Derobio Escrima is a style that dates back to pre-Spanish times

From: Ray Terry <>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 11:11:25 PDT
Subject: eskrima: Deribo Escrima Pedoy Style

The following is a snippet from an email I received on a different topic. I find it relating to our recent discussion on history. Just love these 500 year old arts… 🙂


“… Derobio Escrima is a style that dates back to pre-Spanish times according to our late GGM Brauilo Pedoy. We can trace the linage back 180+  years as GGM Pedoy who was born in 1900 was taught in 1905 and his master GGGM Faustino Ablin learned the style when he was young and was 90+ when he taught GGM Pedoy.”

Derobio Escrima: Braulio Tomada Pedoy (1900 – 1993)

This post contains information that I found on Eskrima Digest, a great resource for discussing the Filipino Martial Arts. A link to the Eskrima Digest site located on the right hand side column underneath the category FMA Resources.


Derobio Escrima
Braulio Tomada Pedoy (1900 – 1993)

Derobio is based on passing, either with the stick or hand, as opposed to directly blocking the attack, once passed the emphasis is on controlling with either locks and/or disarming. 12 locks are taught for each pass on the 12 angles of attack and up to 12 counters for each lock and/or disarm. Each pass is also taught with what is called the “Basic 3” which is 3 strikes always done across the body high, low, middle. The style is close range and is good for “self defense” against a skilled or unskilled opponent. The style has a lot to offer against a heavy weapon that might possibly not be stopped with a direct block. Brauilo Pedoy opened his first Escrima school in 1961 in Hawaii.

major players : Eduardo Pedoy, Christopher P. Siangco, Tyrone Takahashi, Michele Navares,
Carlton Kramer, K. Peacock, P. Schmall, Ron England, L. Castillo, Chaz Paul Siangco


From: “al sardinas” <>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 10:43:58 -0400
Subject: eskrima: Can We have More On Derobio Escrima

Ray, that was a great interview with Derobio’s GM Braulio Pedoy. I did a search and note that his system is mentioned on the FMA FAQ (thanks for updating it!) and Arlan “Salty Dog” Sanford was a student of and last person to be promoted by GM Pedoy. Can anyone out there provide more information on the Derobio system?

Al Sardinas
Student of Garimot System of Arnis

“First, however, my Master told me to study about the ocean, and of the philosophy of the sea. If you were to climb to the top of a tree and look into the ocean, you would see different shades of blue. The darker the blue, the deeper the water. In the lighter areas it is shallow, rough, and noisy. Many are at this level, close-minded people with conflicting goals in life who tend to use their mouths loosely. We must look towards the deeper water where it is calm and peaceful, where your morals run deep and only pure thoughts come out of your mouth. Thus, you can observe for yourself what is shallow and what is deep. In every one of us the Lord provided seven gateways for us to observe the environment. Each of us has two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and a mouth. Only the mouth can get us into serious trouble with our fellow man — thus, one should be very careful in what one says. Give good advice, don’t lie, and never gossip, for it might not be true. Then you can get your humbleness from that.” – GM Braulio Pedoy


From: Ray Terry <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 10:00:52 PDT
Subject: eskrima: Pedoy Escrima – Derobio

Sorry, I misspoke about the RHC Chris Siangco being the grandson of GGM Pedoy. He is the grandson-in-law.

Ray Terry

Born and raised in Hawaii, Chris Siangco’s martial art influences came from the ones he loved most. As a child, he trained in the art of Filipino boxing under his Grandfather Elias Cantere, who was Hawaii’s welter weight champ in the 30’s. Growing up he also trained under his brother in the art of Cha. 3 Hawaiian Kenpo. He later began training under Great Grandmaster Braulio Tomada Pedoy, who is the grandfather of his loving wife Gail, since 1972. Under the tutlelage of the great grandmaster and Grandmaster Eduardo Pedoy, Chief Chris has become one of only three Regional High Chiefs in Derobio Escrima. In 1991, Chief Chris brought his family out of the islands and to the mainland to spread the gift of Derobio Escrima with the help of his sons. The true lineage of Derobio Escrima lies with their uncle, Grandmaster Eduardo Pedoy and the Siangco Ohana in San Diego. Their united goal is to keep the memory of their father and grandfather alive.


