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The Filipino martial arts community lost one of its most colorful and beloved leaders last night in the person of Grandmaster Warlito “Lito” Concepcion, affectionately nicknamed “Datu Puti” (because of his gray hair) by many of his friends.


With immediate family by his bedside, he quietly and serenely passed away, having accomplished everything he wanted to do in this life.


A memorial and “celebration” of Kuya Lito’s life will be held in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. This event will be scheduled once the family knows when they can pick up his urn (approximately 10-15 days).


He started in Filipino martial arts late in life but quickly became one of FMA’s brightest lights. More like a comet. He will always be remembered and loved.

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Comment by Guro Lawrence Motta on September 10, 2015 at 1:58pm

Sad news indeed.  Thank you for sharing.  GM Lito was certainly a character.  He will be missed greatly.  May he rest in peace.

Comment by John R. Malmo on September 10, 2015 at 9:38pm
Lito is one of the most amazing friends I made within the Kombatan family. He was always quick to make everyone feel welcome. He also made for very memorable stories. :)

One of my proudest moments came when watching a video he recorded of me teaching. He sent it in the mail and I didn't know what to expect. He was chatting in the background as he was recording, and then he started talking about me and what I was teaching. His kind words and respect mean a great deal to me.

He, and his uniqueness, will be dearly missed.
Comment by Thomas Sipin on September 10, 2015 at 11:07pm

Lito came to our WEKAF Nationals in Milwaukee in 2006. He was the entertainment at night, "popping" the bottoms off of beer bottles in the bar. He fought then, and again a few months later at our WC's at Disney World. He might have been one of the first people in our "super senior" division.

He and his wife were two of the nicest people, and made many friends on both occasions. Probably every person they met. I'm sure most of us regret not meeting him sooner, or knowing him better. 

Comment by Jeff "Stickman" Finder on September 11, 2015 at 12:13am

I remember his bright smile and cheerful personality ... and his bottle breaking feats!  He'll be sorely missed.

Comment by Frances Peterson on September 11, 2015 at 5:38am

I met Lito at J Corpus Martial Arts about 2008 in Vallejo, Ca. where he was giving a Kombatan seminar and also entertaining us afterward with his bottle popping technique. He invited us to come try it and one young boy(maybe 10 years old) wanted to try and he explained how to do it and the boy actually accomplished it! The look on his face was priceless as was that day of learning and entertainment. Am sorry to hear he is gone but much of his knowledge will be passed on by those he taught.

Comment by Al S on September 11, 2015 at 7:11am

Even though I met him only once during Memorial Day weekend in 2000 I still remember his bottle breaking and his great demeanor and he also was a ladies magnet! May he find comfort in his final resting place.


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