Grandmaster Dominador “Doming” D. Ferrer of Bacolod City (1920-2007) started his journey in the martial arts in October 1959, when he was 39 years old. He enrolled at the Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Aficionados Association under the late Founder/Great Grandmaster Jose “Joe” Lamayo Viñas (1906-1991).
Ferrer trained diligently under his teacher in the art of stickfighting, bladework, and most especially, disarming. The motto of the founder was “We Defend.” Ferrer would live and preach this motto when he himself started his own school and up to his last breathe. Ferrer’s contemporaries included among others Joe Kam, the late Santiago “Tiaging” Tolentino, and Digoy Guanzon (who all went on to become grandmasters in their own rights).
GGM Viñas was never fond of demonstrating in public so Ferrer represented him during exhibitions. GM Ferrer took pride in representing his teacher in many events, among them 5 demonstrations at the Cebu Coliseum (2 times), Southwestern University , Far Eastern University , and University of the Visayas, all in Cebu . Master Ferrer showed his disarming prowess at the 2nd National Eskrima (Arnis) Championships held by the National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL) on March 16, 1985 in Cebu City .
Ferrer’s crowning glory came when he was awarded his mastership in Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis by GGM Viñas on April 20, 1979 in Bacolod City after 20 years of continuous and dedicated practice.
Master Ferrer was recognized as an Arnis Grandmaster by the newly formed Negros Occidental Arnis Federation (NOAF) during the 4th National Arnis Tournament and Festival on July 26-27, 1986 at the West Negros College Gym. His certificate was signed by then NARAPHIL Visayas Region Commissioner Atty. Grandmaster Dionisio A. Cañete, NOAF President Jerson “Nene” Tortal, and Committee on Award Chairman Judge Grandmaster Demosthenes Magallanes. He also served as a judge during the tournament.
Incidentally, it was in this tournament that Original Filipino Tapado was demonstrated for the third time in Bacolod City . OFT is an indigenous long stick fighting art founded by the late Grandmaster Romeo “Nono C. Mamar in 1960 in Brgy. Taloc, Bago City . Before being publicly shown, the art was already polished through non-padded challenge matches that often left challengers badly injured.
Several members of the Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Aficionados Association (LVAAA), like many other Arnisadores, realized the power and uniqueness of OFT and joined the Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (then not yet registered with the SEC) to learn the art. GMs Ferrer, Tolentino, Kam, and Tortal and Master Instructor Joe V. Tan were among them.
Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis GM Dominador “Doming” D. Ferrer was conferred his Junior Instructor rank in Original Filipino Tapado by GM Mamar on December 30, 1988 and his Senior Instructor degree on May 28, 1989.
When GGM Viñas passed away in 1991, it was the only time when GM Ferrer started his own school, which was named after a legendary Malay Datu in Panay and highly influenced by the Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis philosophy of defense. The name of his school was Kalantiaw Defense Society (KDS). Whereas some laid claim to succession to Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis upon the founder’s death, GM Ferrer went his own way and never got involved in the struggle for succession.
On December 30, 2003, Headmaster Wilson “Nonong” E. Viñas, the son of the founder, conferred to GM Ferrer a 10th degree ranking in Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis, making him the first to be promoted to such high rank by a lineage holder. The same rank is recognized by the Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS) of Master Elmer V. Montoyo. GM Ferrer is also recognized as a grandmaster of the Negros Occidental Baston Federation (NOBF) of Atty. Grandmaster Marcelo C. Jalandoon.
GM Ferrer taught Old Style Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis, characterized by a left side lead and a general absence of a numbered or named patterns. Several of Headmaster Wilson “Nonong” E. Viñas’ students, who consisted the core group of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., also sought out GM Ferrer for further instructions when HM Viñas retired from active teaching in 1998.
He served as Arnis Training Director for Bantay Bayan under Regional Director Rudy Toledo. At a certain point in time, he had also taught hand to hand defensive tactics to the Philippine Army in Negros .
GM Ferrer is a Council of Elders member of CMAS, IFFMAS, and LVAAA and is a board director for NOBF and OFTLSFA, Inc.
GM Ferrer was conferred with the Most Disciplined Award by the Red National Judo Karate Jujitsu Association (Red Najukaju-A) during its Open Martial Arts Competition Festival on August 22, 1992 at the Bacolod Arts, Youth, and Sports (BAYS) Center Gym, San Juan St., Bacolod City.
GM Ferrer was recognized for his “Outstanding Propagation of Arnis in Bacolod City ” by officials of Purok Macanpiña during the 1st Purok Macanpiña Martial Arts Expo on August 28, 2004 at the Purok Macanpiña Basketball Court , Brgy. 6, Bacolod City . CMAS, IFFMAS, and OFTLSFA recognized him as “The Oldest Living Grandmaster of Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis in the World.”
As far as recorded, GM Ferrer had demonstrated his art in Bacolod , Bago, Don Salvador Benedicto, Himamaylan, San Carlos , Talisay, and Victorias among others. In the early part of the 2000s, GM Ferrer was assisted by Instructor Romy Berlanas in demonstrations and then by this writer, Joeffrey S. Deriada, and Francis Stephen A. Diaz, all his students, from 2003 to 2007.
GM Ferrer was one of the featured instructors for the 1st Bacolod Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Open Seminar (February 23, 2003) and the 1st Martial Arts Renaissance for Negros Seminar Tour “Conflict Neutralization for L’Fisher Hotel Security Force” (June 22-23, 2004), both in Bacolod City .
GM Ferrer appeared in an episode of Reflections hosted by his student Atty. Juanito Amihan which aired over Negros Progress Channel and also guested at Jerel S. Sombilla’s Bombo Sports and Physical Fitness over DyWB Radio Bombo. GM Ferrer had been publicized by this writer in many issues of local newspapers and some issues of the internationally circulated martial arts magazine Rapid Journal.