The birth of the San Diego Branch of Pedoy’s School of Escrima began when the Siangco Ohana moved out of the Valley Isle of Maui to the mainland in the early 90’s with hopes of a new beginning. In 1993, their grandfather, Great Grandmaster Braulio Tomada Pedoy passed away. This was the catalyst that urged my father, Regional High Chief Chris Siangco, and my family to fulfill the great grandmaster’s dream of spreading his art of Derobio Escrima. With the blessing of our uncle, Grandmaster Eduardo Pedoy, the dream took form.

In any endeavor that one heads into, you must take time in finding the right path you want to venture on. Regional High Chief Chris decided to step off in the old school direction, teaching small private classes out of our home. He wanted to build a strong unit of head students and instructors before heading into the commercial market. For several years we taught in this manner, like the days when my father trained in the bannana patch and when our grandfather used to train us as children behind their home. We were brought up training in this private manner. As the years went on, we’ve seen enthusiasts come and go; nevertheless, we’ve groomed dedicated Derobio Escrimadors which we now call family. In 1996, we ventured in the commercial market basing a storefront school in Chula Vista, CA. For several months we kept this venue open; however, due to setbacks we were forced to close. A little disappointed, we still persevered and taught out of our home. The millenium arrived and a rebirth of the Pedoy’s School of Escrima had found a new home with a fellow Hawaiian bred martial art. Sifu Pete Salas and his Chinese Kenpo Federation has open their doors allowing my family to teach our art of Derobio Escrima. Renowned as one of the nations top ranked tournament competitors, Sifu Pete and his CKF family have been a strong martial art influence in the Chula Vista community. As our arts have blended, so have our relationship with Sifu Pete. Our Ohana now calls Pete family and brother. We send out our love and aloha to this great man of God and martial artist. Mahalo Pete.

We would also like to send out our gratitude and aloha to Head Instructor Cody Springsguth of the Just for Kicks Tae Kwon Do studio. As he ventures on with a new vision of his school, he has brought the Pedoy School of Escrima to take part in his vision. In this new millenium, the Pedoy’s School of Escrima has found another home and family in which both our arts can grow together.

Mahalo Cody.

The Siangco Ohana and the gift of Derobio Escrima their great grandfather, the late Great Grandmaster Braulio Pedoy, has given them have traveled a long path. Along the way, we have met many great and loving indivduals who have opened their hearts to our ohana and our art. We would like to say much love and aloha to all of you.



Message: 3
From: Ray Terry <>
To: (Eskrima)
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 11:15:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Eskrima] Derobio Escrima: A Quick Look

A good article. But 6th Degree Black Belt in only 7 years???

Forwarded message:

Derobio Escrima: A Quick Look

A brief introduction to the Filipino martial art of Derobio Escrima. The Filipino art of Derobio Escrima was introduced to the public by the late Grandmaster Braulio Tomada Pedoy. Grandmaster Pedoy was born in Ormac, Leyte, Philippines on October 16, 1898. Pedoy ran away from home at the age of six after receiving beatings from his father. He traveled through a dangerous forest for four days until meeting General Faustino Ablinwho became his teacher. The General was a hermit hiding in the forest with a reward on his head for his efforts in the war against the Spanish and later the Americans. Grandmaster Pedoy studied Hilot (massage) and Escrima (stick fighting) untill the age of 17. After 11 years of study, his final test to become a master of the art was to fight in actual combat with his teacher, each armed with two bolo knives. The match lasted three hours. When it ended Braulio Pedoy had sustained cuts to his face and hands, but only the tips had cut him, not enough to show a lapse in his defense. The General was unharmed. Grandmaster Pedoy spent the next three years traveling to other islands to learn different methods of Escrima. In 1924 he settled in Hawaii and lived there for the remainder of his life.

Derobios New Mexico, USA Regional Chief

The Derobio Escrima practiced in New Mexico comes through US Chief Maestro Daniel Medinas lineage. Chief Medina began his study of the martial arts in the mid-70s while in the Navy. There he studied many different disciplines and earned many black belt rankings. In 1985 he met and became a disciple of Grandmaster Pedoy and in 1987 was promoted to Maestro by him, later in 1991 he was promoted to Chief Maestro. In 1990 Chief Medina was relocated to New Mexico by the Navy and has been teaching his methods of Derobio, including its subsystems of arnis kuntao, black masters sphinx karate, sikaran and others.

