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  // December 4th, 2014 //
  One system for all your tools.

Knife, light, or handgun. We utilize one system for any category of tool. Learn fast and effective training methodologies while developing real skill during every instructional period. Problem solving included.

Sente™ Training »


  // May 1st, 2014 //
  Get the Most Practical Self-Defense Training Program in Philadelphia & Greater Philadelphia Area.
  SENTE™ offers the most comprehensive self-defense and tactical training program in the Philadelphia area – all of which can be validated through our training methods and lineage.

Our program offers 5 core benefits:

Acquire self-defense skills in the shortest time possible
Employ strategic defensive tools to equalize any threat
Adapt to any range, environment or tactical scenario
Intelligent, ongoing methodologies for mastery training
High levels of endurance

For more information about the training, we offer, click here

Ask about our programs in King of Prussia, Valley Forge, Chestnut HIll, Philadelphia.

  // March 30th, 2014 //
  Women's Self-Defense Training in Chestnut Hill, PA
  Today during the SENTE Women's Self-Defense seminar at Balance Chestnut Hill. Working the Tactical Flashlight as a personal defense tool – Including, footwork, striking and force multiplier techniques, visual impairment, environmental scanning, as well as how to counteract surface bounce/reflections into your own eyes if it happens. To top it off, they got to hit me in the head... Wearing a protective helmet, of course. – Chestnut Hill, PA
  // March 28th, 2014 //
  Get the Proper Training Methods of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and PTKGO – Right here in the Philadelphia area.
  Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Philadelphia

With the proper training methods, the Pekiti-Tirsia system doesn't change when you spar – other than striking your opponent using full-speed, full-powered strikes. The helmet and other protective training gear aren't meant for trading blows. They're there to communicate each other's validation.

That's one of the differences between the properly trained and the misinformed.

In a weapon-based system, those that do not protect themselves at all times, do not flank, do not utilize proper range, timing and precision while executing proper footwork are ultimately training to fail. The ill-trained will only trade strikes – something you simply cannot afford in a blade fighting system or in a real edged weapon attack.

As a certified training location for the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Global Organization, we offer the proper training methods.

To learn more about Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, click here.

  // March 17th, 2014 //
  Self-Defense for Women in Philadelphia
  SENTE™ will be holding a 2hr introduction to practical self-defense for women on Saturday March 29th. The main focus will be placed on awareness training and active observation while also deploying personal defense tools and evasion tactics. Click here for more details.
  // November 23th, 2013 //
  SENTE™ PTK Group Training in Washington D.C.
  SENTE™ and PTKPHL Training
  SENTE™ (PTK-PHL) holds Pekiti-Tirsia Kali + MIL PTK-CQC training seminar to a closed group at the Pentagon. Stay tuned for more SENTE™ & Pekiti-Tirsia Kali training (PTK-SMF) in Washington D.C. for 2014.
  // November 16th, 2013 //
  Maximixing Layers of Combatives Training.
  At SENTE™, we always cross our combative training methods with conditioning methods – even in our warmups. It's just one of the brilliant aspects of the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system.

No matter if a person is new to martial arts, there's absolutely no need to do jumping jacks in a practical combatives class. It's an insufficient exercise compared to the array of tactical footwork training methods (along with body maneuvers) at your disposal. Beyond a warmup, Pekiti-Tirsia footwork done dynamically will build speed, strength, endurance, and increase cardiovascular performance. Most importantly, when done correctly it directly translates to offensive and counter-offensive methods for any combat and self-defense encounter. Thus, maximizing your training time and skill development. Jumping jacks, however, do not.

  // Septmeber 28th, 2013 //
  It's the Doce Methodos/Contradas/Contra Tirsia of Interviews. An FMA Talk Live! interview with Tuhon Tim Waid. Click here to hear it.
  // Septmeber 6th, 2013 //
  Tactical Light Self-Defense

Low-light. No-light. No problem. The Pekiti-Tirsia & MIL PTK-CQC system has "transferable technology". Come out and try our Tactical Light Self-Defense Program at SENTE™.

