terça-feira, 15 de Abril de 2014

Jogo do Pau returns to the World Wide Open Champioships

It is my pleasure to announce that, after sadly missing the 2012 event, I'll be again teaching at the WWOC (Hannover).

More, this time I'll be happily teaching with the assistance of fellow JdP instructor Patrick Scheler, whose skill, knowledge and enthusiasm will be energizing to both myself and all the trainees attending class.

This year I'll be teaching at the WWOC (Hannover) together with fellow JdP instructor Patrick Scheler. Here's a short description of the 3 classes we shall be holding. Hope to see some of you there:


An in-depth intro into the historical evolution of Jogo do Pau's technique and tactics, together with an analysis of parrying refinemnet strategies.


A presentation of the main guidelines that govern outnumbered combat, including its application to long swords, such as the Montante.


A comprehensive analysis of Jogo do Pau's competitive rule set and combat tactics, including free play sparring.

Hope to you there!

quarta-feira, 19 de Fevereiro de 2014


A coach´s work actually takes place in two phases:

Phase 1: The coaching that takes place before actual training:

Instructors first and foremost must be knowledgeable about their sport, so that they can analyse the performance of the trainees and diagnose which elements need to be improved.

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quinta-feira, 13 de Fevereiro de 2014

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Scientific practical training month:

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quarta-feira, 5 de Fevereiro de 2014


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sexta-feira, 10 de Janeiro de 2014

The ultimate parrying challenge: Protecting one's hands!

"Have you ever heard the expression, "You don't know what you don't know"? 
You would be surprised how many aspects of a functional parry there are 
that you wouldn't intuit on your own. 
Fortunately, now you don't need to. Luis Preto is the real deal; 
he knows his stuff and he knows how to teach it."

Michael Edelson, 
HEMA Instructor & Competitive Fighter

Parrying is very important, and it isn't simply because one needs to be prepared for when the opponent happens to steal the initiative from us. 

Within fencing arts at least, the toughest thing to protect is that which also constitutes our most fragile possession: our hands!

In all areas of life we humans constantly turn to technology in order to either generate new possibilities (such as creating airplanes to fly) or make old ones easier to perform (such as placing computers on cars which park the vehicle for us). 

Hence, it shouldn't constitute a surprise that our ancestors were smart enough to develop duelling type weapons such as the rapier, fantastically equipped with a very functional and reliable hand guard.

Nevertheless, other fencing weapons do not include such feature and, that being the case one can:
  • Train by either forbidding hand strikes,
  • Learn how to effectively parry the hands.
Personally, I find the second preferable, since rule sets that forbid hand strikes do not prevent some strikes from occasionally reaching the hands, even if just by accident (and it is my experience that hands' protective gear is never 100% effective).

Consequently, given the importance I attribute to this combat variable, participants of the upcoming Jogo do Pau seminars can expect to receive a great deal of information and training on hand oriented effective parrying skill.

Here are the main links concerning next week's London seminar, in which we'll accommodate both types of trainees (double handed weapon and single handed weapon ones):

For those unable to attend the event, I like to think that you can still find plenty of helpful information within the book I've put together on the subject: Functional parrying skill.

quinta-feira, 9 de Janeiro de 2014

Biomechanics, Speed & Strikes' output

"For the full-contact stick fighter, Luis' approach to staff has huge appeal. He demonstrates outstanding range and timing, with hardcore commitment."

Loki Jorgenson, 
Instructor of Pekiti-Tirsia & Dog Brothers’ MA

After having introduced the subject of levers in striking (previous post), I would like highlight the importance of this subject by quoting Dr. Fred Hatfield "In sport, speed is king".

Straight from the bat, everyone is aware (even if mostly intuitively) that striking faster is crucial in order to reduce the window of opportunity given to the opponent to parry one's offensive actions.

However, when needing to deliver devastating blows, one hits with kinetic energy, not force. It is important to make this distinction because force equals mass times acceleration, while kinetic energy equals mass times square of velocity divided by two. 

In turn, this means that velocity actually has double the influence over strikes' output. Therefore, understanding striking biomechanics is quite relevant when looking to make the jump from being a good martial artist to a very good one. 

For additional, in person, info on this and other subjects related to both martial skill and training methodology, there are still a few places in next week's London seminar. 

Here are the main links concerning it:

quarta-feira, 8 de Janeiro de 2014

Double handed striking technique: Choosing which hand to place at the back

Against common knowledge, I feel that many people still tend to judge a book by its cover. Case in point, people seem to disregard any difference between a sword and a stick system on the basis that the weapons are different.   

These weapons are indeed different and, hence, it stands to reason that some differences between their specific martial approach to combat are in fact a product of the weapons' different traits. Nevertheless, assuming such scenario without careful analysis of each specific case is unwise and may, therefore, bring about false premises.

More to the point, most sword systems seem to privilege the placement of the non dominant hand at the end tip of the weapon, while Jogo do Pau opts for the dominant hand ... yes, for those who eventually haven't hear it, I am right handed.

However, contrary to what a few people have stated about me in the past, I am not fast. Yes, I move fairly fast, but I do so as a result of technique, not on account of having great muscle explosiveness, which I do not. Understanding this subject boils down to biomechanics, more specifically levers.

Yes, sorry to be blunt but, while tactically there are many different ways to winning fights, how biomechanics influence striking technique is about physics (thus, angles, levers and so forth), making it an exact science where two complete opposites cannot be just different styles of achieving the same result.   

Additionally, I hereby announce that, for the very first time, I'll be sharing within the upcoming seminars a very practical analysis of levers' application to striking technique.

The first will be next week's London seminar. Here are the main links concerning it: