Sikaran Pilipinas

10th Degree Redbelt, Grandmaster of Sikaran

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, Master Hwang Kee of the Korean Tang Soo Doo and China’s Master Chua Tiong Ki. This once in a lifetime event was witnessed by Philippine Senator Ambrosio Padilla, Antonio delas Alas, president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation, Colonel Jose Lukban, president of the Philippine Amateur Judo Association and several high ranking military officers. Also in attendance were Cipriano Geronimo, last Hari of SIKARAN and several SIKARAN elders from Baras and surrounding towns. 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. Likewise, terminologies were translated and other words were coined in line with this curriculum.

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.

In 1970, the Asian Karate Association was disbanded to give way to the creation of the World Union of Karate-do Organizations (WUKO) the ruling body of Karate in the world. It was unfortunate that Master Koichi Kondo was no longer around to witness the culmination of his dream. Master Koichi Kondo passed away prematurely in 1969. 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. Jaime Geronimo, his younger brother and second in command and a master in his own right, attends to the technical affairs of SIKARAN as an international sport and is now the Chief Instructor of the KAPATIRANG SIKARAN NG PILIPINAS. Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin, now based in the United States, continues to independently propagate SIKARAN as a fighting art.

There is only one recognized SIKARAN genealogy and that is the Geronimo lineage. 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.

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