Lameco Eskrima Practitioners Honor Punong Guro Edgar Sulite on his 20th Death Anniversary with training sessions and gatherings around the globe.

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Lameco Eskrima Practitioners Honor Punong Guro Edgar Sulite  on his 20th Death Anniversary with training sessions and gatherings around the globe.       Punong Guro Edgar Sulite September 25, 1957 – April 10, 1997   ------------   MADRID, SPAIN     Madrid, Spain Group headed by Guro Tim Fredianelli: Honoring the memory of Punong Guro Edgar Sulite by training in Lameco Arnis in Madrid Spain. Our mode to all Lameco practitioners everywhere! Punong Guro Sulites 20th death anniversary. In Honor of Punong Guro Edgar Sulite we made a special training today. Our respects to our brothers from Lameco everywhere.     --------   MEXICO CITY, MEXICO     -------------   ZACATEPEC DE HIDALGO, MEXICO       ------   PINTO, SPAIN   Pinto Spain Group headed by Alfonso Lopez: On April 2 we did a training, in memory, and tribute to Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, in which we read the biography of Punong Guro, and performed a training with a great feeling, of course we had a memory of our brother recently deceased Alex Garduño, Our respects to all Lameco practitioners everywhere, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite 20th Death anniversary, and a special thanks to our Guros to keep alive the memory of Punong Guro. ----- LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA         ----- FOLSOM, NEW JERSEY, USA   South Jersey Group headed by Jamie Morris … [Read more...]

Rest In Peace Guro Alejandro Garduno Hernandez of Lameco Eskrima Mexico/Combat Academy. 1970 to 2017.

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  An announcement from Guro Dave Gould: I wanted to announce to everyone on the Group some sad news; One of my most trusted and loyal Lameco Eskrima students from Mexico has just passed. Most of you know him and have befriended him on Face Book, Alejandro "Alex" Garduno from Morelos. On September 12, 2016 after test results came back, Alex was diagnosed with a blood disease called: "Hemoconcentration" which is associated with a life time of untreated High Blood Pressure, which resulted in an enlarged heart, the same thing that happened to PG Sulite which lead to his suffering a stroke 20 years ago from two day ago. Alex died from the stroke that he was felled by. Alex first began training with me back in 2000 when I was flown into teach a Lameco Eskrima seminar in Mexico City. He went on to become my student and trained with me as he would bring me to Mexico for Seminars over the years. He ranked under me as an Apprentice Instructor in the Lameco Eskrima system. He also later brought in brother Roger Agbulos and Dino Flores to do Seminars there in Mexico, as well he hosted the Sulite Orehenal Group in Mexico City in 2014 where Bong Hebia, Bud Balani Jr., Dino Flores, and I conducted a Lameco Eskrima Camp there for three days. He will be missed... Rest in peace brother :( ------ From Guro Dino Flores: Rest well Alex... Rest In Peace my good friend. One of the kindest gentlemen I have ever met. Not only was Alex one of the primary heads of Lameco Eskrima in Mexico, he was also our representative for Kali Ilustrisimo in Mexico. Love and prayers to Leti and all the immediate and huge extended family. You will be dearly missed. ----   … [Read more...]

Guro Dan Inosanto interview about his Lameco Eskrima Instructor, PG Edgar G. Sulite. April 1997.

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Guro Dan Inosanto interview about his Lameco Eskrima Instructor, PG Edgar G. Sulite. April 1997. Below is an interview circa April 1997 that Guro Dan Inosanto gave about his Lameco Eskrima Instructor, PG Edgar G. Sulite. Guro Dan Inosanto trained privately in Lameco Eskrima under PG Sulite from 1989 - 1997 for a total of 8 years and was very impressed with his combative prowess as well as his teaching ability. In that time Guro Dan Inosanto rose to the rank of Senior Instructor in the Lameco Eskrima system under PG Sulite and has been the Vice President (Vice Chairman) of the Lameco Eskrima International Association since about 1990 and still remains in that position today. The interview below was published in Guro Dan Inosanto`s; Inosanto Academy of Martial Art`s (IAMA) "Free Voice" Magazine which was made available quarterly to those of us who trained at the Inosanto Academy. This Interview was in the Spring Issue of 1997 just after PG Sulite passed away. … [Read more...]

