Juego Todo and the creation of Eskrima De Campo

– from ”Secrets of Arnis” by Edgar Sulite –


Eskrima tournaments were customary around 1915 during fiestas and other celebrations.

The best arnis wielders and fighters were usually invited to participate in such events

to determine the best fighter of the lot. Arnis fighters proved their worth

in a fighting tournament which to foreigners was a brutal, unhuman sport,

but which to the Filipinos was nothing but a simple, yet spectacular event.

In these tournaments, Master Caballero though at a tender age had observed

the loopholes of the other fighters. He observed that most of them

use the same techniques: opponents ending in close-range fighting

where disarming and butt-striking were commonly applied.

He then thought that techniques could be devised to counter the existing techniques

of other Masters. He was still in his elementary years when he thought

of the possibilities of devising, combining, checking and balancing techniques

and forms to come out with a distinct more versatile style not easily predictable

by existing Masters.

He began formulating his own techniques through the aid of tree branches

he would find along the way to School. He would cut off the branches

to form a stick and on its tip he would carve a monkey`s head, a chicken`s head,

a horses head or anything that caught his fancy. He made so many sticks

with numerous designs at the same time pursuing his studies of Arnis.

At the energetic age of 18 (1925), Master Caballero joined the Phillipine constabulary

where he honed to the fullest the versatilities of his arnis system.

He formally named his arnis system “De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orehenal”.

“De Campo” to counter the strikes of his opponent (Also means from the fields),

“Uno” to fake or feint, “Dos” to counter the counter strikes of the opponent,

“Tres” to hit (finish) the opponent and “Orehenal” a reference to the technique

as his own original style. In recapitulation it could be deduced that the name

“De campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orihenal” is actually a set procedure ,

a step by step series of effective action against an opponent.

The name itself reveals the succession of movements which is the essence

of Master Caballeros style (striking in a series of threes).

In 1925 the skills of Master Caballero was put to test.

His PC commander in Camp Ketley, Dansalan, Lanao del Sur (now Marawi City),

needed a body guard who was skillful in Eskrima. Master Caballero applied for the position,

but another known Eskrima fighter from llocos Sur by the name of Master Juan Carolla

also wanted the post. Master Carolla`s feats in arnis were also considered legendary.

  Since the PC Commander needed only one body guard, a duel to determine the better fighter

was agreed upon. In the first round, Master Carolla was hit in the head

which made him collapse and unable to continue on with the fight.

Master Caballero easily won but Master Carolla was not one to easily accept defeat.

A rematch was scheduled for the following day wherein Master Carrola

was again hit in the head, confirming Master Caballeros superior skills over his opponent.

Master Carolla humiliated conceded in defeat and bowed to Master Caballero in respect.

Master Jose D. Caballero formed his system in 1925 and would only train and fight

with either “Solo garote” or “Doble Garote” if his opponents were many.

Although he would not fight with Itak himself he would often fight against others

using Itak themselves with him only using garote.


~ by pinoro on May 11, 2013.

One Response to “Juego Todo and the creation of Eskrima De Campo”

  1. Very interesting life story. Thanks for posting this.

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