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BAIS TRES MANOS SYSTEM
The Filipino Martial Art Principle & Philosophy
of
Grand Maestro Jon Bais
Philippine Flag

The following are testimonials that have been recieved.

Bais Tres Manos
Administration

 

 


Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
Spirit Award
February 22, 2012.
   As an everlasting supporter to the Bais Tres Manos legacy, it was an honour to once again be in the presence of such prestigious masters. After being taught by the man who taught my father, it was an amazing feeling to be part of the celebration of Lakan Datu Jun Paliangayan, the induction of Grandmaster Jon Bais, and none the less; my father, Lakan Datu Rollie Descargar.

Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
L-R: Datu Rollie Descargar GrandMaster Jon Bais Datu Jun Paliangayan Received the award of Hall of Fame/Honor at Tropicana Casino and resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U S A
Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
Guro Sam Descargar in action applying disarming technique utilizing grab & sweep. This photo taken in Undisputed gym in Toronto during the five masters seminar of kali-arnis, Toronto, Canada. Guro sam is one of the Kalis mentor of World BTM/KSK FMA Heritage

   The award given to Grandmaster and my father was an induction I believe was long overdue for their service to the martial arts world. Being a student since the tender age of 3 back in Saudi Arabia, it amazes me to see the progression here in Canada, as well as United States. Being born into the Filipino combat system, it only brings great honour to be part of a system that is widely respected globally. To completely understand the history and dedication given by these three martial artists, is quite amazing. Witnessing the growth as masters in these three has truly given me the passion to continue to propagate the filipino arts. This induction is sure to not be the last for these masters, as I'm sure with the blossom of World Bais Tres Manos Kalis Silat Kun-tao FMA Heritage organization, they will continue to gain the respect of martial artists all over the world. To my father, master and highly respectable masters, it is my pleasure and honour to be a student to the arts, and a member to the brotherhood/family of Bais Tres Manos. I wish you all the best of luck in the future years, with no doubt I will provide my undying support. God Bless you all for your contributions to the martial arts.

Lakan Guro Sam Descargar
Director - Western Canada
Canada Bais Tres Manos Kalis

 

 


Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
Spirit Award

February 15, 2012.
   It was my honor and privilege to attend and witness the induction of my Master and Grandmaster, and celebration of Datu Jun Paliangayan into the Action Martial Art’s Hall Of Fame, in Atlantic City, NJ. This occasion was greatly and most definitely earned by both martial artists, through their years of dedication to the martial arts world.

Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
L-R: Datu Jun Paliangayan, GrandMaster Jonn Bais, Datu Rollie Descargar posed with trophies. The Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors & spirit awards 2012 awarded them the Hall of Fame/Honor Trophies for more than 30 years continouos contribution in the field of Martial Arts. The venue was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA January 21, 2012.
   It is an occasion I personally feel gracious to witness, one of many that will come to these successful masters. Being a student to Datu Rollie Descargar, it brings pride to see the recognition being given to those I truly feel are well deserving of it. As a martial artist, I would have not been able to be as blessed and privileged as I am if Datu Rollie had not taken me under his wings. My foundation, my knowledge, and my passion are derived from the relentless daily effort Datu Rollie has given me, which ultimately derives from Grandmaster Jon Bais. I am continuously impressed and blown away with the vast knowledge both these men carry. In which brings great honor to be entrusted to be taught, and propagate the Filipino Arts. Hearing stories of Datu Rollie training with Datu Jun under the guidance of Grandmaster Jon Bais, fills me with the urge to follow the same path in hopes of one day becoming as successful as these men. The relation Datu Rollie has built with me is much more than a student in martial arts. His dedication to my growth has pushed me to succeed and has built a passion for martial arts that I will never lose. He is my teacher, my role model and nothing short of a second father to me. This induction is surely not to be the last for Datu Rollie or as for Datu Jun and Grandmaster Jon Bais.
Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
Lakan Guro Mark Anastacio, center, wielding kalis in action with Dayang Joanna Lynn Bulatao during the Five (5) Arnis-Kali Masters Seminar held in Undisputed MA club Located in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. These young vibrant & energetic kali Martial Artist. Is one of the few dedicated with full passion in promoting FMA across Canada. Lakan Guro Mark is a product of Datu Rollie, a resemblance of GM Jonn’s passion in Kalis BTM heritage.
Action Martial Arts Magazine's - Hall of Honors Inductee
L-R: Datu Rollie Descargar – Vice Pres World BTM KSK FMA Heritage Network GrandMaster Jonn Bais - Founder & Executive Director – World BTM KSK FMA Heritage Network Datu Jun Paliangayan - Pres. World BTM KSK FMA Heritage Network

   Their dedication and efforts to continue this legacy will only continue to be recognized globally. I am also privileged to personally understand the passion Datu Rollie has as a martial artist. This became much clearer during a seminar held by Grandmaster Jon Bais in Baltimore, Maryland. Witnessing Grandmaster Jon teaches was none the less breath-taking; however, something seemed very much familiar. The way Datu Rollie has adopted his teaching methods was extremely similar to the way Grandmaster was teaching us. To understand Datu Rollie’s dedication truly inspired me to one day, hopefully become a successful master like him. Through all his work, Datu Rollie, I am blessed to be your student and I am forever grateful for taking me under your wings. In my success, my work and growth is only a symbol of your dedication to your students. Your teachings have taught me a much greater lesson than learning how to strike and defend. It has taught me the respect, leadership and positivity needed to be a better person, martial artist and student. I wish you the best, in the years to come as a leader in the Bais Tres Manos community.

