Author Topic: The Art in its Homeland  (Read 50785 times)


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The Art in its Homeland
« on: March 25, 2008, 02:35:18 PM »
Woof All:

Upon reading this article it occurs to me that we need this thread.


The truth about arnis, escrima and kali
Why there is a new respect for Filipino martial arts
By Perry Gil S. Mallari, Reporter
The Manila Times

Arnis, escrima and kali-by whatever name you call it-are recognized
the world over to possess the most effective knife fighting techniques
on earth. The special forces of various countries train here to learn
our deadly arts. But few Filipinos know about Filipino martial arts

There is no doubt that the deeply ingrained colonial mentality among
Filipinos is the foremost reason why arnis, escrima and kali
collectively known as the FMA are not enjoying the same popularity as
their foreign counterparts like tae kwon do, karate and wushu right in
their very own turf. In addition to our veneration of anything
foreign, there are other contributing factors that led to this

Historically practiced by the maharlikas or noble class, a sort of
lowbrow image became attached to the FMA in the modern times. In the
early part of the 20th century, the FMA were known as brutal arts
associated with plebian types like farmers and stevedores. The stick
fighting contests during those times were conducted full contact
without the aid of armor and often resulted to the permanent injury or
death of the participants. Such deadly matches continued in the
farmlands and waterfronts of the Philippines and among the Filipino
communities in Hawaii until the 1940s.

Another obstacle that stands in the way of the FMA gaining wide
acceptance is that it took sometime before a method to teach it en
masse was systematized. Originally, the art was taught one-on-one.
Though the very personal approach to teaching meant quality
instruction, this resulted to a small number of qualified instructors
to proliferate the art.

Fallacies about the art also pose a problem. One misconception that
hinders the attractiveness of the FMA is the notion that it will only
work with weapons. Contrary to this belief, arnis, escrima and kali
are complete fighting systems that encompass bladed weapons, impact
weapons and empty hand techniques. All the FMA principles are
transposable regardless if the practitioner is fighting armed or

It is a good thing to note that a change of view toward the FMA
continue to transpire in the past 36 years. The perception toward the
FMA began to change after the celebrated Filipino-American martial
artist Dan Inosanto showcased the art in Bruce Lee's last film The
Game of Death in 1972.  Known as Lee's protégé, Inosanto was
responsible in introducing the late founder of jeet kune do to
escrima-specifically the use of the nunchaku. With an international
superstar like Lee picking up the Filipino sticks, the FMA was
included in the world map of martial arts. The The Game of Death also
became instrumental for Hollywood to notice the cinematic potential of
the FMA. Among the most notable movies of recent years that featured
the FMA are: Out for Justice starring Steven Seagal in 1991; The
Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro in 2003; and The
Bourne Supremacy starring Matt Damon in 2004. And the trend continues.
It's now circulating in the grapevine that Golden Globe Best Actor
winner Forest Whitaker, an FMA practitioner in real life, will feature
his stick fighting ability in his upcoming movie Repossession.

Another element that contributed to the FMA gaining global respect is
the fact that it's techniques, particularly the knife work were used
by military and law enforcement agencies around the world. A good case
in point is Paul Vunak, a student of Inosanto who taught Filipino
knife techniques to the members of Navy Seal Team 6. Martial artists
from other styles also discovered the FMA as a good addition to their
base system. Besides the fact that FMA training will provide them
weaponry skills, working with weapons like sticks, swords and knives
were proven to turbo-blast the development of fighting attributes like
power, reflex, speed and coordination. Swinging the heavy fighting
stick for instance will develop punching power the same way as an
old-school boxers build wallop in their punches by chopping wood with
an axe.

In the Philippines, the rather boorish view of the FMA is starting to
wane as intellectuals and those belonging to the middle class
beginning to embrace and espouse the art. Professor Felipe Jocano Jr.,
a professor of anthropology in the University of the Philippines is an
arnis expert and also writes extensively on FMA history. Alvin
Aguilar, founder of the Ultimate Reality Combat Championships and
perhaps the most well rounded fighter to emerge from the Philippines
in recent years is also a proponent of the FMA. Aguilar even devoted a
section on the FMA in the martial arts reality TV show Real Pinoy
Fighter, which he produced and was aired over ABS-CBN two years ago.

Though much has changed on the public's outlook on the FMA, it is safe
to surmise that it will never attain the palatability that karate or
tae kwon do possesses. Arnis, escrima and kali are originally war
arts, hence it explains its emphasis on weaponry and its unique
progression of training that starts with weapons and ends with empty
hands. Its techniques were refined through the centuries not on the
mat or the ring but in actual battlefields. The use of the blade,
which is essentially the backbone of the FMA and often constitutes its
highest level of practice, needs lethal commitment. Few are those who
are willing to go that far.


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Left-handed Lapu Lapu Kills Magellan
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 06:01:16 PM »
Left-handed Lapu-Lapu kills Magellan
Sun Star Cebu

"I bow to no King; I owe my allegiance only to my people."

These words, originally uttered in 1521, immortalized the chieftain of
Mactan island, giving world fame to Filipino gallantry and heroism,
and his victory over Spanish invader Ferdinand Magel-lan.

Yesterday, boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao portrayed Lapu-Lapu,
while movie actor Dennis Trillo donned the armor of Magellan, in the
annual reliving of the historic encounter.

The one-hour "Kadau-gan sa Mactan" earned many praises for being
distinct and more historically emphatic than previous reenactments.

But for its founder, former customs district collector David Odilao,
both the defending and invading warriors lacked practice.

