“It was in 1950 during my vacation in Sabang, Sibonga, in Cebu, the birthplace of my father, where I met Maning Tenebro, who became my first instructor in combat judo and arnis. He was a polite, calm, wholesome, and reserved person, and was one of the most respected men in the barrio of Sabang. His father was a faith healer. Maning himself offered to teach me and a nephew of my sister’s husband combat judo and arnis in preparation for the Sabang barrio fiesta demonstration. At the time, I was still an elementary school student, so I had enough time to practice with Master Maning, especially during vacation. As I became more interested, I wanted to improve my techniques. I wanted to practice everyday, since I was schooling in Cebu City. We practiced every Saturday and Sunday. One time Maning told me that his instructor was Doring Saavedra. Nevertheless, at that time I was not interested in knowing who discovered the said art or the style or where it came from. I just hungered for techniques – just teach me how to fight, protect, or defend myself if my life was in danger.
After I graduated from the Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT), I got a job as a security guard there. That was when I met Master Fernando Candawan from Doce Pares. In a short time, he became my instructor in combat judo and arnis. Master Candawan was also working in the Registrar’s Office at CIT. We practiced at the CIT compound every night from 8:00 to 11:00. Master Candawan, aside from being a combat judo and arnis practitioner, was also a judo (Japanese) player. He was a former boxer and bodybuilder. After a few months working as a security guard, I was transferred to the Registrar’s Office where Master Candawan also worked. A few months later, we organized a club with some combat judo and arnis enthusiasts. That was the formal birth of DUREX Judo-Arnis-Karate Club in the headquarters inside CIT. In addition to eskrima/arnis (stick defense) and combat judo (knife defense), we also offered Korean martial arts: Moo Duk Kwan (Tang Soo Do). In the same year, we affiliated the DUREX Judo-Arnis-Karate Club to the Doce Pares headquarters and our Tang Soo Do to the headquarters in Bacolod City under Grandmaster Casimiro “Chingi” Grandeza. We personally talked to Grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete about our affiliation to Doce Pares Club, and I went to Bacolod City to meet with Grandmaster Grandeza to inform him of our intention to affiliate with the Moo Duk Kwan (Tang Soo Do) Association.
However, in early 1966, Master Candawan left Cebu to pursue a job in the Registrar’s Office at the University of Mindanao. Nevertheless, I maintained our practice in CIT every Sunday morning. We had a strength of more than one hundred, all CIT students, and were able to expand our club to Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; Minglanilla, Cebu; Butuan City, Mindanao; Cagayan de Oro City; and Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Later I went to the club of Grandmaster Filemon “Momoy” Cañete, within walking distance, and to the Doce Pares headquarters within the house of Grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete. Unknown to all then, I had private lessons with Grandmaster Momoy Cañete, especially in espada y daga and double arnis amara. Grandmaster Momoy was a secretive man; I like that. Almost every Sunday afternoon I attended practice with his senior students, such as Ben Culanag, Ben Irog-irog, Peryong, and Banoy Borja. I really practiced with Grandmaster Momoy after all his students left class. He refrained me from joining the advanced students. However, I always followed his advice and his instructions not to tell or give to anyone what I have learned from him. As I said earlier, he was a very secretive man. That is why even in DUREX Club, nobody knew that I was practicing with Grandmaster Momoy Cañete because I was afraid he might not teach me anymore. Grandmaster Momoy had so many locks in combat judo and espada y daga. He had a beautiful long-range style and arnis kata. Maybe no one knew that Grandmaster Momoy and my mother-in-law were very close friends, and that the former house of my mother-in-law was very close to the house of Momoy. Grandmaster Momoy was also a faith healer, so when my mother-in-law got sick, he would use his oracion (prayer) to cure her. Once when I got a severe headache, Grandmaster Momoy applied his oracion by holding the back of my head, and within 30 seconds the headache was gone. I was always curious about his ability to heal, and if it had anything to do with his expertise in arnis or espada y daga. I invited Grandmaster Momoy to dinner, and had the chance to talk to him about his extraordinary skill in healing through the use of oracion, but was afraid to open my mouth. Before I went to Saudi Arabia, I met Grandmaster Eulogio “Yulling” Cañete. I cannot forget his advice to me: “Don’t forget the techniques that you learned from your instructor”; it is the same Doce Pares style. Later he told me to always search for techniques to improve my style and abilities.
