Testimonials

  • Before I retired as a police officer, I needed tactical awareness and a training approach to deal with dangerous situations when I was on patrol.  I found what I was looking for in Sayoc Kali and Atienza Kali.  I carried a gun for my job, but that is only one tool for close quarters combat.  At Tumabak Kali classes, you name it, we train it: knife, stick, pipe, baseball bat, machete, tomahawk, tactical pen, empty hand.  And we all help each other in class, so no one falls behind.  This training is not for sports or competition; it’s a way of life and a mindset that helps keep me and my family safe.  In every class, I learn something that I could use if my life or my family’s lives were threatened.  The training is also a lot of fun.  Guro Sean is an excellent instructor and a great family man who treats you like family.
    — Jeff H.
  • Shortly after I saw Guro Sean teaching a class on knife work, my cousin was stabbed nine times outside at a bar.  So I started training in Sayoc and Atienza Kali as a supplement to the other styles I was training (Muay Thai and Judo).  It wasn’t long before my martial arts training was centered around these arts, because they brought me to a whole new level psychologically.  I’m not just training martial arts moves; I’m training how to write the whole fight out, like a story, before it even happens.  That’s what I love about the training; it respects the physical, yet treats it as a means to what the mind decides. I also enjoy the unpredictability of the classes, because they keep you on your toes.  Dealing with stress in class is ultimately part of our training, which ensures that while we are practicing the curriculum, we are being conditioning to use it.
    — Dave C.
  • I have trained in other FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) for years, but have learned the most from Sayoc and Atienza Kali.  I like the logical drill progressions which ensure skill development, as well as scenario-based training.  I apply my training unconsciously sometimes: like watching someone’s hand placement for potential weapon draws, or lining up multiple attackers in a video game.  I’ve known people who were stabbed and are no longer with us, and this training gives me peace of mind that I will not share their fate.  So I train to protect the people important to me; I study and practice violence so that I can know peace.  Tumabak Kali is a great group of people to train with, and the classes are practical, fun, and connect me with my homeland.
    — Lyndon L.
  • Ten years ago, I was assaulted by several individuals. I had pair of rattan sticks in my car but didn’t use them out of fear that I wouldn’t know how and that they could’ve been used against me due to my lack of training. I enrolled in FMA classes the following day. I started competing professionally when I took over the FMA club at Rutgers University as its President. I met a fellow eskrimador training in Atienza Kali and he introduced me to a whole different world and philosophy of FMA, one that I could readily identify with and remain devoted to. I enjoy the “kababayan” aspect of the systems where everyone views one another as brothers and sisters – the harder you train and push yourself beyond your mental and physical limits, the closer you grow as a family.  I like the realistic and practical approach to Guro Sean’s classes. There’s no BS about what to expect in a real-life scenario because when sh** hits the fan, every millisecond counts and his training prepares you for that.  Because of this training, I have become more aware of my surroundings; and I incorporate the lessons I’ve learned in his classes on a daily basis. And now that I have a family, I am better prepared to effectively protect them as well.
    — Beda P.
  • After being involved in martial arts for over 20 years, I was introduced to Sayoc Kali by a friend and immediately sought out an instructor. One aspect that really attracted me was the idea of Sayoc being a tribe — a group of people that would support their members as family. I was lucky enough to find the Tumabak Kali training group. Guro Sean is an excellent representative for Sayoc and made me feel like part of the tribe. I enjoy the emphasis Sayoc Kali places on realism; even the simplest drills are trained in a way that reflect reality. This is accomplished by using different terrains, multiple attackers and realistic speed and power, creating an environment that is as close to the real thing as you can get. That pressure, along with Sayoc training requiring an analytical mind, made every class a challenge. I always walked away with a feeling that I had learned something and increased my physical skill. I’m now a full-time professional martial arts instructor, and in all my years of training, I have not found a better teaching methodology than the one being used by Sayoc Kali. My time spent training with the Tumabak Kali group helped shape me both as a martial artist and as a person. If you get a chance to train with Guro Sean, I highly recommend you take advantage of it!
    — Jake P.
  • I have been training with Guro Sean Brandt for about two years now and I wish I had started training with him earlier. His teaching is very methodical, effective and to the point. This Sayoc Kali training has enhanced many aspects of my martial arts practice and made me aware of a whole new level of training and fighting. I’m an experienced professional martial artist and athletic performance coach; I have competed in 9 different combat sports, trained in many different combative arts, and won tournaments on the national level — so I have seen my fair share of trainers over the years. Guro Sean without a doubt is a standout teacher with amazing amount of material to learn from, and he can elevate anyone’s martial ability to a higher level, wherever you are in your journey at the moment. I’m truly blessed with his teachings and plan to continue learning from him for many more years.
    — Greg M.
  • I like Sayoc and Atienza Kali because they are dynamic, based on a Feeder mindset, and have deep training methodologies.  These arts employ techniques for empty hand, blades, sticks, and weapons of opportunity; have stand-up and ground techniques; deal with single and multiple opponents; and use scenario-based training.  But our training goes beyond martial arts and applies to every part of our lives.  It encompasses psychology and philosophy, urban and wilderness survival, tactical medical care, situational awareness, conflict resolution, and leadership.  The people in our group have already attained a certain level of maturity and accomplishment in life, and want to grow more.  This breeds a bond of brotherhood, trust, and reliability within the tribe — so we are connected like an extended family, consisting of like-minded, skilled and experienced people who have a great passion for life, and are willing to share that with each other.  Guro Sean is systematic in his teaching of the curriculum, and is a great instructor and mentor.  He creates a learning atmosphere that is not only filled with valuable material but also is sincere, fun, and collaborative.   He challenges us physically and intellectually; he is always asking questions, and encourages us to question, evaluate, and study our actions, reactions, the techniques and the outcomes in detail.  His passion and dedication to Sayoc and Atienza Kali is evident, and he passes it on to his students.
    — U.