The Batikan

Feb 2, 1950 to August 8, 2010

By Master Carlton Kramer

His friends and neighbors called him Eddie, although his formal name was Eduardo, but the students and instructors all referred to him as “Chief” and later as “The Batikan”. Born on Feb 2, 1950, on the Island of Oahu, he was the only child of the Great Grand Master. The Batikan had six half brothers and two half sisters from his mother’s first marriage. Although they all grew up together in the same house, Eddie was the only one interested in learning Escrima. A black belt in Karate at an early age, Eddie never even heard of Escrima until after graduating of Waipahu High School.


Chief Instructor Eddie Pedoy in the early 1970s

Eddie told me that one day he was bragging about Karate to the GGM, that it was the ultimate fighting art. To his surprise the GGM disagreed and told him that the martial art of the Philippines could hold its own against Karate. Of course the GGM had to explain what Escrima was but didn’t tell Eddie he was a Master in Derobio. They proceed to the back yard to test the two arts, GGM with his favorite guava stick and Eddie ready to test Escrima with his power kicks and punches. Each time Eddie threw or kicked, the GGM gave him a large lump by striking his joints with his stick. Eddie limped away from the encounter with new appreciation for weapon fighting.

Later the GGM admitted to his family that he was a Master of Derobio. Soon after this announcement; Eddie, Tyrone, Gary & Leslie Largo, and Jimmy Silva talked the GGM to start an Escrima school in 1961. Since I joined in the early 70s, I will leave it up to Grand Master Tyrone and the Largos to describe this decade of activity. (Maestro Jimmy recently passed away, we will miss him dearly and he was the first Caucasian Derobio Instructor).

In the summer of 1971, I was working with Leslie Largo and Jimmy Silva in construction when they asked me to come over to their house after work, drink a few beers and watch their martial class; I was 19 years old at the time. Right before 6 pm, after consuming two beers, I walked out into the garage, and Chief Eddie came right up to me, standing just one foot from my face and said, “What are you doing here?” and I replied meekly, “I just came to watch class.” His response was, “there is no watching, here grab this stick and line up in the back row.” At the time Chief Eddie was 6 feet and 240 pounds, definitely the scariest Filipino I ever meet. Because I had been drinking, I hit my face 2 times with the stick during figure 8’s exercises, so Chief Eddie told Maestro Jimmy Silva to take me in the back yard for 3 months and teach me the basics. This made me very happy because I  could train with my best friend and I didn’t have to worry about facing the Chief for awhile.

I soon learned that Chief Eddie had two personalities, one in class and another out of Escrima Class. In class, Chief Eddie would bark orders and loved to drill the students until we were entirely wet from perspiration. Outside of class, Eddie had the best sense of humor and was a really good person.

Chief Eddie believed in repetitions and doing the basics over & over & over again. Counting in Spanish out loud was demanded for timing and keeping the class moving as one. Classes were at leaset 2 hours, with at least 30-45 minutes devoted to warm up exercises.

Chief Eddie conducted Escrima classes with heavy physical exercises and repetitive Derobio drills

For many years, Chief Eddie led the classes, his Escrima lessons were like being in boot camp for the Marines, and he got you in shape. On weekends, Eddie loved taking the students and instructors to the mountains, to the parks or at the beach to practice Escrima.

Chief Eddie and Instructor Knut in 1985

Eddie was untouchable in Escrima,  he truly was a Master, so big, yet so fluid , he moved like he was on the moon, lightless and effortlessly.  Unfortunately, in the mid 70’s, Chief Eddie got a evening job in security and was no longer able to come to most of the Escrima classes, thus the GGM decided to take over the training personally.

Chief Eddie, Gary and Leslie Largo seek out the outer Escrima Masters in Hawaii and they became friends with Grand Master Tobosa

Chief Eddie has the distinction of creating the big man style of Derobio. He and the GGM would talk in length about how bigger men, using Derobio, could take advantage of the height, reach and weight in combat. His big man power style strikes were meant to go right through opponent’s defensive moves.

Why Eddie took the title of The Batikan and not Grand Master is an interesting story, in the early 60s there were just a few Escrima school in Hawaii. Chief Eddie would go and visit all the escrima schools on Oahu and learn from the different Masters. During this period he became a big fan of Grand Master Tobosa and they eventually became good friends. GM Tobosa told Eddie that someday he should elevate himself to Batikan, which means the “Overseer”. In the mid 90’s, after the GGM died, Eddie promoted Tyrone to Grand Master to run the day to day activity of the Pedoy School of Escrima and he officially became “The Batikan.”

