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!

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