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...]

Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite asks the question – “Are you a dedicated student or are you a butterfly?”

Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite asks the question – “Are you a dedicated student or are you a butterfly?”   Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite solía hablar de la “mariposa”, aquella que flota de flor en flor, que toma un poco de néctar de aquí y de alla, no dedicándose a cualquier ubicación por un periodo de tiempo adecuado para llegar a ser plenamente alimentada y crecer fuerte. PG Sulite decía que esto es similar al comportamiento del estudiante que constantemente va de una fuente a otra (de Instructor a Instructor) recogiendo generalidades pero nunca dominando el fundamento básico, debido a su falta de compromiso e impaciencia para permanecer en un lugar el tiempo suficiente para desarrollarse combativamente. Un entrenamiento de esa naturaleza tendrá más debilidades que fortalezas, recordemos que en el entrenamiento no buscamos la mera acumulación de técnicas pues algunas partes parecerán tener lógica, otras más no sabremos donde ponerlas, lo que buscamos es el desarrollo de las habilidades combativas, aquellas que nos permitirán protegernos o proteger a nuestros seres queridos en caso de necesidad. Así pues, la pregunta que debemos hacernos es: ¿soy un estudiante dedicado o soy una mariposa? ****** Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite used to talk about the ‘ butterfly “, Someone who floats from flower to flower, which takes a little bit of nectar from here and there, not dedicating themselves to any location for a period of time suitable for to become fully fuelled and grow strong. Punong Guro Sulite said that this is similar to the behaviour of the student who constantly goes from a source to another (from instructor to instructor) picking up generalizations, but never dominating the basic thrust, due to their lack of commitment and impatience to stay in one place long enough To develop combativamente. A training of this nature will have more weaknesses that strengths, let us remember that in the training we are not looking for the mere accumulation of techniques because some parts seem to have logic, other more we will not know where to put them, what we are looking for is the development of the skills combativas, those that Will allow us to protect us or protect our loved ones in time of need. So, the question that we must ask is: am I a dedicated  student or I am a butterfly? … [Read more...]

Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Author and Sponsor of the National Arnis Law (Rep. Act 9850) gave this message during the First National Arnis Congress held at the Red Cross Headquarters Multipurpose Hall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, on January 12, 2017.

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Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Author and Sponsor of the National Arnis Law (Rep. Act 9850) gave this message during the First National Arnis Congress held at the Red Cross Headquarters Multipurpose Hall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, on January 12, 2017.   By: Joy @ https://thedeadlydance.wordpress.com/tag/national-arnis-congress-2017/ Sen. Miguel Zubiri, Author and Sponsor of the National Arnis Law (Rep. Act 9850) gave this message during the First National Arnis Congress held at the Red Cross Headquarters Multipurpose Hall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, on January 12, 2017. He asked his staff to email this to me and I’m printing it as is. “My love affair with Arnis started many years ago, when I was a young teenager training in martial arts, fascinated by traditional Chinese and Japanese weaponry. As young boys, we all wanted to be just like Ezekiel Thompson of the movie, “Force Five” played by weapons expert Richard Norton for his expertise in different weapons systems. Inspired by these icons, I started training with these weapons systems under 9th Dan, Sensie Robert Campbell of the Uechi-Ryu Okinawan Karate while doing my open hands training and kick boxing skills with Master Topher Ricketts of Bakbakan and Sagasa Karate System. When Master Topher saw that I was interested in weapons, he asked me to try Arnis. My first reaction was “Why?”. All 16 year olds at that time wanted to be like Sho Kusugi from all the Ninja films. But then he told me to trust him about the effectiveness of the Filipino Martial Art. I guess at that time, hindi uso maging Arnisador as it wasn’t as famous as those weapons systems seen in the movies. Unlike today, where we see Tom Cruise or Matt Damon doing FMA on screen, to the delight of all FMA practitioners. So one afternoon, in 1986, Master Topher introduced me to a short and stocky man in his mid-twenties who had the biggest forearms I had ever seen. I clearly recall telling him that he had “Popeye arms”, which broke the ice and started a wonderful friendship between student and master. His name was Master Edgar Sulite. My first lesson from him was a realization of how deadly and effective our Arnis system was in the real world. He would ask me to throw sticks, and even tennis balls at him, while doing the sinawali and to my amazement; it was impossible for me to penetrate his defense. He would then show Knife fighting techniques and empty hand techniques including takedowns, which were truly effective for real life situations and not just for fancy movie props and entertainment. I was in love… in love with this martial art and there was no turning back. I discovered for myself that we had a hidden gem, a secret treasure. A martial art that was so unassuming yet so effective, so complex and yet so simple, so graceful and yet so deadly. But most of all, it was our very own Filipino Martial Art. From then on, I met and trained with other legends like Grand Master Antonio Illustrissimo and GM Tony Diego, under the watchful eye of my adopted father figure Master Rickettes. It was at this time that I saw how the art and sport grew. I had the opportunity to compete in several national competitions and the honor to represent the Philippins at the First World Arnis Tournament held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in 1989, under the invitation of the Cañete Family of Doce Pares and WEKAF. I will forever be greatful to them for allowing me to compete in their tournament. Unfortunately, as the sport grew, so did the intrigues. I have seen for myself how little by little, we have been tearing each other apart rather than staying united. On how groups were starting to feel unwelcome because of certain personalities. Or being deemed “disloyal” for joining certain activities not “sanctioned” by governing bodies. This should never be the case. I, myself was a victim as well, of this brand of destructive politics in sports. In 1991, I was not allowed to participate in the SEA Games Arnis competition even if I was the reigning National Champion because of the simple reason that I had joined tournaments sponsored by other organizations. Again, this should never happen. I believe that every one of you, your students and your followers, should have the support and encouragement from the government and our national organization to enhance your skills and strengthen your art and style. No jealousy, no discrimination; only support and guidance. Moving forward, through the efforts of Grand Master Roland Dantes and several Arnisador, I filed SB #3288 and in 2009, we finally passed it as RA 9850. Unfortunately, GM Roland was never able to see it made into law as he passed away before it was approved. Let us recognize his efforts. Let us give GM Roland Dantes a rousing round of applause for all his efforts to unify our Martial Art and Spots through legislation, and this is what we are recognizing today. Not just the … [Read more...]