Rest In Peace Master Alexander Lim Co – April 12th, 2016

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Alexander Lim Co Alexander Lim Co is a living treasure in the arts of Chinese kung-fu. In fact, no name is more synonymous with Kung-Fu in the Philippines than Alexander Co. He spearheaded the Chin Wu Club in Manila, wrote the first kung-fu book ever published in the Philippines, and published the country’s first martial arts magazine, simply titled “Martial Arts Magazine.” Co has studied a dozen different kung-fu styles, was an “in-door” disciple of Ngo Cho Kun’s late grandmaster Tan Ka Hong, and has studied Seven Star Praying Mantis and Hung-gar under Grandmaster Shakespeare Chan, Wu style Tai Chi Chuan under the late Master John Hu Chuan Hai, and Hsin-I Liu Ha Pa Fa under Master David Chan. Alexander Co is the Advising Grandmaster of The International Beng Hong Athletic Association. He has served as Chairman of the Philippine-Chinese Beng Kiam Athletic Association and the Tsing Hua Ngo Cho Kung-fu Center and as Vice-chairman of the Hsin-I Society of Internal Arts. In addition to dozens of articles featured in such magazines as Martial Arts Magazine, Rapid Journal, Inside Kung-Fu, Martial Arts Illustrated, and Martial Arts Legends. Grandmaster Co has written three books: Secrets of Seven Star Praying Mantis, The Way of Ngo Cho Kun and Five Ancestor Fist Kung-Fu, and is translator of The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun. He also filmed a series of instructional videos “The Essence of Ngo Cho Kun” and “The Essence of Seven Star Praying Mantis” for Unique Publications Video. ---   Ronnie Ricketts I was saddened to hear of the passing of a good friend and a great master, Alex Co . He was an amazing influence in the lives of our Bakbakan brothers. Our sincerest condolences to the family and may you rest in peace, Master Alex! ‎Lance Velez‎ The loss of Master Alex is a loss to the world of martial arts. He knew so much and shared his knowledge with those who showed Interest, with no reservation , he was a true master of his art and I am sad that I wasn't able to spend more time with him... It hurts that I no longer have his counsel and insight when I have questions the thought that we will no longer have our conversations is heartbreaking. I will do my best to maintain and master what you taught me so in my own small way I can preserve the art of Ngo Cho ... Rest in peace Master Alex ... I will miss you ... Mark Wiley‎  It is with a heavy heart that I mourn the passing of one of my best friends, big brother and kung-fu master, Sifu Alex Co. He passed at 10:34 PM Manila time, April 12, 2016. His kind and loving heart and openness in sharing his passion for all martial arts with all people was unmatched. He is one of the legends of the Philippine martial arts masters, who brought all together from every discipline. He suffered much these past years with heart troubles, kidney failure, diabetes, digital amputation... But his drive to keep documenting and spreading the arts he loved was unstoppable. My son, Alex, is named in his honor and forever I will treasure his memory in my heart. ---  It is with a heavy heart that I mourn your passing, Sifu Alex, you are one of my best friends, big brother, father and kung-fu master. Our long relationship is deeply embedded in my heart and I am struggling with not being able to call you and talk or come for a visit. You are among the most important people in my life and I can't imagine my future without you here. Rest in peace.       Doran Sordo Master Alex Co was an exceptional human being. He was one of the best friends of my master, Christopher Ricketts. He was very strict when he would be teaching us. Always keen on the details. It was because of Master Topher that I met, got to know, and learned extensively from Master Alex. He was so selfless in his teaching. Breaking from the norm, because of his friendship and trust for Master Topher and the students he would bring by. He was such a kind man. Soft spoken and yet, powerful. I will miss him greatly. He was a cornerstone to our Bakbakan Brotherhood. On one of the last conversations I had with Master Topher, he told me to never stop learning. He mentioned only two people. Master Alex was one of them. Rest in peace, Master. Thank you so much for teaching me. I will never forget it, or you. Paalam Po. Jun Nunez This picture was taken by Grandmaster Topher Rickets of Bakbakan. With me is Grandmaster Edgar Sulite of Lameco Escrima, Master HuTuan Hai of Wu Tai Chi Chuan, and Master Alex Co of Ngo Cho Kun. It's sad to know that I am the only one left with the passing of my friend Alex. Goodbye my friend Felipe P. Jocano Jr. With deep sorrow, I mourn the passing of my kung-fu teacher and friend, Sifu Alexander L.co. He was one of the kindest, most generous and caring men I have had the privilege of meeting and learning from. He not only taught martial arts, he was also an … [Read more...]

