Mano, Po!

Last night on CBS, millions of viewers around the world watched “Tuhon”, the latest episode in the incredibly successful NCIS: Los Angeles television series.  The Sayoc community has been excited to see this episode since NCIS: LA writer and producer (and Sayoc brother) Dave Kalstein revealed it’s title several months ago.


As a student under Guro Brian Calaustro’s Tribal Tactics group in Los Angeles, Dave has infused the Sayoc system into the show since 2012, effectively showcasing techniques in knife fighting, stick grappling and mental training.  He has also brought in Tuhons, Full Instructors and Guros as advisors, notably Tuhon Rafael Kayanan, a Sayoc Tuhon and world recognized illustrator in his own right.


Galactus but Tuhon Rafael Kayanan
Galactus but Tuhon Rafael Kayanan

In addition to utilizing blades designed by Tuhon Rafael, Tuhon Carl Atienza and Guro Harley Elmore, the show has also brought on guests such as Ernie Reyes, Jr. and as of last night, Danny Trejo.

Atienza EDC4 2

Atienza EDC4 3

Crafted by Guro Harley Elmore
Crafted by Guro Harley Elmore

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While the world sat entertained with the spectacular fight design, vigilant observers and Sayoc students everywhere were thrilled to see Tuhon Carl Atienza mixing it up with LL Cool J, Danny Trejo getting mileage out of his Sayoc Winkler Hawk, use of a “trapo”, references to our Sayoc mental training, characteristic phrases and even authentic tribal artwork.  Filipinos everywhere heard the Tagalog language in the background of the bar scene, and were particularly impressed with the demonstration and explanation of “Mano, Po.”  A gesture of respect, the “mano, po” is not only distinctively Filipino but kept alive in both practice and meaning within our own Sayoc training.  

As spectacular as our Filipino Martial Arts are, as beautiful as our Filipina pageant winners are and as trendy as Filipino food has become, the inclusion of this simple cultural tradition on a prime time television show no less, is one of the most authentic and meaningful deeds that Dave Kalstein and NCIS: LA (or anyone in television or film for that matter) have done on air.  And just like the episode itself, the “mano, po” is a salute to Pamana Tuhon Sayoc, his family, our Tuhons and our entire tribe.

Lakas Filipino Martial Arts is proud to be a part of this one, incredible tribe.

Watch the episode online HERE!

Images from Sayoc Kali, Tuhon Rafael Kayanan, Tuhon Carl Atienza & Guro Harley Elmore

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