CTU eskrima-kali-arnis greats conquer China

CTU team with coach Cesario Perez (C) celebrates after winning world title in arnis during the competition held in China this month.

Winning in China last week in a team performance made faculty member Cesarion Perez and students Dexler Bolambao and Kenrey Bautista proud members of the CTU community for promoting  Filipino martial arts to the world.

The 6-man team had all three of them performing and three more from the Philippines in the competition category composed of “form” and “sparring” that lasted 17 minutes.

“Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the Visayas Ramon Fernandez was grateful to hear of their accomplishment,” said Perez in an interview, who relayed the commissioner’s response.

It was a tourney filled with awe from seven countries and 23 local Chinese arnis federations that have been swayed to learn the Pinoy culture. Arnis or most commonly known in Cebuano-Visayan language as eskrima identifies fighting with two combatants.

The event organizer in China congratulated Perez and the team and spoke of the audience’s shocked response of their performance and their description of the sport as ‘deadly’ (which he explained as something uttered for their inability to fully describe what they had seen.)”

It is not deadly but the words “precise, interesting, awesome and very realistic” are those that should have been put to mind when it comes to arnis according to him as Perez recalled the organizer’s perception.

Indeed the sport uses real sword like the country’s old weapons “kris” and “kampilan” which he and the members utilized  to complete their routine.

Doce Pares,the country’s  oldest organization, has operated since 1939 and Perez happens to be one of its scholars, leading him to the sport which entitles him the right to  engage in professional combats in different countries.

With World Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation (WEKAF), the biggest federation hosting a tournament, DocePares members are launched to the world to showcase extraordinary talents different from the global perspective of martial arts.

Perez created the CTU  team in 2010, which comprised of five members including  Bolambao and Bautista who grabbed gold in 2016 in many categories.Both of them thanked Doce Pares family in an interview for  allowing them to taste victory for the second time at the world stage. 

Looking up to their coach, both students are aware of his prolific career being a world champion also as  Perez bagged gold in 2004, 2008 and 2011. 

Perez broke the news of an invitation to compete in Paris sometime this year. Details have yet to be known from Doce Pares which shouldered all expenses in their latest trip.

He admitted China was not the only destination this year. Indonesia and Korea would have been major venues but  passport for some of the CTU participants who are Doce Pares members was one of the constraints. RM