Fighting Methods
Derobio Escrima uses 12 angles of attack and defense to familiarize students with principles of motion, rather than static technique. Derobio is quite different, in that all defenses are done by passing the strikes to their zero point of power rather than the more common method of a la contra or against the force. This is taught from the beginning. Once strikes are passed through, the Derobio practitioner is able to close the gap on the opponent using any number of weapon or empty-hand strikes, using basic to advanced patterns, disarming, joint locking, limb destructions, takedowns and more. This may take place with minimized danger to the practitioner.

What makes Derobio truly unique is its sophisticated use of counter locks, of which there are 144 in total. These counter locks begin where there appears to be no counter to an opponents lock and subsequent counter strike. Typically, these locks are done with the weapon though some may be done empty handed. When the weapon is used, locks are applied to joints, bone, muscles, tendons, nerve branches as well as pressure points. These locks can have the effect of causing temporary to permanent paralysis, bone breaks, muscle tears, and so on. Due to the inherent amount of damage of these locks, this knowledge is typically reserved for advanced practitioners of this style.

The art of Derobio Escrima is yet another testament to the genius and inventiveness of the Filipino people, as well as their will to overcome all odds. It is our hope that in sharing this rarely seen and beautiful system with others, that this art will contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge the Filipino martial arts has to give.

About the Author
Brandon Jordan is the protege of Chief Maestro Dan Medina having studied with him continuously for 7 years. On December 13, 2001 he was promoted to full-instructor status and holds the rank of first level Red shirt (6th degree Black Belt equivalent).

Escrima Goodwill Tournament

Hawaii Filipino Martial Arts School

The Hawaii Filipino Martial Arts School is proud to announce Goodwill Tournament 2009, open to all styles and schools and with light, middle and heavyweight divisions:When: Sunday, March 15, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where:  Kilauea Gymnasium (Martial Art Room)
4109 Kilauea Avenue, Honolulu HI 96816 (click for map)

Youth Division – Full Contact (10 & under, 11-17 yr old)
Caranza Forms – Youth/Novice/Advance
Full Contact Competition – Youth/Novice/Advance
Womens Open Division
Open Class Solo Daga (new!)

Registration & Fees:
Register on day of event: $25 one event – $5 additional events
Pre-Registration on Saturday, March 14, 2009 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm:
$20 one event – $5 additional events

Click to download and print:
Tournament Flyer
Adult Registration Form
Youth Registration From
Solo Daga Rules

For more information:
Call Guro Eric Padilla, 754-8161 vm
Punong-Guro Pat Amantiad

Eskrima Digest: Filipinos in Hawai'i

An interesting piece.. not necessarily about FMA but about Boxing and Filipino’s in Hawaii…o/filframe.htm


