Sikaran Pilipinas

Sikaran Gets a Boost from Political Bigwigs

Grandmaster Meliton Geronimo

Sikaran Grandmaster Meliton Geronimo
10th Degree Red Belt
Founder and President of Pandaigdig Kapatirang Sikaran ng Pilipinas

SIKARAN, the only indigenous unarmed Filipino martial art got a boost from no less than sports and Sikaran afficionado Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid. On April 29, 2009, Senator Lapid introduced Senate Bill 3193, also known as “The Sikaran Martial Arts Act of 2009”.
    Initiated by Jessie Rocales, Senator Lapid’s Chief of Staff, himself a Sikaran practitioner from Cagayan de Oro City, hometown of Amando Diaz, two-times Asian Karate Champion of the 1960’s, when Sikaran was also called Philippine Karate, Senate Bill 3193 reads: “An Act promoting Sikaran Martial Arts, an indigenous foot-fighting martial arts system, providing mechanisms and programs for its preservation and promotion, appropriating funds therefore and for other purposes”.
    The two most noteworthy provisions of the bill are Section 3.which reads: Integration in the Physical Education Curriculum.

- In order to mainstream, promote and popularize Sikaran Martial Arts in the country, all primary, secondary and tertiary public and private education institutions are mandated to include Sikaran as a required subject in its Physical Education (PE) curriculum. And Section 5, which reads: Creation of a Sikaran National Training Institute (SNTI).
- To carry out the above policy, there is hereby created a Sikaran National Training Institute, hereinafter referred to as the Training Institute.

    Of equal importance is Section 10, which reads: Sikaran Fund. - There is hereby established a Sikaran Fund which shall be used to promote the Sikaran Martial Arts as an indigenous martial arts in the country. with an appropriation from the National Government of not less than Twenty Million Pesos (Php20,000,000.00) annually for at least five (5) years from the time of its constitution.
    A year earlier, Congresswoman Adelina Rodriguez-Zaldriagga of Rizal Province introduced House Bill No. 1512, making Sikaran the National Martial Arts of the Philippines.
    Both bills have passed the Second Reading. The Kapatirang Sikaran ng Pilipinas is urging all martial arts practitioners in the Philippines to contact their senators and congressmen to support both bills and to write President Gloria Arroyo to enact them into law.

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.
  • Sikaran is now widely practiced in all 13 Regions of the Philippines and in several countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, England, Ireland and many more.