Guro Joel Leon started his martial arts training when he began boxing at the age of twelve and continued with wrestling throughout high school. In 2004 he began serious training in Eskrima. He continued expanding his knowledge with Jeet Kun Do which introduced him to Panatukan along with other forms of Eskrima. He has been training with the Applied Eskrima Global group headed by Master Virgil Cavada since 2009. Under Master Virgil he received the rank of Guro and was certified to teach the not only the art, but also to be an ambassador for the Filipino Martial arts. Applied Eskrima is a complete system in of itself, but is also great for building attributes like balance, spacial awareness and mental focus. For more information about Applied Eskrima visit www.appliedeskrima.com or you can subscribe for online tutorials at www.eskrimachannel.com .
Eskrima, also known as Arnis or Kali, is a weapon based martial art of the Philippines. It is not only it’s national sport, it has a long history of use in conflicts going back though the long history of the island nation. Some of the major episodes when Filipino martial arts were used was during the Spanish Colonial period (1573-1899), the American occupation (1899-1946), and Japanese occupation during WWII. Among these episodes, some notable events are as follows:
- In the late 13th century, Srivijayan refuges from the island of Java in modern day Indonesia fled to the Visayan islands of the central Philippines. These refugees were displaced due to the expansion of their rival, the Madjapahit Empire (Eastern java). The Srivijayans brought their technology of forged metal blades to the Visaysas along with organized systems of combat
- In 1521, The Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan met his death by the blade of Datu Lapu Lapu on the shore of Mactan Island.
- During the American occupation, the U.S. military changed the duty issue pistol from the .38 to the .45 based on countless encounters with Moro warriors in which the .38 lacked the stopping power to prevent them Moros from closing the distance and dispatching the U.S. soldiers with their long blades.
Only recently have the Filipino Arts become more conspicuous around the world. More and more frequently, Filipino Martial Arts or FMA is beginning to experience the popularity of other traditional Asian arts. Eskrima is different from other Asian martial arts in that the student is taught to fight with and against weapons first. This type of training improves manual dexterity in the practitioner and also builds fast reflexes and correct conditioned responses to a variety of attacks. Although it is weapons based, Eskrima uses punching, kicking, and grappling techniques.