From the Facebook of Magtutudlo Ramon Rubia: "Looking Back, Honoring my Teachers in the "Old School Eskrima" were Members, Fighters, and Instructors of the Doce Pares School, Cebu City: 1) Urbano "Banoy" Borja 2) Benjamin "Ben" Culanag 3) Genaro "Naro" Mendoza...also in the picture are GM's Eulogio "Yoling" Canete and Filemon "Momoy" Canete..." "A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS IF ONE KNOWS THE STORY BEHIND IT" NAMES OF: FIRST ROW L/R: : B. ONG, A.TANAN, F. MENDOZA, H. ABAYON, N. LIMCHUA, URBANO BORJA, P. ABRAHAN, J. YANGKEE 2ND ROW SITTING L/R: B. ABALLE, C. MABALHIN, EULOGIO D. CANETE PRESIDENT, DR. L. LARRAQUEL ADVISER, FILEMON D. CANETE PROFESSOR OF SELF-DEFENSE, A. NOVAL AND T. PACANA 3RD ROW STANDING L/R:F. TAN, J. LIM, B. MANLOSA, D. OMULON, S. PAHIMUTANG, GENARO MENDOZA, I. ONG, W . UY , BEN CULANAG (INSTRUCTOR), T. DIAGON
Transcending Conventional Eskrima, Part 2: Differentiating the Movement
If we look at the bigger picture of Doce Pares Club eskrima in a more historical way, we can easily recognize that the true disciples of Momoy actually move like Momoy - there is no question of who is really who in the San Miguel System of Eskrima, especially when referring to the NMODE--DSG. There is definitely a connection that you can see. The core movements of Momoy and his followers are not flowery. There isn’t a supination or pronation movement within the San Miguel System of Eskrima which resembles those strikes of the modern-day conglomeration of multiple styles - the movements between the two are completely different. Magtutudlo Ramon teaches us that the way the body moves is the telltale sign when distinguishing the methods of the modern conglomeration from those representing NMODE--DSG. See for yourself and look at any video of Momoy and his disciples to prove the point.
Simply refer to the footage graciously shared by Doug Marcaida and Tony Jones. Compare that to Magtutudlo Ramon’s YouTube and Facebook footage of the Nongs, including GM Banoy Borja, GM Ben Culanag, GM Naro Mendoza, and GM Federico Mendoza Jr. All of the generations of footage [1970’s, ‘80’s, ‘90’s, & 2000’s] show that the San Miguel System is blade-based. It’s a system that is deeply rooted in a forgotten history, with which very few people still know and can articulate today. There are no fancy marketing phrases or gimmicks when referring to the San Miguel System, because the truth found within the movement speaks for itself. The fighting strategies and tactics found in the methods have been provided for you, in plain sight. Very few people in the world can properly explain what is in the video. As of this writing, there is only one person in the Continental United States who can provide such explanations.
In the San Miguel System of Eskrima, NMODE--DSG, we train in forms that have a meaning and a purpose. We have drills that lead to a particular skill set. The form we train in directly reflects in how we will move when prompted to do so. The form makes the structured movements ‘natural.’ The movements of NMODE--DSG are simple and natural in that they correspond with body mechanics. When we delve deeper into what is considered ‘real’ eskrima, the strategies and tactics to fighting are revealed to the dedicated practitioner. This is how you develop the ‘eye’ or the ‘trained eye.’ The mistakes from the training will be revealed in the fight. The eskrimador with the trained eye will recognize it.
In the modern-day conglomeration of eskrima styles, they train in numerous sets of drills. Every few years, they manage to ‘rediscover’ components of their system that were somehow lost or forgotten to time. These newly presented drills and forms usually push veteran practitioners across the globe into scramble mode to learn these rediscovered add-ons. They’re scratching their heads because they had never seen this material before. The combinations of these drills are endless. But for those on the path to self-discovery in eskrima, they have to question what the movement will lead to in terms of fighting skill. Remember that a real eskrimador is someone who ‘uses’ eskrima.
If practitioners learn all of the conglomerated forms and drills that their instructor has to offer, and only spar with padding and gear on, then chances are they’re going to revert to their tournament or ‘pillow’ style of fighting when pressed to do the real thing. Why is that? Because that’s the way they train. That conglomerated tournament style does not translate into real fighting with the impact weapon or blade. They will get hit on the head by the stick or cut by the blade if they think they can fight WEKAF-style against a true practitioner of eskrima, like those eskrimadors from Panay or Negros. So then what’s the point of training towards that black belt and in reality learning nothing applicable? Mastering drills? Earning a medal or a trophy in padded sparring or forms? Training to reach these goals in tournaments is great for physical fitness. But understand that tournament fighting is not real eskrima. I will discuss this in a future blog.
This is my blog, a collection of thoughts on my journey in eskrima.