Budo Magazine Publishes the final Interview of Grandmaster Tony Diego of Kalis Ilustrisimo. Interview by Tim Fredianell. September 2015.

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  Budo Magazine Publishes the final Interview of Grandmaster Tony Diego of Kalis Ilustrisimo. Interview by  Tim Fredianell.   Read interview in English here: http://issuu.com/budoweb/docs/martial_arts_magazine_budo_internat_f897c9abdb5660 Read interview in Spanish here: http://issuu.com/budoweb/docs/revista_artes_marciales_cinturon_ne_86c3fa97b13e16?e=1589527%2F30101651       … [Read more...]

Eskrima Documentary Series Teaser Trailer: Ang Dangal ng Lahi (Pride)

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Eskrima Documentary Series - Teaser Trailer: Ang Dangal Ng Lahi (Pride) Ang Dangal ng Lahi (Pride) is a series of short documentaries about the Warrior Arts of the Philippines commonly known as Eskrima, Arnis and Kali. The focus will be arts and organizations of Bakbakan Philippines, Ilustrisimo and Lameco Eskrima. Director: Tim Fredianelli General Consultant: Dino Flores Distribution: Mandirigma.org Kapisanang Mandirigma Productions Release Date: 2015 For more information go to: http://mandirigma.org/?p=2651 https://vimeo.com/mandirigma/eskrimadors © 2015 Kapisanang Mandirigma Productions, All Rights Reserved.   … [Read more...]

Rest in Peace Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite on this the 18th year anniversary of your passing, your memory will always be with us.

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Rest in Peace Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite on this the 18th year anniversary of your passing, your memory will always be with us.       Post courtesy of Guro Dave Gould. … [Read more...]

Tribute and tribulation by Romeo Macapagal for Manila Times. A Tribute to Grandmaster Tony Diego.

