Dan Rutano was born in the city of Manila, Philippines on January 27, 1953. In 1961, at the age of eight years old, his father decided to move back to his home Province of Aklan on Panay island. It was in a small village called Camaligan, where his journey in the Filipino arts began. He was exposed right away to the native wrestling and grappling art called Dumog. His interest in the art grew more when he witnessed fights using stick, knives, bolos, spear, bow & arrow, darts, blowguns, etc. In 1969, his family moved back to Manila. There he continued his martial art journey, by joining various martial art clubs or by just exchanging techniques and ideas with friends. He became a member of the prestigious Red Lightning Club under the guidance of the well respected, highly skilled GM Gonzalo "Lito" Vito. While in college he became a member of the Beta Sigma Fraternity, where martial art training was also emphasized to insure survival in fights against rival fraternities. In fact, Grandmaster Johnny Chiuten, world renown for his Dragon-Tiger System of Kung-Fu, and Pronus Supinos System of Filipino martial arts is the recognized founder of the U.P. Beta Sigma Fraternity Kung-Fu Karate Klan.
In 1983 he emmigrated to Canada and began teaching the Filipino martial arts in Calgary, Alberta. He also founded the International Rutano Estokada Federation to perpetuate and help preserve the Philippine martial tradition.