Last July 17, 2009 marked the 2nd year death anniversary of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) Grandmaster Dominador “Doming” D. Ferrer of Bacolod City. GM Ferrer passed away at 86 due to a sudden cardiac arrest.
GM Ferrer was well loved and respected by the martial arts community because he exemplified the ideal character for a martial artist. Whereas other practitioners of the art would go around making challenges and/or preaching the superiority of their methods, GM Ferrer stayed humble, respected all arts, and always gave credit to his teachers. He taught Arnis publicly but carefully chose his students and made them vow not to use their skills for anything other than for the protection of one’s life and one’s loved ones.
GM Ferrer was always punctual and a very loving husband and father. He was a health buff, walking distances that would leave a younger but less fit man gasping for air. His grip was stronger than the average teen and he is still fast with the disarms. He advocated non-smoking, non-drinking, non-violence, and respect to one’s fellow men. He was a deeply religious man who did not fail to meet his Sabbath duty.
During World War II, he was a part of the guerilla movement in Negros under Lt. Liberato Montañes, Lt. Agustin Paraiso, and Lt. Lorenzo Dilag.
GM Ferrer is best remembered as the oldest living grandmaster of the Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis System in the world while he was alive and in a time when not many represented the art in demonstrations, he was there to continuously show the public the style his teacher, the late Grandmaster Jose “Joe” L. Viñas, founded. He studied under GM Viñas in October 1959 and was awarded his mastership on April 20, 1979. The Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis System is the oldest documented and verifiable method of Bacoleño Filipino Martial Art (FMA), having been established in 1932, the same year the famed Doce Pares was founded in Cebu. It is now headed by the Founder’s son, Headmaster Wilson “Nonong” E. Viñas.
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.
GM Ferrer may well also be the oldest instructor of Original Filipino Tapado in the world before he died. He studied the art under its Founder, the late Grandmaster Romeo “Nono C. Mamar of Taloc, Bago City, in the latter half of the 1980s. He 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.
GM Ferrer only established his own school, Kalantiaw Defense Society (KDS), only after GM viñas passed away. 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.
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 Grandmaster 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 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. He was a Council of Elders member of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., IFFMAS, and Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis Aficionados Association (LVAAA) and is a Board Director for NOBF and Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc.