I was caught with my foot in my mouth again!
With a lot of conviction, I previously stated that the Filipino Martial Arts do not have spinning, jumping, or flying maneuvers. See here.
I was wrong.
Yesterday, I bought this treasure of a book: SIKARAN: The Fighting Art of the Filipino Farmer by Emmanuel del espiritu santo Querubin. (See photo of book cover above.)
A scan through the pictures quickly demolished my misconception.
Look at this vintage photo of the author Emmanuel Querubin targeted with a flying side kick by Sikaran Grandmaster Meliton Geronimo.
Here are some of the things I learned from that articulately-written, well-researched book:
- an unarmed fighting system
- emphasizes the use of legs for kicking
- also uses the hands for striking, joint reversals, takedowns, and throws
- developed by farmers mainly for recreation and sport
- started in Baras, a municipality of the province of Rizal, Philippines
- used for personal defense only in extreme cases (farmers, just like other Filipino warriors, used weapons in their first method of defense)
- can be lethal
- training motto: Do one technique one thousand times until it becomes a reflex
- its three original kicks are:
- Padyak ng kalabaw (carabao stomp) – a downward thrusting kick targeting to break the knee, or to take down an opponent or as a finishing kick to a downed opponent
- Sipang kabayo (horse kick)- a back kick targeting the heart by breaking the sternum
- Biyakid – a spinning heel kick targeting the temple or the back of the head; this is Sikaran’s signature kick (see book cover above).
So my dear self, what can you say?
FMA also has spins, jumps, and flying kicks.
The armed systems of Kali / Arnis / Eskrima were developed by warriors for their survival. The moves are shifty and feet remain close to the ground.
The unarmed system of Sikaran was started by farmers mainly as a recreation and sport. They have developed formidable moves that can be lethal if they choose to.
My moral lessons: The more you know, the less you know. Be careful before you make generalizations. Continue to study for FMA has so much more for you to discover.
For more information and photos: