The General Gives Braulio Pedoy His Master’s Examination

The General Gives Braulio Pedoy His Master’s Examination

For 11 years, General Ablen trained young Braulio. They trained every day since Braulio had arrived at the General’s mountain hut at 6 years old until he was 17. The lessons began using rattan stick the length of his arm. A few years later, as Braulio progressed, the General introduced bolo training into to the lessons. The two lived deep in the mountainous jungles of Leyte so the General would told the young boy “ There are no hospitals, doctors, or antibiotics in the jungle, so even a small wound can kill you, so pray hard before each class and concentrate on your defensive movements.”

From 1909 to 1920, General Ablen raised and trained young Braulio

When Braulio was 17, the General told Braulio it was time for his Master’s examination. Ablen told Braulio that the next day they two would have a fight to the death so he must prepare himself. The General went on to say that “if either of us is gravely wounded during you test, it is best to end the life of the injured so they don’t die a slow and painful death. During the test, I will do my best to kill you so you must try to kill me.”

Braulio prayed that he would be protected and survive the test. The day soon pasted, and it was time. GGM said they duel with bolos for hours; Braulio had gotten cut on the bridge of his nose between the eyes, between the thumb and forefinger, and one on the chin (he always use to show us the scars of the Master’s Examination). Neither wound was serious, but the cut on his face caused a lot of blood. The GGM said the General moved so well he never touched him.

After the physical part of the examination was over, General Ablen took Braulio to a mountain pond. He told Braulio to climb the tree next to the pond and to look down into the water and tell him what he saw. Braulio told the General that he saw a bunch of bamboo spikes sticking up just under the surface of the water. The General told Braulio to jump down into the pond but he was hesitant to follow the General’s command. Ablen told him to have faith and to jump. Braulio finally decided to follow the command and jumped. Braulio landed in the water but was not injured. He looked into the water and there were no bamboo spikes; just bamboo leaves floating on the surface of the water. The General had placed the elusion over the water by using his AntingAnting to try and trick Braulio. He had passed the exam! The General wanted to truly know that Braulio not only had total fate in his Master’s commands, but had the physical, mental and spiritual skills needed to survive any encounter.

When the exam was over, the General told Braulio that the time had come for him to leave the mountain because it was no place for anyone to live the rest of their life. The General suggested that Braulio first goes see his father but not to stay, then go to Mindanao and learn the Muslim styles of inside fighting, then go to America.

Braulio came to the US under his friends name, Fructuoso Escuton, because he lacked the required government papers. This document was found recently by Chris Cramer, and shows the GGM arrived in Hawaii on Dec 4, 1924 and the next day sent to the Big Island’s Olaa Sugar Cane Plantation

??????The General told Braulio “Go to America. The United States is a rich country and you will do well there. One day you will be recognized for your Escrima talent.”  This prediction came true! In 1976, GGM Braulio Pedoy was given a proclamation from the Hawaii State Legislature for being an Escrima Master Extraordinaire in the Martial Arts of the Philippines and being the first Master in Hawaii to teach non-Filipinos the art of Escrima.

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