Tribute and tribulation by Romeo Macapagal for Manila Times. A Tribute to Grandmaster Tony Diego.   Original article at this link: http://www.manilatimes.net/tribute-tribulation/122855/     When a human being rises to the greatest heights of achievement possible in spite of in surmountable obstacles, this is greatness. When this level of accomplishment is matched with kindness and compassion, with surpassing generosity even at the sacrifice of personal material needs, this greatness is defined by spirituality and becomes the “Grandeur of the Human Spirit.” This was Antonio Ramoneda Diego. Father, husband, friend, student, mentor, benefactor. A measure of Tony’s humanity and greatness is the fact that he has raised a brood of eight children, two children-in-law, and two grandchildren, and yet none of these children are his and his wife’s biological issue. Yet, he has struggled, worked hard and honestly to raise them, still looking after them till the time of his death, being especially fond of the grandchildren. As a husband, Tony was especially devoted to his wife Gelynn and loved her so much he could not face life without her. When she was stricken with cancer, he too deteriorated in health and overtook her in death. Gelynn is now very frail and may follow Tony soon. It seems she too cannot live without Tony. When his house burned down, the proceeds of his retirement went up in smoke. It is a measure of his loving, caring character that his students gathered resources so that Tony could rebuild his house to provide a home for his family. And when his wife needed medical care, his students returned in full measure the loving attention and generous instruction he had given them. He was as attentive, caring and generous to his students as he was with his own children. Under Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo, Tony was a diligent student, loyal and generous as much as his resources would allow. He modeled Tatang in practically every aspect of living and his goal was to become exactly like Tatang. When Tony became a master in his own right, he taught ceaselessly, sharing unstintingly of his knowledge. He studied and planned endlessly to be able to transmit his knowledge and skill to the increasing number of adherents to the Ilustrisimo system under him. Tony contributed very much to the popularity and fame of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). He had given a foreign seminar only once, 30 years ago, and in spite of moving no further than the confines of Tondo district, the Luneta, and rarely beyond the City of Manila, he was able to contribute to the fame of the FMA, that icon of the Filipino, so that the FMA is the object of study of so many followers around the world. Tony was a good friend, warm, generous, loyal and sincere. He had a gift of natural leadership and charisma. While prone to fits of temper, this was mostly directed at those who would offend his friends. Tony’s material resources were never enough. Yet he maintained his dignity and honesty at his work as a stevedoring supervisor and later manager. Even when other FMA teachers were making a good living from student’s payments, Tony remained undemanding, accepting whatever amount was given him, never charging a fixed fee. When paid, he took care to share with those who helped him teach. Even when his house burned down, part of funds he received for reconstruction were shared as food for his neighboring fire victims. Tony’s undemanding and gentle approach made him victim by many unscrupulous students who exploited his knowledge and generous nature. He would be hurt by their actions but then forgave easily. The trials and tribulations of Tony’s life eventually wore him down, both physically and emotionally, but his spirit as a swordsman and teacher prevailed, always thinking of the future of his students in terms of their continuing learning. A man’s character is measured by the sincere regard given him by others. With Tony, it is the love, affection and gratitude given by students all over the world to provide for those he has left behind because they know he loved them so much. Tony is gone, and like all great men there is no replacing him. Once in several lifetimes, there are such men as him, but not very often. Faced with adversity, they triumph over obstacles to rise to the heights of greatness in their chosen field. Like the “Grand Old Man of the Sword,” Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo, his master, teacher and model, Antonio “Tony” Diego has achieved greatness. Original article at this link: http://www.manilatimes.net/tribute-tribulation/122855/ … [Read more...]

Guro Doran Sordo pays tribute to his long time teacher Grandmaster Tony Diego.

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  I met Mang Tony Diego Kalis Ilustrisimo around 1986. He was introduced to me by my master, GM Topher Ricketts when we would accompany him to practice at the Luneta park on Sundays or the gym in Binondo. As the years passed, Master Topher would always ask Master Tony to teach me some techniques and polish details in my form whether it be stance, swing, footwork, etc. Master Tony was always so generous in his teaching and would share so much. I know him to be a quiet, humble man who would always tell me not to call him "Master". Whenever he saw me, he would always fondly greet me by exclaiming "Sord!" and he always had a smile on his face whenever i came to Luneta. We would sit sometimes between practice and just chat. He would tell me about the good old days with Master Topher, showing me techniques while we were chatting. How he remembers us when we were still young and would joke that we were thinner then. He was a learned man, who would often ask me how my spiritual practice was coming along. I remember one of the last conversations I had with Master Topher before he passed away. He told me "Never forget your Ilustrisimo. See Master Tony as often as you can and learn as much as you can. You practice what you learn until you are old." I remember now the last conversation i had with Master Tony at his home in Tondo. He said to always be mindful of the details. I remember the last time I saw him. It was a day before he passed away. We said a prayer together and I went downstairs so he could rest. I am honoured to be his student and proud to continue his legacy however way I can. I feel privileged to have been able to spend some time with him and learn from this great teacher. I can almost hear swords clashing as he is reunited once again with Grand Master Tatang Ilustrisimo, GM Topher Ricketts and PG Edgar Sulite. We miss you Master Tony. Paalam Po, GM Tony Diego. Pugay   … [Read more...]

