Monday, December 22, 2008


Master Felipe "Bot" P. Jocano Jr. (center), Associate Professor at the Anthropology Department, with his students at the Sankil Karasak (Lightning Scientific Arnis International/Lema Scientifc Kali Arnis System) Gym, University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, Quezon City (James U. Sy Jr. photo).

James U. Sy Jr. of Bacolod City, Founder of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., visited Master Felipe “Bot” Jocano Jr. recently during a training session at the Sangkil Karasak Gym, University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, Quezon City.

Sangkil Karasak is a campus-based Arnis club which traces its roots to A group of a Lightning Scientific Arnis International (LSAI) students started by the late Master Elmer Ybañez, a student of the late Founder Grandmaster Benjamin Luna Lema, in 1991 at the university. Master Ybañe4z went on to found the Lema Scientifc Kali Arnis System (LESKAS) in 1996. In 2001 the seniors decided to open the club to UP students, which led to the formation of the Sangkil Karasak.

Sangkil and Karasak are native terms which mean “Spear” and ‘Shield” respectively. Sangkil Karasak is headed by Masters Nathan Dominguez and Felipe “Bot” P. Jocano Jr.

The UP LSAI club was recognized by the University of the Philippines Office of Student Affairs Committee in June 2002.

Sy, like, Jocano writes for the Rapid Journal, the one and only martial arts resource in the Philippines which cover academically written pieces on the various arts. Sy and Jocano had been in communication since about a year back.

The first time the two met was when Jocano, an Associate Professor at the Anthropology Department of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, traveled to Bacolod last year to conduct a sports coaching seminar organized by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) at the Panaad Park and Stadium.

In both meetings, the two enthusiasts exchanged notes on techniques as well as the anthropological, historical, cultural, and other aspects of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

Jocano is the son of renowned Anthropologist Felipe Landa Jocano, who hails from Cabatuan in Iloilo Province. He and his colleagues had been preserving the legacies of both GM Lema and Master Ybañez since the masters’ passing.

The Lightning Scientific Arnis was founded by the late GM Lema in 1937 in Mambusao, Capiz, Panay Island, making it perhaps the oldest documented Panaynon style of Arnis in modern times. International was later affixed to Lighting Scientific Arnis to show its widened scope and area.

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