Friday, October 25, 2013
Grandmaster Felix Guinabo (6th from left, standing, with cap), his assistants, and participants of the Guinabo Arnis and Combat Sports (GACS) Free Arnis Clinic recently at the Manville Royale Grounds, Araneta Avenue, Pahanocoy, Bacolod City (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo). Cyril Indonila (left) and Vincent Espanola performing Trece Grabes Piga-Piga Arnis System recently as part of the Guinabo Arnis and Combat Sports (GACS) Free Arnis Clinic at the Manville Royale Grounds, Araneta Avenue, Pahanocoy, Bacolod City (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS Photo). A total of 32 teenagers enrolled in the ongoing Guinabo Arnis and Combat Sports (GACS) Free Arnis Clinic conducted by Founder/Grandmaster Felix A. Guinabo at the Manville Royale Grounds, Araneta Avenue, Pahanocoy, Bacolod City. GM Guinabo, a Board Director of the Negros Occidental Baston Federation (NOBF), Inc., offered the free clinic to increase awareness among the younger generation about the indigenous martial art and culture of the province of Negros Occidental. GM Guinabo teacher his own system, Trece Grabes Piga=Piga System, which he developed after studying under five different Arnis grandmasters. The clinic will run for 2 months with a total of 32 hours, broken down as 16 sessions, each one lasting 2 hours. Such time frame is sufficient to develop a good foundation for Arnis. The enrollees were very grateful for the opportunity because most of them are from poverty-stricken families. A pakyaw package for such a course may run from P3,000-8,000, depending on the particular instructor. GM Guinabo came up with this idea because the government has no established programs to make Arnis as part of the standard education of Filipinos. There is already a law declaring Arnis as the National Sport and Martial Art of the republic and directives to the DepEd to make it part of the school system. However, the focus has been on the sportive aspect, and largely sacrificing the cultural and martial aspects. The cultural aspect being taught in schools nowadays are primarily borrowed and synthesized from Japanese Karate, Chinese Wushu, and other Asian martial arts. It is the wish of GM Guinabo to preserve the traditional fighting arts of our forefathers.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Negros martial arts researcher/historian/writer James U. Sy Jr. (center), Founder/Master of the Conceptual Arnis System, with University of St. La Salle (USLS) freshmen students (from left) Kristian Virgil Mae Paralisan, Elaine castñeda, Khatrinna Cantero, Cedric francis Claur, and Jason Bacud after an interview for the group's PE class presentation recently at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon, Lacson St., Bacolod City (Kristian Paralisan photo). Five students from the University of St. La Salle (USLS) led by Kristian Virgil Mae Paralisan interviewed Negros martial arts researcher, historian, and writer James U. Sy Jr., Founder/Master of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., recently at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon, Lacson St., Bacolod City as part of the requirements for their Physical Education (PE) class. Paralisan, who hails from Cebu and had previously trained in Shinshintoitsu Aikido, contacted Sy through her father, Virgilio Paralisan. The 1st year PE class was tackling individual sports and Paralisan's group was tasked to do a research on the martial arts, make an actual presentation to the class,and to submit a written report on the subject. The USLS students did a video interview about Sy's own synthesis of the martial arts, the Conceptual Arnis System, which is a composite of a number of Negros Arnis systems, Aikido, and other arts. Sy then went on to show them a number of very simple self defense sequences that they can perform in front of the class. Among those shown were defenses against wrist grabs, knife pointing, and striking attacks. By special request, Sy also showed them the pure forms of different martial arts such as Muay Thai, Aikido, and the traditional Arnis styles of Negros. Sy also lectured on the history of the indigenous fighting arts of the province and the benefits of martial arts training. Sy, also a product of USLS, is a certified Master in the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) by at least 12 grandmasters, among them GM Benefredo M. Lobrido (Original Filipino Tapado), GM Wilson E. Viñas and GM Dominador D. Ferrer (Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis), and GM Estanislao T. Guarra (Guarra Style Modern Arnis). Sy holds Black Belts and/or Instructor grade in Aikido, Kimdo Taekwondo, Karate, and Pencak Silat among others. As western Visayas Correspondence, he has written a number of scholarly pieces for the Rapid Journal and hundreds of martial arts related items for the Negros Daily Bulletin and other local newspapers.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Guest Instructor James U. Sy Jr. (seated), Founder of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., 1st Dan Aikido, together with criminology students of the UNO-R Martial Arts Club (UNO-R MAC) under Defensive Tactics (DefTac) Instructor Master Ferdinand Emmanuel "Bobot" Y. Gayoles after the Introduction to Aikido Seminar last August 14, 2013 at the UNO-R Gym, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), Lizares St., Bacolod City (James U. Sy Jr./CMAS photo). The Introduction to Aikido Seminar was conducted by Guest Instructor James U. Sy Jr., Founder of the Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., for 14 criminology students of the UNO-R Martial Arts Club (UNO-R MAC) under Defensive Tactics (DefTac) Instructor Master Ferdinand Emmanuel "Bobot" Y. Gayoles, M.A., recently at the UNO-R Gym, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R), Lizares St., Bacolod City. Master Gayoles started handling the DefTac classes at UNO-R in 2008. Since then he has developed a simple yet effective syllabus for use by criminology students. He drew from his extensive experience in the martial arts to come up with what he calls an "idiot-proof" system geared towards law enforcement work. Gayoles is certified as a Master in four system of