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Wrong Meliton Geronimo?

Meliton C. Geronimo

Head Instructor

Sikaran Pilipinas


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Sikaran Pilipinas

P.O. Box 6332

Alameda, California,94501

United States

Company Description

On the Third Asian Karate Championship in 1966, SIKARAN was accepted as a distinct Filipino style of fighting, by the Asian Karate Association headed by Korea's Dr. Kwai Byeung Yun, with the concurrence of Master Koichi Kondo of the All Japan Karate Federation... more

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Sikaran Pilipinas [cached]

They found a protégé in Meliton Geronimo, elder son of Cipriano Geronimo.
Even as a young boy, Meliton Geronimo has displayed exceptional proficiency in SIKARAN. As a teenager, Meliton Geronimo has shown unusual fortitude and courage by serving with distinction in the resistance movement with the Marking Guerillas during the Second World War. Born on March 10, 1927, Meliton Geronimo is a man for all seasons. He is a master of SIKARAN, a military man, and a politician. Even with his busy schedule, Geronimo finds time to be a movie actor. In the early 1950's, Meliton Geronimo, already a budding master of SIKARAN and a non-commissioned officer in the Philippine Air Force was sent to Japan and the United States as part of the Reparations Treaty Contingent from the Philippine Air Force. Philippine Air Force Captain Domingo Polotan introduced Meliton Geronimo to Master Koichi Kondo of the All Japan Karate Federation. The American soldiers who trained with him christened him Chief Geronimo, (the native American chieftain) as a sign of awe and respect of his physical prowess. That was the first time that SIKARAN was introduced in the United States. Karate was gaining popularity in the whole world and in the Philippines as well. In order for SIKARAN to gain international acceptance, Meliton Geronimo found it expedient to align the propagation of SIKARAN with Karate and use the subtitle Philippine Karate in reference to SIKARAN. He also realized that to gain recognition, it was essential to make adjustments and modernize his approach to the practice of SIKARAN, at the same time preserving the authenticity and identity of the art. Understanding this need, Geronimo adopted the required choreographed formal exercises from Japan and Korea for purposes of international competition. However, to retain the distinctive origin of SIKARAN, Geronimo also created and developed SIKARAN's own personalized formal exercises. Meliton Geronimo's systematizing and organizing the techniques of SIKARAN effectively elevated SIKARAN from a "foot-fighting system" to the "fighting art of the Filipino farmer." While a non-commissioned officer, in the Philippine Air Force, Meliton Geronimo started teaching military personnel and their dependents the Filipino fighting arts of SIKARAN and ARNIS DE MANO. Upon learning of the existence of this club, several civilians sought instructions from Meliton Geronimo. Since most civilian members have no access to the military base, it was decided to rent a building outside the base to serve as headquarters and central gymnasium. In 1958 the group was renamed the Karate (SIKARAN) Brotherhood of the Philippines. In 1960, Geronimo communicated with Master Koichi Kondo of the All Japan Karate Federation in an effort to join and have the Asian Karate Association recognize SIKARAN as a distinct empty-hand fighting art of Filipino origin. On February 8, 1961, affixing his seal on his response, Master Koichi Kondo acknowledged Geronimo's letter. Again, on May 5, 1961, Master Koichi Kondo sent a hand written response from Korea, to Meliton Geronimo. In 1962, Master Koichi Kondo, Chief Instructor of the All Japan Karate Federation, as a prelude for recognition of SIKARAN as a distinct Filipino empty-hand fighting art named Meliton Geronimo, now a captain in the Philippine Air Force, Japanese Karate Grades Commissioner for the Philippines. In recognition of his skill, Meliton Geronimo was awarded the 5th Degree black belt by Kyojiro Furusawa, president of the All Japan Karate Federation. It was at that time, the highest grade in Karate awarded to a non-Japanese. The same reciprocal authority was accorded to Meliton Geronimo by Korean Tang Soo Doo Grandmasters Hwang Kee of the Moo Doo Kwan and Kwai Byung Yun of the Jee Doo Kwan. Although it took a while, on March 6, 1963, Master Koichi Kondo confirmed his support for Meliton Geronimo and the KARATE (SIKARAN) BROTHERHOOD OF THE PHILIPPINES for membership in the Asian Karate Association and extended an invitation for the Philippines to participate in the First Asian Karate Championship. In an attempt to make it a regular part of the Asian Games, a uniform name for the sport was necessary. All member countries agreed to use the collective name of Asian Karate Association. In 1964, Meliton Geronimo led a team of SIKARAN players in the First Asian Karate Championships held in Japan. It was the first time that Japanese Karate, Chinese Karate, Korean Tang Soo Doo, called Korean Karate and SIKARAN, referred to as Philippine Karate, competed in an international tournament using a standard uniform rule of contest. The rules were almost made-to-order for SIKARAN fighters. They were the matira ang matibay (knock-out-survival-of-the-fittest) kind of rules, the forte of SIKARAN. Meliton Geronimo's skill in SIKARAN paid off when he was named Most Courageous Fighter. It was his first international competition and the first honor for the Philippines in the martial art field of empty-hand fighting. It also proved the flexibility and ability of SIKARAN practitioners to adapt to different fight situations under a different set of rules of engagement. In subsequent Asian Karate Championships, several other honors were won under the leadership of Meliton Geronimo. Jaime Geronimo, younger brother of Meliton Geronimo, won the "Most Courageous Fighter Award."