"Crowd control was almost perfect, but the fight scene kulang sa
(lacked) realism," he said.

Odilao said that in the reenactments he named "Bahug-Bahug sa Mactan"
in 1979 to 1981, he had 150 people from eight different Cebu
universities and colleges, including 30 warriors for each warring
group who underwent rigid training with world Arnis master Ciriaco
"Cacoy" Canete.

Even before the two main protagonists, Pacquiao as Datu Lapu-Lapu and
Trillo as Magellan, arrived at the Liberty Shrine, over 20 women and
children in native dresses portrayed the old Filipino way of life,
spear-fishing and finding shells during low tide.

The male children were playing naked on the shore to make the pre-
battle scenario more realistic.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Phlippine Reclamation Authority
(PRA) General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo, Cebu
City north district Rep. Raul del Mar, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7
Director Ronald Roderos, and China Consul General in Cebu He Shijing
graced the affair.

In a speech, Mayor Arturo Radaza said the wisdom of Lapu-Lapu's words
to Magellan still resonate today because the city is facing many and
new challenges on its way to success and progress.

"The city has weathered so many obstacles since the time of Datu Lapu-
Lapu until the present, but what make us triumph against evil is our
resilience and bravery to tackle these challenges," he said.

He did not mention the controversies, including the Asean lamppost
issue, he is currently involved in.

A ten-minute native dance preceded the meeting between Magellan's
messenger and one of Lapu-Lapu's war advisers discussing the
chieftain's unconditional surrender.

After a deadlock in negotiations, three loud explosions were heard and
two of three stilt houses burned down, dramatizing the effects of the
Spaniard's cannons and starting the memorable battle led by the first
Filipino hero

When they clashed, Pacquiao only had a short sword, which was half
shorter than Trillo's, and had no shield.

Most of the time, he had to dodge away from the actor, who wielded a
huge shield and a long sword.

But in the end, history was literally repeated, with a triumphant Lapu-
Lapu yelling at the top of his voice after killing Magellan in a three-
minute duel.

"Natagalan nga akong magpatay ni (It took me some time to kill)
Magellan," Pacquiao told reporters afterwards, admitting he only
rehearsed for his role the evening before the play.

As the things unfold, the dignitaries and the city officials were
positioned on three separate makeshift stages for a better view. Below
them were plastic chairs reserved for foreign tourists.

"It was very exciting because it was about the history. The play was
accurate as I know, and that is the very reason why most of the
Chinese like more to visit this city because of this place's
historical value," He said.

He is on his seventh month as China's consul general in Cebu and it
was his first time to witness the reenactment.

Loud applause from hundreds of people who packed the Liberty Shrine
met Pacquiao as he alighted from a van with wife Jinky, who played
Lapu-Lapu's wife Bulakna; boxing aficionado Wakee Salud; and Radaza.


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 10:28:59 AM »
By 69buccaneer(69buccaneer)
After knowing the rich heritage and witnessing the effectivity and power of Original Filipino Tapado, Libo-on decided to write about it so that the new generation will know that Ilonggos have their own indigenous long stick fighting art ...


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 04:11:13 PM »
VERY interesting article, thanks.
***Look at a man in the midst of doubt and danger, and you will determine in his hour of adversity what he really is***


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 04:40:30 PM »

Make policemen use the batuta
By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

With so many policemen being disarmed by New People's Army guerrillas,
policemen in remote towns should no longer be allowed to carry guns.
Instead, they should be made to tote batuta or nightsticks, which have
no use for the NPAs.

Police stations in remote towns are the source of guns of the NPAs.
Policemen in remote towns or barangays run away or don't put up a
fight when rebels raid their places.  The few cops who fight the
marauding guerrillas get killed easily as they are surprised and outnumbered.

One reason why NPAs raid a town is to collect pistols and M-16 rifles
from individual policemen and from the station armory.

The NPA now has more guns and ammunition than there are members,
thanks to the successful raids.

* * *

Making policemen use nightsticks will force them to learn the
rudiments of arnis or Filipino stickfighting in handling troublemakers.
Most cops always use their guns even on unarmed criminals or

By the way, why have our cops discarded the nightstick when policemen
in other countries still carry it together with a pistol?

* * *

When NPAs raided the provincial jail in Mati, Davao Oriental recently,
they took the guns in the jail armory, as well as the guns of the

As they were leaving, some detainees shouted, "Uban mi n'yo (We want
to join you)."

The raiders' reply: "Ah, diha lang mo kay duna mo'y mga sala inyong
kinahanglan baydan (Just stay put as you have crimes you should pay to

The NPAs are better than some people in the Arroyo administration who
condone corruption, a crime against the people.


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The Number One Export
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 12:03:58 PM »
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Pages: The No. 1 export of the Philippines
John Pages
Sun.Star Cebu

ON THE morning of April 27, 1521, our first national hero was
discovered. Named Lapu-Lapu, together with bare-chested warriors he
extinguished the Spanish armada led by the Portuguese, Ferdinand
Magellan. Using spears and the Moro weapon kampilan, they butchered
and knifed the enemies in the "Battle Of Mactan."

That was 487 long years ago.

Today, Lapu-Lapu's bravery continues....

Wearing the same brown skin as Lapu-Lapu, Filipinos faced Spaniards.
And worse, our countrymen were up against more invaders: the
Americans, British, Italians, Germans, Swiss, Koreans, the French-a
total of 23 other nations have landed in Cebu to conquer Cebu. This
time, the skirmish was named, "Battle at Ayala."

