What is "San Miguel Eskrima"?

lhommedieu

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Glad to oblige.

The following information has been taken from my website:

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze4fs8i/index.htm
momoy2.jpg

The founder of San Miguel Eskrima was Filemon "Momoy" Canete:

Filemon De La Cuesta Canete ("Momoy" to his friends) was born in 1904 on the island of Cebu, Philippines. He and seven brothers were taught eskrima by their father, Gregorio Canete. Momoy later studied with Pinyete Piano Aranas, Juan Tecson and JuansoTekya - well-known and respected eskrimadors from the San Fernando region of Cebu. In 1920, he began to study with Lorenzo Saavedra and his son Teodoro, from the Visayan region of Cebu. Momoy also explored faith healing with Don Tecson, who was also well known as a faith healer and wild animal catcher. He later studied Combat Judo with Jeseus Cui and blended its principles with his eskrima. Jesus Cui is also credited with orienting Momoy towards a traditional mid- to long-range style of eskrima, in contrast to the shorter-range styles that were becoming more popular.

The Island of Cebu is noted for producing some of the finest martial artists in the Philippines. In the early 1900s, the Saavedra brothers were the most feared fighters in Cebu and many of the great eskrimadors of that century trained with them. Momoy considered the Saavedras to be his main teachers, and the stick and dagger methods that he later developed into San Miguel Eskrima are based directly on their teachings. The style of Eskrima practiced by the Saavedra family consisted mainly of counters to the different angles of attack, and tapi-tapi - a form of controlled sparring at close quarters that emphasized the use of the empty hand to monitor and control the opponent's weapon. In 1932, Momoy and his brothers joined the Doce Pares Club, along with the Saavedras, and other members of the former Labangon Club, which had disbanded about ten years earlier. Momoy was officially listed as one of the Sergeants at Arms. Momoy began building a reputation as one who could develop an effective fighting system by analyzing already existing methods. He began to emphasize espada y daga in his own training because he considered it the most difficult style to master. He developed extensive footwork skills to allow him to evade an attack and move back in quickly with a powerful counter-strike or thrust, and created a more aggressive role for the dagger, which could now be used both to monitor and control an opponent's weapons as well as to attack the opponent with thrusts. Momoy also introduced practice with the spear, an ancient weapon that had fallen into disregard during the Spanish occupation. He linked the movements of the spear to those of the stick and dagger, and added the ananangkil, chain, bullwhip, and throwing knife to his arsenal of weapons. These were all used as weapons in their own right, but also to develop attributes that Momoy considered essential to his method of fighting.

During World War II, Momoy ferried supplies from the Americans to the Filipino resistance army in the mountains and forests. He also served as a healer for many Filipino soldiers. The Japanese killed many Eskrima practitioners during the war, including the Saavedras. Those practitioners who survived either hid with the guerrillas or fled.

Momoy was well known in the San Nicolas barrio of Cebu City as a healer. Often during Eskrima practice he would pause to treat patients from the neighborhood with spiritual healing and hilot in his courtyard. As he massaged an injury, aligned bones, or healed illness, he recited spiritual words and prayers. Momoy attributed his skill to God and claimed that concentrated prayer developed his ability to heal.Momoy also learned to play the guitar, and composed several popular songs. He was considered a talented musician and songwriter. His ability to come up with new movements and forms was attributed by his students to his talent for musical composition. Tom Bisio states that during breaks in Eskrima practice he could often be seen staring off into space, clapping his hands together to mark time as he created new forms. Momoy Canete continued to teach and refine his Eskrima up until his death in 1995. His son and grandson, and his American students continue to develop and pass on his art.

***

Tom Bisio was the first (to my knowledge) to bring San Miguel Eskrima to the United States. Ramon Rubia, in California, now also teaches his version of San Miguel Eskrima. I believe that he learned from GM Casio, one of Momoy's senior students.

Following is information about Tom Bisio:

Tom has been a practitioner of the Filipino Martial Arts for twenty-five years. He has trained extensively with such notable teachers as Leo Gaje (Pekiti Tirsia Arnis) and Filemon Canete (San Miguel Eskrima). After twenty years of training in and teaching the Filipino martial arts, Tom felt the need to promote and teach San Miguel Eskrima so that Filemon Canete's creation would not be lost. Following the death of Filemon Canete in 1997, Tom formed the San Miguel Eskrima Association. The goal of this group is to preserve, promote and develop Master Canete's Eskrima method. The name is a product of discussions with Master Canete in 1987. It is also an attempt to define his method as an "old" style of Doce Pares that emphasizes the use of the blade and to differentiate his method from the modern tournament styles of Doce Pares.

