Sayoc Combat Choreography

Sayoc Combat Choreography (SCC) is the entertainment branch of the Sayoc Global organization. Spearheaded by Tuhon Rafael Kayanan, SCC has produced captivating and frighteningly realistic combative scenes with some of the biggest names in the motion picture and television industry. Guro Dan Inosanto has said that what works in real life doesn’t always look the best in movies, and what looks great in movies doesn’t always work in reality. SCC has demonstrated that with thought and application, the technology of Sayoc Kali can in fact be represented in a way that honors the deadly effectiveness of the system, while still entertaining the most critical and untrained viewers.

Recently Tuhon Rafael Kayanan and Guro Brian Calaustro worked with music and movie star LL Cool J and the cast of NCIS: LA. Stay tuned for information as to when their work will air!

From the Sayoc Combat Choreography website:

Amongst other fighting disciplines, Rafael is a Master Level Instructor in Sayoc Kali. He has competed and won both full contact stick fighting matches as well as forms competitions. Rafael has also choreographed hundreds of live demos and stage events that feature the martial arts all over the country. Historical sword play, staff and exotic weaponry are part of his studies.

Rafael is the Tomahawk and Edged Weapons Instructor for the Sayoc Tactical Team.

Another of Rafael’s talents is in art, having professionally illustrated and developed concept designs for every major comic book and gaming company the past twenty years. Titles he has worked on include CONAN, STAR WARS, MAGIC THE GATHERING, and BATMAN. His designs for TUROK helped it launch as the highest selling video game of that year. Kayanan supplied the HUNTED with fight story boards that combined his visual and martial arts expertise. Kayanan also devised several innovative visual aids which assisted several departments on the set to cohesively follow the progression of the groundbreaking choreography in the film.

Rafael has also contributed visual concept art on the following licenses and clients: LORD OF THE RINGS, ESPN, FISHER PRICE, R.A. SALVATORE’s THE DARK ELF SERIES, SPIDER-MAN Musical, Tarsem’s IMMORTALS, DARK HORSE, MARVEL, DC COMICS, VERTIGO and the Opening Ceremony of the BEIJING SUMMER OLYMPICS 2008.

Critical Commentary on Sayoc Combat Choreography for the HUNTED:

Harry Knowles, AICN.

“…It is far more intense than I think you may be expecting,though not so much in a gory fashion, but in a kinetic way brought on by brutal editing and sound mixing. And yes, a knife is shown to be as brutal as a knife could ever be. 

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

“They both know the techniques of hand-to-hand combat, but in real life, it isn’t scripted, and you know what? It isn’t so easy. We are involved in the immediate, exhausting, draining physical work of fighting… physical action of a high order.“

Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

The strength of the picture is in the rude, blunt physicality of its fight sequences (particularly its final
showdown that should endure as one of the bloodiest onscreen knife fights in history)

Tom Long, Detroit News

“… beyond the usual Hollywood fare. Ignoring the old-school John Wayne roundhouse punch approach
as well as the new high-kicking martial arts dances, Del Toro and Jones attack each other with a cascade of fast slaps and jabs that look frighteningly real.”

Vic Vogler, Denver Post

“… quick, balletic, authentic. There is nothing celebratory or gratuitous in the men’s violence. It is, in fact, an homage to the animals each reveres and protects in his own way.”

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle

“…masterfully choreographed if excruciating close-quarter bouts”

David Edelstein, MSN

I’ve seen a lot of fighting in movies in the last few years, but this seemed likethe first real fighting in ages.

Chuck Rudolph, Slant Magazine

“… achieve an incendiary artlessness of movement and ferocity that is infrequently seen in over-the-top, patently stagy movie combat.”

Sean O’Connell, Eclipse Magazine

“In an era of wire battles and CGI combat, it’s strangely refreshing to see two dudes bare-knuckle their way through the back-alley bar brawls that “Hunted” features.”

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

“Choreographed in the distinctive Sayoc Kali style, the up-close-and-personal combat scenes are much more convincing than anything in Steven Seagal’s entire oeuvre.”

About Guro Brian Calaustro and Tribal Tactics:

Tribal Tactics head instructor is Guro Brian Calaustro.  He has over 20 years experience studying and training in the martial arts. His most extensive training is as a student of Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc in his family art of Sayoc Kali. Guro Brian began his training in this art in 1993 and never looked back.  Guro Brian was an original member of the first training group ever of Sayoc Kali, established in 1994 in Rockland, NY and in Pleasantville, NY. Guro Brian also had the privilege to go under the intensive tutelage of Tatang Baltazar Sayoc in the Sayoc Finger Touch system and is one of the few certified to teach Tatang Bo’s system.  Without a doubt, Pamana Tuhon Chris  and the Sayoc family is the biggest influence in his training.

Guro Brian has also had the privilege to train with Tuhon Allain and Tuhon Carl of  Atienza Kali.  He considers himself fortunate to be able to train with the Atienza family.  Their training methodologies and tactics make them truly one of the unique and most effective (battle-tested) arts around.

In addition to these arts Guro Brian has also trained in various other arts including Karate, Sambo, Silat and Chinese Shuai Jiao.


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