Thursday, September 24, 2015

Swords and Smokes, Coffee and Kung Fu - Maija Soderholm is comming to visit

Hey everybody, I am excited to announce that Maija is coming to the greater Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area.

Who is Maija Soderholm?
Author of the Sword and Circle Blog
Author of The Liar, The Cheat, and The Thief

Maija is a student of the Visayan Style Corto Kadena and Larga Mano of Maestro Sonny Umpad

Sonny's method encompassed empty hand, feet, short and long blades, sickles, projectiles as well as sticks and canes. Though primarily an edged weapons system, the cane and the Bogsai are also considered vital parts of understanding the whole.

One of the most interesting elements of the system is learning how to use short weapons in the manner of long weapons, and longer weapons at very close range.

Maija is in the Cites to work on, and I quote "A super secret project".  Her days will be filled with what ever she crossed state lines to accomplish and does not feel comfortable discussing with a Police Officer.

Luckily for us that leaves her nights free to play.

The following is a fairly laid back schedule and subject to change.

Wednesday 10/7/15
7-9 PM
Jujitsu at Allegiance Fitness.

One of the cool things about this trip is getting to see how the things that Maija does and the things that I do work together.  What aspects are the same , where are they different and why.  To get that ball rolling I figured a good start was for her to see a basic Jujitsu class.

Thursday 10/8/15
7-9 PM
Play time at Allegiance Fitness - Kung Fu

I know Maija has a Tai Ji teacher who lives in Minneapolis she wants to meet up with.
Dillon won't shut his yap about how he wants to steal as much of Maija's Kung Fu as he can.
So I figure we can use Allegiance Fitness as a centrally located training facility and just play.

Play, but with the vibe of Kung Fu.
I'll also use this opportunity to introduce some fundamental motion exercises that relate to the fire arms training we will be doing later on.

Friday 10/9/15
7-9 PM
Play time at Allegiance Fitness - Tacticool

One of the things I would like to work with Maija on is deployment of an edged weapon at close quarters.  So if you carry a blade regularly as part of your every day carry, bring a training version of it and we will play.  I also invite all Law Enforcement and Military reading this to bring in their kit and trainers (if possible) to see if they can get to their blades under pressure.  I'll be bringing my gear and rigging equipment (Molle / Tie Downs) if I or anyone else needs to re-rig their kit after the experience.

I will also use this opportunity to further explore how fundamental motions of empty hand martial art apply to fire arms skills.

Saturday I don't have to work, and Maija's super secret project should be wrapped up so we get to play all day

Maija's primary purpose on coming to Minnesota is the super secret project.
Having a martial arts seminar is secondary to that, but can also help off set her costs.

So we are going to have a seminar.

The folks at Q Fitness stepped up.  They wanted to host the seminar.  Cool, one less thing I have on my busy plate.  All I have to do is show up and train? - Fantastic!

I started planning, they started planning.  They didn't know I was planning the same thing.
Hey, that is a snake.  No that is a tree.  Wait it is an elephant.

I take full responsibility for any confusion, that is on me, but it actually turned out pretty cool.

The seminar is to off set Maija's costs.  Maija likes to keep the numbers down for more one on one instruction.  Both Q and I planned seminars.

So guess what?
2 seminars on Saturday!!!
Double the opportunities to train

When: Saturday 10 / 10 /15
10 - 1 (or earlier so we can eat and get to the after noon seminar)
The after noon seminar can pay for Maija's travel expenses
This money can pay for scotch, cigars,admission to the SPAM museum, and bail money depending on how the super secret project goes

Where: Allegiance Fitness 2240 Woodale Dr Mounds View MN 55112

I want to thank Anna Valdiserri for making this poster for me.  If you don't already, you should be reading her blog God's Bastard at

When developing this seminar with Maija I figured I am pretty confident in the edged weapons skills I am most likely to ever have to use.  However, I have old shit knees from Football and Wrestling.  It is not outside the realm of possibility that I may need a cane some day.  It would be really cool to be able to pound the piss  (justifiably and within state statute of course) out of some one with a cane.

