Dedicated to the Filipino Martial Arts and the Culture

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					Dedicated to the Filipino Martial Arts and the Culture of the Philippines
                                                                      Vol 7 No 1
                                                                        2010
                                        Contents
           FMAdigest
                                        Publishers Desk
            Publisher                   Grandmaster Christopher ‘Topher’ Ricketts                                   4
         Steven K. Dowd                 Offensive Use for Defanging the Snake                                       21
                                        5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Self Defense Knife                     25
FMAdigest Representatives               The Main Role of Senior Students                                            27
Marc Lawrence                           Reflection of December 11, 2009                                             29
                                        Building Blocks of FMA                                                      32
Columns                                 Past FMA Events                                                             34
Building Blocks of FMA                  MyFMA net                                                                   35
MyFMA.net                               FMA Future Events                                                           36
FMA Pulse                               FMA Pulse                                                                   38
                                        Weapons Review: The “Hataw Stick”                                           40
Contributors                            Book Review:
David Foggie                            Filipino Martial Arts: The Core Basics, Structure & Essentials              42
James Hogue
Joel Huncar
Phillip Weathers
Frank Aycocho
Michael Butz
Barry McConnell




                                                 The FMAdigest is published quarterly. Each issue features practitioners
                                        of martial arts and other internal arts of the Philippines. Other features include
                                        historical, theoretical and technical articles; reflections, Filipino martial arts,
                                        healing arts and other related subjects.
                                                 The ideas and opinions expressed in this digest are those of the authors
                                        or instructors being interviewed and are not necessarily the views of the pub-
         The articles are the prop-     lisher or editor.
erty of the author’s that wrote them             We solicit comments and/or suggestions. Articles are also welcome.
and cannot be used without the                   The authors and publisher of this online magazine are not responsible
permission of the author.               for any injury, which may result from following the instructions contained in the
         The FMAdigest is the           magazine. Before embarking on any of the physical activates described in the
property of Steven K. Dowd and is       magazine, the reader should consult his or her physician for advice regarding
for the promulgation and promo-         their individual suitability for performing such activity.
tion of the Filipino martial arts and
the Philippines.                        The information in the FMAdigest is a compilation of many sources. If there
         NO issue can be printed        is any misinformation or information that is not given the proper credit, please
and Sold for Monies, without the        contact us.
express permission of the Owner                        FMAdigest 1297 Eider Circle Fallon, NV 89406
and Publisher Steven K. Dowd.                                           (775) 423-3253
                                                                  comments@fmadigest.com
Publishers Desk

Kumusta
        Well better late than never. The FMAdigest almost closed down due to no material, however thanks to
following writers (David Foggie, James Hogue, Joel Huncar, Phillip Weathers, Frank Aycocho, Michael Butz,
and Barry McConnell) who responded immediately with some very interesting articles and to some others that
have contacted me saying that they will contribute articles. The FMAdigest can stay alive and continue in its
promotion and promulgation of the Filipino martial arts and the culture of the Philippines.
        The first article is a very informative interview with Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts. Then Guru
James Hogue explains “Defanging the Snake” as a defensive counter against punches. Joel Huncar who has
had several articles about knives in the FMAdigest again gives some handy tips in purchasing a self-defense
knife. Learn the main role of a senior student of Amara Arkanis as explained by Phillip Weathers.
        December 11, 2009, The Arnis Bill of Law, Republic Act No. 9850, an act declaring Arnis as the Na-
tional martial arts and sport of the Philippines was signed. Now let’s see how this will affect the art and the
practitioners of the Philippines.
        What makes up the basics of Filipino martial arts known as Eskrima, Arnis or Kali? A new column by
Marc Lawrence called “Building Blocks of FMA” is making its debut and it is and through this column infor-
mation will be brought forth on the basics so non-practitioners and practitioners will understand what the Fili-
pino fighting arts are built upon which make the Filipino martial arts a dynamic and most interesting martial
art.
        The FMAdigest, FMA Pulse, and MyFMA.net are working together to educate and serve as a resource
for the current and new generations of Filipino martial arts enthusiasts. And in so doing the FMA Pulse and
MyFMA.net will have a column to tell you the reader what is going on at their websites so you can visit and
gain knowledge and continuously be informed of the most up to date information.
        The FMAdigest Representative is a position that has been created to help bring you the reader more
information on the Filipino martial arts. Marc Lawrence is the first to attain the position, and it is hoped that
others will be added. What is an FMAdigest Representative; it is someone that represents the FMAdigest at
events, collecting articles etc… working with the FMAdigest. Some have said they represented the FMAdigest
for whatever reason and they did not. Now if they are listed they truly have the full backing of the FMAdigest
and are honest, reliable, have integrity, and are professionals.
                                                                                           Maraming Salamat Po
                     Grandmaster Christopher ‘Topher’ Ricketts
                               The Best of the Best
                                                 By David Foggie
Photos provided by David Foggie, except where indicated [**] which are Cour-
tesy of Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts

         Grandmaster Christopher                 Through an introduction
N. Ricketts or ‘Master Topher           from my teacher, Grandmaster Ro-
’now resides in the USA where he        land Dantes in 1998, I have been
now teaches under the banner of         fortunate to benefit from Master
‘Ilustrisimo USA’. Recognized as        Topher’s extensive knowledge and
one of the founders and the Chief       experience.
Instructor of Bakbakan Interna-         Knowing the high regard in which
tional, whose motto is Matira           my instructor and many other
Matibay (the best of the best),         respected elders of FMA (Filipino
Grandmaster Ricketts’ credentials       martial arts) hold Master Topher,
in the Filipino martial arts and        it was an opportunity not to be
martial arts in general are second      missed.
to none.                                         When I first observed           It was with the approval of my
         A senior disciple of the re-   Master Topher demonstrate Kali           teacher, Grandmaster Roland
vered founder of Kali Ilustrisimo,      Ilustrisimo in his home, I knew          Dantes that I began studying Kali
Grandmaster Antonio ‘Tatang’            I was in the presence of a genu-         Ilustrisimo under Master Topher,
Ilustrisimo, Master Topher was          ine master of the art. During our        and as such, I consider him also to
one of his closest and most senior      training sessions, the true scope of     be my teacher. More importantly,
students known as the ‘Five Pillars     Master Topher’s knowledge be-            he is a respected, loyal and values
of Kali Ilustrisimo’ and remains        came apparent, as did his effective      friend. It is my pleasure and honor
loyal to the memory and legacy of       use of body mechanics. Master            to present this interview.
his teacher. During these years, he     Topher introduced me to the prin-                 This interview is the
was also a close friend and train-      ciples and techniques that form the      synthesis of an interview I put
ing partner of Punong Guro Edgar        foundation and the core of Kali          together with the much valued and
G. Sulite, who founded Lameco           Ilustrisimo, and with a sharp eye        appreciated assistance of Guro
Eskrima. At the time of the pass-       for perfect form and understand-         Dino Flores and part of Grandmas-
ing of Punong Guro Sulite, Master       ing, he meticulously dissected and       ter Ricketts interview which is to
Topher was the highest ranked           corrected each technique until he        be featured in a Filipino martial
black belt in Lameco Eskrima and        was satisfied.                           arts book Grandmaster Dantes
designated successor. With such                  The time spent training un-     and I were working on at the
well rounded skills in Filipino         der master Topher as afforded me         time of his passing last year. Rest
martial arts, Master Topher is rec-     the opportunity to see the various       assured the book will be printed
ognized as one of the world’s most      aspects of this remarkable martial       as Grandmaster Roland Dantes
respected masters. Additionally he      artist. He is a fighter, a teacher and   dreamed it would be. However,
is qualified to teach several other     friend to his students. Martial arts     we are submitting this interview
martial arts including Ngo Cho          are meant to be about honor, re-         to be featured in the FMAdigest,
Kuen (5 Ancestor Fist), Sagasa, as      spect, integrity, loyalty and dedica-    since Grandmaster Roland valued
well as being a professional box-       tion. Master Topher embodies all         and respected the work Punong
ing trainer. Master Topher’s skills     these traits and as such it is easy to   Guro Steven Dowd was doing in
and credentials are impeccable and      see why Grandmaster Dantes and           promoting the Filipino martial
second to none; he is one of the        many other respected masters are         arts. Also, myself and others feel
best of the best.                       his friends.                             Grandmaster Ricketts deserves the

2
exposure and recognition he truly                                                while I trained with Jimmy Gales
deserves.                                                                        in his arnis style which he called
                                                                                 Sphinx. He used the centro baston
                                                                                 (central grip) and susi (inverted
Question: Grandmaster Topher,                                                    grip) styles of wielding a stick. I
firstly you are based in San Diego,                                              also trained with Doc Lengson in
USA and now teach under the                                                      the Arnis Federation of the Philip-
name Ilustrisimo USA? Why is                                                     pines style from 1973-1978.
this?
Grandmaster Ricketts: Actually                                                   Question: Jimmy Gales, now there
I just teach under the name Ilus-                                                is a name from the past. Anything
trisimo. USA is just where I hap-                                                you would like to share about your
pen to be at this point in time. The                                             training with him and the Sphinx
www.ilustrisimousa.com site is                                                   style?
just one of my information portals                                               Grandmaster Ricketts: I was
available. I still have my Philippine                                            never a student of his. I just used
base, as well as various representa-                                             to visit their gym to see my friend
tives worldwide. All these things                                                Lito Ong (AKA ‘Jules King’), an
that I have mentioned will be clari-          The legendary and revered          actor in the Philippines. Lito was
fied when we open up the official     Grandmaster Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo   the one who became a student of
Ilustrisimo website in the near            Founder of Kali Ilustrisimo [**]      Gales.
future. Everything will be made                                                  Question: Having been exposed
clear, simple and centralized.          Grandmaster Ricketts: When I first       to other systems of arnis, why did
         I am distinguishing myself     saw him he did not strike me as          you decide to follow Tatang? What
for various reasons, one of which is anything special, just an old man.          attracted you and what made his
the sincere effort to preserve some     However, when he started moving          system so different?
of the original methods of tatang       it was poetry in motion. To be di-       Grandmaster Ricketts: Various
and separate it from some of the        rect, if it wasn’t for Tatang I would    strategies attracted me to Tatang’s
later variations.                       have little interest in the Philippine   method. I found Tatang to be
                                        warrior arts.                            direct, efficient, effective and to
Question: Grandmaster Ilustri-
simo is celebrated as one of the        Question: During your first train-       the point. It has minimal flowery
greatest Grandasters of the Filipi-     ing session under Tatang what            movements and there is a natural
no martial arts. How did you come       material did he cover?                   flow with continuous movement,
to hear of Grandmaster Ilustrisimo Grandmaster Ricketts: There                   like a real fight.
and become accepted by him as a         was no set method. You just had to                Once you truly understand
student?                                attack him and see what happened.        the fundamentals, you respond
Grandmaster Ricketts: I heard           It was usually painful and it was        instinctively without thought and
of Tatang and met him through in-       up to you to absorb his flow.            respond appropriately to a situ-
troduction by my good friend Alex       Question: Prior to studying under        ation. Tatang has proven this on
Co, an influential martial arts prac- Grandmaster Antonio Tatang’ Ilus-          countless occasions just as it has
titioner, publisher and driving force trisimo did you have much expo-            assisted me on occasion. It appears
in the Philippine martial arts world. sure to the Filipino martial arts?         simple on the surface, yet in reality
It was the same time that I met         Grandmaster Ricketts: Prior to           there is a deeper true meaning.
Edgar Sulite, Yuli Romo and Tony        Kali Ilustrisimo my training in-         Question: You say there is a deep-
Diego. When we met for some             cluded the Rapillon style of Mang        er true meaning. Please elaborate.
reason the old man took a liking to     Sciano Cleope in 1967. He was a          Grandmaster Ricketts: This is
me and thus I was accepted as one       well-known eskrimador from Que-          one of those things that cannot
of his students.                        zon province of the Philippines          be explained in words. It must be
Question: What do you remember          and I was a training partner of          experienced.
of your initial meeting?                his son, Edgar Cleope. For a little      Question: Were there many dif-
                                                                                                                       3
Great Grandmaster Antonio Ilustri-      not explained.                         systemization, Ilustrisimo’s art
simo with his student Master Ricketts                                          was still raw and pure. Almost
                                        Question: How do you approach
and members of Bakbakan in Manila                                              virgin like, as prior to our pursuit
[**]                                    teaching and guiding the student
                                        in developing the ability and skill    it was only revealed in a real situ-
                                        to apply this concept in combat?       ation. It was free of showmanship,
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: I use            direct and purely functional for
                                        various levels of sparring and         combat; however it was difficult
                                        the realistic drills only after deep   to learn and always painful, as you
                                        understanding of the original core     usually had to get hit for the tech-
                                        techniques.                            nique to be revealed. Only those
                                                                               with time, dedication and a high
                                        Question: What about combate           threshold for pain and tolerance
                                        heneral and trankada heneral?          were able to eventually understand
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: They             Ilustrisimo’s methods
                                        are part of the original core tech-             The good points about
                                        niques.                                systemization is that it is easier to
                                        Question: How does the student         teach and a lot less painful! Keep
                                        develop the ability and skill to       in mind though that systemization
                                        apply these concepts against an        by someone other than the founder
                                        attacker?                              is their own interpretation. This
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: They             can be seen in the different way
ferences in the way Grandmaster         develop the ability once again,        each of the five pillars of Ilustrisi-
Ilustrisimo moved and his fighting      through various levels of sparring     mo teaches the art. There are many
techniques compared to the other        and the realistic drills only after    similarities but there are also dif-
Filipino martial arts systems you       deep understanding of the original     ferences, reflecting the experience
had learnt?                             core techniques.                       of each individual. Tatang was one
Grandmaster Ricketts: There                                                    of a kind; that will likely never be
                                        Question: Broken rhythm was
were a lot of differences. For one                                             replicated.
                                        used by Tatang skillfully. What can
thing when sparring Tatang you
                                        you tell us about this and how can     Question: A very valid point. Do
never saw the technique, you just
                                        a person develop and refine this       you feel the systemization of Kali
felt it.
                                        skill?                                 Ilustrisimo has seen the system
Question: Totally instinctive reac-     Grandmaster Ricketts: The              lose anything? Are there any bad
tions to a threat and/or attack are     broken rhythm is difficult to teach.   points?
necessary. How did Grandmaster          I first heard it from Punong Guro      Grandmaster Ricketts: There is
Ilustrisimo approach developing         Edgar Sulite. His father Helacrio      always the influence of the sys-
this in his students and do you fol-    Sulite trained with Melicio Ilustri-   temizers interpretation. This is
low his approach?                       simo, the uncle of Tatang.             why I am reorganizing the way I
Grandmaster Ricketts: Sparring                                                 teach and classify. Separate the
                                        Question: Since Tatang was a
and painful feeding drill; AKA                                                 original and proven techniques
                                        fighter and did not teach in the
praksyon.                                                                      from the later variations. I am not
                                        usual structured manner, what
Question: Praksyon (also spelt          were the difficulties in learning      saying one is better; I just want the
prakcion) is a corruption of the        from him?                              root to be clear and always distin-
word fraction. What is your inter-      Grandmaster Ricketts: He had           guishable.
pretation of this principle?            no set patterns, just instinctive      Question: Could learning in an
Grandmaster Ricketts: It is             reactions which were rarely the        unstructured manner have been
something along the lines of            same as the last reaction.             a blessing since it made you ask
intercepting an intent (attack) in a                                           more questions and your search
                                        Question: Did this make learning
fraction of a second.                                                          for understanding forced you to
                                        difficult?
Again, this must be experienced         Grandmaster Ricketts: Before           look at his approach differently?

