What does Serrada mean to you?

Discussion in 'Serrada' started by arnisador, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Do you think of serrada as a general term like arnis, kali, eskrima, etc., or a specific term for certain arts (like Angel Cabales' system)? If you think it has a specific meaning, what are the distinguishing characteristics of serrada? Do all serrada systems use relatively shorter sticks?
  2. kabaroan

    kabaroan Kabaroan

    When I hear of Serrada, I tend to think of the Cabales Serrada system and the various FMA styles that have been based on GM Angel Cabales' art.

    I tend to characterize Serrada as an art that focuses on closer range, shorter sticks (18-24"), bladed weapons with similar empty hand applications.
  3. 408kali

    408kali Member

    I can only speak in reference to Cabales Serrada. Basically when I think of Serrada I think Medio (medium) to Corto (close) range.

    However, with the Garimot system of Arnis De Mano, they use longer sticks 28 in. for all ranges. Arnis De Mano encompasses all ranges.

    Also, if I am not mistaken, Tabiminas Balintawak uses 28 in. sticks and they are mostly corto range. Interesting differences.

    Interesting topic also I'd like to know others' experience!
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    This is what I think of, but as I mentioned elsewhere I don't tend to think of the blade aspects as much as the stick aspects! In my case it's from ignorance of the art--I've never experienced it directly.

    I would like to hear the opinions of others!
  5. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Serrada- Spanish term literally translated: "to close."

    Serrada players close in on their enemy. Serrada has been erroneously referred to (even by me) as a range, which it is not. Corto, Medio, and Largo are ranges.

    Serrada players generally smother a Largo stick. The tricky part can be closing in, but once on the inside, can dismantle their enemy with accuracy and efficiency. The length of the stick is generally measured as from the armpit to the center of the palm.

    The 12-strikes of Serrada are areas of Spanish armor that were vulnerable or exposed, i.e. chinks in the armor.

    Serrada is a derivative of the DeCuerdas method. Serrada was taught to Angel Cabales by Felicisimo Dizon, a Cebuano.

    Felicisimo Dizon's lineage points towards two shadowy figures of Philippine legend,
    the blind princess Josefina of Samar, and the "old man of Cebu." (Cacoy Canete? :)

    Peace, ~John
  6. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member


    When Dizon was in his prime Cacoy would have been a child. There was a least a twenty year age difference between the two gentlemen.

    Where are you getting your info about Dizon being trained by the blind princess and old man of Cebu?
  7. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Hi Buwaya,

    Actually I was just kidding because I've heard Cacoy referred to as the old man of Cebu. I've also heard Tatang referred this way. I have no real idea who the old man of Cebu is.

    With regards to where I get my info from, not wanting to put anyone on the spot (including myself), at this time I am trying to obtain more detailed information regarding this matter. I am in no way a definitive source but am simply relaying what information I have heard. If there is anyone within the system who wishes to step forward and talk about it, then cool. I am fully aware that there are many people who dispute the tale of the blind princess. This is something I know that people on message boards jump all over. I am not here to prove or contest it. What I WILL say, not wanting to offend anybody, is that I have heard alot of opinions regarding the authenticity of true Serrada Eskrima as taught by Angel Cabales, including the lineage, and ALL THIS from individuals who are neither students of Serrada nor hold a stake in the system whatsoever, except to disclaim it (like I said, no offense) That is why I mentioned those who are or were students, those are people I would personally like to hear from.

    Other than that, since we weren't alive during that time (at least I wasn't) I think there is only speculation, since according to my research in times of antiquity Filipinos didn't necessarily record much history, if any, at that time. Most information was passed down orally, i.e. folklore.

    Peace, ~John
  8. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member


    I just found it interesting as these are stories I never heard from Angels students from Stockton or his contempories when they were still alive in the PI. More from Villibrille-Largusa practitioners.

    Peace to you as well and good luck with your continued search.
  9. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Sup Buwaya,

    Thanks! To note, I am truly a history buff when it comes to this stuff, and most probably the students from Stockton were mostly interested in their training. Many, many people discount these stories, and it seems they expect me to defend them. I am definitely not in that position, since I was just a kid when Angel past, never met him or knew him, etc.

    I have mentioned the lineage to Punong Guro Bob Manalo who seemed in agreement with the lineage, but coincidentally we were busy training :) when I mentioned this.

    One person who might provide some clarification is Grand Master Fred Lazo of Luzviminda Kali Arnis Brotherhood, as he was also a student of Felicisimo Dizon and one of the only living students that I know of.

    There are other lineages who claim that their arts come from the blind princess, world-renowned systems like Villabrille-Largusa Kali.

    One Tuhon gave me great advice- let your art do the talking.

    Peace Buwaya!
  10. 408kali

    408kali Member

  11. phurba

    phurba New Member


    I am new to the list. In the kingdom of Nepal, we have a King (monarchy). We know he exists, and we know his father did exist before him (was massacred recently), and his monarcgy lineage goes as far as 12 generations. There is a king because Nepal is a kingdom.

    One way of determining whether there is a blind princess Josephina is to determine whether ther was a kingdom of Samar existing at around the year 1900 when Dizon was there. If the kingdom of Samar did exist at that time, there would be records of it, and there would be a King of Samar, and there would be royal families of Samar. You can not have a king or princess of Samar if there is no kingdom of Samar! Reasonable? That would be the first thing to do.

