Didya ‘Kabarwanan Escrima covers all aspects of fighting from weapons to empty hands. What makes us truly unique is the integrated Albon healing methods and the Didya Mudgara Warrior Club Calisthenics that are integrated building blocks of our Escrima system.
Back in 1980 when I was practicing some of the movements found in Dan Inosanto’s book, Filipino Martial Arts, I asked my father, Vidal delos Santos Apostol, Sr. (1912-2005) to strike me with a stick so that, with my own, I could practice what was presented therein. Before doing so, however, he shared how he was witness to a weapons match back in Hawai‘i between a Japanese man armed with a bokken wooden training sword resembling a katana and an Ilocano man armed with a long hefty wooden stick. In a matter of time, according to my father, the Japanese man was on the ground, whereas the Ilocano walked away. After the story, he then began to overwhelm me with a barrage of strikes that left me flabbergasted on how to handle the oncoming blows. It was only then did I learn that he was skilled in Escrima. He, including that man in the story, were Ilocano sakadas (Philippine migrant recruits who worked for the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association) who gathered and honed their Escrima skills with each other. This was the beginning of Didya ‘Kabarwanan Escrima