all i can say is that i was born in a family of martial artist. my father was an amateur boxer, a blacksmith and a guerilla fighter. all he taught me was how to box, western style, when i was small. He would show me the moves just like the moves of an amateur boxer and he would tell me that one never cries when one is in an encounter. And he told me that I will never go home crying, even though there were bruises in my body. He would pit me against boys my age. That is how he trained me in the art of streetfighting. Before this streetfighting terms were popular, we were already engaged in streetfighting since we were in short pants. "You only have to stop fighting when everything around you is already dark," he used to advised us when engaging in a streetfight. During those times the common means of streetfighting is with our barehands and sometimes when one is in a disadvantage would engage in a wrestling match. But wrestling or grappling was never the name of the game. It is a womans style of fighting as the old men of our village says.
As I grow older and fightfights were common among kids and also teenagers, the style of fighting also changes. People began to study the imported empty handed style of fighting called Karate. Karate is a term wherein we used not only our barehands but also our feet. So, my father enrolled me in one of the local schools in our communtiy. But these schools never stayed long because the people in our community would challenged the instructor and they would bring with themselves bolo or scythe. Mostly the people in our community are "manangete" (the one who climb coconut trees and extract coconut wine from the trees and they use "sanggot" local term for scythe) and fishermen. The teachers of Karate would leave the dojo in haste to avoid confronting the folks of our community.
As I went to school, I had various encounters with other students only on barehand fights. It is here during my high school days that I learned some foreign based empty handed styles. My father would show me how to fight a knife weilding attacker and he would tell stories about his experiences of near death during his days. I know that he knows arnis or binaston because he would show me how to defend against a strike with only a "pitsikorno" (brass knuckle). But he never showed me everything because like the old bastoneros and arnisadores they would not teach their sons the art of killing people. They said that one can only use the arnis technique when his life is in danger and today we are at peace.
But the curiosity in me developed as I grow older and there were developemtn in the media that movies were part of my awakening in seeking the true art of defending oneself.
My grandfather on my mother side is an arnisador from Jaro, Iloilo. If he would visit us in Bacolod, he would teach me his brand of arnis. This is the first time that I was exposed to the art of arnis. But I would shy away from my grandfather because his kind of teaching is very painful and my tolerance to pain at that age was low.
Not until I was in college wherein I dedicated myself to the art of Combat Karate, wherein everyday is a sparring day and everyday one has a blackey. This went on until I finished college wherein I started learning the internal art of Tai chi chuan. After college I went to work in a fertilizer company and I still pursue my Tai Chi lesson. In my line of work as an assistant warehouseman, I have under me co employees who are experts in arnis. I had one co-employee who is an arnis expert and we would spend a lot of time practising during breaktime. Milleng is his name and a resident of Talisay. It was through his tutelage that I polished what my grandfather taught me about knife fighting and defense.
This went on, after I got married and had two kids. My son, I would bring him to a local Judo club in YMCA and have him trained there. Since I have nothing to do I would join them just to pass the time. Later on, I became an enthusiast and practitioner of Judo as well as aikido because the teacher of my son is also an aikido teacher.
When I was retrenced from my work, I joined an educational institution as an employee and a teacher. During my stay in the University I was instrumental in bringing Judo to the school and open a martial arts club in the school with the help of my friends in the Aikido school.
Later on, I resigned from my mother club and seek further knowledge in aikido with people from Manila coming here to give seminar and sometimes I and my partners would travel to Baguio just to attend a promotion seminar for higher belting.
Then together with my aikido friends we put up our own school called the Conceptual Martial Arts Society. This is where our paths crossed wherein our goals are of the same wavelength. Thanks to them that up unatil now we believe that Negrense/Ilonggo martial arts is still developing and and is changing and is going in line with the signs of the tims.