Rest In Peace Master Tony Diego, Head of Kalis Ilustrisimo. August 25, 2014

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  Rest In Peace Master Tony Diego, Head of Kalis Ilustrisimo. Rest In Peace Master Tony Diego. Thank you for the friendship, knowledge and wisdom you shared. I hope you are now happily practicing again with your dear teacher - Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo. Along with your old training buddies Master Christopher Ricketts and Punong Guro Edgar Sulite who also departed way too soon. Love & Respect,Dino Flores … [Read more...]

Guro Dave Gould of Lameco Eskrima pays tribute to Grandmaster Tony Diego of Kalis Ilustrismo.

Master Tony Diego Ilustrisimo

Guro Dave Gould of Lameco Eskrima pays tribute to Grandmaster Tony Diego of Kalis Ilustrismo. I just wanted to pass on some sad news, that being the passing of Grand Master Tony Diego of Kalis Ilustrisimo fame. He passed due to a long illness yesterday on August 25, 2014 (Philippine Time). GM Tony Diego and Master Yuli Romo were the first students of GM Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo who formally began their training with the old battle tested Grand Master in 1977. years later along came PG Edgar G. Sulite, Master Christopher N. Ricketts and Master Rey Galang who were recognized as the 5 Pillars of Kalis Ilustrisimo and were credited with spending the most time training directly under the astute tutelage of GM Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo as well as them being credited with better organizing the Kalis Ilustrisimo system and creating its curriculum based on the movements and reactions of their teacher, "Tatang" Ilustrisimo regarding that discipline. For us in the Lameco Eskrima System Master Tony Diego was a great influence and he was the one who really brought PG Edgar G. Sulite to Kalis Ilustrisimo and to GM Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo, basically resulting from a sparring match between PG Edgar G. Sulite and Master Tony Diego, this was a defining moment in the evolution of the Lameco Eskrima System as we know it today, simply because up until this sparring session Lameco Eskrima was comprised of only 4 major influences, those being; De Campo 1-2-3 Orehenal, Kali Pekiti-Tirsia, Modernos Largos and the Sulite Rapelon Style along with the 6 minor influences of the system. Kalis Ilustrisimo would prove to be the missing piece of the system and this was discovered during that very crucial sparring session between PG Edgar G.Sulite and Master Tony Diego so many years ago. The result of that sparring match saw PG Edgar G. Sulite becoming a student of Kalis Ilustrisimo under GM Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo and over the years adding countless techniques, concepts and principles from Kalis Ilustrisimo to the Lameco Eskrima curriculum to strike a fine balance to the system, especially regarding the blade and dagger portion of the curriculum. Master Tony Diego became fast friends with PG Edgar G. Sulite and remained a very close friend for the rest of Edgar`s life and was partially responsible for the International Recognition of Kalis Ilustrisimo, Bakbakan International and Lameco Eskrima International along with Master Yuli Romo, Master Christopher Ricketts, PG Edgar G. Sulite and Master Rey Galang. After GM Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo Passed away in 1997 Master Tony Diego being the heir apparent of the system was elected by the other senior members of kalis Ilustrisimo to take control of the system. It is a shame that he has been taken from us but he was taken contributing much back to the Filipino Warrior Arts Community from which much was given him over his life time. Rest in Peace Master Tony Diego and long live your legacy! … [Read more...]

