|Mandirigma Filipino Martial Arts
"A LIFE SKILL, NOT A LUXURY"
Re: Carta de Recomendación de Servicios Sr. Darren Friesen
Para ser presentado ante quien corresponda,
Durante los últimos meses mi representada, STS Seguridad, ha disfrutado de los excelentes servicios de entrenamiento de defensa personal por parte del Sr. Darren Friesen. Sr. Friesen ha creado un plan de entrenamiento único para nuestra compañía incluyendo práctica con enfoque supremamente pragmático que ha apoyado nuestros guardas de seguridad en sus funciones diarias. Sr. Friesen ha viajado a nuestras instalaciones remotas en el Centro Pacifico, llegando siempre antes del tiempo programado, siempre preparado y con entusiasmo a entrenar y a retar nuestros empleados.
Es un gran placer por mi persona colaborar con el Sr. Friesen y poder recomendar sus servicios. Tengo toda la fe que a quien contrata los servicios del Sr. Friesen quedara sumamente satisfecho con su desempeño como instructor de defensa personal.
Estoy disponible para cualquier consulta de referencias.
Gerente General / Dueño
He estado es recibiendo clases artes marciales filipinas hace ya un año con Darren, y ha sido una experiencia maravillosa.
Darren es una persona con una gran técnica en las diferentes áreas de las artes marciales filipinas, es una persona súper paciente, él se asegura que usted realmente entienda lo que se esta enseñando, constantemente estamos refrescando las diferentes técnicas para así aprenderlas de manera permanente.
Yo recomiendo totalmente a Darren a cualquier persona que realmente quiera saber defensa personal, no importa la edad o sexo. Él le enseñara de manera fácil a defenderte maximizando y potenciando tus características individuales.
Que he aprendido en Mandirigma FMA?
Supervivencia. Lo que he aprendido en el club se puede resumir con esa palabra. Aprendemos como identificar, manejar y reaccionar ante situaciones de amenaza para nosotros o nuestra familia. La meta principal al final del día es regresar a casa; sobrevivir. Desde esta perspectiva, se nos enseña a evitar la violencia, pero también a usar herramientas y técnicas de defensa personal cuando la situación lo amerite.
Nuestras prácticas simulan escenarios reales. Entrenamos el cuerpo y la mente con el fin de prepararnos para las posibles situaciones que se pueden encontrar en la calle.
Al aprender lo anterior, ganamos en confianza, condición física, aprendemos a comunicarnos y mejoramos como personas.
Por último, puedo decir que el ambiente de entrenamiento es tranquilo, yo avanzo a mi ritmo, mis compañeros me ayudan y yo los ayudo a ello(a)s. Tenemos el privilegio de contar con un Maestro altamente capacitado en diversas artes marciales y preservación personal, que de verdad se preocupa por el aprendizaje.
Luis R. Montoya R.
Técnico en Informática.
I have had the privilege to train with and pleasure to know Darren Friesen for the past several years. I was introduced to Darren while studying Jujutsu and he was studying Arnis out of the same club. Both of us had a realization as well as an approach to training for real life self-defense situations and it was from that shared approach that I had started training with Darren. Knowing Darren first as an excellent, skilled, intelligent martial artist and then as a friend outside of training I can say with great confidence that Darren is one of the best instructors that I have met. He brings patience, an open-mind, factual study, diversity and great skill to his practice that everyone who will study with him will benefit from.
Richard Thomas Firefighter/Paramedic
|"Darren is one of my top students and instructors. I feel strongly about his expertise and skill in Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and he has been certified to instruct in the FMA styles of Burokil Alambra Arnis De Mano and Tungkong Bato. Through his rigorous training and continued self-study, he has developed into one of the strongest Buno practitioners I have met. Darren is a highly skilled instructor in both FMA and street self-defense"
Hari Dante Solomon Alambra
Hari Burokil Alambra Arnis De Mano
Father and Founder of Modern Sikaran
10th Degree Black Belt Tungkong Bato
9th Degree Black Belt Sikaran (WSB/WSO)
|Darren has been a student of mine for a number of years. Darren successfully completed the whole form of T'ai-Chi Yang Style. He was always on time & happy about learning. Very diligent. Very enthusiastic. I would recommend anyone that wants to be a student of Darren's will be very fulfilled & happy in his teachings.
