Guro John Maidment: Bridging the Gap Between Student and Master in Filipino Martial Arts
By Emmanuel Rivera, RRT
Sat, 23 Sep 2023
Once upon a time, in the world of martial arts and combat sports, Master Danovis "Dee" Pooler and I embarked on a journey of exploration.
Our quest revolved around unraveling the intricate connections between Filipino Martial Arts—renowned for its balanced footwork and close-range combat prowess—and the martial art of boxing.
We shared a belief that it was within the realms of these Filipino martial traditions that past generations of Filipino boxers had rapidly adapted and later innovated Western-style boxing techniques.
This theory, captivating and compelling, begged to be tested.
Our destination, last March 4, 2023, was the Inosanto Martial Arts Academy, a revered institution under the leadership of the esteemed Guro (Master) Dan Inosanto.
Guro Inosanto, a mentor, student, and dear friend of the legendary Bruce Lee, founder of Jeet Kune Do, held the key to unlocking the secrets we sought.
As we delved into the seminar, Guro Inosanto graciously shared his wisdom.
With eloquence, he explained and demonstrated the intricate theory of South Asian Martial Arts, with a special focus on Kali, Eskrima, Arnis—collectively and more popularly referred to as Filipino Martial Arts.
The pieces of our puzzle began to fall into place as Master Inosanto unveiled the depth and significance of these martial traditions.
Master Pooler and I, with a full house at the Inosanto Martial Arts Academy, learned that effective blows and hits are dependent on proper balance and footwork.
Yet, our thirst for knowledge remained unquenched.
To further enrich our understanding, we sought a private FMA session with Guro John Maidment, a certified and highly recommended instructor in the esteemed eyes of Master Inosanto himself.
John Maidment, originally hailing from Canada and now a resident of Southern California, is a multifaceted individual in and around the world of self-defense. He brings a wealth of experience as a retired registered nurse, an avid photographer, and a dedicated martial artist.
John is proficient in Filipino Martial Arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu. Notably, he has earned an instructor rank in Maphilindo Silat, an honor bestowed upon him by the renowned Guro Dan Inosanto.
John's journey in martial arts began as a response to schoolyard bullying, prompting him to embark on a path of judo training. Over time, he expanded his repertoire, incorporating aikido and karate into his skill set. His fascination with the fighting arts was kindled by the legendary Bruce Lee, whose influence permeated through movies and literature.
In 1978, a significant turning point took him to Aspen, Colorado, where he immersed himself in an intensive training experience. During this transformative period, he dedicated two weeks to learning from Guro Remy Presas in modern Arnis and another two weeks under the expert guidance of Sifu/Guro Richard Bustillo in the disciplines of FMA and Chinese kickboxing.
Two years later, he journeyed to California and met Guro Dan Inosanto for the first time. From that transformative encounter, John dedicated himself to refining his skills under Guro Inosanto and affiliated teachers.
Over the years, John witnessed the curriculum's evolution, seamlessly integrating diverse martial art styles and systems, all geared for real-world effectiveness. These arts, differing in approach, shared fundamental principles and concepts. Guro Inosanto excelled at illustrating options from these arts while preserving their origins, and his visionary teaching introduced his students to what we now recognize as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This pioneering approach continues to shape the martial arts landscape.
Guro Maidment explained the importance of proper balance and footwork, ”Footwork is your delivery system. Using only footwork can get you to an advantageous position either to defend or to attack. Combined with upper body motion, either in defense or offense, you maximize your tactics. The environment, however, can make your footwork useless or support it, so always be aware.”
(L-R): Guro Dan Inosanto presents John Maidment with the Brown Igat in Silat on February 26, 2022, followed by his promotion to Black Igat on December 30, 2022.
John holds an Associate Level proficiency in Filipino martial arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu. Notably, he has earned an instructor rank in Maphilindo Silat, an honor bestowed upon him by the renowned Guro Dan Inosanto.
“Guro Dan Inosanto established the Inosanto Martial Arts Academy at its current Beach Avenue location in Marina Del Rey. The Academy serves as a dynamic research hub, continually evolving and elevating various martial arts disciplines,” Mr. Maidment explained, ‘Under Guro Inosanto’s guidance, nothing remains static. Students and visitors, regardless of their martial arts experience, are wholeheartedly welcomed.’”
(L-R) One aspiring writer and Master Danovis “Dee” Pooler, March 4, 2023
Reflecting on our journey, Master Danovis Pooler, himself a celebrated boxing trainer and an expert in armed and unarmed combat, offered his insights. With an air of excitement, he declared, "Guro Dan Inosanto and Guro John Maidment taught me innovative skills that I can seamlessly incorporate into my own teaching in the world of self-defense."
Our adventure had not only deepened our knowledge but had also illuminated the timeless connection between Filipino Martial Arts and the combat arts that had shaped fighters, especially boxers, for generations.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.
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