Aloha from Hawai'i

Discussion in 'Meet & Greet' started by Nakiko, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    My name is Nakiko. I am Hawaiian Filipino and sad to say I don't know much about my filipino culture. I was told that my Grandfather was a very good Escrima teacher that taught escrima to American soldiers in Hawai'i during world war 2 before they deployed. Unfortunatley I don't know what kind of style he practiced or who his teacher was back in the Phillipines. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I would go about finding this out? BTW He doesn't have any family left here in Hawai'i from his generation. He was the last to pass away. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Welcome! It sounds like you'd have to do a lot of ground research I'd guess.
  3. scubamatt

    scubamatt New Member

    Aloha from Florida! Welcome to the FMA Talk forums!

    Tracing this might be harder than tracing your ancestors. Thinking logically, you can probably approach this from several angles.

    First off, your grandfather's name or face might be recognized (and therefore linked) by someone who has detailed information about their specific style. That's probably a long shot, just because of the generation gap(s).

    Second, you might be able to figure out what style he practiced by examining his equipment. Different styles focus on different length sticks, knives, and so forth, or different techniques.

    Third you might be able to narrow down the time frame, to figure out when he could have/would have learned his art from someone in the Phillipines. Example, if he learned it in the early 1930s, and there were only 3 or 4 well known instructors (willing to teach someone outside their family) you might be able to start your search there.

    Do you have any pictures of him, particularly practicing or teaching FMA? Even pictures of him in the Phillipines (learning, visiting, etc) might help. Any letters or writings that name names or dates (year/month, etc) that might help narrow the possibilities? If you could locate someone whom he might have trained, they might be able to give you more info about what style he taught.

    In any case, I wish you luck in your search, and congratulate you on your interest in your grandfather's life!
  4. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    Aloha and mahalo for the warm welcome.

    Thankyou ScubaMatt for the suggestions. Unfortunatley I don't have most of the information you suggested, I just have stories from my mother, and a few members of the community that told me how great of a person and instructor he was after his passing. His equipment(bolos and knives) were made here in Hawai'i by someone who worked in the plantation camps. and I know he taught knife, open hand, and stick fighting to the soldiers. I was told that he learned from family members and from friends of the Family. A bunch of this I learned around the time of his funeral, when some family members came from PI to pay thier respects and to ask us what we intended to do with the lands he had been left back in the PI. He was from Pangasinan(sp?) Ilocos Norte? If I were to query members here regarding this, where in the forum site would be the most appropriate for such a general question?
    Thank you in advance for any guidance you may have...
  5. scubamatt

    scubamatt New Member

    I'd try the General section, and list your grandfather's name there as well when you ask. Your mother might have more specific information about where/when he learned his art, too. To be honest, without at least some idea of when/where he might have learned his skills, or someone who can actually show what they learned from your grandfather, it may be impossible to narrow it down enough for a satisfying answer.

    There is much overlap and 'crossover' between many of the FMAs, which is both a strength and a weakness. It leads to a diverse and effective skill set, but confusion and disagreement over who was the first to teach this or that, etc.

    If there are other FMA practitioners in Hawaii who have been around for 20+ years, they may actually be able to help you narrow things down. Perhaps a well established school (which usually keeps records of such things) might be able to point you in the right direction.
  6. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Ilocos Norte FMA

    I read somewhere that the name for Filipino martial arts in Ilocos Norte is "Kabaroan" so I did a search and came up with these URL's:

    The following URL establishes a connection between the practice of "Karoboan" by GM Estalilla Sr. (GM Ramon Estalilla's Jr.'s father) and the FMA of Ilocos Norte:

    Therefore, the "Karaboan" by GM Estalilla Jr. is probably the same family art or along the same lines.


    Professor Vee's early training took place in Ilocos Norte so you could ask someone who may have spoken to him about his childhood what kind of eskrima he practiced back then.

    A third choice is simply to research the other kinds of FMA's that came from Luzon and assume that what your grandfather learned is a close match.

    Again - pictures of clothing, weapons, etc. would go a long way towared establishing what your grandfather practiced. I also think it's likely that what he learned in Hawaii was incorporated into a base art. Was the community in which your grandfather lived from the same province/region? If so, it's likely that they kept up the practice of a regional art. If not, then it's likely that there was influence from other FMA's practiced in Hawaii at that time.

    FMA based training for U.S. soldiers in Hawaii during WWII was probably a simple version of Cinco Teros modified for the machete. Most FMA's have some version of this, and it's likely that the instruction was standardized.

