Guro Dino Flores – Mandirigma Research Organization Director

Guro Dino

guro dino flores 2

Guro Dino Flores – Mandirigma Research Organization Director

Guro Dino Flores was born in Honolulu, Hawaii . He has lived in various places including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia as well as  Manila and Laguna – Philippines.

A glimpse into Guro Dino’s family tree finds a lineage as diverse as the Philippines itself.  Ancestors ranging from Katipuneros in Bicol serving under General Simeón Ola y Arboleda the last general to surrender to American forces during the Philippine-American War, “Tulisan” in Luzon who never surrendered, Datus in Tanawan Batangas, Traditional Healers using methods such as Orasyon and Anting-Anting in Laguna, Filipino-Spanish Hacienda owners settling at the foot of Mayon Volcano in the early 1900′s after migrating from the Visayas, World War Two American Colonial Army officers fighting under General Douglas Macarthur in Bataan and Corregidor and surviving the infamous “death march” as well as Globetrotting Modern U.P. Scholars in the 1970′s reluctantly leaving the country to escape Martial Law and the possibility of being “Salvaged”.

Guro Dino was first introduced 
to the concept of “Arnis” and Philippine Warrior history by his father Dr. A. S. Flores in the mid 1970′s. This was done through the oral tradition, Pilipino Komiks and hard to find publications during Martial Law. His 
first exposure to physical training was in the early 1980′s in Laguna Province, Philippines. Older relatives and neighbors to family ancestral lands of many generations, introduced him in backyard sessions to basic street applications and strategy of the balisong blade during stays in the Philippines. Many of these early instructors had experienced real blade situations with the scars to prove it. The first lessons were avoidance, environmental awareness and proper behavior to avoid conflict. The sad irony is that a member of this early group and a close friend has since passed away after a knife ambush by two attackers due to improper behavior.

Guro Dino trained for many years with Grandmaster Conrad A. Manaois in Ninoy Cinco Teros Arnis and Master Henry Bio in Sikaran Arnis in the 1980′s along with his cousins Ariel Flores Mosses and Choy Flores. In the early 1990′s he was accepted as an initial member of Punong Guro Edgar Sulites’ newly forming Backyard Group AKA the Sulite Oriehenal Group. During the constant sparring in the Backyard he evolved from being an aggressive fighter to one who now more calm and precise. His fighting style in the early days of the the Backyard Group earned him the nickname “Aso’ng Gulo” from his fellow peers and was considered Punong Guro Sulites’ favorite backyard fighter due to the clear usage of curriculum during fighting.

At the recommendation of Punong Guro Sulite, Guro Dino first visited Master Christopher Ricketts in the Philippines in 1995 and was introduced to his perspective on the Warrior Arts.  Since the passing of Punong Guro Sulite,  he has continuously train in Kali Ilustrisimo Under Master Christopher Ricketts, who gave Guro Dino permission to teach his method before his passing. Guro Dino was the Lameco representative for Master Ricketts and a member of Bakbakan Philippines sponsored by Master Ricketts. Guro Dino continues his training in Master Ricketts method of training with his two sons, the young Masters Bruce and Guro Brandon Ricketts. Additionally at Master Ricketts suggestion before his passing, Guro Dino also continues his studies in Ilustrisimo under Grandmaster Antonio Diego.

Guro Dino additionally had good fortune to experience training in Kali Ilustrisimo with Dodong Sta. Iglesia,  Guro Arnold Narzo, Guro Peachie Baron, Master Rey Galang, Master Yuli Romo and Master Tony Diego. He also trained in Kali Ilustrisimo with one of his training partners and fellow Lameco Backyard member Guro Hans Tan, who was certified to teach Kali Ilustrsimo under Master Tony Diego. Additionally Guro Dino trained privately for several years in California and the Philippines with Professor Ireneo L. Olavides in Eskrima De Campo JDC-IO. Guro Dino also cites the importance of his training partners in Lameco SOG and Kapisanang Mandirigma in his growth.

After the passing of Punong Guro Edgar Sulite in 1997, certain members of the Lameco Backyard group reformed also became know as Kapisanang Mandirigma. Together the group regularly continued  training, sparring, experimenting and seeking the deeper roots of their chosen arts. This group includes Guros Joel Adriatico, Hospecio “Bud” Balani Jr., Mar Elepaño, Choy Flores, Arnold Noche, Gary Quan, Hans Anton Tan and Pantaleon “Mang Leo” Revilles, Jr. (RIP). With frequent visits by Guro Lowell Pueblos, Bong Hebia and honorary member Ariel Flores Mosses.

