Knife Practicioners take note!

Oh my gosh, this is horrible. I hope this doesn't cause a ****storm of trouble for FMA practitioners in NY and other U.S. states. Another thing to watch out for is the media really playing up this guy's FMA training. Maybe FMA schools in the area can start looking into preemptive damage control now, before the general media blows things way out of proportion.

Cops arrested an out-of-work accountant trained in lethal knife-fighting techniques yesterday in the murder of an East Village bouncer who died enforcing the city's smoking ban.

Bad news for martial artists when they use a description like that.

he was recovering from self-inflicted slashing wounds to his throat and wrists.

Hmmm, he seems to have failed when using the knife on himself.

The bouncer died 11 hours after being stabbed, it said--I wonder what the wound was that it took so long? Or perhaps he had suffered brain death from loss of blood earlier on.

trained in the Filipino martial art of Eskrima, which uses precision knife blows and deadly weapons to fight enemies.

Detectives plan to interview a Manhattan martial arts expert who trained Umali how to kill with a single knife wound, sources said.

"Someone trained this guy [Umali] to hit someone in a fatal spot to kill them, and it worked. We want to find him," one police source said.

Yeah, this is trouble for martial artists--but also a sad story for one individual, the bouncer, and his family and friends.

As a man who has and still occasionally bounces and train security personnel often. Iam sick of Aholes like this ismail. Man i have also been in similar situations in the clubs that i have worked in people will pull weapons out on ya. Its always the little folk that do it first. I dont think the cops should blame the fact that he was trained in the FMA we dont know what level he was anyway...................



hopefully this guy gets the full punishment given by NY. He has taken the life of an innocent man who was simply doing his job..
My condolences to the victims family, from all of us who are in the protection industry...



Originally posted by arnisador

Yeah, this is trouble for martial artists--but also a sad story for one individual, the bouncer, and his family and friends.

I agree on both accounts.

This is bad. Sometimes we have such a great time training, sparring etc that we don't realize how leathal it is what we are doing or how easy it is to take a life. This definately puts things into perspective, as I will definatley reconsider some of the things that are being taught in our club to our newer people. Its a shame someone had to loose there life over it. Condolences to his family.
A sad time for the family of the man killed. I'm sure we all can feel for their loss.
The man was trained in a martial art that uses a knife and may have learned killing moves (maybe not who knows at this time how long he studied and how good he was) The police are looking for whoever taught him ( why : to close him down, press charges on him, or find out what was taught). Do the police look for the instructor and owner of every gunrange and course if someone from that course or school kills someone.
A weapons killing gets BIG headlines just as and Martial arts killing will. Blood sells papers and death sells more. Remember " if it bleed it leads"
I had heard about this already. I was in New York City when it happened, but I didn't realize that the culprit was supposedly trained in FMA. It is very sad. It is also a lesson for practitioners and teachers out their. Knives are no joke, and should be treated like a firearm. Only use a knife if your life is in danger, and you are intent on killing the attacker. Trust me when I say this; it is very easy to forget how deadly a knife really is when your playing with it every day in class. You become desensitized to it, and next thing you know you find yourself using one and killing someone, or severly injuring someone. What happend to this accountant could have been any one of us on this forum.

Also; teachers: always cover your @$$. The media, the court system, and some Law Enforcement Officers (not all, but some) do not understand martial arts. They especially don't understand FMA. You could teach one seminar on knife defense, and some attendee whom you've never seen before exept on that one day could kill with the knife. Now your facing possible prosecution for teaching him "deadly eskrima knife techniques". This is the sad but true reality that all teachers could face. Just make sure you are insured, you make everyone sign a waiver, and that you make it a point to take the time to tell every student how deadly the knife really is. Have a set 30 second speech that you give every seminar or class on how the knife should be treated as deadly force, and that you may be responsible for ending someones life if you choose to use one. And an attacker may be responsable for ending your life if that is what they choose to attack you with. You will only benifit your students in the long run by taking the time to do this. And although this might not stop someone from using a knife to kill, at the very least it may just save you from criminal prosecution.

I'm off my soapbox now. If anyone gets any information on the instructor that might be facing criminal prosecution, please post it here. If the person is someone we know, there might be something we can do to help this instructor if they end up facing persecution (ie. letters on that persons behalf, or something of the sort). We all need to stick together in situations like this.