Darren also successfully practised & learned different forms of Chi Kung exercises and practiced them regularly. He practiced the Chi Kung 21 for a very long time, amongst many other Chi- Kung Forms.
It has been a pleasure meeting & knowing Darren as a student, which led to a friendship.
-Certified Teacher Karen Deley of T'ai-Chi Yang Style through Twin Cities T'ai-Chi Yang Style School located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chief Teacher- Raymond Hayward.
I was quietly training at my brother's martial arts club here in Winnipeg, some years ago when someone walked in together with a friend asking about our style of martial arts. After a short conversation this guy and his friend asked if they could try a class. They did and as they say the rest is history. The guy that walked in stayed not only to learn our style but ended up helping us in all aspects of our Filipino martial arts training. The name of the guy that walked in, is Datu Darren.
Darren and I ended up training together, but for some reason his progression in Filipino martial arts skyrocketed and mine not so much. He trained with other matrial arts to try and cover all the bases, from standup to the ground and even weaponry. But as he will tell you himself, he really fell in love with FMA. Datu Darren is tireless in his search of ways to even improve his already impressive repertoire of FMA.
Training with Datu Darren will improve your current style or if you are searching for a practical no BS method of self defense. I highly recommend to anybody to learn from Datu Darren. Although i was already in martial arts before i met Datu Darren, the practical self-defense that he shared is something new to me. If there is anybody out there searching for a martials arts to learn,or wanting real life skill, environmental awareness, straight-to-the-point self-defense, look no further, Datu Darren is the one you are looking for.
S. Carlo S. Alambra
teacher, student, training-partner
2-time World Sikaran Champion
|As a long time student/training partner of Datu Darren Friesen:
I have consistently relied on the invaluable experience and knowledge of Darren to help me
grow my martial arts skills.
Darren was willing and able to assess/listen to our needs and provide us with excellent
classes that challenged us both mentally and physically. Impressive considering that he
was working with many individuals with various levels of martial arts experience. Darren
has constantly evolved his own training and understanding, and passes this experience on
to his students without any hesitation. I highly recommend/practically insist that anyone
looking for self-defense/martial arts training to train with Datu Darren Friesen!
Isshin-ryu Karate instructor
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Darren Friesen has been a good friend of mine and one of my instructors for approximately
20 years. During this time I have observed him progress through the traditionally popular
martial arts into the disciplines he has now embraced and excelled at.
While Darren explored disciplines I continued to train in the traditional ones. It wasn't
until the late 1990's I decided to explore outside of my element, which is when I began
training with Darren. I found instantly that I had been missing a much larger world of
Darren proved to be very well equipped to instruct a group while continuing to evolve in
his own training.
There is most often a time in training where the student is able to best the instructor,
often to the instructors delight. Darren's skill, to my frustration, did not let me
I found that Darren's skill along with his enthusiasm for training allowed me to garner
many skill sets from him. These skills haven proven valuable to me in my chosen profession
of law enforcement.
I have much respect for Darren and his abilities.
RCMP Officer & Border Patrol Agent
I would like to share my experience as a student learning with Darren. Darren is one of the best teachers I have ever encountered as a martial artist. Learning from Darren was a nice experience, he is very knowledgeable about what he teaches, he is very passionate on teaching students who wants to learn, I would recommend Darren to anybody who wants to learn Self-Defence, he is one the best teachers out there to learn from.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I've trained for about 6 years now in various Muay-Thai, MMA, boxing and Jiu-Jitsu clubs in both Canada and Thailand. The training I recieved from Darren was invaluable, and helped in all aspects of my approach to training and combat, both competitive and casual. He provides a straight-forward, realistic and hands-on instructional style with an emphasis on the most critical, practical and effective techniques applicable to a wide range of situations. His depth of knowledge, breadth of training experience and honest approach to everything he says and does enhance the quality of each lesson. His training ranks among the best and most rewarding training I've ever had!
“ After the very first training session with Guro Darren Friesen I came to the conclusion that there were some serious gaps in my Jiu-Jitsu training. What a hit to the ego on what you think you know versus what you really know. As a military close quarter combat instructor and long time martial artist I immediately realized that this was someone that had complete dedication and insight to reality based hand held weapons combat. I still use Darren’s curriculum in my own club”. I invite anyone to contact me with any questions or to verify this testimonial.
