Ilistrisimo vs. Sayoc Kali

Sorry if this question has been asked already. But what is the difference between Ilustrisimo and Sayoc Kali? Are there any similarities between the two arts? Thanks

Sorry that I made a typo spelling Ilustrisimo in the heading. I tried to edit it but it wouldn't let me.


There are many similarities as well as differences between Sayoc Kali and Kalis Ilustrisimo. There was a post that highlights some of them somewhere?? But, I can say they are both very good blade arts, that share deceptive movements, and lethal entry. They differ on the approaches they take toward training, as well as the engagement distances.

Let me know of any specific questions, and I'll do my best to help you out.

Guro Steve L.

FOUND IT!!!!! took a couple of days.

The entry below is an answer to the a similar questions that was posted a while ago :-)

I will "attempt" to answer your question, on the proviso that you will have to understand that my exposure to Sayoc has been VERY LIMITED......when I taught my seminar at Guro Steve's gym, it was basically me doing the teaching, with Guro Steve doing small comparisons with me...........Steve basically "emptied his tea-cup", and just absorbed what I have to teach.........a sign of a great Instructor.

The other proviso here is that if anything I say is inaccurate or completely wrong.......I would like Guro Steve, or any other Sayoc practitioner to correct me.......please.

So to cut a long story short...........

There are many combat philosophies and stategies that are not only similar but also identical.

Where I THINK the difference is this:

At long/medium range the Ilustrisimo practitioner seems to have an emphasis of non-telegraphic striking, also using feints, and trying to "draw" the opponent into a false sense of distance, or upsetting his/her timing by using direct attacks and stop hits.

The Sayoc practitioner in turn shines at medium/short ranges, as their practise of "templates" provide strategies that seem far more well developed than most other systems (including mine).

So does that mean one is better that the other - well, it depends on the person using it.

There are many things in the Ilustrisimo system that I do NOT teach, because it will just simply get you killed in combat.......I'm sure it's the same with the Sayoc system.

As for stick.......yes we do use it. I always say that you can learn how to use a machete and effectively pick up a stick and use it. But you cannot necessarily learn how to use a stick, and pick up a machete and use it....

In fact, Michael Jen is a "stick specialist", whils Radek Sefcik is a "knife specialist"......

I prefer knife, but I'm better with a machete..


Good thread!


Can you elaborate on the things in the Ilustrisimo system that can get you killed in combat. What things?


Nanood kami ng Master and Commander kagabi ni Rom-Rom. Puta and panget! Huwag mong panoorin. Lugi ka! hehehe

Sorry guys. Off topic. But I felt that I didn't get my money's worth for the movie.

Hey m.g.

First assumption here is that your opponent is an experienced fighter; he knows your moves; he's stronger and faster.........and just downright not a nice guy......

Second assumption - this is my PERSONAL OPINION; so nobody get friggin offended.......

Moves that would move you closer to death are:-

1) Just about any disarms. Although I really like the Ilustrisimo ones; I'm still dubious about doing it to an assailant who has a real blade and knows what they are doing.

2) There is a move called "Pluma" - Although it's Tatangs "signature" move. I can't for the life of me get it to work reliably 99% of the time.......too low percentage for me

3) Another move is "Cadena Real"......only use if you want your belly spit open and your guts to hang out. Sayoc guys will see this opening easily (The 'ol Blue Worm move).

4) Abanico - only for tournaments.

5) Moves are usually done from "medium" distance range. I like to be either long range or really close head butting range.........too many instances where double kills happen at medium range.

The best way I have found to try out my teaching is to get someone like Radek Sefcik, Marc Scott or an Adam Kayoom.....put them in a bad mood, and just say "go for it".

On a good day, a sneaky bastard like Michael Jen gets good hits in when you don't expect it. He's probably had the most hours of intensive private lessons than anybody else in the US (bloody training and sparring till 3.00am - EACH DAY). He's also the most technically perfect of my guys.......all those damn questions.