Sikaran Pilipinas [cached]

Meliton Geronimo, 10th Degree Redbelt, Grandmaster of Sikaran
Sikaran Pilipinas Sikaran Pilipinas MELITON GERONIMO In recognition of this achievement, the Philippine Sportswriters Association vested on Meliton Geronimo the Sportsman of the Year Award. Meliton Geronimo, who codified, organized and elevated SIKARAN from an ancient system to a modern fighting art was awarded the title of Grandmaster of SIKARAN with the rank of 10th Degree Red Belt. He was vested the Order of the Eagle (Agila), the highest award in the Asian Karate Association. Some people were insistent on calling the art Philippine Karate professing that it has been influenced too much by Karate. Some contend that it should be called Modern SIKARAN to differentiate it with the SIKARAN of old, because foreign but similar fighting arts have debauched its distinctive style. Meliton Geronimo, maintaining that this is neither a new nor a different art, but a natural evolutionary progression of the centuries-old art of SIKARAN, resisted to use a qualifier and retained the name of the art the way it has always been since the 1800's. It may have seemed an insignificant matter to some, but to Meliton Geronimo, it looms large on the horizon of the future of SIKARAN. He strongly declared that the art of SIKARAN that he is propagating is the same art his grandfather propagated in the 1800's. He emphatically stressed that nobody can improve on perfection of the centuries-old art of SIKARAN. He emphasized that what he improved on is the "packaging" and "presentation" of SIKARAN. Working together, Meliton Geronimo, his younger brother Jaime Geronimo and Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin, with the encouragement and wisdom of SIKARAN Haris Cipriano Geronimo, Melencio Bigasin and Manuel Ocampo and Arnis de Mano Grandmaster Daniel Rendal, formalized the syllabus of the techniques and curriculum of SIKARAN. In 1969, Meliton Geronimo and Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin's Terminologies of the Filipino Fighting Arts received the approval of the Institute of National Language and the Department of Education, bolstering the identity of SIKARAN as an indigenous empty-hand fighting art of the Philippines. In the same year, Meliton Geronimo and Emmanuel Querubin published two SIKARAN Instructional Manuals. From 1969 to 1972, Meliton Geronimo and his senior instructors, Jaime Geronimo, Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin, Angeles Sanchez, Rodrigo Espiritu, Ramon Valdenor and Serafin Pangilinan, were assigned to train Republic of the Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and the Presidential Security Command in SIKARAN. The Karate Brotherhood of the Philippines became an original signatory member while Meliton Geronimo and Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin were designated lifetime founding signers of the WUKO charter. Meliton Geronimo, has gained worldwide recognition as a martial arts leader and the Philippines, through the Karate (SIKARAN) Brotherhood of the Philippines, has emerged as a powerhouse in the international Karate scene. This personal glory was bothersome for Meliton Geronimo. With the formation of WUKO, SIKARAN was being identified too much as Karate instead of the distinct Filipino Fighting Art that it is. Apprehensive that SIKARAN may lose its identity over the international acceptance of Philippine Karate, Meliton Geronimo, shortly thereafter relinquished his position in the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO). Energized by the enthusiasm of the SIKARAN elders, Meliton Geronimo devoted all his time and energy in the propagation of SIKARAN. Sacrificing his personal stature as a pacesetter in the Karate world, he dropped all reference to SIKARAN as Philippine Karate and propelled the Filipino Fighting Art to its rightful place in the international martial arts scene. Adopting the ancient rules of SIKARAN competition, Meliton Geronimo set tournament protocol making SIKARAN a modern and exciting competitive sport. SIKARAN is now practiced in several countries in at least four continents and is universally recognized as the Filipino Fighting art that it is. After retiring from the Philippine Air Force, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Meliton Geronimo was elected Mayor of the town of Baras in the province of Rizal. His first official action as Mayor was to acknowledge Baras as the birthplace of SIKARAN. A similar resolution was also passed by the provincial government of the province of Rizal. Geronimo also erected a monument of two SIKARAN fighters in a biyakid position, adjacent to the multi-purpose gymnasium that he also constructed to be home of SIKARAN. SIKARAN and Meliton Geronimo are synonymous and nobody can rightfully claim to have learned the art unless they learned it from Meliton Geronimo or his disciples. Unfortunately, unsuspecting people are being bilked by self-proclaimed "masters" and even "grandmasters," who after hearing about SIKARAN, cleverly put together some hand and foot techniques and call their art SIKARAN. Meliton Geronimo, still actively oversees the affairs of the KAPATIRANG SIKARAN NG PILIPINAS (ruling body of SIKARAN) and the KAPATIRANG PANDAIGDIG NG SIKARAN (WORLD BROTHERHOOD OF SIKARAN), comprised of several affiliates from all over the world. With Meliton Geronimo at the head, his two most senior and ardent followers stand by his side. There is only one Grandmaster of SIKARAN accepted by the SIKARAN elders and that is Meliton Geronimo. There is only one Filipino Grandmaster sanctioned and recognized by the Asian Karate Association to hold the rank of 10th Degree Red Belt in SIKARAN and that is Meliton Geronimo.