Tom feels strongly that San Miguel Eskrima must continue to grow and develop. Filemon Canete constantly improved on his Eskrima until his death. Therefore, the San Miguel Eskrima Association will continue to establish research projects to explore various aspects of San Miguel Eskrima. One important project has been the addition of Rapier and Dagger techniques to the San Miguel Eskrima curriculum.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

Rich Parsons

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Steve,


Good information and thanks for the input.

To give concurrent data from a different family tree that the Saavedras taught Stick and Dagger. I have been told by Manong Ted Buot, that Anciong Bacon was taught the Stick and Dagger by the Saavedras, and that many a person complained that Anciong Bacon would poke them with the Wood Training Dagger and it was a problem. Anciong Bacon was then asked not to practice with the dagger. This then lead to him developing his own system of just the Stick. THis then lead to the Balintawak as it has since been named.

I personally liked the history. Thank you!
:asian:

Rich
 

lhommedieu

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I have been told by Manong Ted Buot, that Anciong Bacon was taught the Stick and Dagger by the Saavedras, and that many a person complained that Anciong Bacon would poke them with the Wood Training Dagger and it was a problem. Anciong Bacon was then asked not to practice with the dagger. This then lead to him developing his own system of just the Stick. THis then lead to the Balintawak as it has since been named.

Thanks Rich. See the following link for an example of a Cebuano training dagger:

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze4fs8i/daga.htm

Steve Drape has a great article on his website about the history of eskrima in post-1900 Cebu. Following is a quote from his article:

"Even though the Doce Pares Club was set up to bring all eskrimadors under one organization, personalities and politics soon broke things up. One of the first to break away was the group of Anchiong Bacon, who was a student of Lorenzo Saavedra. He split from Doce Pares to create his own group and named it Balintawak, after the name of the street where their club was located. He split away because of some problems over money, but also for other reasons. One was because of the political fighting within the club, where one group was trying to ease out the others and take control. Another was that he didnt like the atmosphere in the club where people criticized and made fun of each others play. His Balintawak club became the largest and most successful of the other clubs, and nearly caused Doce Pares to fold in the 50s, due to their feud."

It's an appealing notion that Bacon might also have let his dissatisfaction show through the point of his training dagger. If it was anything like the one shown in the link above, it must have been pretty painful.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

Rich Parsons

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Steve,

I see your point on many levels. :D :rofl:

And I believe that what you say about frustration is very true.

Thanks

Rich

:asian:
 

san miguel eskrima

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Steve,

Comments and corrections and more info on your history of San Miguel Eskrima.

"Tom Bisio was the first (to my knowledge) to bring San Miguel Eskrima to the United States. Ramon Rubia, in California, now also teaches his version of San Miguel Eskrima. I believe that he learned from GM Casio, one of Momoy's senior students.

===GM Diony Canete was probably the first to bring some aspects of Nong Momoy's San Miguel Eskrima in 1975. Although, he did not propagated the San Miguel Eskrima named instead Doce Pares Eskrima. I know that Tom Bisio was in the Philippines in 1979 for the first time competing in the tournament. Did he trained with Nong Momoy then or in 1982/83? Because Dong Cuesta was also here in the U.S. in 1981 I beleive.
The bulk of my San Miguel Eskrima is coming from Nong Momoy, Nong U. Borja,Noy A. Canete and Nong I. Casio. It is not my version as the Sukaranan is the original movements that I was taught.

San Miguel Eskrima history as told to me by all the senior disciples that I have interviewed and trained with:

The San Miguel name came from Saint Michael, one of the archangels(Arkangel)holding an armor with a long espada. According to Nong Idring Casio, Nong Momoy Ca簽ete got the idea from there and developed his ideas from the concept of Sinugdanan ug Kataposan. Meaning that no one could conquer or defeat the angel of god.