Filipinos in Hawaii before Legalization
Filipinos also fought in Hawaii prior to legalization. Under Section 320 of the US Code, prizefighting was illegal in the Territory of Hawaii until 1929. In practice, however, this portion of the Federal code was widely ignored. For example, in October 1915 the Judge Advocate General of the Army ruled that soldiers could box in garrison provided that there were no admission charges, no challenges from the ring, no decisions announced at the conclusion of fights, and no obvious gambling. At Schofield Barracks, early promoters of military boxing included Tommy Marlowe and Lieutenant Barnard of the 5th US Cavalry, and Sergeant John Stone of the Ordnance Department. At Fort DeRussey, promoters included Sergeant Anthony Biddle of the 17th US Cavalry. The Navy took a similar view, and as result, throughout the 1920s the 14th Naval District Submarine Division held monthly smokers at Pearl Harbor.
As in Manila, the military fights were not always open to civilian spectators, and due to restrictions against soldiers fighting civilians, the fighters were almost entirely military. This of course annoyed civilian boxing fans, and as a result, from 1915 to 1929, there was also bootleg boxing in Hawaii.
The legal fiction used to circumvent the law was that the fights were not prizefights, but instead 3 or 4-round exhibitions held solely for the amusement of members of private clubs. As the Honolulu Advertiser explained the practice in July 1927, “’Membership cards’ were sold on the night of the fight in buildings across the street.” Examples of clubs that organized bootleg fights included Honolulu’s Kewalo Athletic Club and International Athletic Association, and Hilo’s National Athletic Club. The YMCA also offered boxing in some of its youth programs, saying, “Wholesome athletics act as mental tonic in the formation of a boy’s character.”
The reason the law could be flaunted was a case in December 1915 in which US Attorney Jefferson McCarn had filed charges against a promoter and some boxers, and the defense counsel turned out to be the former Honolulu district attorney Robert W. Breckons. Meanwhile, witnesses for the defense included the sitting US Circuit Judge T.B. Stuart. Said the jurist, who admitted sitting in the twelfth row of seats:
I saw these two men engage in sparring on the stage. I think it was three rounds – one minute each and half a minute between. Yes, they had gloves on. Well, they made several demonstrations; I would not call it striking. They would spar and tap each other, just like that… They would, of course, touch each other, care being used not to hurt each other. Following this slap in the face, the US Attorney refused to try future cases, and so it wasn’t until 1927 that anyone else was indicted, let alone convicted, on charges of promoting prizefighting in Hawaii. (And even then the charges owed more to pressure from women’s temperance leagues than any governmental desire to prosecute boxers or promoters.) Like the communities from which they recruited, Hawaiian bootleg fight clubs were racially segregated. The one that attracted the most Filipinos was Honolulu’s Rizal Athletic Club. The Rizal club held its first smoker in July 1922, and a standard card of this era featured Kid Parco fighting Al “Alky” Dawson or Patsy Fernandez during the main event or Kid Carpenterio during the semi-main. Other Filipinos who fought in Hawaii prior to legalization included Battling Bolo, Young Malicio, Clever Feder, Pedro Suerta, Moniz, Santiago, and Cabayon.
Excepting small gate receipts, the only money to be made through boxing in Hawaii was through side betting. This was unsatisfactory to Filipinos, partly because the working-class fighters wanted to be paid for their pains, and mostly because people from all walks of life wanted to see fights featuring the Filipino pugilists passing through Honolulu on their way to and from San Francisco. As a result, in 1926 the “pugilistic propensity of the Filipino population of Hawaii” was a stated motivation for Governor Wallace Farrington’s testimony to Congress urging the legalization of prizefighting in Hawaii. Said the governor:
At the present time a large and growing Filipino population has very little amusement, and it is a real problem to keep them out of trouble. Their interest in boxing is not surpassed by their interest in any other sport. At every show given, there have been thousands of Filipinos denied admission because the shows were not open to the general public. Boxing will bring them into closer relations with the other races and tend to make better citizens out of them. In the meantime, Filipino fighters such as Carpenterio tried earning money by participating in exhibition bouts with wrestlers and judoka. For example, on May 12, 1923, he met judoka S. Takahashi during a mixed match. “Carpenterio boxed and the professor used jiu jitsu,” said the Advertiser. “The first two-minute round was a draw. Thirty seconds after the second round started Carpenterio was down with an ankle hold and the stuff was off.”

Profile: Grandmaster Greg Lontayao Jr.

The Hawaii Martial Arts International Society have some Bios

Grandmaster Greg Lontayao Jr.