Sikaran Pilipinas [cached]

Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin, Head Instructor of SIKAP, met Meliton Geronimo, in 1958 when the former affiliated his school Samahan sa Ikauunlad ng Karate sa Pilipinas (SIKAP) later renamed SIKARAN PILIPINAS (SIKAP) with the KARATE (SIKARAN) BROTHERHOOD OF THE PHILIPPINES, headed by Meliton Geronimo.
In the 1950's, Meliton Geronimo, under the tutelage of these last living masters of SIKARAN, Cipriano Geronimo, Melencio Bigasin, Manuel Ocampo, Aurelio Cabacob, Angeles Pilapil and Servillano Javier, started formulating the curriculum of what is now present day SIKARAN. The genre of SIKARAN that was handed down to Meliton Geronimo at the tender age of eight by his father, Cipriano Geronimo, was a very effective and even deadly fighting system. From SIKARAN, foot-fighting system of the Philippines, Meliton Geronimo elevated SIKARAN to the Foot-fighting Art of the Philippines. The author refers to SIKARAN as the Unarmed Fighting Art of the Filipino Farmer, which he feels is a more accurate definition. To attain international recognition, it was imperative to apply a systematized classification and organization of the techniques and modernized the way SIKARAN was taught and disseminated. To achieve this goal, Meliton Geronimo aligned the propagation of SIKARAN with Karate, even using the explanatory title "Philippine Karate". To Emmanuel Querubin, Meliton Geronimo assigned the recording of the chronicle and journal of SIKARAN. Meliton Geronimo modified where it needs modification, such as using the white martial arts attire and ranking system signified by the color of belt. He developed where it needs development, such as the practice of techniques and drills in choreographed balangkas (formal exercises or patterns). Meliton Geronimo also adopted new methods where it was needed, such as rules and regulations to be accepted as a modern sport while maintaining SIKARAN's fighting attributes and origin. Meliton Geronimo laid down the foundation of present day SIKARAN. This website, based on the book SIKARAN Fighting Art of the Filipino Farmer, the result of the persevering efforts of Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin, is a record of the evolution of SIKARAN from a system to an art. It came into reality with the encouragement of Meliton Geronimo, Jimmy Geronimo, Cipriano Geronimo, Melencio Bigasin, Manuel Ocampo and Daniel Rendal. In the 1960's while preparation of this book was in progress, Meliton Geronimo was busy making representations with the Asian Karate Association for the recognition of SIKARAN, as a distinct Filipino Unarmed Fighting Art. SIKARAN and Meliton Geronimo were featured in the Martial Arts Masters, Founders and Leaders book published in the United States. Recently he was also featured in the Filipino Martial Arts Digest, published by Steven Dowd of Fallon, Nevada. In 1969, Meliton Geronimo and Emmanuel Querubin published two SIKARAN instructional manuals. The verifiable information all led to the lineage of Meliton Geronimo and only went back up to the early to mid 1800s, at the time of his grandfather Bonifacio Geronimo. This book reaffirms the stewardship of Meliton Geronimo as the only Grandmaster of SIKARAN acknowledged by the last Hari's of SIKARAN. Meliton Geronimo, is the only 10th Degree Red Belt in SIKARAN, sanctioned and recognized by the Asian Karate Association.