4
Grandmaster Ricketts: Because           These will be reflected in the pure   full contact martial arts sparring
it was not spoon fed to us, I was       core of the system reorganization.    and ring boxing assisted greatly in
forced to dissect and analyze the       Question: During your time train-     developing this aspect.
art in ways I had not had to do         ing under Tatang, what was the        Question: Do you think Tatang
before.                                 emphasis during your training         was trying to develop and instill
Question: Since Tatang taught in        with him?                             specific qualities in yourself and
an unstructured fashion, what was       Grandmaster Ricketts: The             his other students?
the teaching progression?               emphasis was on spontaneity and       Grandmaster Ricketts: Tatang
Grandmaster Ricketts: A true            pain. One of us would simulate an     was a pure fighter. He had little
practitioner of Kali Ilustrisimo will   attack, he would instinctively and    interest in teaching. It was not until
have totally instinctive reaction       painfully react, and then during      he was in his 80s and retired that
with no set pattern. Tatang never       our free time we would try and de-    he started teaching in Luneta Park.
responded the same way to the           cipher what we had seen. Because      He only taught to get a little spend-
same angle of attack. He move-          there was no curriculum, we had       ing money for extracurricular fun
ments were so natural and a won-        to learn techniques by experienc-              As for developing and
der to behold.                          ing them.                             instilling specific qualities in his
         Tatang did not teach you in    Question: What do you feel you        students, Tatang couldn’t care less.
the traditional sense. If you simu-     picked up due to the amount of        His main concern was it saved
lated an attack angle, he would in-     sparring you did with Grandmas-       his life on his many adventures
stinctively (and painfully) respond.    ter Ilustrisimo?                      as merchant marine and guerrilla
It was up to you to understand          Grandmaster Ricketts: As I have       fighter in World War II.
and absorb the techniques used.         said, I never saw the techniques,     Question: What variations of
There was no progression, forms         I only felt them. I only got to see   weapons did Tatang teach?
or structure. The main structures       and dissect what had occurred         Grandmaster Ricketts: He taught
and progressions being taught to        after I reviewed the video footage.   single and double sword, espada y
the public these days are individual    At the time I was the only martial    daga (sword and dagger), dos ma-
interpretations of the original 5       artist I knew of in Manila that       nos (double handed grip for a long
pillars of Kali Ilustrisimo. The 5      had a video camera. This is to my     stick or sword), solo baston, knife
pillars of Ilustrisimo being Tony       advantage.                            and empty hands.
Diego, Yuli Romo, Rey Galang,
Edgar Sulite and myself.                Question: When the system was         Question: From your view, what
         After Tatang’s death, all      being systematized and a progres-     areas did he specialize in?
kinds of people came out of the         sive syllabus being developed, who    Grandmaster Ricketts: He spe-
woodwork making all manner of           was involved?                         cialized in any bladed weapon.
claims on how the old man moved.        Grandmaster Ricketts: The five        Question: Did you learn his meth-
Fortunately I am in possession of       pillars: Antonio “Tony” Diego,        ods of learning the handkerchief,
hundreds of hours of video foot-        Epifanio “Yuli” Romo, Edgar Su-       rope and chain?
age taken of Tatang in action over      lite, myself and Rey Galang.          Grandmaster Ricketts: I focused
a period of 15 years. It can confirm    Question: It is said you were in-     mostly on blade.
and dispute many of the claims out      strumental in introducing sparring    Question: Like Tatang, I believe in
there based on this evidence. Any-      into Kali Ilustrisimo and provided    teaching a student double sword/
body who doubts this is welcome         much advice from your experience      baston before solo sword/baston. Is
to view the archives. Let your own      to help develop your fellow stu-      this how you were taught?
eyes be the judge.                      dents’ skills. Is that correct?       Grandmaster Ricketts: No, we
Question: What material was             Grandmaster Ricketts: Prior to        sparred and did realistic drills were
originally taught?                      me joining the Ilustrisimo’s core     he would actually strike me.
Grandmaster Ricketts: The core          group, sparring was done only
                                        occasionally. I insisted it be done   Question: Did Grandmaster Ilus-
or pure techniques such as de cade-                                           trisimo elaborate on why he com-
na, bagsak, etc were contained.         regularly, which we usually did
                                        at my house. My experiences in        menced students learning double
                                                                                                                    5
swords/baston before the usual         ing stick arts. What is your view?      Kali Ilustrisimo, please explain its
approach of teaching single first?     Grandmaster Ricketts: Kali Ilus-        approach to disarming techniques?
Grandmaster Ricketts: I was            trisimo is definitely a sword-based     Grandmaster Ricketts: It is al-
taught the single sword first.         art; even the stick is treated as a     ways treated as a blade.
    [**]
                                       sword. Kali means sword in one of       Question: This sees the system
                                       the dialects of the Philippines, thus   staying true to its origins and not
                                       Kali Ilustrisimo means the sword        changing into a stick oriented
                                       of Ilustrisimo. The rattan stick is a   system?
                                       training device that represents the     Grandmaster Ricketts: Correct.
                                       sword.
                                                                               Question: Tatang was very practi-
                                       Question: What about the claim          cal. What can you tell us about his
                                       sticks can be replaced by swords        approach to defending against a
                                       and it is the same?                     knife attack unarmed?
                                       Grandmaster Ricketts: There is          Grandmaster Ricketts: His
                                       no doubt that they are both deadly      movements are always based on
                                       weapons. However, there are             the original pure core techniques.
                                       differences. In non-bladed arts,
                                       practitioners tend to grab to grab      Question: What is your approach
                                       the stick in a way that if it were a    to defending against edged weapon
Question: Could you please share                                               attacks? Can there be too many
with us the primary fighting strate-   blade, they would surely be cut.
                                       In non-bladed tournaments the           drills taught?
gies of Kali Ilustrisimo?                                                      Grandmaster Ricketts: Drills
Grandmaster Ricketts: Some of          participants hit each other just as
                                       much as they get hit. There is no       are always good to condition your
the primary fighting strategies of                                             movements and mind. As long as
Kali Ilustrisimo include: de cade-     respect for the weapon or defense.
                                       In a bladed match, they would           you’re honest with yourself and
na, sak sak, bagsak, and V-strike.                                             realize that actual combat is a lot
These are mainly finishing moves,      both be dead. Maybe it is good for
                                       a sport, but not for the bladed arts,   simpler, direct, and bloodier than
as in a real blade confrontation it                                            drills.
is over quickly.                       as long as the distinction is made.
                                                                                        If you can run, do so. If
Question: The lutang (floating)        Question: Did Grandmaster Ilus-         not, find an equalizer.
footwork of Grandmaster Antonio        trisimo ever discuss when and why
                                       many of the styles changed to stick     Question: Do some practitioners
Ilustrisimo is very unique. What                                               become caught up in the fancy and
can you tell us about it?              focused systems?
                                       Grandmaster Ricketts: No.               elaborate defenses and forget the
Grandmaster Ricketts: Lutang                                                   practicality which is necessary to
means to float and it is a unique      Question: Since Kali Ilustrisimo        survive?
footwork of Tatang’s. It involves      was and remains a genuine sword         Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.
temporarily being on one foot          system, how does it differ from
while the other leg “floats”. Al-      stick systems?                          Question: Do you feel it is neces-
though it looks unusually elegant,     Grandmaster Ricketts: There is          sary to learn and become profi-
it can generate tremendous power       very little room for error with a       cient at disarming techniques?
and reach. It also allows you to       blade.                                  Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.
move in and out and then back          Question: As a true sword and           Question: You adhere to a very
in from various ranges of combat       bladed system, Kali Ilustrisimo’s       practical approach in your train-
in an instant. It is classic Tatang.   disarms always assume you are           ing as well as your teaching. How
Simple yet sophisticated. Beautiful    disarming an edged weapon. What         do you view and approach teach-
but deadly.                            do you feel are the benefits of this?   ing stick and knife disarms?
Question: The techniques of Kali       Grandmaster Ricketts: You               Grandmaster Ricketts: Simplic-
Ilustrisimo are noticeably sword       never develop bad habits.               ity. Never wrestle for a disarm and
based, whereas many styles are                                                 never look for a disarm. Only do
                                       Question: From the viewpoint of         it if an opportunity arises. Always
either stick based or evolved to be-
6
                                                                            Grandmaster Ricketts: This term
                                                                            was coined by one of the senior
                                                                            students of Tatang.
                                                                            Question: There have been discus-
                                                                            sions about which is the correct
                                                                            name of Tatang’s system: Kali
                                                                            Ilustrisimo or Kalis Ilustrisimo.
                                                                            Through the years I have heard
                                                                            it referred to as Olistrisimo (an
                                                                            acronym of the words olisi mean-
                                                                            ing stick and the Ilustrisimo name).
           [**]                                                             Would you like to comment on this?
                                                                            Grandmaster Ricketts: During
treat the weapon as a blade.           Question: What areas were
                                                                            the whole time I was training, I
Question: It is better to possess an   stressed when he taught knife?
                                                                            never heard Tatang use any of
understanding of the general prin-     Grandmaster Ricketts: Disruptive
                                                                            these terms. The five pillars re-
ciples of disarming?                   interception and intent.
                                                                            ferred it as Kali Ilustrisimo only so
Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes,             Question: Were drills an aspect of   we could have something to call it.
knowledge is power. Better to have     his knife methodology?               Tatang had no name for the art in
something, than nothing. Just be       Grandmaster Ricketts: No drills,     my observation. It was only after
realistic about what would actually    just feeding and sparring.           his death that all these other ver-
work.                                  Question: Did he use and teach       sions began to surface.
Question: From your experience,        you both saber and ice pick grips    Question: What can you tell us
what are the facts and myths of        in using the knife?                  about Tatang? History, stories, etc?
edged weapons and defending            Grandmaster Ricketts: Both.          Grandmaster Ricketts: This could
against them?                          Question: Grandmaster Ilustri-       be a rather lengthy answer worthy
Grandmaster Ricketts: If you           simo was a firm believer and was     of volumes. Perhaps I will write a
have the option to run, run. 99% of    known for his spirituality. What     second book on Kali Ilustrisimo to
the time you’ll get cut, especially    can you share with us about this     answer these questions.
with the style of blades today. If     area? Did he ever discuss these      Question: Tatang was taught by
you have no other option but to en-    with you?                            his father, Isidro Ilustrisimo and
gage, be direct and finish quickly.    Grandmaster Ricketts: Not too        his uncle Melicio Ilustrisimo. What
Plus, always remember that even if     much. He had anting anting and       did he tell you of these Eskrima-
your opponent dead or dying, they      practiced oracsion.                  dors and their teaching of him?
will still likely be thrusting and
                                       Question: Was he knowledgeable       Grandmaster Ricketts: Not much.
slashing their weapon.
                                       in healing skills such as hilot?     Question: What about Pedro Cor-
Question: Was knife to knife an        Grandmaster Ricketts: I am not       tez? Did he also receive instruction
area Tatang regularly taught?          certain.                             from him and was he taught by
Grandmaster Ricketts: Tatang
                                       Question: Tatang possessed the       relatives of Tatang?
taught what Tatang felt like. I was
                                       mindset of a true warrior. Is this   Grandmaster Ricketts: He just
just happy to be there.
                                       what has become known as, dakip      told me he was one of his teachers
Question: Tatang’s knife tech-         diwa? Did Tatang discuss this?       in Mindanao.
niques were simple, direct and         Grandmaster Ricketts: Never          Question: Melicio and Regino
most important of all, effective.      heard of it.                         Ilustrisimo were the uncles of
What was his approach?
                                       Question: Reloj de areana (hour-     Tatang. What do you know of their
Grandmaster Ricketts: The most
                                       glass shape). How was this ex-       styles and were they the same as
advanced technique you can have
                                       plained by Tatang to you and how     Tatang?
is the one you can feel before you
                                       does it relate to combat?            Grandmaster Ricketts: I did not
see.
                                                                                                                7
meet the uncles of Antonio Ilustri-    which allowed him to be a stu-          possible and practice intensely.
simo personally. However, dur-         dent. Otherwise there is no way he      Question: Did Grandmaster Ilus-
ing his research for his landmark      would have received instruction         trisimo ever open up and elaborate
book, ‘Masters of Arnis, Kali and      during that period in time.             on his challenges and/or real life
Eskrima’, Edgar Sulite met them        Question: Tatang knew Felicisimo        fights?
both on Bantayan Island. Accord-       Dizon and his student, Grandmas-        Grandmaster Ricketts: He told
ing to Edgar, their styles, although   ter Angel Cabales who went on to        me many stories, however my fo-
founded upon the same root sys-        become the Founder of Serrada           cus as I said was to absorb and ap-
tem, were now different. In other      Escrima. Did he talk of them and        ply his methods. I am a fighter not
words, Tatang’s style had evolved      if so, what can you tell us?            a historian. I wasn’t too interested
through a lifetime of actual com-      Grandmaster Ricketts: Punong            in the past, just the present.
bat experience throughout the          Guro Edgar G. Sulite asked this
Philippines and the world.                                                     Question: Tatang was greatly
                                       question of Tatang before he died.      respected for his combat skills.
Question: I believe Grandmaster        A student of ours, Steve Tarani,        During your time with him, did you
Dan Inosanto met and received          was present while I filmed the          ever witness him being challenged
some training from Regino Ilus-        interview. With respects to the de-     or having to use his skills?
trisimo. Have you spoken with          parted, I will leave it at that. They   Grandmaster Ricketts: Tatang
Grandmaster Inosanto about this        were friends. However from my           was respected by all. I never wit-
as you know him and have con-          observation of the style, there is no   nessed anyone dare challenge him.
ducted seminars at his school?         relationship at all.                    He was feared or respected by all
Grandmaster Ricketts: No I             Question: Mark Wiley met and            that knew him.
haven’t asked him.                     trained with the Kali Ilustrisimo       Question: Having survived many
Question: It has been said Timo-       group in the Philippines. Do you        fights, what was Tatang’s primary
teo Maranga as a youth carried         see any Kali Ilustrisimo influence      strategy in dealing with multiple
Tatang’s weapon for him prior to       in Serrada Escrima and if yes, in       attackers?
challenges. What is known of their     what areas?                             Grandmaster Ricketts: The origi-
relationship?                          Grandmaster Ricketts: I see no          nal core techniques never change.
Grandmaster Ricketts: They             relationship.                           Tatang’s high level allowed him to
were drinking buddies.                 Question: WWII saw Tatang               handle one or more opponents in a
Question: The Ilustrisimo’s,           defending his country against the       collective manner.
Saavedras and Romos were the           Japanese. Did he discuss his expe-      Question: You are renowned for
three most prominent families          riences from this period?               placing emphasis on physical con-
involved in eskrima at one time in     Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.              ditioning. What led you to this?
Cebu. Did he know them?                Question: What do you know of           Grandmaster Ricketts: My ex-
Grandmaster Ricketts: Siguro           Tatang being a berdugo (execu-          perience as a professional boxing
(probably).                            tioner) of the makapili (traitors)      trainer when I had a stable of fight-
Question: Is it known if he knew       towards the end of the war?             ers and the intense workouts of
Islao Romo who it is said is re-       Grandmaster Ricketts: He told           Doc Lengson’s KAFEPHIL style
lated to his student, Yuli Romo?       me the story. It was one of his         were what led me to appreciate the
Grandmaster Ricketts: Siguro           many jobs in his lifetime.              importance of physical condition-
(probably).                            Question: Since he was a true           ing.
Question: Having met Grand-            warrior, how did you feel and what      Question: Dr. Guillermo Lengson
master Floro Villabrille in Hawaii     was it like training with a man in      was a remarkable man. How did
decades ago, I am aware he was         possession of a true combative          you come to study under him?
related to Tatang. Was he taught       mentality?                              Grandmaster Ricketts: During
by Tatang?                             Grandmaster Ricketts: It never          the KAFEPHIL days, I was in-
Grandmaster Ricketts: He was           crossed my mind at the time. All I      troduced to Doc by an instructor
married to the cousin of Tatang        wanted to do was absorb as much         under him, Chito Santos. Doc took