Learn practical tactics using a personal defense light for deterring, visually impairment, striking, and a force multiplier tool against single and multiple opponents. – Philadelphia & Chestnut Hill, PA

  // August 5th, 2013 //
  PTK Global Seminar: Tuhon Tim Waid in Philadelphia
  Tuhon Tim Waid in Philadelphia with our group as well as others from up and down the east coast. The MIL PTK-CQC and Authentic Pekiti-Tirsia Kali training intensive held Aug. 3-4, 2013. SENTE™ is the official source in the area for both Authentic PTK and the Military PTK-CQC system.
  // June 16th, 2013 //
  June Intensive
  We had a good determined group for our first in-house 6hr Pekiti-Tirsia training intensive at SENTE / PTK Philadelphia. Everybody worked their butts off. We kept it simple and direct with lots of dynamic footwork, striking reps, tactics, and sparring. Proud to be training within the PTK-SMF lineage.
  // June 7th, 2013 //
  Tuhon Tim Waid Seminar
in Philadelphia
  Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Global Seminar with Tim Waid in Philadelphia

August 3rd & 4th, 2013

Join us in Philadelphia when Tuhon Tim Waid presents the realistic and dynamic training methods of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali for tactical combatives and self-defense.

Get 12hrs of solid specialized training in tactical empty hands & edged weapon combatives of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Learn PTK methods for military combatives – Battle Drill/Scenario Training to develop transitions from weapon to weapon, as well as particular tactical environments.

» click here
for more information.

  // May 27th, 2013 //
  Tactical flashlight techniques with Tuhon Tim Waid.
  Tuhon Tim Waid, president of PTKGO demonstrates some dynamic self-defense techniques with Nitecore Tactical Flashlights along with our friends at SuviTac. Learn the same tactics here at SENTE with Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (Philadelphia) and the Military PTK-CQC system.
  // March 24th, 2013 //
  Pekiti-Tirsia Global Instructor Camp
  An intense 3 days training Pekiti-Tirsia Kali with Tuhon Tim Waid at the 2013 PTK Global Instructor Camp. We racked up 20-24 hours of training.
  // March 18th, 2013 //

  SENTE™ Environmental Self-Defense Training, v2.
  Level 1 Series of SENTE™ Environmental Combatives Training, v2. A continuation of basic/intro-level self-defense combatives within an environmental scenario. The object was to strike first and fast when engaged by multiple opponents (but do not engage for too long), leverage environment, and escape. An added element to this version was a stop-hit strike from the ground with a tactical get up. Part of the drill was to scan your environment for possible threat, exits, angles of opportunity, barriers, and any improvised/environmental weapons when entering a room (i.e. house, bar, store, street, etc).
  // March 11th, 2013 //
  SENTE™ Environmental Self-Defense Training, v1.
  Level 1 Series of SENTE™ Environmental Combatives Training, v1. An example of using basic self-defense combatives (including striking, kicking, shielding, dynamic footwork, running, improvised weapons, exit strategies, etc) against multiple attackers while strategically leveraging the surrounding environment and looking for any equalizers. Students were encouraged to be creative with their surroundings. This drill will reveal what your strengths and weakness are, how to adapt, and how to train going forward.
  // January 9th, 2013//
  SENTE™ Combatives Program & Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Philadelphia comes to Balance Chestnut Hill.
  Warming up with Pekiti-Tirsia Kali footwork, the SENTE™ Combatives Program plants its feet in Philadelphia at Balance Chestnut Hill. Drop in and check out the programs!

12 W Willow Grove Ave.
Philadelphia PA 19118
  // December 20th, 2012 //
  Muay Thai with Arjan Jud
  Had a fun session at Five Points Academy in NYC with Arjan Jud. Such a friendly guy and great trainer. Arjan Jud has trained top Muay Thai fighters such as Buakaw, Namsaknoi, Chok Dee, and many more.
  // October 11th, 2012 //
  Handgun Combatives

New to SENTE™ this fall is the SENTE™ Firearms Training Network. Our monthly series of firearm courses started off with Handgun Combatives Level 1 on Sunday October 6th. Topics included handgun manipulations, environmental tactics, concealed carry self-defense legalities, as well as pyschological & physiological principles. Future courses will include novice through advanced levels of handgun combatives, home defense, as well as private training.