Punong Guro Edgar Sulites Influences in creating Lameco Eskrima. Courtesy of Guro Dave Gould.

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Punong Guro Edgar Sulites Influences in creating Lameco Eskrima. Courtesy of Guro Dave Gould. Below is a poster which I placed together showing the Major and Minor Influences which Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite credited for his knowledge and for the creation of the Lameco Eskrima System. In essence these Grandmasters, their systems and knowledge were responsible for the Lameco Eskrima System that we know and train today. In addition to the numerous actual experiences which PG Sulite drew from and the thousands of hours of sparring and fighting with his two primary sparring partners, Master Christopher N. Ricketts and Master Jun Pueblos.The Major Influences were from Masters and Systems which PG Edgar G. Sulite thoroughly trained under for years and was certified to teach their respective styles. The Minor Systems were from Masters with whom PG Edgar G. Sulite trained to some degree and with whom he collaborated but never received ranking in their respective Systems.  5 Major Influences on the Lameco Eskrima System: * De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orihinal (GM Jose D. Caballero) * Kali Illustrisimo (GM Antonio “Tatang” Illustrisimo) * Kali Pekiti-Tirsia (Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje Jr.) * Modernos Largos (GM Jesus Abella & GM Pablicito “Pabling” Cabahug) * Sulite Rapelon (GM Helacrio Sulite Sr.) 6 Minor Influences on the Lameco Eskrima System: * Doce Pares (GM Diony Canete) * Balintawak (GM Johnny Chiuten) * Lapunti Arnis De Abanico (GM Felimon E. Caburnay) * Siete Teros Serado – Serado no Puwede Entra (GM Marcelino Ancheta Sr.) * Abanico De Sungkiti (GM Billy Baaclo) * Tres Personas Eskrima De Combate (GM Maj. Timoteo E. Maranga)   … [Read more...]

Seminar: Kali Ilustrisimo with Guro Brandon Ricketts. Glendale FMA, California. April 9th, 2016.

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 Seminar: Kali Ilustrisimo with Guro Brandon Ricketts. Glendale FMA, California. April 9th, 2016.   … [Read more...]

Ilustrisimo Book

Kali Ilustrisimo: The Sword Fighting Art of Antonio Ilustrisimo By Master Christopher Ricketts, Guro Bruce Ricketts, Guro Brandon Ricketts   http://www.blurb.com/b/6612146-kali-ilustrisimo-the-sword-fighting-art-of-antonio   ABOUT THE BOOK With over 3 decades of intensive training in both Filipino & Chinese disciplines, Christopher Ricketts presents Kali Ilustrisimo as it was taught to him by the now legendary swordsman, Antonio Ilustrisimo. Grandmaster Ricketts brings his insight to this highly regarded fighting art with clarity and precise methodology that is sure to enrich any student regardless of style or system. Lavishly illustrated with diagrams and pictures from Grandmaster Rickett's personal and comprehensive archives, experts and beginners alike stand to benefit greatly from this presentation. Catch a rare glimpse into the inner workings of this uniquely Filipino fighting system. The art and legacy of Antonio Ilustrisimo lives on. Author websitehttps://www.facebook.com/IlustrisimoUSA … [Read more...]

