Guro Dino from Kapisanang Mandirigma reflects on teaching Eskrima at the Non-Profit organizations in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.

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Guro Dino from Kapisanang Mandirigma reflects on teaching Eskrima at the Non-Profit organizations in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. When our teacher Punong Guro Edgar Sulite passed away, the group wanted to honor his work but in the least commercial way possible. We weren't sure how we could do it...and looking back I am not sure why we wanted to do it that way. One day after one of our countless demos around the city, Aki from PWC approached me to do a history workshop at Glendale City College. Afterwards she asked if I would like to use the art to help at risk to kids to gangs violence and drug use. My first reaction was "are you sure?" I was thinking we are kind of a rough bunch and we are wielding sticks, knives and swords and were more like a gang ourselves. I didn't think it was exactly appropriate at the time. I was reminded that the Rampart district (where the movie "Training Day" was set) had the highest murder rate in the city at the time and was kind of rough itself with numerous hyper violent gangs such as MS13 and 18th St. claiming the area as their turf. Thus I half heartedly accepted. Anyway, to cut a long story short - our recruiter was right. We had a surprisingly high success rate with the youth. Just a few minor glitches like gunshot wounds, knife fights, comas and molotov cocktails on roofs...but thats another story.From what I can gather, most of the rougher kids changed their ways....after maybe a little backyard method persuasion techniques. Two things were very effective. 1.Military style drilling, rules and lots of push ups for the whole class if someone was out of line - Guro Bud was an expert at this method. 2. Lots and lots of sparring. Be it Eskrima, Grappling, Kickboxing etc. If they were very bad they would have to spar everyone in class ending with me. It was truly a transformative and effective method...but probably illegal in several states...lol. Some parents told us their kids grades had gone up. Another parent told us that a school teacher said to her that her son was "The most moral student in the school" (since joining the program)...still makes me laugh. We had an amazing experience doing volunteer work with those great Non-Profit Community organization like SIPA, PWC and FilAm ARTS. The at risk youth positive diversion program from gangs and drugs we taught from 1997 to 2004 was a big learning experience for us all. I am proud that when government funding was low or disappeared, we didn't let it stop us. Instead myself, Guro Arnold A. Noche and Guro Bud Balani Jr. offered adult classes at the centers at an affordable rate and used the proceeds to assist in funding the youth programs. One of the adult students even got Asics to sponsor us for a semester and we got some cases of their wrestling shoes. It was a grand adventure that took us far and wide. What more could you ask for, help a few kids out, teach a few adults some culture and still train in the art you love. All that was missing was a small paycheck for the Eskrima staff...lol. It's funny to think that all those non-martial artist participants who went through the program where forced to learn our Eskrima lineage and history. They were exposed to Lameco and the teacher in our lineage such as GM Ilustrisimo and his 5 Pillars (GM Tony Diego, GM Yuli Romo, GM Rey Galang, GM Christopher Ricketts and PG Edgar Sulite), GM Caballero and various other arts over the years. Our first guest instructor at the program was none other than the legendary Grandmaster Doc Lengson - which was an incredible honor for me. Not only was GM Dr. Guillermo B. “Doc” Lengson one of Master Ricketts teachers. He was also the one who advised GM Presas to add "Modern" to Arnis. GM Lenson also advised PG Sulite to use the title" Punong Guro". Punong Guro was the first to use this term in the Martial Arts, all others since were somehow inspired by his usage. GM Lengson was the first to feature FMA on Philippine TV. One of the TV shows had a 14 year old Master Ricketts representing Sagasa Kickboxing fighting a seasoned professional boxer. With another legend GM Roland Dantes as a judge. Other guest instructors at our program included GM Taboada, GM Gaabucayan, GM Manaois, GM Olavides, Guro Ariel Mosses, Guro Hans Tan and half of Lameco SOG. What a journey. Maybe this is why the kids responded.     Some items of recognition for our volunteer work back in the days of seemingly limitless energy. … [Read more...]