Grandmaster Graciano Lontayao Jr. was born on May 2, 1937. His journey into martial arts was influenced by his father, Graciano Lontayao Sr., who was born in 1907 on a small Visayas island paradise named Siquijor in the Philippines. The Spanish called it “Isla del Fuego”, the Island of Fire. The Europeans traveled there to write about the mangukukulam or healers and the sorcery and healing powers they possessed. The people of Siquijor enjoy music and Sayau (dance). Graciano Sr., an Escrimador master, once told a story about when he was a young boy he would play the sticks and spar with friends and how on one certain night on a day like Good Friday people stay awake from midnight until dawn. Graciano Sr.’s goal was to move to the states to California, to go to school, but his destiny changed and in 1920 he settled in Hawaii and started his family.
When he was a boy, Graciano Lontayao Jr. was once warned by his father, “If you come home crying, I’ll beat you myself.” So in 1951, Graciano Jr., at the age of 14, joined the judo class at the Ewa Gym in Ewa, Hawaii, under Sensei Watanabe, Sensei Abe, Sensei Ventura, Sensei Friatas and Sensei Ben Palacio. He also studied Aikido under Sensei Sugai and Sensei Yoko. Having been born and raised in Ewa, Hawaii, he was locally accepted by many martial arts instructors who came from all nationalities. The Ewa plantation villages was where many people from overseas resided and brought with them their different martial arts skills. Learning martial arts in the 1950’s wasn’t easy. The art was more disciplined and intense. Questions and complaints were considered a sign of weakness. During training and sparring there were often bones broken.
In one village, called Banana Camp, Graciano Jr. began learning his boxing skills from instructor Ben Apostadairo, Richard Choi, Frank Lagon and Art Respicio. During his teenage years, he had to keep up his studies in school in order to continue his martial arts training and to play sports. In his senior year of high school, he led the Waipahu High School basketball team to the championship and became an All Star player.
He studied Kempo Karate at CHA-3 under Professor Marino Tiwanek and Kaji-Kumi Karate under Master Raymond Tobosa. Master Tobosa and Sensei Lontayao attended a seminar by Master Mas Oyama from Japan of Kyu Shin Kai Karate in Jodo Mission of Hawaii. After studying under Master Tobosa for nine years, he was promoted to Sensei 5th degree Black Belt in 1963. Grandmaster Fred Lara, Master of Internal Poison hand system and Red Belt Highest Rank from Grandmaster William K.S. Chow, took him in as his student where he began to learn more and became Sensei (Rokudan) 6th degree Black Belt in Shiki Shin Funi Association of Hawaii.
At about the same time, Sensei Lontayao started a school in the San Francisco area. In 1964 he entered the Black Belt Kumite and matched up with Dan Inosantos, losing the match by one point. This tournament was Ed Parker’s first International Karate Championship, where many witnessed Professor Ben Largusa, the current Grandmaster of Kali, and the legendary Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do demonstration. On that day Sensei Greg Lontayao was introduced to Kali.
In 1967 Sensei Greg Lontayao met then advisor, Grandmaster Ming Lum, who later introduced him to Kung-fu. He began lessons in White Crane under Sifu Quinton Fong and Sifu Ma in San Francisco’s China Town. He also traveled to Hong Kong and, on the recommendation of Grandmaster Ming Lum, met Kung-fu Grandmaster Kwock.
In 1972 Sensei Lontayao joined together with then Professor Ben Largusa and opened the first commercial school of Kali in South San Francisco, teaching the late Grandmaster Floro Villabrille/Largusa legendary Kali system. Under the same roof, Sensei Lontayao started the Lontayao Martial Arts Schools teaching Shiki Shin Funi and learning Kali. He was chosen by Professor Ben Largusa to be one of the original 12 disciples of Kali. Professor Lontayao was promoted on February 18, 1978, to Guro Lakang Tolo 3rd step; on February 18, 1980 to Lakang Lima 5th step; on February 18, 1983 to Lakang Onom 6th step; on October 1, 1984, to Lakang Pito 7th step and, eventually on February 18, 1988, to Lakang Walo 8th step. Then on August 14, 1994, he was promoted to the highest-ranking professor in the Villabrille/Largusa Kali system, Lakang Polo 10th step.
Professor Greg Lontayao, now 64, lives in Ewa where he grew up. After his long journey through life, raising a family with, now deceased, Loretta Sojot Lontayao, and with all six of his children having black belts in martial arts, he has truly accomplished his goals and completed the external portion of martial arts. He is still actively involved and is still perpetuating and preserving the tradition, culture and discipline of martial arts the way he learned it for the benefit of his generation and the generations to come.

Eskrima Digest – Subject: eskrima: Floro Villabrille

From: Ray Terry <>
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 18:29:00 PDT
Subject: eskrima: Floro Villabrille

Guro Harrell sent a msg to the list, but from an unsub-ed addr, so it couldn’t
go thru. But he referred back to this info that he submitted last year, from
issue v07.n527.


Forwarded message:

From: “Mark Harrell” <>
Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2000 19:12:10 GMT
Subject: eskrima: Villabrille

I am sure that post will fall upon deaf ears and closed minds but
here it goes anyway…

There does seem to be alot of things being said about the late
Mr. Villabrille that are nothing more than inflammatory statements
not based in fact, but in hearsay. Let me attempt to shed some light
on a few documented facts. Oh, yeah before I get up on my soap box
(ha, ha)let me say that I personally do not think that bickering over
hearsay ever solved anything. That includes my hearsay as well as yours.

Let me qualify my hearsay: ha, ha
I have been involved with the Villabrille-Largusa Kali system for twenty
two years now and I am a Kali Association of America Board
Certified instructor who has been awarded his teaching certification
directly from Grandmaster Ben Largusa. I also met and spoke with
the late Grandmaster Floro Villabrille on two separate occasions during
the early and mid 1980’s. I have also served two years on the Executive
Board for the Kali Association of America, the governing body for the
Villabrille-Largusa Kali system. This Association was founded in 1973 by the
late Founder-Grandmaster Floro Villabrille and his top student and chosen
successor Grandmaster Ben Largusa.