If you missed this one and would like information on upcoming firearm courses, please contact Joel LeVan: joel@sentemartialarts.com

  // October 10th, 2012 //
  High output tactical flashlights
are great self-defense tools.

A 200 lumen tactical flashlight with a striking bezel is a nice self-defense tool, especially at night. Be careful not to flash yourself while using high-output lights. The bounce from shining it on a white wall at night at close-range, for example, can disrupt your own vision. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a high output light, you know how disturbing it is.

It'll temporarily blind your attacker giving you enough time to run, or follow up with a kick to the groin, etc. It also provides you with an impact weapon or an equalizer in other self-defense situations.

Another great thing about a tactical flaslight is that it's legal to take on a plane and legal to carry in New York City.

  // October 9th, 2012 //
  SENTE™ Combatives Training

Here's a short video clip of a few basic drills of SENTE™ Combatives training. It includes empty hand self-defense, knife vs. knife, stick vs. knife; stick vs. stick.

Beyond the development of practical basics, SENTE™ Training is about a condensed matrix of simplistic combatives from specialized martial systems that share strategic overlapping similarities. SENTE™ Training provides a specific timeframe to embodiment and gives distinct context to various high-percentage environmental scenarios. Mastery training in specialized systems to be more well-rounded is also a goal. However it involves a long-term strategy. Having a set of simplistic high-percentage techniques to fall back on and successfully execute is just as important as long-term development.

It's important to note that the best counter to another weapon is sometimes another weapon – This process is referred to as having an "equalizer". So it's important to have appropriate training with practical weapons (i.e. self-defense tools).

The stick can be any impact weapon in your immediate environment – a tactical flashlight, pen, umbrella, hammer, or other implements from your tool shed, kitchen, workplace, etc. In the right hands, even an ink pen can be an equalizer for a knife. For edged weapons, it doesn't always have to be a knife. An X-acto® blade works well, broken glass, or even a credit card. Be creative.

More to come.

  // September 17th, 2012 //
  Clients share their training experience at SENTE.
  See what clients are saying about self-defense training, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali practical combatives, and other aspects of their training experience at SENTE™. click here to read their testimonials.
  // September 12th, 2012 //
  Filipino Kali in Films.

Have you been watching The Bourne Trilogy? The fight scenes use Filipino Kali (Filipino Martial Arts) choreographed by Jeff Imada.

"The new trailer for this summer's "The Bourne Legacy" has action fans nodding approval as stars Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, and Rachel Weisz hold their own. Yet, much of a film like this wouldn't exist without its army of stunt performers and fight choreographers. They are the stars who truly give the new trailer its buzz thrill." click here for the article.

  // August 14th, 2012 //
  6am workouts. Functional done early.
  SENTE™ 6am workouts – Chester County Montgomery County, Delaware County, Philadelphia... Wherever you want, I'm down with it. Self-Defense, Kali, M.A conditioning... you name it, I'll be there! Private or group training. Let's get it done. Contact Joel LeVan. or call 484-459-6861 for more info.
  // July 23, 2012 //
  Outdoor Self-Defense Combatives, Pekiti-Tirsia in the Philadelphia Area.
  SENTE Outdoor Self-Defense Combatives
  Pekiti-Tirsia Kali hits the Philadelphia scene. Join SENTE™ Martial Systems for Indoor/Outdoor Combatives Training every weekday and weekend in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Practical edged and impact weapon counters, hand-to-hand self-defense combatives, as well as conditioning.

  // June 16, 2012 //
  Improvised weapons for self-defense. Find your equalizer.

Tools can make for good improvised self-defense weapons. Think of it as an equalizer against another edged/impact weapon... or Just incase a zombie shows up in the Tools & Hardware aisle of Home Depot while you're price checking flat-head screw drivers... Bingo! An improvised weapon.

Edged, impact, flexible, and projectile weapons can usually be found in your immediate environment. Here's a fun homework assignment: On your daily routine of waking up, getting ready for work, and driving to the office, try to spot as many weapons of opportunity as you can. Be creative. Practice until it becomes second nature. Do this on a regular basis and you'll train your brain to see environmental tools to help you defend yourself. And don't forget to get proper training!

(Pekiti-Tirsia Philadelphia at SENTE offers just the training methodologies you need.)

