PHILIPPINE FOOT FIGHTING
from the Sikaran Web
Sikaran started in the jungles of Luzon in the
Philippines and it is the only classical Philippine style of Karate. Much
of the original history is lost, however, Sikaran did exist
when the islands were discovered by the Spanish in 1521.
It is a style of karate in which the legs are
very strong. There are several kicks which have earned Sikaran the
popularity it enjoys and are responsible for the strength of the
legs of it's participants. The Biachi (similar to a hook kick)
and the Batamba (flying spinning back kick) are deceiving to an
opponent trying to block them. The front kick, roundhouse
kick, and the side thrust kicks are executed in such a manner that
the knee does not snap (which causes much of the damage to that
joint seen in martial arts today). There are also many types
of flying and spinning flying kicks.
The hands are used to block and parry and there
are some hand strikes used only by Sikaran practitioners. These
techniques include Pangahilos (paralyzing blocks, strikes, and
kicks) followed by Pamatory (potentially fatal blows).
Sikaran is a tough style with it's roots
going back to ancient tradition in the Philippines. One of
these traditions involved dating. If two young men wished
to woo a young lady, they would place their sandals on her doorstep. If
she wished to accept one of them she would bring his sandals inside. If
she would not choose, the two men would fight to the death with
their wrists tied together by a cord and a Balisong (butterfly
knife) in the other hand. Often the winner was in no shape
to claim her hand. Fortunately some of the older traditions
have been omitted.
Under Marcos' rule, the Balisong was outlawed
in the Philippines, but it's study is included in the Sikaran schools
in the U.S. along with the other classical weaponry. The Sikaran style
today includes all of the traditional Philippine weapons including
sticks, Balisong, kris, etc.
Under Spanish rule, laws were passed outlawing
the study of martial arts and
it was necessary for the practitioners to hide their study of the
art. This is why there are no shouts in the Sikaran system
to this day.
When Grandmaster Louis Lagarejos came to the united
states, he brought with him all of the original Sikaran techniques
and there were few knowledgeable people left in the Philippines
to carry out the art and it seemed to have died out. Some
attempts have been made to revive this "lost" art, however,
it has been alive and well in the U.S. For over 50 years.