The Batikan Takes Over The School

The Batikan Takes Over  The Pedoy’s School of Escrima

By GM Carlton Kramer

The GGM died suddenly on July 29, 1992, and none of the instructors could believe it. He had gone to the hospital before, but he had always recovered. Depression set in, and most instructors stopped training for a while.

Eddie took the title “The Batikan, “GM Tobosa recommended years before. The Batikan means “Overseer.” In Escrima, it is the same level as a Grand Master. In doing so, Eddie felt he would have his own identity from his father, yet his goals were the same, promote Derobio and lift up Escrima, the Martial Art of the Philippines.

The Batikan moved to San Diego to be with relatives and taught Derobio almost every night. Like most locals, he missed Hawaii and eventually decided to return and live with his half-brother Marshall Adaro.

Upon his return, The Batikan called me and needed to talk to me immediately. That night I drove to Kahalulu and had a meeting with him. He knew I was training my two daughters at the Pedoy’s School of Escrima on Isenberg and South King Street Park that Chief Instructor Ron England was running. He instructed me to open my school at my house and to invite my daughter’s friends to join our new class. He told me it was time to encourage young kids to join The Pedoy’s School for Escrima. Under the Great Grand Master Braulio Pedoy, training was so tough that only a few very determined adults could take his intense classes. The Batikan encouraged the other instructors and me to slow things down and invite the public to learn Derobio.

I first called Chief Instructor Knut Peacock, gave him our Batikan orders and plan, and asked him to join me in this new branch in Nuuanu. Chief Knut was supportive and excited, and we started the class on Tuesdays and Thursdays in my front yard. The Bakitan would come to class a couple of times a month. He was fantastic with the parents and the kids; after class, he would tell stories and jokes, and we would laugh so hard. To know The Batikan is to know he had two personalities, one during class when he was so serious and one after class in which he was so easygoing and fun.

One of our students, Lane. He was only nine but unbelievably talented with one and two bolos. The Bakitan wanted to be sure his instructors and his parents guided him to be humble in life and not to turn out to be a bully. The Bakitan was as concerned about his good charter before we turned the boy into an ultimate fighter.

About six months later, we moved the Nuuanu School to the courtyard of the Moncado Church in Kahili Valley. Chief Knut talked to the Largos and Chief Peter Schmal about coming out of retirement and joining the new Kahili branch.

As the school expanded, we eventually changed the name for insurance and tax considerations to General Ablen’s School of Derobio Escrima. Master Leslie thought up the new school’s name. Grand Master Gary Largo became our Grand Master, followed by Master Leslie Largo, myself, Senior Chief Instructor Knut, and Chief Instructor Peter.

Like his father, The Bakitan truly believed in Master Hilario Camino Moncado. When Eddie was young, the GGM and Mrs. Pedoy took him on a Sunday morning to Church; Master Moncado invited anyone sick to the stage. Eddie’s parents encourage him to go up and tell Master Moncado about his asthma. According to The Bakitan, Master Moncado slapped him hard on his back, which knocked the wind out of him, and he swears he was cured of asthma from that day on.


The Batikan felt we needed female instructors in our schools so other girls would feel confident that they, too, could learn Derobio. Eddie Pedoy was convinced that Escrima was the perfect self-defense art for women because the weapon was the equalizer. Thus, when Master Nai’s two daughters, Latasha and Tiara Hasagawa,  became red shirts, The Batikan was extremely happy that one of his goals had been achieved.

As The Batikan’s health worsened, he promoted his nephew, Tyrone Takahashi, to Grand Master of the Pedoy’s School of Escrima. The Great Grand Master Braulio Pedoy wanted the style to stay within his family, and he told all his instructors numerous times that it was his wish to leave the school to his son Eddie, then to Tyrone, and then to Tyrone’s son Keoni.


The Bakitan was truly in charge of the Derobio Schools. Like his father, he had the final say in the direction and decisions needed to run the school. In the instructor’s monthly meetings, he would always ask each instructor their thoughts before deciding. This was an admirable trait, and I always admired The Bakitan for asking everyone for input before he made his final decision. Both Pedoys would always stress “we” and not “I.”


One of Bakitan’s favorite sayings is, “You have to give Respect to get Respect.” The Bakitan was always very respectful to other Escrima Masters and his instructors, so it was easy for us to respect him and his visions for the future. We, instructors, learned so much from the Pedoys, and we all miss their teachings on Life, Escrima, and Derobio.


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