  // May 3, 2012 //
  Protect your family, home and assets.

If you're serious about protecting your assets, we have a different perspective for you. Tap into our team of specialists for one-on-one Home Defense Training. Our Home Defense Training Tactics include professional firearms instruction, edged weapon combatives, hand-to-hand self-defense, environmental scenarios, and consulting for home security options.

For more information about what SENTE™ and our team of specialists can do for you, contact joel@sentemartialarts.com or call 484-459-6861.

  // March 27, 2012 //
  Outdoor Training starting March 31!

We've got an early Spring that's ideal for outdoor training. (Actually, anytime is ideal when training in the elements.) For more information about SENTE self-defense / combatives, and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali classes in the Conshohocken and Philadelphia area, please contact joel@sentemartialarts.com

It's time to get down to business.

  // February 6, 2012 //
  12 hours in 2 days. The value of intense and practical training.

Over the weekend I spent 12 hours training with one of my Pekiti-Tirsia Kali instructors, Tuhon Tim Waid. Not only is this type of training immersion highly effective, it's important in the total scheme of developing skill.

We didn't work on a vast number of different or unrelated things. Instead, he kept us focused on the things that work and the things you can clearly see work right in front of you. Tim Waid's training is always very practical. We worked on a very small number of tactics and trained them tirelessly – Knife vs knife and stick vs stick focusing using speed, power, timing, control, with broken rhythm and dynamic footwork. The objective is to end the fight within 3 strikes/moves. However, getting there is the trick.

With this type of training you'll find that greater value lies in perfecting a simplistic practice rather than training vast amount of tactics done at a mediocre level of performance.

Keep it simple.

  // February 1, 2012 //
  SENTE™ is now an Authorized Dealer of Twins Special.
  Muay Thai at SENTE
  Need Muay Thai gloves, shin guards, or other Kickboxing/MMA gear and equipment? We've got it.
  // January 16, 2012 //
  New DVD by Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Global, featuring Tuhon Tim Waid.

A former U.S. Marine, Tuhon Tim Waid always offers practical training for edged weapons (in Pekiti-Tirsia Kali). Tim Waid instructs military units and law enforcement agencies worldwide in operator/officer survival and specilized tactical training programs that include Military Edged/Impact Weapon Systems for Special Operations Forces, The Law Eforcement Defensive Tactics Safety System, and SWAT Team CQC.

Training with Tim you'll find out that he's very intense and he won't bullsh*t you when it comes to dealing with edged weapons. Something that you'll notice in Pekiti-Tirsia besides its trademark offensive and counter-offensive methodlogies is that there's great emphasis placed on dynamic and evasive footwork – and for good reason. It's one of the key elements that makes the training so practical when confronted with a bladed weapon attack. If you don't develop good footwork... well... All I can say is hope that luck is on your side.

  // December 16, 2011 //
  Muay Thai Road Trip to Five Points Academy in NYC
  Muay Thai Kickboxing at SENTE

Had an awesome time training Muay Thai in NYC with Master Cheetah Chanthanao. Master Cheetah and everyone at Five Points Academy are super nice people which makes for an even greater experience. We'll definitely be seeing all of them on a regular basis. A special thanks also goes out to Simon Burgess at Five Points for his great hospitality.

We look forward to the continued relationship and five-star training. Stay tuned for seminars in 2012!


// November 11, 2011 //


// October 12, 2011 //

Design and Martial Arts


Thanks to Craig Schlanser, an article was written about me for AIGA Philly. It talks about my view on the relationship between design, martial arts, business, and client relations.


// September 7, 2011 //

Military-CQC Certified


I recently took a trip to Dallas for a specialized Military-CQC intensive course that leverages my training in Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (PTK). The material was based on Pekiti-Tirsia and the Philippine Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The course was put on by Tuhon Tim Waid of PTK Global, and what a great course it was. Having trained with Tuhon Waid several times before, I knew I was in for intense training. Not only is Tuhon Waid a great instructor, he also served with the U.S. Marine Corps as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant and is a tactical instructor to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, as well as various military units and law enforcement agencies around the world. He's intense.