8
Grandmaster Guillermo Lengson [**]     his vast knowledge of sinawali          as the judges cheating in their deci-
                                       and double sticks with Professor        sions during tournaments. Conse-
                                       Remy Presas. Do you know if they        quently, Doc Lengson had to come
                                       exchanged knowledge?                    up with techniques that would
                                       Grandmaster Ricketts: Doc               make it clear that they were the un-
                                       Lengson and Remy Presas met             disputed winner of a competition.
                                       before the formation of Modern          These techniques were developed
                                       Arnis. They were training partners.     primarily through Master Johnny
                                       Remy learned sinawali and Cingko        Chiuten and his kung fu style, in
                                       Teros from Doc Lengson, which           which Doc Lengson developed
                                       he put in Modern Arnis. Remy            the training method for teaching.
                                       also learned karate from Doc            Initially these techniques had been
                                       Lengson, as he was considered the       secret, as Doc Lengson used it
                                       best in the Philippines at that time.   for his position in KAFEPHIL’s
                                       In return, Remy taught him some         election through sparring. In other
                                       of his Balintawak techniques. It        words, whoever won all the spar-
                                       was also Doc Lengson who came           ring matches among the candidates
                                       up with the name Modern Arnis.          became the head of KAFEPHIL.
                                       Question: Sagasa is one of Dr           Question: John Pintoy told me Dr
                                       Lengson’s legacies. Could you           Lengson was very knowledgeable
                                       explain how he came to develop          in the area of body mechanics and
                                       Sagasa?                                 emphasized the use of the hips. Did
a liking to me and adopted me in       Grandmaster Ricketts: Doc               he stress this in your training and
a way. I not only look to him as a     Lengson developed Sagasa                how important do you think it is
teacher, but also a father figure.     through constant full-contact           for the student to comprehend the
Question: Dr Lengson combined          tournaments with other martial          significance of body mechanics?
linear and circular movements.         arts associations. At the time, he      Grandmaster Ricketts: The em-
What can you tell us of his arnis      was considered the best in karate       phasis was always on the hips and
system?                                in the Philippines. Because of this,    always exaggerated, so to the un-
Grandmaster Ricketts: Doc              all the other organizations would       trained eye it would look unusual.
Lengson started Arnis with si-         gang up on his group and go as far      All real power comes from the hips
nawali and Cinko Teros systems                                                 and not just for attacking, but also
as he is from Pangasinan prov-                                                 evading and defending.
ince in the Philippines. When                                                  Question: The intensive drills,
he first met Remy Presas, Remy                                                 which are called series, develop
was still Balintawak and Doc was                                               and refine coordination, power and
impressed with the movements                                                   reflexes. Were these developed by
and added some concepts to his                                                 Dr Lengson?
system. Doc and Remy met before                                                Grandmaster Ricketts: Doc
Modern Arnis. Most of the circular                                             Lengson developed the Sagasa
motions, he learned from Johnny                                                series in collaboration with Johnny
Chiuten who was a kung fu and                                                  Chiuten.
Balintawak Master.
         I used to watch Remy and                                              Question: How did Dr Lengson
Doc train together in Doc’s dental                                             influence the drills and curriculum
clinic in the University of the East                                           of Bakbakan?
in Manila. I was 14 at the time.                                               Grandmaster Ricketts: Sagasa
                                                                               Kickboxing is one of the core
Question: It has been told in the      L-R: unnamed person, Grandmaster        systems of Bakbakan. Among other
Philippines Dr Lengson shared          Lengson, Grandmaster Ricketts [**]      things, it led Bakbakan to empha-
                                                                                                                   9
size practical and functional tech-   and Eskrima was a landmark             black belt in Lameco Eskrima. Are
niques with full contact sparring.    book because it was the first time     you presently teaching the system?
It also underlined the importance     a researcher traveled throughout       Grandmaster Ricketts: No. I will
of the hip and body placement in      the entire Philippines to research     leave the future to his son, Edgar
sparring.                             the art and publish it in a book. It   Sulite Jr. He is my official appoint-
Question: Who are the surviving       revealed many relatively unknown       ed heir to the Lameco Eskrima In-
senior students of Grandmaster        systems to the world and opened        ternational system. Edgar Sulite Jr.
Lengson?                              many doors for future researchers      trained under me for many years
Grandmaster Ricketts: Rey Dizer,      and practitioners. I am happy to       in the Philippines while his father
Johnny Pintoy (the brother of         have been a participant in bringing    was in the USA preparing for the
Grandmaster Roland Dantes) and        these projects to light.               eventual arrival of the family. I
Badong Alina are the surviving        Question: What was it like train-      trust Edgar Sulite Jr. to make many
senior students.                      ing with Punong Guro Sulite? Was       wise decisions. He is like family to
                                      Lameco Eskrima founded at the          me.
Question: You were a close friend
of Punong Guor Edgar Sulite.          time?                                  Question: Has Edgar Jr. continued
How did you meet him and do           Grandmaster Ricketts: Lameco           his training and taken his rightful
you have any fond memories you        Eskrima was already founded            place in Lameco Eskrima?
would like to share?                  at the time. However it was still      Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.
Grandmaster Ricketts: Edgar           evolving and Kali Ilustrisimo was      Question: You were very close to
G. Sulite was one of my closest       the finishing touch. Training with     Tatang. What are some of your
friends. I met him through another    Edgar was fun and enlightening         fond memories of him and your
close friend of mine, Alex Co, a      for the both of us and we became       time together?
pioneer publisher in the Philip-      training partners. There were lots     Grandmaster Ricketts: There are
pines of martial arts books and       of live and instinctive drills. Con-   so many. Very few had the privi-
magazines. Alex asked me to           stant research, experimentation        lege to spar Tatang regularly as I
check whether Edgar was the real      and sparring, sparring, sparring.      did, but there is one occasion I will
McCoy because Edgar wanted to         We had lots of painful bumps and       not soon forget.
discuss the publication of a book.    bruises because back then we had                In general, Tatang was a
After meeting Edgar, I reported       no safety gear. It was very educa-     respectful gentleman. However,
that he was indeed the real thing     tional for the both of us.             on this particular day I kept telling
and the rest is history. Alex ended            Punong Guro Edgar G. Su-      Tatang that he was not able to hit
up publishing all three of Edgar’s    lite was a true scholar, gentleman     me. I was doing this in order to see
books: Secrets of Arnis, Advanced     and warrior.                           how the old man would press his
Balisong and Masters of Arnis,        Question: With the unfortunate         attack and possibly reveal some
Kali and Eskrima.                     passing of Punong Guro Sulite,         new strategies and techniques; a
        The Masters of Anis, Kali     you became the highest ranked          sacrifice so to speak. Immediately
                                                                             Tatang stood up and began striking
                                                                             me in the head. He quickly feinted
                                                                             left, and then suddenly struck me
                                                                             in the right eye with an inside De
                                                                             Cadena attack. Tatang struck me
                                                                             so hard I actually believed he had
                                                                             knocked my eye ball out and so I
                                                                             dropped to the ground in search of
                                                                             my eyeball! When I realized my