Lakan Guro Mark Anastacio
Director - Eastern, Canada
Canada Bais Tres Manos Kalis Silat
Kun-Tao FMA Heritage
Silat Kun-tao FMA Heritage

 

 

 


He is Known as the King Eagle of Kuntaw
May 12, 2010

Calvin Holmes

   If you can…. walk with Kings nor lose the common touch”. These are words that have run across my mind on a daily basis--each time I think back to last summer when I spoke with Grand Maestro JON BAIS on the telephone.  The phrase is from a poem titled “IF” by the famous Poet Rudyard Kipling.  Electricity ran through me when Grand Maestro Jon Bais was on the phone.  I look up to my Maestros Juanito “Noy” Aguilar and Oscar “Boy” Yangco with the highest regard.  I respect them not only for their skills in Kuntaw but also for their strong character, courage, wisdom and good heartedness. And these men look up to Grand Maestro Jon Bais with the utmost respect. You can see it in how they talk about Grand Maestro Jon Bais - sometimes even how they look when they talk. I see Maestros’ “Noy” and “Boy” as giants and last summer a man whom they consider a giant was actually talking to me.
   I was an athlete in college; in fact I am in my college’s Sports Hall of Fame for Track and Field.  I was a sprinter. I have met as well as competed against world class athletes and world record holders. Some of these champions, were hard to approach and some did not have anything offer to those who wanted to follow behind them and raise themselves to a higher level. Grand Maestro Jon Bais, whom I consider a giant among giants, took time out to speak to me. I was someone unknown to him and I have only been in martial arts for just a few years.
   Grand Maestro Jon Bais talked to me as though I was a nephew he had just met or as if he was my coach. A coach is someone who wants you to succeed, someone who encourages you. I know from Maestros Noy and Boy that Grand Maestro Jon Bais training is comprehensive and that Grand Maestro Bais can hand out “tough love”-- but he made me feel that he was personally interested in me improving my skills. Of course there is no special magic for Grand Maestro Bais reiterated that the key is practice and continual practice.
   My Maestros have referred to Grand Maestro Bais as being like an eagle, the “big bird”. They talk about his quickness and ability to leap and be upon you before you can blink. What I have learned firsthand is his ability as a master teacher and good heartedness to inspire just by conversation. Grand Maestro Jon Bais gets mail and calls from all over the world and being a Master of Masters even the minutes, the seconds of his time are precious. I am so grateful and inspired that he spoke with me and it has made a difference.
    I only regret that this testimony is so late - each time I set down to write,  I could not get pass the words I knew I would start off with - that everyday ran and re-ran across a movie screen in my mind. They were the first, middle and last.... “a man who walks with Giants but not lost the common touch” - that says a lot right there - it says it all.

Calvin Holmes

 


March 31, 2010

How Maestro "Boy" Yangco Kept the Legacy of Grandmaster Jon Bais
Alive In the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

Ethan Segal Group
   It was during the attendance of my first training class at the Saudi Aramco AI-Waha north location that I first heard about a guy named Jon Bais. It was a Wednesday class which consisted of "stick fighting" techniques whereas the Saturday and Monday classes were primarily Kuntaw based. Kyud Boy Yangco was the instructor and an enviable guy who always carried a smile. Because of his love of the martial arts, he was always willing to help out anytime anyone asked.
At that first class it became evident that there was a considerable amount of "reverence" being brought forth to Maestro Jon Bais (as he was known to me then). Each of the moves and techniques were explained and acknowledged as part of what was learned and passed down from Maestro Jon Bais. As a "newcomer" to the art and for some unknown reason, I could only "envision" in my mind what this guy looked like. At first I heard from others that he was in Germany working for Siemens. As oddly as it may seem, and since I did not see any pictures of him, I could only surmise that he was an American who studied Philippine martial arts while being stationed via the military in the Subic Bay area. So much for somehow receiving, "inaccurate" information. Of course as time went on, I came to realize that Maestro Jon Bais was indeed Filipino. Still, I had not seen any pictures of him. He came to be known, in the far reaches of my mind as a "Phantom" who was spoken of with much reverence but whom I could not tie to with any pictures, just his techniques.
   Over time I came to know of Maestro Jon Bais not only as an exceptional martial arts instructor but he also became my mentor and teacher. Although we had never personally met, Maestro Boy kept him alive with positive affirmations to his skill set capabilities, character and personality. From time-to-time Maestro Boy would comment on the latest information he had received from Maestro Jon.
   As of this writing, I have been involved with Bais Tres Manos for nearly four years, not nearly as long as many "Kyuds" but long enough to understand the effectiveness and practicality of each of the movements. What I have also come to learn is that I must give a large amount of respect to Maestro Boy Yangco for his unwavering dedication and inspiration to the study and practice of Bais Tres Manos and Kuntaw. Were it not for his tirelessness and his fortitude, specifically here at Saudi Aramco and AI-Khobar, I firmly believe that Maestro Jon may have possibly been forgotten. He would have been just a "past memory, blowing-in-the-wind" so-to-speak.
Ethan Segal
Ethan Segal
   As of this writing, I have approached my retirement time here at Saudi Aramco and will depart putting aside my responsibilities of working with both onshore and offshore drill rigs, platforms and pipelines behind me. Unfortunately I will not be part of the group anymore but will carryon personally, in my own way with every effort of upholding the fine character of Bais Tres Manos and Kalis-Silat/Kuntaw.
   I must give a considerable amount of thanks, appreciation and gratitude to Maestro "Boy" Yangco for his dedication, effort, and love of the martial arts and its propagation here in Saudi Arabia. It has been his relentless drive and inspiration which has kept alive the legacy of Grandmaster Jon Bais and Kuntaw Kalis-Silat.
Grandmaster Jon and Master Boy, ... I salute you both.
Ethan Segal
3rd degree Black Belt
Bais Tres Manos
Kalis-Silat/Kuntaw
Dhahran Saudi Arabia

 

 