Media: El Guro Dino Flores impartirá seminario de Lameco Eskrima

http://esdiario.com.mx/el-guro-dino-flores-impartira-seminario-de-lameco-eskrima/   El Guro Dino Flores impartirá seminario de Lameco Eskrima jul 31, 2015 - 3:04 am  Deportes Comentarios desactivados La Academia EFA que dirige el profesor Adán Castillejos se prepara para recibir una visita de lujo, pues el Guro Dino Flores estará impartiendo sus conocimientos en un seminario de Lameco Eskrima –Kali Ilusitrisimo-, el cual se desarrollará este próximo 14 y 15 de agosto. Lo anterior fue confirmado por el profesor Adán Castillejos Gallegos quién destacó que este seminario busca la preparación de sus alumnos, por lo que es de suma importancia continuar trabajando en las artes marciales. Indicó que el Guro Dino Flores nació en Hawai. Ha vivido en varios lugares, incluyendo Fiji, Papua Nueva Guinea, Australia, así como Manila y Laguna – Filipinas. Guro Dino se introdujo primero en el concepto de historia “Arnis” y Filipinas Guerrero por su padre el Dr. AS Flores a mediados de 1970. Esto se hizo a través de la tradición oral, Pilipino Komiks y difícil de encontrar publicaciones durante la Ley Marcial. Su primer contacto con el entrenamiento físico fue en la década de 1980 en la provincia de Laguna, Filipinas. Familiares mayores y vecinos de la familia tierras ancestrales de muchas generaciones, lo presentaron en las sesiones de traspatio a aplicaciones básicas de la calle y la estrategia de la hoja balisong durante las estancias en las Filipinas. Muchos de estos primeros instructores habían experimentado situaciones de hoja real con las cicatrices para probarlo. Las primeras lecciones fueron evitación, la conciencia ambiental y el comportamiento adecuado para evitar el conflicto. Dino entrenó durante varios años con el Gran Maestro Conrado A. Manaois en Ninoy Cinco Teros Arnis y Master Henry Bio en Sikaran Arnis en la década de 1980, junto con sus primos Ariel Flores Musgos y Choy Flores. A principios de 1990 fue aceptado como miembro inicial de Punong Guro Edgar Sulites ‘nueva formación Backyard Grupo AKA el Oriehenal Grupo Sulite. Durante el entrenamiento constante en el patio trasero que pasó de ser un boxeador agresivo a uno que ahora más tranquilo y preciso. Su estilo de lucha en los primeros días del Grupo de los Backyard le valió el apodo de “Aso’ng Gulo” de sus compañeros de los compañeros y era considerado combatiente patio trasero favorito Punong Guro Sulites ‘debido a la clara el uso del plan de estudios durante los combates. Además, tuvo la buena fortuna de experimentar el entrenamiento en Kali Ilustrísimo con Dodong Sta. Iglesia, Guro Arnold Narzo, Guro Peachie Baron, Maestro Rey Galang, Maestro Yuli Romo y Master de Tony Diego. También entrenó en Kali Ilustrísimo con uno de sus compañeros de entrenamiento y miembro Lameco Backyard Guro Hans Tan, que fue certificado para enseñar Kali Ilustrsimo con el Maestro, Tony Diego en 1999. Además Guro Dino entrenado en privado durante varios años en California y las Filipinas con el profesor Ireneo L. Olavides en Eskrima De Campo JDC-IO. Guro Dino también cita la importancia de sus compañeros de entrenamiento en Lameco SOG y Kapisanang Mandirigma en su crecimiento. Dino ha impartido numerosos seminarios y clases en los últimos años. Ha aparecido en la televisión, videos instructivos, Cine Independiente y programas de radio promoción de las artes. Ha contribuido al artículo de la revista para publicaciones como “Budo International”, “Maestros”, “Blitz” “FMA informativo” y “FMA Digest. Guro Dino es un miembro fundador de Kapisanang Mandirigma de: Organización de Investigación Mandirigma / Mandirigma.org, Kali Klub sa Filipinotown histórico de Los Ángeles y la Organización Backyard Eskrima ™. El Kali Klub es una colaboración voluntaria con varias agencias sin fines de lucro en Los Ángeles. El proyecto incluye la creación de un programa premiado desviar positivamente la juventud en riesgo de las drogas y las pandillas que usan los filipinos Guerrero Artes como una metáfora para la adaptación y el aprendizaje. Cientos de estudiantes experimentaron el programa a lo largo de diez años. Para algunos estudiantes de la educación salvó literalmente su vida en varias situaciones callejeras armadas. Algunos de los premios y reconocimientos de para el programa provienen de organizaciones como en Buscar para Involucrar Pilipino estadounidenses, la Asamblea Estatal de California y el Ayuntamiento de Los Ángeles. … [Read more...]

Seminar: Seminar: Guro Brandon Ricketts to teach Kali Ilustrisimo in San Diego, California. October 2015.

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 Guro Brandon Ricketts to teach Kali Ilustrisimo in San Diego, California. October 2015.   … [Read more...]

Seminar: Guro Brandon Ricketts at Glendale FMA / Aranda – Ricketts Memorial Gym. July 12, 2015.

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Guro Brandon Ricketts Seminar at Glendale FMA / Aranda - Ricketts Memorial Gym. On July 12 2015 Guro Brandon Ricketts conducted a seminar at Glendale FMA / Aranda - Ricketts Memorial Gym. The Event was hosted by Guro Bud Balani and Guro Dino Flores of the Los Angeles chapters of Lameco SOG, Kali Ilustrisimo and Kapisanang Mandirigma. Attendees came from all over California from places such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, Stockton and San Francisco. Guro Brandon was also supported by some of his students from the USA Headquarters of Kali Ilustrisimo. Guro Brandon Ricketts focused of the fundemental core techniques and how they relate to real time sparring. A concept his father the late Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts drilled into his dedicated students. The seminar concluded with the participant doing some light sparring to test some of the techniques they had just learned in real time. All the participants had a great time with this truly hands on approach to the art. Guro Brandon is leaving for the Philippines at the end of the year. One of his objectives is to take partial administrative charge of his fathers Bakbakan Legacy and bring it into the next generation. The Los Angeles chapters of Lameco SOG, Kali Ilustrisimo and Kapisanang Mandirigma will try to host Guro Brandon Ricketts again for another seminar before he leaves. Check the www.mandirigma.org website for updates. About Guro Brandon Ricketts In 2011 Guro Bruce Ricketts was formally selected as the new Chief Instructor of Master Christopher Ricketts Ilustrisimo Organization and Bakbakan Philippines. The official ceremony was held  in Manila, Philippines. During the same ceremony Guro Brandon Ricketts was promoted to the the position as Second in Command to Guro Bruce Ricketts. Also selected was the Administrative Board which includes Guro Ronnie Ricketts, Guro Alex Ricketts and Guro Jason Ricketts. The organization is dedicated to maintaining the legacy of Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts. The Advisory Board was also selected. Guro Bruce Ricketts and Guro Brandon Ricketts trained under their Father, Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts since they could walk. The training room in their Philippine home was located in front of their bedroom. Daily exposure to the arts was the norm. Besides daily training with their Father and other students, many masters spent time training in their home. To name a few, legends such as Master Roland Dantes, Master Rey Galang, Master Yuli Romo, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, Master Tony Diego and none other than Grandmaster Ilustrisimo himself would train there. The technical and fighting skill of these young Guro’s clearly reflect their esteemed lineage. Guro Bruce and Guro Brandon are also accomplished practitioners of Bakbakan Sagasa Kickboxing, Ngo Cho Kun, Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing.   Event Flyer Aranda - Ricketts / Glendale FMA Gym Banner         Lameco SOG Members with Guro Brandon. Guro Bud Balani, Guro Dino and Guro Bryan Emerson with his son.   Events Hosts with Guro Brandon. Guro Dino, GM Joe Tan, Guro Johnathan Balani, Guro Bud Balani.   Guro Brandon giving pointers.   Sparring! Sparring!     Sparring! Group photo with some of the participants.   Sparring!   Guro Brandon giving pointers   Participants in action.   Participants in action.   Guro Brandon giving pointers.   Guro Johnathan giving pointers.   Contact drilling. Contact drilling. … [Read more...]

