8th Bakbakan of Eskrimadors @ Gaisano City Booming Success Part III: Honoring the "Father of Karate in Negros" by James U. Sy Jr.
Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo, the Tournament Director, giving Grandmaster Casimiro A. Grandeza, Father of Karate in Negros and Founder of the White Kimono Club (WKC) and the Philippine Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do, a certificate recognizing his pioneering contributions to the martial arts in Negros. Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo and P/Sgt. P/Sgt. (Ret.) Grandmaster Estanislao “Eslao” T. Guarra looks on (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS photo).
Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo of Guinabo Arnis & Combat Sports (GACS) receiving his serialized promotion by examination to Grandmaster rank within the Negros Occidental Baston Federation (NOBF), Inc. from P/Sgt. (Ret.) Grandmaster Estanislao “Eslao” T. Guarra, NOBF President, and Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo, President of the Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS), Inc. (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS photo).
Alex Gequillana of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc. receiving his Manunuon 1 rank in Conceptual Arnis/Martial Arts System from Founder/Master James U. Sy Jr. and Evenet Organizer Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo of Guinabo Arnis & Combat Sports (GACS) (Cristy Guinabo/CMAS photo).
The 8th Bakbakan of Eskrimadors “Higutay Duel” held by the Guinabo Arnis & Combat Sports (GACS) of Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo last July 29, 2012 at the Atrium Area, Gaisano City Bacolod Supermall, Araneta St., Bacolod City was not just an exhibition and a tournament of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). It was also an occasion to give thanks to and introduce to the general public one of the living legends of martial arts in the province of Negros Occidental.
The event, which was attended by not less than 90 martial artists representing 20 groups from Bacolod, Bago, Murcia, San Enrique, and Talisay, was the perfect time to honor Grandmaster Casimiro A. Grandeza for his pioneering contributions to the martial arts in Negros.
GM Grandeza has the distinction as the "Father of Karate in Negros," having founded the White Kimono Club (WKC) on March 4, 1953 at his residence behind the walls of Bacolod Murcia Milling Company. What was taught was Karanage, a composite of Combat Karate and Judo/Jujitsu (nage is the Japanese term for throw), and Negrosanon Arnis (including sabre, espada y daga, redonda y rapelon, pekete chukete, and oido/lagas. Grandeza learned his Jujitsu from a Japanese and his Arnis from several prominent masters of the time.
The WKC went on to produce champions, among them 1964 Karate Brotherhood of the Phils (KBP) national champions Napoleon Aguirre (heavyweight) and Alfredo Alfaro (Middleweight), 1966 Asian Karate champion Jimmy Magbanua (heavyweight), and national champion "Kano" Montoya. WKC won all individual and team championships during the Goodwill Karate Tournament (Manila vs. Bacolod) in 1965 in Bacolod City. WKC also won 4 out of 6 bouts during the Goodwill Tournament (Japan vs. WKC) in 1966 at LSC Gym, La Salle College (LSC), La Salle Ave., Bacolod City. And more recently, Steve Sur Grandeza of Davao City, grandson of GM Chingi, became the first Filipino to win the World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) K-1 super welterweight Muay Thai title when he defeated Al Hassan Okine of Ghana in October 2010 in Dubai.
GM Grandeza was officially invited by Founder/Grandmaster Hwang Kee to
study the art of Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do (known as Tang Soo Do at that time) in 1968 in Seoul, Korea. The city government of Bacolod officially sent him to attend the Top Masters Course where he was eventually awarded his 6th Degree Black Belt and appointed as Black Belt Commissioner for the Philippines. He then established and become President of the Philippine Moo Duk Kwan Inc.-Korea Tang Soo Do Association (PMDKI-KTSDA, today known as the Philippine Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do). His WKC became the mother club of all Tang Soo Do clubs in the Philippines. From that time on several championships had been held and the organization became one of the, if not the, strongest martial arts organizations in the country.
From the WKC to the PMDKI-KTSDA, GM Chingi's group produced countless black belts who would later form their own organizations, among them Master George Gargalicano (Hiraken Tang Soo Do), Master "Berting" Garde (Masthodon), Master Endriquito B. Maguad (Renbukan), GM Elmer V. Montoyo (Filipino Tang Soo Do), and Master Lucisano "Nick" Montoya (Murcia Martial Arts Club). Most, if not all, old time Karate and Tang Soo Do instructors and black belts can trace back their lineage directly or indirectly to GM Grandeza.
GM Grandeza retired with a rank of 7th Degree Black Belt (Dan Bon # 2883), sanctioned by the Korea Moo Duk Kwan. He is the first Filipino grandmaster of Korean Tang Soo Do (now Soo Bahk Do). He is also the Inventor of the Atemi Uchi Kudaki "Attack to Pulverize (Nihonggo)" and the Founder of the Mixed Arnis Style.
Also during the event,
receiving his serialized promotion by examination to Grandmaster rank within the Negros Occidental Baston Federation (NOBF), Inc. from
P/Sgt. (Ret.) Grandmaster Estanislao “Eslao” T. Guarra, President of Negros Occidental Baston Federation (NOBF), Inc., with Grandmaster Elmer V. Montoyo, President of the Intercontinental Federation of Filipino Martial Arts Schools (IFFMAS), Inc., awarded the NOBF ranks of Grandmaster and Master to Founder/Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo of Guinabo Arnis & Combat Sports (GACS) and Founder/Master James U. Sy Jr. of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc. after passing the 1st NOBF Rank Examinations last July 15, 2012 at the Golden Kamagong International Main Gym, 3/F De La Rama Center, Luzuriaga St., Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
Guinabo and Sy had done their shares in preserving and promoting the traditional martial traditions of Negros Occidental in their own little ways, including organizing events where grandmasters from different systems are gathered to showcase their respective arts.
Sy, meanwhile, awarded Alex Gequillana, who had just taken the Nursing Board Exams, his Manunuon 1 rank in Conceptual Arnis (Conceptual Martial Arts) System.