Steven, sneaky, fast, accurate. Did I say fast??...anyway, he's probably the closest to me I've ever met (Damn those templates) :-)

Someone like Liam "the Lemon" will throw you across the room with a takedown even though you've stabbed him in the back of the head 15 times, and keeps going. I know, he's impervious to cuts and stabs. In his last fight, I was told he used his face to block a kick.


LOL at your comments about Lemon. :)

Wait until you train with Radek in Feb.. Radek is really bad ass now. He definitely had the upper hand on me when we stick sparred and I wouldn't even dare knife spar against him.

2) There is a move called "Pluma" - Although it's Tatangs "signature" move. I can't for the life of me get it to work reliably 99% of the time.......too low percentage for me.

In my limited experience of Ilustrisimo (3 sessions with Rom-Rom), I just couldn't understand how pluma works. He was able to do it to me though. I guess some moves are really subjective.

Disarms could be quite effective too. I got disarmed so many times by Rom-Rom. But, with all honesty, I just can't figure out how he does it to me. Even after long, drawn-out explanations.

I'm starting to really hate this art. =)


Heard you were a champion fencer before. Rom told me hayop daw timing mo. Even when you started out not knowing anything in Ilustrisimo, heard you could time and clock your opponent's openings.

Any Ilustrisimo practicioners in the Pasadena area?

Is "pluma" that thing that looks like a twirl?


I am curious how such a technique is used by someone like Rom-Rom. There doesn't seem to be a lot of power in it.

Hello Guys, think you are talking about yourself Raymond!

I have used the "Pluma" technique several times, while baiting my opponent for a forehand shot, I then enter with a pluma/shield motion and strike them on the arm or head as I move past. Remember..move past...otherwise their back swing will get you, and there could easily be more than one opponent!

Pick your target and nail it hard!!

Steve L.

Hoping not to turn this into a Pluma thread, but ...

it looks like a twirl, so it's the same thing as a florette in Pekiti-Tirsia?


From what I've seen of Ilustrisimo's 'pluma' technique(which is very little...), it is not the same as Pekiti Tirsia's 'florete'.

-wes tasker


Up to now, I have no feakin idea how he did that. All I know was that it really hurt.

I train more BJJ and Vale Tudo with Rom-Rom that Ilustrisimo. Hopefully, after my fight on Dec. 13, I can start training Ilustrisimo again.

Like I told you. You have more experience in this art than me.


Bad trip training para sa laban. Di ako makakain ng Baboy. No ore chicharon, Crispy Pata, lechon kawali. All those stuff that you love. =)


When I saw video footage of Tatang, I asked Ray what that "twirl" was and Ray showed me the isolated technique. Besides seeing Tatang do it in demonstration and Raymond do it in demonstration, I have never seen it done or had it done to me in sparring so I am very curious how it would be used. Plus, Raymond's personal style is very different from Romy and Rom-Rom, so I am curious how they use it.

I just remembered attacking with a horizontal slash and Rom-Rom doing that pluma block/strike. Seriously, I have no idea how he did it. Believe me. If I knew how I'd be explaining it properly.

This ART is something I love to hate.

Yeah. I've seen the clips of you guys sparring. Raymond's style is different. I think thats the beauty of an art like Ilustrisimo. Also, it seems like Ray incorporating the fencing structure adds to a whole new world of opportunities.

Rom-Rom told me that his dad was persuading him to take up fencing before to develop good timing. I guess it would really help a lot.

I'd definitely love to train with you and Ray once I arrive in Cali. Problem is, your place is kinda far.

Toby, Kumusta Pare!!!

Never!!! a horizontal strike to an Ilustrisimo guy!!

The guys "in the know" usually keep their strikes vertical.........a vertical strike will always beat a horizontal strike :-)

We HAVE TO meet someday.

Bummer about the non-pork diet.


The "pluma" is more like a "high wing block".......and the stick held like a "pen" hence the word "Pluma"

Terminology is funny....florete to the Ilustrisimo people is actually a guys use it like a circular strike don't you??!!?!

This is another good thread which needs to be archived.