Here is our latest Student interview. This time we are really happy to speak to Kristian, enjoy!
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hello My name is Kristian Bugnosen. I earn my money by working Finance for a London Authority. It involves supporting Local Services with their budgets, ensuring they are achieving value for money in supporting residents. Basically I work with numbers and look at money that isn’t mine. In my spare time I enjoy good food, good tv, travelling, and the company of my wife. My parents are from the Philippines and I try to get involved in community events when I can to celebrate and promote my heritage. There’s a Filipino phrase “Bahala Na” loosely translated as “let it be” or “come what may” – (Think “Hakuna Matata!”) and that tends to be my general attitude to life. It’s an outlook that helps you cope with anything.
What martial arts experience have you had previously and do you currently train in any other martial art/self-defence?
I have trained and enjoyed other martial arts before joining Urban Escrima. These include Hun-Gar (Tiger Crane), some Shao-Lin Kung Fu and Wing Chun (Red Junk style). But I’m training exclusively with Urban Escrima now.
How long have you been training in Escrima Concepts and what grade are you?
I’ve been training in Escrima Concepts since February of 2013 and have enjoyed every moment of it. I recently got my Grade 1 and 2 in May after a killer grading session taken by Wayne Tappin. I want to say thanks to Nigel, Charlie and the rest of the Urban Escrima club. (I couldn’t have got it with out you all.)
What first attracted you to Escrima Concepts and how does Escrima differ to what you have done before?
I have been out of martial arts and self defense for some time and was itching to get back into it. A good buddy of mine Matt Bernard told me to come down to the London Escrima Concepts Seminar and see what it was all about. I sat on the sidelines just observing all the students and teachers, listening to the sticks make one of the most purest sound ever. Every strike sounded like hard work, sounded like progress, sounded like intent, something called to me. It looked very direct and very effective, but also a lot of fun.
The big difference to what I have done before is in this system you learn an appreciation of weapons in combat. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the movement, blocks or attacks are “simple”, but the training and instruction builds on using natural body movement and body mechanics to attack your opponent and defend yourself against some one with a weapon.
What is the one thing you most enjoy about Escrima?
Every lesson you learn something. Something about yourself, how to improve your strikes, your defence, and your movement. But you also learn about and from your sparring partners: their favourite strikes, what drills they enjoy and hate, their little habits. You learn a lot of useful concepts and principles of effective self defence too.
Why do we teach ‘Concepts’ as opposed to techniques?
In my humble opinion techniques are set movements that can only “work” if your opponent is in the correct position for you to execute a technique. So if your opponent isn’t in the position you need them to be in the technique won’t work as you expect. Concepts allow you to appreciate the root of a technique so you can understand why something isn’t effective and make adjustments or apply a different technique to make the situation work for you. Concepts also allows you to think about a host of other variables such as the size or strength of your opponents. For instance, what strategy would you take if you fought someone bigger or smaller than you.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to train?
Bahala na. Relax. Try it out you’ll know if it’s for you.