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Searching for Kali/ Arnis/ Escrima in Mindanao


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#1 LilMel

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 11:06 PM

Hi there,

I'm visiting my family next week for about 4 weeks in Davao. Now I'd like to get some Kali-lessons, but have no idea, where to find a school or something like that. who knows a school in Davao... or anywhere in Mindanao.
Thanks

#2 eome

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 04:45 AM

kindly check the website of mandirigmang kaliradman.
If anyone wants to take my reputation, he will have to fight me with a sword - Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo, 1979

#3 kaloybugoy

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE (LilMel @ Jun 23 2007, 11:06 PM)
Hi there,

I'm visiting my family next week for about 4 weeks in Davao. Now I'd like to get some Kali-lessons, but have no idea, where to find a school or something like that. who knows a school in Davao... or anywhere in Mindanao.
Thanks


some believe kali doesn't exist.

or maybe it does but it's not what some FMA groups or enthusiasts paint it to be -- some ancient art that served as forunner to eskrima or arnis.

in fact, only eskrimadores abroad seem to have heard of it though local schools, those who know the marketing value of something so deep in mystique, use the name freely -- "xyz eskrima kali arnis club."  

old-time practitioners in the country-side seem to have never heard of such an art.

anyway, good luck in your hunt. may you find a reputable instructor. but if you don't find any, look for a good eskrima teacher instead.

#4 bayani

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 09:40 AM

Ask your Kali instructors who their sources are from the Philippines and check if they know anyone in Davao who could teach you. Since terminologies can be confusing, idea.gif  Or maybe just ask who teaches how to fight with weapons in your local area and see what comes up .

Systems with Kali names in this forum ;

Pekiti tirsia Kali

Kali De Leon

Sayoc Kali

Kalis Illustrisimo

feel free to post your Kali systems.....

#5 LilMel

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:31 AM

QUOTE (bayani @ Jun 24 2007, 10:40 AM)
Ask your Kali instructors who their sources are from the Philippines and check if they know anyone in Davao who could teach you. Since terminologies can be confusing, idea.gif  Or maybe just ask who teaches how to fight with weapons in your local area and see what comes up .

Systems with Kali names in this forum ;

Pekiti tirsia Kali

Kali De Leon

Sayoc Kali

Kalis Illustrisimo

feel free to post your Kali systems.....



Well, ich already asked my Kali-Instructor (Udo Müller)  here in Germany, but he couldn't help me. I also asked Dan Inosanto, when he visited Germany, but he just answered, that all teacher he knew in this area are already dead  sad.gif  Well anyways... I am actually just lookin' for someone, that could give me some private lessons in "fighting with weapons" ... doens't have to be a school. I don't care, which type of Kali/ Escrima/ Arnis... as long as I can keep myself trained... At all, I am just there for 4 weeks.

#6 mgdavid

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 01:20 AM

QUOTE (LilMel @ Jun 24 2007, 07:06 AM)
Hi there,

I'm visiting my family next week for about 4 weeks in Davao. Now I'd like to get some Kali-lessons, but have no idea, where to find a school or something like that. who knows a school in Davao... or anywhere in Mindanao.
Thanks


http://www.mymotag.com/mk/contact.php

this should be on top of your list when in davao.

cool.gif
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#7 Banakun

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 06:14 AM

LilMel,

Try getting in touch with:

Nols- 0920-9380352
Macky-0921-3122238

Or visit us at the Jaycees clubhouse in Jacinto Extension.  We practice Tues-Thurs-Sat from 8-10 pm.

Mandirigmang kaliradman, the Davao City-based branch of Lightning Scientific Arnis (LSAI) and Lema Scientific Kali Arnis System (LESKAS) will be happy teach you if you're interested.

#8 garrotista

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 06:35 AM

QUOTE (bayani @ Jun 24 2007, 09:40 AM)
Ask your Kali instructors who their sources are from the Philippines and check if they know anyone in Davao who could teach you. Since terminologies can be confusing, idea.gif  Or maybe just ask who teaches how to fight with weapons in your local area and see what comes up .

Systems with Kali names in this forum ;

Pekiti tirsia Kali

Kali De Leon

Sayoc Kali

Kalis Illustrisimo

feel free to post your Kali systems.....