Guro Dino has taught numerous seminars and classes over the years. He has appeared on Television, Instructional Videos, Independent Film and Radio Shows promoting the arts. He has contributed to magazine article for publications such as “Budo International”,  “Masters”, “Blitz” and “FMA Digest. Guro Dino has also contributed to book publications including “Masters of the Blade” and “Warrior Arts of the Philippines”. Guro Dino has conducted numerous seminars, lectures and demonstrations. Including conferences at UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, University of California Irvine, Loyola Marymount University, Glendale College, L.A. Cherry Blossom Festival, L.A. Lotus Festival, Philippine Tourism Expo in Manila, Sports Expo in Manila, Balintawak Cuentada Gathering Las Vegas and The Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture to name a few. Guro Dino was one of the first instructors invited to the World Filipino Martial Arts Association EXPO in Seattle, Washinton in 1993. One of his proudest moments was to be one of two cultural groups (the othe one being traditional dance) to perform in the world famous Los Angeles City Hall during the televised dedication of the the very first official “Filipinotown” in the USA. Other activities include Guro Dino being fight coordinator for the original performance of the first Filipino Opera “Karim at Jasmin” and the Filipino stage Musical “Abadeha”.

Guro Dino is a founding member of Kapisanang Mandirigma’s: Mandirigma Research Organization/, Kali Klub sa Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles and the Backyard Eskrima™ Organization. The Kali Klub is a volunteer collaboration with various non-profit agencies in Los Angeles. The project included setting up an award-winning program to positively divert at-risk youth from drugs and gangs using the Filipino Warrior Arts as a metaphor for adaptation and learning. Hundreds of students experienced the program over the course of ten years. For some students the education literally saved their lives in several armed street situations. Some of the award’s and recognitions for the program come from organizations such as Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, The California State Assembly and the City Hall of Los Angeles.

Historic Filipinotown is located in Los Angeles’ Rampart District and is notorious for being among the highest in gang, murder and drug activity in the country since the 1960′s. In as much so, that Hollywood has portrayed it in television shows such as “Adam-12” and most recently in “The Shield”, as well as in feature films like “Training Day”. The success of this program over ten years led to awards and recognition by organizations such as S.I.P.A Youth Services, Filam Arts, Pilipino Workers Center, California State Assembly, California State Board of Equalization and The Los Angeles Mayors Office. The Kali Klub has also arranged fundraisers in order to assist causes such as indigenous tribal groups and organizations dedicated to cultural preservation in the Philippines.

After taking some years off to focus on what he loves most, being a dedicated “student”, Guro Dino has recently started teaching publicly again. Although his primary objectives is to keep learning till the end, his secondary objective is to honorably share and preserve what he has learned before retiring from public teaching again to focus on other matters. Material includes Punong Guro Guro Edgar Sulites Lameco Backyard Method, Master Christopher Ricketts Ilustrisimo Method of instruction and more. Instruction and curriculum is administered under Kapisanang Mandirigma’s “Backyard Eskrima™” Organization. In the tradition of the backyard, instruction is open to a few dedicated practitioners who are open minded, respectful and passionate about the arts.

Guro Dino Flores can be contacted for Private Lessons, Workshops or Seminars at

ng guro edgar sulite lameco

In front of Lameco Eskrima HQ, Los Angeles, California 1993.
L to R: Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, Guro Dino Flores, Guro Lowell Pueblos
Taken with Dino’s Polaroid Camera by Choy Flores.
Photo property of Dino Flores.



lameco bakbakan ilustrisimo sagasa kafefil

L to R: Master Rey Galang, Master Doc Lengson, Guro Dino Flores, Master Christopher Ricketts
Seminar in San Fernando Valley, California.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


lameco bakbakan ilustrisimo sagasa kafefil
Assisting Punong Guro Edgar Sulite at a Lameco Seminar in Orange County, California. 1994.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


lameco bakbakan ilustrisimo sagasa kafefil

Getting ready for a fight at the Dog Brothers Gathering in Hermosa Beach California 1995.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


lameco bakbakan ilustrisimo sagasa kafefil

 In the Original “Backyard” on Goodwin Ave. in Los Angeles, California. 1996.
L to R: Arnold Noche, Hans Tan, Bong Hebia, Choy Flores, Dino Flores
with Bud Balani in the back.
Photo property of Dino Flores.
dino flores kali arnis eskrima lameco
Pasadena, California.

lameco bakbakan ilustrisimo sagasa kafefil

Guro Dino Flores with Master Christopher Ricketts. San Diego, California. 2010.
Photo courtesy of Felici Photography.


kali arnis eskrima ilustrisimo lameco

Rear L to R: Master Doc Lengson, Master Christopher Ricketts, Steve Terani, Dino Flores,
Rem Cruz, Bong Hebia, Edgar Sulite Jr., Guro Lowell Pueblos, Master Rey Galang.
Front L to R: Choy Flores, Bud Balani, Roger Agbulos, Arnold Noche.
Ilustrisimo Seminar in San Fernando Valley, California. 1998.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


