Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The indigenous Filipino Martial Arts, Lakan Kali gains popularity in the law Enforcement

I have always been a fan of martial arts and I’m fascinated by anything indigenous -- everything that is true-blue Filipino in nature. So when I first saw the interview of Matt Damon in the film Bourne Identity, I was surprised to hear him explaining how he learned a cool martial art which originated in the Philippines. One of the highlights of that film was the fight scene between Jason Bourne and a Threadstone agent assassin where Jason (Matt Damon) used a pen as a weapon against his opponent, hitting on the vital parts of his enemy and eventually subduing him down. The fighting style that was ingeniously choreographed is no other than the Lakan-Kali.

From then on, many Hollywood action films followed, such as “The Hunted” starring Venicio Del Torro and Tommy Lee Jones, that also featured the Lakan-Kali fighting style. Presently, this Filipino martial art has gained and crossed over its popularity from the movies to US law Enforcement, such as the State Police Force, FBI, Navy Seals and US Special Forces. Of course, the Philippine National Police is never left out in mastering this martial art that is, in the first place, inherently ours.

Last November 21, 2012, the Philippine National Police Training Institute celebrated its annual sports fest with a different kind presentation. About two thousand police cadets simultaneously executed a synchronized field demonstration of Lakan-Kali. Headed by Police Chief Inspector Serafin Petalio, a.k.a. Lakan-Kali Grand Master, who first instituted to integrate the Filipino martial arts as the standard basic self-defense and counter offense to be taught in the police academy.

The demonstration was witnessed by the guest of honor Ms. Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, the daughter of Philippine Public Safety College President Ms. Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco, who has been a loyal supporter of improving the law-enforcement in the Philippines. In the past eight years, Ms. Cojuangco has sponsored countless developments in the structure of the Philippine Police Academy; one of which is the application of Lakan-Kali to be the standard police self-defense system, improving the training facilities for the police cadets in training, and improving digital capabilities of the academy by putting up a state-of-the-art CCT monitoring system within the areas of Camp Gen. Vicente Lim. 

Police Chief Inspector Petalio expressed that Lakan-Kali or Kali, apart from being both an effective deadly and non-lethal way of subduing an assailant, is an advocacy that many Filipinos should learn. It has been evident that in many health and fitness gyms that are sprouting around, self-defense that were being taught there are all foreign like, Tae-Kwon-Do, Thai-boxing, Capoiera (Brazilian martial arts) and Krav-Maga which is Israeli in origin. Grand Master Petalio further expressed his vision that Kali may someday be taught in these gyms as well and be known throughout the country and even around the world.

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