I wanted to add, however that the situation is the most sad for Mr. Blake (the bouncer) and his family. We all train, and many of us here have done our fair share of bouncing (myself included). There are many L.E.O. here as well. You know of the possibilities, but you never expect to go into work for the last time. Hopefully as FMA instructors and practitioners we can help make people better aware of the dangers of the blade so that Bouncers and L.E.O. will be aware if they are ever caught in a situation such as this. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Blake and his family and friends...

Mr. Lamade:

I agree with what you said below. The only person to blame in this case is Mr. Umali. Considering his attempted suicide after he discovered what he had done, it seems he understood the gravity of what occured. Sorry if this did not come across, but the teacher and the art are not to blame here. Bad judgement is.


Richard Curren

quote: Originally posted by lhommedieu
After reading accounts in all three NYC major newspapers, Ive concluded that the individual in question is a fairly typical Filipino martial arts student. He sounds like the kind of guy that most of us would like to have a beer with after class. Hes attended some college, has worked as a computer programmer, and likes playing paintball gun games. His parents state that he has never been in any trouble, and that hes respectful of his elders. Weve all trained with this kind of guy. While I am not 100% sure, I also think that I know the instructor in question. Hes also a decent guy. The way that he markets his school, trains his students, and practices his art is very typical of what most of us do today. As everyone is aware, its the realistic nature of a weapons-based martial art that appeals to most people seeking a method of self-defense, and Filipino martial arts instructors generally promote this aspect of their art to some extent or another out of a sense of pride and also to gain students. With respect to the question of whether martial arts teachers bear responsibility for the actions of these students, I offer the following:

We practice what the media has called a lethal, deadly, and vicious martial art. I recently attended an all-day seminar on the use of a knife on an unarmed opponent. The training was a lot of fun, and the illusion that I could ever be in such complete control of my environment when faced with an imminent danger to my person or my family was certainly gratifying to my ego. In the back of my mind, however, I kept asking the kinds of questions that I am sure are familiar to most martial artists that employ weapons in their training. One was: What would the circumstances have to be for me to attack an unarmed person with a knife? Answer: If I was certain that unless I used deadly force, my life or the lives of my loved ones were in immediate jeopardy. Obviously, this awareness could only take place in an extreme situation, wherein no other choice was possible. This has to be part of the mind-set of the art that we train, as well as the understanding that no one is exempt from making a tragic decision when placed under extreme stress. Unfortunately, many martial artists train for that inevitable day in the future where their skills will be put to the test, instead of learning how to temper their judgment every day. We cannot pretend that, as teachers, we do not bear some responsibility for imparting the moral and legal consequences for learning martial arts skills, particularly if we practice the martial arts that use weapons. At issue here is the juxtaposition between the way in which we often promote the dynamic and violent nature of Filipino martial arts, on the one hand, and having 20/20 hindsight when one of our students acts out his fantasies in a situation for which he was obviously, and completely, emotionally unprepared, on the other.

On the other hand, there are obvious limits to what we can achieve as martial arts teachers. No one can teach another person to behave responsibly in every situation, no matter how much we may desire it. Perhaps the best we can do is follow the example of the schools that teach the use of the gun in self-defense (for example, LFI), and spend some more time examining the consequences of the use of lethal force with our students.

What persuaded this guy to pull out a knife in the middle of a fight between a 250-pound bouncer and a couple of his friends? Did he think that his or someone elses life was at stake? Or did he merely allow the darker angels of his nature to end one life and irrevocably change his own forever? If the student was drinking (and here I am making an assumption) are the consequences of combining impaired judgment with this kind of knowledge so different than getting in a car while intoxicated and mowing someone down while driving home from a party? Is it different from accidentally shooting a friend on a hunting trip after ignoring common rules of gun safety? Im certainly aware that this is an imperfect analogy but I think that there is enough truth shared between both situations to merit a comparison with the actions of this individual. Youre supposed to know not to drink and drive; youre supposed to know not fool around with firearms; and youre supposed to know the limits of the use of deadly force. Im going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this individual had no idea of the consequences of his actions up until the time that he learned that the other guy had died. Now, unfortunately, he is an expert in reality-based self-defense. I think he has a lot to teach us.


