Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the myth

Discussion in 'Product News & Announcements' started by De Campo JDC-IO, May 2, 2007.

  1. De Campo JDC-IO

    De Campo JDC-IO Junior Member

    We are very excited to announce that a book called “CEBUANO ESKRIMA: Beyond the myth” written by Ned R. Nepangue, M.D. and Celestino C. Macachor.

    Here is a brief synopsis:

    • Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth boldly unravels with compelling and provocative hypothesis on the Hispanic origins of the Filipino Martial Arts known as eskrima, arnis and estokada.

    • The last vestiges of the extinct European medieval fencing could be found indirectly linked to Filipino eskrima

    • The authors present prima facie evidence on the fraud of the supposedly precursor art called kali

    • A more plausible theory on the origins of eskrima are presented in startling detail from its early beginnings as a defense against Moro pirates and slave traders and its later fusion with Spanish fencing through the Jesuit warrior priests during the pivotal years 1635-1644, the height of Spanish rapier fencing in Europe during the Renaissance.

    • It also presents a comprehensive chronology on the development of eskrima in Cebu, a meticulous commentary of Cebuano pioneers and innovators of eskrima and elucidates the pre-eminence of Visayans in the art of eskrima / arnis / estokada

    • As both authors are practitioners of this martial art, technicalities in eskrima never before detailed in other materials on the subject are carefully discussed in the book

    • Other interesting topics related to eskrima like the esoteric practices and healing modalities are also explained in fascinating detail.

    Here is what they are saying:

    This book, Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth is written as a result of many years of contemplation, study and practice on the part of the authors. This work will serve as a convenient reference and guide to the concepts, historical roots and cultural foundations of this revered art.

    Juan “Johnny”F. Chiuten, Jr.
    Founder, Pronus Supinus

    My Father, Grandmasters Cornelio “Kune” T. Guarra and his group were dedicated practitioners of arnis/eskrima, an original Filipino Martial Art of self-defense. I myself have been practicing arnis/eskrima for 66 years and continue to this day.
    My greatest hope is for this treasured indigenous Filipino Martial Arts to be continued by the next generation. WE of the older generation would like to pass on our skills and knowledge to the bearers of the art. Arnis/Eskrima is our cultural pride. We as Filipinos must propagate it as a truly effective form of self-defense and don’t just let it die.
    Very few Filipinos have researched and documented this truly Filipino Martial Art so I am happy that Ned Nepangue and Celestino Macachor of Cebu are coming up with a book that deals with the history, traditions, philosophy and character of arnis/ eskrima. I hope that Filipinos and foreigner alike will come to appreciate the Filipino Martial Arts of Arnis/Eskrima.
    Estanislao T. Guarra
    Founder / President Guarra Style Modern Arnis

    October 4th 2006
    Bago City
    Negros Occidental

    When I look back, I can’t stop but smile. I was 10 years old when I started the study of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) under my late uncle, Grandmaster Romeo “Nono” C. Mamar, the founder of the Original Filipino Tapado. I started teaching when I was 14 and went on to become the Chief Instructor of the Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association (OFTLSFA), Inc. Now I’m 57 but I sill enjoy the feel of the stick in my hands and the smell of coffee sticks when they collide. It gives me pride to be a Filipino.
    This fervor for the Filipino Mart Arts (FMA) was further intensified when my uncle passed away and I was tasked by his family to continue his legacy. In the early days, duels were a daily reality for Arnis professors and Tapado was no exception. Many wanted to learn but we kepthigher teachings within the family. But times have. We no longer fight duels and the arts have become more popular with the general public.
    With this I envision the propagation of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) in our country and around the world. Each style or systems of arnis, eskrima, or estokada have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. This diversity characterizes the Filipino ingenuity, culture, philosophy, and warrior traditions.
    This works by Ned Nepangue and Celestino Macachor is a highly commendable act of dedication to document and preserve a certain part of the Filipino martial culture, in this case that of Cebuano Eskrima. Such work requires much time, money, and effort and one would be hard pressed to find people who are willing to give the necessary sacrifice. The book is a candid in its presentation and is scholastically prepared, especially in its evaluation of the origins and myth of kali. As a Filipino I want to thank the authors for giving the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) the scholastic attention they deserve. I and our association are proud to endorse their documentary work.
    Benefredo “Bebing” Marmar Lobrido
    President and Headmaster
    Original Filipino Tapado Long Stick Fighting Association

