Water & Steel 2010

Why Attend Water and Steel 2010?
by Ken Smith

The camp, held annually on Raft Island, Washington, is in a wonderful setting overlooking the beautiful Puget Sound and offers waterfront access, cabins with bunks, showers, dining facilities, and even room to pitch a tent if desired.

The training covers the Worden Defense System – including Self Defense, Jeet Kune Do, Arnis/Kali, Filipino Staff, Anyo forms of Modern Arnis, Ground Defense, and technical applications of the Silent Fighter training simulator. The training curriculum is presented in easy-to-follow written module format that provides a structured yet progressive guide to enhance any practitioner’s  skill set. It is an opportunity to come together with other martial artists from Modern Arnis, Jeet Kune Do, Non-Classical Gung  Fu, Isshin-Ryu, Shotokan karate, Western Boxing, Combat Arnis, Silat, Sombo and countless others.  The training encompasses a 5-Range method of conceptual learning and flow movement that is unparalleled within the martial arts community and is recommended for men, women, and young adults, seeking to integrate the N.S.I. Worden Defense System into their personal life style for self-defense and progressive martial skill development. The camp offers something for every skill level – from a beginning practitioner to advanced instructors.

A typical camp day would consist of three excellent group meals and multiple training sessions of 1.5 to 2 hours, from mid-morning until late evening. Each participant’s skill level is evaluated as the training sessions progress, which allows adequate time for questions, answers, and technical refinement. It is personalized instruction at its very best.  It has been said by hundreds of attendees over the past 31 years that the specialized training and brotherhood at Water and Steel camps has changed their lives in positive and dramatic ways. Every participant’s experience is unique. The training is filled with physical challenges, while balanced for emotional and spiritual growth! The West Coast Water and Steel offers you an experience of a lifetime – an amazing opportunity to learn and refine technical skill sets, meet new friends, and enjoy the beautiful facilities of the Raft Island Retreat.

I have attended every West Coast Water and Steel training camp since 1993.  I have truly experienced the NSI Worden Defense System Evolution through the eyes of a student and now, for several years as an instructor both in ground fighting and the WDS curriculum.

The evolution of the art parallels the efforts of Kelly S. Worden to bring the best out of everyone who attends this exceptional training opportunity.

After many years of inviting world class instructors of differing styles and experiences, the West Coast Water and Steel instructional staff now consists of skilled, multi-disciplined martial artists from throughout the U.S. and Canada, and are fantastic ambassadors for the Worden Defense System.

It is these instructors and Kelly S. Worden that make the Water and Steel training camp incomparable. Each instructor’s personal perspective and experiences are shared, giving the students the opportunity to unify our mental, physical, and spiritual growth.  All the instructors share freely of their experience, ensuring that you receive the attention you deserve. As impossible as it may seem, Kelly S. Worden guarantees that every participant has a positive experience and satisfaction, or you attend the camp for free. To date, no one has ever been disappointed!

Call Kelly at (253) 678-7658 or email him at kellysworden@comcast.net to register for camp, to be held September 3rd, 4th, and 5th on Raft Island, Washington


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Ola’a-Nalo 4th Annual Maui Open Tournament

4th Annual Maui Open Tournament

OLA’A-NALO ESKRIMA JUNGLE STYLE is weapons based martial art drawing influences from the various armed and unarmed fighting arts of the Pacific island jungles. Utilizing the outside passing movements of Derobio Escrima as was taught by the late Great Grandmaster Braulio Pedoy combined with the against the force blocks of Kali and Arnis, Ola’a-nalo Eskrima is an extremely versatile weapons system. Ola’a-Nalo the namesake of this martial system is dedicated to the Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and others that migrated to Hawaii and were assigned to the plantation fields of the Big Island of Hawaii and the fertile Waimanalo valley located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Learn more about Ola’a-Nalo Eskrima by visiting them on



Ola’a-Nalo Website:


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Age 75, of Haleiwa, HI, passed away June 16, 2010 in Ewa, HI. Born February 9, 1935 in Waialua, HI. He is the professor of Waialua Branch of the Kali Association, Lontayao Martial Arts Organization.

He is survived by wife, Felisisima “Nancy” Albios; sons, Robin (Carol) Albios, Brian Albios; daughters, Romi Minami, Laura Ann (Ben) Mabini; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; brothers, Joning (Kay) Albios, Simpy Albios; sisters, Margie (Eddie) Nakamoto, Aggie Albios.

Visitation 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (July 14) at Mililani Mortuary Makai Chapel Wake service 6:00 p.m. Visitation also 9:30 a.m. Thursday (July 15) at St. Michael’s Catholic Church (67-390 Goodale Avenue, Waialua) Mass 11:00 a.m. Burial 12:30 p.m. Casual Attire. Flowers Welcome.

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reBlog from Tgace under: the things worth believing in

I found this fascinating quote today:

Some of the arguments center on the technique vs “muscle” issue. This is the ”so an 80 yo person can’t be a proficient martial artist if they are not training like a MMA fighter?” tack. This person argues the “use their strength against them”…”it’s all about technique, not strength”…”a fight will be over in seconds”… “conditioning and self-defense are separate disciplines” party line. They believe that martial arts are more about leverage, target selection and technique than the individuals physical conditioning. You tend to see many “traditional arts” people in this camp, especially “non-sparring” arts.Tgace under, the things worth believing in, Mar 2010

You should read the whole article.