Lameco Eskrima is the system of Filipino martial arts founded by the late Punong Guro Edgar Sulite

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Lameco Eskrima is the system of Filipino martial arts founded by the late Punong Guro Edgar Sulite Lameco Eskrima is the system of Filipino martial arts founded by the late Punong Guro Edgar Sulite based on his training and experience with various Philippine Martial Arts masters, with heavy influence from Jose Caballero and Antonio Ilustrisimo. The word Lameco is actually a combination of words which are the three basic ranges of combat involved in the study and practice of Lameco Eskrima – Largo, Medio and Corto (Long, Middle, close). Contents One of the characteristics of Filipino martial arts is the use of weapons from the very beginning of training. Lameco uses Double and single Stick, Double and single Dagger, Stick and Dagger, Sword, Staff, Handkerchief, and Empty Hands. Lameco Eskrima is a synthesis of five major and six minor systems of Eskrima. Lameco training includes  drills called Laban Laro (Play Fighting). Laban Laro allows the escrimador to come as close to real combat as possible without injury. It is also designed to get an uncountable number of repetitions in a short period of time. Through his constant efforts for developing new training innovations, Edgar invented unique armor for the hands and forearms that allowed practitioners to safely train more realistically. History At a young age Edgar Sulite’s father exposed him to the Filipino Martial Arts, himself being a boxer and Arnisador. Growing up in the Barrios of the Philippines, Edgar witnessed many skirmishes settled blade against blade. Edgar trained with martial arts masters who included Leo Gaje of Pekiti-Tirsia, Jose Cabellero of De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal, Jesus Abella of Modern Largos, Antonio Illustrisimo of Kali Illustrisimo and many others. In 1981, he moved to Manila to train under Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo. After relocating to the United States on June 30, 1989. … [Read more...]