For four days ending yesterday at the Ayala Center Cebu, there stood
women, boys, men and girls who clashed during the 10th World Eskrima
Arnis Kali Championships.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I watched. I saw banners that hung from
the rafters. Video cameras recorded to document all angles. Security
guards paraded to cordon the Activity Center. A large screen loomed
onstage. The fights were plenty.

Imagine 24 countries battling under one city, one mall, one floor?
Many foreign visitors were muscular. Some were tall; others petite.
Plenty were long-haired with tattoos; some were bald. Many wore red;
some, blue; a few, white.

My best watch? Two fighters surrounded by two camps of screaming
teammates, one chanting "U! S! A! U! S! A!" the other hollering, "U!
K! U! K! U! K!" They were shouting in unison and, standing beside
Atty. Dionisio Cañete, the Supreme Grandmaster of Doce Pares, all I
could do was smile, clap and gaze amazed at the revelry.

Imagine, on RP soil, the US vs. the UK?

For here's my point: While Lapu-Lapu used sticks and swords to bloody
and kill Magellan; while Arnis and Eskrima are widely acknowledged to
have originated in the Philippines-this type of martial arts is not
popular here. Or, it's not as popular here as it is in other nations.
Plus, of course, we know it pales in comparison against taekwondo,
karatedo or aikido.

But here's the irony: this Filipino martial arts is popular outside
our archipelago.

Take the Americans. In all, they sent a 110-strong team. The British?
Dozens. Same with 23 other nations. And though we fielded a squad that
reached a hundred, you can see how popular stick-fighting has grown
outside RP soil. In all, about 100 who joined the event were Filipinos-
compared to 500 foreigners!

Which led former judo champion Nimrod Quiñones, the managing editor of
The Freeman, to conclude: "Arnis is RP's top export."

Well-said, Nim.

With this in mind, plenty is being done to counter this. To start
with, the recent 10th Wekaf world meet was a way to popularize the
sport. And the fact that the organizers-led by Grandmaster Diony and
Gerald and Michael Cañete-decided to hold it not at a far-flung
basketball gym but at the heart of Cebu, at Ayala Center, is a tactic
to entice Cebuanos to watch. And kudos to Ayala Center for their
support-led by Cebu Holdings, Inc. President Francis Monera and top
Ayala officials Joy Polloso and Bong Dy-for personally being there.

Senator Migz Zubiri, a former undefeated arnisador, I met last
Wednesday. He invigorated the crowd with his speech and, right after,
demonstrated his skill in an exhibition with Team Pinoy head coach
(and four-time world champ) Val Pableo. Best of all, while talking to
our group of sportswriters and together with his good friend and top
businessman Edwin Ortiz, he authored a bill in the Senate declaring
arnis as RP's National Sport-to be taught at all schools.

Good. Great. Because with the recent 10th Wekaf World Championships
success, I hope arnis gains more popularity. In RP. In Cebu. Among


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 10:11:38 AM »


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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 09:29:00 AM »
This could have fit in the boxing thread too, but the larger point is about the Philippines so I put it here.
Boxer Manny Pacquiao looks beyond the ring to politics after Ricky Hatton fight
The boxer Manny Pacquiao is so popular in the Philippines that when he steps into the ring, the army and rebel guerrillas call a truce. Now he has his sights on a new challenge – as a poverty-fighting politician.
By Gareth A Davies
Last Updated: 3:39PM BST 30 Apr 2009

In a corner of the Wild Card boxing gym, a small, compact man with a tiny waist, powerful arms and muscular calves genuflects in prayer at the edge of the sparring ring, his head resting on the buttress.

A white bandanna is wrapped loosely around his head, his chin is tucked into his chest, and his hands are pressed together tightly in worship. This is Manny Pacquiao, devout Catholic, Filipino idol, street urchin turned benefactor and, at 5ft 6in in his socks, the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. Finally, he looks up, bright-eyed, and smiles. He utters a few words in his native Tagalog, and his entourage of 30 Filipinos collapses in laughter.

The Wild Card, located between Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards, a few blocks from the centre of Hollywood, is a dream factory for fighters. It is an institution of sweat, spit and sawdust, where some of the world's best boxers pound the bags alongside former lags, aspiring fighters and even Hollywood A-listers such as Mickey Rourke and Mark Wahlberg.
Each afternoon, the gym is cleared for Pacquiao so that he may train in peace. For the past six weeks, the Wild Card has resounded to the beat of a drum, and the rattle of a speedball at the end of Pacquiao's blurred fists.

On Saturday, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Pacquiao (48 wins in 53 professional fights) will learn whether his training has paid off when he steps into the ring with Manchester's Ricky Hatton (45 wins in 46 professional fights) for the latter's IBO and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight world titles.

The contest, pitting the two most popular fighters in the world against each other, is expected to gross an estimated £40 million. Pacquiao is guaranteed at least £10 million for his night's work, which could rise to £15 million with his share of pay-per-view TV takings, making it his largest payday. It could also be his last.

It is a month before the fight, a Saturday, and the trainer Freddie Roach gestures outside the Wild Card. 'Look,' he says. In the quadrangle below, more than 500 Filipinos have gathered in an orderly queue around the gym's perimeter fence and car-park to shake hands, ask for an autograph, or simply touch the arm of the man who has had the official titles 'National Treasure' and 'National Fist' bestowed upon him by the government of the Philippines.

Roach, who runs the Wild Card, is widely considered the world's leading boxing trainer, and has overseen the careers of 23 world champions, including Mike Tyson and Bernard Hopkins.

