KALI – ESCRIMA


O2 Martial Arts is extremely pleased to offer Kali-Escrima class or Filipino Stickfighting. Master Erwin Legaspi was a long time student of the legendary Snookie Sanchez. Many different styles of stick fighting are covered in this class which include double stick, single stick, knife, sword, and empty hand techniques. The classes are taught in an extremely safe, but effective manner. Come by to check out a class and remember that the first class you take is FREE!

The Filipino weapon art of Kali-Escrima consist of various techniques that can be applied through the use of rattan sticks, knives, and even empty hand techniques. Angles and different levels of attacks provide this extremely efficient and effective weapon art to be an extremely valuable skill to possess. The makeshift substitutes of weapons used in this class can easily be found in a numerous of locations if you ever need to defend yourself against multiple attackers or assailants yielding weapons themselves. O2’s weapon specialist, Erwin Legaspi was long time student of the late legendary “Snookie” Sanchez. Erwin has been taking Jiu-Jitsu for a long time so the Kali-Escrima techniques have been modified to best compliment standing and ground techniques. He teaches Kali-Escrima, a stick, knife and empty hand Filipino martial art.

Snookie “Eustaquio” Sanchez:
Snookie “Eustaquio” Sanchez studied the martial arts from a very young age. He grew up in Kahuku in plantation village. He has a son, Snookie Jr. “Eustaquio Sanchez also knowns as Snookie Boy when his father was still alive and Cecilia Sanchez also known as Baby Girl. He once told me that he knew he was special and would do great things at a young age. He mentioned to me about an old filipino woman who used to take care of him and who he claims passed on to him Anting Anting, an amulet or good luck charm. It consisted of a small book with latin prayers which filipinos believed would protect the individual from harm. He would later use his Anting Anting in his martial arts. He studied many forms of martial arts before he even started Kali. He studied Judo, Boxing, White Crane Kung Fu, and other martial arts. He was first introduced to the art of Kali during an Ed Parker karate tournament. He didn’t explain the style he was studying at the time, but I assume it was some form of karate. It was at this tournament after losing by disqualification, that he met up with Ben Largusa.

Ben Largusa was at the tournament to recruit a group of filipino fighters to teach them Kali under the Villibrille System. The group of fighters trained in San Francisco, California. Some of his training partners were Lindsey Largusa and Jerry Largusa, Greg Lontayao, Mel Lopez, Tony Lamadora, Greg Rojas. He told me that he trained with these guys hard and he always emphasized the hard style of fighting. During his lifetime, he met up with the likes of well known martial artists like Sid Ascuncion, Brother Abe, Adriano Emperado, Bruce Lee, was Senior to Dan Insosanto in the Villabrille system at the time. After a number of years training in the Villabrille System, he broke away from the Villabrille system and created his own system called Kali-Intra (meaning to enter). His schools name was called Universal Fighting Star Kali Intra.

The Universal Fighting Star was the basis of his system. He emphasized free sparring without pads or foamed sticks. He was a type of guy who could walk in to a room and you would just know that he was there. He was well known for the bull whip, and would often demonstrate his skills during public demonstrations. One of his famous tricks was snapping out candles with his bull whip blind folded. I remember one demonstration we did, where he was doing the demonstration blind folded and he all the lights were off. I was waving a make shift candle holder made out of a golf club handle and piece of card board with a candle on it. The I was waving the candle from side to side and was amazed at what I saw. He actually knew where to snap his bull whip because the candle was blown out immediately by Snookie.

His was given the name of Alacran (Scorpion) by the Caballeros in Mexico because he was able to snap the stingers off of scorpions with the bull whip. There are so many stories that I remember him telling me and things that I have seen that I thought was unbelievable. I remember the last things he told me with regards to the school. Just before he passed away, he said to me he was going to move to the mainland to stay with his daughter and that he wanted me to keep the school strong till he came back. I told him, “No problem Maestro. I promise you I will keep teaching till you get back.” He died a couple of days after we had that conversation. Maestro Snookie was a good friend, instructor and mentor. He was my first instructor and I will never forget what he taught me. As long as I live, I plan to teach his art just the way he taught it to me. A strong and hard style of Kali.

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