Guro Bill Aranda – A True Warrior’s Path – January 22, 1947 – April 12, 2013

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Guro Bill Aranda - A True Warrior's Path Guro Billʼs involvement in the Filipino Martial Art (FMA) has spanned a period of over 6 decades.  He has been studing and researcing this complete, ethnically Filipino, fighting art with masters and guros of Kali, Escrima, & Arnis from both the Philippines & the USA since the summer of 1962.  His years of training has familiarized him in the use of single & double, equal & unequal length, rigid & flexible, bladed & impact weapons, and in the Filipino empty hand art of bunoan (grappling), suntukan (boxing), & sipaan (kicking).  Today he continues to actively promote the art through individual & group classes and public seminars & demonstrations.  His years of practice has led him to see this simple, direct, & intuitive art not just as the fighting art that it is, but also as a path for personal growth (physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual) that can be taught & practiced by all people regardless of sex, age, nationality, and martial arts background. It is his hope that through the FMA, people will develop an appreciation for All Things Filipino (ATF) - especially its culture and history. Training Guro Bill has trained with many different teachers specializing not only in the FMA, but also in other weapon and empty hand based martial arts through training seminars & classes given on an individual & group basis, in a formal & informal environment, using structured & unstructured teaching methodology. Through the years his training progressed through different phases.  From the early 60s thru the 80s, the conscious effort was on learning the lessons taught by his instructors (the how & when phase).  On the 90s, learning continued with an emphasis on understanding the lessons (the what & why phase).  From the beginning of the millennium to the present, the learning & understanding was augmented with extracting the essence of the lessons using the Lee methodology. The many instructors who have served as a guide and influence in Guro Billʼs personal growth as a martial artist and to whom he will be forever grateful, include the following: Core • Guro Mike Barairo, Private Individual Training Makati, Philippines Eskrima, Arnis, Judo, & Boxing • Guro Dan Inosanto, Formal Group Classes Kali Academy of America, Torrance, CA Leo Giron System (Arnis), & Angel Cabales System (Eskrima), Villabrille/Largusa System (Kali), John La Coste System (Kali), Pekiti Tirsia (Eskrima) Inosanto Academy, Culver City, CA Leo Giron System (Arnis), & Angel Cabales System (Eskrima), Villabrille/Largusa System (Kali), John La Coste System (Kali), Sikaran, Western Boxing, Wing Chun, Jun Fan Gung Fu, Tai Chi Kali-Eskrima-Silat/JunFan Martial Arts Academy, Marina Del Rey, CA Leo Giron System (Weapon All Ranges), Angel Cabales System (Weapon Corto Range), Villabrille/Largusa System (Weapon & Empty Hands Training Methods & all Ranges), John La Coste System (Weapon, Empty Hand, & Kicking Ranges), Western Boxing (Empty Hands w/o Reference Points), JunFan Gung Fu (Energy Drills, Chinese Boxing, Trapping, & Attacking Concepts), Silat (Leveraging Concepts), Doce Pares System (Uneven Length Weapon), Siniwali (Equal Length Weapon), Capoera (Brazilian Kick Boxing), Savate (French Kick Boxing), Muay Thai (Thai Kick Boxing), Cinco Teros System (Long Range), Suntukan/Sikaran (Filipino Kick Boxing), Carenza, Numerado, & Sumbrada (Filipino Training Methods), with special emphasis on proper body mechanics, fighting ranges, rhythm, & timing • Guro Pete BatungBakal, Private Individual Training Makati, Philippines • Arnis, Tabak Toyok, Japanese Sai & Staff; through this teacher Guro Bill met GM Porfiro Lanada of the Lanada System • Guro Chris Kent, Formal Group Classes Kali-Eskrima-Silat/JunFan Martial Arts Academy, Marina Del Rey, CA Inosanto Blended System using impact & bladed weapons, empty hands, and kick boxing • Guro Ted LucayLucay, Formal Group Classes Kali-Eskrima-Silat/JunFan Martial Arts Academy, Marina Del Rey, CA Inosanto Blended System plus the LucayLucay Kali/JKD System of Panantukan/Sikaran, Knife Fighting, tabak maliit • GM Topher Ricketts, Private Individual/Group Training Glendale FMA Academy, Glendale, CA Ilustrisimo (Eskrima, Kali), Sagasa (Filipino Karate), Ngo Cho Kun (Beng Kiam Kung Fu), Boxing, Hand Sparring Other • Guro Richard Bustillo, Inosanto Blended System • Guro Jeff Imada, Inosanto Blended System • Master Fernando Bernardo, Scientific Lightning Arnis • Guro Louis Campos, Pentjak Silat Serak & Bukti Negara • GM Bobby Taboada, Balintawak Arnis Cuentada • Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, LAMECO Eskrima • Pendekar Guru Besar Herman Suwanda, Pencak Silat Mande Muda • GM Leo Giron/Master Tony Somera, Bahala Na Arnis/ Eskrima • GM … [Read more...]

Tribute to Grandmaster Roland Dantes (1945 – 2009) by David Foggie for Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine

Master Roland Dantes by David Foggie for Blitz Australia Magazine 2012 Master Roland Dantes by David Foggie for Blitz Australia Magazine 2012

Tribute to Grandmaster Roland Dantes by David Foggie for Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine. David Foggie was a close friend and student of the Legendary Grandmaster Roland Dantes. Permission given to Mandirigma.org to reprint the Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine given by David Foggie.       … [Read more...]

Grandmaster Christopher ’Topher’ Ricketts Interview by David Foggie and Dino Flores