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

Eskrima Documentary

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...]

Kali Ilustrisimo Seminar with Guro Brandon Ricketts, July 12, 2015. Glendale FMA, California.

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Kali Ilustrisimo Seminar with Guro Brandon Ricketts, July 12, 2015. Glendale FMA, California.       A rare opportunity to train with Guro Brandon Ricketts. Guro Brandon grew up with the art and will give you insight into the transition from being a theory based drill practitioner to a real time functional based Eskrimador. Guro Brandon will only be in the USA till the end of 2015 - so don't miss your chance to train with one of the heirs of Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts Ilustrisimo lineage. 10Am to 2PM $50.00 prepaid by friday, July 10th. Spectators $40.00 prepaid. $70.00 at the door.  Spectators $60 at the door. Contact: mandirigma.org@gmail.com More info at: http://mandirigma.org/?p=2783 http://backyardeskrima.com/?p=1613 This seminar is open to the general public. No Video Please. No Photography without permission. Brought to you by The Warrior Arts of the Philippines Alliance - Kali Ilustrisimo, Bakbakan Philippines, Lameco SOG, Eskrima, Kapisanang Mandirigma, Combat FMA Las Vegas.   -------------------------   In 2011 Guro Bruce Ricketts was formally selected as the new Chief Instructor of Master Christopher Ricketts Ilustrisimo Organization and Bakbakan Philippines. The official ceremony was held  in Manila, Philippines. During the same ceremony Guro Brandon Ricketts was promoted to the the position as Second in Command to Guro Bruce Ricketts. Also selected was the Administrative Board which includes Guro Ronnie Ricketts, Guro Alex Ricketts and Guro Jason Ricketts. The organization is dedicated to maintaining the legacy of Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts. The Advisory Board was also selected. Guro Bruce Ricketts and Guro Brandon Ricketts trained under their Father, Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts since they could walk. The training room in their Philippine home was located in front of their bedroom. Daily exposure to the arts was the norm. Besides daily training with their Father and other students, many masters spent time training in their home. To name a few, legends such as Master Roland Dantes, Master Rey Galang, Master Yuli Romo, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, Master Tony Diego and none other than Grandmaster Ilustrisimo himself would train there. The technical and fighting skill of these young Guro’s clearly reflect their esteemed lineage. Guro Bruce and Guro Brandon are also accomplished practitioners of Bakbakan Sagasa Kickboxing, Ngo Cho Kun, Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing. … [Read more...]

Master Christopher Ricketts and Bakbakan Philippines doing Ilustrisimo on TV Show – 2005.

Master Christopher Ricketts on TV

Master Christopher Ricketts and Bakbakan Philippines doing Ilustrisimo on TV Show. Master Ricketts is assisted by Bruce Ricketts, Dodong Sta. Iglesia, Miguel Zubiri, Doran Sordo, Brandon Ricketts, Monsour del Rosario and other members of Bakbakan Philippines. Shot at Olympians Taekwondo Training Center (OTTC) in Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines. 2005.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZFL1s9N7e4&feature=youtu.be   … [Read more...]

Bakbakan Philippines Classes in Alabang, 2015.

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Bakbakan Philippines Classes in Alabang, 2015.   … [Read more...]

Lameco/Ilustrisimo/Bakbakan Workshop with Guro Doran Sordo and Guro Dino Flores in FMA Informative Newspaper Vol3 No12 – 2014

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Lameco/Ilustrisimo/Bakbakan Workshop with Guro Doran Sordo and Guro Dino Flores in FMA Informative Newspaper Vol3 No12 – 2014     … [Read more...]

Introduction to Kalis Ilustrisimo with Bakbakan Senior Instructor – Doran Sordo. Boracay, Philippines. May 2014

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Grandmaster Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo Introduction to Kalis Ilustrisimo with Bakbakan Senior Instructor - Doran Sordo. Introduction to Kalis Ilustrisimo. Covering basic strikes, body mechanics, combative ranges, footwork, blade drills and defense, and Punta y Daga or sword and dagger. Kalis Ilustrisimo is the blade art or system of the late Grand Master Antonio Ilustrisimo. Brought to you by Bakbakan Combat Arts International Senior Instructor -Doran Sordo. Dates to be announced for May, 2014. Demo class tomorrow at The Vessel, Mandala Spa & Villas. —  at The Vessel, Mandala Spa & Villas. Boracay, Philippines This seminar is not to be missed! Bakbakan Combat Arts International Senior Instructor - Doran Sordo sharing Kalis Ilustrisimo! Just in case you need more convincing, the seminar is in Beautiful Boracay. Be there! Date in May to be announced. Proceeds go to Grandmaster Tony Diego's medical fund. More Information: http://facebook.com/doransordo     Training with Master Christopher Ricketts in Makati, Philippines.   Training with Master Tony Diego in Luneta Park, Philippines.   Training session with Bakbakan Brothers Monsour del Rosario and Miguel Zubiri in Manila, Philippines. … [Read more...]