Because of the effectiveness of the system, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is currently the only Kali system recognized by the Philippine government used to train the Force-Recon Marine Battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Special Action Forces of the Philippine National Police.

The training included combat knife and bolo (or long blade, machete, or ginunting), empty hand combatives, tactical weapons disarming and retention, close-quarter bayonet, engaging multiple combatants, sentry neutralization, field expedient weapons as well as tactical scenarios and the selection, carry and employment of combat gear.

Much of the material covered is contained in what we train on a daily basis in Pekiti-Tirsia, but other tactics focused on specific tactical scenarios and how to strategically organize and teach it in a Military context.

One important point of the course – one that I stand by 100% – was that when given a short time frame to teach tactics in a way that people can quickly obtain needed skills, the material has to be simplistic. No matter how deep a system may be, a purposeful yet limited experience of it should offer easily acquired skills that are effectively relevant to any needed context. It's no wonder such an organization like the Philippine Marine Corps embraces the training.

For the regular Joe wanting to protect his or her own life, this philosophy is similarly important. If you are to grasp certain self-defense techniques as fast as possible, it cannot be complicated. Period. And while a technique may be simplistic, you still need to train them, and train them intensely. Drilling with intense, high repetition is the key. Just going through the motions a few times here and there won't get you what's really needed.

If you're new to martial arts or self-defense training and your desire for training is actually self-defense, then the above philosophy applies to you. Military Organizations all over the world embrace this concept because it's effective, why shouldn't you?

Find a source that focuses on getting you up to speed as quickly as possible with tactics that are common to modern day situations as well as effective and relevant to your environment. It just so happens that SENTE Martial Systems and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Philadelphia shares this philosophy and offers this type of training.


// April 29, 2011 //

Fenix TK12 R2 Tactical Flashlight.

  Fenix TK12 R2

Well, by now you know that I love gear. Put that together with self-defense and you get some pretty fun stuff.

I recently wrote a quick review about the SureFire E2D Defender flashlight. Really great light. However, some may not want to spend $180+ for a light, even if it is for self-defense. So I decided to look into more economical lights and found the Fenix TK12 R2 flashlight. I found it on LA Police Gear and snagged it for $48!

It has 3 modes, one of which includes a intense 240 lumen LED strobe. A hi-powered strobe is a nice feature for a self-defense light. It's blinding and very disorienting.

The flashlight head has a quasi-striking bezel on the head of the light. (I say "quasi" because it's not quite as effective as I personally would like it to be, especially if it's going to offer a feature designed for striking.)

The tail cap switch is pretty easy to get to without difficulty.

A possible drawback for the Fenix is the bulkiness. Guys won't mind, but gals might want to test it out in their own hands first.

The Fenix TK12 R2 is not as refined as the SureFire E2D Defender. (Click here for the E2D Defender on Amazon). The E2D is a little lighter, slimmer and has a much better striking bezel. And no, SureFire didn't pay me to say that. The Fenix is also made in China. So, if that's a factor for you, there are other options on the market.

Overall, I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars. Price is great for the output, nice strobe, but could benefit from a few minor, but strategic, improvements in design and functionality.

Stay tuned for more reviews on tactical lights and other self-defense products.



// April 14, 2011 //

Twitter me this.

Follow SENTELOGIC on Twitter


Get some SENTE Logic... on twitter. You'll find recent updates, links, and other useful shorts.


// April 13, 2011 //

CQX Training, by SENTE.


Stay tuned for SENTE's new training offer for Close-Quarter Combatives and Defensive Tactics. Simple and to the point as always.

What does "CQX" stand for?
CQ = Close Quarter
X = a changing variable or environment.

CQX is for when the sh*t really hits the fan. The training is initially condensed, but comprehensive over time. It involves empty hands, edged/impact weapons, and ground combatives as well as done in various environmental conditions. The training and philosophy is designed to quickly embody a variety of multi-use defensive and counter-offensive techniques that work against other trained opponents. The CQX Training System is well-suited for serious civilians, Military, Paramilitary/Tactical Units, Law Enforcement, Security Professionals, and other organizations that require a comprehensive training on a regular basis.

CQX integrates proven combatives practices from Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, Filipino Dumog/Pangamut, Specialized Kenpo, as well as effective ground combatives.

