Magtutudlo (Cebuano). Teacher. Instructor. Coach. Mentor.
When I left the Patalinghug Family in Maryland to move to Los Angeles, the first Doce Pares instructor I got in touch with was Guro (Magtutudlo) Ramon Rubia. He was my first and only Doce Pares Eskrima teacher in California, as well as a major influence in my understanding of Filipino Martial Arts. A consummate researcher and scholar, Guro Ramon has traveled to Cebu many times and trained and learned from old masters, original students and digging into nearly forgotten documents in libraries, town halls and even homes. He once asked me what Eskrima is, and after a stuttered response of martial art from the Philippines, he said simply the definition I have used for Filipino Martial Arts ever since.
“Eskrima is mastery of the weapon.”
Whether the weapon is the massive rope whips from Cebu that required at least four men to weave (pulling and tugging from various spots around the room, then maneuvering to different positions and angles), the floating sword styles of the “Christian blades”, the fire hardened double sticks, or the empty hand Combat Judo, this simple definition helped me conceptualize our art. As a former engineer, then LAPD, Guro Ramon continues to propagate his family arts of Doce Pares (“Lolo Momoy”, “Lolo Cacoy” and “Uncle Diony” are his wife’s relatives), De Campo, Balintawak or any other systems, Guro Ramon truly is a Magtutudlo. A tremendous resource, historian and ambassador in Eskrima, it continues to be a privilege to count his as one of my main influences.