Movie Poster: The Pacific Connection – Philippines, 1974. Starring Master Roland Dantes

Master Roland Dantes

  Roland Dantes plays an avenging hero, who defeats the forces of oppression with the power of Arnis! Roland Dantes plays Ben, a farm boy who comes into conflict with the Evil Spanish Governor and his two sons. One of the sons is played by a young Dean Stockwell. To assist in their oppression the Governor hires a Samurai played by Hiroshi Tanaka to teach his son the Japanese Katana sword. To counter this, Ben studies under a blind Franciscan monk to obtain some advanced fighting secrets and develop his warrior senses. Additionally Ben must search for the legendary “Iron Reed”. A mystical stick so strong that grows in the lava of an active Volcano. One of the first full length movies featuring the Philippine Warrior Arts. A must see for any Filipino Martial Arts practitioner. Made in a similar spirit of the “Kung Fu” movies coming out of Hong Kong at the same time in the 1970′s. The fight scenes were choreographed by Professor Remy Presas himself and is jam packed with Arnis inspired fight scenes. Dean Stockwell learned Arnis for his role and continued his Arnis practice long after the filming was over. The success of this movie led to a follow up film “Arnis: Sticks of Death” in 1984 also starring Roland Dantes. Director: Luis Nepomuceno Country: Philippines Language: English Release Date: 1974 (Philippines) Stars: Roland Dantes, Dean Stockwell, Hiroshi Tanaka, Nancy Kwan, Guy Madison, Alejandro Rey, Gilbert Roland, Elizabeth Oropesa, Fred Galang, Gloria Sevilla, Vic Diaz, Cole Mallard … [Read more...]

Kalis Ilustrisimo Book by Guro Peachie Baron on Punta y Daga to be released early 2014

punta book

Kalis Ilustrisimo Book by Guro Peachie Baron Saguin on Punta y Daga to be released early 2014         What Is It Like to Train with the Master of Kalis Ilustrisimo? By: Peachie Baron-Saguin Submitted by: Steven Dowd I first met Master Tony Diego when I joined Bakbakan International in 1989. He was a friend of the Master of Bakbakan Christopher Ricketts, and was invited frequently in our practice sessions, to share with the students of Bakbakan his style in sword and knife fighting. Master Tony Diego When Master Christopher Ricketts left for the States, I started training with Master Diego on a regular basis with his Binondo group, the Kalis Ilustrisimo. My training then took on a leap. I was showed the proper way to hold the blade, not to grip the handle too tight, to prevent it from being disarmed when struck heavily with another sword. I was then taught the different kinds and forms of striking and blocking, and the footwork and stances that goes for each attack and counter attack. I was asked to repeatedly execute a particular strike before moving on to the next. Master Diego has always reiterated the importance of a repetitive exercise for one to gain mastery of the form. Peachie Baron-Saguin training with Master Tony Diego Soon enough Master Diego taught me how to use the stick and knife at the same time. This style is called Puntai y Daga. From this style, my interest grew more and more and I always look forward to a sword play with Master Diego, where my speed and accuracy to block and strike are put to test, my distance and movements, checked and corrected. There are moments when Master Diego would attack me when my guard is down to find out how I would react. If I stopped, he would tell me not to think but just to react, otherwise I get hit. The word “sorry” is never use in the gym. If you get hit, it’s your fault. After considerable drills with a wooden sword, Master Diego gave me as a gift, a real sword to practice on. Again my strikes and counter strikes were checked. Using the real sword, Master Diego would ask me to execute the different strikes and counter strikes. The purpose of this exercise, he said, is to gain better control of the blade and to prevent improper techniques from developing, and thus trains the student to hit at the right angle. My first swordplay using a real sword with Master Diego was really scary, but then I passed with flying colors. Suffice it to say, I was taught not only to defend and attack on a standing position, but on a sitting and lying down position as well. The exercise of ascending and descending the stairs during a duel is so difficult and tiring. Disarming is also part of the drills. Training with Master Diego is not easy. I often find myself catching my breath during the swordplay, while Master Diego is laughing and comfortably attacking and parrying my strikes. At the end of each session, I am totally exhausted. My shoulders ache and I could hardly lift my arms. At home before going to bed, I would take a muscle relaxant to relieve the pain so I could train again in the next session. Master Tony Diego and Tommy Dy Tang (Tom) in action using a bladed bolo or sword in an exhib- ition of Kalis Ilustrisimo. Tom is an instructor of Kalis Ilustrisimo, owner of the gym in Binondo where the group practices. As I continue my training with Master Diego, I am learning not only the art of bladed weapons but also, the essence of a good swordsman, the discipline and the commitment that one must have to the art.   … [Read more...]

