Instructor Jimmy Silva A Humble Maestro

When the Great Grand Master Braulio Pedoy started the Pedoy’s School for Escrima in April 1961, his original four instructors included:

  • Chief Instructor Eduardo Pedoy
  • Head Instructor Gary Largo
  • First Instructor Leslie Largo
  • Instructor Jimmy Silva

Instructor Jimmy Silva learned the Derobio style of Escrima under Great Grand Master Braulio Pedoy in the late 1950s. When GGM Braulio first opened the Pedoy’s School for Escrima in Waipahu, Maestro Jimmy was one of the four original instructors and was a full instructor, Red Shirt level.

Maestro Jimmy has the distinction of being the first non-Filipino in Derobio Escrima.

During the 1920s -1950s, the Hawaii Escrima Master only taught full-blooded Filipinos who also needed to be able to speak Filipino. Great Grand Master Braulio Pedoy was the first Escrima Master in Hawaii to break this tradition and was willing to teach any nationality, non-speaking Filipinos, and students with any religious faith. At this time, this was a significant change within the Filipino martial arts community in Hawaii.

The Great Grand Master took much criticism for the nationality makeup of his new school. However, in a very short time, most Escrima Schools on Oahu also started taking non-Filipinos as students. Later in 1989, Great Master Braulio Pedoy received a prestigious State of Hawaii House Proclamation, recognizing him as an “Escrima Master Extraordinary for being the first Escrima Master in Hawaii to teach non-Filipinos.”

Instructor Jimmy devoted himself to Derobio, taught new students for years, and was loved by the GGM, his fellow instructors, and students.

Jimmy Silva was a humble and secretive man; his immediate family and best friends did not know about his Escrima background. At Jimmy’s funeral, Grand Masters Gary Largo, Master Leslie Largo, and Master Carlton Kramer went to pay their respects to the family, and we were asked if we belonged to Jimmy’s motorcycle club. To our surprise, none of his family or best friends knew about Jimmy’s love for the Martial Arts of the Philippines or that he held the rank of full instructor at the Pedoy’s School for Escrima. Like many Escrimadors of that era, Jimmy kept his love for Escrima to himself.



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