A former lightweight fighter himself, Roach, 49, has Parkinson's disease, which leaves him with the shakes and a slight limp, though he says the symptoms disappear when he goes to work on the pads with his charges. 'We have been together eight years now and Pacquiao is like no other fighter I've ever known,' he says. 'What sets him apart from all the others is his work ethic. He's just relentless.'

In 14 years as a professional, Pacquiao has won world titles in four weight divisions – from 7st 8lb to 9st 9lb, at flyweight, super bantamweight, super featherweight and lightweight. In his last contest, in December, in what many felt would be a step too far, he dismantled America's most popular boxer, Oscar De La Hoya, at the 10st 7lb limit, in eight one-sided rounds.

Pacquiao is currently rated by The Ring, the sport's most respected trade magazine, as the best boxer in the world. His career earnings stand at an estimated £30 million. (Major paydays have come late in his career, in the past three years.)

Boxing promoters are by nature artists of smokescreen and hype, but it is still surprising to hear Bob Arum, the veteran Las Vegas-based promoter who oversaw Muhammad Ali's career in the 1960s, comparing Pacquaio with such a singular fighter
as Ali. 'Muhammad was larger than life, and loved by people, but I have never had a fighter who has so captivated one people as Manny,' Arum says. 'Everywhere I go, I am approached by Filipinos.'

Such is Pacquiao's standing in his home country that it is written into Philippine law that the army will go to Pacquiao's aid if his family is in danger. He carried the flag for the Philippines at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and is the first Filipino boxer to have his image appear on a stamp. In a Time magazine online poll to find the 100 most influential people of 2009, Pacquiao has so far garnered more than 20 million votes.

Emmanuel 'Manny' Dapidran Pacquiao was born in December 1978 in the small town of Kibawe in Mindanao, the second largest of the Philippines' 7,107 islands. His early life was one of true poverty. The family lived in a shanty town, sleeping on cardboard boxes. His father, Rosalio Pacquiao, was a farmhand; his mother, Dionisia Dapigaran, did an assortment of odd jobs, and raised her children to believe in God. She hoped that Manny might one day become a priest. Manny often missed school to work in a laundry and do menial jobs to help make ends meet.

In 1990, when he was 12, two events changed Pacquiao's life. First, on television, he witnessed James 'Buster' Douglas defeat the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson in Tokyo – Pacquiao's first encounter with boxing, which led him to dream of a career in the ring. He would do odd jobs at the local gym and made his own punchbag out of a cardboard box stuffed with old clothes.

Second, and more significantly, he ran away from his family. He had found a stray dog, and brought it home. His father, who had been drinking, was enraged and, to punish the boy, cooked and ate the animal. Horrified, Pacquiao packed his bags and left for good. He slept rough, eking out a living selling iced water and doughnuts, each for a penny profit, until he stowed away in a boat bound for Manila 500 miles away.

After a time living on the streets, then finding a job as a gardener and construction worker, Pacquiao met Ben Delgado, who ran the L & M Gym in Sampaloc. 'Manny approached me and asked me if I would train him,' Delgado tells me as we sit in Nat's Thai Food restaurant in the quadrangle below the Wild Card. 'It was a rough area of Manila, but it was a good gym.' While several promoters told Pacquiao he was too small to be a boxer, Delgado spotted a raw yet rare talent in the young man, and agreed to work with him.

Pacquiao had no money, so Delgado let him live in the gym for the next two years, sleeping beside the workout areas in a small room. 'Sometimes we used to put plywood boards on the canvas and slept in the ring,' Delgado says. 'In the mornings we went jogging, the rest of the day we just trained. He always had a big heart, in and out of the ring, and always, even then, wanted to be champion of the world.'

Under Delgado's guidance, Pacquiao turned professional at 17, and became a rising star on a televised weekly boxing show in the Philippines called Blow by Blow. At the time, he was earning about $2 per fight, which he sent home to his mother. His progress was rapid, his reputation grew, and before long the world flyweight title was on his radar. He won the World Boxing Council flyweight belt in Thailand, against Chatchai Sasakul, in December 1998, at the age of 19.

His major career break came in 2001 when, still under Delgado's tuition, Pacquiao fought at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, his first fight in America. He had been called up as a late replacement against the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo 'Hands of Stone' Ledwaba. Pacquiao, still a raw brawler at this point, and an outsider for the title, stopped the South African Ledwaba in the sixth round.

He was quickly spotted by Freddie Roach, who has plotted his fighting strategy ever since. Roach remodelled Pacquiao's style to make use of his blistering hand speed, while developing a mental toughness through a rigorous sparring and fitness regimen. 'Pacquiao, physically, became a fighting machine,' Roach says. Fearless, he stands toe-to-toe with his opponents, is almost impossibly light on his feet, and seems to answer every punch taken with three of his own.

Since 2001 only four of Pacquiao's 18 fights have taken place in his native country, with half of them in Vegas, the world's fight capital. To his compatriots, he has become the Philippines' most famous and successful export, and a symbol of triumph over adversity. Fourteen years after Pacquiao turned professional, Delgado, now 72, still attends every fight, and is a permanent fixture within Pacquiao's Los Angeles entourage. The boxer calls him his 'lucky charm'.

Pacquiao joins us in the restaurant. He has just completed 16 rounds of sparring against four different fighters, 12 rounds on the pads with Roach, and an hour's run in the Hollywood Hills, with only his Jack Russell – with whom he shares the nickname 'Pacman' – able to keep the cardio-sapping pace. After training, he had spent two hours signing autographs for all the people gathered at the gym.

