Dubai is an 8-1/2 hour straight flight from Manila but in that distant place, there are many Filipino Martial Arts enthusiasts. Hooray!
During my month-long stay there, I was delighted to have met two FMAers.
1. Julieto (Lito) Ondangan – Style: Alas Modern Arnis (Alasteros), Philkadi Martial Arts
Aside from visiting my sister and her family, the other reason why hubby and I went to Dubai was because he was invited to give a Christian church seminar.
Anyway, in one of the sessions, hubby casually (and dare I say, proudly) mentioned that I was into FMA and asked if there was anyone else into it. Brother Lito, as we call him, raised his hand. Oh wow, I didn’t expect that!
As soon as the seminar ended, I beelined to Brother Lito and learned that he trained under his father in law, the late Grandmaster Alexander Asperas, founder of Alas Modern Arnis (Alasteros) and Philkadi Martial Arts in Pasig City, Philippines.
Naturally, there had to be some demonstration. Since we didn’t have sticks, I just asked about street self defense. His answers turned out to be so interesting that soon there was a group of people watching us. Thank you Brother Lito.
I like him because he really knew what to do whatever scenario we presented to him: what if the attacker is armed, what if he grabs you from the back, what if there are two attackers, and more. What’s impressive is, he clearly explained how to do it in his practical but quiet kind of way. Brother Lito is not active now but I hope he will find the time to practice and train others again.
Assistant Instructor, Art of Power Martial Arts Academy, Al Hana Center, Bur Dubai
Guro Louie saw the Facebook photo of me in Dubai so he contacted me and said that if I wanted to, he could introduce me to some of the Arnis practitioners in Dubai. Of course I wanted to but sad to say, my schedule didn’t permit me to.
I almost lost hope that I would meet any of them, when on our last day, Guro Louie so selflessly gave up his lunch hour to meet me and hubby at the Dubai Mall.Thank you very much!
He was so nice and he gave me a shirt, too.
Guro Louie told me that Arnis is becoming more and more popular in Dubai and even non-Filipinos are into it. At present, the Alfonso Kali group trains in the Art of Power gym in Deira Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. What’s more interesting is they give free self defense training at the Creek Park every Friday morning.
Guro Louie also said that the Balintawak Arnis group gives Arnis training in Safa Park .
Thank you also to:
- Grandmaster Tim Alfonso for graciously giving me a call. He’s the Founder of Alfonso Kali and the Training Manager of the Art of Power Academy of Martial Arts.
- Guro Elmer Go Alimario for inviting me to meet them especially because Grandmaster Jerson Tortal, Jr (Secretary General of Dikiti Tirsia Siradas) was with them. I had to take a rain check on that. To read a news article about their training with GM Tortal, click here.
At present, Guro Alimario trains every Friday afternoon at the Shotokan Karate Institute, al Nadha, Dubai.
What an uplifting thought it is that Arnis is so alive in Dubai. I’m sure that in the other Emirates and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is also. I’m not surprised because, as you know, Arnis is awesome, right? Right.
Are you aware of other FMA groups in that area? Please let us know.
More power to all FMAers.
Thank you for taking the time to read The Deadly Dance. Pugay!