Mandirigma.org founders Guro Ariel Flores Mosses, Guro Arnold Noche, Guro Bud Balani and Guro Dino Flores mentioned in the Virtual Filipino Martial Arts Museum’s “Top 200 Living Guro’s” List

Mandirigma.org founders Guro Ariel Flores Mosses, Guro Arnold Noche, Guro Bud Balani and Guro Dino Flores mentioned in the Virtual Filipino Martial Arts Museum's "Top 200 Living Guro's" List Exerpt from: http://www.filipinomartialartsmuseum.com/index.htm Welcome to the Filipino Martial Arts Museum, the virtual museum and repository of knowledge of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) systems, styles, masters, history, literature and virtual artifacts. The writing ranges from incisive to light-hearted to even controversial, and the literary and virtual exhibits encompass all aspects of Filipino martial arts systems and disciplines including arnis, kali, eskrima, dumog, buno, hilot and other indigenous arts of the Philippines. Authors are well-known experts in their fields as well as volunteer writers. Article submissions are encouraged. The authors of these articles have consented to have their articles reprinted and republished in whole or in part, as long as the author’s name, website reference address and this website are acknowledged. I would like this site to become the most comprehensive online reader-written encyclopedia on FMA. It is meant to be a contemporary or living as well as an archival museum. Send your submissions for The Top 200 Living Masters, The Top 100 FMA Schools and other FMA Museum Who’s Who series, and then see your submissions published online. We also accept original articles and online book publications. http://www.filipinomartialartsmuseum.com/index.htm   http://www.filipinomartialartsmuseum.com/FMA_masters-systems-schools/FMAguros-living-list.html 1 Dino Flores Lameco Los Angeles, CA, USA 2 Hospecio Balani Lameco Los Angeles, CA, USA 3 David Gould Lameco 4 Leonard Trigg Lameco 5 Arnold Noche Lameco Los Angeles, CA, USA 6 John Jacobo Bakbakan Maryland, USA 7 Roger Agbulos Lameco North Hills, CA, USA 8 Marc Denny Dog Brothers CA, USA 9 Eric Knauss Dog Brothers CA, USA 10 Tim Hartman Modern Arnis USA 11 Kelly Worden Modern Arnis WA, USA 12 Myrlino Hufana Modern Arnis WA, USA 13 Jeffrey Delaney Modern Arnis Canada 14 Randi Schea Modern Arnis 15 Jay de Leon Modern Arnis, Los Angeles, CA, USA 16 Alvis Solis Seneres Arnis TX, USA 17 Ron Balicki Inosanto Kali Los Angeles, CA, USA 18 Diana Balicki Inosanto Kali Los Angeles, CA, USA 19 Ramon Rubia San Miguel Eskrima CA, USA 20 Mel