Strength & Speed

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Edged Weapons Seminar Review

Posted by ackbar80 on August 5, 2022 at 2:15 PM

After deep diving into Tiga Tactics’ suite of online courses over the last year, I decided to attend one of their in person seminars May 14-15 in Baltimore. While I’ve trained at several different martial arts gyms and been to seminars held at those locations, this was my first time traveling to a seminar. Here’s how I thought it went, some takeaways and if you should attend one:


Atmosphere: It’s always interesting walking into a new martial arts gym. However, the instructors, students and guests at the Academy of Traditional Asian Fighting Arts (they teach both Pentjak (Pencak) Silat Serak and Aikido) were welcoming. Within minutes I felt at home as I would in any of my normal training locations a reflection of head instructor/owner Scott Sobel as well as his other instructors (“Aikido” Todd and “Silat” Todd). This welcoming and learning attitude was reinforced immediately with Tiga Tactics’ instructors Conrad Bui and Patrick Vuong in the first hour of the training.


Skills: The skills taught included some of the stuff covered I their online courses and some new material. Having seen much of it, as well as practiced it, before I took the time to pay attention to the smaller details that make up the skills taught. During many seminars I’m worried about the gross motor movement skills instead of making things refined and usable. Much of the seminar focused on creating space, maintaining space and effectively drawing your blade. Their approach is based off real world data, watching closed circuit TV footage of real attacks and focuses on what you will need to use/what is most important. After all if you can’t get the edged weapon into the fight, then there is no use having one.

Probably best of all I felt like it wasn’t too much material. They drilled the important stuff repeatedly but disguised the repetitions through a mix of contests, games and even testing. By the end of the weekend I’m pretty sure I had practiced drawing a blade in the hundreds of times.

For those that wanted more, they also showed us some patterns that are very easy to remember but require more training. This meant if you weren’t going to go to any other classes or seminars for a couple of months, you still had a decent amount of material to drill and keep things interesting.


Surprises: I honestly wasn’t expecting to get that sweaty during training, after all it is just blade work. However, it was surprisingly tiring as we worked through drills. I was most surprised by learning from the other martial artists. Just getting to do pad work with guys who primarily train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Aikido, Silat and the couple of other styles we had was super interesting. Little differences like their stances, how they throw an elbow and nuances of body mechanics was cool to learn.


Bonuses: While you shouldn’t necessarily expect something like this at one of their seminars, I did have the awesome opportunity for three additional things that took it from a really great weekend to epic in my book:

1. First, since I had taken all their online courses I was allowed to test to become an Assistant Instructor. This meant I got an additional 45 minutes of instruction/testing with Conrad and Patrick.

2. Second, I ended up going to dinner with the instructors (Conrad, Patrick and Scott), which was a ton of fun sharing stories.

3. On Sunday, Willie “The Bam” Johnson (from the WMAC Masters TV Show) showed up for training. It was cool to meet and do a little training with someone I watched on TV as a kid.


Should you attend? By now you know my answer. For those that have an interest in self-defense or martial arts but may lack the training time, Tiga Tactics provides a great opportunity. You can show up with zero training but still learn some valuable skills, learn a ton, get trained and walk away with a certificate of completion. Check the Fighting Section of our website ( )  to links to Tiga's online training courses and links to in person seminars.


Categories: Martial Arts