BAGUIO CITY (Jan. 20) — Full Contact Kick Boxing Council of the Philippines (Fullcon) exhibits a united front in the face of various issues concerning Philippine martial arts in a press conference at the Guinawang Bar and Music Lounge, Sunday.
PROVING ONESELF. This Pinay fighter shows her male counterparts she’s ready for her forthcoming match in Thailand. Photo by Danica Sophia Oliveros
This organization which was established in March of 2005 is composed of various schools of the martial arts operating in Northern Luzon.
Sensei Agustin Balba of the Philippine Aiki-jitsu Fedederation, Inc. claims that the Cordillera is the “best recruitment ground for combative sports”. A statement seconded by Secretary-general Kissack Gabaen, who named John Naimes among others who had brought glory to the country by participating and winning medals in their respective martial arts.
Being such a hotbed of talented martial artists, the organization seeks to protect athletes from being exploited by foreign corporations who syndicate athletes for commercial gain as explained by Gabaen and Balba in the press conference.
The Fullcon council also explained how the unification of all martial arts clubs in Northern Luzon promotes Filipino martial arts and builds a system of support among Filipino martial art groups.
Sonny Bugnosen, one of the founders of San Lakas Filipino Martial Arts, an arnis group, laments how “Cordillerans had forgotten already” the Filipino martial arts arnis that is a vital part of the Cordillera culture. A testament to this, he says, is the fact that much of the Cordillera history remains undocumented.
Since the organization is made up of different martial arts schools, Joel Tultog , chief instructor of the Highland Martial Arts Association of Ifugao, says athlete members also acquire not just exposure to the different schools such as aikido and muay thai.
They also experience it themselves leading to what Fullcon Vice-president for Administration Roberto Basco refers to as “well-roundedness” aside from just “self-refinement, mental development and spiritual amplification.”
Current members of the unified kick boxing council are the Philippine Aiki-jitsu Fed, Inc., Universal Martial Arts Association, Cordillera Martial Arts Club, Inc., Philippine Red Lion Martial Arts Association, Inc., Contender Martial Arts Club, Black Eagle Style Martial Arts Club, Philippine Bodukan Aikido Fed. Inc., CCDC Martial Arts Club, Ganget Martial Arts Club, Highland Martial Arts Club, Highland Combative Sports Inc., San Lakas Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), World Muay Boran Federation, Phils. Inc., and the Phil. Actual Aikido.
The group plans to expand hoping to establish a foundation that would help former martial artists in the dusk of their competitive career and to establish Baguio and the whole of Cordillera as the Martial Arts Center of the Philippines, the organizers said. # Romina Lou B. Martin and Danica Sophia Oliveros for NORDIS