Factions of Kali Ilustrisimo

Discussion in 'Kali Ilustrisimo' started by JohnJ, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Since the passing of revered GM Antonio Tatang Ilustrisimo, several groups were established. There are various reasons why certain individuals felt the need to have a separate identity from the others. Sadly, many of these disciples were peers at one point. While the topic of whom Tatang’s successor would be was questioned by one group, it was very clear to those closest to him that the rightful heir could only be Antonio Diego, his most loyal and longtime student.

    Although I have my lineage, it is not my intent to disparage any one group or individual. The purpose of this thread is simply to identify the “factions of Kali Ilustrisimo" as a resource for those KI enthusiasts.

    In no particular order:

    GM Tony Diego with the assistance of Tommy Dy and Romy Macapagal head the Kalis Ilustrisimo Repeticion Orihinal in the Philippines. The group teaches the art as it was taught to them.

    Master Christopher Ricketts now residing in San Diego heads Bakbakan’s West Coast group. Master Topher along with son Bruce, teach the art as it was taught to them.

    Master Reynaldo S. Galang heads the Bakbakan WHQ in New Jersey. He teaches Bakbakan Kali which is an offshoot of the original system. Although it maintains the principles & strategies of the original art, the curriculum, progression, some of the training methods and terminology differ.

    Master Yuli Romo heads the Bahad Zubu Kali Ilustrisimo group in the Philippines. BGKI is also an offshoot of the original art. Not only is it a personal expression of KI, it is one that has evolved through his vast experience in other arts and systems of FMA.

    The late PG Edgar Sulite is acknowledged for sharing his experience of the art via Lameco Eskrima.

    Master Norman Suanico heads the Kali Academy in Red Deer Canada. He teaches the art as it was taught to him.

    There are many other 1st generation disciples and now contemporaries that come from the above lineage. How should we look at each of the representatives and their approach to the art? Simple...no different providing they/we maintain the integrity of the art, it's principles & strategies. Whether they have evolved, developed or paid tribute, we should recognize the efforts in keeping Tatang’s art ALIVE!

    Just my thoughts...

    John J
  2. Epa

    Epa Member

    Thanks for the post, it lays out several of the teachers and their situation quite clearly. I just wanted to check on other Ilustrisimo teachers listed in the book Secrets of Kalis Ilustrisimo (Ricketts and Diego). In the book, it lists three other teachers that are not on your list:

    1. Pedro Reyes and Samuel Ilustrisimo- Luneta Kali Ilustrisimo

    2. Roberto Morales- Olistrisimo Eskrima

    3. Pedring Romo- Kali Combatant

    Have they quit teaching Tatang's art? I know the book is a little bit dated so if you could provide updates on any of these instructors I'd appreciate it. I'm not an Ilustrisimo practitioner so most of my info on the art comes from that book.

  3. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I realize I missed several players and a host of contemporaries since there are several lineages. I also have not had the opportunity to meet all these gentlemen so I cannot comment on their current teaching status. There are more in the PI preserving the art.

    The U.S. has seen a rise in KI players. Aside from Bakbakan (R. Galang, C. Ricketts & B. Ricketts and myself), there is Mark Wiley and a handful of others the Macapagal & Floro camps.

    All the best in your endeavors!

    John J
  4. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Do these guys ever work together?
  5. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Hi Tim,

    Unfortunately I would have to say that a great amount of animosity has since evolved between the factions. Although there is still a strong bond between several of the 1st Generation disciples.

    Like many styles, political and selfish bickering including lack of integrity has plagued the art. And as a result, the quality and knowledge of instructors will diminish.

    John J
  6. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Just for clarification...I do not believe Pedring Romo is an Ilustrisimo player but rather a peer of Tatangs.

    John J
  7. peter

    peter New Member

    Hi All

    Great discussion and it's good to give credit to all those promoting the art of Tatang.

    I think that the Pedring Romo referred to within the Kali Combatant system is the brother of Master Yuli Romo and I believe that he was an early student of Tatang. The senior Pedring Romo, the uncle of Master Yuli Romo, was indeed a peer of Tatang.

    Best regards to all

  8. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Hello my UK Bro',

    Thanks for further clarifying. Here's an example of how we work together Tim [​IMG]!

    All the best!
  9. peter

    peter New Member

    Greetings Brother John

    Walang problema. Master Yuli is part of a very large family and it confuses me sometimes. [​IMG]

    Very best regards

  10. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    Well I do know that Roberto Morales- Olistrisimo Eskrima still teaches, I was sharing a few beers with him only last Christmas, and we were enjoying a few stories about the funny things we got up to back in 1992 when he took us on tour but only 15 minutes walk from a Guerilla encampment. But that is a long story. Both he and my wife drank me under the table that night Hahaha!

    Best regards

  11. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

    lol sounds interesting Pat, you'll have to tell the full story sometime ! I've heard people speak very highly of Master Roberto.
  12. eome

    eome Junior Member

    Maestro roberto is a remarkable teacher. not only in the system of ilustrisimo but also in a course/subject that he thaught in our institute back in my college years. unfortunatelly i didnt have the chance to be under him back in the days.

    He is also a detailed craftsman. but id rather not put it in details simply for the fact that this is all i know about the knowledgable maestro. maestro roberto is also ahead of a few-well known ilustrisimo players in terms of seniority but chooses to remain in the shadows. a simple but remarkable man he trully is.

    He also has a close relationship with the ilustrisimo family in bantayan cebu.
  13. Twist

    Twist Junior Member

    Maestro Morales told me he doesnt like to show/teach, but prefers to make (very beautifull!) weapons. So I dont know if he's actually still teaching.

    As for Pedring Romo, the brother of Mang Yuli, he is still teaching and his style differs from what Mang Yuli is teaching now.
  14. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    You can find Roberto Morales in Luneta every Sunday morning. He is a friend to all the various groups that practice there.

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