Many of the same tactics that the CQX System has adopted are currently used in the Military and Law Enforcement Agencies around the world. The reason? They're continually put to the test and are proven to be effective.

So stay tuned and look for new collaborations too.



// April 13, 2011 //

Self-Defense. Anywhere.

  SENTE Environmental Training

Environment (anything in, on, or around you) is our first consideration in self-defense and combat. We get this principle from our Kenpo and Kali training.

Man-made structures and social situations should obviously be considered too. For instance, your footwork may need to adapt for certain terrain. Our range of movement may be limited because of a hallway or elevator. Timing could be slowed because of low-light situations. Or maybe you sparred too hard the night before and have an injury. You have to know how to adapt.

Not only can terrain have a problematic effect on what we do, it can also enhance our options. For example, what can replace a Kali stick if you don't have one? There might be something within reach. What can be thrown at someone so you can follow up or so you look for an escape? An ash tray or rock? Yes, a rock. Or what can you use as a barricade to shield yourself from an attacker. Always monitor your options where ever you go.

Sh*t can go wrong anywhere or anytime — and that's why we train for it.

  // February, 24th 2011 //

A Light Defense.

I love flashlights. I love tactical flashlights that can be used for self-defense even more. Those that know about them share my enthusiasm.

Today's LED technology offers an extremely intense stream of light that can cause temporary blindness and/or disorientation when shined in the eyes of an assailant at night (i.e. when the pupils are good and dilated). A 150+ lumen flashlight, especially a strobe, is a great tool to have in your self-defense box. It's less-than-lethal and can be used in tandem with strikes or other tactics if necessary. If it's the right size and weight with a striking bezel on the front, it doubles as an impact weapon. With the proper training, it can be a decent equalizer against edged weapons as well.

You don't have to purchase something in the price range of a 200 lumen Surefire E2D LED Defender, like the one I carry. But, as I said, I love flashlights. (It's a really great light nonetheless.) If you have a local Army/Navy or sporting goods store nearby, check to see if they carry a 150+ lumen flashlight that fits your budget.

A rule of thumb that I go by is that the LED light should be around 150 lumens or more, lightweight yet strong, (preferably with a striking bezel and/or strobe function), and has a tail-end activation button. A light that has a strobe function can offer more versatility and cause even more disorientation.

At SENTE, we implement training with self-defense lights at close-quarters and other ranges – especially ones that double as impact weapons. Lights are easy to use and a person needs very little training for basic self-defense. When in an "out-of-contact" range, you can just shine and run. It's a pretty low-tech technique. If an assailant is in the "within contact" range or actually gets a hold of you, well, it becomes a bit more sophisticated but we train for that too. All of our training techniques accommodate for those scenarios with or without edged or impact weapons or other self-defense tools. Plus, it's just down right fun.

  // February, 23th 2011 //

Stabbing Rampages in NYC and Ibiza.

If you think getting the proper training and developing the right mind set aren't necessary wherever you go, think again. Attacks can happen everywhere. I'm not saying you should be paranoid, but at least develop a high level of awareness and learn to read your environment to help keep you out of trouble.

Consider the two recent stabbings in the last week – one in New York City and the other in Ibiza. On the unsuspecting streets Ibiza, a man armed with a machete stabbed and slashed his way through 13 people. It can happen anywhere at anytime. So just because you're mind might be set to vacation-mode while visiting a tropical island or the like, learn to develop your sense of awareness to pick up dangerous cues to the point in which it becomes second nature – No matter where you are. Your environmental awareness should be like anti-virus software working in the background (but way more efficient).

In NYC, an attacker killed 4 and wounded 2 others on a subway and throughout the city in the horrific event. Environmental training anyone? After his rampage, he carjacked a person's car but not before stabbing the driver (of course) and running down a pedestrian in the process.

If this makes your stomach get that little weird twinge... then good. It should.

Stay aware, stay alive.

  // January, 5th 2011 //

Watch the news if you don't believe me.


Wow. If you just watch the news, it doesn't seem like there's ever much good news. However, since the media covers mostly bad news in society, it'll actually give you some insight into our social environment and hopefully inspire you to act accordingly. Today, a shooting in an Arizona mall, a murder outside of a daycare in Atlanta, and a shooting at a high school in Nebraska. (And I'm sure whatever town you live in probably had some sort of crime happen today too).