                                                           Great friends: Grandmaster Ricketts with the late
                                                           Founder of Lameco Eskrima, Grandmaster Edgar G.
                                                           Sulite [**]
10
eye was still intact, I stood up and    making theories. However, this is      majority of what is being pushed as
Tatang asked if I was okay. When        not enough. You must also practice     Kali Ilustrisimo was never done by
I said I was fine, without hesitation   Tatang’s real techniques and be        Tatang. Let your eyes be the judge.
he continued his barrage of at-         able to apply them.                    Once again, it is personal interpre-
tacks upon me. Tatang was always                 Many people are good          tations.
willing to fight to the end, even in    at talking, but when it comes to                Being one of the five pillars
training sessions. Now that he has      sparring they either decline or        of Kali Ilustrisimo and spending
gone, even the painful memories         perform very badly. Unfortunately,     countless hours with Tatang, I
have become fond memories.              there are people exploiting the        take great offense at the actions of
Question: Tell us what was legend-      Ilustrisimo name but are actually      pretenders. I have dedicated a good
ary and special about Grandmas-         teaching their own personal vision.    portion of my life to this art. It is
ter Ilustrisimo for newcomers that      When teaching you must make the        a part of me. Regardless of these
may not know?                           distinction between your version       facts, I will always attempt to settle
Grandmaster Ricketts: During            and the original. If people are not    misunderstandings as a gentle-
the infamous organized crime wars       honest and this keeps up, the art      man, first and foremost. However,
of the 1950s, the crime lords of        will continue to be watered down       if this course of action fails, I will
the two rival factions sought the       and may eventually be lost.            not hesitate to settle it as an Eskri-
protection skills of Tatang. Some                Also since the passing of     mador. It is after all, the “Warrior
of the toughest Tondo mobsters in       Tatang, there have been many           Arts” and not the “Verbal Debat-
the Philippines history recognized      people publicly proclaiming to be      ing Arts”. I have full confidence in
and respected Tatang.                   “certified” by Tatang. There are all   what Tatang has passed on to me;
                                        manners of scenarios: some spent       most do not.
Question: In your years of teach-       a week, a month or just took a
ing, do you feel that students want                                            Question: Master Topher, you are
                                        photo with Tatang to become “cer-      carrying on the legacy of your
the fast service approach, i.e.,        tified”. There are very few credible
quickly moving through the mate-                                               teacher, Grandmaster Antonio
                                        martial arts that will even consider   ‘Tatang’ Ilustrisimo. How does that
rial?                                   certifying anyone with even two
Grandmaster Ricketts: I have                                                   make you feel?
                                        years of dedicated training, let       Grandmaster Ricketts: When I
never experienced it personally.        alone two weeks. There is even
Usually when students want to                                                  started training in Kali Ilustrisimo I
                                        a story of people helping Tatang       never expected that it would come
learn from me they know I mean          with his medical bills in his twi-
business and they in turn must be                                              to this point. I was drawn to this
                                        light years and thus being awarded     particular art because it was the
committed and dedicated. Oth-           certification for their help.
erwise, I will just refer them to                                              most practical and effective form
                                                 There will always be          of Philippine martial arts that I
someone else.                           unscrupulous people that will say      have encountered. I just wanted
Question: Are you concerned that        anything to become “known” in          to learn with no other motive. My
with the proliferation of unquali-      the martial arts, even at the ex-      beliefs in his skills were further
fied teachers attempting to cash in     pense of the art. Because of these     reinforced judging by the way all
on the popularity of the Filipino       facts, my main focus is now is         other masters we encountered to-
martial arts, the true intention of     concentration on Tatang’s original     gether treated him. He was simply
the art will be lost?                   core techniques, the roots of his      the best of his generation and they
Grandmaster Ricketts: Naturally         system which I always differenti-      all treated him accordingly.
I am concerned with the preserva-       ate from drills developed by the                Now I am seeing all kinds
tion of all the arts in their purest    five pillars. Who is to say what is    of glory hungry individuals out
form. Personally, my main concern       original and what is not? On top       there trying to exploit Tatang’s
is with Kali Ilustrisimo. After the     of the fact I was one of his most      name for fame and money. A few
death of Tatang, many people sud-       physically dedicated students,         legitimate ones out there, but most
denly appeared claiming to repre-       the hundreds of hours of Tatang’s      are a joke. So now I must make an
sent Kali Ilustrisimo. These people     film archives that I have of him in    effort to preserve his teaching in
are mainly good at talking and          action speak for themselves. The       the purest way I can. Naturally I
                                                                                                                  11
will have drills and interpretations    began. Unfortunately, there will       oped has fine-tuned the manner
that are my own or that of the five     always be people that exist who        in which the art is taught to the
pillars. However I was trained in,      will say or do anything to become      students?
observed and archived the pure          “famous”.                              Grandmaster Ricketts: My teach-
techniques. By pure, I mean the                                                ing progressions teach a student to
                                        Question: Looking back, did ei-
techniques that Tatang constantly                                              instinctively react with the tech-
                                        ther of you think his system would
repeated over the many years of                                                niques of Ilustrisimo. However, it
                                        be embraced by martial artists like
my training. These techniques are                                              is not something you learn over-
                                        it has been?
always direct and simple, devoid                                               night.
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: We knew
of flowery movements. I have sep-       it was a unique treasure among         Question: How do you ensure the
arated these movements into their
                                        Philippine martial arts. It was just   students receive and grasp the es-
own category as to not confuse it
                                        a matter of time before the world      sence of the art?
with the interpretation of the five
                                        would also start to realize it.        Grandmaster Ricketts: Research,
pillars.
                                        Question: Without a doubt you are      review, dissect, spar and dedicated
Question: What are your thoughts                                               practice, practice, practice. My
                                        largely to be applauded for this
on the legacy of Grandmaster                                                   emphasis is on constant repetition
                                        and for carrying his legacy.
Ilustrisimo?                                                                   of basic techniques and sparring.
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: The five
Grandmaster Ricketts: Let’s just
                                        pillars have all done their part.      Question: How long do you
put it this way. If it wasn’t for Ta-
                                        With this said, I am disgusted with    believe it takes for the average
tang I would not be practicing the
                                        some of the followers under some       person to develop adequate skills
Philippine warrior arts.
                                        of the five pillars. They are con-     to protect themselves and deal with
Question: What do you feel made         stantly trying to divide us in order   street attacks?
him so good? Was it his natural         to gain favor. They also show no       Grandmaster Ricketts: There is no
abilities, his fighting system and      respect for the other seniors of       scientific method of determining
training methods?                       Kali Ilustrisimo. To me this is a      that factor.
Grandmaster Ricketts: A combi-          sign of motives without honor and      Question: From your experience,
nation of all of the above.             disrespect to the system.              can anyone learn Kali Ilustrisimo
Question: How proud do you think        Question: In a nutshell, what are      and master the principles and
Tatang would be, knowing his art        the differences in how you learnt      techniques or does it require/suit
has continued to be taught and is       from Tatang and how you teach          individuals with certain abilities or
respected worldwide?                    today?                                 genetics?
Grandmaster Ricketts: I think he        Grandmaster Ricketts: Through-         Grandmaster Ricketts: If you
would find it amusing. He would         out the years up until his death, I    don’t have an open mind, then
be proud in some instances, but         was constantly learning, dissect-      forget about trying.
bewildered in some cases, on the        ing, experimenting, analyzing and      Question: Do you accept there are
verge of anger. Some of the stuff       observing his movements. After         students who will eventually tailor
out there claiming to be Ilustrisimo    Tatang’s death, I continued to do      and develop Kali Ilustrisimo to
just should not be associated with      the same with what I had retained.     their won requirements and genetic
Tatang’s name.                          Now I have come a full circle back     makeup?
         I think Tatang would be        to his original techniques: mini-      Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.
saddened that politics has infected     mal, uncomplicated, and effective.
our group. When it was still the        When I went back and reviewed          Question: A major misconception
core group, practice was fun for        the hundreds of hours of film ar-      with Kali/Eskrima/Arnis is it is
many years. None of us were do-         chives on Tatang, it confirmed that    only a weapons method of combat.
ing it for self-promotion or ego        I am on the right path. And still in   Why is it some people do not see
inflation. It was like a family. It     wonder of my teacher’s abilities.      the well rounded composition of it?
was not until people who were not                                              Grandmaster Ricketts: Many
                                        Question: Would you say the            people are fascinated by weapons
in the original group made their
                                        teaching progression you devel-        and seem to not go beyond that.
way in. This is where the problems
12
                                                                               gain from observing other systems.
                                                                               Question: What is the difference
                                                                               between Kali Ilustrisimo as you
                                                                               teach it and Bakbakan Kali (Ilus-
                                                                               trisimo)?
                                                                               Grandmaster Ricketts: The
                                                                               difference is Kali Ilustrisimo is
                                                                               Topher Ricketts and Bakbakan Kali
                                                                               is Rey Galang’s.
                                                                               Question: What if any advice
                                                                               could you offer someone to look
                                                                               for when seeking a genuine Kali
                                                                               Ilustrisimo instructor?
                                                                               Grandmaster Ricketts: Stick to
                                                                               the five pillars while you can.
                                                                               Question: You are presently work-
       Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo and the Bakbakan group [**]
                                                                               ing on an exciting DVD series.
In the process they are missing the     Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes. I am        Could you tell us about them?
core concepts.                          very proud and humbled at how          Grandmaster Ricketts: You will
                                        well we are received around the        find a new perspective on this truly
Question: You were one of the                                                  unique art.
                                        world.
Founders of Bakbakan and its
Chief Instructor. What is the his-      Question: When I was training          Question: Additionally you are
tory and aim of Bakbakan?               under you in the Philippines, you      working on an extensive Kali Ilus-
Grandmaster Ricketts: Bakbakan          stressed you only teach Kali Ilus-     trisimo book. What will the book
means something along the lines         trisimo. Does this still hold true?    encompass?
of a free for all brawl. Bakbakan       Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.             Grandmaster Ricketts: It will
was founded in 1967 by a group                                                 actually be a series of books. Some
                                        Question: Why do you not teach
of instructors from various styles                                             books will cover the original core
                                        Lameco Eskrima or Bakbakan
of martial arts in the Philippines.                                            techniques and some with methods
                                        Kali?
Prior to the organization becom-                                               to develop these techniques.
                                        Grandmaster Ricketts: It is what
ing a bastion of martial arts in the    I have focused on. It is my core       Question: During your decades
Philippines, the main objective         style. This does not mean I do not     of martial arts training, you have
of the original members was to
elevate their fighting skills through
constant full contact sparring.
        Originally there were only
six of us: Ding Binay, Rolly Max-
imo, Christian Gloria, Eddie Ben
Alicante, Rey Vizer and myself.
We would meet at my house in San
Miguel Village in Makati, where
my bedroom was our original gym.
Question: Bakbakan is respected
worldwide for its integrity in the
promotion of the combative arts of
                                            A Gathering of some of the Senior Members of Bakbakan International.
the Philippines. You should be very
proud since you yourself have set       Dodong Sta. Iglesia, Ding Binay, Ronnie Ricketts, Rolly Maximo, Rey Galang,
the standard.                           Rey Dizer, Topher Ricketts, Edgar Aristorenas and Tony Diego [**]

                                                                                                                    13
                                                                              L-R: Grandmaster Antonio ‘Tony’
                                                                              Diego, Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite,
                                                                              Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts,
                                                                              Grandmaster Rey Galang, Grandmaster
                                                                              Alex Co [**]

studied and become proficient in       Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes.               Grandmaster Ricketts: I am now
several systems including boxing.      Technology may change and                more practical than realistic. When
Why?                                   sometimes even fail, but the physi-      I was young, I practiced controlled
Grandmaster Ricketts: I am a           cal human body is the same.              sparring and pulled my punches.
true lover of the warrior arts from    Question: Though you yourself            I used to think that was it until I
forms to practical applications.       have competed in various forms           found out the hard way in a street
I do it because I truly enjoy it.      of competitions, do you believe          fight.
Boxing has some of the best full       Filipino martial arts competition        Question: What changes did you
contact, conditioning and training     can develop bad habits?                  make as a result of these street
methods that exist.                    Grandmaster Ricketts: Yes. Most          fights?
Question: Did you encounter dif-       tournaments forget about defense         Grandmaster Ricketts: Constant
ficulty learning and then apply-       and just press the attack. They get      repetition of basics, regular full-
ing the different techniques and       hit as many times as they hit with       contact sparring and honesty with
concepts?                              little respect for the weapon. They      yourself.
Grandmaster Ricketts: No not at        rarely do the art justice. A tourna-     Question: As someone respected
all. I enjoy every aspect of learn-    ment with protective gear can be         for their fighting ability, how do
ing.                                   good as long as the rules, judges        you prepare students to take their
Question: Would you agree the          and participants respect the true        skills from the class and apply
primary objective is to prepare the    capabilities of a live weapon at all     them effectively in the street?
student to be able to defend them-     times. Another way to rectify this       Grandmaster Ricketts: Constant
selves should the need arise?          is to remove the helmet and other        repetition of basics, regular full-
Grandmaster Ricketts: In the           protective gear and use a full live      contact sparring and honesty with
Philippines, it is always for self-    stick. But how many people are           yourself.
defense.                               willing to do that?
                                                                                Question: I know and agree with
Question: You have trained elite       Question: You are known and re-          your emphasis concentrating on
military units in various countries.   spected as someone who has used          drilling the basics. What is the em-
Do you believe arnis serves as a       his skills in dangerous street situ-     phasis and aim of your teachings?
practical combat method in these       ations. How did these experiences        Grandmaster Ricketts: For a
modern times?                          alter your approach to martial           student to be able to eventually
                                       arts?                                    naturally execute a technique cor-
14
rectly without thought. Become an       Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts and his son, Guro Bruce Ricketts.
instinctive fighter.                    Follwing in the steps of his father.
Question: You recently relocated                                                   1
to the USA. Are you presently
teaching and how has Kali Ilustri-
simo been received?
Grandmaster Ricketts: I am pres-
ently teaching and I have a loyal
core group focused on the integ-
rity of the art. I have conducted
seminars in Las Vegas, New Jersey,
                                                                                  2
Maryland, Los Angeles, San Di-
ego, Oakland, Seattle, and Virginia
Beach. I am assisted by my son,
Guro Bruce and Guro Dino Flores
of Lameco Eskrima SOG. Dino has
been training under me since 1997,
after the passing of his teacher and
my friend Edgar Sulite. Presently
I am offering small group and pri-        3                                       4
vate lessons, as well as seminars
         Kali Ilustrisimo is being
very well received as most of the
participants have heard of it. Once
they experience it in person, it usu-
ally is an eye-opener for practitio-
ners of many styles. It is especially
an eye-opener for those who have
“supposedly” been learning Kali           5                                       6
Ilustrisimo.
Question: Your son Bruce has been
training since I can remember. Tell
us about his training in the Philip-
pines and now in the USA?
Grandmaster Ricketts: Bruce
began his formal training at 4 years
old. He was always surrounded by
                                          7                                        8
the arts, as there was a gym at our
house in the Philippines. Although
he has trained in various arts, his
specialty is Kali Ilustrisimo, which
he learned under myself and Tony
Diego, Sagasa Kickboxing, Thai
Boxing, Western Boxing under
Dodong Sta. Iglesia and Ngo Cho
under Alex Co.
Question: What is the aim with
Ilustrisimo USA?
Grandmaster Ricketts: Again, it
                                                                                                             15
     9                                   10                                     11




is just plain Ilustrisimo with the      will be addressed when we launch      Philippine martial arts and Philip-
USA as one of the regions. I also       the official website. We will be      pine culture in general. He has
have people in the Philippines,         doing everything right and by the     not been given the credit he truly
Australia and around the world.         book. My son Guro Bruce Ricketts      deserves. Just the fact he made the
The details of this will be in the      will be instrumental in this phase    first Philippine martial arts movie
upcoming centralized website.           as well as the system officers.       of international proportions is a
                                        Question: You will be visiting Aus-   grand feat in itself that needs to
Question: Presently where do you                                              be given its fair recognition and
have people representing you and        tralia to conduct seminars. What
                                        can attendees expect?                 honor. He is a true warrior, gentle-
could you please name them?                                                   man and most of all a friend.
Grandmaster Ricketts: At this           Grandmaster Ricketts: I’ll be
point all representation is under re-   there soon. Expect Kali Ilustrisimo   Master Topher, thank you very
view. I am currently restructuring.     in its most combative, practical      much.
AI must get strict with who repre-      and purest form.                      Grandmaster Ricketts: Walang
sents me if we are to keep Tatang’s     Question: Could you please say a      anuman. You are welcome and
pure methods alive. I am saddened       few words to Grandmaster Ro-          thank you for your support and
with the current development and        land Dantes about the book he is      interest in the warrior arts of the
the only thing to do is to ensure       interviewing you and other Grand-     Philippines.
I do it right once and for all. All     masters for?                                   Master Topher is now
representatives must be trained         Grandmaster Ricketts: This book       residing in the U.S.A. where he
and informed in these new policies      is very long overdue. Grandmaster     is teaching Kali Ilustrisimo in the
and methods. All of these matters       Roland Dantes is an icon of the       way that only he can. This of-
                                                                              fers a remarkable opportunity for
                                                                              those seeking the opportunity to
                                                                              learn true Kali Ilustrisimo as it is
                                                                              intended to be: effective, direct
                                                                              and deadly. For further informa-
                                                                              tion visit Grandmaster Christopher
                                                                              Ricketts’ web site www.ilustrisi-
                                                                              mousa.com which should be back
                                                                              online shortly.
                                                                                       This interview is a com-
                                                                              pilation of interviews researched
                                                                              and conducted by Grandmaster
                                                                              Roland Dantes and David Foggie.
                                                                              An earlier interview which was
                                                                              researched and questions compiled
                                                                              by David Foggie, was conducted
L-R: Guro Dodong Sta. Iglesia, Grandmaster Pepito Robas, Grandmaster Yuli
Romo, Grandmaster Vic Sanchez, GrandmasterRey Galang, Grandmaster
                                                                              by Dino Flores on 12th February
Christopher Ricketts, Grandmaster Roland Dantes, Grandmaster Rodel Da-        2006, Los Angeles.
gooc, Grandmaster Jerry dela Cruz
16
                         Residence of Grandmaster Ricketts in Manila, Philippines 2004
 L-R Siting: Grandmaster Roland Dantes, Grandmaster Jerry dela Cruz, Grandmaster Vic Sanchez, Grandmaster Rodel
 Dagooc, GM Pepido Robas, GM Yuli Romo
 Standing: David Foggie, Grandmaster Ricketts, Grandmaster Rey Galang, Guro Dodong Sta. Iglesia




                                       At the premiere of ‘Mano Mano 3 (starring Ronnie and Bruce Ricketts.
    www.ilustrisimousa.com
                                       From the left: Grandmaster Roland Dantes, Grandmaster Ricketts, Grand-
                                       master Rodel Dagooc, Guro Steve Drape, Janice Loke and Grandmaster Vic
                                       Sanchez - 2004 Manila, Philippines.

Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts
Email: bakbakancr@aol.com
(619) 861-3206

                                                                                                                17
About the author: Introduced to the
Filipino martial arts by Grandmaster
Roland Dantes was an awakening and
enlightening experience which reset the
course of David’s martial arts training.
As such, David made the transition
to the Filipino martial arts and was
fortunate to become a personal student
of his teacher.
          Having trained in the Philip-
pines several times, David continued
his training and research with his prin-
cipal teacher Grandmaster Dantes and
met many masters of the art, as well
studying from and becoming a student
of Grandmaster Christopher “Topher”
Ricketts. Other Grandmasters who
were kind enough to spend some time                     L-R: Master Boy Garcia, Mrs Beth Ricketts. Grandmaster Topher,
training David include Grandmaster                         David Foggie, Janice Loke and Grandmaster Vic Sanchez
Johnny F. Chiuten, Grandmaster Vic
Sanchez and Master Nilo Limpin.
          After years of dedicated private
study under Grandmaster Dantes, Da-
vid tested for and was promoted to the
rank of Lakan Lima (5th degree black
belt) and the title of Ikalawang Guro.
This is an immense honor as Grand-
master Dantes never before graded a
student to this rank. Valuing and re-
specting the promotion, David though
is insistent he is simply a student of the
Filipino martial arts and stresses it is a
lifelong pursuit. As such, he uses the
title (Taga Turu) as he truly believes
he is only a student of the art and an
assistant to his teachers.
          With the passing of Grandmas-
ter Dantes, David as his most senior
student continues to teach Pinagsamang
Paraang Arnis. It is up to the himself
and a handful of students who trained                       L-R: Boy Garcia, Dodong Sta. Iglesia, Jim Papadopoulos,
under the auspices of Grandmaster                        Grandmaster Ricketts, David Foggie after training in Manila 2004
Dantes at his official school to ensure
their teacher’s system is in the hands
                                             ters and these have been published      seminars with Grandmaster Bobby Ta-
of those they trust as they are now the
                                             in Australia’s premier martial arts     boada Balintawak Eskrima Cuentada
guardians and custodians of his legacy.
                                             magazine ‘Blitz’, as well as interna-   System) and Guro Viko Perrine (Kali
          Grandmaster Roland Dantes
                                             tionally in the Philippines, USA and    Ilustrisimo), it is hoped 2010 will see
strived to promote and unite those
                                             the UK. Additionally a number of his    Grandmaster Ricketts visit Australia
involved with the Filipino martial arts
                                             interviews and photograph sequences     to conduct seminars.
and with this in mind, David aims to
                                             were featured in Master Reynaldo S.     To Contact David Foggie:
continue the path set by his teacher.
                                             Galang’s publications, “Warrior Arts    Email: xsagasa@yahoo.com
Through the years, David has writ-
                                             of the Philippines” and “Masters of     Cell phone: (6142) 104-5108
ten articles and interviewed some of
                                             the Blade”. Having recently hosted
the Filipino martial arts leading Mas-

18
                Offensive Use for Defanging the Snake
                                              By Guru James Hogue
         Through the years, I          “Why try to hit his head when he        Fig 2
have heard about “Defanging            is giving you some great targets?”
the Snake” as a defensive coun-        Then to illustrate that point, I take
ter against punches. However, I        my knuckles and semi-lightly
haven’t seen many uses for “De-        strike their arms, legs, chest, and
fanging the Snake” as an offensive     back. I then ask the student if it
set of techniques. I don’t really      would hurt if I was to do this hard-
know why the offensive use isn’t       er. The answer is always yes. Then
so popular, or even taught. How-       why aren’t they seeing my arms as
ever, in this article, we are going    a target to defang the snake?           Fig 3
to talk about the offensive use for    As my teacher taught me, some-
destructions known as “Defang-         times you have to hit anything
ing the Snake”. I hope this article    until you get the target you want.
helps you, and adds some more          This held true two decades ago,
tools to your martial arts toolbox.    and still does today. Let’s look at
         My one pet peeve is what      the boxer and his guard in Fig. 2.
I call “The Unmovable Wall.”                    The Boxer is standing in
When someone puts up his guard         Fig. 2 with his hands in front of
people try to hit around it. We, as    his face as in Fig. 1. I then do a      Fig 3 Up Close
Filipino martial arts practitioners,   jab to his hand as shown in Fig. 3.
will strike the arms when they         This drives his hand back into his
attack us, but not when they are in    face, making the attacker strike
the guard position. Why? Take a        himself with his own hand. I have
  Fig 1                                done this very technique many
                                       times in my 20 plus years in secu-
                                       rity, corrections, and law-enforce-
                                       ment. This rattles your opponent,
                                       and gives you an opening for your       Fig 4
                                       next move.
                                                I strike to the meaty area
                                       of his forearm as in Fig. 5. This
                                       not only hurts, but also drives his
                                       arm downward, creating an open-
look at Fig. 1, The Boxer.             ing for Traps, and/or strikes to his
         Notice the boxer has his      head. Every time someone puts
hands right in front of his face       their guard up, I see this as giving
to protect his head from getting       me a target to hit. This technique
                                                                               Fig 5
hit. Most people will try to strike    worked well against an amateur
around his guard to strike him. I      boxer I was trying to throw out of
call this “The Unmovable Wall”,        a bar I was bouncing in.
not because his arms aren’t move-               In that situation, I asked
able, but because they are. How-       the boxer to leave, but he just
ever, martial artists won’t move       turned around to walk away. I
them, and will see them as unmov-      tap him on the shoulder, and he
able.                                  turned with his hands up. I struck
         As I tell my students,        his hand with my jab and his other
                                       arm with my cross. He yelled in
                                                                                                19
pain and dropped his guard. I then moved in with            Offensive Gunting # 1:
a Dumog Lock and threw him out without a fight.                Fig 1                       Fig 2
Most people are not use to getting their arms hit,
and it will be a total shock to their system.
Now let talk about “Defanging the Snake” that we
know, Guntings. We have seen Guntings over and
over until we’re blue in the face. We know if the
guy strikes at us, we can destroy it with a knuckle
strike as in Fig. 5.
        You may wonder, “What if he doesn’t throw
a strike at me. Can I still do the Gunting? Yes, Gunt- Fig 3                               Fig 4
ings are just as good of an attack as a defense. Just
because he isn’t striking, doesn’t make those nerves
any less tender.
        Let’s take Offense Gunting #1, where Guru
Baharu Wayne and I are facing off. This will give
you a better understanding of how we use the Of-
fensive Destructions to “Defang the Snake.”
Guru Baharu Wayne and I are facing off in Fig. 1.
My lead hand checks his lead hand (Fig. 2) as I do a Gunting Strike to his Bra-            Fig 5
chial Nerve on the inside of his right bicep as in Figs. 3 and 4. My left hand (lead
hand) monitors, and checks Guru Baharu Wayne’s hand downward as I do a back
 Defensive Gunting # 2:             fist strike as in Fig. 5. This will take the fight to
                                    your attacker, and “Defang the Snake” before it
  Fig 1
                                    can strike. The next Gunting is the known as the,
                                    “Back-Fist Gunting” by some systems.
                                             In the typical Back-Fist Gunting, the at-
                                    tacker strikes at you as in Fig. 1. Inside parry the
                                    attacking hand as your right hand does a safety check. You apply a left-hand
                                    back-fist strike to their Brachial Nerve on the inside of his right bicep as in
                                    Fig. 2. Then strike your opponent, and use the follow up techniques of your
                                    system.
 Fig 2
                                  Offensive Gunting # 2:
                                                                                          Fig 1
                                           In the offensive version, you’re facing off
                                  with your attacker as in Fig. 1. Angle off to your
                                  left to create distance from their left hand. Your
                                  right hand checks their right hand as you do a
                                  back-fist to the inside of their bicep as in Figs. 2
                                  and 3. Then follow up with the same counter as
     Fig 3                        the defensive version as in Fig. 4.
                                  Fig 2                       Fig 3                      Fig 4




20
Defensive Gunting # 3:
        As the attacker gives a right punch “do a safety check” with your left hand as you outside parry their
attack as in Fig. 1. Use your right hand to finger jab the attacker’s eyes, and then grab his bicep as in Fig. 2.
Deliver an elbow strike to their bicep as in Fig. 3. Finally, deliver a Vertical Elbow to their jaw as in Fig. 4.
                      Fig 1                       Fig 2                         Fig 3                        Fig 4




 Offensive Gunting # 3:
                      Fig 1                       Fig 2                        Fig 3                       Fig 4




                      Fig 5   As you and the attacker face of your left checks their right hand to your right
                              as you parry to your left as in Fig. 2. Your right hand slides under your left arm
                              into a finger jab to their eyes as in Fig. 3. Then your right hand grabs their bicep
                              while delivering an elbow strike with a Vertical Elbow as a follow-up as in Figs.
                              4 and 5.


 Offensive Destruction Combination # 1
  Fig 1                       Fig 2                       Fig 3                                I open my attack
                                                                                       with a strike to Guru Baharu
                                                                                       Wayne’s left hand, which hits
                                                                                       him in the face as in Fig. 1.
                                                                                       Then, my left hand checks
                                                                                       Guru Baharu Wayne’s right
                                                                                       hand as I deliver a Gunting
                                                                                       Strike to the inside of his
bicep as in Fig. 2. Finally, I follow up by trapping his hand downward as I do a back fist as in Fig. 3.

                                                             Fig 1                         Fig 2
Offensive Destruction Combination # 2
        In combination No. 2, Guru Baharu Wayne
could be facing off with me, or attempting to strike me
with his right hand. This doesn’t matter because at the
Malay Fighting Arts Academy we practice the defen-
sive techniques, the offensive techniques, and combin-
ing both for a well-rounded system. Let’s say Guru
Baharu Wayne did a right jab at me. I counter his strike with a Back-Fist Gunting as in Fig. 1. I then go right
                                                                                                                     21
 Fig 3                     into another Back-Fist Gunting to his other arm with a strike to his jaw as a follow
                           up as in Figs. 2 and 3.
                                    With these basic techniques, and some practice I hope I have added to your
                           knowledge in “Defanging the Snake” for offensive use. The main purpose in write
                           the articles I write, and producing my DVDs is to share my knowledge of the arts
                           that I love with everyone that will listen. Thank you for taking the time to read my
                           article, and please feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I hope God watches
                           over you and your family.


Guru James Hogue: The author has been training in the Southeast
Asian Martial Arts for over 34 years, and has served in law-en-
forcement for over 21 years. He has dedicated this article to his new
granddaughter, Grace.
Editor: Jennifer McDaniel


                                   Website: www.pukulan.net
                                   E-Mail: gurujim@pukulan.net
                                   Phone: (913) 626-4372
                                   Location: Gardner, Kansas




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22
5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Self Defense Knife
By Joel Huncar

