Monday, August 4, 2014

Excerpts From the Legacy of Grandmaster Angel Cabales By Anthony Davis with Leo T. Fong

Excerpts From the Legacy of Grandmaster Angel Cabales

By Anthony Davis with Leo T. Fong

Serrada Escrima, strikes, blocks, and counters, the Legacy of Grandmaster Angel Cabales, no doubt is long overdue. Since the Grandmsater's death in the early 90's, there has not been a lot of information on Grandmaster Angel Cabales, and his Serrada System of Escrima.

It is unfortunate that most of the information that is available, is more for exploitation than for authentic information about Grandmaster Cabales, and his art. It is the purpose of this book to present a brief biography of Grandmaster Angel Cabales, and his art known as Serrada Escrima. This book includes interviews prior to his death, and the core of his art which is the Twelve Strikes, Blocks, and Counters. These Twelve techniques may seem basic, and simple, and redundant, but in the hands of a perceptive student, it is the seed to develop, and grow in depth.

Those who have trained with Grandmaster Cabales personally, discovered his simple, yet profound approach.
On the surface his techniques look simple, and basic, but in practice his movements reflect depth, and emotional content. What makes the Cabales system so unique, is the focus on free sparring. Unlike some traditional Kung Fu systems, where the practice of form or kata's is the end in itself. As one advances in the practice, more forms are to be learned.

Form practice is valuable if kept in perspective, and utilized as it is designed to be, just that. However, if it is practiced as a way to prepare for free fighting, then the practitioner will be greatly disillusioned if he has to face off with another combatant who has devoted his time to a contact sport like boxing, or kickboxing, or wrestling.

This same analogy would apply to a practitioner of contact sports who only practiced sparring.
If asked to compete against forms, and kata experts with only a background in free sparring, he would lose. Not only is the Serrada Escrima System a practical system, it is also an adaptable system. In other words, the core of the Twelve techniques, and the shifting footwork, will enhance the proficiency of other arts, especially those arts that are concerned with practical applications to a self-defense situation, or situations.                                                                                                                    
As a former intercollegiate boxing champion in the late 40's, and early 50's, and a practitioner of boxing for over (50) years, along with other martial arts, I have found the Serrada System of Escrima to be an excellent way to help refine what you already have. The system of combat has helped me to develop additional angle's of attacks, and counters. One can increase speed, and spontaneity without sacraficing personal integrity. This is the essence of a great teacher. In the spirit of the legendary Bruce Lee, a teacher is one who is the "finger pointing to the moon". "Those who mistake the finger as the moon, will miss the heavenly glory".

Serrada Escrima is not just about stick fighting, it is also about developing the pyschological, and mental mindset for martial arts expression. The basic drills as designed by Grandmaster Angel Cabales, will lead a practitioner toward self expression, or as Bruce Lee once said, "Your martial arts skill of fighting should be like a voice, and an echo". The test of any system of fighting is based upon that premise.
In his younger days, Grandmaster Angel Cabales engaged in many fights. Some were just contests, others were real life, and death situations. The fact that Cabales won in every situation, is a testimony of the effectiveness of his approach.

Serrada Escrima is not strictly based on techniques alone, but on theories, and concepts that were developed, and refined down through the years by Grandmaster Cabales himself. Having learned the rudimentary foundation of the Filipino arts from Great Grandmaster Felicisimo Dizon, Grandmaster Cabales reshaped the concepts as he grew older, and into maturity. Any student who's primary focus is to be a carbon copy of his, or her teacher, is doing themselves a great disservice. No one can be exactly like the 'Teacher', and still be in top form. When one lets go of personal identity to be like someone else, that person sacrafices proficiency for image.

No one can be an imitation of someone, no matter how great the model is, and still have spiritual, and emotional integrity, much less content. Look at all of the Bruce Lee imitator's, where are they now?.
It is the purpose of this book to share with you, the readers, and practitioners, the direction of a Legacy left by Grandmaster Angel Cabales, as interpreted by two of his former students, Anthony Davis, and Leo Fong. The immortality of a person, or art depends upon those who take responsibility to keep the memories intact, and the art alive by that individuals efforts to further develop what was generously given to him, or her.

In this case, the knowledge gained from Grandmaster Angel Cabales, must be the seed for further growth.
If one takes what is given, and makes no effort to increase, and refine, he or she, is merely prostituting the art. On the other hand, if he or she takes the art given by a teacher, and master, and develops, and commercializes it, and does not give "credit where credit is do", he or she again has become a prostitute.

In closing, the greatest respect one can give to a teacher, is to become a good student, and to take the moral responsibility to share the art with others who are eager to learn. This is the spirit in which we have presented this book.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Leo T. Fong