Masters Hall of Fame Banner

Masters Hall of Fame Nomination:
Master Darren Tibons - Gand Maestro Jon Bais
   It is my great honor to introduce a true leader, who has dedicated his entire life to the martial arts community. He continues his development of personal mastery in the Filipino Martial Arts extending his knowledge to multiple military and law enforcement agencies. He is the protector of heritage and mentor of legacy, humbly sharing the value among other nations and throughout the world to help make our world a safer place. He continues teaching with honor and pride. He is a living legend not only in his accomplishments, but in his ability to promote honesty and integrity in his teachings. He carries on his family legacy of Bais Tres Manos by sharing the knowledge and abilities passed down from his ancestors.
   I proudly nominate an outstanding representative for the Filipino Masters Hall of Fame on their 10th year Anniversary. This living legend is Grand Maestro Jon Bais, of Bais Tres Manos will be celebrated in conjunction with the Long Beach Internationals August 8th, 2009 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

Master Darren G. Tibon
President, USFMAF
FMA Coordinator, Long Beach Internationals
FMA Coordinator, Disney Martial Arts Festivals

 

 

Long Beach Internationals 2009 USFMAF

The Bais Tres Manos HQ
May 26, 2009

Maestro Jun Paliangayan

   In behalf of the Maryland KALIS SILAT Bais Tres Manos Baltimore Branch, I would like to express our warmest gratitude for conducting the KALIS SILAT-BTM FMA seminar last May 23rd '09 in Baltimore, MD USA. My students and the rest of the seminar participants were energized and motivated to continue our endless study and to practice the art of KALIS SILAT- BTM.
    For us you are a model mentor of the FMA, you’re still sharper than ever, since I've met you in 1981, and become among your pioneer students in King Abdul-Aziz Naval Base. You never change, your dedication in bring your legacy of knowledge in FMA to different nationality is outstanding. Your untiring empowerment sharing your wisdom is very much richly rewarding. Your mentorship and legacy strengthen the FMA Society worldwide. Learning FMA is a Journey, not a Destination, that is why we the KALIS SILAT, BTM Group in Maryland, USA is looking forward for your next visit to join you building the paramount of unity and brotherhood of the Bais Tres Manos principles.
    We will also embrace the objective of USFMAF in promoting the cultural sport challenge for the spirit of sport brotherhood, which we pledge to be supportive in the USFMAF activities in the future.
    Our grateful appreciation to your talented Gurus’; Guro Elmer Bais and Guro Brian Everett for their excellent ability and skill of demonstration during the seminar which attracted interest from the participants and our martial arts instructor from the East Coast.
    Deeply indeed, your exerted efforts and energy during the seminar is much highly appreciated that promotes to unify the FMA community in our area.

Once again, thank you very much.

Jun Paliangayan
Maestro Kalis-Silat, BTM-International
6th Degree Red, White & Blue Belt/KUNTAW

 



Bais Tres Manos System Seminar
Held: Black tiger Martial Arts, Baltimore, USA
Date: May 23, 2009

Maestro Rollie Descargar

   The Kalis-Silat seminar of the Bais Tres Manos at Baltimore, Maryland was a success with the support of the Masters/Chief instructors Guro Elmer C. Bais, Guro Brian Everett and all the martial arts enthusiasts. It was an honor to me, to be participant of the seminar and to see again the action of my mentor, GM Jon Bais.  I have treasured the knowledge and ability in Kalis-Silat and Kuntaw being one of his senior student ways back in 1980’s. Grand Maestro John Bais once again won admiration and respect from the instructors and guess attended the seminar. He demonstrated his superiority in handling bladed weapon, stick, and empty hand-fighting techniques which in deed a very remarkable manner. GM Jon Bais is gaining number of years in his ages, but his skill is much more shaper than before, as I noticed from his seminar execution. The smooth, flow and rapid fluidity movements and deadly executions were proof of his mastery of art. His just simple gained respect among the instructors and martial artist practitioner. GM John’s dedication and patience has imparted upgraded techniques of the system put me more amazed and gained extreme confident. It makes me comfortable to acquire the knowledge of his legacy, which explored and make contagious to those who have desire to learn Kuntaw-Kalis-Silat System. Being under his leadership and principles, I also created a unique bonding among my students the way he shaped the bonding with us among his senior students. The seminars resulted a lots of knowledge techniques that I can add into my tools of ability. Kuntaw-Kalis-Silat (BaisTresManos System) is one of the lethal and deadly disciplines self defense of martial arts I’ve ever known. For this, I always honor and with my deepest respect a humble person and a great mentor with his legacy, GM Jon Bais. Long live and God bless you my mentor. Thank you for taking me under your wings.
   We also learned discipline of camaraderie not only the method of the BTM but also the unity and brotherhood of USFMAF which he is introducing to us. Their objective is to bring cultural sport challenge among other martial arts practitioners. We follower of Bais Tres Manos are giving our support to the leadership of the USFMAF in their activities and we from Canada will be part of your federation under the wing of GM Jon Bais.

Maestro Rollie Descargar
Kalis-Silat, BTM, Canada
6th Degree Red, White & Blue/Kuntaw

 

 

 


KSK FMA Testimonial

What are Martial arts to you?

Grand Maestro Jon Bais and Kyud M. Favorito
Kyud M. Favorito presenting his trophy to GM Jon Bais after winning the Grand Championship  at San Diego, CA., USA  All Style Tournament in 1996.