A Kali-system of movement (bowel), in the Cebuano/Visayan region:

KALI-BANGON  yikes.gif

#9 bayani

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:40 AM

Tagalog system of Kali - Kali-bugan pimp.gif

#10 nosyac

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 07:07 PM

in Cebuano term to "Forget it" is KALIMTI tongue.gif

#11 kaloybugoy

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (nosyac @ Jun 25 2007, 07:07 PM)
in Cebuano term to "Forget it" is KALIMTI tongue.gif


hehehehe! and if you still don't see, check your kalimutaw!

#12 kantilado

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 08:09 AM

Estokada man na diri sa amo sa Bayugan, agusan del sur, usahay doce pares, but i've not heard of kali, maybe in kalifornia!
....and jer-jer is my martial arts!

#13 nosyac

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 01:50 AM

QUOTE (kantilado @ Sep 1 2007, 04:09 AM)
Estokada man na diri sa amo sa Bayugan, agusan del sur, usahay doce pares, but i've not heard of kali, maybe in kalifornia!

Nganong usahay doce pares man?  Mura man ni ug tusik-tusik.  hehehehe.  No, there are kali in mindanao... like, KALIT o KALITAN, KALINDRAKAS, KALISOD, KALIKSI, KALIMA... tongue.gif

#14 bayani

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 03:20 AM

So what kali systems are in existence TODAY in the Philippines?

Pekit Tirsia Kali

Kali De Leon

Lema Scientific Kali Arnis ystems

Kalis Illustrisimo

feel free to add systems you know of back home.

It is in the Philippines, it's used by civilians , law enforcement and  the Military,  no ancient lisitngs ? Maybe so , but ask this question 100 years from now and you will find the the above will be listed. What matters is that Kali is here and it 's not going anywhere. What matters is that Kali systems do teach effective fighting methods and they claim to come from Filipino Martial Arts. Many who study Kali could care less about it's official origins of words what matters is that it works.  

Why debate it's authenticity for what purpose? documents and words?- I can't use that in a fight but actions of these Kali systems? , That I can definitely use. Why not debate it's usefullness in combat?

Trying to debate it, put it down or whatever use of words will not make it disappear . it's here to stay.

#15 stickmeister

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:44 AM

i agree with mr bayani.

people really have a funny problem with the word kali. my goodness its just a name. just like arnis and eskrima. trying to put down the word kali is a battle not to be won in a trillion years. its already there. and in my opinion, those fma styles that use kali have evolved to the point that is not just arnis stick banging ang fancy flowery techniques.

whats really the point of debating about it? you take out the kali name and the systems are still the same. its just a frigging name.

im quite surprise that there are lot of internet warriors out there who has a lot time for this bullsh*t.  those who want to be a freaking scholar about a specific name should stay as a schoolar, or an internet warrior.

real warriors dont care about the names of what they do. they do it because it is effective in battle.

#16 Lulod

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:24 AM

QUOTE (stickmeister @ Sep 2 2007, 01:44 PM)
i agree with mr bayani.

people really have a funny problem with the word kali. my goodness its just a name. just like arnis and eskrima. trying to put down the word kali is a battle not to be won in a trillion years. its already there. and in my opinion, those fma styles that use kali have evolved to the point that is not just arnis stick banging ang fancy flowery techniques.

whats really the point of debating about it? you take out the kali name and the systems are still the same. its just a frigging name.

im quite surprise that there are lot of internet warriors out there who has a lot time for this bullsh*t.  those who want to be a freaking scholar about a specific name should stay as a schoolar, or an internet warrior.

real warriors dont care about the names of what they do. they do it because it is effective in battle.


That's not it. The problem is not the name but the purported history that's attached to it. That kali is the original blade system while eskrima and arnis are stick systems with spanish influence, that's the point of contention.
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#17 stickmeister

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE (Lulod @ Sep 2 2007, 07:24 AM)
QUOTE (stickmeister @ Sep 2 2007, 01:44 PM)
i agree with mr bayani.

people really have a funny problem with the word kali. my goodness its just a name. just like arnis and eskrima. trying to put down the word kali is a battle not to be won in a trillion years. its already there. and in my opinion, those fma styles that use kali have evolved to the point that is not just arnis stick banging ang fancy flowery techniques.

whats really the point of debating about it? you take out the kali name and the systems are still the same. its just a frigging name.

im quite surprise that there are lot of internet warriors out there who has a lot time for this bullsh*t.  those who want to be a freaking scholar about a specific name should stay as a schoolar, or an internet warrior.

real warriors dont care about the names of what they do. they do it because it is effective in battle.