Fast foreword to about 2:48

So for Maija's part, the workshop will focus on power generation at short range and give a glimpse at the incredible versatility of the cane as a weapon. In a way it is even more complex than the sword, having 3 distinct ranges, 2 ends, and the ability to switch right and left hands.

Based on what I learn playing with her Thursday and Friday, my part will cover the similarities of stick and knife with Jo and Ken and how those fundamental similarities apply to effortless / combat effective throws.

Sounds cool right?!  I'm excited

Saturday After noon will be hosted by Q

<< Sword/Play :: Exploring Human Movement with Maija Soderholm >>

Join us in welcoming Maija Soderholm to Minneapolis! She has graciously offered to share her expertise in the pursuit of self mastery through the lens of martial studies--mostly Filipino style weapons, and sword play specifically. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to experience excellence in teaching, learning and movement.

The weapon is said to be an extension of the body, and in this Sword/Play workshop we will look at how different weapons demand different movement paradigms depending on their usage. Form follows function, and in this case, the function is defined by the weapon and the opponent.

WHEN: Sat., Oct. 10
WHERE: St. Louis Park, MN
WHAT: Maija Soderholm teaching in MN!

There are only 10 spots for this seminar! Registration will be first-come-first-served, pre-paid (by credit or debit card), and online. Registration will open at 3am (yes, 3AM) on Friday, September 25th.

*** Email @ querenciafitness .com with subject "a minute with Maija" to receive the link and instructions to register. ***

(photo credit:

Looks like we are keeping Maija very busy on her trip to "The North"

There will be some down time as well.  One of the evenings after training I plan on having her over to stately Keckeisen Manor for some steak, scotch and cigars.

It has become tradition for my daughters to try to "assassinate" any instructors that visit the house.
They have earned the collective code name  "Gungnir" because they have never missed.  They have "killed" them all.

Gungir was Odin’s own spear.  Its main ability was that it hit whatever you threw it at. It didn’t matter how strong or how skilled you were, whatever you threw Gungnir at, you hit.

Around the fire over scotch and cigars is actually where I've learned the most form folks I've invited to come teach.

So I figured it would be cool if I could re-create that environment for the readers of The Budo Blog, which leads me to ...

5 questions with...
Clearly the first instalment will be 5 questions with Maija Soderholm.
In the comments bellow write a question you would like me to ask Maija.  Top 5 questions make it into the interview.  Interview will be posted on YouTube, and this blog.

Maija warns, "People may not get the answer they want if they ask boring/obvious questions ...."

So ask good questions and make me look really smart.

Last but not least Sunday 10 11 15
Just as Q is experimenting with hosting a martial arts seminar, I am experimenting with presenting tactical fire arms training to the public.

As this is a trial run it is by invite only.  If things go the way I hope this will be a regularly offered ODIN presentation.

The effective use of firearms is the logical “next step” in martial arts weapons training.  Certain forms and principles remain the same.

I am excited to establish these forms and principles early on in the play and see how they manifest on the range.

Helping me with this is Cabot Welchlin

Who is Cabot Welchlin?

Cabot Welchlin retired from a 33 year law enforcement career that included employment in both police and sheriff’s departments.  He functioned in many capacities, but most notably the past 21 years as a use of force instructor; serving as Lead Instructor, SWAT Team Leader and SWAT Training Coordinator.  Welchlin and Chameleon Survival strive to provide instruction and insight for both law enforcement and the ordinary people of their communities.  Lessons and course work are flexible and will seldom be considered repetitive, boring, or run-of-the-mill; constantly changing and adapting …….. Chameleon-like.

Check out his website here Chameleon Survival

Cabot was the SWAT training coordinator before he groomed Mike and I to take over for him

Regular readers will know I don't give out compliments easily, nor will I call just anyone Sensei. Cabot is my shooting Sensei.  As confident (cough, cough, arrogant)  as I am with my skills.   There is a reason Cabot will be the lead Instructor for this training.  Clearly, he is a good shot.  But I have never meet anyone who is as good at making other shooters better than Cabot.

I have been talking about making this presentation a real thing for a couple years now,  I am excited to finally (pun fully intended) pull the trigger on it.

If you are in the area next week come and play
If not write a question for me to ask Maija

Stay tuned for here for future training opportunities

Work Hard, Work Smart, Be Safe

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