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Grandmaster Christopher ’Topher’ Ricketts Interview Research & questions by David Foggie Interviewed by Dino Flores. Answers by Master Ricketts given in Tagalog, Translation by Dino Flores.  Interview commenced 12 th February 2006 and conducted over a span of three months by Dino Flores in Los Angeles, California U.S.A. Grandmaster Christopher N. Ricketts or 'Master Topher 'is Chief Instructor of Bakbakan International whose motto is "Matira Matibay" (The Best of the Best). Concerned with training and passing on his knowledge to students rather than collecting accolades and titles, Master Topher's skills and credentials are impeccable and second to none; he is one of the best of the best. A senior disciple of the revered Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo and one of the 5 Pillars of Kali Ilustrisimo, he is the highest ranking living instructor in Lameco Eskrima, having trained personally with Grandmaster Edgar Sulite. With teaching credentials in several martial arts systems including Ngo Cho Kuen (5 Ancestor Fist), Sagasa Filipino Kickboxing as well as being a professional boxing trainer, he has dedicated his life to the martial arts and other fighting systems. With his brother Ronnie Ricketts being a well known and respected action star in Philippine movies, Master Topher has provided his vast experience in the fighting arts to choreograph fight scenes. Through an introduction from my teacher Grandmaster Roland Dantes in 1998, I have been fortunate to benefit from Master Topher's extensive knowledge and experience. Knowing the high regard my instructor, Roland Dantes and many other respected elders of FMA hold Master Topher and having witnessed his immense skills, it was an opportunity not to be missed. When I first observed Master Topher demonstrate Kali Ilustrisimo at his home, I knew that I was in the presence of a genuine master of Kali Ilustrisimo. During our training sessions, the true scope of Master Topher's knowledge became apparent as did his effective use of body mechanics. Under Master Topher's instruction, I was introduced to the principles and techniques which form the foundation and in fact, the nucleus or core of Kali Ilustrisimo. With a sharp eye for perfect form and understanding, Master Topher meticulously dissected each technique and corrected even the minutest nuances until he was satisfied. My time spent training under Master Topher has afforded me the opportunity to see the various aspects of this remarkable martial artist. A remarkable man, he is a fighter, teacher and friend to his students. Martial arts are meant to be about honor, respect, integrity, loyalty and dedication. Master Topher embodies these traits and as such, it is easy to see why Grandmaster Roland Dantes and many other highly respected masters are his friends and respect him. It was with the approval of my teacher, Grandmaster Roland Dantes, I began studying Kali lIustrisimo under Master Topher and as such, I consider him also to be my teacher. More importantly, I consider him to be a respected, loyal and much valued friend. It is my pleasure and honor to present, Grandmaster Christopher 'Topher' Ricketts. (Q) Firstly what is the history and aim of Bakbakan? Bakbakan means something along the lines of a free for all brawl. Bakbakan was founded in 1967 by a group of instructors from various styles of martial arts in the Philippines. Prior to the organization becoming a bastion of martial arts in the Philippines, the main objective of the original members was to elevate their fighting skills through constant full contact sparring. Originally there were only six of us: Ding Binay, Rolly Maximo, Christian Gloria, Eddie Ben Alicante, Rey Vizer and myself. We would meet at my house in San Miguel Village in Makati, where my bedroom was our original gym. (Q) Prior to studying under Grandmaster Antonio Tatang' Ilustrisimo did you have much exposure to FMA? Prior to Kali Ilustrisimo my training included the Rapillon style of Mang Sciano Cleope in 1967. He was a well-known eskrimador from Quezon province of the Philippines and I was a training partner of his son, Edgar Cleope. For a little while I trained with Jimmy Gales in his arnis style which he called Sphinx. He used the centro baston (central grip) and susi (inverted grip) styles of wielding a stick. I also trained with Doc Lengson in the Arnis Federation of the Philippines style from 1973-1978. (Q) Grandmaster Ilustrsimo is celebrated as one of the greatest masters of FMA. How did you come to know of Tatang and how did you come to be accepted as his student? I was introduced to Tatang by my good friend Alex Co, a driving force in the Philippine martial arts world. It was the same time that I met Edgar Sulite, Yuli Romo and Tony Diego. When we met for some reason the old man took a liking to me and thus I was accepted as one of his students. (Q) You were exposed to and had seen other systems of arnis. Why did you … [Read more...]