I remember during the Doce Pares annual celebration, all clubs affiliated with Doce Pares would give a demonstration, including the DUREX Club. But the most awaited performers were the grandmasters. Every time they demonstrated, I always watched their movements, footwork, and the flow of their hands in applying techniques. However, I did my own research with my own techniques, and refined them, developing my speed and
power, along with my knowledge in Korean Tang Soo Do punches, elbow strikes, kicking, stance, and stamina.
When I was in Saudi Arabia, I became a member of the WTSDA (World Tang Soo Do Association), based in Philadelphia, under Grandmaster Jae Shin, and I received the Gold Lifetime Membership of said association. Later, I also became a member of WOMA (World Organizer of Martial Arts) in Saudi Arabia under Grandmaster Tianero.
I am indebted to all of the grandmasters and students I have trained with throughout my martial arts career, especially to my personal instructor, Grandmaster Fernando “Nanding” Candawan, for his influence and role in my martial arts skills; to Grandmaster Filemon “Momoy” Cañete, for his patience, wisdom, and trust in me not only as a martial artist, but also as a protector of his secret techniques; to my first Korean martial arts instructor, Manuel “Maning” Yu; to Grandmaster Casimiro “Chingi” Gradenza, President of the Philippine Moo Duk Kwan (Korean Tang Soo Do) of Bacolod City; and to Maning “Undo” Tenebro.
In October of 2003, I came to join my wife as an immigrant here in the United States. At the same time I was also invited as a representative from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines for a World Tang Soo Do tournament held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since being here in the states, I have conducted a 4-part seminar in arnis, in cooperation with the Ferrer Academy of Martial Arts in Cypress, California.”
Grandmaster Gerardo B. Alcuizar, Ph.D. M.A. (1934 – 2007)
Judan Kuro Obi – 10th Dan Red Belt-Soke
Founder and President, World Eskrido Federation and DUREX Philippines
Executive Examiner, Certified World Grandmaster
August 1989 was an epic-making year. Spearheaded by chief instructor Grandmaster Gerardo B. “Larry” Alcuizar and a handful of energetic, sports-minded individuals and self-defense enthusiasts, he transformed a dream into reality by forming and founding the World Eskrido Federation (WEF) at King Khalid Air Base Sports Complex, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. WEF concentrated on Arnis/Kali/Garote (Stickfighting) and Combat Judo (Knife Defense), with some karate influence. Grandmaster Alcuizar devoted much of his time to the propagation and development of the art, taking a more direct and scientific approach.
The World Eskrido Federation was organized to help develop strict discipline in sportsmanship, promote sound mind and body, and improve skill and stamina. In addition, the training received allowed members to enhance the moral and social responsibility of the youth, thus minimizing and completely eliminating delinquency. The philosophy taught within the WEF curriculum involved the following:
1) Develop the physical, mental, and social emotions of an individual.
2) Provide guidance to students in the training of self-defense, physical fitness, self-control, and mental discipline which contributes to nonviolence.
3) Develop the student’s ability to gain the rare knowledge of knowing how to win without fighting, benefitting others as well as within.
4) Guide students by imparting in their minds what Eskrido could do as part of physical education in the moral, physical, and spiritual development of an individual.
Within the aspects of learning any martial art, discipline training is a must. Through this training, students gain a moral philosophy of obedience and a sense of duty and respect. The overall philosophy of the art is to help develop each student’s individual character, mental strength, and respect for others as well as the ability to do what is right, rather than what is easy or wrong. Not long after, many people from different parts of Khamis Mushayt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, began to join WEF. Each member was screened to be of good moral and social standing.
To date, the majority of the members are Filipino, along with other nationalities. At present, WEF has several branches scattered in the Assir Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).
Grandmaster Alcuizar has used the term “Eskrido” as a combination of Eskrima, Arnis, and Combat Judo and registered the name of “World Eskrido Federation” in the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
From the day that Grandmaster Larry arrived in the United States to his very last day, he has been training Ronald Manrique as his successor. With the full blessing of Grandmaster Larry and the Alcuizar family, Guro Ronald Manrique has been fully commissioned to teach Eskrido de Alcuizar.