Both the Great Grand Master Braulio and Batikan Eddie were great men, similar in so many ways and different in others. Soon after the GGM died, Eddie told me, “I love my father so much and I respect my father so much, I try to search for him in my dreams.”

The Batikan and The GGM were so similar:

  • Both men lived for Escrima, they were on a mission. It was who they were. Not a hobby but their foundation, their purpose in life.
  • Both Eddie and Braulio had a dream to elevate Escrima to the level of the other marital arts such as Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwan Do, and Kempo.
  • Both Eddie and his father were religious men and were true Moncado followers. Eddie told us about the day that Master Moncado invited anyone sick to come up to the altar and be cured at the Moncado Church in Kahili. With one slap on his back Master Moncado cured Eddie of his asthma.
  • Another way Eddie and the GGM were similar is that they didn’t look  towards Escrima to make money. If a student came to class they were happy.
  • Both Eddie and his father had tremendous respect for the other Escrima Schools, I never heard either one say anything negative towards another Escrima or Kali schools. Batikan once summed it up for us, “We must always respect the other Escrima Schools and their instructors, without giving respect, you can not get respect back. It’s not Pedoy School against the other Escrima School; it’s up to us to all lift up the Art.”
  • Both Eddie and the GGM took great care in planning for the future of the Pedoy School of Escrima after their deaths. The GGM, made it crystal clear the school was to go to Eddie, to then Tyrone and the school was to always remain in the family through bloodline. The Batikan instructions was also clear in keeping the school in the bloodline, from GM Ty, and  to his son Keoni, the school’s leadership was to remain in the Takahashi family.
  • Both Men had a sixth sense;  I will never forgot the Sunday morning I was rushed to emergency for an operation for a staph infection on my elbow, and I  just got out of surgery around 2 pm and I got a cellular call from The Bakitan, he asked me if everything was ok with me? I reply, “Ok, I almost died and I explained how I just got out of the operating room at the hospital.” Eddie, told me, “I thought something was terribly wrong with you and that is why I called.” This incident surprised me so much, no one except my immediate family knew I was in emergency or that I was even sick. It showed me that Eddie was becoming more and more like his father and could sense things…. this is truly unexplainable.
  • Both men had a great sense of humor and were always telling jokes after class.

Eddie Pedoy never turned down a challenge

The Pedoy School of Escrima used to demonstrate all over in Hawaii, sometimes there were a couple demonstrations a week. During two of these demonstrations Chief Eddie was challenged by total strangers.

  1. The first incident happened in the early 80’s at the Coast Guard gym on Sand Island. We were demonstrating in front of about 200 soldiers and their family members on a Saturday night. During our demonstration, a sailor got in front of the entire audience challenges the Chief and said that Escrima was nothing and his Martial Art techniques could beat Escrima. Eddie without hesitant said “ok to the challenge, you can attack me when you are ready.”  The sailor gave a spinning roundhouse kick and the Chief took one step back and  wacked his extended leg so hard that the sailor limped off the court and didn’t cause any more problems that night.
  2. The second incident occurred a couple of years later at a private party in Maile, Oahu. After the demonstration, we made a mistake and we had our bolos and sticks lying all over the garage. A large local man in his twenties, was high on ice, picked up a bolo and challenge  Chief Eddie. I was so shocked and admired the way Eddie handled it. Eddie never backed down and stood his ground with this individual, he simply said, “You are challenging me so you attack first.” The stand off lasted a few more minutes, with the local man yelling and cursing Eddie. It finally ended when Chief Knut, Chief Peter and I all grabbed our bolos and stood behind Eddie and the local guy finally put the bolo down. This is the lesson we learned from this unpleasant experience:
  • Never demonstrate a parties
  • Never leave your weapons around where someone can grab them

After GGM and Mrs Pedoy died, Eddie lived with his brother Marshall

Before the GGM’s funeral services, The Batikan asked me to get up and speak on behalf of the  instructors of the school, which of course would be hard to do. I remember being so stressed out about what to say and if I could even do it with all my sad emotions I was feeling. That morning I remember having a dream that the GGM was shaking me and telling me to get up early and go over my speech. Even though it was a dream, even today it seems so real.

The Bakitan only scolded me once. After is father died in 1993, I stopped coming to class, I lost my desire to train and  teach. After awhile, Eddie calls me up and says, he wants to see me right away. As soon as I show up at Marshal’s house in Kaneohe, he let in on me, “ Do you think you showing the GGM respect by not coming to class any more, snap out of it, I am sad too that my father died but do you see me hiding?” The scolding was just wanted I needed, The Batikan was right as usual.

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