Thursday, February 7, 2008


Grandmaster Jose "Joe" Mancesa of Bago City (right) was one of the grandmasters mentioned in the Rapid Journal feature.

Rapid Journal, the Philippines’ one and only and longest running martial arts resource since 1996, made history anew when it published in its Vol. 10 No. 1 2005 3rd quarter issue the article “Negros Occidental: The Untapped Arnis Power” by Negros Island’s foremost martial arts researcher and writer James U. Sy Jr.

The article is a brief summation of the hoplological work of Sy on the various martial traditions of the province, which he will be including in his upcoming book on Negrense arnis. The work made mention of about 41 grandmasters, masters, and instructors of Negrense Filipino martial arts (FMA) and the traditions, arts, styles, and systems that they practice and teach.

“Negros Occidental: The Untapped Arnis Power” introduces Negros Occidental based on its geographical location, its cultural foundation, the ethnic characteristics of its arnisadores, and the peculiarities of its vast warrior traditions.

Sy, who is employed by a private company and teaches FMA in his free time, had written hundreds of articles, features, and news items in different local and national level periodicals. “Negros Occidental: The Untapped Arnis Power” is his fourth work for Rapid Journal. His previous documentary and historical write-ups were “The Evolution of the Martial Arts” (Vol. 8 No. 3), “Rediscovering Arnis: The Lost Art of the Philippine Archipelago” (Vol. 9 No. 1), and “The Renaissance of Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis” (Vol. 9 No. 3).

Fashioned after the research intensive Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Rapid Journal is the fifth martial arts magazine to come to being in the Philippines. And it has come to be the longest running martial arts publication of the country. Rapid Journal traces its roots to the Wushu Newsletter, a quarterly publication on the Chinese martial arts started by the Rapid Group/Department of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines (WFP), which at that time was headed by 2 times SEA games tai ji quan champion (1991, 1993) Daniel Go. The Wushu Newsletter was started in 1995.

In 1996, after Mr. Go left the Wushu Federation of the Philippines, he started Rapid Journal using more sophisticated printing materials and formats. Rapid stands for Research and Propagation for Internal Arts Development. The name itself tells us that the original intent of the journal was to document and popularize the various “soft” styles of martial arts like tai ji quan, ba gua quan, and aikido.

As part of its evolutionary growth, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Daniel Go soon included features on the different arts, among them Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, and even western martial arts. Unsurprising, the Filipino martial arts had occupied a good part of the journal’s every issue.

The journal features historical, theoretical, and technical articles and reflections on the martial arts, healing arts, and related subjects like self protection and philosophy. Rapid Journal has become home to some of the most prominent, prolific, and credible martial arts historians, scholars, writers, and/or authorities in the Philippines today that could stand their own against world renown authorities such as Donn F. Draeger (Nihon koryu bujutsu), Stanley Pranin (aikido), John Chambers (European Renaissance fencing), etc. The works of Master Pedro Reyes of Manila, Dr. Ned R. Nepangue of Cebu, anthropologist Prof. Felipe Jocano Jr., O’ong Maryono of pencak silat, internal stylist Rene J. Navarro, to name a few had graced the pages of Rapid Journal.

Rapid Journal has subscribers in Finland. France, and the USA and copies are sold in Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Interested parties may contact Mr. Go at 0916-4258340 or check

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