   It may be a Bruce Lee or another Martial Artist’s (MA’s) action movie to you. When I was young I was first introduced to self-defense from Bruce Lee movies and I was mesmerized as I watched/read his books that I wanted to be a lethal weapon like my idol Bruce Lee. Because of my interest to learn the real martial art, I ended up practicing various systems e.g. Kempo with my sister, Tae Kwon do, Wrestling and Judo with brothers, and the closest martial art to Bruce Lee’s techniques for me was the Filipino Martial arts that Grand Maestro Jon Bais taught me.
   GM Jon Bais has extensively studied various Martial arts with an open-mind to change and never being complacent with techniques. He is the mentor who made me understand the real meaning of training in martial art. I’ve learned from him the concept of how to maintain balance against the pressures in life.
   I achieved the true discipline of a martial art practitioner from his mentoring which he bases from the environment situation that we, his students simply understood because of simplicity of his philosophies.
   “He often reminds us not to limit the extension of our interest to achieve beyond what the body and mind can perform and to make certain that we equal our self to the factor of good spirit in training, base on the nature of life.”
   He would advise us to smile with all the problems that we may encounter, because they are part of our challenges to defeat.
   In some of his lectures, he said,” never be angry during the course of a fight with your opponent because your body will not react according to what you have trained and the negative force of unbalance instinct from anger will take over”.
   
In addition, mind and spirit should be in balance so that the reaction of your body is in accordance with your achieved discipline base from the training”.
   GM Jon Bais always seems to accept all martial art style of students to his class. I remember him teaching me that all styles deserve respect and can add value in learning a technique in his humble attitude. I have trained with other martial artists who do not have any desire to learn any other styles. Some of these Martial Artist’s believe their style is superior to all others.
   I decided to study Engineering in college with its diversity of disciplines, and it reminded me of GM Jon Bais, principles in his FMA’s, which I have adapted and learned. Engineering courses that I studies had extensive diversity with many discipline’s (e.g. Physic’s/ Dynamics, Chemistry, and Mathematics’) to create something with which ever discipline I am able to apply in the most efficient/effective way. Similarly I have studied in college with people who have become Physicist and Chemist who have had no desire to study some other disciplines outside of their field of interest.
   The FMA’s of Kali, Silat and Kuntaw that GM Bais has taught me, uses which ever move works/feasible with the least amount of movement and energy. GM Bais inspired me throughout the years of knowing him. It encourages me to be active and to participate in various MA tournaments (Empty hand and foot fighting; Judo/Grappling, Stick and Knife tournaments), cultural events and doing FMA demonstrations. I truly believe that I would not have won in these various of MA tournaments that I competed with honor of victory in championship without the Laboring under Correct Knowledge (LUCK) that Maestro has provided me with his guidance.
   I have attended my first lesson in 1993, with GM Jon not prepared physically and mentally since many things were going on in life that distracted my mind, and after the training the worries and things I had to deal with were not as troubling as they seemed before the workout. I have benefited from many years of training that has helped me accomplish my own development in education (Deans list four years in college and obtained BSME), career (Engineering), and family (balancing life’s challenges with many adversities e.g. deaths of family and friends)
   GM Bais sets a great example to all his students by never allowing training get in the way of his student’s responsibilities of homework or preparing for educational examinations. I remember he was always very strict to not allow students to train if the training was affecting school work or if student were not respecting their elders, teachers/parents, or other people.
   The time I have spent on training was full of challenges and discovery that gave special meaning to me. I feel the strong bond between me as students and my teacher GM Jon Bais. He cares for me as student like his own son. I can’t find the appropriate words for others to understand that would describe the deep connection we shared throughout many years of training in Kalis-Silat-Kuntaw, FMA.

Grand Maestro Jon Bais and Kyud M. Favorito
GM Jon Bais and Kyud M. Favorito during the Filipino Cultural Demonstration in Vallejo CA., USA in 1995

   I have volunteered with GM Bais on his community services in many church activities (various religions since we respect all), non-profit organizations, and various Martial Arts tournaments and demonstrations with other martial arts. It is my pride and honor to assists him teaching people that may think they are weak (women, children, & seniors). The philosophy that I have learned from the Bais Tres Manos promotes proper moral character to all races/creeds. I have volunteered since it is a part of my heritage that I enjoy promoting and to value the knowledge that I have adapted from GM Jon Bais. I respect all people and like to expose FMA since when I first heard of FMA, I was proud that my heritage has its own MA's (Martial Arts) and proud to have a great teacher.
   I am where I am today because of my honor and integrity and have worked various projects for Department of Defense, Pharmaceutical, and Energy companies. I was able to work these high security projects in my life because I am an honest person. I have had the honor to have trained with Olympic competitors/coaches, Grand Masters, & World Champions in various MA’s. GM Bais has been an exceptional MA teacher to me that strives for perfection in his MA’s. That balances my life energy.
   GM Bais taught me to continue to have an open-minded and never complacent/content since learning is an ongoing process. GM Bais showed me that I must know how to adapt to the changing times since situations are almost never exactly the same in Martial arts and Life.
   I am grateful for the knowledge and experience I gained from training with GM Jon Bais and his training principles.

Manuel Favorito
San Jose, Calf. USA
September 1, 2008

 

 


“My Dedication to the Ancient Filipino Fighting Art of “Kalis-Silat-Kuntaw”

The Author: Maestro Oscar (Boy) Yangco
Maestro Oscar (Boy) Yangco
   Maestro Oscar (Boy) Yangco comes from the Visayan Island of Cebu, home-province of many famous Filipino martial artists. He is 58 years old and holds the rank of 6th Degree Black belt in “Kuntaw” and Maestro in “Kalis Silat” of the “ Bais Tres Manos system” for more than twenty one years. He has been designated as the Regional Director of “International Kuntaw Federation” (IKF) and the Head Instructor of “Bais Tres Manos” in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1993. “Kyud Boy” holds an impressive record of being the Champion, nine (9) times, during the All-Styles Karate Tournament in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia during his tournament years from 1992 until 2002. He eventually hang-up his gloves as a tournament fighter and concentrates in teaching Kuntaw-Kalis-Silat system of GM Jon Bais, for the new generation of martial arts students in the Junior-staff and Senior-staff gyms of Saudi-ARAMCO.