"Filemon De La Cuesta Canete ("Momoy" to his friends) was born in 1904 on the island of Cebu, Philippines. He and seven brothers were taught eskrima by their father, Gregorio Canete. Momoy later studied with Pinyete Piano Aranas, Juan Tecson and JuansoTekya - well-known and respected eskrimadors from the San Fernando region of Cebu. In 1920, he began to study with Lorenzo Saavedra and his son Teodoro, from the Visayan region of Cebu. "

==The Canete brothers (Tinong, Yoling, and Momoy,etc) learnt there rudiments of eskrima from their father Gregorio "Oyong" Canete and uncle Pedro Canete. Nong Momoy later on studied with Lieutenant Cipriano Aranas also known as Tiniyente Piyano Eskrima Club, Huanso Tecson,Juan Takya, Goriong Tagalog, Andres Suarez and Tito de Goma along with his older brothers. In 1920, the Canetes moved from San Fernando and met the Saavedras, the uncle and nephew tandem of Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" and Teodoro " Doring" at the San Nicolas district of Cebu City. Venancio "Anciong" Bacon was the top pupil of "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra. According to Nong U. Borja, Nong Momoy also studied with one of the grand old man, Jesus Cui; learning Combat Judo and Espada y Daga (Punta y Daga). Sometimes people referred to as "Batangueno Style". Jesus Cui was versed in Tapi-Tapi (single stick) and Stick and Dagger.==


"During World War II, Momoy ferried supplies from the Americans to the Filipino resistance army in the mountains and forests. He also served as a healer for many Filipino soldiers. The Japanese killed many Eskrima practitioners during the war, including the Saavedras. Those practitioners who survived either hid with the guerrillas or fled.''

===Teodoro "Doring" Saavedra was executed by the Kempetai and Lorenzo "Tatay Ensong" Saavedra died of old age in Mambaling.===

"Momoy Canete continued to teach and refine his Eskrima up until his death in 1995. His son and grandson, and his American students continue to develop and pass on his art. "

===I would estimate that only 10 people at the most that I know of are passing on the San Miguel Eskrima System of Nong Momoy including his nephew not his grandson in Cebu. How can you develop and pass on his art if you have not been to the country of origin and have not met or seen all his senior disciples. ===

===San Miguel Eskrima is power based and bladed orientation. It is the older method of Eskrima as taught by Nong Momoy Canete and his last senior disciples in Cebu, Philippines. My goal is to propagate and preserve the legacy of traditional eskrima as taught by all his senior disciples and the last orihinal founding father that pass on August 12, 1995 of the Doce Pares Club.

Sinugdanan ug Kataposan, Mabuhay,

Ramon Rubia--San Miguel Eskrima,USA
 
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Cruentus

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Out of curiosity, where do you guys get all your history from. Both of you (Ramon & Steve) seem to have a pretty good historical background in your system, which can be difficult because a lot of that stuff isn't necessarly written down anywhere. I know that I get a lot of my history that isn't published from Manong Ted Buot, who has been pretty good at keeping a "family tree," and history of Balintawak. Some of my seniors, like Rich and Tim Hartman can help me fill in blanks as well.
 

lhommedieu

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Dear Ramon,

Thank you for you comments and corrections with respect to my post about San Miguel Eskrima. My intention in this post and in previous ones has always been twofold: (1) to promote an art that as you correctly state, has very few proponents in the world, and (2) to invite comments from anyone who has knowledge to share. Your post meets both criteria admirably.

The history that I provided is based on Tom Bisios biography of Momoy Canete that he wrote as part of a manual for his instructor-candidates during the period 1994-1996. My understanding is that much of the information about Momoy came from conversations with Eulogio Canete in 1984. The biography appears in an altered form on my website in order to reflect information provided to me by Steve Drape and Agapito Gonzales. However, it does not reflect any developments in San Miguel Eskrima post-1984 in the Philippines. Obviously it now stands in need of further correction, and I would be happy to consider any changes that you suggest in addition to the ones already mentioned in your post.

I believe that Tom met with Momoy and may have trained with him briefly in 1979, and returned a couple of times during the 1980s to continue his training. Toms reputation as a teacher of Filipino and Chinese martial arts stands on its own, and he does not need me to promote it.