In terms of violence it should really make you think — it can happen any place, at any time, to anyone. Those of you that think it something bad would never happen to you, or think it's too random, well, it's just not something to chance. Just ask William Petit of Connecticut. It was all too real for him. (For those of you that know the case, after 2 years, justice has finally been served.) His home was invaded, he was beaten and tied, and his wife and two daughters killed in the horrifying process. It's infuriating and scary at the same time. Prepare yourself anyway you can, because sometimes you may not be able to call the police in time.

Think about it.

  // December, 30th 2010 //

Stay Tuned for 2011 Self-Defense & Combatives Training Seminars.
  What better way to start off the new year than training to keep yourself and family safe? SENTE Martial Systems can give you the right training. Stay tuned for new classes, upcoming seminars, and new strategic connections.

  // November, 10th 2010 //

Break-ins. Home Invasions. Violent Crimes.

Statistics show that (1) Home break-ins happen every 15 seconds. (2) Even when the home is occupied, there's a 6 in 10 chance the burglary still takes place. (3) Nearly 4000 violent crimes happen everyday. (4) The fastest growing crime in America is armed home invasion.

What will you do with this information?

  // October, 23th 2010 //

GrandTuhon Leo Gaje and Rommel Tortal at PTK-PA seminar, Oct. 30-31.
  This is a seminar not to be missed. Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Jr. and his nephew Rommel Tortal of the Pekiti Tirsia Kali System. 2-days of intense training for beginners and advanced students alike.

Location: Phoenixville, PA.
Date: Oct. 30-31.

  // September, 29th 2010 //

The 2010 Pennsylvania Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Training Camp.

In early September, another great PTK training camp was had with Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Jr. We came away with lots of new technical skills and, as always, new friends. Three days of training, shooting range, comaraderie, a bonfire, and a great Saturday night dinner by Eddie Hunt – it doesn't get get much better than that.

If you get a chance to train in Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (PTK), you won't be disapointed. The PTK training methodologies of edged and impact weapon offenses and counter-offenses are some of the best in the world. It's no wonder that Pekiti-Tirsia training methods are used in not only the Philippine Marines and Special Forces, but other military/paramilitary and Law Enforcement organizations around the world. And GT Gaje is the best as they come.

In addition to a great camp, SPAR Gear & Apparel made its debut with a Kali inspire shirt design. Big thanks goes out to all that purchased (and wore) my first design for SPAR.

  // June, 30th 2010 //
SENTE Martial Systems mentioned on Philadelphia Magazine's Be Well Philly for local self-defense classes.

Thanks for the mention, Jillian! Stay safe.

Click here to see the article.


// June, 16th 2010 //

Don't sell out.

A constant thought of mine is that commercialism has plagued the identity and effectiveness of many martial arts and practitioners. Actually, it's not really the fault of "commercialism" per se. It comes down to the person.

In many cases, where martial art schools focus too much on using martial arts (inauthentically) as its main source of revenue, it tends to yield inadequate abilities in students. I realize it's somewhat of a broad statement. However, the trickle-down effect can unknowingly create a false sense of security in a practitioner, or a poor intepretation of reality. This isn't limited to the martial arts either. Having been a strategic consultant in the Design and Strategy field for over 16 years you get to see first hand how many businesses are just plain full of it.

Another issue to be aware of is the desire for rank over actual ability. Don't ever fall into this trap. Rank doesn't make you legitimate, authentic skill and relevant experience makes you legitimate. Train hard. Test your abilities. Stay focused. Most importantly, strive to understand what's real and what's not.

  // June, 15th 2010 //

It's all about the hours.

Thought of the day – "Competency is more about hours, and less about years". Staying focused on the amount of consistent hours you put into your training results in greater competency than counting the years you've owned a uniform.

While using "years" to generally describe how long you've been training is fine. However, know the difference between how long you've been at it versus how long you've been in it. Well-timed and consistent training hours will build better skill and a better state of readiness. Period.


// April, 19th 2010 //

Environmental Training

Ever wonder how your skills would translate to a variety of terrain or man-made environments? If you don't already know, it's time to find out.

