San Miguel Eskrima

Does anyone have any experience with this style ? Opinions, etc ?

e. kaye has friends teaching it here in nyc.

one of the instructors posts on the Dog Brothers forum, Guro Steve Lamade.

Mr. Carroll-

I actually train with Mr. Steve Lamade in San Miguel Eskrima. It's a great system. My experience is in Pekiti Tirsia, and San Miguel's emphasis on the long range is great for me. Plus it's got a great continuity of movement, power generation, etc. that makes a whole lot of sense considering the range it prefers and in the context of a more "classical" espada y daga. If there's anything else I can help with just ask....

This is Steve's website that is a really good resource as well for San Miguel:

-wes tasker

according to tuhon gaje - tom bisio was the best guy he ever taught -

bisio left gaje/pekiti to train under mamoy (arguably the best of the cancette brothers - mamoy developed san maguel (doce pares is really a system made up of meny systems - the name doce pares just means 12 guys 9who started the club together)

mamoy left the system to bisio (who no longer actively teachs) - while he was teaching (and to the very few private students he still may instruct) - he combine escrima with a chinese TMA (i forgot which one)

my good friend Doug Marcdia is an instructor under bisio (gaje, mcgrath, and I think jun deleon) - he showed me a bunch of san miguel - very good stuff - not like other doce pares stuff where it's alot twriling - it's very combat oriented

I know all of these guys.

Tom is unbelievable. He teaches Chinese Arts these days, Bagua and Hsing I.

Steve is a great guy and a good teacher. The long range aspects of San Miguel are extemely useful especially if you also know Pekiti. The flow from range to range is a great combination.

There are also two other guys teaching it, James Seetoo and Ngo Vinh-Hoi(Hoi to his friends).

e.kaye -


i heard tom was only doing chiro, or message, or something like that - other then some privates to a very select few

That too. I do not think that he runs a school so to speak. I can find out easily.

For information about Tom Bisio:


Steve Lamade

Look for Tom's upcoming articles in inside kung fu, starting in the issue after the one on the stands with Dennis Brown on the cover. His book A Tooth in The Tigers Mouth is quite good. Trained with Tom alot in the original school and he was an exceptional teacher.

Tom's website ( gives information about his current Ba Gua class. I think that he is planning on scheduling a Xing Yi class this year. He teaches eskrima very infrequently - but could probably be coaxed into giving a seminar if there was sufficient interest.

Wes Tasker modestly omits in his post above that he is a Mattass na Guro in Pekiti Tirsia Arnis under Tuhon William McGrath. He and I are planning on teaching a couple of seminars this spring that compare the espada y daga techniques of Pekiti Tirsia Arnis and San Miguel Eskrima. The seminar will be thematic insofar as what you're taught in one art will have a counterpart in the other art - and since the two arts are different you'll get a pretty good overview of espada y daga. Contact me at if you're interested.

See my review of Tom's book at I should mention also that if there are any bodyworkers on this forum, Tom teaches a 4-Part weekend series on Tui Na (Chinese Massage), as well as classes on Zheng Gu mobilizations, application of external herbs for martial arts injuries, Qi Gong, constitutional herbs, and acupucture for Zheng Gu mobilizations.

As mentioned above, Tom is an outstanding teacher.


Steve Lamade

question, how is the san miguel system different from Diony's version of doce pares?

i'm an instructor under Dong Cuesta and Diony and practice the san miguel form. is bisio's system based around this form or is there more?



Ramon Rubia on the west coast also teaches San Miguel Eskrima:

Instructor in Doce Pares Eskrima with boths GM Cacoy (Eskrima, Eskrido, Pangamut) and GM Dionisio Canete (Multi-Styles System) with a 6th Degree Black Belt

Chief Instructor of Doce Pares International, California Chapter (12PARESGROUP)

Official Representative of San Miguel Eskrima in the U.S. as approved, and sanctioned by the San Miguel Eskrima Group Council, Cebu City, Cebu (Nong Momoy’s Original Disciples, San Miguel Eskrima)

Founded San Miguel Eskrima Association, USA. The objectives of this organization is to propagate, promote, perpetuate, and preserved the San Miguel Eskrima of GM Momoy Canete and give awareness to the FMA community.

Andes asked "question, how is the san miguel system different from Diony's version of doce pares?
i'm an instructor under Dong Cuesta and Diony and practice the san miguel form. is bisio's system based around this form or is there more?"

