By: James U. Sy Jr.
Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., the premier martial arts research and documentation team in Western Visayas, traveled to Pojo, Bugasong, the province of Antique in Panay Island during the Feast of the Sto. Niño last January 18-19, 2008 to get a first have exposure to the indigenous Visayan grappling art of Dumog.
Host for the group was the Barte Family. The CMAS members included Chapter Head Dr. Raymund Antonio A. Maguad and his wife Dra. Saja Marie B. Maguad, Chapter Head Lafayette A. Diamante, and Instructress Lorema “Bing” H. Tacsagon.
The host introduced the group to Antonio Orendain, who grappled during his younger days. Orendain explained the traditional rules of Dumog, as it is played in Antique, one of a few places said to be the birthplace of Dumog. He showed the researchers several Dumog techniques that he learned from his father. He also showed some Eskrima techniques.
The CMAS trip to Antique was planned about a year earlier but had to be postponed because of its members’ professional commitments. Visayan Dumog, along with the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) of Arnis/Eskrima, had become popular in American soil, however, foreigners still have a distorted view of what these arts really are. What is often called Dumog is actually repackaged Judo/Jujutsu (Japanese or Filipino variety), Silat, Western Wrestling, some other grappling art, or some techniques from other martial arts that are lumped as Dumog.
This confusion is partly due to the word itself. In common usage, the Hiligaynon word Dumog means “To Wrestle/Grapple” and the word can be applied to any form of clinching, holding, and throwing. But now with globalization and the various martial arts from different countries being introduced or reintroduced to the public, there is a need to define and differentiate the Visayan/Filipino Dumog to any form of grappling generically called Dumog. The generic term Dumog “To Wrestle/Grapple” can be applied to Kodokan Judo, Korean Cireum, or Chinese Shuai Chiao when referred to by Visayasn in their own language but do not constitute Vusayan/Antiqueño Dumog. Hence, the term Visayan/Antiqueño Dumog to differentiate a specific form of grappling art.
CMAS members originally picked up the Visayan/Antiqueño form of Dumog from Pastor Romeo N. Gumban, who was undefeated in Dumog competitions when he was still residing in Antique. Pastor Gumban is a member of the Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc. of Grandmaster Benefredo “Bebing” M. Lobrido, Philippine Integrated Martial Arts Academy-Filipino Tang Soo Do Association (PIMAA-FTSDA) of Master Elmer V. Montoyo, and Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS) , organizations to which CMAS also belongs.