Sergeant in Canadian military with multiple tours of duty
Club owner at Martial Arts Nanaimo and candidate Dog Brother
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
-I had the fortune of being one of Darren's students for several years and unlike some other clubs that I've investigated, there is no hiding of secrets that only "the chosen few" get to learn; no bowing to a picture on the wall, no subjecting students to unnecessary pain to show machismo. Things are very casual, though still respectful towards one another. If you have the patience to learn, Darren has the patience to teach you all that he thinks you need to know.
-Unlike some clubs which simply try to teach skills, Darren teaches how to put those skills into context. It's one thing to learn self-defense skills; it's another matter not to end up in jail for acting in self-defense. Darren teaches to use our heads to attempt to first work around conflict rather than simply forcing our way through it, unless no other options are available.
-Many other clubs will attempt to force you to learn according to the way they teach because of "tradition" or because they think their way is the best way. In my experience, Darren attempts to teach his material with concern for how his students learn, because he realizes that people learn in different ways. There are no pushups or berating a student for failing to perform a skill, which I found resulted in a less stressful environment, one better suited to learning.
-Some clubs demand absolute loyalty and seem frightened to step "outside the box" when it comes to alternate approaches to deal with a situation. Part of the strength of Darren's instruction comes from his diverse background—He welcomes new insights and a diversity of backgrounds in his classes rather than simply demanding that his is the best way or only way. If it turns out, there seems to be a better way, he'll adapt it.
-While some martial arts styles seem to have better utility in a sporting environment, Darren teaches material that is more useful for "real life" situations where there are can be multiple threats, no referee and no soft mat to fall back onl
-He teaches to "be aware of your surroundings" (forgive the cliche) in order to become more aware of hidden assets (i.e. improvised weapons) if you know what to look for.
-Of all of his considerable skills, Darren's greatest asset is his mind. He is able to sum up his options quickly and think his way through self-defense problems with due concern to everyone involved who might be at risk. [am thinking of the knife incident with your family here] This combined with using psychology, his skill on the ground, on his feet, with weapons (—especially with weapons!) and empty hand all make for a formidable self defence system.
-Darren has not yet (as I am aware) mastered the art of the "no touch knockout", where one throws an opponent across the room with a snap of his fingers—but he's working on it!
Personal Trainer & Student of Civilian Preservation Technologies
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Your ethos & philosophies are pleasingly similar to mine and what I've written about, and I was interested to hear your views about eschewing the stereotypical, almost farcical obsession with suits, belts etc in modern martial arts. It does sound like you have tapped in to a more practical approach that would have no doubt been where the arts began, before westerners with little understanding began to apply ancient practices to modern times and ended up with all the ritual but none of the use.
Author of "How Not to Get Hit"
Instructor at Budo Warrior Schools
Darren has trained with me in sword work for over a decade; in that time, he has mastered the concepts of Kenjutsu & sword combatives and has become adept at both constructed drills as well as free-flow training. His skill and experience with the sword makes him a valuable representative of our art.
Darren Friesen is certified to teach and evaluate students in our Kenjutsu style.
I also trained under Darren, learning Arnis and self-defense groundwork; during this training, I found Darren to be a thorough professional, having both vast technical knowledge and a solid understanding of practical applications for common scenarios. He was able to adapt teaching techniques to accomodate both different learning styles as well as varying skillsets and interest areas.
Computer Programmer & Self-Defence Instructor
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Darren is an excellent instructor who focuses on physical and mental toughness while
practicing technique to perfection.
Darren will spend personal time with his students and develop assistant trainers or
student mentors who will assist in the training of students.
I have personally trained with Darren in the Philippine martial art of "Arnis". My prior
training includes a Shodan Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu and 3rd Dan Black Belt in Kukiwon Tae
Kwon Do. I have personally been a Martial Arts instructor in those disciplines for
decades. I had the opportunity to train with Darren Friesen as an assistant to Dante
Alambra in Arnis for a short period at my Jiu Jitsu Den, and found that it not only
complemented my current training, it was the quintessential street fighting
defense/offense that I was looking for.
When Darren opened up his own club, I immediately followed him to upgrade the skills that
I had started under Dante, while maintaining my own disciplines. Darren's training
sessions maintained the same vigor and quality of training that I had experienced
previously and I continued to develop my Arnis.
Arnis is primarily focused on both empty hand techniques or using any weapons on hand to
counter stick, knife, machete, etc. It utilizes the basic martial arts movements to
complement the use of sticks, knives etc, and can be used purely defensively, such as
one-on-one situations, or can be escalated when facing multiple adversaries.
I consider Darren to be an extremely good trainer and instructor and would endorse him to
anyone. Darren does not focus on whether everyone has the same Gi (clothing) or
unnecessarily on traditional protocol, but on the training itself, both physically and
mentally. My only regret is that he is no longer here to train with.
David Scrapneck, BSc, CCPE, Shodan Black Belt Jiu Jitsu, 3rd Dan Kukiwon Tae Kwon Do
Gastroenterology, Manitoba and N. Alberta
I started training with Darren around nine years ago. At the time, I didn’t really know too much about his program, but I was looking to try something new. I had originally signed up for a ten weeks of lessons, but ended up training for around 8 years, and would still be doing so if Darren still lived in Canada.
I am from Winnipeg, Canada, and am entering my second year of medical school, and the time spent training with Darren was been extraordinarily valuable. Admittedly my experience with other martial arts is limited, but one of the reasons that is the case is because I have enjoyed working with Darren, and learned a lot.
Darren is an excellent instructor, because he is always ready to jump in, and to put what he is teaching to the test. He has never asked (nor would he want) for me to merely accept something as true, but instead he always explains the mechanics behind a given technique or the reasoning behind given strategies. His approach is very scientific in this way, and the term martial ‘arts’ is perhaps a misnomer making his program’s title: Civilian preservation technologies quite appropriate.
I learned a variety of skills, both physical (empty handed, weapon-defense, using weapons, ground fighting, joint manipulations to name a few), and mental (including violence avoidance, improvised weapons and discipline). Darren also worked with me to ensure that the tools I put into my self-defence toolbox worked for me, so during and even after having not trained for a while, I still feel that my strategies for self-defence have been custom fit to my abilities.
When I started, I’m sure my parents didn’t like the idea of me using weapons, since I believe most traditional martial arts do not teach students to use them, at least not at the beginning. Training with Darren, we started with sticks on day one. As we progressed, and we became more proficient, and our control grew, he introduced new us to new tools (or weapons if you prefer). I never once feared from my safety during training, since Darren has a good eye to see who is ready, and the way he conducts class is very positive, ensuring that training partners are working together to make class a safe and productive learning environment. Darren does not teach ‘thugs’ are people interested in using his instruction to do harm. I would consider myself in very good shape, but at 5’9 it would not make sense for me to rely on my empty handed skill against someone twice my size. There is a reason professional boxing and MMA have weight classes. Real life does not, and Darren teaches based on reality, and weapons- both using, and defending against are part of that.
Walking into his class those years ago was one of the best decisions I have made. I learned something new every class and it was always a positive and safe environment. In fact I have had more severe injuries playing soccer or hockey. In fact of all the physical activities I have done, I’ve injured myself the least. “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Training with Darren has developed both.
Medical Student & Student at Civilian Preservation Technologies
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
began his training in Filipino Martial Arts under my father in our family style. Over the past 15 years Darren's pursuit of knowledge in personal safety as well as combat effectiveness has not only included training in many other forms of martial arts, but also countless hours of research on anatomy, psychology, sociology and criminology. Darren has an uncanny ability to absorb this information and blend it into his own style of personal self-defense
that not only gives the practitioner the ability to protect themselves physically, but also teaches the individual how to assess situations and avoid confrontation. What separates Guro Darren from other self-defense instructors
is that he not only teaches the nuances of physical, social and environmental aspects of self-defense, he also includes the legal aspects in his training. If your looking for the real deal, look no further!
Sikaran Arnis School of Martial Arts
Tagapagmana nang Pamamaraang Alambra (Heir to the Alambra Style of Martial Arts)
Unang-Batikan Burokil Alambra Arnis De Mano
9th degree Modern Sikaran
6th degree World Sikaran Arnis Brotherhood