Filipino martial arts
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - March 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Two years ago, I visited my good friend, former world karate champion Mike Stone in Panglao, Bohol where he has been residing for over 30 years now.

Mike was undefeated in 91 tournaments and was listed in the Book of Guinness Flying Sidekick. 

He starred and did the fight choreography of the American Ninja movie series.

My connection with Mike is that he was Pricilla Presley’s karate instructor in Los Angeles and I’m an Elvis tribute artist.

Back to Bohol, the first thing that struck me when I entered Mike’s house was the hundreds of memorabilia of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Ed Parker and Filipino non chaku master Dan Inosanto (remember him in the movie Game of Death?)

Actually, Dan was a protégé of Bruce Lee who improved the discipline Jeet Kun Do when Lee died. 

But did you know that Dan was hired by the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL to be their strength and conditioning coach?

The Cowboys then was an aging team and realized that martial arts training could be the answer in helping them preserve their player’s energy in the field. 

Inosanto then applied several movements during training including Filipino style techniques, such as the “Hubad” drill which Inosanto said “turbo-charged” their hands.

The result? the Cowboys won Super Bowl XII. 

Mike Stone showed me a big portrait of Inosanto and several black belts and of course the “non chaku”.

Doug Marcaida

Another famous Pinoy martial arts expert is Doug Marcaida who developed bladed weapons such as knives, axes and swords.

Marcaida came to the States after joining the U.S Air Force and it was in El Paso, Texas where he was introduced to the petikitirsia style. 

Marcaida returned to the Philippines so he could train further with head of pekititirsia, Leo Gaje Jr. 

Would you believe Leo who comes from Guimaras Province worked with our advertising venture called Ad Trac in the late Sixties in Iloilo City? 

Leo is considered to be the founder of Kali or arnis or Escrima.

 Leo wanted to teach me Kali but I have to move to Manila so I could enroll at De La Salle.

That’s when I started to hook up with an Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate Club called Commando Self-Defense under red belt Latino Gonzales, father of action star Roberto Gonzales.

In 1970, I earned my black belt.

Did you know?

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS used to play strictly, for laughs, the opponents and referees are all part of the act but can they play serious basketball? In 1948, the Minneapolis Lakers led by 6’10” George Mikan was the class of the NBA after demolishing most of their opponents.  The Lakers wanted to meet the Globetrotters so a game was set on February 19 at the Chicago Stadium.

More than 17, 853 fans packed the Arena. Marques Haynes gave the Lakers trouble right from the start with his dribbling and passing and with two minutes remaining, Haynes knocked a 15-footer as the Trotters went ahead 59-58.  But Mikan evened the score with a foul shot.  As the final seconds ticked, Haynes zipped a pass to Elmer Robinson who dunked as the buzzer sounded, giving the Trotters a 61-59 upset victory.

The Lakers thought the victory was a fluke and asked for a rematch. The following year, the two teams meet again.  This time, 20,000 filled the Arena with 5,000 being turned away.  After leading 41-32 in the third quarter, the Trotters began to clown again which almost cost them the game. The Trotters recovered to win 49-48.  Rookie Sweetwater Clifton held the great Mikan to 19 points.  The Trotters are not a laughing matter after all.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with