Lopez Villabrille-Largusa 21 Greg Alland Dekiti-Tirsia-Siradas 22 Mary Ann Presas Modern Arnis San Pablo, CA, USA 23 Demetrio Presas Modern Arnis San Pablo, CA, USA 24 Remy Presas, Jr. Modern Arnis San Pablo, CA, USA 25 Tom Bolden Modern Arnis NY, USA 26 Jerome Barber Modern Arnis NY, USA 27 Percival “Val” Pableo Doce Pares 28 Graciella Casillas CA, USA 29 Raffy Pambuan Pambuan Tulisan Arnis FL, USA 30 Steven Dowd Arnis Balite Fallon, NV, USA 31 Hock Hochheim Modern Arnis, Kombatan TX, USA 32 Jorge Penafiel Balintawak Cincinatti, OH, USA 33 Larry Alcuizar Doce Pares Los Angeles, CA, USA 34 Felix Valencia Lameco Santa Barbara, CA, USA 35 Anthony Davis Cabales Serrada CA, USA 36 Sultan Uddin Cabales Serrada CA, USA 37 Darren Tibbon Cabales Serrada CA, USA 38 Jason Inay Inayan Eskrima San Jose, CA, USA 39 Jena Inay Inayan Eskrima San Jose, CA, USA 40 Ray Dionaldo Sayoc Kali FL, USA 41 Edwin Mosqueda Doce Pares 42 Nate Defensor Doce Pares Chicago, IL, USA 43 Conrado Manaois Manaois Eskrima Los Angeles, CA, USA 44 Dan Anderson Modern Arnis WA, USA 45 Rocky Pasiwk Modern Arnis 46 Ron Harris Original Filipino Tapado New Orleans, LA, USA 47 Tim Waid Pekiti-Tirsia TX, USA 48 Leslie Buck Pekiti-Tirsia TX, USA 49 Erwin Ballarta Pekiti-Tirsia TX, USA 50 Gaudencia Ruby Comjuka TX, USA 51 Phil Rapagna Lameco, Inosanto Kali Los Angeles, CA, USA 52 Victor Gendrano Inosanto Kali Los Angeles, CA, USA 53 Stephen Aron Inosanto Kali Glendora, CA, USA 54 Menandro “Anding” de Leon Arnis de Leon Garland, TX, USA 55 Jaime Abregana Hawaii, USA 56 Vincent Cabales Cabales Serrada CA, USA 57 Vincent Cabales, Jr. Cabales Serrada CA, USA 58 Carlito Bonjoc Mata sa Bagyo CA, USA 59 Mark Wiley Cabales Serrada 60 Tom Bisio San Miguel Eskrima 61 Rafael Kayanan Sayoc Kali 62 Tom Kier Sayoc Kali 63 Jeff Chung Sayoc Kali 64 Paul Vunak Inosanto Kali CA, USA 65 Burton Richardon Inosanto Kali HI, USA 66 Steve Grody Lameco 67 Steve Tarani 68 Blaise Loong 69 Cass Magda CA, USA 70 Rick Tucci Inosanto Kali Princeton, NJ 71 James A. Keating Comtech Walla Walla, WA, USA 72 Ed Goco Galang Las Vegas, NV, USA 73 Michael Replogle Modern Arnis USA 74 Felix Roiles Doce Pares Los Angeles, CA, USA 75 Spencer Gee Pananandata NY, USA 76 Bruce Ricketts Kali Ilustrisimo San Diego, CA, USA 77 Maurice Gatdula CA, USA 78 Mar de Leon Tumba-tumba Arnis San Diego, CA, USA 79 Chris Siangco Pedoy Derobio Eskrima San Diego, CA, USA 80 Ernie Reyes, Jr. San Jose, CA, USA 81 Alex France Kombatan CA, USA 82 Alex Ercia Kombatan CA, USA 83 Arthur Gonzalez De … [Read more...]

