Ralph Mitchell

The Beginning of a Journey

In 1966, New York City was in the midst of a subway strike that nearly shutdown down the entire city. The US was experiencing division and unrest with opposing views on the Vietnam war. Culturally, there was an awakening, a period of growth that touched all artists and art forms. It was at this point, within this harsh and unforgiving backdrop, that a young 16 year old from Harlem, NY named Ralph Mitchell, would begin a lifelong journey into the world of Martial Arts.

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Balintawak Escrima

Ah, close your eyes. Visualize a world where you are fully immersed in the culture of your chosen martial art.

Imagine you were born and raised in the motherland of your martial art and have had the opportunity to train with some of the most preeminent teachers in the system from an early age.

For many of us, this sounds like an idyllic dream. For martial artist Jemar Carcellar, this is more than a distant dream, this was his life growing up in Cebu City, Philippines, the birthplace of Balintawak.

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Indian Stick Fighting Festival

Around fifty people are reported injured, two critically, as a result of the annual Banni stick fighting festival in India. Despite official efforts to cancel the event due to Covid-19 pandemic concerns, numerous people poured into the city of Kurnool to join in the celebration/melee.

The festival regularly features thousands of people from surrounding villages bearing torches and wielding long staffs as they battle each other for possession of two ceremonial idols from a local temple believed to bring luck to whichever village possesses them.

25 Facts About the Filipino Martial Arts
In recent years, the popularity of kali/escrima/arnis has skyrocketed among law-enforcement officers, as well as the general public. Experts believe the reason is threefold: The traditional Philippine systems offer all the benefits of the other Asian martial arts, wielding weapons provides a fine aerobic workout and, taught right, they serve as a functional form of reality-based self-defense. For all the essential facts on the stick styles, we asked Black Belt Hall of Famer Julius Melegrito to weigh in. Here are his observations.
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