Knives and knife fighting have          not use your weapon where it is                  If you want you could
seen a huge upsweep in popular-         not appropriate? Are you willing        buy custom made knives from
ity these days. Something that          to take someone’s life to protect       a famous knife maker, but these
was once taught in small secretive      your own?                               knives will perform just as well in
groups is now being taught at your               If your answer is no to any    a violent encounter and they won’t
local YMCA by karate, Jiu Jitsu         of these questions, then please do      break your bank. Custom made
and other “traditional” martial arts    not make the knife a part of your       are great if you can afford them,
instructors. Many people are car-       defensive strategy. The sober truth     but for me I simply do not have the
rying “defensive” knives for self       about bladed weapons is that they       money for a custom knife.
protection, from all sorts of social    maim and kill. While many knife                  Cheap knock offs on the
backgrounds. The art of the blade       teachers say that you can use a         other hand should be avoided like
is not just in the hands of street      knife to disable an attacker, this is   the plague. They are usually poor
punks and paramilitary types any        not really very realistic in the high   quality and will break under any
more. Now it is not uncommon to         speed adrenaline charged reality        hard use. Remember you will use
meet homemakers, realtors, stock        of violence. Overkill is instinctive    your defensive knife as a tool first
brokers and bankers all carrying        once adrenaline kicks in, so if you     and for personal protection second
knives as part of their personal        carry a blade you must be sure that     and this should be your first con-
protection strategy. Many of these      your life is in danger before you       sideration when you pick it out.
people have excellent instruction       pull it or you may find yourself        Stay away from low quality stuff
and are ready for the world of          spending a long time reflecting on      that can be found at flea markets
martial blade carry but many have       your actions behind bars. Knives        and gas stations.
had very little training and are just   can be great life saving tools but               Also one thing I have found
ignorantly following the latest         only for the most extreme circum-       is that quite often knives that are
trend. For those who wish to make       stances.                                marketed with gun manufacturer’s
an informed decision about buy-         2) Knife Quality:                       names are often of poor quality.
ing and carrying a knife for self               The thing I recommend           Let the gun makers make guns and
protection there are some things        to my students is that when they        leave the knives to the knife mak-
that you should consider.               are picking out a knife they get        ers. Quite often if you get a blade
                                        one made by one of well known           from one of the big knife manufac-
                                        manufacturers. Cold Steel, SOG,         turers you will have a companion
1) Are You Prepared?                                                            that with proper upkeep will serve
                                        Spyderco, CRKT, Benchmade,
        Do you have the mental,                                                 you all your days.
                                        Timberline, Buck, and Camillus
physical and emotional training
                                        are some of the top manufacturers       3) Model Name:
to be able to carry a blade for
                                        of production knives. All of them               Try to stay away from
self defence? Remember we are
                                        make very good folding and fix          knives with macho names or
talking about using a sharp instru-
                                        blade knives that are reasonably        named after famous “knife fight-
ment to cut up another human
                                        priced and have great warranties.       ers”. A lawyer will tear you apart
being here. This is a very ugly
                                        Price range for these knives should     in court if you used a knife called
and brutal way to fight. Are you
                                        be from twenty five dollars on the      the “marauder” to defend yourself.
ready to suffer the consequences
                                        low end up to a couple of hundred       You will look like a psycho to the
of doing potentially lethal damage
                                        dollars on the high end. An aver-       jury and court. Do not buy a knife
to another person? Are you trained
                                        age decent quality folder should        that will make you look bad in
well enough to keep your blade in
                                        be around fifty to one hundred          court. Look for something with a
your hands instead of your attack-
                                        fifty dollars. CRKT make some           harmless sounding name like the
ers? Do you have enough control
                                        excellent low cost folders but for      “voyager” or “cricket” or “civil-
of your temper to know you will
                                        myself I prefer Cold Steel.             ian” to just name a few. Any name
                                                                                                                 23
that makes your knife sound tacti-                The type of blade you          as well and save deadly weapons
cal, military or martial should be       carry should suit both your life        for situations where using deadly
avoided because if you every need        style and self defence needs. You       force is a reasonable option. By
to use your blade you will probably      should pick a knife that suits your     this I mean situations where your
have your actions judged in court.       personal fighting style, the envi-      life is in jeopardy, anything else is
4) Deployment:                           ronment in which you live and           morally and legally wrong.
          Your knife should be able      your profession. A roughneck                     There is a lot to consider
to be brought into use quickly and       in northern Alberta would need          before one starts to carry a knife
efficiently. It should be there when     a different knife then a personal       for self defence. The more reflec-
you need it, not sitting in the bot-     assistant working in a posh office      tion and research you put into buy-
tom of a purse or a pocket. If it is a   in downtown LA. Also I train in a       ing the knife that is right for you
folding knife it is imperative it can    slashing intensive system of arnis      will not only keep you from wast-
be opened with one hand quickly.         where as a person who trains in         ing your money but could also save
If it is a fixed blade it should be      a thrusting intensive system will       you from making a choice that will
in a sheath that allows for a quick      be suited to a different blade then     change your life forever.
draw.                                    me. Tailor your blade choice to
          If you can’t access your       your environment, training and life
knife swiftly it will be of little use   style.
in an assault. The other side of this             Another side to this is that
you will need to practice getting        you should know the local laws
your knife out quick while under         and bylaws concerning knifes.
pressure. You need to drill your         You do not want to defend your-
draw. It is not enough to have a         self with a weapon that is pro-
blade at your side but you must          hibited in your area. This is very
be practiced at getting it out in an     important. You want to look like
emergency situation.                     a reasonable person to the police
          There is yet another impor-    and court, not some outlaw who
tant factor to deployment, if it is      packs dangerous weapons and
easy for you to draw your knife, it      looks for trouble. When it comes
will be easy for an opponent to get      to court image is very important,
to it if you are grappling or clinch-    if you are packing a prohibited
ing. This means you need to train        weapon you have taken the first
at protecting your knife while in        step in destroying your own cred-
combat. Many self defence situ-          ibility.
ations can happen so quick that                   When it comes to picking
you will be unable to access your        out a defensive blade you should
knife. Or your knife may not be          keep these things in mind. Pick a
appropriate to the situation, but        knife that suits you, your training
once the fight is on your opponent       style and your life style. Under-
may go for your knife and escalate       stand what you are getting into
the situation. You need to know          when it comes to using a knife for
how to keep your knife in your           self defence. It is your responsi-
own hands and not your opponents.        bility to make good choices when
Knife retention is often overlooked      it comes to knives and weapons in
by many knife practitioners and          general. Do not make knives your
                                                                                         Guro Joel Huncar
trainers but is very important to        only choice of defensive training.
                                         A knife is only a viable choice for         Ravenwood Combat Arts
your survival when it comes to self
                                         a severely limited amount of self         The Guild of Combat Sciences
defence knife training.
                                         defence scenarios. You should                Cranbrook BC Canada
5) Blade Style and Length:               depend on your empty hand skills           arnisador_1@hotmail.com
24
                              The Main Role of Senior Students
                                               Amara Arkanis - USA
                                               By: Phillip Weathers
                                                 Amara Arkanis
                                                    Delran NJ

There are many roles filled by          which authority is gained through
senior students in a martial arts       freely given choice.
group of any kind. The newest                    An English word for the
senior students are in a position       same process is “modeling.” The
                                        juniors model their behavior after                www.amara-arkanis.com
analogous to that of a college stu-
dent the day after graduation or a      seniors (including the head teach-
non-commissioned military officer       er). The seniors provide the model.     extinguish poor behavior.
the day after his initial promotion.    Providing the model is also called               This brief discussion of
Both have achieved a big goal and       “modeling” in a specialized use of      modeling demonstrates that senior
moved to a different level but nei-     the word by educators and behav-        students do their most important
ther has really learned to do his job   ioral scientists.                       work in the workout area in the
yet. Along with one kind of new                  Modeling is usually unin-      presence of junior students. The
status comes a way of being at the      tentional. Nobody has the energy        senior students are judged in part
bottom of a new heap.                   to be a conscious role model all        by the success of juniors in their
           This article attempts to     day every day. Self discipline          school. A small school with only
track a developmental process for       helps to control what we model          a few long-term students is not
seniors by looking at the roles they    to others. Senior students must         likely to survive unless it can pres-
fill. It is intentionally short and     have some level of discipline and       ent a model to attract new students.
directed as much at new senior          understanding to fill their roles.      This means the long-term students
students as their teachers. No                   In this process of emula-      demonstrate some martial virtues.
doubt there will be expansions on       tion through choice, the practices               Many “non-modeling” jobs
subjects glossed over here.             and skills espoused by the school       filled by senior students are none-
           Senior students are never    are passed on to new students.          theless explicable in terms of help-
in charge of the overall teaching or    This makes it possible for the          ing the school attract new students
experience of a group. As a sub-        school to survive and prosper.          to the workout area, which is the
group within a school, they work        In much the same way as armies          center of modeling. Demonstra-
to support the goals of the school.     cannot survive without a solid core     tions, tournaments, video produc-
Although there are many ways to         of non-commissioned officers,           tion, web pages, finance, advertis-
do this, the essential thread uniting   martial arts schools need a healthy,    ing, and recruiting all have some
senior students across history and      cooperating core of senior stu-         function in keeping the school
differences in styles is the job of     dents.                                  going and growing. One could
modeling the style and its desired               Modeling the practices         argue with perfect justice that this
behaviors to more junior students.      and behaviors espoused by the           article assumes the primacy of the
If the seniors show through their       school is the most important role       workout floor as the center of any
conduct that the school embod-          of any senior student. Please note      martial arts group. This is the place
ies desirable skills and behavior,      that it is at least possible for this   where desirable physical skills and
junior students will be moved to        process to occur with no giving of      character attributes are learned.
emulate them. This is not a re-         orders or overt exercise of author-     Most other activities collapse in
sult of command authority, but of       ity. While seniors may need to and      the absence of regular workouts.
choice by the junior students.          should exercise authority when                   Typically junior students
           The Japanese might use       required, their success is measured     clean the school and tend to other
the word “giri” (admiration, love,      in part by how little they need to      physical concerns that have to be
responsibility) for this process by     give orders or exercise authority to    done ever and over. Seniors are

                                                                                                                  25
chosen in part for their ability to
model, and because they can be
trusted. Their first need is to learn
about passing on the values of the
school. Then they must do it. This
work can be augmented by simple
mechanical tasks that still require
trust like filing in the office or col-
lecting dues.
         Seniors may assist individ-
ual students and play an assistive
role to the teacher. More advanced
seniors may lead warm-ups or
even classes in the presence of the       FMAdigest published in booklet form.
teacher. Seniors who have success-        These special printings are approximately 5” X 7” in size - in Booklet
fully lead classes several times in       form.
the absence of a teacher may have
                                          FMAdigest Set: Volume 1 - 5 (1st Five Years Regular Issues)
the potential to represent the school
in public (demos, tournaments,            United States and Canada - $ 65.00 USD, This includes Shipping.
sales, etc.). Some jobs involving         Outside the United States and Canada - $70.00 USD, This includes
new technology have to be as-             Shipping.
signed based simply on who can do         Note: Orders outside the United States cannot be registered confirmed
them. Teachers need to be current         delivery.
on the set of abilities collectively      Insured mail is high priced, if you desire insured mailing add extra
possessed by their seniors.               $20 USD. Due to some countries customs security mail is held up for
         The further a senior’s job or    extended time. This includes Canada.
role is from the workout floor, the
more it has to do with some as-           Order - Click Here
pect of business management and
the less it has to do with martial
arts. Still such jobs are entirely
necessary. No job that supports the
school is completely divorced from
the martial arts.




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superior performance in their training weapons, you have come to the right place.
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pinensis) otherwise known as “Iron Wood” (Kamagong as it is called locally), Palm wood or Coco-wood (also
known as “Bahi” locally), Giho or “Yellow Iron Wood” and premium Palasan and the rare Labsica rattan sticks.
All weapons and martial arts equipment are proudly HANDMADE here in the Philippines.
26
Reflection of December 11, 2009
By Grandmaster Frank Aycocho
                                           December 11, 2009, The Arnis Bill of Law,
                                  Republic Act No. 9850, an act declaring Arnis as the
                                  National martial arts and sport of the Philippines, the
                                  bill of law in honor of the Author, Senator Migz Zubiri
                                  who was an Arnis practitioner of Filipino heritage,
                                  champion in sports and in politics in the senatorial
                                  candidate raise, was a great honor for us all Filipinos
                                  Grandmasters of Arnis Filipino martial arts of each
                                  own expertise.
                                           I was so glad when I was officially called upon
                                  for recognition and as one of the awardees at the, First
                                  National Arnis Congress convention at the Rizal Tech-
                                  nological University. I was even called to step up and
                                  speak at the press conference.
                                           My 42 years of martial arts passion has been
                                  long years of struggle and survival struggle from the
                                  most perfect cone mountain of the Philippines to the
                                  different countries overseas fighting for my identity
                                  be recognized by the authorities of the country where
                                  I was born. In many countries where I had been for as
                                  long as 14 years, while teaching Filipino martial arts,
                                  some would even say, 3rd World Filipino martial arts




                                                                                         27
craft, it bothers me that I even felt   - Challenge), The USEC has trav-       years old and now, as a 40 years
like a tiny mice calling me a 3rd       eled to 101 countries representing     old senator, he just couldn’t stop in
World country guy. I felt so mad        the high quality level of education    his desire in helping in the devel-
when one huge weight lifter said I      in the Philippines and has proven      opment of Arnis sports.
am too small, he would break my         excellent work and leadership for               It’s quite ironic that Arnis,
bones if he hit me. I fought and        the Filipino people.                   our traditional martial arts, is being
hit the sternum of the guy with                  The long wait is over for     practiced more in other countries
a lunge punch and knocked him           Arnis, the traditional Filipino mar-   than inside ours. The special-
down. The man couldn’t believe          tial arts, has become the national     forces in the United States, Russia,
that a 5’6” Filipino martial arts       sport. And it took a Senator and       Israel and Germany used them and
Master could knock him down             Arnis experts as well, to give the     recognize them as Filipino martial
with one single punch. Later on he      sport, around the world, the recog-    arts.
signed up for training and became       nitions it deserves.                            Senator Zubiri spoke in
one of my regular students.                      “We’ve done it. Now we        front of the Arnis Grandmasters
         With the assistance of         have the law” said Senate Majority     from different styles, clubs, and
Grandmasters and University Pro-        Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri who,         organizations from across the
fessors, I was able to register my      along with Representative Henry        country as they paid a courtesy call
Organization at the DTI and SEC.,       Teves and George Arnais, authored      on Philippine Sports Commission
“The AMAC- Aycocho Martial              the law making Arnis the country’s     Chairman Harry Angpin.
Arts Center and the KKAASI-             national martial arts and sport.                Senator Zubiri and PSC
Kuntaw Kali Arnis Aycocho               Republic Act 9850 was signed by        Chairman Harry Angpin with
System Incorporated,” and also          President Arroyo on December 11,       Grandmasters
became affiliated with the PCK-         2009, a move that was welcomed                  It didn’t take long for the
EAM (Philippines Council of Kali        by Senator Zubiri and the count-       PSC chief to throw his full support
Eskrima Arnis Masters) Founded          less Arnis practitioners throughout    into Arnis through a 5 million pe-
by Grandmaster Roland Dantes,           the country.                           sos pledge, and an office space for
         At the PLM-ICPE-SAP                     Senator Zubiri, was the       Arnis training at the PSC Building.
(Pamantasan Lungsod ng May-             National Champion in his weight        “ It’s about time for Arnis to get
nila - Integrated College of Physi-     class in 1988. He’s been a prac-       the recognition it truly deserves,
cal Education), School of Arnis         titioner of Arnis since he was 16      and the PSC, being the lead gov-
Professionals, Director, Professor
Armando Soteco becomes the
Board of Directors of AMAC, on
his behalf, AMAC has became the
training ground of graduate P.E.
Teachers taking up Master de-
grees and high students as well in
MAPEH subject, it’s my pleasure
in my spare time to give tutorial
services to educate people about
Arnis sports and for self defense.
Arnis has been a selective sub-
ject in physical education in high
schools and in colleges but this
year 2009, the USEC. Of Depart-
ment of Education has committed
to Senator Migz Zubiri and to all
the Grandmasters at the Congress
Arnis Convention of promises in
C. C. C., (Commitment - Courage              Senator Zubiri and PSC Chairman Harry Angpin with Grandmasters
28
ernment agency in sports, will always be here to help, “ Said Angpin, who presented Senator Zubiri with an RP
Team jacket.
       “In Thailand they have Muay Thai Boxing, in Korea they have Tae Kwon-Do and in Indonesia they
have Pencak Silat, now the Philippines has Arnis as our national sport and it’s here to stay.
Present at the press conference, PSC, were Grandmasters:
Grandmaster Rene Tongson, Professor Armando Soteco, Grandmaster Rey Dela Cruz, Grandmaster Frank
Aycocho, Grandmaster Vic Sanches, Grandmaster Bert Lamaniego, Grandmaster Jerson Tortal Jr. Grandmaster
Pepito Robas, Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc, Grandmaster Limuel Maning Bonsa, Lady Grandmaster (daughter
of the late Grandmaster Lema), Ms. Caballero, Grandmaster Samuel Dulay. Masters of Arnis from different
styles, Master Vher Tubera, Master Rey Dominguez, Master Jerry Evangelisan, Dayang Cecil Tubera, Profes-
sor Josie Bauzon, R. Delos Santos and many more whom I meet for the first time because I’ve spent a long
time overseas.
         There has been a lot of Arnis Grandmasters outside the Philippines teaching overseas and are noted
to be some of the finest Filipino martial arts instructors , in fact Westerns and Europeans have become more
skillful in the art with the influence of different style such as WEKAFP, IMAFP, KKAASI, LESKAS, PCK-
EAM DAV, DTS, etc… to name a few.