Punong Guro Edgar Sulite

L to R: Ariel Flores Mosses, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite,
Andrew Sulite, Choy Flores, Dino Flores.
Cousins Dino, Choy and Ariel  assisting Punong Guro with seminars in
Washington and Oregon States. 1995.
Photo property of Dino Flores.
Guro Ariel kali arnis eskrima manaois lameco Guro Ariel kali arnis eskrima manaois lameco
Guro Ariel, Guro Dino, Grandmaster Conrad Manaois
and daughter, Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles, 1998
Photo property of Ariel Mosses.


eskrima kali arnis

Demo at The 15th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture
with some  students from the Kali Klub sa Historic Filipinotown project.
Sept. 9-10, 2006. Point Fermin Park, San Pedro, CA.
Photo property of FPAC.


lameco, ilustrisimo, backyard eskrima, guro dino

With Youth Program students from the Kali Klub sa Historic Filipinotown
project in the Los Angeles Rampart area.
Photo property of Dino Flores.



lameco, ilustrisimo, backyard eskrima

Inside Los Angeles City Hall with Guro Bud  during the official televised
dedication of Historic Filipinotown.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


lameco, ilustrisimo, backyard eskrima, guro dino

Los Angeles City Hall courtyard  in front of the main entrance  with some students from
the Kapisanang Mandirigma, Kali Klub during the
official dedication of Historic Filipinotown.
Photo property of Dino Flores.



The First WORLD FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS EXPO Featured Instructors:
Back L/R: Maestro Ybanez (RIP), Guro Dino Flores, PG Hufana, Guro Israel,
Master Penafiel, Guro Bud Balani, Guro Ariel Mosses;
Front L/R GM Salinas, GM Estalilla Jr., GM Pallen, GM Taboada, GM Manaois

Guro Choy and Guro Dino representing Lameco Eskrima
after fighting at “The Gathering” 1994.
Photo courtesy of DBMA.


master tony diego, ilustrisimo master tony diego, ilustrisimo master tony diego, ilustrisimo,

Training in Luneta Park with Master Tony Diego. Manila Philippines.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


Master Tony Diego. ilustrisimo

Training in Luneta Park with Master Tony Diego. Manila Philippines.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


lameco ilustrisimo kali arnis backyard eskrima philippines

“Tagay” session with the local “Tropa”, friends, neighbors and relatives.
Some of  whom were early street self-defense instructors or advisors.
A backyard in Barangay Malaking Bato, Philippines.
A few weeks before Presidental Elections and the outbreak of the 1986 Peoples Power Revolution.
Flashing the “Laban” sign in support of Cory Aquino vs Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Photo property of Dino Flores.


kali arnis eskrima escrima kali arnis eskrima escrima

Rear L to R: Guro Arnold Noche, Guro Steve Terani, Guro Mar Elepano, Guro Bud Balani,
Master Christopher Ricketts, Guro Dino Flores
Front L to R: Guro Roger Agbulos, Guro Choy Flores, Guro Dave Gould
Group reunion. San Fernando Valley, California.
Photo courtesy of Victor Gendrano.


mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma mandirigma

Rear L to R: Guro Dino, Ron Gabriel, Mark Pogi, Johnathan Balani, Guro Bud Balani, Nick Papadakis,
Master Christopher Ricketts, Mark, Master “Nene” Gaabucayan, Guro Rick Mitchell, Kimo Flores, Guro Arnold Noche.
Front L to R: Kalina Gabriel, Chris Ricketts, Alex Flores, Brandon Ricketts, Donovan, Nico, Nina.
Kapisanang Mandirigma Demo at FPAC Festival, San Pedro, California.
Photo property of Dino Flores

Still from the Lameco Eskrima Laban Laro Instructional Video.
Sequence shot in front of Punong Guro Edgar Sulite’s then new house in
Palmdale, California, USA.

ilustrisimo lameco kali arnis eskrima guro dino flores

dino kali arnis eskrima fma escrima dino kali arnis eskrima fma escrima
Television interview on Kababayan LA. 2008
Kababayan LA is Southern California’s only daily Filipino television show.
Hosted by the popular Jannelle So.
ABS-CBN Television interview Kapisanang Mandirigm n front on the
Directors Guild of America. Guro Dino, Guro Arnold and Guro Mar had short
film entries selected for the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival. 2003.


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.
Members of the first Kali Klub Childrens Class in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.
Guro Dino’s Nephew Alex Flores front right. Guro Bud Balani’s son Johnathan at rear right.
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