Over the course of several years, I have collected various books on Filipino Martial Arts and have a small library. The offerings are not extensive and are far outnumbered by books on Japanese and Chinese martial arts. The number of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts books have exploded in the past several years as well.  Anytime I visit a bookstore, I make a beeline to the sports section and see what martial arts books are available. I usually come away empty handed. In recent years, I’ve had a bit more luck with online sites such as Amazon. For example, I came across a biography on Sonny Umpad, the legendary Maestro in California, on the Indigo/Chapters site. What a delightful find that was! Due to my passion for Filipino Martial Arts, I will keep looking anywhere and everywhere for books.

To my delight, two documentaries on Filipino Martial Arts have come out in recent years. The first, “Eskrimadors” focused essentially on eskrima practiced on Cebu. Along with various re-enactments, the documentary had interviews with GM Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete, Dionisio Canete, Undo Caburnay, Nick Elizar and a few others. The film featured demonstrations by Doce Pares, Nicklestick Balintawak, Teovel’s Balintawak, Lapunti Arnis De Abanico, and Heyrosa Decuerdas Eskrima. The film focused on the development of eskrima in Cebu and discussed the bitter rivalry between Doce Pares and Balintawak. It also discussed the internationalization of eskrima and the desire of the older generation to pass their respective arts to the younger generation. This was extremely well done and worth adding to your Filipino Martial Arts library.

You can order the DVD of the documentary here: The Eskrimadors

The second documentary, “The Bladed Hand: The Global Impact of the Filipino Martial Arts” has been shown at several screenings, in the past year, in the Philippines and in the U.S.  From the producer of the film, Sonny Sison:

A documentary featuring numerous Filipino Martial Arts luminaries and established styles and systems propagating the growth of an indigenous form of self defense from the Philippines with historic and social contributions to the world at large including its influence from military and law enforcement training to Hollywood films and television.

This documentary has been well received in the Filipino Martial Arts community. Unfortunately, it has not been screened here in the Greater Toronto area.  Click on this link for a well written review of this documentary: Film Review of Bladed Hand.

This DVD version, with bonus footage, is slated for release sometime this fall. As soon as I find out the details, I will pass the information along. Enjoy the below trailer.


But wait! There’s more! There is yet another potential Filipino Martial Arts documentary coming down the pipeline called “The Way of the Balisong.” Check out the trailer below:

Check out: The Way of the Balisong website for more information.  The filmmaker is currently embarking on a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to complete the project. The two short clips on the website look extremely interesting.  Consider contributing to the Kickstarter fundraising campaign!

I’m delighted that these documentaries are coming to light and bringing more publicity to Filipino Martial Arts!

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