By: James U. Sy Jr.
Members of the Tapondo International Federation, Inc.-Bacolod Chapater (TIFI-Bacolod) gathered for the group’s 8th Anniversary last January 27, 2008 at Sta. Fe Resort, Bacolod City .
TIFI Negros Island Chief Instructor Roy R. Flores Sr., 6th degree black belt Tapondo, headed the celebration. 19 Tapondo artists were in attendance, including Flores and Silay Chapter Head Edrolin Ortigas.
TIFI-Bacolod, then known as the Philippine Combat Aikido Federation-Bacolod (PCAF-Bacolod), was founded by Flores in 2000, with its gym initially located at the Iron Wolrd in the 3rd floor of the building being occupied by the now closed Benjie’s Restaurant in front of Bacolod Public Plaza . Flores then started with only a few mats.
Later, the gym was transferred to the 3F of the Golden Heritage Bldg. In San Juan St., Bacolod City and later transferred again to the 2nd floor of the same building.
TIFI-Bacolod was founded in a time when Aikido was booming in the City of Smiles . At that point, there were not less than 8 Aikido groups in Bacolod , each one representing different styles such as Aikikai, Shinshintoitsu, Nishio-Ryu/Dangayan Singkaw, Combat Aikido/Tapondo, and Generic. Since then half of these groups have became inactive while Tapondo became the largest Aikido group in Negros Occidental, having black belts and chapters in several cities and municipalities outside of Bacolod (Noirth Negros) like Talisay, Silay, Sagay, Escalante, Toboso, Calatrava, and San Carlos.
TIFI-Bacolod also elected its officer for this year. Those elected to office were Alson Ahunin (President), Jacquilyn Lapas (VP), Jerry Guanson (Secretary), Arel Meñesa (Treasurer), Jake Bugna (PIO), Rodrigo Cuambot (Business Manager), and Jessie Honor (Chairman of the Board).
Tapondo is a Filipino, more specifically Ilonggo, style of Aikido founded by Master Ambrosio “Monching” J. Gabileño, originally of Guimaras and now of Manila, from his experience as a black belt and member of the early Ki Society in the Philippines and as head of the Philippine Aikido Sports Association Inc. (PASAI). He renamed his school to the Philippine Combat Aikido Federation (PCAF) and his style Combat Aikido in the 1990s and then to the Tapondo International Federation, Inc. (TIFI) and Tapondo in about 2001.
Tapondo word 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, like Aikido, is based on balance and leverage rather than on strength and size, making it ideal for women, children, older people, and smaller men. Interested parties may contact Flores at 0928-388-5530.