"...absolutely amazing" (Yvonne, jiu-jitsu instructor)
"...enroll with FMA Tucson as soon as possible" (Loren, paralegal)
"...I highly recommend Stephen" (Jack, attorney)
"... a decision I'll never regret" (Amy, stay-at-home mom)
Practical. Reality based.
We spend our time training:
We focus on skills that have
Skills in 2-3 months.
If you take your training seriously, you will have functional, well practiced, skills for defending yourself within 3 months.
Yes, it's possible.
No, you won't be a master. But you'll have a solid base of practical skills.
Our programs train you to deal with all the ranges of a self-protection scenario. Swinging weapons, punches, kicks, grabs, and wrestling on the ground.
How to deal with the bad guys' friends, adverse environmental factors, and improvised weapons.
More importantly, learn about awareness, avoidance, and defusing bad situations, so that whenever possible, you won’t need to fight in the first place.
Train hard, smart, and safe.
We utilize training methods that develop your ability to perform against resisting enemies. But your brain, hands and body need to stay safe so you can go to work the next day.
Using progressive resistance improves your ability to perform in a real situation.
You learn safely as you start out, and quickly move to greater resistance as you improve.
When you are forced to defend yourself, there are no padded mats to break your fall. No guarantee you'll have enough light to see.
No referees to make sure things are fair.
No one told the bad guy he can't hit there, do that, use a weapon, or bring his friends.
Our training focuses on this context.
" Stephen is absolutely amazing as a martial artist and instructor. If you ever wanted to try what Matt Damon used in the Bourne series give it a try!"
(Yvonne Morken, IT, and Jiujitsu instructor, Tucson AZ)
" Kali Silat is a very useful martial art and can be well adapted for excellent self-defense. Steve is an outstanding instructor and you will enjoy learning under his tutelage! "
(Dr. Kevan Schlamowitz, Clinical Psychologist, and 2nd degree black belt, Tucson AZ)
" Stephen Samson trained me a few years ago in martial arts and self-defense. The techniques and principles he taught me were very effective. He also made them very easy to understand and execute based on how he explained and demonstrated them.
The prior martial arts training I had received was limited to basic stances, punches, kicks, blocks and katas. It was more academic rather than practical.
Stephen taught me how to maximize power through principles of body leverage, some extremely practical ground fighting maneuvers, and many other novel techniques that would be both highly effective and very unexpected by an opponent in a self-defense situation.
I highly recommend Stephen to anyone who wants to become proficient in martial arts and self-defense."
(Jack Joy, Esq., Attorney, Gainesville FL)
" I remember watching Stephen Samson teach my brother the practical art of self-defense. The tactics of awareness, avoidance, and de-escalating, which Stephen taught him, made my brother able to handle an incident that occurred when we were walking several blocks one night to our car downtown, and protected us against some aggressive or disturbed people who might otherwise have caused us harm. I wish I would have taken Stephen’s classes myself before moving out of state for college! I would encourage any woman in the Tucson area to enroll with FMA Tucson as soon as possible.
(Lauren Washburn, Certified Paralegal, Omaha, Nebraska)
" As a home schooling mother, I had my teenagers earn PhysEd and elective credit hours by learning how to defend themselves against physical attacks and fight off assaults that might happen. Not only am I pleased with the skills my children acquired under the tutelage of Stephen Samson, but also I appreciate the character development and self-discipline that came out of the study and practice of those things. It was a home schooling decision I’ll never regret."
(Amy Eastlund, Home Schooling Mother)
Kali - Silat
A practical distillation of the arts from the Philippines, Indonesia, and surrounds, and its continuing evolution, due to interaction with other highly effective systems from around the world.
We front load what we find to be the most useful, high percentage skills for protecting yourself, and make that the focus of your learning. What scenarios are you statistically likely to encounter? What can you do that strikes the balance of being effective, easy to learn, and do-able in a high stress situation? That's what you'll start out developing.
Like MMA and other combat sports, we train with resisting (rather than cooperative) opponents, to become effective. Lighter resistance as you're learning something and building confidence. High resistance, and sparring, so you can perform under stress.
Unlike MMA, we train the things that are illegal in sport endeavors, because they are very effective for protecting yourself on the street. But we do so safely.
