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2010
11.04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The month of October is known as Filipino American history month. In celebration of the event, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) presented a screening of the documentary film, “The Great Pinoy Boxing Era”.

As part of the presentation, a panel of nationally known Filipino martial artists and scholars were invited to speak at the event. Among the martial artists were Guro Dan Inosanto and Gura Rosie Abriam. Presentations were also given by Professor Linda Espana-Maram and Gem Daus.

Guro Dan is a legend in the martial arts community. As a former training partner of Bruce Lee, Guro Dan is an authority on martial arts such as kali, escrima, silat, and jeet kune do. His impressive list of credentials includes styles such as muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and shootwrestling.

Gura Rosie Abriam, originally from San Francisco, is a Gura of the fifth degree of the Kamatuuran school of kali.   She is the President of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. Due to a shoulder injury, Gura Rosie was unable to participate in the martial arts demonstration, but had encouraging stories to tell about her experiences in martial arts and self defense.

As part of the presentation, Guro Dan demonstrated techniques such as disarming, wraps, throws, locks, and chokes.  The techniques included the usage of weapons (e.g. sticks, daggers) and the usage of empty handed techniques (filipino boxing).  While executing the techniques, Guro Dan simultaneously described important concepts and principles such as the 12 areas of instruction in kali. While showing different weapons, Guro Dan said, “If you learn the stick, you will learn the sword.”

Between the execution of his demonstrations, Guro Dan went into detail about Filipino martial arts history. In certain areas of the Philippines, if you were caught practicing martial arts, you were put to death, he said.

The event did not go unnoticed by the local (D.C.) martial arts community. Some of the local instructors included professor Pedro Sauer (Red and Black Belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu), Kru Dennis Barongan (Jeff Gordon Mixed Martial Arts), Guro Bryan Mossey (Pedro Sauer Academy), and Kru Alvin Chan (Maryland Thai Boxing). From Canada, Ajarn Bob Carver brought his friends and team down for the presentation.

It was a special event as students were reunited with their instructors and people witnessed a very rare event on the east coast. With many of his students watching in the crowd, Guro Dan noted that, “they are very important to me.”

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