We briefly met years ago in Florida at WHFSC's Hall of Fame events. I was with GM Ernesto Presas and the other Kombatan guys, and didn't have the opportunity to spend much time with other practitioners.
However, I got to see Abon's balisong skills and was amazed. I can use a balisong, and have seen many extremely talented players - including Jan Jan Presas. But, I have never seen someone use a balisong so quietly. There was no "clickity" "clacks" as he manipulated the blade. He explained his understanding of the balisong as he effortlessly showed his openings and closings.
I have never had direct training in Garimot, but I will always remember this skilled demonstration. He also gave quck impromptu utilization of his characteristic "belt." Good stuff!
In June 1977 I met with 22 of the masters and grandmasters in Cebu City at the famed Doce Pares Club. During this meeting I spoke about the film with Bruce Lee that introduced the double baston in the movie Enter the Dragon and suggested to everyone that Kali Silat was going to grow throughout the world. I recommended then, that the Filipino should get in front of the progress of these arts and sciences as this would be all over the world. Today it is so. And from my last meeting with GM Dionisio Canete in Cebu 2008, I was told, "that of course I was not really teaching Doce Pares, but that they decided to adopt me because I was very famous." But it's not me that's famous it's the Filipino Art & Science that is now everywhere. Several years after my first meeting in Cebu I was told that those 22 masters and grand masters agreed with my suggestion and now at 63 I'm still practicing and I continue to enjoy training as always.
Despite the good and the bad that flows in every great culture being saddened by the death of Roland Dantes March 6, 2009, as I look to the future I recall the most important part of this training in Kali Silat, that if you train in this Philippine Culture seriously, there's one place on earth that you must go, sooner or later, and that's The Philippines. Make arrangements now, there is no better time then today. And, during my recent visit May/June of last year we arranged a program in Manila at the University of the Philippines and in Cebu City in the heart of eskrima, arnis kali.
Now is the time to visit and train the Philippines with a group of instructors September 7 to 21 2009, please join us. It's guaranteed to be the greatest experience of your life in Kali Silat to grow and develop for all serious practitioners everywhere. My warm regards to everyone at this great Filipino Martial Arts and Science Network, MYFMA, Greg Alland