Our unarmed segment teaches no-nonsense self-defense in a style of fluid, relaxed, movement. This includes striking, clinching, and ground ranges, defense against weapons, and multiple opponents,
The weapon portion focuses on giving you actual fighting proficiency (not just forms and patterns) with knife, sword, impact, and improvised weapons, in the various ranges of a real encounter.
Because Kali emphasizes fluidity and timing, skill, and targeting vital areas of the body, rather than relying on strength, it is a great fit for women, as well as men.
Much of our curriculum is based on the Silat For the Street, and Battlefield Kali programs designed by Burton Richardson, from decades of direct research on what specific elements will help you prevail in a dangerous situation.
Functional Weapon Study
Practical skill that will serve you when the need arises. That is the emphasis of our weapons program.
We train first for surviving a hostile encounter. Point matches, choreographed demonstrations, cool patterned drills, those are fun, but take a back seat and always have to serve the primary objective.
For a modern context, the training addresses knife, machete, tomahawk, baton, and improvised weapons (wrench, steel pipe, fire axe, screwdriver, etc.).
For those with historic weapon interests, you can delve into one or two handed sword, spear, axe, shield, and other weapon types. We do not limit ourselves to weapons/styles of only a certain culture. We teach understanding the characteristics of a given weapon, and what movements are effective in its use, no matter it's historical origin.
Since there are no rules in a self-defense scenario, you'll learn how to function at weapon range, trap and clinch range, on the ground, and what to do if you lose your weapon.
We offer effective training in realistic self defense. Including:
We want to get you to a basic level of preparedness, fast. Because you never know when you might need it. After that, you're welcome to come back as much as you want, to further develop your skills.
Try 2 classes, absolutely obligation free.
Come, see if you like it...
Just wear regular workout clothes!
Classes now back in the studio. Kodenkan martial arts academy: 3327 N. 1st Ave, Suite 110 Tucson, AZ 85719
1-2 additional sessions per week, on a flex schedule.
What are our prices?
phone: (520) 304-9338 (please leave a msg.)
Located at Kodenkan Martial Arts Academy:
3327 N. 1st Avenue, Suite 110 Tucson, AZ 85719
F.A.Q. / Pricing
Q. How much do you charge?
A. $75/month lets you go to 2 days/week. $50/month for one day/week
Private lessons are $45/hour and can be at the studio or your location (*note - studio temporarily closed, so private lessons would be at a park or your location). There’s a nominal travel charge outside a certain radius.
Q. Does your self defense work for women?
A. Yes. Our curriculum has been designed for the smaller, less strong individual to be able to defend themselves against a significantly bigger, stronger, agressive assailant. Techniques that did not pass these criteria in research and testing were weeded out of the foundational self-defense curriculum.
More importantly, we provide a purposeful education on the non-fight aspects of self-defense. How to be aware of your surroundings, what to do so that muggers and rapists decide not to target you, and what you can do in a dangerous developing situation.
See this testimony.
Q. Do you teach children?
A. Yes, generally ages 12 and up and near the size of a small adult. You'll have to assess whether your kids are mature enough to behave and pay attention reasonably well. Also, while I'll help the kids understand when and when not to do certain techniques, our curriculum is based on self-defense in bad circumstances (rape, abduction, etc.). There will be discussion of how to dial things down for lesser situations, but parents must be responsible for teaching and reinforcing appropriate levels of response.
See this testimony of a mother who signed up her kids.
Q. What does Kali Silat look like?
A. You’ve seen movie choreographers use Kali and Silat (FMA) in the John Wick, Hannah, Black Panther, the Bourne and Taken movies, Book of Eli, Fast and Furious 7, The Raid I and II, the Christian Bale Batman movies, Equalizer, and more.
Here’s a compilation of movie fight scenes:
And a couple more examples filmed by different FMA groups:
Q. Where is Kali Silat from?
A. From the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Historically closely related to arts from SE Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), from Oceania (New Guinea, parts of Polynesia), and even Africa (Madagascar). These areas were all influenced by the ancient Majapahit empire, and cross-cultural exchange took place between them.
Q. Do I have to be very athletic or fit?
A. No, you don’t have to be. We can start where you are now and help you move toward your goals.
Q. What should I wear?
A. Comfortable athletic clothing. No deep v-necks, short shorts, or midriff.