Introduction to the ancient art of “Kuntaw

   In autumn of 1987, my good friend, Kyud Frank Banaynal, the Assistant Instructor of Kuntaw Kalis Silat, Aramco-Dhahran Chapter, invited me to visit the Royal Saudi Naval Forces base in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to watch a demonstration of a person known as “Maestro Jon Bais”, the most ranking instructor of “Kuntaw” in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province.
   Being already a First Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate, I accepted the invitation, as a mere “spectator”, without entertaining any slightest notion of changing, or adopting, a different style of martial arts. In my mind then, Shotokan Karate was one of the most formidable and very powerful styles of martial arts and I always felt supremely confident with it.
   During the demo, I saw Maestro Jon Bais deliver a powerful “diving” round-house kick to the chest of his “attacker”, a very difficult move to master, which was different from the common or standard roundhouse kick I ever knew. The way he executed his roundhouse kick technique was so unique, which I have only seen for the first time. Even the way he delivered his frontal kick was solid with such tremendous force and speed that produced a “whizzing” sound at the tip of his “GI” (uniform). You could feel the explosive energy being released by his kick. It was like seeing a sharp knife cutting neatly through butter.
   In between different demo presentations of Maestro Jon Bais, he explained the “Kuntaw” philosophy, its roots and origin and that it was “an ancient Filipino art of hand and foot-fighting” that was revived by the Great Grandmaster Carlito A. Lanada, Maestro Jon’s mentor in Kuntaw. I was amongst the visitors and spectators who personally bowed and expressed my admiration to the humble FMA master, Maestro Jon Bais. For me, it was a great honor to shake and hold the hand of an excellent FMA mentor.
   After the demo, as we drove back to Dhahran, I reflected seriously about what I saw and told myself, the Filipino martial arts of Kuntaw was as powerful and effective as the Japanese Karate, the Korean Taekwondo or the Chinese Kungfu. But what makes it more unique for maestro Jon Bais was his neat, clean, well-balanced execution which was perfectly different from the way I performed and had seen from others. Perhaps there was truth in the saying, It’s not the song. It’s the singer”.
   All of a sudden, I told Kyud Frank I wanted to learn Kuntaw. That’s how I started my long journey towards mastering and perfecting the art of Kuntaw under the guidance of my first teacher, Maestro/Kyud Frank Banaynal. I put aside my Shotokan black belt and started learning the basics of Kuntaw and idolized our senior instructor called by his fond name, “Maestro” (now a “Grand Maestro” in Kali-Silat and High Ranking 7th Degree Red & White Belt in Kuntaw respectively, Kyud/GM Jon Bais).

The Taming of an “Un-disciplined Pupil”

Maestro Oscar (Boy) Yangco   When I was a senior student (Brown belt), Maestro Jon Bais started to standardize “Kuntaw” moves, drills  and Forms (“Kata’s”) in compliance with the directives of the founder KNP-IKF, GM Carlito A. Lanada. Maestro Jon standardized the drills and Kata’s to be uniform among 10 chapters of the Eastern Province. GM Jon Bais instructed all Head Instructors, black belts and senior students to converge at the big ARAMCO-Ras Tanura gym every Friday morning. I remember Master Frank banging my door at 6 o’clock in the morning every Friday (our off-day in Saudi Arabia) to wake me up to be on time with the instruction of the “Maestro”.
   Meeting “Kyuds” (Brothers in Kuntaw Art) from different branches and chapters caused me to identify my pride and loyalty with my own chapter. In the course of comparing and discussing with other “Kyuds” how good or bad a particular technique, it ended up into opposing views, conflicting opinions and heated argument. Such was the situation where I found myself in a conflict. I argued with Maestro Rudy Lorejo, the Chief Instructor of ARAMCO-Ras Tanura Chapter and dared him to spar to test the effectiveness of a specific technique we were arguing about. I did not realize that by doing it, I had offended and violated one of the most basic/fundamental “house-rules” of GM Jon Bais: Do not challenge your senior or anyone to a fight by breaking the harmony and peace for no reason”. I had violated that “Code of Harmony”.
   After training, GM Jon ordered all of us to sit down on the floor and form one line. Then he called us one by one to stand up and spar with him. When it was my turn, he swept my leg so powerfully that I didn’t know how I ended up landing on the gym floor with a big “BANG”. It just happened so fast (my leg swelled that night and remained so, for about five days). I can hardly believe where he got his energy after sparring all the black belts and us, senior belts, and still have the speed and power to bring me on the ground in split second of the 3 minutes round with him. On our way to Dhahran, Maestro Frank told me that maestro Jon wanted to teach me a lesson and thought of expelling me from training due to my “arrogant” attitude and “rebellious” personality. It was a wake-up call for me. It scared me to think I have reached a point in my long years of training only to be expelled and barred from further training. The next Friday, with my leg still slightly swelling and aching, I approached Maestro Jon and with all humility apologized for my conduct and begged him to let me stay and train with the rest of advanced students. I have learned my lesson but gained profound knowledge from Maestro Jon. He taught me the virtue of humility. Now I fully grasped and understand one of his philosophies, “It is not the style; it is the discipline of a person, of how he adapts his training, to be a good martial artist”.
   I also remember the good advice of my senior, Kyud Fred Himalin, 4th Degree Black Belt, that I will be a better Martial Arts practitioner if I maintain my good spirit for the good of my body and a disciplined mind which was Maestro Jon’s key element in his training and for all his members.