SENTE offers training practices designed for less-than-ideal situations, and ways to leverage your environment.

How would you fare if the floors were slippery and you needed to defend yourself? What if danger presents itself at night? Ever been in a self-defense situation and in the woods? Have you ever been confronted with a knife wielding assailant with no weapon of your own? I know people who have — and sometimes it didn't turn out well.

We don't always find ourselves in textbook situations or on ideal terrain when in a fight. However, SENTE offers you training so that you develop skills to handle yourself in a variety of sitautions. Your life may depend on it.

To learn more about SENTE Environmental Training,
click here.

// April, 18th 2010 //

2-Day Training Camp Summer 2010

Stay tuned for a weekend training camp in the mountains of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania this summer. Training includes 12+ solid hours of edged & impact weapon counter-offenses, hand-to-hand combat, and environmental training. All levels. Please email Joel LeVan to learn more.

// April, 18th 2010 //

Quick Self-Defense Courses. A Waste of Time or Worth a Try?

You’ve seen the ads before: “Learn to defend yourself in 6 easy weeks!” Or my favorite, “Learn self-defense secrets only known by the military!” Well, I can tell you that this is just a gimmick to get you hooked. It’s not exactly “easy” and there is no “secret” or magical martial arts training that only the military has classified knowledge of.

To put this in perspective, my experience comes from over 20 years of martial arts training (a lot directly from ex-military and tactical instructors), getting out of some very bad situations, sparring on a regular basis, aas well as being an instructor myself.

I can honestly say that knowing how to stay safe in certain situations not only takes humility, but also the right training from the right instructor.

The 6 or 8-week self-defense course (usually 1-2 hours of training per week) which many gyms or dojos offer can actually create a false and dangerous sense of security. While these programs may give you pointers, it’s difficult to develop the coordination, speed, power, timing, accuracy, and the mental and physical conditioning needed effectively defend yourself. 6-12 hours of training just won’t cut it.

Why do you need more training? Consider this factor – when it comes to self-defense, awareness and knowing how to read your environment, as well as execution, are crucial. Understanding your surroundings and anticipating how and where people may attack you, can be the difference between getting clobbered and avoiding danger completely. And this simply takes more time to fully develop than a mini-course. You wouldn’t be able to hit a homerun during your first time at bat after only a few hours of batting practice either – especially when you're thrown a curveball.

I’m not saying that these classes have no value. For one thing, it’s a lot of fun, and you’ll likely gain more awareness than if you didn’t take a course at all. So try it! You’ll also discover if it’s something you’d like to continue to do, and whether you’d like to continue working with the instructor. Remember, they’re only really useful as an introduction to more training. After all, just because you’ve had 8 weeks of training doesn’t mean it “stays” with you. It's a perishable skill. Regular practice is the only way for your mind and body to retain the training.

When selecting a short self-defense course or workshop to start – it’s what instructors promise you that’s really important. If you go in understanding the context of the training, you’ll be able to set some real expectations. A 4 or 6-month course (or longer) will be useful, but ongoing training is still the only way to go if you truly want to develop self-defense skills. Think of the short course as your preview of and bridge to a regular training program.

Here are some factors to consider when you evaluate classes and instructors:

• Ask about the instructor’s background and experience

• Ask for references, testimonials, or live demonstrations

• Training should be logical and realistic, with simplistic applications

• Training should be based on easy-to-learn, practical applications and less about the particular martial art system

• Ask if the instructor will give you literature on the course (if not, ask for a demo)

• Ask what you’ll be able to do once training is done

• Make sure you will receive reference material at the end of the course

• Find out how you’ll test out what you learned

• Find out if this training can be rolled into an ongoing program

• Use your gut instinct (if it feels like a bad fit, it probably is).

Note: While prices may vary, about $150 - $250 is a median range for a multi-week course.

Remember, it’s important to understand the difference between a self-defense course, a workshop, and ongoing training. Short courses can never replace the experience and benefits of ongoing training. Feel free contact Joel LeVan directly for more information at joel@sentemartialarts.com. Until then, train hard and stay safe.



Joel LeVan / SENTE Martial Systems

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