A historic gathering of Filipino Martial Arts Grand Masters occurred in Rosemead California. Initiated by a call from GN of the YouTube Channel Funker Tactical to Guro Francis Serrano of the FMA School in Moreno Valley, asking if the school would like to host a seminar featuring none other than Guro Doug Marcaida of Marcaida Kali and judge of History Channel’s Forged in Fire.
According to Guro Francis, after picking up his jaw from the ground and gathered himself, he responded in the affirmative and started hunting for the venue of the “I am the Weapon” Seminar. He mentioned that the hardest part of the planning was finding a venue with big enough parking since everyone in Los Angeles drives, but thanks to the multitude of Filipino Martial Arts practitioners, one offered his local Masonic Lodge as venue.
The event was scheduled for nine in the morning while registration started at eight yet even though it was only around seven when I arrived, some people have already registered and more were arriving. Many drove for miles just to get there, some of the places I heard were, Las Vegas, Victorville, San Francisco, San Diego and every city in between.
As soon as it was announced that a seminar of Guro Doug Marcaida was coming to Los Angeles, in the first few days alone, fifty participants already signed up and by the first week, it was mostly sold out; Guro Francis told us during the lunch break.
The FMA school and 413 Group did an outstanding job at hosting the event. The venue was fairly centered, no matter if you were coming from the north or south of Los Angeles. Though our host was concerned about parking, there was actually ample parking even though we ended up doing the whole seminar at the parking lot so we could have room to move due to the multitude of participants. FMA School even had the forethought of cooking food for the event, giving participants opportunity to chat with the honored guests at lunch without the need of going out from the venue and look for places to eat.
Food was great and serving was plenty!
Guro Doug was nothing short of awesome and very accommodating. The organizers even had a photo op booth so attendees could have bragging rights of being seen with the man! (I too am guilty as charged) 😀
It was impressive to see the passion of Kuya Doug to his art. Teaching for almost seven hours straight, doing videos and interviews in between breaks, taking photos with a hundred or so participants after and still managed to do a panel interview with the Grand Masters before dinner.
Again, Kudos to the FMA School and 413 Group! I do not know if they thought of it before hand or on the fly but since Grand Masters such as Micheal Giron, Felix Roiles, and Willie Laureano just to name a few, were already there to support the event, Guro Francis announced that a dinner was available for those who would like to stay and listen to the Grand Masters’ insights on the history of Filipino Martial Arts, its future and the sacrifices they made so it could be passed on. Listening to them was truly inspiring.
Until the next gathering, Mabuhay ang Filipino Martial Arts!