Recently at The Martialist:
There are two aspects of training with knives that Instructor Floro always emphasizes: The first is the importance of safety in training (including good protective gear and respect for one’s training partners). The second is the social and legal responsibilities of training with, carrying, and using knives. Especially given that knives are not legal in some areas, the latter is extremely important, while the former fosters a training environment in which quicker and more realistic progress can be made, he asserts.
I have personally trained with Ray many times several years ago when I was lucky enough to live near him - including numerous private lessons. Ray is the real deal.
Ray's system, Floro Fighting System (FFS), is fantastic for the following reasons:
- Solid origins from the Filipino greats (Illustrisimo, Sulite, Diego etc).
- Ray stripped out all traditional aspects of his system making it more focused.
- Ray became quite proficient in fencing and that influence can be seen in the foundations of his current approach.
- The FFS system is very knife focused - this is important from a self defense perspective due to edged weapons being the most common weapons used to commit violent crime in Australia and the UK. In the US edged weapons are just second to firearms.
- The FFS system is very direct and linear. This means it is QUICK!
- Ray himself is very personable, funny and a great instructor.
- Ray personally possesses the fastest striking I have ever experienced - the very definition of non-telegraphic striking (this is the fencing coming out). I have been hit squarely in the face by Ray on so many occasions during knife sparring and I still haven't seen most of them.
A lot of what Ray teaches is how to use a knife. This is important from a purely self defense perspective so that you develop an appreciation of how the knife can be used and develop a sense of its strengths and weaknesses. This prepares you to aim to defend against the knife’s strengths and its most dangerous uses.
He also teaches a very effective unarmed approach to defending against edged weapons. His use of what he calls, or at least called, 'the latch' was the simplest and most effective means to stop an aggressor pulsing, or sewing machine stabbing, I have seen. This is the most effective way I have seen to effectively defend against that rapid in-out-in etc. stabbing so common, and effective, in knife attacks.
Ray is also constantly refining and updating his system as his own knowledge, learning and experience grows so it is not dormant.
To get a taste of Ray's approach to edged weapon awareness from a self defense perspective have a look at the following two videos from his free ’7 Vital Truths of Edged Weapons' video series.