Inspired in the Moncado Church

When we trained in the back of the Kahili Valley in 2013, we taught in a beautiful courtyard outside the Moncado Church. One winter night, when it was storming, we retreated to the church to have our Escrima class. Instead of moving all the church benches, we decided to have counter-training.

Learning the counters takes years; the GGM Braulio Pedoy told us that it took General Ablen eight years to learn the 144. Once you know the 144, you can then learn how the 1,728 counters work. Locks and counter-locks occur when two fighters are intertwined in combat. The fighter that can counter his opponent and keep the lock in place lives and defeats his enemy.

While teaching the counters that stormy night, I had a sudden idea of how we could greatly shortcut the process of learning the counters.  I took my favorite counter-movement from every 12 lockers and threw it into each of the 12 strikes. The goal was soon established to do the 144 counters without hesitation in less than 10 minutes. Opponents strike from all angles, and you must lock and counter each strike.

After a few years, of teaching the shortcut 144 counters, I realized that we needed to go back to the original way we learned from the GGMPedoy; teaching 12 counters for each of the 12 offensive strikes. There is never enough time in class to do counters and bolo training. So, with Chief Grand Master Leslie’s permission, we started counter classes, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm at MaeMae Elementary School.

Now students must take a test for each of the 12 counters associated with the 12 offensive strikes. Once the student passes the counter test for each number series, we teach the student each of the counter’s get-a-aways movements.

Counters are only for some students because they are extremely painful to learn. But it is essential to pass on this type of combat fighting knowledge to the next generation because it is one of the foundations ofourDerobio Style. Like the GGM’s class, we try and make learning counters fun.

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