My Executive Board position was KAA Secretary, was responsible for taking
notes of all KAA meetings, writing and mailing letters from
Grandmaster Largusa and Tuhon Lopez, as well as helping the other
KAA Executive Board members document, archive and preserve the
legacy of the late Grandmaster Floro Villabrille.

There does seem to be alot of things being said about the late
Mr. Villabrille that are nothing more than inflammatory statements
based in hearsay. Let me attempt to shed some light on a few documented

Although I know that this information will fall upon deaf ears and closed
minds I feel obligated to make an attempt out of respect for someone who is
dead and cannot speak for themselves. It is a shame that people feel the
need to attack and disrepect those who have passed on…

First a brief list of some of the late Grandmaster Floro Villabrille’s
achievements and contributions: (Note: In my opinion, I think that a
person’s contributions are more important to the masses than a person’s
claims or persoanl achievements).

I know that the first two will create a real stir in some of you.

1)He was “an” undefeated champion in Kali/Eskrima/martial arts competitions
and death matches in the Philippines, Hawaii, and
Australia. Most of his fighting did however take place in Hawaii.
(Note: I did not state “the”).

2) Grandmaster Villabrille was awarded a certificate and diploma signed by
General Frank Murphy, then Governor-General of the Philippines. The
certificate states that he won the National Grand Sports Competition Martial
Arts Division , held at Alonan Park in Manila on July 4, 1933. Thus giving
Floro Villabrille the title Grandmaster of Eskrima/Kali and proclaims him to
be the Champion of the Philippines. Note: that I have a copy of this
certificate in front of me as I type this. This is documented proof of this
Champion of the Philippines claim.

3)The Kauai Times newspaper wrote an article on him on October 30, 1979
entitled, Floro Villabrille: “Know How to Love and Respect” (something I
think many of us have forgotten). The article starts off by stating, “Floro
Villabrille is one of the greatest martial artists in the world….” The
article goes on to highlight not only his martial art accomplishments but
also some of the many wonderful things he did for his community, the young,
the old, the poor, and even lobbying in the 1950’s to aid Filipino
immigration to Hawaii.

4)In the Cebu Municipal Museum there is a copy of Mr. Villabrille’s
Championship certificate and a picture of Grandmaster Floro Villabrille.
(Note: I have seen photographs of this in the Kali Association of America
archives from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I do not know
if this still hangs in the Cebu Municipal Museum today).

5)Villabrille learned Kali from many sources traveling great distances and
fighting the top martial artists of his time. He combined the knowledge he
came across, with his own experience and developed his own unique system of
combat, which he called Villabrille Kali. (Note: I am
sure of the fact that Mr. Villabrille’s Kali is a composite hybrid method
that has its origins in Kali, Eskrima, Arnis, Silat, and Kuntao).

6) Floro Villabrille co-founded along with his top student, protégé, and
chosen successor Ben T. Largusa, the Kali Association of America, on January
27, 1973. The Associations purpose is to maintain and develop upon the Kali
methods, techniques, and theories deriving from Grandmaster Floro

The Association also preserves the traditions, legacies, philosophies, and
teachings of Kali as well as serve as the international governing body,
authority, and certifying review board for all instructors in the
Villabrille-Largusa Kali System.

As I have already mentioned: Mr Villabrille fought in the Philippines,
Hawaii, and in Australia. Most of his public fighting did however take place
in Hawaii. (Note: I have included a brief history on some a few of his
matches in Hawaii).

Some of Grandmaster Floro Villabrille’s public full contact matches
were held in Hawaii during his fighting career between the years of
1933 and 1947. Most of his matches in Hawaii were open to the public
similar to boxing matches. These were organized and funded events
with paying spectators.

Grandmaster Villabrille was active in training full contact Kali
and Eskrima fighters for the Honolulu Civic Auditorium in the
1930’s and 1940’s.

Grandmaster Villabrille’s first public full contact match in Hawaii was
in 1935 and was held at the old Honolulu Civic Auditorium. He fought
against a man named Veloriano Seqovia.

Villabrille’s second public fight in Hawaii was in 1938 and was held on the
Island of Kauai in the Manila Hall. He fought against a man named:
Andrike Kihano.

Grandmaster Villabrille fought many additional full contact matches
in the old Honolulu Civic Auditorium. The most famous of his Hawaii
full contact public matches was a grudge match held in May of 1946 against a
man named: Francisco Ardona.

Grandmaster Villabrille retired from the ring undefeated in 1947.