'I have to give people time to take a picture, and sign autographs. I have to be generous to people. It is in my heart. Without that, I would not be Manny Pacquiao,' he says, ordering boiled eggs and salad. 'I believe that being famous means one of your responsibilities is to give.'

For a man so revered, he is deeply humble. He has charisma, yet engages only in spurts, before withdrawing deep inside himself. 'I'm just a regular person who believes life is simple, and I like a simple life,' he says. 'I have a lot of friends around me. I'm happy with that. Of course, in the ring, you have to be a warrior, but outside the ring, people know I'm friendly. Ricky Hatton and I will be friends after the fight, whatever happens.'

When not training in California, Pacquiao lives in a presidential-style mansion in General Santos City, Mindanao, with his wife, Jinkee, and their four children. The compound is manned 24/7 by armed security guards (there have been threats made against his children in the past). He is building homes for his siblings, his mother and his father, with whom he was reconciled publicly in 2006.

'If people don't have money, or have problems, they come to him,' Delgado says. 'And he helps them. Everyone loves him in the Philippines, from low profile to the high people.'

'Whenever he is in the Philippines,' Lee Samuels, the publicist for Bob Arum's Top Rank Inc promotion company, explains, 'people line up at his house for charitable gifts every day. They are mostly children, but also people who fall behind on their mortgage payments, people who have fallen on hard times.'

Pacquiao finds it difficult to refuse them. He is currently funding 250 children through school in his neighbourhood, through a foundation set up several years ago. Some are orphans, others have parents who have requested his help. Since his last fight in December, he has organised the export from the United States of 350 American-built hospital beds destined for wards around the General Santos region, a fire engine and an ambulance, and is overseeing the rebuilding of the L & M Gym in Manila into an apartment complex, incorporating a boxing gym in the basement.

At his American apartment, in a gated compound in Los Angeles, I asked him how he felt about the widespread poverty in the Philippines. He fixed me with a steely look. 'Poverty does not make me angry,' he said. 'But it makes me feel bad inside, and I want to help. I want the people of the Philippines to be happy, even if they have nothing. Even if they can just have enough to eat food three times a day. I feel so bad because God gave us everything to live in this world, so why don't we share with other people?'

Some of Pacquiao's most ardent supporters claim him as a latter-day saint, a new-age leader of the Maharlikan people who were conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century.

'Pacquiao is not just an inspiration for people, but has been a saving grace for the Philippines government on more than one occasion,' says Granville Ampong, a highly respected Filipino journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes for several newspaper titles in the Philippines. 'The Philippines is in a state of political chaos, of economic meltdown. There are many controversies around the current administration, and he has saved them from attack from revolutionaries.'

On the island of Pacquiao's birth, Mindanao, rebels have been fighting for a separate Islamic state within the mainly Catholic country for decades; the conflict is said to have claimed more than 120,000 lives. In spite of a ceasefire in 2003 and regular peace talks, violence continues.

'The masses could have overthrown the government but each time Manny fights, he calms the situation,' Ampong says. 'When he enters the ring, a truce is declared between guerrillas and the national army, and the crime rate all over the Philippines drops to zero. It's an amazing phenomenon.'

It is widely accepted that, despite his lack of a formal education, Pacquiao's destiny lies in Philippine politics. There is strong speculation that he will retire from the ring later this year, in time to prepare for the general elections in 2010. Last September he was sworn in as a member of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Free Filipino party. 'I'm convinced,' Arum says, 'that one day he will be president of the Philippines.'

When Pacquiao defeated De La Hoya in December, he dedicated his victory 'to President Arroyo, to the whole Philippines, and to the Filipino people all over the world.' In the press conference, Pacquiao was flanked by two leading politicians, governor Luis 'Chavit' Singson and the energy secretary Lito Atienza. At the post-fight party, more politicians were spotted among his fans. Mayors of seven Manila suburbs have enjoyed ringside seats at his recent fights, along with the husband of President Arroyo.

In late February a press tour was held in Manchester and London to promote Pacquiao's contest with Hatton. The Philippine ambassador attended the news conferences in both cities. 'They have to be there,' Arum explains. 'Not because of Manny's career, but because of theirs.'

Though it once boasted one of south-east Asia's best-performing economies, the Philippines is now saddled with a large national debt, and tens of millions of people live in poverty. A third of the population live on less than a dollar a day. The economy is heavily dependent on the billions of dollars sent home each year by the huge Filipino overseas workforce, but the world recession is driving the country towards economic collapse.

The Philippines also possesses the highest birth rate in Asia, with forecasters predicting the population of 90 million (it is the world's 12th most populous country) could double within three decades, pushing the fragile economy past breaking point.
It is also the world's biggest rice importer, and has seen prices soar in recent years. The Philippines needs, if not a miracle, then an individual who embodies unity and hope for the future.

'It is too premature to judge the future of Manny Pacquiao in political terms,' Ampong says. 'The realm of Philippine politics is a tricky one. There is a huge gap between rich and poor, and trying to bridge the gap is an idealistic wish. I'm not suspicious of his motives, but what about the numbskull politicians following him? What are their motives? I think Philippine politics is going
to be very difficult for him.'

Pacquiao, unaccustomed to defeat, has already discovered that winning at the ballot box is not as straightforward as winning in the ring. In February 2007 he announced he was running for congress under President Arroyo's party, to widespread dismay from both his fans and the general public. Arroyo had become president in 2004 in controversial circumstances, following vote-rigging allegations. These have contributed to the unrest in Mindanao where, in a 2008 survey, 58 per cent of citizens said they felt Arroyo had cheated in the election.

