ’em bring boxing gloves (not MMA gloves),  athletic shoes, water and a a sense of fun.

Let me know if you’ll be attending by DMing or @replying to me on Twitter (@georgeruiz) See you there!

9th Session

March 8, 2010

Holding pads for @spytap

Good times with Barrett Garese and Mike Outmesguine at W2FC. Spent a lot of time sparring with Barrett and my legs have the bruises to show for it. He’s a natural. Jeff Conley from The United States Savate Federation showed up as well and gave us invaluable pointers.

Fight faces.

As you can clearly see we’re now ready for SXSW. Bring it on!

Trading blows

More photo here.

SXSW Fight Training

March 6, 2010

Prepare yourself for the ultra-violence that is SXSW with some fight training this Sunday. The fun starts at 11am on March 7, 2010 at Clover Park in Santa Monica. No one gets hurt, but we do sweat, so remember to bring cross-trainers, water, and comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting bloody dirty. If you’ve got pads or kickboxing gear, bring that. No trash talking, no bangin’ and no egos tolerated.

We’ll be ready for anything Austin might throw at us.

8th Session

January 3, 2010

George, Alan, Lan, Jason and Barrett

Great fun at our first session of 2010! Attending were Lan Bui, Alan Bernhoft, Barrett Garese and Jason DeFillippo. We focused on basics but got into a few more complicated moves like spinning back kicks. We concluded with a few rounds of sparring where everyone admirably displayed their new skills.

Barrett and Alan sparring. Check out Barrett's crazy shoes.


Nice roundhouse to the ribs!


More fisticuff photos here.

Look for our next session to be announced soon. Hope you can join us.

First Session of 2010

December 28, 2009

Aaand we’re back for another round of Fight Club!

We’re meeting this Sunday January 3, 2010 from 11am to 1pm at Clover Park in Santa Monica. Bring water, cross trainers (shoes required as we’ll be training on grass) and whatever martial arts gear you have, if any (e.g., pads, boxing gloves, headgear, wraps, etc.). This is not for overly aggro types who want to bang – it’s a session where we train in martial arts basics and do some work on the pads. My background is mostly kickboxing and savate so we tend to focus on punch-kick techniques. There will be some very light supervised sparring at the end for those that want to try out their new skills.

See the post below for location and Google map. Look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

We’ll be back in action for more fight training this Sunday, March 8, 2009. It’s your last chance to learn some moves before SXSW. You know you’ll need ’em if you plan on attending Diggnation Live.  Clover Park in Santa Monica is where it all happens. See you there!

About Savate

February 23, 2009

I often get asked about the fighting style I mostly train in. Savate is a French form of kickboxing that has its roots in kicking techniques brought back by French sailors visiting Asian ports in the 18th century. It was further developed by Marseilles bravos who used it to defend themselves on the streets, but later refined by Parisian gentlemen who incorporated British boxing techniques. By the end of the 19th century “Le Boxe-Francaise” aka “Savate” was quite in fashion among the men (and a few women) of society and it became the national fighting art of France. It was taught to French military and police personnel but Savate was almost entirely wiped out when WWI and WWII killed off most of its practitioners. This uniquely French fight technique managed to survive and it’s been having a sort of renaissance throughout the world lately. Bruce Lee acknowledged Savate’s effectiveness and incorporated several of its kicks into his own style, Jeet Kun Do.

Savate looks decidedly different from other kickboxing styles in that it’s somehow elegant. I have been practicing Savate for 9 years and love the sport, having competed in about 10 amatuer fights (with a record of 6-4).  Take a look a the the clip above to get an idea of what full contact Savate can do.