Yaw-Yan stands the test of time, marks 49th founding anniversary

(The Freeman) - August 22, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  In a simple yet meaningful way, Yaw-Yan ArDigma will be commemorating its 49th founding anniversary today, August 22.

What makes the event extra special is that it coincides with the birthday of Grandmaster Napoleon “Nap” A. Fernandez, the revered “Father of Yaw-Yan”.

Also known as “Sayaw ng Kamatayan (Dance of Death)”, Yaw-Yan is a Filipino style of kickboxing.

 Introduced to the public by Fernandez in 1972, Yaw-Yan includes elements of striking, takedowns, grappling, arnis stick and knife fighting, and additional kickboxing material. Since then, it has dominated the kickboxing scene in the country and has proven very effective against other stand-up fighting arts.

But unlike during the past years when they celebrate their anniversary with a grand get-together at their headquarters, Yaw-Yan ArDigma founder Master Benigno “Ekin” R. Cabiga Jr. said they will mark their special day in their hearts with prayers.

“Because gatherings are still not allowed during this time, we just have to commemorate our 49 good years with thanksgiving in our hearts and a mass offering for the soul of the late GM Nap. Hopefully next year when things get back to normal, we could have a grand celebration,” Master Ekin said.

Master Ekin said he is very grateful that Yaw-Yan have reached this far despite all the trials and tribulations they went through especially now with the worldwide pandemic that put sporting events in a complete halt.

“I am very thankful that we’ve reached another year. All my sacrifices are worth it,” said Master Ekin. “Despite this pandemic, I tried my best that our Yaw-Yan Gym is here to stay. And even if Grandmaster Nap is no longer with us, I will continue to teach Yaw-Yan especially to the young ones that they may indulge themselves in sports and stay away from vices.”

There may be challenges along the way but Master Ekin takes pride that Yaw-Yan has blossomed into what it is now today, a popular and world-renowned Filipino martial arts.

“I’m very happy and proud that Yaw-Yan ArDigma has grown over the years. I sacrificed a lot in propagating it here and abroad especially in the United States and Europe. I would like to extend my profound gratitude to my students that they bring the name of Yaw-Yan in their gym as a Filipino martial arts,” said Master Ekin. — EBV

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