The Agoge Martial Arts Academy of San Antonio:
Where Spartan Warriors Are Forged
1. What does Agoge mean? “Agoge” means “to raise up” and is the ancient Greek word for the training system used to create Spartan warriors such as King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, famous for their heroism at the Battle of Thermopylae.
2. So you teach ancient Greek phalanx warfare with spears and bronze shields? Cute question, but umm, no. We teach modern self-defense combative systems. The Agoge name is our way of connecting and paying respect to those courageous few whom choose to stand against the many in defense of Life, Liberty, and Civilization.
3. What then do you teach at the Agoge? We teach more than one martial system: DNA Fight Science of the Defence Lab (DL/DNA) and Filipino Martial Arts Concepts (FMAC) to name our main systems, with more arts available and others arriving as we grow.
4. What is the Defence Lab and where does it come from? The Defence Lab is where DNA Fight Science is both taught and experimented Andy Norman of the UK founded the Defence Lab, an International Organization in 2012.
5. What is DNA Fight Science and who teaches it locally? DNA stands for “Defence in Attack” and is the only martial system specifically designed for self-defense against multiple attackers, i.e. the modern street-fight where several “bad guys” gang up on you, the “good guy (or gal).” DL/DNA’s uniqueness has resulted in it being featured in several Hollywood movies in recent years including Christian Bales’ Batman films and Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher films. Doc is the highest ranked Defence Lab Lead Instructor in Texas.
6. What are Filipino Martial Arts Concepts and who teaches them? FMAC includes several lineages of the rich martial arts of the Philippine Islands such as Arnis, Kali, and Escrima which incorporate empty hand as well as traditional weapons such as blade and stick. Our Instructor, Guro J. Aguilar incorporates the Pikiti Tirsia Kali System with concepts from both the Inosanto System (Villabrille/Lacoste/Lameco System) and Modern Arnis.
7. Why would I want to learn DL/DNA Fight Science or FMAC? DL/DNA Fight Science is a multi-skill based self-defense combative system that incorporates striking, grappling and kicking as well as unconventional weapons. It provides excellent all-around self-defense especially in terms of the modern street-fight. FMAC is foremost a “traditional” weapons art, i.e. “most readily accessible weapons” art. Knives and sticks or clubs of varying lengths are prevalent and common. Thus the knowledgeable utilization thereof is a high yield endeavor for the complete martial artist to pursue.
8. Can active military benefit from DL/DNA or FMAC? Yes, emphatically so! In addition to civilians and law enforcement, our faculty, our students and our greater international associations include both active military as well as veterans who train and see the real-world applications first hand. Furthermore, we personalize our training regimens to fit the needs of our students.
9. Do you teach DL/DNA or FMAC for MMA/UFC tournaments/sports? We are not an MMA school. We teach self-defense first and foremost. However, some of our students do compete in combat sporting events and we assist them by polishing their skill sets accordingly for their matches on a per-student basis.
10. Do you teach traditional Asian Martial Arts like Karate? No, we are not a Karate school, a Tae Kwon Do school, or a (insert whatever traditional Asian Martial System here _____) school. Although we have personal experience with such systems and highly respect them, we find that they are not ideal for the modern multi-assailant street-fight.
11. Do you teach children and if so, what ages? We are currently in the process of developing a children's class for DL/DNA. Ages of students vary according to the individual child’s maturity and physical abilities. We have found that children around the age of 7 years or so are able to accomplish the class activities reliably, with some individual variation.
12. Do you teach women? Women are welcome and encouraged to learn self-defense in all our programs. Additionally, we offer dedicated women’s only self-defense seminars on a regular basis.
13. Do I have to be in super shape to do DL/DNA FMAC, etc., etc.? Having shredded abs is nice, we agree, however, conditioning for being in combat is not the same as conditioning for being eye-candy on the beach. If your goal is weight loss then we can help. If your goal is all-around fitness with a combative focus, we’ve got you covered. If your goal is professional bodybuilding training or maybe a major commercial health club experience with all the bells and whistles, well, there are local venues for that. We are about self-defense first and foremost. Thus our classes incorporate movement that builds strength and stamina appropriate for combat. We accomplish this by training in a professional, clean and safe environment with only the occasional bell and whistle…for now. Note: Please contact your personal physician before beginning a new exercise or martial arts regimen.
14. Is this expensive/how much does this cost? We could quote a number or two, but that would require making assumptions about what your specific needs and goals are, e.g. do you want private-only lessons? Do you want group classes, and if so which ones? Any combination of the above? You see what we mean. Instead, please call us (888-712-4643), stop by to visit during our business hours, or better yet, like us on Facebook for a one week FREE trial to all our programs. When you see and feel the difference at our academy and with us your instructors, we are confident that you will want to stay and train with us.
15. Do you do contracts? Trick question. The real question is more like “guys, how easy is it to change my mind if this isn’t for me?” and “will you make it costly for me to quit?” The answer is this: we make an agreement with you, a commitment to teach you as honestly and professionally as we can while you make an agreement, a commitment to learn to the best of your abilities with as much dedication as your life/work/responsibilities permit. We get it that sometimes you change your mind or that stuff happens in your life so that training has to go “b-bye” for the time being, we’ve been there ourselves. So, to be fair to both you, our valued, esteemed and (insert similar cool adjective here_____) student and to us, your wise and (insert “awesome” or similar positive adjective here ______) teachers, we have put in place a one month cancellation policy: just give us one month’s notice that you need to quit training, for any reason whatsoever, and we’re good. We’ll be here for you when things change and you decide you miss us cause we are just so (_______ hint: we did say “awesome” earlier).
16. Do you have a pro-shop where I can purchase any needed uniforms or gear? Yes. We have an assortment of uniforms and gear on hand at the studio. We also place special orders on a regular basis to our suppliers. We have personally tested the uniform and gear brands that we offer so as to ascertain their quality, comfort, usability and longevity. Only if it’s good enough to pass muster with us (and let’s face it, we’re really rough with our stuff) then will it be good enough to be offered to you.
17.. Are you a belt-factory, a so-called "McDojo"? And there it is, the most important of questions, phrased alternatively, if you will permit us: “Why do you guys teach this stuff? Is it out of love for the martial arts or is it out of love of something else ($$$)? Or, “how can I trust you to teach me and my loved ones to defend ourselves, that our rankings in the systems are justified by acquired skills rather than class attendance alone?” Again, like you, we have been there too, trying to figure out if the guys on the training floor were full of it, if they had legitimate expertise, if they were about the students or if they were about the fees. Here’s the thing though: until you meet us, try us out, you will never know if we’re the good guys or not, if we’re the professionals we claim to be or not, if we love teaching for the sake of teaching or not. Here’s a clue though: we named ourselves “The Agoge” the training system of Ancient Sparta (see FAQ #1). The god of Ancient Sparta was Ares, the god of War and Combat. Now, we’re not saying that we’re gods or demigods of War or anything like that (cough, cough), but, when we step onto the training floor, you better believe that we become (figurative) priests of Ares at that moment and that everything we teach you is about you winning when violence enters your life, about not just you surviving but about you going home safe and sound. So here’s the answer: we are professionals with serious professional daytime jobs, i.e. for us it’s not about money but about love of the arts we teach and the love of helping you learn how to help yourself when the world goes sideways, to have you fight and win when others would have you flee and fall, to teach you to stand when others would have you kneel. That’s why we do what we do… with a little help from Ares…
Doc, Guro, The Faculty et al of
The Agoge Martial Arts Academy