In conclusion, I guess the stories,legends, and claims of all martial
artists are kind of fun to hear. I listen to them and then go on with my
life. These stories, legends, and claims whether fact or fiction do not have
any affect on my study, or practice of martial arts. The fact or fiction of
them does not contribute to my personal growth in the martial arts or even
as person in general. In my humble opinion, they are just kind of fun and
they add to the colorful history and legend of the martial arts. Try to
lighten up a bit and enjoy your life because we will probably never be able
to come into agreement over heresay or folk legends.

I just do understand why so many people waste so much time and energy
arguing about things that cannot possibly make any difference.

In short who cares or why care? No body will ever be able to convince
the other of their version of the truth… The TRUTH is as we each see it
and live it. Very unique and personal.

People have been fighting about who is right or wrong according to their own
standards or point of view for thousands of years… All that this has ever
proven is how childish we can all be over points that only matter to us. In
fact, how many people in history have been hurt and or killed over such
bickering??? Too many I assure you.

Maybe if we spend more time studying and practicing we could improve
our own understanding and expression instead of bickering over things
that none of us truly knows for sure. After all, none of us were actually
there… Think about it, we are fighting over hearsay.

Peace be with you,
Guro Harrell

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Interview with Derobio's GreatGrandMaster Braulio Pedoy, from 1977.

Originally posted in the Eskrima Digest; a great FMA resource.

Message: 1
From: Ray Terry <>
To: (Eskrima)
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 15:23:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Eskrima] GGM Pedoy

Interview with Derobio’s GreatGrandMaster Braulio Pedoy, from 1977.

(FAH = Fighting Arts of Hawaii)
FAH: Where in the Philippines did you come from?

PEDOY: I came from Ormoc, Leyte.

FAH: When did you come to Hawaii?

PEDOY: I arrived in 1924. My destination was Olaa Plantation on the Big Island.

FAH: Why did you come to Hawaii?

PEDOY: My friend told me, “We go Hawaii. Hawaii is good — easy to make
money.” The temptation was in my mind, a conflict already with what my
Master told me on how I should live my life.

FAH: So you worked the plantations all your life?

PEDOY: No, I spent many years as a fisherman, and during the WWII, I was a
security guard for the Army. After that, I worked 11 years for Gaspro.
>From that time until now, I haven’t worked. That is my history from the
time I came to Hawaii. But if you go to my history in the Philippines,
there is a whole different story to tell. I went from island to island,
like my Master told me, to further my studies in Escrima. In every village,
there are different movements and counters. Kali has very different
movements than Derobio.

FAH: How long did you go from island to island?

PEDOY: Over three years.

FAH: How old were you when you did this?

PEDOY: I was 17 years old. I was 20 when I decided to go to Hawaii.

FAH: How long had you been training with your Master?

PEDOY: Since I was 6 years old until I was 17. And from there I went island
to island. First, however, my Master told me to study about the ocean, and
of the philosophy of the sea. If you were to climb to the top of a tree and
look into the ocean, you would see different shades of blue. The darker the
blue, the deeper the water. In the lighter areas it is shallow, rough, and
noisy. Many are at this level, close-minded people with conflicting goals
in life who tend to use their mouths loosely. We must look towards the
deeper water where it is calm and peaceful, where your morals run deep and
only pure thoughts come out of your mouth. Thus, you can observe for
yourself what is shallow and what is deep. In every one of us the Lord
provided seven gateways for us to observe the environment. Each of us has
two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and a mouth. Only the mouth can get us
into serious trouble with our fellow man — thus, one should be very careful
in what one says. Give good advice, don’t lie, and never gossip, for it
might not be true. Then you can get your humbleness from that.

FAH: When you came to Hawaii, were you a Master already?

PEDOY: Yes, I had developed already. I had been all over the Philippine

FAH: How did you meet your Master?

PEDOY: My father was a very mean person. Everyday he gave me lickings. So,
at 6 years of age, I ran away. I went along the main trail until I came to
a fork in it; one way to the big city, the other to the mountains. If I was
to go to town, my father might still yet catch me, so I went the other way.
I just walked with no destination. I just walked, walked, and walked. For
4 days, I roamed the forest. Then I saw a small shack where someone had, at
one time or another, built a fire. So I sat down and waited, for I thought
to myself, someone lives in this place, thank God. Later in the evening,
that man came back, and he was very surprised to see me. He asked how I had
come to this place, and I pointed to the pass in the mountains I had come
through. He said, “I know other people come from the opposite way to this
place, but no one can pass through your way — it’s too dangerous.”

