Sikaran

Sikaran is a form of Filipino martial arts whose history dates back to the early 1500s before the Spaniards came. It is the art of foot-fighting where the farmers use their strong legs to drive the partners outside the designated line (pitak) which was drawn in rice fields about 25 sq. ft.

Sikaran and Sipa are both Tagalog terms for “kick” but with a notable difference: the former is a noun, while the latter is a verb. Deriving from sikad, Sikaran like the biakid, pilatik and damba.

And came to be known as an indigenous martial sport in the tradition of arnis, kali, dicho, buno etc. Sikaran is a pastime of the Baras Rizal agrarians who gathered during the festival after a good harvest season.

Constant practice lead to the development skills that would eventually be marked by notable effectiveness; of the practitioners, some went on to discover certain skills in combat that made them deserve the honor of being called “Hari”(champion). The original practitioners have long passed, taking the secrets of their art with them.

The early Sikaranista (farmers) session commenced with the drawing of a circle on the ground. The more skilled opponent is often obliged to take a handicap, and positions himself inside the circle to trade kicking talents with the other who stays at the circle’s rim.

The objective is for the combatant outside to dislodge the contestant within. More confident opponent would agree to a number of opponents to form a circle around them. Should the man within be driven out of the circle, it signifies defeat and, correspondingly, humiliation. If the game’s continuation be opted, another contender takes the place of the dislodge practitioner and the same procedure is repeated.

Occasionally, a mischief-prone contestant made it a point to step in buffalo dung prior to a competition in order to dirty and humiliate the opponent.

The Baras-originated method of foot-fighting in its original form has no time limit. Combatants call for time out if they became exhausted or are beaten enough. There is no discrimination regarding sex.

They have a vernacular name for a Hari. He was awarded Ias Agila (for his impressive agility), acknowledged as the foremost padamba (jumping front kick) exponent. That he could leap as high as six feet is definitely a testimony to an awesome power.

So also was awarded classified as Hari, a fellow reputed to crack husked coconuts with his steel-like shins. On the other hand a Hari also boasts of the singular reputation of knocking out (T.K.O) a carabao with a single hammer biakid.

Sikaran utilizes only the feet as a rule for sport and for combat, self-defense and this is what makes it distinct, the hands are never availed of in the sikaran. If they utilized at all, it’s only for defense, the player uses his legs 90% of the time and his hands 10% only for blocking or parrying blows. Violation of this injunction, especially in tournaments, is ground for disqualification.

The entry of Sikaran in tournaments, particularly those of international caliber, presaged certain modifications, if innovations, of its original rules. Like the setting of a time limit, widening of the fighting area into twice the size required of the original arena.

Fighting Style: Sikaran have its own share of kicking styles. The “Biakid” the classic kick is executed by pivoting to the back in a full or complete turn about manner. The degree of effectiveness subscribes to two classifications: “panghilo” (paralyzing blow) and “pamatay” or lethal kick. Obviously the first aimed at less vital parts of the physique, while the target of the second includes the heart, neck, head, groin, and spine, all highly vulnerable parts. Weapons of Sikaran include the balisong, kris, sticks among others.

Notable Fighters: Sikaran finds a no more vigorous exponent than the last descendant Col. Meliton C. Geronimo (ret. PAF) and ex-mayor of Baras Rizal. Who conducted a research and perfected on the art and to the extent of organizing clubs for the purpose of teaching the art to anybody, who would care to learn it, as well as to spread its popularity. His attachment to sikaran is understandable and was awarded as Martial arts masters’ pioneer and legend hall of fame. Baras is the venue of his childhood and Cipriano Geronimo. Geronimo’s father, past 100 years old and known as the “LAST KING or HARI of the past century”, handed down the game to Meliton, To ensure that Sikaran would not fade into oblivion. The younger Geronimo founded the Kapatiran Sikaran Ng Pilipinas in 1958 now named as WORLD SIKARAN BROTHERHOOD OF THE PHILIPPINES.

In Korea, Master Hwong Kee of Muduckwan, Master Doctor KaiByeong Yun, Master Koichi Kondo of Japan Karate Association, Kung-fu Chinese Group and Master Meliton C. Geronimo, organized the Asian Karate Association in year 1961. Sikaran made an international debut and it was made possible when the organization committed to its promotion and propagation, Kapatiran Sikaran, got affiliated with the aforementioned Asian Karate Association, under the banner of Karate Brotherhood of the Philippines. SIKARAN has been “Battled-Tested” in the most Asian Tournaments. Meliton C. Geronimo won as individual champion in 1964 Utsunimiya Tochegeken, Japan and also awarded by the Eagle award during the first Asian Tournament.

Thereafter he headed, coached and became the Chief Instructor and the head of the Philippine Teams that participated in the succeeding Asian Karate Tilts. Among the champions who used the Sikaran Style were the late Bernard Belleza, 1965, Emelio Galiciano 1965, Ariston Bautista 1968, Amado Diaz 1967, Jaime Geronimo 1965, Antonio Ganiela 1968, and Herminia Agapito was the lone female participant in the First World Karate Tournament in 1970 in Tokyo, Japan. In 1972 Paris, France participated by Marlyn Compuesto and Militon C. Geronimo.

Under Geronimo’s Tutelage, the RP Team introduced the Sikaran Style in the Six Asian Karate Tournaments. The Philippine contingents to these tilts received awards for being “BEST FIGHTING TEAM” for this feat. Geronimo was awarded the REDBELT 10th Degree by the Asian Karate Association in 1966. The award was for Developing a “DISTINCT STYLE OF ORIGIN.” he was further cited for introducing into the world a new style of an ancient Art in the light of the modern sport of Sikaran and proves its effectiveness as a fighting method.

The REDBELT signifies that he was the originator and Master of distinct Style of Martial Art and there can never be another Redbelt holder in the same school.

Master Geronimo explained that he used the word Karate (KARATE BROTHERHOOD OF THE PHILIPPINES) to indicate his school/Style (Sikaran) and to affiliate with the Asian Karate Association and the World Union Karatedo Organization. Which were the first and the only affiliated martial arts school in the WUKO. “But I was inactive in Karate because Sikaran is really a different form of Pilipino Martial Art” Says Master Geronimo. Sikaran uses the feet in offense and Defense. The hands are used only for parrying and balancing.

Today, Forty two years after the WORLD SIKARAN ARNIS BROTHERHOOD OF THE PHILIPPINES was founded, SIKARAN had already taken roots in Canada, United States, England, Australia, Saudi Arabia, West Germany, Qatar, Palestine and New Zealand. Program reports are sent by WSABP instructors, from those countries to Manila Headquarters.