Learning and testing the “Bais Tres Manos

   In late 1980’s, stick-fighting tournaments were held regularly in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Maestro Jon Bais started teaching us the “secret” stick-fighting style taught him by his family and other FMA mentors. He called the style “Disalon”, later known as “Bais Tres Manos”, incorporating the system of Siete Pares of GM Sosing Labor and GM Bert Labitan, characterized by strong, heavy, forceful strikes on the hand of the attacker to discourage further attack. He called this strike, TIRA ARMADA Removing the fang of the cobra”. Many of his students emerged as winners on so many Eskrima/Arnis tournaments at the time and almost dominated the stick-fighting tournaments in the Eastern Province. On the 2nd World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) tournament in the Philippines, Maestro Jon was the delegation head of the Middle East Team. The Bais Team started to gain international popularity and respect among other Eskrimadors (Stick-fighters) and Great Masters. He was appointed by the WEKAF Board of Officers as the WEKAF Director for the Middle East.
   During my latest vacation in Cebu City this year (2008), I visited the famous “Doce Pares Club” which has produced numerous WEKAF World Champions, particularly, the four-time World Champion, GM Percival Pableo. We compared moves about the circular, linear, looping/”ropilon”, whipping and snapping strokes of various styles and systems of Eskrima/Kali/Arnis. Later, in a friendly sparring match, the “Bais Tres Manos” that I know was put to a test. While I fully admire and appreciate the effectiveness, speed and power of the “Doce Pares” system, I was like an “Ambassador of Goodwill” and have also gained from those highly-skilled “Doce Pares” practitioners their mutual respect for the “Bais Tres Manos” system based on the skills I displayed,. I remember what Grand Maestro Jon Bais used to preach, The effectiveness of martial arts is not a monopoly of one country or one system alone. Every country, style or system has something good to offer and contribute…”

Looking Back

   Looking back from where I am now, I could say, “Learning from a great teacher is like engraving in stone: It will never be erased”. Such is the martial arts legacy and the heritage passed on to me by my beloved and most respected mentor: GM JON BAIS. This write-up is coming from my heart, with deepest respect and admiration.

My Dedication,
Maestro/Kyud Oscar Yangco
Dhahran, KSA

August 8, 2008


 

 


Simple and Effective, The FMA Fighting of Grandmaster Jon Bais
Victor Guevara Victor Guevara
To Read Testimonial - Click Here
Victor Guevara
San Francisco, CA, USA
August 6, 2008


 


Grandmaster Jon Bais Bridged the Gap Amoungst Martial Artists in the Middle East

Maestro Juanito Noy Aguilar   Maestro Juanito “NOY” Aguilar is a 6th degree black belt in Kuntaw and a former Deputy Director of IKF in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. He has been teaching Kalis Silat, Bais Tres Manos, in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia for many years. In 1983, while working in Saudi Arabia , he studied Kuntaw under Maestro Ver San Juan and Maestro Frank Banaynal. It was thru the unselfish and untiring mentoring of Maestro Frank that he learned the skills in knife-fighting and they became good buddies in Saudi Aramco, Dhahran. Maestro Noy’s skills in knife-fighting and Eskrima Disalon were further honed by the “bastonero”, the late GM Delo Dajay, in Khobar , Saudi Arabia. GM Dajay’s bare hands were, in themselves, lethal weapons. They were rigid as steel due to his “sand-training” in his younger days. He came from that old generation of Grandmasters who was very secretive of his martial arts skills, confining them only to family members and relatives. After many friendly visits by Maestro Noy on GM Dajay’s compound in Dammam , Saudi Arabia , and seeing the intense spirit and enthusiasm shown by Noy to learn Knife-fighting and Eskrima, the old Grandmaster relented and started imparting his martial arts skills until his repatriation to Mindanao in 1997..

The Man with Great Wisdom, Grandmaster Jon Bais
   It was an honor to have trained under GM Jon Bais when he was in Saudi Arabia . He won the admiration of the instructors from different martial arts clubs during his “Kuntaw Kalis Silat” demonstration in Aramco, Ras Tanura in 1986. His smooth, flowing and rapid movements and deadly executions were proof of his mastery of the art. Although he did not want to be compared with other Chief-Instructors in the Eastern Region as each had his own style, his demo was enough for the audience to conclude who was the best. GM Jon Bais maintain his self as a low profile person with great skill and knowledge in FMA. After that demo, GM Jon Bais opened the door to other instructors from different styles to join and learn Kalis Silat. True enough, many enrolled. He was admired for his open-mindedness and was the first to accept students regardless of their clubs, at a time when rivalry and fierce loyalty to one’s style or system was the norm in those days.
   I’ve seen GM Jon’s dedication and patience in making us perfect the techniques he taught. Every Thursday, after a long practice, we slept at Kyud Frank Banaynal’s house in Dhahran Saudi Aramco, and then practiced again the following day, Friday, being our off-day in Saudi Arabia . That’s how dedicated and devoted was GM Jon, sacrificing his rest days just to impart his knowledge in Kalis Silat and Kuntaw. All these have not gone to waste because until today, we are proud to propagate his art; continue his legacy and emulate his teaching method in training our own students.
   Under GM Jon’s leadership and example, he created a very unique bonding amongst his students and instructors in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, reason that members of other clubs started using/copying our original terminology, “KYUD”, to address their own members and extend their friendship and brotherhood to us. This shows that setting good example, good deeds and good values is very contagious, it keep spreading even to other people and martial arts practitioners of other styles and systems. This is part of the legacies and values planted by GM Jon Bais: respect, brotherhood and camaraderie amongst martial artists. One of his advises and motto’s he passed on to us is: “Do not criticize. Functionality and effectiveness of martial arts is not a monopoly of one single style or system. Every style has something good to offer. As what Bruce Lee once said, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless”. We shall always honor our Great Mentor GM JON BAIS and his legacy.

