The Kapisanang Mandirigma Institute is the Warrior Arts Training Department of Kapisanang Mandirigma.

The Kapisanang Mandirigma Institute is dedicated to honoring and preserving the knowledge passed on to them though their honorable lineage. The Kapisanang Mandirigma Instiute is also known as Backyard Eskrima.

What is the Backyard Eskrima Tradition?

By Guro Dino Flores

These are some of the things that were learned from all of my past teachers. In this regard, particularly Punong Guro Edgar Sulite and Master Christopher Ricketts.

The Backyard is wherever we choose to train. It is not a place. It is an agreement between all parties involved.

The Backyard Tradition requires the screening of all potential members before entry. We observe the candidate. Does the candidate possess traits such as loyalty, respect, honor, a sense of morality and a balanced ego and personality? What is the applicants intention with the art? Are they trustworthy? Are they only seeking fame or fortune? Are they truly passionate about the art? Are they a person of their word? What does integrity mean to them? Are they telling you just what you want to hear while putting their best foot forward? Are they sane? These are some of the factors given scrutiny before consideration. These factors are not just fanciful words to be thrown around. They are taken very seriously and very literally.

Traditional Backyard Eskrima is very rarely open to the general public without invitation. Frequently before even being considered for screening, an aspiring member must be referred by a respected associate.

In traditional Backyard Eskrima certain things are without question: Honor and respect for the art, the lineage, your classmates, your seniors , your teachers and most of all – respect for yourself. If a person needs to be reminded or told of these factors, they really shouldn’t be there. This should be innate and already come naturally at this level of the Warrior Tradition.

Why so secret? The backyard is frequently where the most effective techniques and theories are shared and practiced. Gems of knowledge not meant for public consumption and reserved for a select few. Additionally this is where the sparring and real time exercises occur. Where examination of theory and practice can be put through laboratory like testing. Much was sacrificed through the generations in order for this knowledge to reach us and thus it must be treated with more respect than just a mere commodity. Punong Guro Edgar Sulite once told me of a belief in some Eskrima traditions. The belief was that if you gave the hard earned techniques away to just anybody who asked without bias, then one day you would face your own techniques in actual combat.

Even after being allowed entry, there is usually a probation period until acceptance as a full member of the family with access into the inner sanctum. Inevitably the occasional scoundrel slips through the defenses. Such is life and such are the odds. It is an occupational hazard and it is the chance that we take. Other than that, the Backyard Eskrima Tradition allows for an excellent advanced environment for those who are primarily focused on their growth and journey in their chosen art. We can only hope that this tradition provides us with a reliable circle of associates that can be counted on till this journey comes to a natural end and we feel confident that the legacy has been passed on to worthy hands.



More information at: Mandirigma.org/Mandirigma Research Organization.

V.1.0 – 7/27 2011

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