    (Note:- There are detailed records of the sultanate and royal families of Sulu and Mindanao at this same period because the Spanish, British and Americans were active in Philippines at this same period and thus dealt with the royal families)

    The second (after and only after having confirming the kingdom of Samar did exist in 1900) is to find authenticated records of a HRH Princess Josephina of Samar.

    Third, we then establish whether this HRH Princess Josefina of Samar was a peerless warrior.

    Fourth, we establish whether HRH Princess Josefina of Samar was really blind.

    Fifth, we establish whether HRH Princess Josefina really lived as a hermit in an underground cave that can be reached only enetering an underground cave where one reaches a steep cliff and jumping into an underground lagoon infested with sharks, and swimming more than a kilometer underwater in a dark underground tunnel to surface at her underground cave. Dizon was supposed to have done this daily. (Another version of Dizon's exploits was to swim across the shark-infested waters of all the islands in the Philippines every morning). This last one needs to be broken up into several sections of analysis.

    I believe if we use the above steps in our investigation, ensuring each step must be satisfied before embarking on the next step, we may shine the light of truth into the matter.

    By the way, did Tatang Ilustrisimo, who was Floro Villabrialle's uncle, and also was a boat swain and sailor for most of his live (after having been a sugar cane plantation foreman naerby Samar island, say anything about the king and kingdom of Samar?

    Any reliable historical records similar to the Sulu and Mindanao ones of royal dynasties for the kingdom of Samar?

    Peace in the Buddha,
    Lama Dorje
  12. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Hi Lama Dorje,

    Have never heard of the blind princess as a hermit, but who is referred to as "the old man of Cebu."

    And you wouldn't believe the criticism I have gotten regarding the lineage of this system (it happens to be connected to other systems also).

    Your ideas are really great starting points. I would love to find out how to acquire the written documents that you speak of. I have read that the Spaniards were extremely meticulous in their record-keeping (as a reference of this, I have read excerpts of written testimony from Spanish survivors regarding the death of Magellan, describing who the natives were and a description of their weaponry which describes a "scimitar-like weapon.")

    Thanks for your suggestions! Btw I have never heard of Dizon swimming around the Philippine islands daily, most likely this was someone's attempt to make a mockery of the system, which I often encounter.

    Peace, ~John.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    There's an interesting discussion on Eskrima Digest right now ("Serrada lineage") about who best represents Angel cabales' true tradition-- Vincent Cabales, or someone else.
  14. tanod

    tanod New Member

    when you say serrada, i refer to cabales eskrima right away, and secondly a fighting position called serrada, abierta and crosada among other things
  15. pahhhoul

    pahhhoul New Member

    Until recently I've kind of regarding stick fighting as boxing with sticks. As serrada has very quick hits/counters, to me they are more like jabs. Then there's arnis and kali with the sweeping powerful motions such as hooks and uppercuts.
    To me.. serrada is boxing with sticks.

  16. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    An interesting viewpoint! Some of the strikes I do in arnis are very boxing-like, including stick jabs and sunkite-style hooking strikes, but many others are sword-like.
  17. pahhhoul

    pahhhoul New Member

    About the strikes in Serrada being like jabs; even though the majority of strikes in serrada are quick flicks like jabs. They still pack power and hurt like hell!

  18. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    I myself like how it gets one inside/close yet still able to spin the stick,striking with the tip of the stick real close in like that with power. Wow!!
  19. Doc

    Doc New Member

    Interesting that you should say that! My first "love" is Panantukan. So rather than take the usual FMA route of thinking of how to apply weapons technique to empty-hand, I tend to go the opposite route and think of how best to apply my Panantukan with a stick. I determined right away that a shorter stick works much better when "stick boxing." I use a 21 inch stick. I also found myself using lots of quick "jab" or "rap" motions with the stick in close. So this naturally jogged my memory of what I have previously learned in the past about Cabales Serrada Escrima. So, while I cannot claim to be doing Serrada Escrima, I have drawn inspiration from what I have seen of it and am doing a stick method that is somewhat similar. It is my version of "stick boxing" with a fairly recognizable Serrada Escrima influence.

    I also practice Michael Janich's "Martial Blade Concepts" for my knife method. I like his emphasis on "speed stops", which is just a restatement of the old "defang the snake" idea. But he puts it in a modern perspective for a more moral approach and a more legally defensible approach. I used to think that the "classical" defenses used in Serrada Escrima were "overkill." Why strike the attacker's stick so many times? Now I realize that, just like Janich's approach, this "overkill" can allow you to stop an attacker without landing any potentially lethal blows. So it seems to me that the Serrada method can fit well as a "self-defense" approach against weapons in our modern society where you may be just as likely to go to jail as your attacker, depending on what kind of response you used.

  20. Charlie

    Charlie New Member

    What does serrada mean to me it is a Filipino combat created by Grand Master Angel Cabales who learned from Grandmaster Dizon who learned from a hermit I have given up trying to find out more info then that, hell I cant find a old pic of Dizon or much less anyone who wants to talk about him. What deos serrada mean to me on a personal note, I have grown up in the Stockton Academy under Grandmaster Vincent Cabales I started when I was 11 years old and now I am almost 25 Grandmaster Cabales is a like a father to me since I did not grow up with my dad being able to be active part of my life, the group is like family to me. I am still very active I train with Grandmaster Cabales on my masters training at least 1 time a week individually and then I go to class when I can make it I commute 75 miles one way now so it is a little difficult for me to make it all the time. Cabales Serrada Escrima is a big part of my life.

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