On May 17 2007 Pacquiao was defeated in the congressional elections by Darlene Antonino-Custodio, running for the Nationalist People's Coalition, who received 139,061 votes to Pacquiao's 75,908. Pacquiao had funded his campaign with his own money, though it has been claimed that much of the funds were siphoned off by his own supporters. Political naivety, and his support for a controversial president, appear to have cost him victory on this occasion. Pacquiao's boxing fans rejoiced after the election defeat, and he returned to the ring. But not, it seems, for much longer. It remains to be seen whether he can hold on to his phenomenal popularity once he hangs up his gloves.

'Manny needs to distance himself from Arroyo if he intends to maintain his popularity in the Philippines,' Ampong says. Indeed, it is possible that the backlash has already begun. Pacquiao has recently had run-ins with the Philippine media, a situation that was unthinkable a few years ago. The Manila Bulletin reported in the summer of 2007 that he had a gambling problem, though the reporter later apologised personally to Pacquiao, who withdrew a libel action against the newspaper.

Once he is ensconced in politics, more people may emerge who are determined to bring him down. And unlike Hatton and De La Hoya, they may fight dirty. 'I spent a month in the Philippines in 2007 trying to dissuade Manny from running for congress but to no avail,' Mike Koncz, a close friend of Pacquiao and one of his long-term advisers, says. 'It is just his burning desire and strong belief that he can make a difference in Philippine politics. Do I agree? No, because one man cannot change the system over there, but that's his belief. He thinks he can change the system for the better and help people out of poverty that way. And when Manny feels like that, you can't change his mind. He's a fighter, and he always will be.'

It is Monday morning, three weeks before the fight. Back in the gym, Pacquiao is on familiar ground. The speedball is a blur on the far wall, and the fighter, totally focused and with his fists flashing, is framed by a huge poster of Muhammad Ali, open-mouthed, behind him. Training over, he stops for a chat. I ask if he is ever worried about losing. He pauses for a moment and then smiles. 'I have no fear in my life,' he says. 'I don't fear losing. Why feel fear in your heart when you believe in God?'

Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao is exclusively live on Saturday night on Sky Box Office and in high definition on Sky Box Office HD. To order, call 08442-410888


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 07:47:46 PM »


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 10:14:45 PM »
what a devastating knockout! :-o manny is really on top of his game right now.
hope ricky's ok. he was a great champ and went out like a champ.


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GM Giron
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 06:48:40 PM »

Grandmaster Leo Giron Last of the Bladed Warriors
By Antonio E. Somera
This article is courtesy of CFW Enterprises Incorporated. All Rights

During the outbreak of World War II many Filipinos volunteered for
service. The outpouring was so creditable that orders were issued to activate
the First Filipino Infantry Regiment in Salinas, Calif., effective July 13,
1942 and the Second Filipino Infantry Regiment Nov. 21, 1942. The First and
Second Filipino Infantry was once one division with the strength of 12,000
men, three regiments, plus other special companies. In addition, out of these
12,000 men, about 1,000 were selected for special missions. This force of
fighting Filipinos was known as the First Reconnaissance Battalion and was
activated Nov. 20, 1944. This included the 978th signal service company, which
was identified with the Allied Intelligence Bureau.These men and officers were
called Commandos and "Bahala Na" ("come what may") was their slogan. As part
of General Douglas MacArthurâ?Ts secret force, they were dropped behind enemy
lines and became the eyes and ears of General MacArthur.

One of the most noted of these servicemen was Sergeant Leo M. Giron of the 978th signal
service company. Sergeant Giron served over one year behind enemy lines in the
jungles of Northern Luzon, Philippines. He was a member of a group of secret
commandos that were part of General Douglas MacArthur's secret army.

Grandmaster Giron is head advisor and world-renowned founder of the Bahala Na
Martial Arts Association. At the tender age of 90 he still resides in
Stockton, Calif., and attends class on a regular bases.

His knowledge of jungle warfare is an invaluable asset to those who train with him. He is a
rare combination of humble martial artist and distinguished college professor.
Here is his story:

FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS: When were you inducted into the

LEO GIRON: I was inducted on Oct. 9, 1942. This was in Los Angeles,
Calif., because prior to this I was farming in Imperial Valley, Calif. I was
first stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo, and then in the winter of the same
year I was transferred to Fort Ord.

FMA: How were you selected to be in the
978th signal service company?

LG: Well, everyone was brought into a big room.
It was the recreation room on base. This is where we were given an aptitude
test. Many did not pass and they were sent back to their regiment. But others
made it and were given additional education on Morse code. The Army was
looking for specific types of men. They were looking for men with schooling
and how well they could communicate. That included speaking English. I was one
of the few that made it.

FMA: What was your training experience like in the

LG: During boot camp we also went to school. We were learning
communications like Morse code, wig-wag (flag signals), cyma four,
cryptography and paraphrasing. I was trained to communicate. At the time I did
not know what the Army was planning for me to do. We were never told why we
were training; you just did what the Army told you to do.

FMA: What type of
self-defense training did you receive from the Army?

LG: We learned all the
basic training needed for soldiering. Nothing special, just how to shoot a
carbine, how to use a .45 and some basic hand-to-hand combat. I was fortunate
to learn escrima as a child and later after coming to America with one of my
most influential teachers, Flaviano Vergara. Flaviano taught me the most about
escrima and how to defend myself. In fact, I met Flaviano a second time in
Fort Ord during which time we would play on weekdays after dinner and on the
weekends while everyone went into town. Flaviano and I would do nothing but
drill and drill using estilo de fondo and larga mano. Sometimes a soldier
would come by and ask what were we doing. Some would tell us that they would
never come close to a Samurai sword. They claimed they would give the Samurai
a load of their M-1.