That's not it. The problem is not the name but the purported history that's attached to it. That kali is the original blade system while eskrima and arnis are stick systems with spanish influence, that's the point of contention.



well then. whoever said that there was an ORIGINAL STYLE called KALI? whoever said they have first hand skills and techniques that came from, lets say, Lapu Lapu himself.

so far these are just the reasons why the word "KALI" is in existence:

- kali as in KAMUT LIHOK
- kali as in Kalis
- kali as a prefix from some words and names of places


so whoever said that there was KALI or the word KALI as a name of a martial art?

but then again, who knows if there are martial arts that existed pre spanish occupation? maybe they already been forgotten or hispanized back then.


i really dont care if they call FMA ARNIS KALI ESKRIMA ESCRIMA. There may or may not be an art called KALI back then. The important thing is today in its existence on our martial culture. No matter how people bitch about it, its already here and it cannot be undone.

people should stop bitching and start training. people who bitch about a four letter world will go nowhere.

#18 Banakun

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:52 AM

I think it's fairly established that Kali is an acceptable term to describe FMA nowadays.

I also think the term actually existed before, although was not widely used, as the term was used by Yambao prior to the advent of commercialization.  As to the history behind the term, nobody knows where it came from.  Arnis and Escrima were the more common terms used to describe FMA, so kali must have been a very localized term.

Most of the so-called history behind the so-called "Art of Kali" started with Dan Insosanto's book, which has been debunked recently.  Even the very group who claimed it to be the "mother art" retracted their statement saying it is actually short for "kamut-lihok."

Some groups use the term Kali just as a name synonymous with Arnis or Escrima.  Others use it to differentiate themselves from Arnis or Escrima by saying they are the more authentic, deadly, blade oriented... whatever art of FMA... since they use the term.  To each his own.

But really, Filipinos don't generally bother themselves with terms.  Some people call it "pangamot" meaning... you're handy with your hands and you can use anything... others just call it depensa... or whatever other generic terms they wanna use to describe it.  Here in Davao, when people se arnis they say... "Doce Pares"... when you show FMA emptyhands they say "Karate" and when you show grappling/Dumog they say "Combat Judo."  But that's just how it is here in good ol' RP!

With regards to Moro FMA (Kali-Escrima-Arnis)... my friend who is a Moslem who grew up in Jolo says he's never seen any Moslem based Kali-Escrima-Arnis.  Only Silat and Kuntao.

#19 eome

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 01:41 AM

QUOTE (bayani @ Sep 2 2007, 11:20 AM)
So what kali systems are in existence TODAY in the Philippines?

Pekit Tirsia Kali

Kali De Leon

Lema Scientific Kali Arnis ystems

Kalis Illustrisimo

feel free to add systems you know of back home.

It is in the Philippines, it's used by civilians , law enforcement and  the Military,  no ancient lisitngs ? Maybe so , but ask this question 100 years from now and you will find the the above will be listed. What matters is that Kali is here and it 's not going anywhere. What matters is that Kali systems do teach effective fighting methods and they claim to come from Filipino Martial Arts. Many who study Kali could care less about it's official origins of words what matters is that it works. 

Why debate it's authenticity for what purpose? documents and words?- I can't use that in a fight but actions of these Kali systems? , That I can definitely use. Why not debate it's usefullness in combat?

Trying to debate it, put it down or whatever use of words will not make it disappear . it's here to stay.




Exactly. Galing kuyang bayani ko.
If anyone wants to take my reputation, he will have to fight me with a sword - Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo, 1979

#20 eome

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 01:48 AM

QUOTE (Lulod @ Sep 2 2007, 03:24 PM)
QUOTE (stickmeister @ Sep 2 2007, 01:44 PM)
i agree with mr bayani.

people really have a funny problem with the word kali. my goodness its just a name. just like arnis and eskrima. trying to put down the word kali is a battle not to be won in a trillion years. its already there. and in my opinion, those fma styles that use kali have evolved to the point that is not just arnis stick banging ang fancy flowery techniques.

whats really the point of debating about it? you take out the kali name and the systems are still the same. its just a frigging name.

im quite surprise that there are lot of internet warriors out there who has a lot time for this bullsh*t.  those who want to be a freaking scholar about a specific name should stay as a schoolar, or an internet warrior.

real warriors dont care about the names of what they do. they do it because it is effective in battle.





That's not it. The problem is not the name but the purported history that's attached to it. That kali is the original blade system while eskrima and arnis are stick systems with spanish influence, that's the point of contention.







