Since I was a boy i have always been interested in martial arts. I know me and one of my closest friend when i was like 10-12 years old, always watched the movie The Last Dragon , well at least when I got the chanced to choose. When she got to chose it was always a typical girl movie… I remember thinking that this movie was really cool. Maybe it’s not very cool, but it has some cool moves in it but I think what I remember most is the silliest stuff in the movie. Like Sho nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, if you click the link you will se a funny YouTube clip of Sho nuff.
In my younger years I played a lot of soccer with my friends and in a team named Lotorps IF. I tried Shotokan Karate for about half a year when I was 12 years old, before going back to playing soccer. But when I was 19 years old, a friend and an ex girlfriend saw Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and after that I was determined to start with martial arts. I was looking after a wushu or kung fu school, the thing was that I did not find any schools that had this. I did see an ad in the swedish martial arts paper fightermagasine for training in Suntukan Stickfighting in Norrköping. So I decided to call and see if I could come and watch, wich i could not. But I was allowed to come and train together with them, and so I did.
Where the journey begins…
2001 in january, I still remember that I was extremely nervous, so nervous that my hands was shaking. Martial Arts was something really new for me and the instructor really sounded like a bad ass. But when I touched the two sticks and starting doing Sinawalli six (Double sinawalli), it blew my mind and I knew on the spot that this is something that I am going to do for the rest of my life. Since that day, I have worked on perfecting my skills.
The fall of 2001 I started studying marketing and had to move around 45 miles from home and my training. So to make up what i missed I had to train a lot at home. I tried to get training partners where I lived, that was easier said then done. Although under this part of my life I met one of my closest friend (Jonas Helghe) through the Muay Thai class I tried to attend when I got the time. So through my school years I trained Muay Thai as a primary art and had my FMA on the side and trained with Jonas when we both got the time. Every time I was at home I tried to train privately with Kenneth Johansson.
In the spring 2003 I moved back to my hometown and at the same time I met Hans Johansson a Katalungan Guro in Kali Sikaran, I started to train privately with him. Since Hans lived in Eskilstuna and lived in Finspång I had to commute between Finspång and Eskilstuna one til 2 times a week. I did so for almost 2,5 year before I decided to move permanently to Eskilstuna. So under the period of 2003 and 2007 I trained Kali Sikaran for Hans and I trained Remy Presa’s Modern Arnis for Kenneth Johansson.
Under 2003 i started takeing care of the training when Hans was away, wich was a big step or me, and a unsual position for me to be in. This was something new and exiting, in school I had always had problems doing presentations in front of my schoolmates. So this was really something that was a big challenge for me. Under the following years I helped Hans with taking care of the classes when he was away.
In 2005 I got promoted to the rank of Kadua Guro wich is basically the first instructor rank in Kali Sikaran. Kadua Guro means assistant instructor and is the equivalent to first degree black belt, at least was that the case in 2005. At the same time that I got promoted to Kadua Guro I started to have beginner groups, and worked with them so they could be ready to go up the for their next phase and get in to the advanced group with Hans.
In the summer of 2007 I had three grueling days of examination in the Kali Sikaran Instructor camp, it was very hard weekend. I still remember how tired I was on the first day and thought that I would never make it through the weekend. But at then end of the weekend Ii stood there with a diploma in my hand and thought to my self, well I did it. The rank was Madunong Guro which is said to be an equivilant to a second degree black belt. The title Madunong Guro in Kali Sikaran means associated instructor, at least that what it was when I took the rank.
In february 2008 Datu Tim Hartman was in Sweden doing seminars in Malmoe and Eskilstuna, at the end of Datu Tims trip I had a examination for Lakan Isa which is the first black belt. It was about 2-3 hours of hard testing, I had to do both theoretical and a practical testing. Although the theoretical part was verbally it was hard, the stress and at the same time answer in english. Well let’s just say it was hard… As you can see by the photo it is really cool looking design on the black belt diploma. I think it is Ed Parker Jr that has draught this for hand as an original. The people in the photo from the right is: Datu Tim Hartman, Kristoffer Sundh, Mattias Jansson and Kenneth Johansson.
Under a period of two years, I trained with The Kali Society, together with Sr Guro Hans and Sr Guro Claes Johansson. I still try to come to their camps and seminar but now my focus is on Inayan Eskrima, it was in the spring of 2008 I started practicing IS3 under the tutelage of IS3 instructor Kenneth Johansson and Mattias Jansson. I felt like this art was my home, something that I really wanted to perfect to the best of my abilities. So this is where I am now in 2010, I am working on material for student level 7…
The story does not end here…It’s merely the beginning…
I have always had the chance to surround myself with incredible and inspirational instructors. The two instructors that I had the pleasure to train private with under en extensive time period is Kenneth Johansson, Inayan System III and Hans Johansson, The Kali Society. Being their private student has been very rewarding in so many ways, and I am forever grateful for the knowledge, inspiration, time and patience both of them has given me. I still train privately with Kenneth Johansson every chance I get.
Besides trying to keep up with private training, I try to go to all kind of different seminar with different FMA instructors. Mostly for the inspiration the gifted instructors share with them but of course also to learn new things. The Instructors that I have the most inspiration out of as a seminar instructor is the talented and gifted instructor is Suro Emanual Hart, it is always interesting to train with him and he is really a nice guy. The skills and knowledge that he has, really made an impression on me.
Other great seminar instructors that I can recommend to visit is Pangulong Guro Krishna Godhania(Warriors Eskrima & Sayoc Kali), Sr Guro Claes and Hans Johansson(The Kali Society), Punong Guro Johan Skålberg(Kali Sikaran), Master Marina Regnér(Kombatan Arnis), Guru Maul Mornie(Silat Suffian Bela Diri), Steven Lefevbre(Sayoc Kali), Datu Tim Hartman (Modern Arnis and Kombatan Arnis), Tuhon Ray Dionaldo (FCS Kali). I should say that this list of instructors is not listed in a specific order.
Another thing that is exceptionally great is all the students that passes your door, to get the chance to give an impact in someone’s life no matter how small or how big that impact is. Off course it’s always nice when students stay for a longer time than not, but it is still nice to get the chance to meet new people. There are some people who sticks by you through the years, I am not going to name names, the people I mean know who they are and it’s really nice to get the chance to know them and see them excel in the art. It will be my privilege to se you all grow in the arts…
Gumagalang Ng Lubos / With Great Respect