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March 2010 Worden Defense System Newsletter – Article 1

Originally posted at


Baptism by Fire – My Experience with NSI, and What NSI Means to Me
By Morgan Bellinger

To those on the outside looking in, Natural Spirit International or NSI is the martial arts organization created by Datu Kelly Worden. An ever-evolving organization, NSI teaches a dynamic mix of martial arts systems and styles – Drawing from and respecting the traditional arts, but keeping all eyes focused on real world applications and defensive tactics. For those who find themselves on the inside looking out, NSI is so much more.

I feel very fortunate to have attended last year’s annual Water and Steel training camp, something I have not done for several years. I reminisced with guys that I have not seen for what felt like a lifetime, and I was happy to see friends in attendance that I had trained with only months before.  I also had the opportunity to meet a lot of new faces, some of them very experienced and capable martial artists, others who are now on their way.

Training with many of these new guys was a blast. The excitement and awe they were experiencing at the depth of material and the level of Datu’s skill was evident. The tone in their voice, the smile on their face, the very words they spoke and the energy with which they moved made it clear that they could not contain themselves. Like 6-year olds in a toy store they did not know where to start, but they were intent on taking it all. I smiled to myself as I was reminded of my first camp, and the simple fact that I had been the same way. Last year’s camp was no doubt the best Water and Steel I have attended. The whole weekend had me reflecting on my time in NSI and my training with Datu.

I have been training with Datu Worden for going on sixteen years now. Under his guidance I have grown as a martial artist, as a fighter and as a person. I owe him so much and it is hard to believe that our meeting and my admittance into NSI was purely by chance. Even more surprising was the fact that I had survived the initiation.  I met Datu in early ‘95, at that time in my life my job moved me around a lot. Every time I moved to a new town I would join the local gym and search out a worthwhile martial arts school. Taking a page out of Miyamoto Musashi’s Book of Five Rings and a few pages out of Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do earning credentials and belts meant very little to me. My interest was in gaining practical knowledge and valuable insights, as well as sharpening my physical skills. When I walked into Datu’s school in University Place, it was only because I drove past it
every day for a month and the school was only a short three-mile run from my apartment. It wasn’t until I met Datu and he introduced himself that I realized who he was. I was finally able to put a face to the name and reputation that I had heard about so often before. Datu was well known throughout Tacoma and the surrounding cities. His name and reputation had come up in many conversations over the years with instructors and martial artists that I had trained with.  Before I met Datu I had trained in and studied numerous arts, most notably, Boxing, Muay Thai, and Eskrima, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, Penjak Silat, and Kali. I had a whole lot of knowledge and what I felt was a high level of skill, unfortunately I had the attitude to match.

I remember my first class with Datu and NSI, I sat on a metal folding chair for a half hour maybe longer, and mentally picked the guys apart. In my eyes they were sloppy, they looked like brawlers, they didn’t even wear uniforms, and they wasted a lot of time doing pre arranged forms. I remember thinking that for a Jeet Kune Do school this was all wrong. Then Datu brought out the training knives and the guys began to play. What started out as rough play quickly became a smooth ballet. Knife work was something completely new to me and I watched intently, impressed by the fluidity and speed of their movements. The look of awe on my face must have given me away because it wasn’t long before Datu called me by name and invited me onto the floor. He partnered with me himself for probably close to an hour, at the time I thought it was because he knew that I was special.

As I have reflected on this over the years I now believe that it was simply because he did not want the guys to kill me – at least not yet! After class was over we talked for awhile, Datu treated me like an equal, like one man talking to another man, he was totally approachable, and this was very different than the dynamic that I had grown accustomed to with other instructors. It took me a long time to except being treated as an equal. I was so accustomed to putting my instructors on a pedestal that I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I don’t remember much of the conversation we had that first day, my mind was whirling with all the new seeds that Datu had planted but I remember he told me to come back tomorrow and I did. The next day I came back with check in hand and that is when my martial education truly began. We worked some knife and some staff and then it was sparring for an hour, everybody squared off and started sparring, rotating partners every three minutes with the ring of a bell. Well everybody rotated, and Datu paired off with me himself.

Smiling, he invited me up into the boxing ring and began to slowly and methodically take me apart, piece by piece. He trapped me, and locked me and almost ripped my fingers right off my hand, he choked me and pulled my hair and hit me in the groin more times than I can remember. Flashes of this training session come to me now and again even after a decade has passed – I just smile to myself as I remember the good ol’ days. After a dozen rounds or so Datu turned me over to the boys, and these guys who I had considered the day before as nothing more than sloppy brawlers proceeded to continue where Datu left off, taking me apart round after round. Chris, big Ken, and so many guys who I haven’t seen in years schooled me repeatedly and thoroughly. Then big Ray stepped into the ring for a go and when he left the ring I was laying in the fetal position from a side kick, the likes of which I never want to experience again.  The first schools I joined, I joined with the intent of mastering that art. When I joined NSI it was because I wanted to be like the guys who trained there.

So what does NSI mean to me? That is not a simple question. NSI means many things to me on many levels, but first and foremost – NSI is my family. These guys (and gals) hold a place in my heart that can’t really be explained. Beyond that NSI is a source of knowledge motivation, and inspiration, not just from Datu but from every single person you touch hands with. Every single person has knowledge, and experience, and insight to share, and they are happy to share it and they expect nothing in return. Then there is Water and Steel – not just a family reunion, not just 3-5 days of intense training, but like Arthur’s Avalon it is a source of rejuvenation, a place we go to heal our minds and our spirits. If we are to look deeper yet we will see that NSI is a path towards growth, freedom and personal expression. For me, NSI cultivates an atmosphere of personal exploration and
development, not only
allowing for personal expression but encouraging it and demanding it.