FMA: When did you go overseas?

LG: On Dec. 10, 1943 two
of us were shipped to New Guinea, but this was a mistake by the Army. We were
supposed to go to Australia. So on Jan. 10, 1944 I was sent to Australia to a
place called Camp X. It was close to the little town of Beau Desert about 60
miles from the seaport of Brisbane in Queensland. It was there that I
furthered my training in Morse code, cryptography, visual communications, etc.

I also embarked on my final training in jungle warfare in a place called
Canungra. Thirteen weeks of hard training contributed to my ability to climb
the high mountains of the Philippines and survive in the jungles. One time for
a week we were given only three days of C-rations and the other four days we
were to survive on our own. At this point I was staff sergeant.

FMA: Did you
ever meet General Douglas MacArthur?

LG: Yes, several times, but on Aug. 10,
1944 I was ordered to a briefing at the General' Headquarters. General
MacArthur crossed his arms and said to us, "Boys, I selected you to do a job
that a general can't do. You have the training to do a job that no one else
can do.

You are going home to our country, the Philippines-- yours and my
homeland. You'll serve as my eyes, my ears, and my fingers, and you'll
keep me informed of what the enemy is doing. You will tell me how to win the
war by furnishing me with this information, which I could not obtain in any
other way. Good luck, and there will be shinning bars waiting for you in

FMA: How did you land in the Philippines?

LG: On Aug. 12, 1944 we
boarded one of the smallest submarines in the United States Navy armada. It
was called the U.S. Sting Ray. We were loaded and armed with carbines,
submachine guns, side arms, bolo knives, trench knives, brass knuckles,
ammunition and a few other special packages. While on our way to the
Philippines we slept on our own cargo boxes. Myself and one other soldier
slept under the torpedo racks. One time we were fired upon and had to
outmaneuver several torpedoes at full speed. This occurred near the Halmahera
Island on the Celebes Sea. We also were attacked in Caonayan Bay just before
disembarking the submarine. The attack was on the submarine when a plane had
dropped depth charges on us. They came close enough to rattle the sub and
burst some pipes, but luckily this was the extent of the damage. We landed on
the beach Aug. 28, 1944.

FMA: What was the most memorable encounter you had
with the enemy?

LG: Well it is hard to try and choose one particular encounter
because they were all very horrifying. One Bonsai attack comes to mind, in
early June 1945 on a rainy day. A large number of enemy soldiers charged our
position. We formed a wedge or triangle formation, two on the side and one as
a point man. I was point man. Just like any Bonsai charge the enemy was always
noisy. Yelling and shouting, they are not afraid to die. The Filipino
guerrillas, on the other hand, chew their tobacco, grit their teeth and wing
their bolos, chop here, jab there, long bolos, short daggers, pointed bamboo,
pulverized chili peppers with sand deposited in bamboo tubes to spray so the
enemy cannot see. By now my adrenaline must have gone up. One bayonet and
samurai sword came simultaneously. The samurai sword was in front of me while
the bayonet was a little to the left. With my left hand I parried the bayonet.
I blocked the sword coming down on me. The bayonet man went by
 and his body came in line with my bolo.

That's when I came down to cut his
left hip. The Samurai was coming back with a backhand blow. I met his triceps
with the bolo and chopped it to the ground. After the encounter I wiped my
face with my left hand to clear my eyes from the rain and found bloodstains on
my face. There were many more encounters. But our job was not to be detected
by the enemy; our mission was to send back vital information on the enemy to

FMA: When did you start teaching the art of arnis escrima?

In October, 1968 I decided to open a club in Tracy, Calif., where I was
residing at the time. I was motivated after I heard on the news that a man in
Chicago killed eight nursing students and some of the nurses were Filipina.

FMA: Why did you name your Martial Art Association "Bahala Na"?

LG: It was the
slogan of my outfit during World War II. I am proud of the men I fought with
during World War II and in the spirit of my comrades. I hold the memories of
all those I fought with in very high regard and close to my heart. I also can
associate the combative spirit we had during the time of World War II and
because of this I feel I have the right to use the slogan of "Bahala Na". By
the way it means "Come what may."

FMA: What makes a good student?

LG:   A person with good passive resistance. You must have patience and not be too
eager to win and be the champion. What he should be interested in is learning
how to defend himself and his family against aggression. The end result will
be that you will survive -- this makes you victorious. You do not need to say
I am going to win and defeat my opponent. The attitude is that I am going to
survive and not get hurt. That's what will count; the other man will
eventually fall into a loophole were he will fall by himself and eventually he
will defeat himself.

FMA: Do you feel that your experience during World War
II in the jungles of the Philippines helped you become a better teacher?

know the respect of the bolo knife. Wartime is different. There is no regard
for life. Its different teaching; you must have structure and good
communications with your students. I like to teach more about the application
and fundamentals. Its not about how hard you hit or who is faster; its
about sharing the art of our forefathers, because if you analyze it we are
only the caretakers of the art for future generations.

FMA: Why do you still
teach escrima?

LG: Well, first its a hobby. I have the chance to stretch my
legs, work my arms and exercise my body. I feel it is a gift to be able to
learn a combative art like escrima. Being that it falls in the field of
sports, it is good to have and know something that not too many people know. I
feel proud that I have something to share with the children, my friends and
those that want to learn an art that is a little different than other martial
arts. I feel that the Filipino art is a superior art in comparison to other
arts, so I stand firm in saying that I am proud that I have learned and still
know the art of escrima.