    This is not to say that what you find in any case will be an exact match (what your grandfather learned may have been a family-based or village-based art) - but there may be some close similarities with some of the above.

    You'll probably have good luck finding what is taught in Ilocos Norte on the following additional forum:


    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  7. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    Mahalo Matt and Steve,

    Those are some great places/ways to get started. It does seem like a long road to find an answer, but hey it is the journey and not the destination that counts. Iÿll post in the general section in a few days after I have had the chance to talk to my mother and a few others so I at least have a lil better place to start.
    Thank you again,
  8. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Ilocos Norte FMA

    If you're in Mau'i I'll be there next week.


  9. robertlk808

    robertlk808 Member

    Howzit Nakiko,
    You can try talking to some of the Guro's that have been around for a while. Maybe they know of your father. Try emailing Master Ron England @ he may be able to be of some assistance.

  10. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    Sorry, Iÿm on the Big Island of HAwaii. Can see Maui from here though ehehe
  11. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    I tried talking to some of the more senior practitioners around here, but most are younger than my grandfather, although a few knew of him and one even saw him fight... My not much insight, or they just donÿt wanna talk....Iÿll try master England. BTW my grandfather never taught outside of the military thing from my understanding... I was also told that he did learn some lua when he got here to Hawaii...
  12. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    E Komo Mai

  13. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    Aloha Stix MAster,
    Interesting thing is that picture is almost what my middle name means...
    Mahalo a nui kou hoÿokipa ÿoluÿolu ÿana mai!
  14. kabaroan

    kabaroan Kabaroan

    Kabaroan sometimes called 'didya' is the term for the Illocano art. Kabaraon, is typically a long stick art (think largo mano) though that is just one aspect of the art.

    Grandmaster Ramiro Estalilla is my grandmaster, he is in Fresno, CA. From my understanding, he did not come to the US until the mid seventies. He can be contacted at grandmasterramir(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm sure he would be more than happy to exchange any information on Kabaroan with you, if for no other reason than to share the history of the art. BTW, you may wish to mention my name to him: Anthony Manansala.

    Estalilla Kabaroan has eight angles of attack delivered to three levels of the body, head, torso and arms and legs. There are six strikes in Kabaroan: L-R Perpendicular (up and down), L-R Horizontal, and L-R Diagonal (giving your your PHD in Eskrima ;)). While the long stick is emphasized, we also play with shorter sticks, knives, spears and staffs, both singularly and compound.

    From my understanding Grandmaster Mike Del Mar was a student of Apo's and is in Hawaii as is Grandmaster Alfredo Bandalan (and another former student of GM Estalilla). Perhaps contacting him may help you find the information that you are looking for. Associate Grandmaster Ron Reekers is one of Apo's students in southern California. Associate Grandmaster Ed Bansuelo is my instructor and is in northern California (along with AGM Tim Evans).

    What was your grandfather's name?

    Remember, many of the "old timers" learned the arts within the family. Arnis, Eskrima, Kali, Kabaroan, Didya, Sinawali...these are generic terms for FMA. My parents are from Pampanga, my dad from Macabebe where Sinawali was/is strong, but my dad (and his brothers and cousins) never learned the art (though one of his cousins ended being a national artist of the Philippines). It may be that your grandfather's art is a family art. You just may find his students around, first or perhaps second generation or later.

    Good luck! Let us know more when you learn more! I'm sure we'd all love to hear/read about it.

    On another front, Associate GM Ed is learning Lua from Olohe Solomon Kaihewalu in L.A. Perhaps tracing your grandfather through Lua may also be helpful.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  15. Nakiko

    Nakiko New Member

    Aloha Kabaroan,
    Mahalo for the suggestions, I will follow up and contact some of these Grandmasters here in Hawai'i. My grandfathers name was Narciso Suguitan. At his funeral, the family representitaves refered to him as "Don Narciso" or "Don Suguitan", although I don't know what that means. Could "Don" perhaps be like "Mr" or "Brother"?
    The more I research, the more it seems that you are right as it was probrably a family art. None of my uncles had learned it, although they all say that he was more known for his abilities in the art, and less known for teaching it. In fact, teaching the soilders at Pearl Harbor is the only recollection they had of him teaching formally. Although it seems like they may not be sharing all the stories they know...
    As for the lua, well that one is just as hard to trace, cause the information is a lot more sketchy. The Hawaiian side of my family have lua practitioners, but none who had contact with my grandfather(Being on different islands and all).
    OH, BTW I believe he came to Hawai'i in the late 30's or early 40's. I have to confirm this with my mother. But he did travel back to PI frequently, from my understanding.
    Mahalo again for all your help,

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