Monday, July 19, 2010

1st Arjuka Promotion Made by: James U. Sy Jr.

BAGO ARNISADORS (from left): P/Sgt. (Ret.) Founder/Grandmaster Estanislao "Eslao" T. Guarra of Guarra Style Modern Arnis, newly promoted Master Dexter F. Guarra, and his father Founder/Grandmaster Isaac "Saac" T. Guarra of Arjuka (James U. sy Jr./CMAS Photo).

Master Dexter F. Guarra of Bago City performs a Sinawali (Double Stick) routine from his father's Arjuka system (James U. sy Jr./CMAS Photo).
Founder/Grandmaster Isaac “Saac” T. Guarra recognized his son Dexter F. Guarra as a master of his style, Arjuka, with the affirmation of his elder brother, P/Sgt. (Ret.) Grandmaster Estanislao “Eslao” T. Guarra, Founder of the Guarra Style Modern Arnis, last July 18, 2010 at Brgy. Malingin, Bago City. It was the first formal rank promotion to be awarded in GM Guarra’s Arjuka style.

This came after a day long activity which involved a despidida gathering for the new master who is a seaman by profession, a review of Arnis Philippines International Rules for trainee referee and judges for the younger ranks of the Guarra Clan with actual bouts played, Arnis exhibitions by host Arjuka-Malingin, and exchange of ideas and instructions by both hosts and guests of the event.

During the exhibitions, youngster members of the Guarra Clan performed Sinawali two man drills, disarming techniques, and empty handed combat with the use of throws and close in striking.

Master Dexter Guarra demonstrated the nunchaku and then the solo Sinawali of Arjuka. Lastly, GM Isaac Guarra attacked him with strikes which he defended using his Solo Baston.

GM Isaac Guarra is the only arnisador to have been recorded to demonstrate the nunchaku in public during the first decade of the 2000’s.

Dexter Guarra started training under his father in 1979, when he was 5 years old. All seven siblings were trained by GM Isaac Guarra in his Arjuka style, which he founded back in 1972.

Arjuka is the contraction of Arnis, Judo, and Karate. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Karate peaked in popularity in the Philippines with many Filipinos practicing the art. Karatekas the likes of Roberto Gonzales, Johnny Caranza, and Tony Ferrer smashed the cinema box office during those times.

GM Isaac Guarra learned his techniques from a friend and later he developed it into his own style which blended aspects of the three aforementioned arts. Just like other Arnis systems, Arjuka fundamentals start with triangle footwork and the Abecedario or the 12 basic strikes. The 12 basic strikes of Arjuka traces its roots from the Herada Redoble, an Espada y Daga style, which GM Guarra learned from his late father Grandmaster Cornelio “Kune” Guarra.

Arjuka emphasizes training methods which develop the grip strength such as raising a steel bar holding it at only one end and twirling a heavy piece of metal in one hand and not dropping it. Other training practices include piercing a banana tree with a kick.

Dexter Guarra, a product of the Visayan Maritime Academy, was doing demonstrations with his father and siblings at a very young age, from Bago to the Bacolod Arts and Youth Sports (BAYS) Center and La Salle in Bacolod. His promotion to master by his father is long overdue, only after 31 years of training.

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