Sikaran: A Filipino Martial Art with moves I never imagined we would have

Sikaran Book

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:
      1. 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
      2. Sipang kabayo (horse kick)- a back kick targeting the heart by breaking the sternum
      3. 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:

Sikaran Pilipinas Official Website

Sikaran / Filipino Martial Arts Digest, Special Edition, 2009


12 thoughts on “Sikaran: A Filipino Martial Art with moves I never imagined we would have

  1. sandisdiaries June 20, 2013 / 11:38 PM

    “the more you know, the less you know.” this is so true. thanks for this post.

  2. Cheese Chomp Dad June 21, 2013 / 6:11 PM

    I am amazed by the level of interest and passion by which you do your research. Pugay!

    • thedeadlydance June 21, 2013 / 10:46 PM

      Really? Thanks! All these kicks fascinate me a lot. That’s what you do in karate too right? Nice!

  3. Michael Querubin July 3, 2013 / 8:05 AM

    Hello Joy, don’t feel too bad. A lot of Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad are not aware of this uniquely indigenous Filipino empty hand martial art. It also get’s the least amount of exposure among the other FMAs like Kali, Eskrima and Arnis. It’s also unfortunate that the Philippine Sports Commission does NOT recognize Sikaran in the national sports association but DOES recognize Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo and other foreign martial arts. Sikaran was also NOT included in the recently passed Arnis Bill that made Arnis de Mano the national martial art and sport of the Philippines which is a real shame.

    I was happy to stumble across your blog as we just got back yesterday from covering the World Sikaran Brotherhood of the Philippines gathering in New Jersey, USA. Master Jimmy Geronimo (brother of Grandmaster Meliton Geronimo), the author of the book you mentioned, Emmanuel Querubin (who happens to be my uncle) and other notable Sikaran seniors were present to test and promote the first generation of Sikaran black belts in the US, so it is growing. : )

    I would like to thank you for your blog, for it is people like you that is helping to propagate our beautiful, practical and very effective Filipino Martial Arts!

    Best of luck to you and your journey into the FMAs and keep up the great work!

    Michael Querubin

    p.s., if you are not familiar with it yet, try looking up Yaw-Yan too. : )

    • thedeadlydance July 10, 2013 / 1:51 AM

      Pugay GM Michael Querubin.
      I’m really honored that you took time to write me.
      Yes, Kali Arnis Eskrima gets so little attention in the Philippines, much less Sikaran and Yawyan. I myself never heard about them until I saw the book. Your uncle did a fantastic job writing it. My favorite part is is the History of the Filipino Fighting Arts but the whole book is so articulate and scholarly. A treasure of a book indeed!
      Congratulations on your recently concluded gathering.How come the Americans know Sikaran better than us??
      Anyway, maybe in our lifetime more people will discover it and give it due respect.
      Thank you for your generous words. They mean a lot to me.
      P.S. I watched a few yawyan videos on youtube just now. Patayan talaga!!! I’m intrigued by it especially since it’s similar to this blog’s name. I’ll do some research on it one of these days…if I can stand the to-the-death moves! 🙂 Do you practice Yawyan too?

  4. Shitt Pee July 8, 2014 / 11:06 PM

    hindi nga kilala ang sikaran sa pilipinas pero ang maganda may mga prctioner pa rin na umaalalay at may mga taong interesadong matuto ang malungkot lang ay hindi masyadong binibigyang pansin ang sports na ito. hay!!!!! pugay!!

    • thedeadlydance July 9, 2014 / 9:38 PM

      tama ka Shitt Pee, hay talaga. kung alam lang nila kung gaano kagaling ang sports na ito…
      Anyway, salamat sa pagbisita at pag comment mo. pugay!!!

      • Shitt Pee July 12, 2014 / 12:54 AM

        kung alam lnga lang nila at kung paano ka epektibo ang mga mma despite na simple lang ang mga moves…salamat po pugay..isa rin po akong sikaran practitioner sa arami pa ang mga magpractice nang fma..pugay salamat.

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