Our version of San Miguel Eskrima reflects a desire to honor the memory of Momoy Canete, and to ensure that the old-style eskrima of Momoy and Yoling Canete that was taught during this period is not forgotten. That you and other senior students of Momoys are also teaching San Miguel Eskrima is a cause for celebration, in my opinion, and I look forward to more conversation with you in the future.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

bart

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Hey There,

Ramon gets his information by interviewing and training with old masters in the Philippines and by researching in books and newspapers at libraries over there as well. His wife is a Canete and he has access to many of the Eskrimadors who were eyewitnesses to the history of Eskrima in Cebu since the early 20th century. He does a lot of research whenever he goes to the Philippines which is about once a year if not more often. He's a big advocate of going to the "source" or primary resource to learn the history so as to understand the development of the arts and their branches over time.
 

lhommedieu

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Ramon,

The San Miguel name came from Saint Michael, one of the archangels(Arkangel)holding an armor with a long espada. According to Nong Idring Casio, Nong Momoy Ca簽ete got the idea from there and developed his ideas from the concept of Sinugdanan ug Kataposan. Meaning that no one could conquer or defeat the angel of god.
I've heard that there were also statues in Cebu of Saint Michael slaying a dragon that depicted him in a cross-legged stance, and that Momoy may have also chosen the name "San Miguel" because it reminded him of the footwork that he was using.

I wonder if you could also say a little more about "Sinugdanan ug Kataposan?" Momoy was also renowned as a healer, and I was wondering if there was a connection between the belief that St. Michael protects eskrimadors and Momoy's use of prayer while doing massage and bonesetting?

San Miguel Eskrima is power based and bladed orientation. It is the older method of Eskrima as taught by Nong Momoy Canete and his last senior disciples in Cebu, Philippines.
Interesting that Tom Bisio's path since the mid-1980's has taken him primarily into the Chinese internal martial arts. What impressed him about Momoy Canete's eskrima was the quality of his movement: the way that he could remain relaxed and issue power by using his whole body. Tom also learned Chinese medicine and uses massage and bonesetting in his practice.

Best wishes,


Steve Lamade
 

lhommedieu

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Christopher Umbs

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lhommedieu said:
Tom feels strongly that San Miguel Eskrima must continue to grow and develop. Filemon Canete constantly improved on his Eskrima until his death. Therefore, the San Miguel Eskrima Association will continue to establish research projects to explore various aspects of San Miguel Eskrima. One important project has been the addition of Rapier and Dagger techniques to the San Miguel Eskrima curriculum.

Best,

Steve Lamade
Sorry for resurecting an old thread. Steve, can you tell us more about these rapier and dagger techniques and where you are getting them from?

Thanks,
Chris
 

lhommedieu

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Dear Chris,

Summit, N.J.?! I lived on Lenox Road (off Springfield Avenue towards Rt. 24) for about 25 years. Small world.

I should stress that the rapier and dagger techniques taught in Tom Bisio's curriculum were not part of Momoy Canete's original curriculum; they were added by Tom to accent what he thought were specific qualities of San Miguel Eskrima. This is consistent with Momoy's practice of using other weapons (double stick, ananangkil, spear, chain, throwing dagger, e.g.) to develop the attributes that he thought were essential for espada y daga technique. In addition, Tom wanted to stress the fact that San Miguel Eskrima is blade-oriented FMA even though the bulk of the training is done with wooden stick and dagger. The following is taken from The San Miguel Eskrima Instructor's Handbook that Tom gave us back in 1995:

"Filemon Canete was born in 1904. His teachers would have learned from men who had honed their skills during he era of Spanish rule. His espada y daga method clearly shows the influence of European fencing while retaining the unique quality of the native fighting arts. The pinute, the favored blade type in Cebu is a long straight well balanced blade. In many parts of the Philippines shorter, chopping blades are favored. The pinute allows for equal use of point and blade similar to older European fencing styles.

However, it is not only for historical reasons that members of our association have decided to include rapier and dagger training as part of the curriculum in San Miguel Eskrima. Training with European weapons develops light, quick movements that encourage finesse and improve the reflexes. Additionally the nature of the rapier promotes greater use of the thrust and point, allowing the weapons capabilities to be employed to the fullest."