Hospecio Balbuena Balani, Jr. segment from the book “Masters of the Blade” by Master Rey Galang, 2006

guro bud balani 1 lameco ilustrisimo mandirigma.org guro bud balani 1 lameco ilustrisimo mandirigma.org

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City of Los Angeles dedicates Historic Filipinotown By Elson Trinidad

Guro Arnold, Guro Bud and Guro Dino, along with  members of the adult and youth class of the Kali Klub, performed a demonstration of the Warrior Arts of the Philippines at LA City Hall for this unprecendented and historic event. Monday, August 5th, 2002 City of Los Angeles dedicates Historic Filipinotown By Elson Trinidad The cathedral-like chambers of the Los Angeles City Council erupted in a chorus of "Mabuhay!"s on the morning of Friday, August 2nd as the city formally recognized the heart of its Filipino-American community, known as "Historic Filipinotown." Over 100 community leaders, city workers, war veterans, students and residents of Filipino descent - many dressed in bright, traditional barongs - gathered at City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles to witness the dedication of a designated Filipino community in the ever-diverse City of Angels, bordered by Hoover Street, the 101 Freeway, Glendale Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard, located just west of Downtown. Los Angeles city councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Historic Filipinotown, briefly ran down the history of Filipinos in Southern California from the 1587 landing of Manilamen in Morro Bay to earlier incarnations of Filipino districts in L.A. since the turn of the 20th century. "We celebrate today the fact that Filipinos have a historic home, a heart for their community, a place where all Filipinos are welcome, and will continue to prosper and flourish," said Garcetti. Flanked by several members of the Filipino community, Garcetti unveiled an eight-foot long blue sign that bore the name of the newly-dedicated district, which prompted fellow councilman Tom LaBonge to quip, "This is the longest sign in the history of the city of Los Angeles!" The first sign will be installed on Thursday, August 8 at the intersection of Temple Street and Union Avenue during a 9 a.m. dedication ceremony. Garcettiís predecessor Jackie Goldberg, now a California state assemblywoman, vowed that she would use her influence to have signs placed on the 101 Freeway directing motorists to Historic Filipinotown. Garcettiís staff organized the year-long project to create a Filipinotown, which involved the cooperation of non-profit agencies such as Filipino-American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) and local residents and businesses, both Filipino and non-Filipino. According to George Villanueva, a Filipino-American who works under Garcetti as a community organizer, one of the reasons for the formation of Historic Filipinotown was to help stimulate the development and vitality of Filipino-American businesses in the area. The dedication ceremony was not only a chance for civic officials to applaud the contributions of Filipinos to Los Angeles and America as a whole, but for the leaders of the cityís Filipino community to express pride for their newly-recognized district in front of L.A.ís top politicos. "A Filipina-Australian tourist visiting town once asked me where Temple Street was," said community leader Jocelyn Geaga-Rosenthal, "She said, ëYou know, where all the Filipinos are.í" Geaga-Rosenthal, a one-time candidate for the California state assembly, also noted that the occasion would have also been a proud moment for her late mother, Remedios Geaga, who herself was a community leader in L.A.ís Filipinotown. "I hope to one day see Filipino-Americans sit within those chairs," said Joe Abella, another community leader, who also co-founded SIPA, pointing to the dignified, horseshoe-shaped table where the members of the city council are seated. One such Filipino-American elected official in Southern California, Tony Cartagena, mayor of Walnut, said, "This is a very significant occasion, itís a special day for each and every Filipino and Filipino-American...we feel like we are part of [the city] now. A brief ceremony hosted by Ed Ramolete and Jing S.J. Vida soon followed in the city hall rotunda where Garcetti and Los Angeles mayor James Hahn addressed the crowd. "Filipinos are one of the strongest ethnic communities in Southern California," said the mayor, decked in a white barong Tagalog, "this is long overdue." The mayor also commended the valor and efforts of Filipino-American World War II veterans, which filled the dimly-lit tile halls with applause and cheers. After he spoke, several attendees used Hahnís presence as an opportunity to have their photo taken with the mayor. Garcetti added that disunity in the Filipino community was the primary reason why the road to a recognized Filipinotown district was long and hard. "This is the first step in creating unity. We have not arrived, we have only begun," said the councilman. An unprecedented display of unity was demonstrated at a town fiesta-like lunch reception outside in the city hall courtyard where nearly every local Filipino restaurant collectively donated food for the event. As members of the community … [Read more...]