Maestro Juanito “NOY” Aguilar
August 3, 2008, Saudi Arabia


 



Grandmaster Jon Bais Self Defense Techniques is Unique and Effective
Cpl. Brian Everett Cpl. Brian Everett
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Cpl. Brian Everett
Napa, County, USA
July 5, 2008

 


Remembering Grandmaster Jon Bais
Maestro Frank Banaynal   About the Author: Maestro Frank M. Banaynal is a 4th Degree Blackbelt in Kuntaw and Maestro in Kalis-Silat, Bais Tres Manos, a 3rd Degree Blackbelt in Aikido and a 1st Degree Blackbelt in Cacoy Doce Pares-style Eskrima. He was a direct student of GM JON BAIS for about seven years in Saudi Arabia from 1985 until GM Jon left for the USA in 1992. Born on May 5, 1952 in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, in the Visayan Island of Panay, Maestro Frank first learned the art of "Daga Defensa" (knife-fighting) in Mindanao in 1966 at age 14 from his cousin-in-law, Master EFREN DUENAS. Master DUENAS learned the art from his father, uncle and grandfather in Negros Occidental. As was the trend in those days, the training, using a real bladed knife, was done at night inside the house, as most masters were secretive about their martial arts and taught them only to family members and closed friends. Later, when Frank studied in the College of Criminology, University of the Visayas, Cebu City in 1968, he learned the "Doce Pares Eskrima" from GM CACOY CANETE and the "Balintawak Eskrima" from GM ATTY. JOSE VILLASIN and GM TEOFILO VELEZ who were members of the College faculty and whose Eskrima systems were both incorporated in the "Self-Defense" curriculum of the College. These Grand masters personally taught their own Eskrima system to Criminology students at the time. Maestro Frank now works as the "Head of Corporate Investigation" of Qatar Petroleum, the national oil and Gas Company in the State of Qatar, Middle East.

Kyud Jon Bais the Person Behind the Success and Popularity of Kuntaw FMA in the Middle East
Maestro Frank Banaynal    It was sometime in October 1985 when I first come to meet GM JON BAIS in All Styles Martial Arts tournament venue inside ARAMCO-Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I was then affiliated with KUNTAW-Aramco, Dhahran Chapter, under Master Dado Paraiso and Master Ver San Juan, who both came from Olongapo City, Philippines, the home of "Maharlika Kuntaw Ng Pilipinas". GM BAIS came with a group of Kuntaw students from Jubail, where he was actively teaching, to since 1982, "watch" an all-out style tournament in the Eastern Province. In those days, tournament was held almost every four to six months in different venues in the province attended by numerous clubs representing numerous styles. Upon knowing from the tournament organizers that there were still slots available for the Blackbelt Division, GM JON BAIS made a last-minute entry for one of his blackbelt students to join the tournament. His student ended up a second placer (Kyud Jun Paliangayan) but the Kuntaw fighting style he displayed was uniquely different from the usual empty hand players such as; Shotokan, Shorin Ryu, Goju Ryu and Taekwondo movements I've seen in the tournament. Since then, GM Jon Bais brought a larger number of Kuntaw players from Jubail where many won the championship on different rank and weight categories. Kuntaw stylists, in that part of the world, have since been known and respected for their strong "silhig"/"walis" (foot-sweeping) technique which is one of signature techniques of GM Jon Bais, sending their opponents down on the tournament floor. Many Kuntaw chapters have sprouted in various parts of Easter Province and have become immensely popular even amongst the Saudi natives. During my time in Saudi Arabia, there were more than ten various Kuntaw chapters in Eastern province, with GM Jon as the senior-most ranking leader and the designated Director for the entire Middle East by authority of the Founder, GM CarLito A. Lanada of "Maharlika Kuntaw" in the Philippines and International Federation.
    To standardize the method of teaching Kuntaw, GM BAIS gathered all Black belters/Instructors/senior students and personally trained them for four hours every Friday inside a big gym in ARAMCO-Ras Tanura for several unbroken years. There, black belts/Instructors from different parts of the eastern province converged and met. "Maestro" (that’s how we fondly addressed him at the time) was very exacting and a perfectionist in his training, making us repeat and repeat drills, katas and techniques until we master it. He imposed total discipline amongst students and insisted display of respect by junior students to senior students. I vividly recall an incident when, prior to the start of training, KYUD BOY YANGCO, my senior student (then a Brown-belter) from my chapter in ARAMCO-Dhahran, challenged to a sparring match KYUD RUDY LOREJO, the Head Instructor in ARAMCO-Ras Tanura chapter, in the presence of other seniors, to test a particular technique that they were arguing about. GM BAIS watched stoically from a distance, obviously not amused by the behavior and conduct shown by KYUD BOY. GM BAIS then led us into the normal routine of training and drills and later told all of us to "cross legs" (sit-down) and form one line. He then started calling one by one all those sixteen (16) senior students and instructors sitting on the floor to stand up and spar with him. When it was KYUD BOY's turn to spar, we saw how the "Maestro" knocked him down with one quick, fast, powerful leg-sweep, sending KYUD BOY on the ground with a big bang. Later, inside the dressing room, Maestro Jon told me softly he "wanted to teach Kyud Boy a lesson for his rebellious attitude. I want him to stay humble, and never challenge a senior to a fight". As I was driving back to ARAMCO-Dhahran with KYUD BOY and another senior student, KYUD NOY AGUILAR, I confided to KYUD BOY what the "Maestro" told me. KYUD BOY, literally wept, remorseful and fearful he might be expelled from further training. The next Friday, when we returned to Ras Tanura, he personally apologized to the "Maestro" with all humility, stipulating he was willing to accept any kind of punishment as long as Maestro keeps him in the group. The rest was history: KYUD BOY YANGCO became one of the best tournament fighters and winners in that part of the world, and a most dedicated, sincerest, and strongest defender of the legacy and heritage planted by GM BAIS. He rose to the rank of 6th Degree Black belt in Kuntaw Kali Silat, just like KYUD NOY AGUILAR, and until today, KYUD BOY teaches in two venues inside ARAMCO-Dhahran: in the Al-Munirah gym, for the junior staff employees, and inside the senior-staff camp gym.
   Later, in late 1980's, with the WEKAF (World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation) organized in the Philippine after the 2nd WEKAF World Tournament, Eskrima-Kali-Arnis became the trend amongst Philippine-based instructors and Masters in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia and Stick-fighting tournaments were held regularly. Once more, GM BAIS gathered his senior students/black belts and taught them the "DISALON" and "TRES MANOS" system which was a highly-guarded family style of fighting. It was characterized by direct motion and strong, powerful blows which rendered the opponent incapable of pursuing the fight, particularly the "Saltik-Ayon”, “Trangkada” and “Tira Pilon” drills. He emphasized his family philosophy of "de-fanging the snake or the cobra", explaining that "the snake is lethal only as its fang that injects out its venom. In the same token, the stick or the "baston" or the "olisi" is good only as the hand that is holding it. Hit and shatter the finger bones that grip the stick and that stick is useless". He also stressed blinding the opponent with eye-gouging finger jab and thrust, explaining that "a person, who can’t see, can’t fight back".. Maestro Jon also incorporates the methods of Baklid and Disarma. During the second WEKAF Tournament, He led the Middle East delegation of the stick-fighters where one of his students a Saudi National, KYUD BAESSAM ASSIRI, emerged as one of the World Champions.
   Looking back, I feel so personally honored having trained directly under GM JON BAIS. He taught me to be a better person. He taught me to remain humble always. He taught me to believe in myself and my ability to improve more. We, his old students from Saudi Arabia, would always carry the spirit and the legacy of closeness, loyalty, brotherhood, camaraderie and bonding that he shared and passed on to us. He sum up all those legacies and lessons he imparted to me in one single sentence, "The higher you go up in your knowledge in the Filipino Martial Arts, the lower and more humble you should become...".
   I take this opportunity to publicly express these words of appreciation and thanks to GM JON BAIS: "Daghan salamat sa tanan, Kyud" ("Thanks for everything, Kyud)...

