Ola`a Nalo Eskrima
Chief Instructor Daniel Breazeal
Martial Arts Biography of Chief Instructor Daniel Breazeal
I've been a martial artist for 15 years. I started with Tae Kwon Do under the ATA system, with Master Ronald Turchi. This gave me a good foundation of form and balance, with the notorious flexibility and ability to deliver kicks from varying angles generally associated with TKD. What I was lacking, however, was a good ground game, but High School would solve this problem. I wrestled Varsity level all four years of High School. This allowed me to refine skills already acquired through back yard brawling and better perform maneuvers commonly obtained by watching TV.
During my High School years, I was also fortunate to meet a very skilled gymnast and martial artist who took me under his wing. His name is Precious Jenkins, and he introduced me to Dux Ryu Ninjitsu, Aikido, and gymnastics. Through him, I was able to begin my gymnastic training, as well as meet numerous martial art stunt men, local masters, and international masters. Through years of association with Valley College in the San Fernando Valley, I gained exposure and training in Kick Boxing, Shoot Fighting, Kung Fu, Capoiera, and gymnastics. I took tutelage for weapons in the arts of ninjitsu (short sword), and Karate (bo).
After High School I entered the U.S. military, and was able to meet more martial artists from different countries (always a great experience for a fledgling martial artist). My introduction to handguns and rifles began in the military, and continues to this day. I also began to develop my own outlook on training and fighting. With so much exposure to different arts, it only made sense to combine them in my movements or lose the knowledge. This was brought home to me when I was sparring with an opponent, and delivered a ridge hand strike commonly associated with Karate. It was just a natural reaction to attack the open target in this manner. I spent the following years perfecting my own fighting style and mind frame. Hard form and hard stances were traded for flowing movements, and quicker reactions.
Around this time I also came across the art of "Quick Kill". This means doing what is necessary to neutralize an opponent fast, with compact movements, and little wasted energy. Many Special Forces units train in this manner, and I developed a fascination with it. I read and researched everything I could on the style. I began to economize my movements, focusing on the vital areas of an opponent's body that were the weakest and most vulnerable.
This led me to an interest in Escrima. I'd known about Kali/Arnis/Escrima my entire martial arts career, but I'd just never been in the right place to train. I'd seen the ability of capable and competent Escrimadors, to economize movement and produce blazing speed. I began practicing Escrima in 2002, while stationed in Hawaii, which is considered sort of a martial arts Mecca. However, I was delighted to find that training under the tutelage of Master Ronald England lent itself to the spiritual and nature-oriented side of things as well. The rest as they say is history, as I have practiced under tutelage of Master Ron ever since...
I like to consider myself a martial art purist, by which I mean, I understand to use of martial arts for sport, but prefer to focus on the battle aspects for which these arts were developed. This feeds into my mind frame of considering others who train as I do, and have the same thought path as "Warriors!" Say "Warriors" to many modern day individuals and you generally receive a blank stare, or worse a passing sneer. They do not understand the concept of training ones mind and body for combat. I do not speak of seeking conflict; so much as I mean to be prepared for conflict.
In my military career, I am associated with the field of security, pertaining to all aspects of it. The spectrum of my job covers physical apprehension techniques and ventures into personnel monitoring equipment. The biggest use of my martial arts training has come from the mental aspect versus the physical. An Aikido instructor once told me, "if you find yourself in a physical confrontation, it is your fault, due lack of perception and recognition of signs, which led to the conflict. Whether it be from going to a bar known for fights, or failing to recognize an individuals attitude, body behavior, and positioning, which would allow you to recognize a confrontation is about to occur."
With this lesson forefront in my mind, I've always approached each confrontation in this manner. From dealing with an angry domestic situation, to mediating between high ranking officials. I've always tried to see the confrontation approaching, and avoid it. Of course this method can not work each and every time, because I am not physic, but it has proven it self time and time again, thus validating it's usage. However, when all else fails, my training for a physical confrontation, is at the ready...
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