FMA: Have you ever fought in any death matches?

No, I have never fought in a death match. From what I understand, to
participate in a death match you will need to have a referee and a second or
back-up person in your corner -- something similar to a boxing match. The
only type of death match I had was during World War II. This is where I fought
in the jungles for over a year, not knowing if we would survive. Our weapons
of choice were the bolo knife or talonason, a long knife whose overall length
is 36 inches long. No referee, no rules; the only rule was to survive.

Grandmaster Leo Giron was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroic efforts. The
letter accompanying the Bronze Star reads: "By direction of the President of
the United States of America, under the provisions of Executive order 9419, 4
February 1944 (Sec. II, Bulletin 3, WD, 1944), a Bronze Star Medal is awarded
by the Commander-in-Chief, United States Army Forces, Pacific, to the
following-named officer and enlisted men for heroic achievement in connection
with military operations against the enemy in Luzon, Philippine Islands,
during the period indicated, with citation for each as shown herein below:
Technical Sergeant Leovigildo M. Giron, 39536996, Signal Corps, United States
Army. 27 August 1944 to 11 June 1945. Address: Bayambang, Pangasinan,
Philippine Islands.

"Volunteering for a secret and dangerous military
intelligence mission, he was landed by submarine in Luzon, Philippine Islands,
where he assisted in successfully extending lines of
 communication, securing vital weather data and obtaining military information
which proved of the greatest assistance to impending military operations. By
his loyalty, daring, and skillful performance of duty under most hazardous
condition, he readied a campaign for the recapture of the Philippine Islands."

By command of General MacArthur:  R.K. Sutherland, Lieutenant General,
United States Army, Chief of Staff. Official: B.M. Fitch Brigadier
General, U.S. Army, Adjutant General

Grandmaster Leo M. Giron, head advisor
and founder of Bahala Na Martial Arts Association, is known as the "Father of
Larga Mano" in America. There have only been 79 graduates from the Bahala Na
Martial Arts Association over the past 32 years. Some of his most famous
graduates are Dan Inosanto, Richard Bustillo, Ted Lucay Lucay, Jerry Poteet
and Dentoy Rivellar. He remains active and teaches along with grandmaster
Antonio E. Somera in Stockton, Calif.

Antonio E. Somera studies the Filipino
martial arts with grandmaster Leo Giron. For more information on classroom or
private classes, seminars, certified affiliate programs, Stockton training
camps or books, contact grandmaster Antonio E. Somera, P.O. Box 8584,
Stockton, CA 95208;


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2009, 07:32:34 AM »
Great Article! 8-)
It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.


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Books for the Barrios
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 01:14:42 PM »

A friend forwards the following to me:

Hey Folks,

Books for the Barrios is a volunteer humanitarian organization that collects and distributes books and spreads education to the underprivileged children of the Philippines.  Please check them out here:
Attached is some additional information.  Please donate if you can and if nothing else, please help spread the word!
Thank you!

c - Shadow Dog

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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2010, 10:45:12 AM »

This clip  is from 1962---8 years before i was born : )

the arnis starts about a 1/3 of the way through the clip.

Things that I found intresting in this clip

1. Foot work
2, The boy meeting and following the force
3. the feed off of kob kob
4. the long and short work, espada y daga
4. the box pattern with a roof structure

woof  to all.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 10:46:51 AM by tcrutcher »


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2010, 06:27:22 PM »
Outstanding find!


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2010, 10:18:16 PM »
Salamat Po Terry!
"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be quite effective." - Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2010, 10:52:09 AM »
i visit the homeland every two years to see the wifes side of the family and get a much needed break from the -40C temperatures of my workplace.
just wondering if there is any information on martial arts tours or camps being run during January to March, that members here have a line on?
a one to two week training jaunt would be awesome and in the heat i'd definitely lose some inches!
gord :|


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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 07:39:49 AM »


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Balintawak vs. Doce Pares
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2012, 09:31:11 PM »


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The Art in its Homeland - Philippine Scouts
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2013, 09:43:03 AM »
Posted on behalf of Crafty Dog
by Spartan Dog


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Way of the Warrior documentary
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 10:11:14 AM »


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The Art in its Homeland FMA Legends
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2014, 10:42:31 AM »
Posted on behalf of Crafty Dog
by Spartan Dog

C-Kumu Dog

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Re: The Art in its Homeland FMA Legends
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2014, 07:45:42 PM »

K. Dumb question is that in Hawaii?  I'm guessing the people in the front row from Left to Right Mike Del Mar, Braulio Pedoy, Floro Villabrille and Josephine Del Mar.   
I could be totally wrong about the location but I know for sure that is Ben Largusa and Dan Inosanto, LOL.
"You see, it's not the blood you spill that gets you what you want, it's the blood you share. Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." Before Dishonor - Hatebreed


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2014, 09:41:21 PM »
Yes it is Hawaii, so yes we are stretching things a bit to put this picture in this thred  :-D

In the back row is:

*Richard Bustillo
*Lucky Lucay (I think)
*and Guro I

I agree with you on the front row.


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Los Triques mentioned in RP news article
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2014, 04:43:58 AM »
This article talks abouts kicks in Kali but mentions Los Triques in the article as well.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 07:13:40 PM by Crafty_Dog »


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 07:14:00 PM »
Far out.

Nice find.



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Kicks in Eskrima
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2015, 05:57:38 AM »


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2015, 06:36:39 AM »


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Re: The Art in its Homeland
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2018, 07:06:38 PM »


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