    September 18 2006
    Ozamiz City

    It is undeniable that the fighting arts of the Philippines are deeply rooted in the history and culture of the Philippines. To gain a better understanding of the art, we must be able to seek out and explore the bits and pieces of its history. As what Marcus Aurelius, the last of the “Five Good Emperors” who governed the Roman Empire from 96 to 180 quoted, “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.” If has been said that he who controls the past controls the future. Our view of history shapes the way we view the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer for existing problems.
    This thought-provoking book attempts to go deeper but not exhaustive on history of the art eskrima. If questions the concept that eskrima came from an older art called kali which is reputed to come from Moro people in Mindanao. As a native of Mindanao, my journey in the Filipino Martial Arts only leads me to be acquainted with eskrima and I haven’t heard of its so called mother art named kali. This book is an interesting read since it also covers some technical discussion on eskrima and showcases about eskrima in Cebu.
    I personally know the authors of this book, Dr. Ned Nepangue and Celestino Macachor. Both of them are dedicated eskrimadors. This book is a product of their collective research in Cebuano eskrima over the years being part-time freelance writers. This book is highly recommended to everybody interested in Filipino Martial Arts.

    Eric L. Olavides
    Head and Chief Training Director
    Eskrima De Campo JDC-IO

    October 31, 2006
    Metro Manila

    When Ned Nepangue called me three years ago, he informed me that he was interested in interviewing me for an article in Rapid Journal. The interview never materialized.
    Three years after, he called me again, inviting me to write the foreword for this book, Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the myth. Given my passing acquaintance with Ned, I was therefore somewhat surprised by the invitation. What the reason, I am flattered, and humbled.
    The book highlights the martial heritage of Cebu. It is, in my view, a well-researched book that illustrates the richness of Cebu’s Martial systems and its cultural linkage, without disparaging the Filipino Martial Arts of the other regions. If is a major step towards what many consider unattainable, the unification of the Filipino Martial Arts, and is destined to be a must-have in the library of anyone with an interest in Filipino Martial Arts.
    As the Filipino Martial Arts community is a fractured community, any part I can play in changing this situation is an opportunity I welcome. It is in this light that I would like to thank Ned Nepangue for giving me the opportunity to introduce this book. I will also be forever grateful to Atty Jose Villasin, Teofilo Velez and Timoteo Maranga for endowing me with the strength and wisdom to pursue excellence.
    Finally, although he has already passed on many years ago, I would like to thank my teacher and mentor, Venancio Beacon, for sharing with me the gift of his skill and the unique Cebuano martial sprit that Ned Nepangue and Celestino Macachor so ably illustrate in this book.

    Bob Silver C. Tabimina
    Founder, Tabimina Balintawak
    Please visit the link below to purchase this book.
    Thank you.

    Los Angeles Chapter, United States
    Eskrima de Campo JDC-IO
  2. 408kali

    408kali Member

  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    FMA Book

    Just ordered my copy.

    The argument that some Filipino blade arts reflect a European sword influence is contentious in some circles but I think that Mark Wiley's division of arts into "ancient," "classical," and "modern" styles makes sense in the regard. Basically:

    "Ancient:" family, tribe, clan, village, or regional art with little or no contact with European sword arts.

    "Classical:" Some contact with European sword arts.

    "Modern:" May have started as an Ancient or Classical art but reflects modern perspective with respect to curriculum, pedagogy, organization, etc. May or may not be sports or tournament oriented. May or may not be LEO or military-oriented, etc.