                                          www.rapidjournal.com

The final issue is scheduled to come out February 2010.

                                     For back issues of Rapid Journal visit:
                                     ( www.RapidJournal.com ) or ( www.berdugo.us )




                                                                                                           29
                                                                                 are made from multiple systems,
                                                                                 others are as simple like Cinco
                                                                                 Terros as just with one weapon,
                                                                                 a single stick only with no train-
                                                                                 ing on the use of blade or empty
                                                                                 hands methods. Some families still
                                                                                 have fighting systems that have no
                                                                                 name but are still just as effective
                                                                                 as well known ones. Some martial
                                                                                 art academies offer stick fighting
 By Marc Lawrence                                                                training to supplement their core
                                                                                 art like Karate, Kung Fu, or Tae-
                                                                                 kwondo. Each has its strengths and
        What makes up the basics        developed techniques to combat           weaknesses. Some systems just
of Filipino martial arts known as       foreign styles. Subsequently, more       do drills, some spar with padded
Eskrima, Arnis or Kali? This is         than 100 different Filipino martial      sticks only, others spar with rattan
a complete fighting art with the        arts styles developed, which can         sticks and safety gear, others spar
primary focus being on the weap-        be grouped into three complete           with just a helmet and live stick,
ons and the defense against them.       self-defense systems which utilize       and some just use gloves.
The basics are made up of simple        sticks, swords, and empty hands.                  The Filipino fighting arts
mechanical principles, good body                 It is the original mixed        are just as good today as they were
mechanics and the economy of            martial art that was based upon          in the past. This is because the Fili-
motion. In order to be a good Fili-     simple, non-flashy battle tested         pino martial arts are built on bat-
pino martial arts fighter, a student    methods of fighting. They were           tling a variety of foreign invaders.
must have good basics. This is a        designed to use natural efficient        It works amazingly well against
fact as with a good foundation a        motions and exploited the weak-          any style of martial art today. The
house is strong so is a fighter with    nesses of their opponent’s body. A       United States Army included por-
a good foundation.                      complete Filipino martial arts sys-      tions of the Filipino martial arts in
        The fighting system was         tem being taught to students con-        its training manual for soldiers.
originally used to train fellow vil-    tained certain basic things. First                Today in the USA there are
lagers in a short period of time for    you learn to use a rattan stick, it is   local, regional, national and world
combat against other island villag-     known as the poor man’s weapon           tournaments with Filipino martial
es and foreign invaders. The typi-      and punching bag. The real pur-          arts competition. These tourna-
cal time available between rainy        pose of the stick is used to teach       ments are the way many clubs
time was just a matter months.          your body how to move for attack-        test their skills. In the greater Los
There was no time or reason to          ing, defending, counter attacking,       Angeles area there are roughly 25
teach flashy techniques or train        grappling and throwing.          The     groups or clubs that teach the Fili-
only those with special abilities.      next step is when you learn to use       pino martial arts. There are Filipi-
The people had to become profi-         and defend against blades, like a        no, Filipino-Hawaiian, Fil-Am and
cient quickly or perish in battle.      bolo or knife, and then last but not     American teachers that share their
        The traditional arts are        least you learn to use your hands        love for the Filipino martial arts. A
known as Kali, Eskrima or Arnis,        and feet like the stick and the          fair number of the American teach-
stick, knife and hand to hand           knife. Within a complete system          ers in the Filipino martial arts are
fighting which was developed            you will find it has hand to hand,       married to Filipinas and share the
over a period of many centuries         hand and foot fighting as well as        art and culture with their children
in the Philippines as her people        wrestling methods.                       and students.
fought for their independence from               Some styles are very                     This column does not take
foreign invaders. Each skirmish         complex like Modern Arnis and            the place of training with a Guro,
with a new culture added to the         Doce Pares as they teach multiple        Master, or a Grandmaster but is to
Filipino martial arts as the warriors   weapons and methods as they              hopefully supplement the training
30
as this fighting art is one that needs to be learned by hands-on practicing. In the old days, a Guro would spoon
feed you a little information at time, so that you could digest and remember it. Get with your teacher if you can,
practice with others if you do not have a regular teacher. Practice every day you can and play with everyone
you can and you will grow. Each body is different so just because you cannot do the technique just like another
guy’s does not make it wrong. Filipino martial arts, is about finding your own way! Put together your own tool
box of good techniques. Have anyone teaching you explain the concepts behind their method or combination.

                                                      Until next time,
                                                      Questions or Comments: mjlawrence@sbcglobal.net
                                                                      www.southbayfmaclub.com




                 arnistendencia.com
 Hand Crafted Rattan Sticks
 In the early 90’s there were two truths in training A.R.N.I.S USA with Senior Master Sam Tendencia.
        1. Everyday you did the Abecedario!
        2. You were using rattan sticks doing it!
 These two truths started with Supreme Master Sam Tendencia in 1927 when he first started his training with
 the Late Great Ramondo Gallano.
 We here at ARNIS Tendencia (TM) uphold both of these truths even to this day. Just as the Abecedario is the
 foundation of our system, so is the sacred rattan stick.
 For more info please contact Maestro Nap at; (850) 543-9517 or Email: ndg714@live.com

                                                                                                                31
                                           FMA Past Events

2nd Pres David B. Tirol Cup
March 6, 2009
UB Bulletin Website
                                                   The University of Bohol, Criminology Department held the
                                                   2nd Pres. David B. Tirol Cup on Pit Fighting Competition last
                                                   March 6, 2009 at the UB gymnasium.
                                                   The UB Criminology Pit Fighting Society in association with
                                                   Bro. Jojo Carcallas and Grandmaster Nelson Vargas with the
                                                   support of the different martial arts clubs; Red Dragon Mixed
                                                   Martial Arts of Master Voltaire Gonzales; Aikido Ryu of Mas-
                                                   ter Rolando De La Serna; Lawin Karate Club of Grand Master
                                                   Winnie Ayag; and Bokaido of Master Dennis Dadap success-
                                                   fully displayed the skills and talents in the art of Kick Boxing
and Mix Martial Arts before the viewing public.
The major sponsors include; Pres. David B. Tirol, Brig. General Danny Lim, Sen. Antonio trillanes, and Sec.
Arthur Yap of agriculture,German SAKIBO Federartion. The minor sponsors Dodong Malamis, George Lim,
Mr. and Mrs. ruben Raneces, Camp de Fishing, milo, Coke, Allied Bank, Tire Queen, Mr. and Mrs. Bernie
Aboyabor, and Aproniana Gift Shop.
The tournament is design to show the dicipline, strategy, and greatness, of the different skills and abilities of
martial art students.
To read about other events that happened at the end of 2009.
Download the Mini Issue - 2009 Past Events Wrap-up (Click Here)
Remember if you have an event besides advertising it before hand, let others know what went on, what was
taught etc... Send write ups and pictures to: fmaevent@fmadigest.com




32
                                                 www.myfma.net

  MyFMA.net - The best source of Filipino                      MyFMA.net is a social network created to help prop-
  Martial Arts information on the internet fea-       agate the Filipino martial arts, and encourage Filipino mar-
  turing photos, videos, events, chat, blogs, and     tial arts practitioners to share their passion with each other.
  forums!                                             Everyone is welcome regardless of their background or style.
                                                      This network environment allows the open exchanging of
   MyFMA.net seeks to bring together Filipino ideas and the opportunity to establish social relationships
   Martial Arts practitioners from around the                  Since its launch in April of 2009, MyFMA.net has
   world in a thriving online community.              steadily increased in size to include nearly 1,000 members.
   This network of mutual respect and camara-         This includes numerous recognized Grandmasters, Masters,
   derie is open to everyone that wishes to share and Founders - as well as individuals new to the Filipino
   their love and passion for the Filipino Martial martial arts.
   Arts.                                                       Every member has a customizable profile page and
                                                      is able to post photos, videos, events, and blogs related to
                                  Sincerely,
                                                      the Filipino martial arts. They can add friends and comment
                                 John R. Malmo
                                                      directly to each other’s walls. Members may also join in live
chat, video chat, discussions, and become members of groups that share backgrounds.
         These groups represent separate styles or associations and allow students of the same Filipino martial
arts system to share ideas, videos, discussions, and schedule events in their own dedicated area. There are cur-
rently 80 groups on MyFMA.net representing dozens of styles. Each group has numerous discussions, blogs,
and events.
         MyFMA.net currently has approximately 115 blogs, 75 discussion topics, and 115 events posted that are
public to everyone. Current topics include: the history of Filipino martial arts, the evolution of terminology,
training drills, and personal reasons for training in particular styles. Additionally, there are over 3,700 photos
and nearly 500 videos related to the Filipino martial arts. This is the largest collection of Filipino martial arts
videos outside of YouTube, and a number of these videos are exclusive to MyFMA.net.
         Some of the other features include chat, video chat, and social network integration. Members may par-
ticipate in a live, real-time network-wide chat room as well as private chats with other members. They may also
utilize an elaborate video chat that integrates media sharing options. Additionally, MyFMA.net can be integrated
with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It is also has an iPhone interface at: www.myfma.net/m
         Like any network, MyFMA.net is only as strong as its members. Because of our members, we proudly
state that we are the best source of Filipino Martial Arts information on the internet. Since a number of our
members are recognized Grandmasters, if you have a question, you can turn directly to the source. You can
contact a member directly, utilize chat, post a discussion, or create a blog. Our current member base is extreme-
ly knowledgeable and happy to answer questions, provide insights, and help anyone interested in the Filipino
martial arts.
         We hope everyone with a passion for the Filipino martial arts, and those just interested in learning more
about the Filipino martial arts will join us. Together we will promote Filipino martial arts while helping to edu-
cate and serve as a resource for the current and new generations of Filipino martial arts enthusiasts.




                                                                                                                  33
                                    FMA Future Events




                                             2010

February                                      March
Martial Arts Winter Camp                      SEAMOK Level #1 Certification Course
February 5 - 6, 2010                          March 20 - 21 2010
1569 Olivina Ave. Suite 105                   Alliance Martial Arts Academy
Livermore, CA                                 702-B Mission Trace Dr.
Email                                         Kingsland, Georgia
Mardis Gras Martial Arts Camp 2010            Flyer
February 12-17, 2010                          Email
Fountainbleau State Park                      Website
67825 Highway 190                             IKAEF Bali Camp
Mandeville, Louisiana                         March 22-28, 2009
Seminar - Tournament                          Bali
Email                                         Nusa Dua, Indonesia
Website                                       Email
Legacy Tournament                             Website
February 20 - 21, 2010
The Hilton in Stockton
                                              April
2323 Grand Canal Blvd
Stockton, CA.                                 Open Grandmaster Cup Martial Arts Tournament
Flyer                                         April 24-25, 2010
Email                                         Almendraz
Website                                       Davao City, Philippines
                                              (082) 271-6148 or (0910) 378-5828
SEAMOK Tactical Solutions
                                              Email / Email
Level 1 Certificate Course
February 20 - 21 2010
Excell Martial Arts                           May
722 W. 19th Street
Houston, Texas, 77008                         Modern Arnis Seminar
Contact: SiSok Dan Barretto (832) 875-0706    Dr Remy P. Presas
Flyer                                         May 15 - 16, 2010
Email                                         3 Adrianeiou St.
                                              Metamorfosi, Athens, Greece
                                              Email
                                              Website
34
World Trade Center Mexico                    5th Filipino Martial Arts Festival
Filipino Martial Arts Championship           July 25 to 30, 2010
May 22, 2010                                 Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, Philippines
Av. Filadelfia s/n Col. Napoles              Flyer
C.P. Mexico D.E.                             Email
Flyer                                        Website / Website
Email
                                             WMAA 10 year Anniversary Celebration & Training
Website / Website
                                             Camp
June                                         July 30th - August 1, 2010
Disneyland Martial Arts Festival             WMAA Headquarters
June 19 - 20, 2010                           (Horizon Martial Arts)
Anaheim Convention Center                    280 Center Rd.
800 West Katella Ave.                        West Seneca [Buffalo], NY.
Anaheim, CA.                                 (716) 771-1291
Flyer                                        Flyer
Website                                      Email
FMA Contact Information                      Website
Coordinator: Darren Tibon
(209) 464-3701
Email
Website


July
Way of the Knife
July 8-12, 2010
Northshore Academy
281 Peterson Rd
Libertyville, IL
Email
Website
Grandmaster Richard Bustillo Seminar
July 10 - 11, 2010
307 White Horse Pike
Absecon, New Jersey
Email
Website
WEKAF
11th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Championship
July 19 - 25, 2010
Puerto Vallarta
Jalisco, México
Email                                                       www.stickman-escrima.com
Website
                                             The Original Hi-Impact Sticks, Staffs and Training Knives
                                                                  ~ Since 1986 ~
                                                   Designed by a martial artist for martial artists