As far as training with rapier and dagger goes, we generally use double-wide epee blades or schlager blades combined with a swept guard or bell guard for the "rapier" and cut-down saber blades combined with bell guard for the "dagger." Both weapons are buttoned for safety. Drills include all of the two-person SME drills generally done with stick and dagger which, because of the different nature of the weapons involved, force your movements to become much smaller and lighter at a greater range. These drills include the counters to angles of attack, Espada y Daga drills, and Palusot drills, and could be further extrapolated to include Balla Balla Redondo drills. Hence we are using rapier and dagger to enhance FMA skills and not practicing European fencing per se. What I have noticed after training in this fashion is that my stick and dagger movements become correspondingly more precise - and that I find that I'm thinking of thrusting to the face a lot more with my stick. This in a nutshell is the value of training with European weapons in an FMA context, and I wish to stress that although "Rapier and Dagger" is definitely not my area of expertise - I believe that I have gained terrific value from the practice. For example, I've developed a better appreciation for range and timing after training with a weapon that's much longer than a typical FMA-type stick. (In other words, my hitherto close-the-gap-and-beat-them-senseless-with-a-stick berserker attitude cooled somewhat after training with someone who actually knew what to do with a rapier.)

Although you get an appreciation for the espada y daga aspect of SME when you train with rapier and dagger, there are other methods for bringing out specific qualities of Momoy Canetes eskrima. For example, practicing the San Miguel Eskrima Form with a Naval Cutlass, pinute, or Napoleonic-era officer's saber, etc., really brings out the larga mano, power-oriented aspects of SME - aspects that are very different from those brought out by rapier and dagger training. By the same token, if you were doing a different FMA and decided to substitute a machete for the stick when you were doing its two-person drills, you might pick up on a different set of qualities as well.

Although I use the rapier and dagger as a training tool, several of our instructors have trained much more extensively in European fencing arts, and could probably answer you questions better than I. James Seetoo has practiced fencing for twenty years or so. He studied saber at Santellis, taught at Hunter College, and was an Alternate National Director for the USFA. He has also taught rapier classes in New York City, and may thus be your best contact with respect to the historicity of the drills that we practice. Hoi Vihn Ngo has a fencing background. William Schettino also has a fencing background, and frequently uses a pair of schlager blades to illustrate his teaching points during his Estacada and Estacada-Kajukenbo classes in New York City. James and Hoi can be contacted through www.eskrima.com; Bill Schettino's website is www.estacada.net.

By the way, the links to my San Miguel Eskrima website listed above are no longer active; the new address is http://northshoreac.com/san_miguel_eskrima/index.htm

Best,

Steve
 

Christopher Umbs

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Steve,

Division ave. off of Mountain between Summit and New Providence.

I'm an instructor of a number of European arts including rapier and dagger at the Martinez Academy in NYC and I've entered FMA tournaments using it, so I'll have to find the time to see Mr. Seetoo in action. I'm curious if he recreated his techniques from historical treatises or if it's an adaption from stage combat or an actual living tradition that he picked up at Santelli's. Something else to add to my to do list...

Thanks,
Chris
 
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Cruentus

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Mr. Umbs,

I would like to hear more about your schools background/history and how you guys train. Also, where in NYC?

Perhaps start a thread in the knife or sword forum?

Thanks,

Paul
 

lhommedieu

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Christopher Umbs said:
Steve,

Division ave. off of Mountain between Summit and New Providence.

I'm an instructor of a number of European arts including rapier and dagger at the Martinez Academy in NYC and I've entered FMA tournaments using it, so I'll have to find the time to see Mr. Seetoo in action. I'm curious if he recreated his techniques from historical treatises or if it's an adaption from stage combat or an actual living tradition that he picked up at Santelli's. Something else to add to my to do list...

Thanks,
Chris

Sounds good. I believe that James has met Maestro Mart穩nez and has talked to him about rapier techniques. I'm 100 per cent sure that what James does is not an adaptation from stage combat - but more in line with a historical tradition.

Best,

Steve
 

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Hi all,

From what I am getting without going to the sites is an overview of where it came and who is involved.

How about some techs? Or did I miss them???

Strike 1 or, how many strikes or???

I was working over at an instructors, some variations on Cabales Escrima or Modern Arnis. I point that out, he say's it is all an illusion, same strikes same stuff different flavor.

So with that I will add a Joke. Is it like someone drunk on San Miguel beer?
Wild and dashing or composed and cunning, tight stuff or loose?

Close, middle or long range? Like Leo Giron Master's Fan 20 different???

12 strikes angles? 5 strikes angles? Blocks can you compare to something???

Thanks, Gary
 

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