Kyud Frank Banaynal

 


"Great Mentor of FMA, Grandmaster Jon Bais"
Dawn Dominey Gilbert   I have tried a martial art before, namely karate. Picture a 30 year old, padding around a mat in my socks with a bunch of 8-10 year olds yelling HA while I panted! Following the completion of the first class I realized that I didn't like striking or kicking people or the padding they were holding and I really didn't like spending money to spend time with rather obnoxious ten year olds and promptly quit. 10 years of getting older and fatter followed that experience and other than when I gave the white karate outfit to Goodwill I never gave martial arts another thought.
   Then three years ago I took up scuba diving and started looking for other divers at work to dive with. That was when I started getting to know Grand Master Jon Bais. He talked to me about Kalis and his family system. I smiled, nodded and listened to his stories and when he brought up getting a class together, I had other things to do. Well he can be very convincing. First he knew how much I loved music and second that I had been into various forms of dance all my life and he used this knowledge to interest me in Kalis. First he told me how it was just like a dance. Then I watched him and a student practicing and I admit it looked like fun. It looked like a medieval dance I saw at a renaissance faire years ago where they used sticks to dance and tap rhythm while they were doing it. Still...I wasn't sold. I didn't want to hit people. He assured me many times that I didn't have to hit or kick anyone. Then my best friend at work said she was going to take GM Jon's class at lunch just to try it out and would I try it with her. Bah...I was trapped! So I went.
   The first thing he taught us was SINAWALI number 3 and I was lousy at it. I, who generally thought of myself as quite coordinated, was a mess. I couldn't keep the sticks going in the pattern. The stick slipped out of my hand a few times and threatened other students well being and I hit myself on the head more than once! After about three weeks of this, while everyone else moved on I was was frustrated and about to quit yet again.
   Then during one class we got to work together and do the SINAWALI with each other. I watched Jon demonstrate with another student and suddenly I heard the rhythm of the sticks hitting together. It took only a couple tries after that before I could make the pattern just like everyone else. After that it never took more than one or two tries and I had each SINAWALI he taught down pat and I loved it. He was right, it was about music and dance. Once that first rhythm clicked in my head I looked forward to every class and even practiced away from class. Believe me when I tell you, for me, that was a big deal. The faster the sticks went the more I loved it and the more I would laugh. I know that sounds strange since generally martial arts are very serious, but we loved this and had fun. GM Jon made it fun for us and we wanted to do it and we wanted to do it well. I felt so good after class that when he suggested the class move to three times a week, I was all for it. While I will never be supermodel or triathlon material I was gaining stamina and I actually had a muscle bulge in both my arms that I was quite proud of. As we moved on to the 8 strikes and 8 defenses I found I liked that too. In fact I enjoyed every facet of our training.
   Eventually the time came for our first test. I was scared but I knew my stuff. It was all very formal, no laughing now, and at the end of the test I was a DAYANG-1, ( yellow belt with three green stripes) and as proud as can be. You would think I had just won the Nobel prize. I continued on with the class eager to learn more, test more and move up. Over time new people joined the class and I would help practice with them and enjoyed helping people learn. But due to layoffs our company was getting smaller and the class was shrinking too. We had one more belt test and I earned a DAYANG-2 (green belt with two stripes) knowing that most likely I would not be able to go farther. I didn't want to learn from another teacher or start over with another system so I put my belts on the wall where I could see them. Every time I look at them I worry if I have forgotten everything. If I could defend myself at all (eventually we did move into hand to hand defense) and then GM Jon comes over for dinner and we pull out the sticks and run through things and if I relax and don't think, just listen and let my body react, its' all still in there, waiting for when I need it.

Dawn Dominey Gilbert