I found this surprising. Any comments?
Filipino coach of U.S. arnis team says R.P. needs more tourneys
A Filipino was the man responsible for the U.S. team's emergence as overall champion in the recent eighth World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Wekaf) World Championships held in Cebu City.
Bong Jornales, a globe-trotting practitioner of the art of stick fighting or arnis, trained and coached the Americans, who beat the Philippines by a mile for the world title in the sport that is supposed to be the Filipinos' forte.
A day before leaving for Michigan, where he is currently based, the 55-year old Jornales stressed at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Manila Pavilion Tuesday the need for more arnis competitions in the country.
"It's rather sad that hardly are there any Filipino arnis tournaments here when, in fact, it's us who are the ones who started it," he said at the program sponsored by Agfa Colors, Red Bull and Pagcor.
"Stick fighting is now popular in the US and other countries. And the Americans and Europeans are already specializing in it."
Jornales said arnis gained prominence in the 1970s when a master, Danny Inosanto, appeared in the Bruce Lee film Game of Death. Inosanto dueled the late martial-arts star in the movie.
He also noted that Filipinos used to reign as world champions in 1998 and 2000.
Jornales, who had been to Sweden, Denmark, Brazil and other Southern American countries propagating stick fighting, said it's not too late for Filipinos to renew their interest in arnis. All they need is more exposure to the sport, both here and abroad.
"I know na maraming magagaling na players dito, kaya kailangan lang talaga is more exposure para tuluy-tuloy ang interest ng mga Filipino," said Jornales, a father to two grown-up boys and husband to a member of the U.S. team.
The country's hosting of the wekaf event is a positive development toward attaining that goal.
"Siguro magandang simula 'yun [wekaf hosting]. Hopefully, arnis officials could pick up from there," he added.