This is also true. but is'nt the word eskrima, fencing when translated? so fencing with rattan sticks dont jive.

Actually everyone knows what im saying. im pointing out the lack of data of some regarding arnis or eskrima. I have friends who fall under this category but you cant blame them.  cool.gif
If anyone wants to take my reputation, he will have to fight me with a sword - Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo, 1979

#21 Diego_Vega

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:09 AM

QUOTE (stickmeister @ Sep 2 2007, 04:17 PM)
well then. whoever said that there was an ORIGINAL STYLE called KALI? whoever said they have first hand skills and techniques that came from, lets say, Lapu Lapu himself.

so far these are just the reasons why the word "KALI" is in existence:

- kali as in KAMUT LIHOK
- kali as in Kalis
- kali as a prefix from some words and names of places


so whoever said that there was KALI or the word KALI as a name of a martial art?


Please see the threads in FMATalk.com in particular:

http://www.fmatalk.com/showthread.php?t=2484

http://www.fmatalk.com/showthread.php?t=2474

and

http://www.fmatalk.com/showthread.php?t=2498

QUOTE (stickmeister @ Sep 2 2007, 04:17 PM)
No matter how people bitch about it, its already here and it cannot be undone.

people should stop bitching and start training. people who bitch about a four letter world will go nowhere.


Nobody is bitching about it. This is a thread inviting people to discuss the topic. Most of us do train. Most of us also enjoying discussing the various aspects of fma on this message board. Is that wrong? We're you training when you wrote the above? Lulod is correct when he specified what the problem is in the debate. It isn't just the term. It's the value judgement people insist on associating with the terms, namely that "kali" is a mother art which specializes in edged weapons and by implication a higher art. Nobody is arguing whether the terms exists today or if it will continue to exist.  The arguement is whether "kali" deserves a higher level of reverence over terms like "arnis" and "eskrima."
"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back." Al Swearengen

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#22 Raul

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 05:13 PM

"kali" deserves a higher level of reverence over terms like "arnis" and "eskrima."

who's foolin who huh.gif
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#23 Sitbatan

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 01:30 AM

what happened to the word Garrote?

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naKALImutan ata??  laugh.gif
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#24 Banakun

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 02:02 AM

What's ironic is the fact that groups that do claim to be the "more deadly, authentic, etc." and say they are "kali" and differentiate themselves with the puny and watered down "arnis" or "escrima"... used to call their art... ohmigosh!  Can that be true? ... God forbid!... Arnis... &/or... Escrima!  

Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Of course there are also groups who use Kali and don't think like that...Peace bordz! wink.gif

#25 bastonero_88

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 12:35 AM

Here is an article about the "kali" myth researched and documented by "Tinni" Macachor. It is a fact according to "Tinni" that the word "kali" never existed in the history of eskrima, arnis, etc. It was just invented by some FMA practitioners who propagated FMA outside the Philippines, hence, they followed it up with their latest book the Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE HEROES OF CEBUANO ESKRIMA:

Nemesis of the Moro Pirates

By: Celestino C. Macachor



What the early pseudo-historians probably did not foresee was the speed at which information technology can debunk the slanted history of the Filipino Martial Arts.   Two decades ago, digging into the veracity of distorted historical data can be arduous and library research a protracted undertaking. Thanks to the internet revolution, nowadays, the burden of proof on the existence of a mother art called kali the supposed progenitor of eskrima / arnis / estokada lay heavy on the very people that fabricated this story.

But internet information is not enough, tough field work and multimedia research and interviews of living descendants of FMA practitioners are imperative to support our theory that:



1.)     Eskrima / arnis / estokada did not pre-date the arrival of the Spaniards as earlier claimed by Filipino American FMA practitioners but was actually developed during the Spanish colonization of the archipelago. It was a hybrid martial art combining Spanish Renaissance rapier fencing with a plebeian form of stick fighting by the native Filipinos and was developed primarily in the Christianized coastal villages of the Visayan islands of Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Leyte Negros, and coastal provinces of Luzon namely, Zambales, Pampanga, Ilocos and Batangas that were vulnerable to sea-borne Moro attacks.

2.)     Spanish recruitment of Cebuano, Boholano, Macabebe conscripts in the pacification of Sulu and Mindanao. Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera’s administration was credited in the history books as having successfully pacified Sulu with his policy of recruiting the best native Christian warriors.