FAH: What was so dangerous about the pass?

PEDOY: There were plenty of poisonous snakes that get bigger than men. But
at the time, I didn’t see any snakes during the day and at night I climbed
high into the branches of the trees. My Master told me, “God guided you to
me. He wanted you to learn how to defend yourself — so he brought you to
me, for that is the talent I have to give to you.”

FAH: What was your Master doing in this out-of-the way place?

PEDOY: My Master was a wanted man with a large reward offered for him.
That’s why he hid deep in the forest. He was a general during the
revolution against the Spanish. and again later during the Filipino-American
War. When the United States won and the Filipinos were required by law to
salute the American flag, he would not. To the Filipino flag, he would
salute, but to no other country’s flag he would show respect. Too many of
his men had died fighting for independence in the battlefields. That’s why
the authorities put him in jail. That man had great powers — no jail could
hold him. The guards were there, yet no one saw him escape.

FAH: And he went to the mountains?

PEDOY: Yes, he ran away to the forest. He was a man of great powers, powers
he received from heaven through his prayers. Snakes wouldn’t go near him,
animals wouldn’t eat the rice he planted. There was plenty of wild boars,
deer, and birds. But nothing touched his rice. We wouldn’t chase them away
either, just leave them alone. And when it was time to harvest, we would
thank the Lord for our food. See what power’s he had?

FAH: So when you were 17, you left your Master?

PEDOY: Yes, but before I was to return to civilization, I was told to study
the movements of the trees and of the ocean, to observe carefully the
motions of the branches in the wind. You must be able to get away from the
force of the blow and return to an equal, balanced position. Thus, to be an
Escrimador you have to carefully study the land and sea while also searching
for those unusual things in nature God has created. After 11 years, I went
back to my father’s place.

FAH: Did your father recognize you after 11 years?

PEDOY: Yes, he tried to hit me with a stick. I just took it away. I didn’t
hit him back. He asked me how I survived all these years. I told him I
found a man and we lived together in the forest. I stayed two or three
weeks with my father, then I went away. I didn’t tell him that I was going
from island to island to practice, I just left. He never learned anything
of what I had learned.

FAH: Didn’t you regret leaving your Master after 11 years?

PEDOY: My Master told me that this was no place for me to live all of my
life. He said I would have to leave after my examination.

FAH: What examination?

PEDOY: My final test to become Master of the Derobio system of Escrima.
Each of us had two sharp bolo knives. We were to fight in actual combat.
My Master told me, “If you can kill me, kill me. I in turn will try my best
to kill you. If either of us gets wounded badly, the other has to kill him
because there is no doctor, we would only suffer. So better defend yourself
well, or else.” Before the examination, I prayed for days, asking my Lord
Jesus Christ, to protect me. The battle was long and tiring; each of us
used our best fakes and counters. When it was over, he was unhurt, whereas
I suffered cuts on my hands and face. But only the tip of his bolos cut me,
not deep enough that I let down my defense.

FAH: When was the first time anyone knew you were a Master in Escrima?

PEDOY: Oh, I never showed anyone I knew Escrima. But when there was
trouble, my neighbors found out I knew how to defend myself. Especially
with newly-arrived Filipinos, when there was trouble, out came the knife.
When they would use it, I would take it away. That’s how they know I know
Escrima. But I never taught anybody before, only Eddie (his son).

FAH: And that was the first time you taught?

PEDOY: Yes, the first person I taught was my son, and only after he had
taken Karate. One time, however, some officers of the Honolulu Police
Department asked to learn. I showed them how easy it was for me to hit them
with my sticks. Soon they stopped coming over. Do you know why I started
training Eddie? Because I thought to myself about the Chinese martial art
of Kung Fu, about the Japanese with their Judo and Karate, and about the
Americans with their boxing. I know the Filipino community in Hawaii has
some good Escrimadors, but they never show or share their talent. That’s
why I began teaching Eddie — so that we could preserve a valuable part of
the Filipino culture and heritage, and to give an opportunity to the younger
Filipinos who don’t have Escrimadors in their families a chance to learn
Escrima, thereby increasing their pride in themselves and their heritage. I
then told Eddie to find instructors and to teach them well. Teach them to
pray, because that is also an important part of being an Escrimador. And
when you get your instructors ready, open a public Filipino Martial Arts
School. That is how our school began over five years ago, when we first
opened in Waipahu. Today I have nine full instructors under my son, who of

course is my chief instructor.