Negrpsanon Arnis - his family system of Yasay Sable, Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis, Oido de Caburata (Aguilar line), and Vasquez Modified Tapado - and is also 3rd Dan in WTF-style Taekwondo and a Black Belt in Karate. To give his students a broader exposure to the different fighting arts, he has invited a number of accomplished teachers to introduce their specialties to his class. The first of these teachers was Henried B. lamayo Sensei, 3rd Dan in Judo, formerly Vice President of the Atleta Judo Club and presently Founder/Chief Instructor of Seijitsu Judo Dojo. Next was Cromwill Samson Sensei of La Carlota City, 1st Dan Philippine Karate-do Federation (PKF), International Coach for the Asian Karate-do Federation (PKF), and Negros Occidental Representative for the Advocacy for the Strengthening of Karate-do (ASK) of Ramon S. Franco Kyoshi of Tacloban City, 7th Dan World Karate-do Federation (WKF). Sy Sensei, 1st Dan Aikido, previously Visayas Representative of Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui Group Philippines, Inc. of R. Jun Batobalani Shihan, 6th Dan Aikikai, was the latest instructor to be invited by Master Gayoles to teach the criminology students. Although graded as Master in several systems of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and a Black Belt in a number of other Asian Martial Arts, Sy taught purely Aikido, just narrowing down the material to the techniques nikkyo and irimi nage, which prove very useful inlaw enforcement work. Sy started the session with a lecture on a non-aggressive approach in dealing with suspects, one more in line with Aikido's harmonious outlook. He went on to show how this is manifested in acts of courtesy and body language. The workshop was focused on using an attacker's force to throw and/or immobilize him, in preparation for handcuffing. Thus, it proved appealing to the female students in attendance. Sy demonstrated and let some students try out standard arresting, handcuffing, and transporting procedures. Sy commenced his Aikido training under Bacolod Judo and Aikido pioneer Patricio P. Prologo Sensei (1936-2010), 2nd Dan PAJA, in 1995. He went on to study with Rolando "Bong" Achas Sensei, now 3rd Dan Aikikai, in 1997 in Quezon City while training with Prime Savings Bank as a Credit investigator/Appraiser, and with Maxwell J. Maun Sensei, 1st Dan PASAI, Founder/Chief Instructor of the Bacolod Aikido Enthusiasts (BAE), in 1998. Sy also had a few sessions with Judy Ginther of the USA and upon affiliating with Batobalani Shihan, learned Aikido weapons as taught by the Japanese masters. Sy founded Ryu Aikidokan and the USLS Aikido Club with two other instructors and taught Aikido from 2000 to 2006. Among those who attended were Melvin Alianza, Mary Christian Arceo, Jendo John Bailen, Hennie Berja, Eloisa Jon Lobaton, Michael G. Militante, August Mae Sales, Micah Andrea Sibayan, Nathaniel Medina Teposo, Jessa S. Torendon, Carlos "Carl" Trunio II, and Xheistjon O. Villaluz.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Seated from left: Sociology-Anthropology Instructor Gil Alfredo B. Severino and Resource Lecturer James U. Sy Jr., Founder/Master of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., together with the 2nd year Medical Laboratory Science students at the conclusion of the Negros Martial Culture Lecture last October 4, 2013 at Room H402, Hortencia Building, Riverside College, Bacolod City (Gil Alfredo B. Severino photo). Mr. Gil Alfredo B. Severino, Instructor of Sociology-Anthropology, invited James U. Sy Jr., Founder/Master of Conceptual Martial Arts Society (CMAS), Inc., to conduct the Negros Martial Culture Lecture for 29 2nd year Medical Laboratory Science students as part of their course requirements last October 4, 2013 at Room H402, Hortencia Building, Riverside College, Bacolod City. Severino believes that a local perspective on the social sciences is necessary to create awareness and ultimately appreciation of indigenous culture and history among students as well as make them feel part of it. Severino is a great grandson of Melecio Severino, the first civil governor of the province of Negros Occidental and one of the key leaders who led the revolutionaries in the historic overthrow of the Spaniards on November 5, 1898. Severino, who is a feature writer for the Negros Daily Bulletin (NDB), invited Sy, also a feature writer and columnist at NDB, to give the lecture because he is aware of his extensive literary and field research, and articles on the subject. Sy, previously Purchasing Officer at Asian Alcohol Corporation (AAC) of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies (LTGC) and formerly a banker, started the lecture by reminiscing the advocacy of the late Dr. Henry F. Funtecha (1947-2009), Director of the Center for West Visayan Studies, University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UP-V), for the locals knowing their own culture and history and ultimately writing them down themselves to have the most accurate possible perspective of the matter. Sy went on to discuss the seminal roots of Visayan martial culture as shaped by their political system, agricultural technology, commercial relations with other Asian countries, typology of weapons, and warfare culture and methods. From there, the focus shifted to the Negros Island and the various events and influences that shaped its unique martial culture. The later part of the lecture introduced students to the rich martial culture of Negros (Arnis/Eskrima/Baston) in the 20th Century, from Bacolod, Bago, Bayawan, Cadiz, Escalante, Hinigaran, Murcia, Silay, and Talisay among others. Special mention were made of Lapu-Lapu Viñas Arnis of Bacolod, Yasay Sable and Original Filipino Tapado of Bago, and Oido de Caburata of Murcia. The lecture ended with a Q & A where students asked more about the application of Negrosanon Arnis to present day dilemmas on the streets. With the help of the students, Sy demonstrated a few practical techniques for self protection, among them the transmutation of Arnis from the sword/stick to empty hands and everyday objects. The session ended with Severino asking his students to submit a reaction paper about the lecture in their next meeting.