Guro Dino Flores reflects upon his experience training under his teacher Punong Guro Edgar Sulite


Guro Dino Flores reflects upon his experience training under his teacher Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. Excerpts taken from Master Reynaldo S. Galangs book "Warrior arts of the Philippines", published on April 1, 2005 After much scrutiny by Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite, Guro Lowell Pueblos and senior members of the Los Angeles Chapter of Lameco Eskrima International, I was finally accepted into the forming backyard group.  On the first day of class, my first intimidating task was to fight a senior member - full blast.  In my case it was Guro Mar Elepaño.  Although it was a scary at first, it was definitely a refreshing rush to release unhindered.  I gave a good pounding, but got an even better one back.  Regardless of the outcome, I was hooked.  What a welcome that was and what a lesson indeed. Lesson # 1: Abundant knowledge of theory and history does not necessarily equate to knowledge of actual application. Punong Guro had a habit of giving you relatively short lessons that would completely change your perception.  Just when I would think I knew what was going on, he would initiate upon me an unexpected lesson that would thrust me to another level of understanding.  He would never ram knowledge down your throat, or impose his opinions.  He preferred to put you through an experience that would support a theory and allow you to come up with a more personalized understanding.>Punong Guro had a love for reading books and learning new things.  We were both always reading something we found mutually interesting.  It was usually on topics such as martial arts, spiritual, health or Filipino history and culture.  So we started doing a book reading exchange.  “Little Brown Brother” for “A Spaniard in Aguinaldo's army: The military journal of Telesforo Carrasco y Pérez”, “Filipinos at War” for “Iron Shirt Qi-Gong”, “Jail House Knife Techniques” for “The Fall of Sriwijaya in Malay History” and so on.  Punong Guro was an intelligent person and I appreciated the fact that he considered the cerebral and spiritual side of training just as important as the physical part. My favorite memories are of his personal stories, which, to my mind, are real adventures.  His love affair with the Warrior Arts of the Philippines.  How he traveled throughout the Philippine islands to research the arts. He was the first person to go throughout Luzon, Visays and Mindanao and publish his research in a book, the Masters of Arnis, Kali and Eskrima. This research has influenced much of the literature on the arts that has been released since his own books came out. Many systems became known because of this landmark book and it served as an early guide for people seeking the art in the Philippines. Punong Guro was also an innovator. He introduced the concept of "hand sparring" for accuracy. Assisted by Master Yuli Romo they invented the hand and forearm guard for hand sparring. Sadly I have been seeing copies of thier invention surfacing. Recently a person from another style bragged to me that in their style they do hand sparring for accuracy. He had no clue of it's origins. Through his lessons and the example of how he lived his life, Punong Guro has had a tremendous influence on my own journey.  Looking back, I see him now as one who put great energy into the path of balancing the mind, the body and the spirit.  He appreciated the highest capabilities of the physical self – while accepting it's limitation.  While he expanded his mind with worldly and universal knowledge, he consciously worked on decreasing his ego with humility.  By being a person of well-balanced body and mind, it allowed his true self – his spirit and not his ego – to shine a bit more than average person. It was Punong Guro and all my teachers examples that inspired me to use the ancestral knowlege for positive purposes. To give back to the community and make an effort to improve myself along the way. Guro Dino Flores can be contacted for Classes or Seminars at … [Read more...]