    Of course, this begs the question of whether "Ancient" or "Classical" arts had contact with multiple Indonesian, Malay, Chinese, and Arabic sword arts over the past several millenium. Depending on what you accept for an answer, it makes the argument of whether a FMA is "pure" or not something of a red herring, IMHO.


    Steve Lamade
  4. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Cebuano Eskrima - Beyond the Myth

    Is there an email address available for Dr. Nepangue and Mr. Macachor?


    Steve Lamade
  5. KrissOfSweden

    KrissOfSweden Member

    I'd ordered it today... :)
  6. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    It's a great book. You won't be dissapointed.

    -wes tasker
  7. ..
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  8. +1
  9. conceptual warrior

    conceptual warrior New Member

    Up to this time, nobody had made a convincing rebuttal of the premise and expositions made on the book. Not even heads of systems had done so.
  10. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Junior Member

    "Convincing" depends on who is reading the rebuttal. :)

    I believe the authors believe that Cebuano FMA stemmed from a European influence.
    I also believe that most FMA has been influenced by Europeans.

    However, that does not mean all Filipinos practiced and fought the same based on the sole root of European swordsmanship.

    Nor that FMA masters themselves studied a variety of Eastern arts and implemented them into their styles. Just look at the influence of Japanese systemization in some FMAs. Or the Chinese/soft style movements found in the tapping and trapping. You can see them wearing japanese style gi's and Chinese/Indonesian sashes or sarongs.

    Furthermore, the style of weapons found throughout the islands do not support this theory if one includes the Southern Island's weapons of war.

    Anyone versed in the blade arts who has picked up a Panabas won't think of using it the same as a Spanish cut and thrust sword. Nor a buckler from an Buntoc shield.

    Does FMA also involve the study of indigenous fighting arts and weaponry?

    One would have to discount all other indigenous forms of warfare as well to fully embrace the premise of a sole European Influence.

    However, this does not mean the book contains no merit. Just that the reader must exclude all combative forms of native weaponry from non Cebuano sources and fully accept that their methods and teaching came from Europe.

    That's why our ancestors called their weapons "Sandata" right? ;)
  11. I have read the book and didn't get that "European Influence" at all.

    What I got was that due to the amount of European maritime trade in the area piracy increased. The inhabitants of affected coastal areas (like the visayans) used some form of fighting art to protect themselves and their property. As the Spanish were in control of the Philippines at that time the terms were formed in Spanish.

    The book also documents that Masters of the art cross-trained in other martial arts and traded knowledge with foreigners.

    I would be happy to debate parts of the book if you'd care to example parts about the Europeans / central topic I may have missed?


  12. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Junior Member


    Your premise is closer to mine.

    However, if you scour the various forums, and even above as mentioned in Steve's post... those are not shared by all.

    If everyone posted what you posted then the book would be taken for what it is.

    Your debate is with those who have a myopic view that FMA is from one region of the vast archipelago.
  13. Thanks Sun Helmet (I think?!)

    I class myself very much a "Curious Novice" and feel it is vital not to take one text as gospel. As a foreigner living in the Philippines I am interested in my adopted country so am reading around this particular subject.

    I know one of the author's of this book personally. Through my many conversations with him I didn't get the impression that he thought the arts were transplanted - for want of a better word.

    I feel forums / websites / blogs muddy the waters with many aspects of the FMA. As do instructors and student's 2nd / 3rd hand knowledge printed as verbatim.

    However, there are quite a few pearls of wisdom around in-between those claiming to trace their lineage back to Lapu-Lapu.
  14. Sun_Helmet

    Sun_Helmet Junior Member

    Concerning one of the co-authors, that's good to hear Simon.

    I have been researching Filipino history for quite some time, and the more I learn about the history and weapons from a variety of sources, the more I recognize what we read in the limited online forums are speculations, heresay and very little proof of actual fact.

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