A short primer on Sikaran and Meliton Geronimo:
Sikaran started as an activity to entertain and while away the time of Filipino farmers. In the 1800's Sikaran rules were adopted elevating it into a foot-fighting system. In the 1950's Meliton Geronimo, a direct descendant of Sikaran champions elevated Sikaran into a foot-fighting art. Born in 1927, Meliton Geronimo served with the Marking Guerillas during the Second World War when he was only a teenager. Meliton Geronimo was inducted in the Philippine Air Force finally retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. In the 1950's he resurrected the interest in the practice of the ancient Filipino Art of Foot-fighting called Sikaran, which he learned from his father and the elders of Baras, Rizal. In 1958 he established the Kapatirang Sikaran ng Pilipinas. In line with the then being established Asian Karate Association, he called the art Philippine Karate and used the English term Karate Brotherhood of the Philippines. Sikaran, Japanese Karate, China's Kung-Fu and the Korean Art of Tang Soo Doo are very similar arts using bare hands and feet as weapons. In 1960 he worked towards the recognition of Sikaran as a distinct Filipino Martial Arts and the acceptance of the Philippines in the Asian Karate Association, composed of Japan, China and Korea. In 1963 Meliton Geronimo's efforts paid off when the Philippines was accepted for membership in the Asian Karate Association. In 1964 he competed in the First Asian Karate Championships in Tokyo, Japan and was awarded "Most Courageous Fighter." In 1966 Sikaran was recognized as a distinct Fighting Art of Filipino origin by the Asian Karate Association and Meliton C. Geronimo was granted the rank of 10th Degree Red Belt (highest in the martial arts) as Grandmaster of Sikaran. In six Asian Karate Championships, the Philippines garnered 7 Gold Medals under the leadership of Meliton C. Geronimo. In 1967, the Secretary-General of the Karate Association of Malaysia came to the Philippines to recruit four students of Meliton Geronimo to teach Philippine style Karate in Kuala Lumpur. In 1969, upon the recommendation of Meliton Geronimo, Malaysia was accepted as a member and competed in the Sixth Asian Karate Championships held in the Philippines. In 1970, when the Asian Karate Association was disbanded, Meliton C. Geronimo represented the Philippines in the First World Karate Congress and was instrumental in the formation of the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO), then the world ruling body in Karate. In 1972, Meliton Geronimo devoted his time and energy in the advancement and propagation of Sikaran relinquishing all references to the Filipino art as Philippine Karate.

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