While in the Philippines in 1987, Russ Smith was exposed to Eskrima (Arnis, Kali) by his Goju-Ryu classmates.
Upon his return to the USA, he sought out additional training from other martial artists with exposure to Eskrima, typically via exposure to seminars from either Dan Inosanto or Remy Presas.
Russ continued picking up various techniques and drills over the years, until he was exposed to the system of "Integrated Eskrima" by the founder Guro Mark Wiley, at which time he abandoned the "seminar" Eskrima he had learned in order to focus fully on learning the cohesive and progressive system of Integrated Eskrima.
Prior to his training in Integrated Eskrima, Russ has had the opportunity to also learn from the following instructors (in rough chronological order):
- Fred Lazo - Luzimvida Arnis / Kombaton
- Ray Dionaldo - FCS Kali