                                                                                                         35
                                                                      www.FMAPulse.com
          FMAPulse.com is an exciting new
 website dedicated to the Filipino martial arts.            A little more than a year ago Filipino martial arts
 It is the mission of the FMA Pulse to help        practitioners Michael Querubin and Romeo Maguigad tossed
 promote, educate and serve as a resource          around some ideas for an Filipino martial arts website. One
 for the current and new generation of FMA         idea was to create an on-line presence with a mission to help
 enthusiasts.                                      promote, educate, propagate and elevate the Filipino martial
          The team at FMAPulse.com is pre-         arts and culture. It saddens us that many Fil-Ams do not even
 senting Filipino martial arts to the world via    know that the Philippines has a martial art! Another was to
 the internet using Web 2.0 technology. Us-        provide interviews of Filipino martial arts teachers using
 ers can interact with one another in a setting    audio or video mediums so the Filipino martial arts commu-
 much like Myspace or Facebook, only that we       nity could see or hear these Filipino martial arts instructors
 are focused primarily on the Filipino martial     and get to know them on a more personal level. Hence, FMA
 arts. This on-line community will give users      Pulse was born.
 around the world the ability to share, learn,              FMA Pulse from its inception brought together vary-
 teach and stay current with what’s going on in    ing aspects of different Filipino martial arts websites and
 the world of the Filipino martial arts.           housed them under one roof. From the beginning we wanted
          Not only will this online social net-    to serve as a resource site to newcomers to Filipino martial
 work cater to practicing Filipino martial arts    arts. It was also essential to have a social networking com-
 students and instructors, but also to anyone      ponent, a forum to discuss the latest happenings, and an e-
 interested in learning about the Filipino         commerce store to provide high quality training equipment.
 martial arts and culture. Aside from connect-     It is our intention with these services to help build a vibrant
 ing people together, FMAPulse.com will be         online community centered on promoting and elevating Fili-
 offering viewers their own personal blog,         pino martial arts to a standard that has not been seen before!
 articles, upcoming Filipino martial arts events            As with any good website, we continually strive to
 and monthly video or audio pod-casts of           improve and expand our website to better serve the Filipino
 different Filipino martial arts instructors and   martial arts community. As of January 1st we are now of-
 their respective styles. This will give viewers   fering online streaming Filipino martial arts video lessons.
 a chance to get to know these leading Filipino    These lessons were designed for the person who is new to
 martial arts instructors and their styles on a    Filipino martial arts but is not geographically close to a cred-
 more in-depth level.                              ible instructor. They also serve as an introduction to Filipino
          We at FMAPulse.com invite you to         martial arts for martial artists who come from different back-
 participate, share your views and ideas so        grounds.
 we can all unite to help further promote the               We invite you to come check out our featured instruc-
 Filipino martial arts in a positive way across    tor interviews and our soon to be released “FMA technique
 the globe.                                        of the week”. We are also offering free ground shipping on
                                                   product orders over $75.00 dollars in the U.S.
                         Sincerely,                We would also like to send a special thanks to FMAdigest
                        The FMA Pulse Team         for blazing the trail for newcomers like us and being our big-
                                                   gest supporter. Also thank you to all the Guros, Masters and
                                                   Grandmasters for your contributions to Filipino martial arts
36
and FMA Pulse. There is no better time than now for everyone to do their part to help elevate Filipino martial
arts!

Past Featured Practitioners that were Interviewed
                 May 2009: Gat Puno Abon Baet
                                                                                               Garimot Arnis System
                 We had the great pleasure to have attended Gat Puno Abon Baet’s Garimot Arnis and Harimaw Buno
                 seminar during his visit to Chicago. When first meeting Gat Puno Baet, there was an immediate feel-
                 ing of comfort being around him, like we’ve known each other for a long time.
                 Learn more and listen to his interview…
                                                                                                              Click Here
                 June 2009: Maha Guro Nate Defensor
                                                                                              Defensor Method FMA
                 Maha Guro Defensor has been teaching his Defensor Method in the Chicagoland area for almost 30
                 years and has trained and studied with notable Filipino martial arts figures such as Floro Villabrille,
                 Leo Gaje, Mike Inay, Angel Cabales, Raymund Tobosa, Dan Inosanto and Jimmy Tacosa to name a
                 few.
                 Learn more and listen to his interview…
                                                                                                              Click Here
                 July 2009: Guro Fred Evrard
                                                                                                        Kali Majapahit
                 Guro Fred Evrard on his system, traditional Filipino Martial Art weapons, training with Punong Guro
                 Jeff Espinous of Kali Sikaran and Suro Mike Inay of Inayan Eskrima. Also hear Guro Evrard tell his
                 story on how he presented Kali Majapahit to the Fullcom Council of Martial Arts Masters of Baguio
                 and the National Council of Kali Eskrima Arnis Masters in Manila as well as training the Philippine
                 Special Forces and the Philippine National Police.
                 Learn more and listen to his interview…
                                                                                                              Click Here
                 August 2009: Punong Guro Myrlino Hufana
                            Hufana Traditional Arnis International and the WFMAA Expo & Laban Laro
                 Hufana Traditional Arnis International. Punong Guro Hufana is also the Founder and President of the
                 World Filipino Martial Arts Association which will be holding its 7th Expo and Laban Laro on Octo-
                 ber 23 - 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada. We encourage Filipino martial arts practitioners to attend this event
                 which will be featuring some of the best Filipino martial arts instructors in the world!
                 Learn more and listen to his interview…
                                                                                                              Click Here
                  September 2009: Dr. Remy Presas, Jr.
                                                                                                          Modern Arnis
                  Dr. Presas, with the help of his siblings, established MARPPIO (Modern Arnis Remy P. Presas Inter-
                  national Organization) to continue the legacy left by his father.
                  Learn more and listen to his interview… Click Here



                                                                                                                           37
Weapons Review: The “Hataw Stick” from Simon at www.eskrimakaliarnis.com
Reviewed by Michael Butz

                                                                                          One of my first concerns
                                                                                 was that the sticks, at slightly over
                                                                                 7 oz (200 g) each, are a little on
                                                                                 the light side. However, I have
                                                                                 been using Bahi sticks (also from
                                                                                 Simon) during practice and swing-
                                                                                 ing a steel bar for solo drills for the
On November 15, 2009, I hosted          least some kind of choice; how-          past couple of years so that may be
a gathering in Phoenix, AZ, known       ever, the availability of different      an affecting factor. What I found
as the “AZ FMA Friendship Gath-         colors is not relevant to me, as I       during training is that the weight is
ering”. There was supposed to be        prefer the black color.                  actually ideal. New and younger
a sparring session at the end of the            The sticks are 28” (71cm)        practitioners can swing fully and
event but I cancelled it due to a       in overall length and just over          still keep good form while ad-
somewhat low number of interest-        1 ½” in diameter. The handle is          vanced individuals are free to go
ed participants. Simon, the owner       5” long, just over 1” in diameter        all out without too much fear of
and operator of www.eskrimaka-          and is made of a hard rubber             injury. We actually used no protec-
liarnis.com and eBay store “Sticks      with small bumps and larger oval         tive gear at all during our session
and Buddhas” had supplied some          bumps to aid with grip (See 1a &         and experienced no problems.
padded sticks, his “Hataw” line,        1b). Simon can make the sticks in                 Another concern I had dur-
for the sparring session. Since we                                               ing training was the strength of the
did not spar during the Gathering,      1a. 5” Handle with small bumps and       stitching and overall construction
a friend of mine and I spent three      ovals for grip                           (See 2a-2c).
hours after the event testing out the                                             2a. Stitch line along stick length
performance and durability of the
sticks. Although I am not much of
a writer and I have never reviewed
any product before, I thought I
would give my opinion on Simon’s
Hataw sticks.
         From what I can tell, the
“Hataw” sticks are an improve-
ment over his original padded
                                                                                  2b. Close-up of stitch line in 2a
sticks. Both versions have a pad-       1b. Handle is just over 1” in diameter
ded tumalin rattan core covered
with a tough, canvas-like lining.       different lengths for custom orders
I think the improvements are in         so those who prefer something a
the stitching of the lining and         little longer or shorter have that
the addition of a handle on the         option. The handle is long enough        2c. Stitching           at the tip
“Hataw” version. The original pad-      to accommodate most hand sizes
ded sticks are available in red and     but some practitioners may find it
blue. At the time of this writing,                                               We were swinging the sticks hard,
                                        to be too short, as it does not al-
the “Hataw” sticks are available in                                              not just against each other but also
                                        low for a punyo. I do not think the
black only but I believe Simon is                                                against plain rattan and an oak
                                        handle material is soft enough for
currently working with suppliers                                                 training sword. One spot that I was
                                        allow for safe punyo hits without
to make them available in red and                                                worried with the most was the area
                                        additional protection. This is a mi-
blue as well. I am sure there are                                                where the handle and the canvas
                                        nor detail and not a “deal breaker”
those who would like to have at                                                  lining attach. I found myself stop-
                                        for me at all.
38
ping frequently during training, almost every 10 minutes, to check for                          3a. Purposefully bending
tears or broken stitches. To my surprise, I found nothing. In all honesty,                      the stick
we were not trying to find the breaking point for the sticks. We were us-
ing them as we would in regular training and the sticks held up well.
        Before receiving these sticks, I had read about how they have the
tendency to bend before they will break and even watched a video that
tested them. I already know that flexible sticks tend to last longer than
those that are rigid. Still, I was skeptical about the design and wondered
how often I would have to stop practice and straighten the stick. Turns
out that this was not much of a problem at all, we ended up stopping and               3b. The stick after letting go in 3a
straightening only three times in the three hours we practiced. Straight-
ening them was easy to do by hand or over a knee or thigh. These sticks
can flex, a lot, but they are not “whippy” and do not stay completely
bent (See 3a & 3b). The “annoyance” level of having to straighten the
sticks was comparable to having to stop practice to wipe the sweat off
the hands, which I tend to do without much thought at all, so again, not a
“deal breaker”.

        In summary, although I had many doubts as to how well these “Hataw” sticks would perform I can hon-
estly say that I like them a lot. The quality of construction, durability and performance were above my original
expectations. Factor in that these sticks sell for only $33.98 a pair (plus shipping) and they are a tremendous
value as well. Simon also offers wholesale discounts for bulk and school orders for additional savings or extra
income for resellers. I say get a pair and try them yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that you get to
beat someone up without the negative effects!

Michael Butz is an Arizona-based instructor of the Fierce Tigers Martial Arts Association,
headquartered in Salinas CA. He is also the Arizona state representative of the Buffalo Black
Brotherhood, based in Stockton, CA. He has been training in the martial arts since 1980. He
holds instructor levels in Tang Soo Do, Eskrima and three forms of QiGong and has experi-
ence in Wado Ryu Karate, Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do, Shorinji Kempo, Muay Thai, Aikido
and Southern Shaolin Tiger/Crane Fist Kung Fu. He currently teaches Kada Anan Eskrima
out of his home in Phoenix, AZ and is the weapons curriculum/Eskrima instructor at the
Blended Arts Dojo in Surprise, AZ. For more information, go to www.ftma-az.com.




                                                                                                                         39
Filipino Martial Arts: The Core Basics, Structure & Essentials by Dan Anderson
Book Review By Barry McConnell

         Thousands of books have been published on how to
punch, kick, block and throw your opponent. In 1981 the re-
lease of American Freestyle Karate: A Guide to Sparring broke
new ground. Here was a book about concepts and principles,
not just mechanics. Every serious martial artist I’ve ever met
has a worn, dog-eared copy of this book on his shelf. It was
the undisputed best book ever written on the subject of core
martial art concepts. Until now.
         The newly released Filipino Martial Arts: The Core Ba-
sics, Structure & Essentials addresses the need for a book that
explains fundamental ideas in a way that both the beginning
student and the experienced teacher can use. Although writ-
ten for the Filipino martial arts (FMA), this book transcends
systems and styles and goes to the heart of what makes martial
arts work. A quick glance at some of the topics covered: Moni-
toring, Structure, Timing, Alignment, Movement, Leveraging,
Ambidexterity, and Spontaneity; tells you there’s something
different going on here. These are not the province of Filipino
martial arts alone, these are Universal concepts. These are
topics to be studied again and again, gleaning deeper insight every time you do. This book gives you a path to
follow.
         This is a big book at 328 pages. It contains literally over 2,600 photos demonstrating in detail each
concept or idea Dan is trying to get across. If it stopped there, this would still be a tremendous tool. But Dan has
included two DVDs with 3 ½ hours of video footage to go along with the book. Every concept you see in the
still pictures you also see in live action video. This gives you the best of both worlds; a detailed photograph you
can use to compare your own posture to, and the action video to see how a sequence flows. Dan has raised the
bar on what to expect from a martial arts book in future.
If you’re looking for a book on Filipino martial arts techniques or a training curriculum this is not the book.
This book is for the Filipino martial arts practitioner who wants to understand the core principles behind the
techniques. For example, in talking about leveraging, Dan shows disarming techniques for each of the 12
standard angles of attack. The particular disarming techniques shown are there to illustrate ways of creating or
increasing leverage and act as a platform for understanding where leverage comes from and how to best use
it. Certainly, any Filipino martial arts practitioner will improve their disarming ability but this book will not
contain an encyclopedia of disarms. Just like an onion, this book opens the reader to layer upon layer of under-
standing as you explore the concepts and apply them to your own practice. That understanding is what makes
this book transcend just Filipino martial arts. The material on structure and alignment will make you a better
Karateka, Hapkidoin, Kenpoist or Kung Fu stylist every bit as well as making you a better Arnisador.
Professor Presas was well known for describing Modern Arnis as “The Art Within Your Art.” What Dan has
done is show you exactly what he meant. This book belongs in the critical essentials library of every martial art-
ist.

Filipino Martial Arts: The Core Basics, Structure & Essentials
(Book & DVD set) Price: $74.95 for the set

Information on International Ordering, Click Here


40
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