Monday, February 18, 2008


By: James U. Sy Jr.

Roy R. Flores Sr., Chief Instructor of the Tapondo International Federation Inc. (TIFI)-Bacolod/Negros Chapter, was the guest of the program K.K.B. (Kahibalo Ka Bala?) which aired over Channel 14 Sunshine Channel last January 19, 2008, 1:00 P.M., in Bacolod City .

Flores , upon the inquisition of the hosts, talked about the nature of his art Tapondo, its origins, techniques/methods, and philosophy.

The word Tapondo is a contraction of the Tagalog word Tapon “Throw” and the Ilonggo word Pondo “Stop.” Taken together they can mean “To Throw and to Lock,” which refers to the primary approach of the art in dealing with aggression. Tapondo is a Filipino style or interpretation of Japanese Aikido founded by Master Ambrosio “Monching” J. Gabileño, originally of Guimaras but now based in Manila.

Master Gabileño had evolved Tapondo, formerly called combat Aikido, to suit the temperament, fighting behavior, culture, and needs of the Filipino people. Traces of Japanese Aikido can still be found in the art, such as its circular footwork, techniques, philosophy, uniforms, rituals, etc. but it was also developed in a way that it already contains a lot of material and practices not found in traditional Japanese Aikido.

Kicking defense, for instance, is taught at the lower non-black belt levels unlike in traditional Aikido where it is only taught at 2nd dan black belt levels. The indigenous Filipino Martial Art (FMA) of Arnis figures prominently in Tapondo where defenses against the stick are taught. Tapondo also focuses on defenses against the blade since the blade is the preferred weapon in most street attacks in the Philippines .

Tapondo, like Aikido, is defensive in nature and uses the attacker’s force to neutralize and control him, making it a suitable art even for women, children, older people, and even men of smaller stature.

The KKB segment had also shown footages of self defense applications of Tapondo, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Submission Grappling, and Western Boxing, arts being taught at Tribu Hangaway “Warriors’ Tribe,” Flores’ other martial arts organization dedicated to non-Tapondo forms of martial arts and a sister organization of his TIFI-Bacolod/Negros. Assisting Flores in demonstrating the techniques were Mejie Canoday, Adham El Hello, Mohammad El Hello, Tony Kok Sorillo, and Jasper Vidad.

Hosts were Jun Nunato and Joel Vera.

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