3.) Eskrima reached its pivotal development at about the same year (1635) Corcuera became Governor General and this coincided with the introduction of the Chavacano language by the 1,000 Creole Spanish speaking Cebuano expeditionary force under the command of Captain Juan de Chavez upon the orders of Bishop Fray Pedro of the Archdiocese of Santissima Nombre de Jesus (Cebu)



4.)  The role of the warrior Jesuit priests that accompanied De Chavez’s expeditionary force. They also taught orasciones to the Christianized Cebuano natives during the long boat trip to Zamboanga. Thus orascion became an integral ritual among eskrimadors.

     5.) Preponderance of Spanish terms in almost all eskrima styles - i.e., abanico, fraille, crossada, boca y lobo, planchada, rompida, de cadena, amarra, carrenza, sumbrada, cadena de pasa, senorita, etc.  



In the past articles for the Rapid Journal magazine, Ned Nepangue and I challenged the widespread fallacies about the FMA. The most contentious issue related to the kali myth is that it originated in Muslim Mindanao. Notwithstanding my argument on kali I have nothing but admiration and awe for the bravery and fighting skill of the Moro people. However, despite their ferocity in battle there is nothing in eskrima that we see today that is remotely related to a Moro fighting style.

I’ve lived in Mindanao for twenty-two years, unlike Cebu where there is probably one eskrimador for every square kilometer, the eskrimadors there are too few and far between and all of them trace their lineage to Cebu. In Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, I found out the old founder of Lucenara Eskrima de Combate came from Tuburan, northwest of Cebu province. The next eskrima you can find is 176 kilometers away in Cagayan de Oro, and it’s Chapter 26 of Balintawak Eskrima. Roughly 140 kms. away from Cagayan de Oro Pabling Cabahug and Jesus Abella the stalwarts of Modernos Largos Eskrima in Ozamiz are also Cebuanos. A Muslim customer in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte confirmed that kali the martial art does not exist. He mentioned though the term rido, which means a bloody vendetta war of attrition between two rival Muslim families.  However, the igso’ (Muslim brother) promised me that should he find one kali master he would immediately send a text message to my former Sales Rep Rudy Siao, his kumpadre.  That was more than six-years ago, now that I'm back in my hometown Metro Cebu I still maintain a "hotline" with Rudy, still expecting the much awaited kali scoop.  Until now all messages I get from him are green jokes.

Except for silat / kuntao that many kali fanatics unsuccessfully try to connect with FMA, not a single Filipino Muslim grandmaster has come out to the fore. Secrecy? Then why is everyone in the U.S. selling VHS kali videos of this so-called secret Martial Art? So who's the windbag who spilled all the secrets of kali to the Caucasians and not to his brethren Pinoys? Simply preposterous! Practically 98% of the middle 20th century grandmasters the very pioneers and innovators of the FMA are Cebuanos. So where's the Moro kali grandmaster?

The most compelling evidence to prove our theory on the origins of eskrima are the epic stories of Solferino Borinaga of Pilar, Camotes and the Sabanal saga beginning with the story of the early pioneer of Moalboal Laurente "Laguno" Sabanal down to the living heirs of his son Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal.









SOLFERINO "KAPITAN PERONG PAK-AN" BORINAGA





In stark contrast to the story of the blind kali princess Josefina of Gandara, Samar, a story that not a single senior citizen in Gandara can recall, the story of Borinaga can be told and retold with the consistency of a Michael Jordan free three throw.  While in Manila, I was lucky enough to get a cab driven by a young man in his late twenties who comes from Pilar, Camotes.



No detail of the cab driver’s Borinaga story differed significantly with Master Yuly Romo’s version or historian Evangeline Lavilles de Paula’s chronicle in her book Cebu: In Legend and History. In a previous Rapid article New Theories on the Origins of Eskrima, my assumption that Borinaga was an eskrimador was purely speculative, until I got a surprise text message from Master Yuly Romo who I haven’t met personally at that time which read: "Soferino "Kapitan Perong Pak-an" Kabigting Borinaga of Pilar, Camotes, banggi-itang eskrimador sa isla sa puting baybayon" (Soferino "Kapitan Perong" Cabigting Borinaga eskrima expert of white beach island). I never had so much adrenaline rush since my first date when I got this confirmation from one of the most respected icons of eskrima. Now, I have an alias and a name of his system and the full details of the story!  