Los Angeles – Historic Filipinotown Chapter of Lameco SOG

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Los Angeles – Historic Filipinotown Chapter of Lameco SOG By Mandirigma.org Lameco SOG members including: Joel Adriatico, Roger Agbulos, Jason Ancheta, Hospecio "Bud" Balani Jr., Ron Balicki, Rem V. Cruz, Marc F. Denny, Mar Elepaño, Bryant Emerson, Choy Flores, Dino Flores, Dave Gould, Steven Grody, Elmer R. Hebia, Sung Han Kim, Eric Dupois Koh, Arnold A. Noche, Lowell Pueblos, Gary Quan, Phillip Rapagna, Pantaleon "Mang Leo" Revilles, Jr. (RIP), Hans Anton Tan, Steve Tarani, Pelix Velenciar and Rodney Wilson. The group occasionally gets together to train or collaborate. Many are busy with heading their own organizations. A good number of the Lameco SOG members have continued to train together regularly since their teacher's death in 1997. Besides continued training in the Lameco Backyard Method, the group also continued study in the Lameco primary root fighting systems of Ilustrisimo and De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orihinal. This group is sometimes reffered to as The Los Angeles – Historic Filipinotown Chapter of Lameco SOG. This includes Guros Joel Adriatico, Hospecio "Bud" Balani Jr., Mar Elepaño, Choy Flores, Dino Flores, Arnold Noche, Gary Quan, Hans Anton Tan and Pantaleon “Mang Leo” Revilles, Jr. (RIP). It is also this group that came up with the term “SOG” or Sulite Orehenal Group with the guidance and approval of the two highest-ranking Lameco Eskrima International members, Master Christopher N. Ricketts and Master Reynaldo S. Galang. A few of these members to teach the public, however most prefer to keep their knowledge a private matter. When Christopher N. Ricketts moved to California backyard members Hospecio "Bud" Balani Jr., Mar Elepaño,  Bryant Emerson, Ron Baliki, Choy Flores, Dino Flores and Arnold Noche trained under Master Rickets in Ilustrisimo and recognized him as the highest ranking Lameco Eskrima Member. With the tragic passing of Master Ricketts, the highest ranking Lameco Eskrima Member is currently Master Rey Galang Above is the largest Filipino-American mural in the U.S.A.  located in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. Painted by Eliseo Art Silva. The mural measures 145 feet x 25 feet. The mural was created in commemoration of the Centennial of the Philippine Revolution against Spain … [Read more...]

Kali Klub Sa Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles

historic filipinotown

Kali Klub Kali Klub, an award-winning project of Kapisanang Mandirigma, initially started as a positive diversion against drugs and gangs for youths in the Temple-Beverly corridor, now known as Historic Filipinotown. It is; a collaboration with several non- profit agencies in the area such as FilAm Arts, SIPA and PWC. Now entering their 9th year, they have expanded to teaching Children (ages 5-12), Youths (ages 13-17), Adults (ages 18 & over) and Elders (ages 40 & Over) the Warrior Arts of the Philippines in a non-commercial, non-political environment where art, culture and heritage are integrated into their curriculum. Presentations include the dedication of Historic Filipinotown at the Los Angeles City Hall and a lecture/demo at the Filipino Historical Society Conference at Loyola University. Kali Klub sa FilAm ARTS - www.filamarts.org The Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts & Culture ("FilAm ARTS") was founded in 1999 but has consistently delivered the annual presentation of the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (FPAC) since their early beginnings in 1992 and has now added two other programs: the California-statewide Pilipino Artists Network (PAN) and the Eskuwela Kultura Neighborhood Cultural School. Kali Klub sa FilAm ARTS, established in 2004, is a joint project between Kapisanang Mandirigma and the Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts & Culture (FilAm ARTS) under their community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Kali Klub sa SIPA - www.esipa.org Founded in 1972, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans ("SIPA") has long established itself as a key service provider among the low-income and underserved multi- ethnic youth and families in the Temple Beverly corridor and the Pilipino American community of Los Angeles County. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life of the Pilipino American community by: Supporting youth development and leadership; Providing family programs, health and human services and affordable housing; Facilitation of collaborative actions within multi-ethnic communities. Kali Klub sa SIPA, established in 1999, is a joint project between Kapisanang Mandirigma and Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) under their community- based nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Kali Klub sa PWC - www.pwcsc.org The Pilipino Workers' Center ("PWC") was founded in 1997 on the idea that all workers have a right to safe working conditions, living wages, a decent standard of living and quality of life. Their mission is to organize Filipino Workers to collectively address our needs and issues both in the work place and in the community. Kali Klub sa PWC, established in 2003, is a joint project between Kapisanang Mandirigma and Pilipino Workers' Center (PWC) under their community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) status.   … [Read more...]