The Batikan’s Visions

The Bakitan had long talks with GM Ty and I about bring combat Derobio into the 20th century, from a combat art of war ( where the Derobio warrior strikes first) to a self defense system within a modern society ( Where Derobio waits for the opponent to strike first). Eddie was the first to admit that his father’s style of training was too intense for the average person who wanted to learn Escrima.

The Bakitan vision was to widen the bases of students from adult males, to the general public. He created kids classes from 6 years old and encourage us to train and create female instructors. He mentioned to us that the kids will make Derobio famous, but we cannot only work on their movements, the big question is what type of individuals these kids will grow up when they become adults? The Baktian encouraged us to teach the kids respect and humbleness and to talk to their parents about these traits, so the kids have a foundation for their talents. He told us to let the kids have fun in class but keep the discipline so no one get hurt. If a child doesn’t listen, whips their stick or disrupts class, The Bakitan would tell the parent “ we are not a baby sitting center, your child can come back when he or she can behave themselves in class.

The Bakitan urged Master Carlton to teach his daughters Carlee and Cristen at an early age, also shown in picture is Lane Fujioka

The Bakitan’s second vision for the future of the school has to do with training and creating female instructors. He believed that there is a huge untapped market in training females. Escrima is the perfect martial art for women because the weapon is the equalizer. He would always comment what his father said about the Escrimadoras in the Philippines they were fantastic fighters; more fluidly, faster and more cunning than the male fighters. The Batikan dreamed of women Pedoy School of Escrima instructors teaching all girl classes. He felt that girls want to learn from girls, when they see a female instructor, they will have confidence that they can do the movements too.

About two years before Eddie died, The Bakitan had an instructor’s meeting with GGM Tyrone, Maestro Keoni and I. He wanted to go over his funeral arrangements, what he would wear in the casket, who would carry his body and other minuet details of his funeral. He asked me to speak again on behalf of the instructors and students, but this time at his funeral. Needless to say I felt very uncomfortable in this meeting; it was the first time I ever hear anyone talked about their own funeral arrangements. But that was the kind of guy The Batikan was, never afraid to face death and never afraid to talk about it.

Shown are three of Chief Instructor Peter's five daughters, hopefully all future instructors of Derobio

The Batikan used to come to the downtown branch school as much as he could. Just before he got really sick for the last time, he talked to me about GGM Tyrone and Keoni. He was so proud of both of them. He told me, “We really have to support all of GGM Tyrone’s ideas. I use to have a lot of questions about his ideas, what about this and what about that? But now, I no longer question his decisions, I just say, I support you and I will be there, let’s go! I am so proud and amazed how far the School has come in such a short time.” In regards to Keoni, The Bakitan told me that same night, “ Keoni reminds me of my father, so humble. I am so proud of him winning so many Escrima Tournaments. I have no worries about the next generation that will lead the Pedoy School of Escrima.”

Chief Master Leslie trains his son Jerry in bolo and knive fighting

Towards the end of Eddie’s life, we became such good friends, yet he was still the head of the school and The Bakitan. But out of respect for his instructors, he would always ask our opinion on important decisions. He called me regularly and wanted to know every detail of every class, and each student and what were going on with the Trustee of the Moncado Church. The Bakitan was a great man, the first generation of the Escrimadors in the US. The Bakitan accomplished so many things in his life time: he was instrumental in the starting of the Pedoy School of Escrima, creating the big man style of Derobio, creating kid classes and the one who started training Derobio women instructors. We need to always remember and respect The Bakitan, not only as the Great Grand Master’s son but has one of the great Derobio Masters of modern times.

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