I tried to get in touch with Master Yuly that very day through the local landline he gave as I was in incidentally in Metro Manila at that time for an official business. But due to conflict in our schedules we had to postpone the meeting the following month. I finally got to hear Master Yuly’s version of the Borinaga story sometime in December 2004 at the Hap Chan Tea House in Makati City.

Solferino "Kapitan Perong Pak-an" Borinaga came from Cabalian, Southern Leyte who migrated to Pilar a tiny islet that is a part of Camotes group of islands northwest of Cebu province. He kept watch of marauding Moro pirates from the mouth of a cave overhanging on a cliff about eight stories high from the shore. This natural formation offered a panoramic view of the horizon and was very well suited as a balwarte (watchtower) because of its strategic location. From the cliff, Kapitan Perong designed an ingenious catapult made of five live bamboo poles carefully selected from among several plants growing in the vicinity of the cliff. The five robust poles were bent to about 45 degrees and tied securely with abaca ropes to sturdy pegs just a few meters from the tip.

Kapitan Perong brandishing his lampirong (Visayan version of Moro barong blade) would "horse" mount at the tip of the bundled bamboo poles and upon his signal to cut loose the harness would be propelled several feet above the air flying like superman with the trajectory precisely aimed at the incoming paraos (Moro sailboats). Landing accurately on the harsha (parao sails) for a soft impact, the element of surprise and seeing a man flying from the air would leave the Moros shocked with very little time to react. Then single-handedly he would finish off all the Moro raiders in the parao with his blinding speed and superior eskrima skills.

This daring display of aerial acrobatics earned him the moniker Kapitan Perong Pak-an (Winged Captain Perong or the Flying Captain Perong). And those who didn’t see the ingenuity of his natural catapult actually believed he had supernatural powers. A flying swordsman leaping out of nowhere scared the daylights out of the Moro raiders and they never came back to pillage the islands of Camotes again.


Moro warriors geared up for raid


Borinaga’s son Martin took over the leadership of the tiny islet of Camotes, which used to be called Isla sa Putting Baybayon (White Beach Island) and renamed it after his wife Pilar. The only living master of Kapitan Perong’s system called Repikada Pegada Eskrima is Yuly Romo who teaches the style as supplementary lessons to Ka’li Ilustrisimo. He inherited the system from his uncle Tatay Anas Romo who acquired it from Emong Urias of Guindulman, Bohol. Emong Urias and his paisano (compatriot) Pedro Cortez once taught close quarters techniques to the late GM Antonio Ilustrisimo.  During his youhful exile in Mindanao, GM Antonio Ilustrisimo learned the subtleties of praksyon a technique outside of the original Ilustrisimo family system from both Boholano masters.  Tatang never learned "kali" or eskrima from any Moro master in Mindanao according to Master Yuly Romo.  That's a serious blow to the Moro myth in the Ilustrisimo system!








THE SABANAL SAGA:

LAURENTE "LAGUNO" SABANAL, HIS SON AMBOY KIDLAT AND DESCENDANTS





The story of Laurente Sabanal probably took place at about the same time as the Borinaga story. Laurente "Laguno" Sabanal was imprisoned for killing a Spanish guardia civil in Bohol sometime in the mid nineteenth century. He later escaped and fled to Moalboal on a rowboat. Finding the place rich in fish, the fugitive went back to Bohol to bring his family to their new home.



The town of Moalboal used to be called Laguno to honor the man who has successfully repulsed Moro pirates on the shores of this rustic southern Cebu town. A batang or huge driftwood lay on the mangrove shores of Moalboal that is widely believed to be the final burial ground of Laurente Sabanal. It was also here that his magic cane that once struck fear among the encroaching Moro pirates was buried. Today, the batang that Moalboalnons call Laguno is still visible during low tide on the shores where a fish market now stands nearby. It is ironic indeed that in the municipal hall of present day Moalboal stands a monument of Dr. Jose Rizal, but none for the man who once pioneered and defended the town’s women, children, their religion and culture.  And to add salt to injury, the credit for the origin of the martial art that Sabanal practiced and probably helped develop and innovate went to his former nemesis.  

Part of the eskrima apprenticeship passed on by Laguno to his son Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal involved a ritual of casting spells on lana (coconut oil) that gave them protection from evil forces. The ritual took place at a cemetery on the night of Good Friday. The traditional method of footwork exercise also made use of three coconut shells during moonlit nights. Amboy Kidlat would challenge anyone to hit him in any part of his body without losing his footing on the coconut shells and at the same time successfully foiling all attacks. As a prerequisite, the apprentice would have to undergo full contact sparring also known as juego todo with the use of rolled upak, the outer dead skin of a coconut palm.

Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal was a drifter on horseback who roamed the towns of southwest Cebu to teach eskrima. One of the inheritors of the system we interviewed was the late Julian Goc-ong a decorated World War II veteran who acquired it from his uncle Felix "Titi" Goc-ong

A contemporary of Moro-moro stylist and fellow townmate Telesforo Subing-subing, "Titi" joined a labor strike in the Hilo plantation where he once worked. An American officer on horseback tried to break the picket line, but "Titi" did not budge an inch and instead hit the horse with a powerful punch on the face knocking it down and its American rider. The incident earned him the respect of the American plantation official who later became a matchmaker of juego todo (no holds barred) fights. Titi beat the Hilo Eskrima Champion and later killed an African American in a fair duel.

Titi was reputed to be very fast with his hands that he could catch a live fish in the shallows barehanded. When Manoy Julian was interviewed for this article he was very explicit in telling us that they do not have a name for the eskrima style of Amboy Kidlat. It was simply called eskrima, however for purposes of making a distinction of their system from the others and it being the dominant technique of their methodology, he called it Abanico de Vertical which is just one of the styles they practiced along with the florete, fraille, juego literada techniques.

The other techniques that comprise Abanico de Vertical are:

      Fraile- basically kulob / hayang (pronation-supination) and ginunting, espada corta, punta y daga techniques
       Florete- basically double stick.
       Juego Literida- akin to Lastico technique to counter aggressive opponents
    Cadena de Pasa- a fluid motion of continuous double stick strikes starting from the lower extremities to the head or vice versa.


Julian started learning the art of eskrima as a teenager with a certain Himaya as his first instructor who taught him the first the double stick florete technique. When Felix "Titi" Goc-ong arrived from Hawaii in 1922, he gathered all his nephews to train in eskrima. Julian along with cousin Dalmacio "Maciong" Goc-ong trained with their Tio Titi in Barangay Nanca during moonlit nights. Eskrima in the old days was taught at night to maintain secrecy. The highlight of these nocturnal workouts was the triangular footwork drill. The exercise requires alternate stepping on three coconut shells cut in half to develop balance and body angling.

Julian Goc-ong died in February 19, 2003. He passed on the eskrima of Amboy Kidlat now known as Abanico de Vertical to his son Patricio Goc-ong a Nestle sports executive and former two-time Philippine weightlifting champion in the bantamweight division.

Teodoro "Totong" Nuevo was 84 years old at the time we interviewed him in 2002 near the ancestral home of Amboy Kidlat in Moalboal. Noy Totong also told us of the story of the other eskrimadors of the Sabanal clan; among them was Jose Sabanal a prodigious fighter who was known to have defeated seven armed attackers while on the ground. He made good use of his hands and feet to block and strike at the attackers. Another extraordinary member of the clan was the younger sister of Amboy Kidlat, Silvina " Insi Benang" Sabanal. Manoy Totong narrated that Insi Benang was a practitioner of tagolilong the art of invisibility, camouflage and deception akin to Japanese ninjitsu. Another skilled eskrimador belonging to the clan was Filomeno "Ingko Menong" Sabanal a man of superhuman strength who can lift a heavy metal grinder with his teeth.

Although he never had formal education Amboy Kidlat spoke conversational Spanish and memorized long Latin orasciones, according to Noy Totong. Amboy Kidlat’s proficiency in Spanish despite a low educational background is interesting because he could have acquired it from his father Laurente. Who could have taught Laurente the language of the colonizers at a time when barely 2% of the population spoke Spanish, unless he was a privileged warrior class once trained as a mercenary by the Spaniards in the pacification of Mindanao? In his book The Filipino Martial Arts Dan Inosanto fondly recalled that on their way to a TV appearance, his revered instructor GM Juanito La Coste who spoke fluent Spanish went out of his way to assist as interpreter for a Mexican family having trouble getting a bus ride.  It is very intriguing indeed that Lacoste who spoke pidgin' English and who probably came from a poor working class Filipino family could speak the Spanish language reserved only for the rich and famous back in his home country.  We can only surmise that GM Lacoste and the other Cebuano pioneers in the U.S. like Jack Santos, Telesporo Subingsubing and Lucky Lucaylucay descended from the same warrior class ancestors of Solferino Borinaga and Laurente Sabanal. GM Lacoste's hometown is still a mystery, however, here's the real clincher:  GMs Julian Goc-ong, Telesporo Subingsubing, Lucky Lucaylucay and Jack Santos all come from the same town - Balamban, Cebu where the drifter on horseback Amboy Kidlat once taught eskrima.