The Films of Bakbakan Philippines member Master Ronnie Ricketts and the Warrior Arts of the Philippines

The Films of  Bakbakan Philippines member Ronnie Ricketts and the Warrior Arts of the Philippines ilustrisimo bakbakab

The Films of  Bakbakan Philippines member Ronnie Ricketts and the Warrior Arts of the Philippines Ronnie Ricketts is an actor, film producer and film director in the Philippine Movie and Film Industry. What is less commonly know is that he is a martial artist expert and a Master instructor in the Martial Arts group, Bakbakan International. He is currently the Chairman of the Optical Media Board (OMB), a Philippine Government Agency, which combats piracy of films, music, computer games and software. Ronnie in versed in several forms on Martial arts including the Filipino Warrior Art Kali Ilustrisimo. Ronnie is the brother of Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts the founder of the Martial Arts Brotherhood - Bakbakan International. Several of Ronnie's films feature the Martial Arts including the Warrior Arts of the Philippines generally know as Kali, Arnis or Eskrima. Bakbakan Members frequently appear in Ronnies movies. Ronnies latest movie "The Fighting Chefs". Some scenes feature the Philippines Martial Arts performed by himself and his nephews Bruce and Brandon Ricketts. Bruce and Brandon are Martial Arts experts and instructors in Kali Ilustrisimo.    Behind the scence for the movie "The Fighting Chefs. Ronnie with nephews Bruce and Brandons rehearsing some Ilustrisimo Filipino Martial Arts moves for the scene.   Ronnie with his brother, Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts. Poster for Mano Mano 3: The Lost Art.   Ronnie Ricketts Filmography 2013 The Fighting Chefs 2007 One Percent Full 2006 Lagot Ka Sa Kuya Ko 2005 Uno 2004 Mano Mano 3: Arnis The Lost Art 2003 Utang Ng Ama - Director (Uncredited) 2003 Dayo 2001 Mano Mano 2: Ubusan Ng Lakas 1999 Ang Boyfriend Kong Pari 1999 Desperado, Bahala Na Ang Itaas 1998 May Sayad 1998 My Guardian Debil 1998 Kamandag Ko Ang Papatay Sa 'Yo (Released Date: 4 February 1998) 1998 Anting-Anting 1997 Emong Salvacion 1997 Ilaban Mo Bayan Ko 1997 Wala Ka Ng Puwang Sa Mundo (Released Date: 22 October 1997) 1996 Kahit Sa Bala Kakapit Ako (Released Date: 9 October 1996) 1996 Hawak Ko Buhay Mo (Released Date: 25 September 1996) 1996 Madaling Mamatay, Mahirap Mabuhay (Released Date: 22 May 1996) 1995 Huwag Mong Isuko Ang Laban (Released Date: 25 December 1995) to (1995 MMFF) 1995 Mano Mano 1995 Angel On Fire 1995 Ultimate Revenge 1995 Matinik Na Kalaban (Released Date: 8 November 1995) 1994 Matira Ang Matibay (Released Date: 22 June 1994) 1993 Maton (Directed by: TOTO NATIVIDAD) (Released Date: 24 November 1993) 1993 Pambato (Released Date: 6 October 1993) 1993 Ikaw Lang (Released Date: 25 August 1993) 1993 Alejandro 'Diablo' Malubay (Released Date: 26 May 1993) 1992 Boy Recto (Released Date: 25 December 1992) to (1992 MMFF) 1992 Basagulero (Released Date: 14 October 1992) 1992 Dalawa man ang Buhay mo Pagsasabayin ko (Released Date: 12 August 1992) 1992 Aguila At Guerrero (Released Date: 22 July 1992) 1992 True Confessions (Evelyn, Myrna, & Margie) 1992 Zei Fa Wei Long 1991 Ganti Ng Api 1991 Kumukulong Dugo 1991 Anak ng Dagat 1990 Baril ko ang Uusig (Released Date: 14 November 1990) 1990 Isa-Isahin Ko Kayo (Released Date: 6 June 1990) 1990 Kakampi Ko Ang Diyos (Released Date: 8 May 1990) 1989 My Darling Domestic (Greyt Eskeyp) 1989 Black Sheep Baby (Released Date: 22 November 1989) 1989 UZI Brothers (Released Date: 27 September 1989) 1989 Uzi Brothers 9mm (Released Date: 9 August 1989) 1989 Tatak Ng Isang Api (Released Date: 26 April 1989) 1989 Gapos Gang (Released Date: 22 March 1989) 1988 Alex Boncayao Brigade: The Liquidation Arm Of The Npa 1988 Kumakasa, Kahit Nag-iisa 1988 Tumayo Ka't Lumaban 1988 Target: Maganto 1987 The Rookies And The Mighty Kids 1987 Mga Agila Ng Arkong Bato 1987 Ambush 1987 Target Sparrow Unit 1987 Cabarlo 1987 Kamandag Ng Kris 1986 Payaso 1986 Nakagapos Na Puso 1986 Agaw Armas 1986 Bodyguard: Masyong Bagwisa Jr. 1986 I Love You Mama, I Love You Papa 1986 The Graduates 1986 John En Marsha '86 TNT Sa America 1986 Dongalo Massacre 1985 The Crazy Professor 1985 Heated Vengeance 1984 Sa Hirap At Ginhawa 1983 Love Birds 1983 I Love You, I Hate You 1982 Good Morning, Professor 1982 My Heart Belongs To Daddy Directed by Ronnie Ricketts Rumble Boy (2007) Lagot ka sa kuya ko (2006) (as Ronn Rick) ... aka Isusumbong kita sa kuya ko (Uno (2005) (as Ronn Rick) Mano Mano 3: Arnis, the Lost Art (2004) (as Ronn Rick) Dayo (2003) (as Ronn Rick) Boyfriend kong pari, Ang (1999) (as Ronn Rick) Boy Buluran (1997) (as Ronn Rick) Wala ka nang puwang sa mundo (1997) (as Ronn Rick) Madaling mamatay, mahirap mabuhay (1996) (as Ronn Rick) Produced: Lagot ka sa kuya ko (2006) ... aka Isusumbong kita sa kuya ko (Philippines: Tagalog title) Mano Mano 3: Arnis, the Lost Art (2004) (producer) Wrote: Mano Mano 3: Arnis, the Lost Art (2004) Huwag mong isuko … [Read more...]