I'm not sure how Tom Bisio's San Miguel Eskrima differs from Diony's version of Doce Pares because I haven't seen DP's San Miguel Form or trained in Doce Pares. A few observations, however:

Based upon what I've seen from Bart Hubbard's videos at (both of Bart moving and the senior teachers from the Cebu San Miguel Eskrima group - all of whom trained under Momoy), a seminar tape of M. Diony teaching Espada y Daga at Dong Cuesta's school a few years ago, and M. Diony's Espada y Daga book (wherein he talks about Momoy Canete's influence upon his martial art in very positive terms), there are obvious, strong similarities between the various expressions of SME that are currently available from Doce Pares - and Tom Biso's expresson of the art. This is to be expected, since Dong Cuesta, Diony, Ramon Rubia, et. al. all trained with Momoy Canete and value his legacy.

I think that Tom's SME differs more in terms of a quality of personal expression. Tom trained with Momoy during a period of time when he was concurrently training, and achieving teaching ranks, in Pekiti Tirsia, Chinese internal martial arts, and Kajukenbo. What impressed Tom about Momoy's art was the seemingly effortless manner in which Momoy issued power, and so I think that one of the things that Tom wants to stress in his teaching methodology are the internal connections that he sees in San Miguel Eskrima. Another difference may well be that Tom's SME is very conservative in nature; i.e., no movement is initiated without examining (and avoiding) the worst-case-scenario dangers. (This is not a knock against arts that are willing to exchange based upon a reliance on superior technique, some in which I train - but there is a difference in attitude, at least to my eyes.)

I think also that there is a basic philosophical difference between the two organizations that promote SME in the United States. San Miguel Eskrima as taught by Doce Pares is described as Momoy's personal art within the context of Doce Pares Multi-Style. This is their right, as Momoy remained with his family until he passed - but Momoy had a voice too, and wanted Tom to make sure it was heard. To that end, Tom received Momoy's blessing to teach and promote San Miguel Eskrima in the United States in a manner that differentiated his art from Doce Pares. In real terms, this means that an older style eskrima that stresses the use of bladed weapons is given more due in Tom's version. It is interesting to note that Diony says the following in his Espada y Daga book:

"When I started my training in Espada y Daga, I didn't encounter much problem because during that time "corto kurbada" was not yet popular. My father and Uncle Momoy used to call our attention everytime we did witic (curving snap strike), reminding that the olisi should be likened to a real blade and therefore must be delivered in a straight linear angle. Time has since changed. The strict assumption of the olisi as a bladed instrument has become irrelevent in view of the present practice in which the art of Espada y Daga is simply recognized as a form of Filipino martial art in which the players use one long and one short stick each as weapons. Nonetheless, many prefer to consider it as an art that could be fought either with a real blade or with any blunt instrument such as the stick [- and this is no doubt true of San Miguel Eskrima as taught by Doce Pares - my note]. [p. 37]

In terms of the San Miguel Form, Tom learned one of the several versions that Momoy was teaching over a period of several years - versions that he kept revising over and over. I've been told that Tom's version is rather long in comparison to Doce Pares' San Miguel Form. The curriculum that Tom Bisio's San Miguel Eskrima Association follows can be found here:

As mentioned above, I am co-teaching an espada y daga seminar on April 30 in Whitestone (Queens) New York; I'd be happy to demonstrate my version of the San Miguel Form during the break.


Steve Lamade

i trained a few times with cacoy, a few times with Dionisio and their stuff is quite different then the san miguel i was taught by doug (tom's student_

the doce pares was much more flashy/twirly the SM - just look at the DP compitions - the winners are those who can get off the most/fastest stikes ( a lot of abinico's) it doesnt matter if you've eaten 5 good power shots to the head frist -

Is the Ramon you're talking about married to a cancete ?

He lives (or did) in orange county - irvine or something?

I remember going to their house - IIRC he was married to Cacoy's grand daughter - I was under the impression that he practiced and taught Cacoys version of DP - not mamoys

I was around when he started his backyard group and was going to join, but something came up

Ramon Rubia teaches San Miguel Eskrima in California. He trained with Momoy and with Momoy's senior students in Cebu, and makes frequent trips to the Philippines to research the art.


Steve Lamade


but is that the ramone i'm talking about ?


You are correct. For more information:


Steve Lamade


no one reads my posts...

I already wrote that above...

And yes, Ramon's wife is Eva Canete...


I read all your posts.

I quick google search confirms that, apart from, Bart Hubbard's website above is a decent link to information about Ramon Rubia.


Steve Lamade