Amboy Kidlat bore children from an illicit affair, one of them was Brigido who also inherited his eskrima and extraordinary strength. Wrongly imprisoned for stealing bananas and coconuts from a neighbor, Brigido bolted out of jail by bending the iron grills with his bare hands.

The only living daughter of Amboy Kidlat at this writing is Facunda "Aling Cunda" Sabanal Berro. Aling Cunda was born in Tunga, Moalboal on November 25, 1924. One of Aling Cunda's fondest memories of her late father was during World War II, when she saw how her father intimidated a Japanese soldier who barged into their home, by bending a crowbar right before the eyes of the frightened intruder and slammed it on his chest. From then on, no Japanese soldiers knocked on their doors again.

Aling Cunda learned eskrima by simply observing her father teach his brothers Brigido, Serapion, Alfonso, Ubaldo and elder sisters Magdalena and Segundina. Aside from her father one of her biggest influences was her aunt Insi Benang Sabanal, a ferocious fighter who she remembered foiled an attempted rape by nearly suffocating the attacker to death with a tight submission lock.

Aling Cunda has a collection of mystical panyo (handkerchief) inscribed with Latin incantations that they used as headband for protection. When Luzvisminda Aling Cunda’s daughter showed us an old picture of her grandmother Demetria, Aling Cunda fondly recounted that her mother was also an eskrimador even before she met her father Amboy Kidlat. When we asked why there were so many women eskrimadors in her era, Aling Cunda confirmed what we had been expecting all along. She was the first and probably the last living eskrimador we interviewed to corroborate that the primary purpose in learning the art was to defend their villages against Moro pirates.

Women being the favorite prey of Moro raiders for their harem, it is not surprising that some of them were equally deadly fighters. Even during the early 20th century Moro pirates continue to sow terror on the coastlines of Cebu, her elder brother Serapion took on the job of their grandfather Laurente in defending Moalboal against Moro raids. This firsthand account on the use of eskrima against Moro pirates is the final seal to prove that our theory on the origins of the Filipino Martial Arts is historically correct!

Aling Cunda is a testament of her generation's courage, strength, tenacity and profound spirituality. Truly a remarkable woman and eskrimador, the last living child of the legendary Pablo "Amboy Kidlat" Sabanal and granddaughter of Laurente "Laguno" Sabanal, the true hero of the south and probably the first to introduce the art of eskrima to the island of Cebu.

Why is eskrima concentrated in the coastal towns and not
in the mountain villages? The same pattern exists in the other
Visayan islands that were frequently raided by Moro pirates

#26 Karl

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 10:29 AM

Bastonero, can I use ur post in another forum?
Thanks
Karl
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#27 nosyac

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 01:27 PM

bastonero,

Thanks for that long article (post) and a good information.

#28 bastonero_88

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 03:52 AM

Karl,

Go ahead . Its for everyones info.
Thanks for your interest and concern in posting it for the other forums.
The author will be more than glad to see it  everywhere on the web.

your brudder,

Bastonero_88

#29 Sitbatan

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:19 AM

wtf..... what happened to Blancia inventing Kali???

now i'm gonna have to tell my students that Blancia isn't the father of Kali......

Nemesis of Moro Pirates???  I thought that was Edu Manzano's title??
It is reported that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) and asked, "O Messenger of Allah! What should I do if someone comes to me with the intention of taking my property?'' He replied, "Do not hand it over to him.'' The man further asked, "What should I do if he fights me?'' The Messenger of Allah answered , "Then fight him.'' "What would be my position in the Hereafter if he killed me?'' The Messenger of Allah replied, "In that case you are a martyr.'' The man asked: "What if I killed him?'' The Messenger of Allah replied, “He will be in the Hell-fire.” (Reported by Muslim)
http://sitbatan.blogspot.com/

#30 Karl

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 09:23 AM

QUOTE (bastonero_88 @ Sep 8 2007, 04:52 AM)
Karl,
Go ahead . Its for everyones info.
Thanks for your interest and concern in posting it for the other forums.
The author will be more than glad to see it  everywhere on the web.
your brudder,
Bastonero_88


Thanks Bastonero and ur most wc....
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