Congrats to Mike Berrios, Tony Marquez, and Quentin Goodie on their 1st round TKOs! Adrenaline Fight League on Saturday July 12th. Great job guys!
Panantukan is a term many of Guro Dan Inosanto’s Instructors used when describing the empty hand striking arts of the Philippines. The other commonly used term was Sikaran, but back in the 70’s many martial artist thought Guro Inosanto was saying Shotokan, which is a martial art from Japan and entirely different. So to differentiate the arts, many of his Instructors told him to use the term Panantukan. The term Pangamut was also used for empty hand aspects of Filipino Martial Arts but it’s original use was “highly skilled” with both weapons AND empty hands.
Filipinos have always been skilled boxers. Coming from the use of weapons, they understood the need for footwork. The great Muhammod Ali, famous for his footwork, traveled to the Philippines where he returned with great footwork. These Filipino boxers kept their hands in close to the body and face to keep them from getting hit or cut by weapons. They used body shifting, head movement and footwork. These were elements that were unseen by American boxers until the time of the American occupation of the Philippines. During which time the American soldiers introduced boxing as a sport and more humane way of setteling disputes. Filipinos took to this sport with gusto. This lead to many famous Filipino boxers back in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. You can review my notes on older posts in this blog for more information on boxers from that era.
In fact, when you look at boxing now, you are seeing a version of Panantukan. The early pioneers of Western Boxing had the upright or leaned back posture of European Boxing. With hands held out away from the body, palms up in what we refer to as the “John Sullivan” stance. In contrast to what boxing began to look like when the Americans met the Filipino! After that, boxing was never the same, boxers used footwork, not shuffleing. They kept their hands up and in tight, not extended as before. They moved their heads and shifted the body. None of that had ever happend in boxing before the Filipino influence. You can still see a difference today in American Boxing vs. European Boxing. It’s not as pronounced as before, but they still don’t look or move quite like the American version of today.
Today Panantukan is considred to be one of the most well rounded and versitle striking systems in the martial arts world. It includes the use of destructions to the arms and legs, making it hard for the opponent to punch, parry or move. It uses a wide variety of strikes, from punches, to eye jabs, forearm strikes, elbows, even head butts. For this reason many people like to use the term “Dirty Boxing” when they talk about Panantukan, however, it’s only dirty if you are thinking of it in terms of sport! If you are talking about real fighting nothing is dirty, just effective and non effective! The art also includes the use of gaining control of the opponent by grabbing the neck, pushing to off-balance and even stepping on his foot! All to gain advantage and put yourself in a postition to hit more effectively and so he can hit less effectively.
One of the questions I get alot is “Why not just use Western Boxing?” True, there a great many things about boxing as it is practiced today that are useful. Hard conditioning, the toughness one gains through that hard training, being able to generate tons of power, along with footwork, head movement and speed. So why do anything else? Well, one of the reasons why boxers wear gloves is to protect their hands. It’s not to protect the opponent! If that were the case there would be no knockouts! No, gloves simply protect the boxers hands, that’s it. What happens when a boxer gets in a fight on the street and hits someone without a glove? Ask Iron Mike! Every fight he got into on the street, he broke his hand. Why? Because boxers generate so much power with each punch that the human hand can’t withstand the force, so when smashed against a head, it breaks. Now of course the head gets smashed too! So yes, they might knock him out, but now what? You got a broken hand, one bad guy down and two to go! Hard to keep fighting with a broken hand, or draw a weapon or dial for 911 or stop bleeding from a wound. If that boxer would have slapped him, he’d still be KO’d but his hand wouldn’t be broken! So what we want is to have the modern benefits of a boxer, fast, tough, great shape, great footwork and body mechanics, head movement, etc. but also have the versatility of the old Panantukan style, hitting in clinch, elbows, headbutts, forearms strikes, knees, thumbing the eyes, that kind of fighting will be much more useful, keep you in the fight longer and you will be able to to it even if your sick, old or injured.
So, if your looking for a practical martial art, a great phyical fitness program, a cultural aspect of the Philippines or something that’s just fun to do, Panantukan is a great art that can fill those needs. I have found it to be very rewarding and it has helped my skill level to raise consistantly over the years.
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Congratulations to Mike Wessel on his win over Ryan Martinez last night! On his way to become the heavyweight champ for Bellator! Also congrats to Jacob Noe as well with his first round knockout.
Aaron Kimball, Mike Wessel and Max Bishop after Mike’s big win in Tunica, MS.
When you train, sweat, and bleed with someone and experience the highs of victory an the lows of defeat like we are accustomed to with our sport you develop a bond unlike anything else in the world. We know each others strengths, weaknesses, and breaking points. We learn to trust ourselves to our coaches and our teammates (sometimes almost blindly) and lift each other up when we are weak. We treat one another like family and get to understand each others quirks and personalities and overcome difficulty together. We melt together and take on parts of one another and synchronize on a whole different level. We push each other until we are absolutely broken and then pick each other up and hug like blood family.
There is no way for someone on the “outside” to know how much love and respect we have for our brothers and our team. I tell my boys I love them every single day without fail. They are everything to me. I am devastated to my core about our loss. Some of us have gone our separate ways and chosen different paths in both training and in life but that doesn’t change the time we spent,the reps we’ve logged and the hours, days, months, and years we’ve spent together in the ever-continuing break/build lifestyle we lead. I can’t say enough about Philip and I feel like a piece of me is gone too. I hate to see such a good guy have to go and I hate even more this feeling of helplessness. I wish words existed to provide some comfort to his family.
We’re all adrenaline junkies and I know that we all flirt with danger or even death routinely (I know i sure do) but when something like this happens it puts things into a whole new perspective for us and our loved ones. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow so I encourage all of our people to treat each other, each day, like it may be the last time you see them. Show love, express gratitude, share kisses and hugs, give forgiveness, and hold no regrets later on.
I could go on and on but I’ll close with this. Our lil brother Philip was a special guy and I want us all to share a few memories on here no matter how small, big, funny, sad, etc it might be. We love you “mongoose” and your memory we will carry with us forever. Thx for leaving some special memories on our hearts and in our minds, you were one of a kind. Love you brother, AK-
5 yr old Xander Kimball hitting a double leg takedown during kids wrestling/mma practice!
UFC vet Mike Wessel brings home a win against Matt Kovacs at ShoFight in Springfield, MO. Stay tuned for his upcoming fight with Bellator in a few weeks!
Coaches Max Bishop and Aaron Kimball with Mike Wessel after his win.
“Backpack” Bryan Johnson wins via first rd Von Flue choke in 40 seconds. Josh Rivers wins via referee stoppage in Rd 2 due to a NASTY cut from a TCB left hook and won fight of the night. Donald has his first tough fight and really got tested by a much more experienced opponent and last minute change (but we took it anyway cause that’s how we do) and got up time and time again like a warrior and got stopped late in the second but was definitely a great fight.
Head coach Aaron Kimball working with UFC Mike Wessel for his upcoming fight at ShoFight in Springfield, MO.
Mike Wessel’s gym in Jonesboro, AR.