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I have been teaching SerradaEscrima in the Bay Area since 1985, starting at the School of the White Tiger in Oakland, where I also studied and taught Kenpo until 1989. From 1989 to 1992 the program became “Serrada of Berkeley” (the SOB’s) but then I moved a few miles north to El Sobrante and classes went south into Oakland. Since then I’ve also taught in San Francisco, Vallejo, Mill Valley, Lafayette, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton and San Ramon, as well as classes for East Bay Regional Park Police and members of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, Berkeley and Oakland Police, and Highway Patrol.   The program was renamed “Bay Area Serrada Escrima” (BASE) which also reflects my philosophy of stressing good solid basics as the foundation for mastering the art.

Class Update: July 2013

After teaching a weekly class in Pleasant Hill for seven years, including five at the Gracie Sports Center, I've gone back to only teaching private and semi-private classes by appointment at my home, clients' locations or outdoors in parks. If I find another suitable location for regularly scheduled classes, this will be updated here.

Private classes are $80 for two hours.  Long term students (who have completed their basic angles) pay $80/month for regularly scheduled invitational group sessions.

These rates are actually modest compared to most private instruction in the Bay Area for many arts (music, dance, etc.) which frequently run $80 for 50 minutes.  Most martial art instructors with my qualifications and level of experience are charging $120-150/hour or more.

(One of my former students, a national champion and Olympic coach in Taekwondo, charged $120/hr for lessons – in 1991!) 

You can contact me directly at (510)222-0332, or by email. (If you call and leave a message, PLEASE speak clearly when leaving your phone number! People know their own number by heart and so tend to say it so quickly it often is difficult to figure out!)

Here are some testimonials from current and former students.

Registration/Release Form – For convenience of those who want to fill this out prior to the first class, it is here in Word format.

Stickman’s Three Rules for Classes

1)Train Safely. If you hurt your partners unnecessarily, they won’t work with you. Without partners to help, you won’t progress in skill.

2)Have Fun. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you won’t put in time and won’t progress.

3)Practice! Here’s the hard part; if you don’t work on what you are taught, you won’t progress in skill!

Simple rules, right? Why make things more complicated than they have to be!

Teaching Philosophy

(For those who don’t mind “complicated”)

As my teaching has continued to evolve, I coined the word SEPAT, an acronym meaning “Self-Empowerment Practice And Theory”, pointing towards inner awareness as a key for learning to act for oneself. According to the late Sonny Umpad, this is also a Tagalog word meaning “wild child”, a nice synchronicity that captures the intense flavor of the Filipino martial arts.

Essentially what this means is that one’s state of mind affects performance, making our inner game a significant contributor to overall performance. What we see, feel and think are entirely subjective, even as we must face real-world experience. Habits developed early in training affect the course of subsequent development, so my priority is conveying clear and specific instruction to steer students on the correct path to self-mastery. Learning to monitor one’s own performance cuts down on habitual errors that are harder to correct later.

Classes are a form of laboratory, so students are encouraged to question what they don’t understand. If something doesn’t work, we examine their process so they can determine for themself the validity of the concept.

As a teacher I draw on my experience not only in martial arts but from hypnotherapy, NLP and an MA in holistic health education. I believe we learn much faster when we focus on positive achievement rather than negative results. This synchronizes both our conscious and unconscious actions and goals, allowing ourselves to tap deeper into our intuitive nature to become more free in thought and action.