Through sponsorship by Senator Miguel Zubiri – Arnis Officially Declared National Martial Art and Sport, Dec. 11 2009,

Lameco Sulite-advanced-balisong www.mandirigma.org

UPDATE ON LAWS PASSED DURING THE 14th & 15th CONGRESS Researched by the Executive-Legislative Liaison Service LAWS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE (15th CONGRESS)   RA 9850 AN ACT DECLARING ARNIS AS THE NATIONAL MARTIAL ART AND SPORT OF THE PHILIPPINES (SIGNED INTO LAW ON DECEMBER 11,  2009)   **********   The principal author and sponsor of RA 9850 is Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri. He is a dedicated Martial Artist and Eskrimador. His primary teacher since childhood is Grandmaster Christopher Ricketts, founder of Bakbakan Philippines. System that he studied under Grandmaster Ricketts include Bakbakan Sagasa Kickboxing, Ngo Cho Kung Fu and Kali Ilustrisimo. Other teachers include Bakbakan Members Grandmaster Alex Co (Ngo Cho), Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite (Lameco Eskrima), Grandmaster Tony Diego (Kali Ilustrisimo) and Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo himself.   Miguel with some of his teachers and fellow Bakbakan members.   On the cover of the "Advanced Balisong" book with one of his teachers, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri In 2008, Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, at age 39, became the youngest to be elected as Senate Majority Leader since the First Congress in 1946. A veteran legislator, he served the 3rd District of Bukidnon from 1998 to 2007 and was always cited as one of the most outstanding solons in the House of Representatives. He has also maintained a perfect attendance in the Plenary Sessions for the last 12 years (4 Congresses) both as Congressman and as Senator, and including this 15th Congress. In the 14th Congress and during his stint as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Zubiri helped steer the Senate to a record performance of around 650 bills enacted into laws. Sen. Migz is the principal author and sponsor of more than 20 major laws, both in the Senate and during his stint as Congressman. As a fervent advocate of clean energy, he worked for the passage of RA 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and RA 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006, earning him the moniker Mr. Clean Energy. Among the other laws he sponsored, principally authored or co-authored are:   RA10068 – Organic Agriculture Act of 2010; RA 9147 – Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act; RA 10121 – Philippine Disaster Risk Management Act; RA 9165 – Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; RA 9679 – the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009 (Pag-IBIG Fund); RA 9653 – the Rent Control Act of 2009; RA 9997 – the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Act of 2009; RA 9996 – the Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010; RA 9904 – the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations; RA 9903 – Condonation of Penalties on Delinquent Social Security Contributions; RA 9507 – the Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Condonation Program; RA 9850 – Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport; RA 9500 – UP Charter Amendments; RA 9163 – National Service Training Program; RA 9166 – Armed Forces of the Philippines Rate Pay Base Increase Act; RA 10072 – the New Charter of the Philippine Red Cross; RA 9645 – Declaring July 27 of Every Year as Araw ng Iglesia Ni Cristo and as Special Working Holiday; and RA 9849 – Declaring Eidul Adha as a National Holiday. He is also considered the “father” of the New Cooperative Code being the principal sponsor and author of RA 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008. Sen. Migz is known as a champion of environmental concerns, an advocacy he pursues in the Senate and among his top legislative agenda. In the current 15th Congress, he chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He also chairs the Committee on Cooperatives and 3 Joint Congressional Oversight Committees such as the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act; Joint Congressional Committee on Clean Air Act; and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives. He is also a member of 20 other Senate standing committees. Sen. Migz is involved in concrete environmental programs such as being the founder of the Philippine Deer Foundation, a deer conservation project, and as President of the Palawan-based Katala Foundation which protects endangered wildlife species and their habitats. A trained first aider and certified rescue diver, he is a Governor of the Philippine Red Cross and active member of the Red Cross Youth Committee and Concerned Divers of the Philippines. Senator Zubiri has published two books: the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, and Bukidnon: The Philippine Frontier. He is a graduate of Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the University of the Philippines Open University and Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business Management at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. He has also … [Read more...]

Rolando Pintoy Dantes (June 15, 1944-March 16, 2009)

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Rolando Pintoy Dantes (June 15, 1944-March 16, 2009) A Filipino martial artist who trained with Remy Presas for over 30 years. He has also trained with other martial arts masters, such as Cacoy Canete and Edgar Sulite. He was deeply loved and respected by the martial arts world! Born in Cotabato, the 5’10” movie actor’s real name was Rolando Tangco Pintoy. His father, Brigadier General Climaco Pintoy, was the Military Zone Commander of the 4th Military Area, which includes Mindanao and the southern islands of Sulu and Palawan. Dantes’ father was his first instructor in art of Arnis de Mano. After his father’s death, Dantes studied Shotokan and Tang Soo do, and earned black belt ranks in both arts, and later he studied Arnis de Mano from Professor Remy Presas and other FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) grandmasters and masters. A dedicated bodybuilder, Dantes won the “Mr. Philippines” title five times: 1969, 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1980. He also placed several times in the “Mr. Universe” contest and took fifth place in the 1970 “Mr. World” contest. In 1980, he placed fifth in the World Games for Bodybuilding, and in 1982 received a Certificate of Merit from the International Federation of Bodybuilders. In the same year, Dantes received the President Marcos Gold Medal Award for Bodybuilding. This extraordinary man was one of the best-known Philippine actors who had leading roles in American films, like the internationally released movie “The Pacific Connection” which featured Nancy Kwan, Guy Madison, Alejandro Rey and Dean Stockwell, and “Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection” with Chuck Norris. He also starred in dozens of Philippine movies such as “Arnis: The Sticks of Death”, ”Trojan Warrior”, “Tumbador”, “Under the Gun”, “Live by the Fist”, “Tiger Shark”, “Angelfist”, “Uhaw na Dagat”, “Durugin si Totoy Bato”, “Banta ng Kahapon” and several other movies made in Australia, where he later established his residence. Before becoming a movie star, Dantes was a police officer for several years in Manila. It was while majoring in Physical Education in college when he met Professor Presas, the founder of Modern Arnis. His passion for Arnis was rekindled, and Dantes became one of Presas’ top students and closest friend. Presas even choreographed his Arnis moves in most of his movies. After Dantes immigrated to America, he continued his Filipino martial arts training with the late FMA Grandmasters: Antonio Ilustresimo, Leo Gaje, Ben Lima, Johnny Chiuten , Edgar Sulite and others; and with the 88-year old living legend, Grandmaster Cacoy Canete, founder of the Doce Partes Eskrido/Eskrima system of martial arts. With his extensive martial arts and bodybuilding expertise and experience, Dantes was listed in the Philippine Martial Arts Grandmasters Hall of Fame in Florida, Martial Arts Hall of Fane in El Paso, Texas, and the Philippine Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. He held the position of Chairman of the International Affairs of Arnis Philippines and the International Arnis Federation, the officially-recognized governing body for Arnis by the Philippine government. … [Read more...]