Steve Lamade
I have a question.......

Would the press make such a "roohaa" if they guy had learned to use a knife while serving time in prison?

Things that make ya go hhmm....
Re. the guy who learned knife fighting in prison:

Since that's not "new" I guess it's not "news."

When the story first broke it seemed that just about anybody that taught Filipino martial arts in NYC was contacted by the press for comment (and I don't mean "liberal" press because, for example, The New York Post is not exactly a bastion of the Left - I simply mean that the dailies were looking for an interesting "slant" to give a twist to yet another horrifyiing story for mass consumption).

It's interesting to note that the quotes they chose came from teachers who said something about the "vicious" nature of the FMA's (I don't doubt also that they may have been quoted out of context.)

What made the Umali incident interesting as far as the dailies were concerned was the concurrence of New York City's new smoking ban, a death, and the fact that Mr. Umali was in fact just an ordinary guy who practiced a deadly fighting art with knives, etc. Add it all up and it equals "news."


Steve Lamade
Now you bouncers out there dont take this the wrong way, but IMO bouncers should be there to ID, stop fights and intervene only when necessary. When it comes to removing somebody that isnt a danger to the other patrons, they should ask the person to leave and if they refuse, tell them, threaten them with trespass charges or talk them out if possible. If that fails call the police and have them remove them or charge them with trespass. Ive arrested bouncers for assault because they laid hands on somebody to eject them and then put the boots to them once they were on the sidewalk outside. Some (not all) bouncers Ive dealt with have "issues" regarding ego, attitude and being "tough guys". Now this poor man in no way "asked" or deserved to be stabbed, but physically tossing somebody out for smoking? Isnt a dangerous enough event to warrant the risk the police.
For all you bouncers out there, this site has a lot of good stuff.....


Because of my work as a consultant, I am aware of incidents where bouncers have broken bones of ejected customers. I have heard many stories about fights where the bouncers have pummeled a customer for refusing to leave the premises. There have been cases where intoxicated customers have been killed after being taken into custody by bouncers by either asphyxiation or by use of deadly force. This is not supposed to happen.

Theres a common misconception that bouncers have authority to pick someone up and physically remove him or her from the premises for violating a rule. It is believed that bouncers can use pain compliance holds and full nelsons, chokeholds, wristlocks, and arm bars. This is not true. Simply stated bouncers cannot legally use force unless they are taking someone into custody or in self-defense. When force is used it must be reasonable. That means no tackling, no punching, no kicking, no choking, no head butts, and no pain compliance holds.

The authority of a bouncer or any other security person is the same as any ordinary citizen. Bouncers have no special authority to physically eject a customer who merely becomes intoxicated or verbally obnoxious. As an employee of the nightclub, bouncers can only demand that the undesirable customer leave. If the customer refuses to leave your only legal recourse is to call the police. Sometimes a warning that the police will be called has the same effect causing the customer to depart. The police can remove an unwanted patron and issue a formal trespass warning not to return. If the customer returns after receiving this formal warning they are subject to arrest.
That is some good info Tgace, and is very true as far as I have experienced here in MI.

Yet, this is vastly misunderstood among many security professionals and bouncers; because of this many are walking liabilities...

And this bouncer, in this case, would still be alive.
The dirtbag deserved a nice rope and a sturdy tree branch, not 17 years, which no doubt means 8 years and parole in NY..

This reflects on the dirtbag, not the excellent FMAs, any more than a criminal homicide with a gun has any bearing on innocent people's second amendment rights.

I will agree the knife disarms are usually worthless.. we should be thinking, if we encounter a knife, in order of success ratio:

1 Shoot him with a major caliber weapon until he drops and do it quickly

2 Run, if possible

3 Use something, a chair, piece of wood, something improvised to hold him off until you can enter with a disabling kick or blow

4 May work alongside #3, Use your own knife or improvised weapon to take him out, by de-fanging the snake and keeping clear of his blade

5 If forced at point blank range, grapple/arm bar, etc.. and try to channel the weapon aside until you can take out his fingers, hand, arm or other vitals

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