Grandmaster Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo (1904 – 1997)

GranMaestro_Antonio-Ilustrisimo

Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo,                                                                                    Courtesy of Bakbakan International  and  GM Tony Diego Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo (1902 - 1997) originally came from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island.   He came from a family that has a very long history of martials and mystical tradition.   His cousin, Floro Villabrialle, was the most famous Arnis master of Hawaii.  His youngest uncle, Regino Ellustrisimo, was an Arnis master in Stockton, USA.  Both men were mentioned in Dan Inosanto's book on Filipino martial arts.  However, the most famous of his 4 direct paternal uncles, and the most powerful fighter of the 5 brothers (some say he has more than 7 uncles) was Melecio Ilustrisimo, one of the most famous Kali masters of the Philippines of the early 20th Century, being influential in northern Cebu - Bantayan and Bohol islands.  All his forbears were expert warriors and were known to posses strange mystical powers. Grandmaster Ilustrisimo's students, fondly call him "Tatang" which  means "grandfather".  Tatang learnt Arnis under the tutelage of his father (Isidro Illustrisimo) and uncles (especially the famous Melecio Ilustrisimo) in the old way.  There were 3 famous Eskrima families in Cebu at that time:-  the Ilustrisimos,  the Saavedras,  and the Romos. Footwork was one of the first things he had to master.  As a tiny boy, he was put on a small table and his teachers would use sticks to beat his legs.  He had to learn how to avoid the blows.  He was also put on 3 half coconut shells in a triangular pattern and given the same harsh treatment.  This footwork is known as Tatlong Bao in the Ilustrisimo family. As a result he has mastered evasion and dodging at an early age.  This is a training that Melecio Ilustrisimo himself thoroughly mastered as he was said to have nailed one foot to the ground and challenge all and sundry to defeat him.  No one could,  and that footwork is called "Walong Apak" (Nail Footwork) in Kalis Ilustrisimo.  These skills of evasive footwork have all been mastered by Grandmaster Antonio Illustrisimo. He learnt the solo and double baston, espada daga, daga, bolo (sword), dos manos (a long stick/sword - roughly equivalent to the Samurai's sword) and various "weapons of convenience".   In particular, as a speciality, Grandmaster Ilustrisimo is noted for is his expertise in bladed weapons - something which many modern Grandmasters of Arnis can not lay proper claim to since their real practical experience concentrated on the rattan sticks. (Claims by most systems that they can use swords are disputable and only partially true).  This expertise as a swordman is not merely from personal experience and practice, but is the legacy of his family art of Ilustrisimo Kali which is a bladed art that stretches so far back in the family line that nobody could remember when it started. As a boy, the young Ilustrisimo had a very tough, stubborn, determined and indominatable spirit. When he heard of a far country called 'America', he decided to go there - at the age of 9 years old!   When his parents would not  listen to his panderings, he 'took' some family money and a machete, and again, 'took' a small rowing boat and paddled out to the sea to what he thought would be America, not realising how far America really is.  He fortunately chance across a ship.  The sailors aboard were  surprised to see a young boy rowing out in the sea.  Out of curiousity, perhaps concern as well, there approached him and asked him where he was going.  "I am going to America in this boat!" was the confident answer.  The sailors rocked in laughter.  They somehow persuaded him to come with them.   Of course, he did not get to America.  But he did sail to a few ports, still not quite realising that America is still very, very far away.......... At a port, he chance on a family friend who recognised him, but not wishing to betray the high ideals of this young boy, he took him to the south as that friend was a Muslim.  There the young boy grew up - strong, determined, proud and skillful in combat as ever.  He was adopted into a the royal court as an adopted son of the Sultan of Sulu.  (This was Hadji Butu who ascended to become HH Hadji Mohammad Jamalul Kiram II, the Sultan of Sulu) While in the South, he was priviledged to train in the the best of teachers that the royal court could have.  He also trained with Pedro Cortes, another very famous master in the Mindanao region, who was used by the government to control the 'Rebelious South'.   Pedro Cortes was a close friend a sparring partner of his father Isidro Ilustrisimo. Then one day, he was drinking at a beer house, he got into dispute with another man.  The man drew his sword to kill Tatang, but the defty young boy beat him to the draw and, with one … [Read more...]

Lameco Eskrima

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.   More on Punong Guro Edgart Sulite the founder of Lameco Eskrima at: http://backyardeskrima.com/?cat=11 … [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...]