Friday, December 29, 2017

Kontra Kutsilyo

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Next trip to PHILIPPINES 2018.
We organize a training and cultural trip with Bruno Cancho where you can train, see and experience the Philippine culture with a really economic budget and with a great diversity of teachers. Apart from the ones on the poster, we have more surprises prepared for the group. Open to everyone Limited places!
Join our whatsapp group if you really want to be part of the trip. Whatsapp:

Lazaro Talaya

Monday, November 13, 2017


ABENIR KALIS 🔪 is now live!
Click the link below:

Now available!
Order a copy of our Labanang Kutsilyo Instantant download.

Thursday, November 9, 2017



See you at our Talaya Instinctive knife defense and Abenir Kalis knife to knife training seminar tomorrow.

Place: FMA center No#19 Comfrey lane Dreamhomes subd. De la Paz, Pasig City.

Time: 9 am to 12:30 pm

*Bring a training knife with you

Sponsored by FMA center and Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Filipino Blade Documentary behind the scenes featuring Abenir Kalis by Coconuts TV.

Demo interview done at Guro Manny Dacanay's FMA Center in Pasig.

Thanks to Maestro Jong Rivero who served as my demo partner.To Therese, Joey, Martin and the rest of the Cocounuts team crew,Ka Manny and his people for accommodating us. And big thanks to the support of Abenir Kalis family, Kalistas Ilustrados brotherhood and friends.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art

To be aired soon at  iflix.

Friday, October 6, 2017


Second title of Bong Abenir Kalis DVD :

Trailers can be previewed here :

Monday, September 25, 2017

Abenir Kalis Seminar  with Maestro Japs Jayme

Good day! Japs Jayme, our AK representative in Huntington Beach, CA will be conducting a seminar at New Breed Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Santa Fe Springs, CA on October 28, 2017 Saturday; from 11 am to 3 pm. Early registration for the event is $40 (inclusive of a t shirt) until October 21. Sign ups thereafter, is $50. All participants will get to take home a specially constructed AK DVD featuring Japs Jayme. Thank you for your unwavering support!

About Maestro Japs
It was more than 11 years ago when Japs Jayme entered the world of fitness training.  Amidst life’s challenges, he found focus, purpose and his calling helping himself and others become a better and stronger version of themselves.

Apart from working as a personal trainer in one of the premier gyms in the Philippines, he ventured into Boxing and Hybrid Yaw Yan as well. He’s trained countless clients and athletes with impressive results.

Being an avid learner and intent on tracing his family tree which hailed from Cebu, Japs came across Lapunti Arnis de Abanico. Lapunti’s primary teaching tool is the stick and is characterized by fast “fan” like moves or “abanico”. He became well versed in fighting with dagger, stick and dagger, and empty hand combat.

His profound thirst for knowledge did not stop there. He eventually reconnected with Maestro Bong Abenir who he met when he was 16 years old. Under Master Bong’s tutelage, a Hall of Famer in the Philippines Martial Arts scene, Japs learned Abenir Kalis Fighting Arts which is a blend of different  fighting arts in the Philippines and Indonesian Pencak Silat. Before he migrated to the US, he was conferred upon the title of “Maestro” or teacher of the art.

Not only is he well versed in various martial arts techniques, he is also a photographer and budding cinematographer. He graduated with a double degree in Multimedia Arts and Photography.

He currently resides in Huntington Beach California.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017



This is the most beautiful physical expression of brotherhood and camaraderie among martial artists. It is always a pleasant atmosphere when everyone begins to share each other’s thoughts with an open mind and geniune interest in listening to what others have to say. As opposed to the aim of others who just go around trying to show off on who's better or who's more capable in terms of skills and knowledge over the other. It's true that there are always those who feel they have to. Well, either they're too insecure of themselves and their system or just naturally a certified asshole, so to speak (pardon my choice of word but I don't have much of a better adjective to describe such people for now because I am riding a jeepney on my way to work as of the moment.) Ok back to gatherings. There are many ways to conduct such events. It could be done through seminars, friendly tournaments or a simple get together over coffee, food and drinks. These are important in order to be able to build strong relations between fellow Eskrimadors , Arnisador or Kalistas whatever we choose to call it. This helps us to break the invisible barrier that devides practitioners coming from different styles, systems and masters. I understand that each of us takes an enormous amount of pride when it comes to these matters and rightly so because otherwise why should anyone spend time or even a lifelong study of their chosen style or system under certain masters or teachers if they don't believe in it and take pride in doing so. But leave that as it should be, placed into its proper perspective. Because that is based mostly on our own biased opinion and many others have their own as well. That is the reason why we don’t practice the same styles or systems. But that difference has to end there and should not be a cause of perpetual bashing of each other. Whatever problems could then be addressed and resolved by organising such gatherings or as I have said, talks over coffee. This is also a good way to gain mutual respect for each other and gaining insight on what they do. Now of course and sadly so, sometimes certain issues could not be resolved because certain people are either too stubborn or too arrogant or probably certain offenses committed against the other could not be easily remedied and does take time. Most especially if breach of trust is the issue or something more severe than that. But nevertheless this should not deter us from continuing such activities. I myself have been in constant connection with my fellow FMA friends. They are the ones who I could also ask help whenever there are activities that I would organize. And in turn I too give my support and attend such invitations to gatherings from them whenever I am available to do so. Of course we all have our busy schedules to deal with, but at least if you can't attend then you could always give them a wish of good luck and success and maybe try to attend next time. This is better instead of secretly ill-wishing them or gossiping over them and trying to put them down. It's really ironic that many of us often would address each other as brothers and yet act as if we're cats and dogs constantly at odds with each other. Let's try to start working to help each other out instead. If not, then just keep whatever bad opinions you have of others to yourself or among yourselves within your cirlce and not go outside of that to infect others.

See you at the seminar in the beautiful island of Boracay

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Abenir Kalis at Masters Magazine 2017 Issue:

Included in this issue is Bong Abenir (founder of the system) and Japs Jayme from Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art. The wonderfully arranged interview and demo format was done in the studio of Masters Magazine in California and was conducted by Sir Val Mijailovic a day after my seminar. It was with the kind help from my brothers at Cranes Production Mr. Andy (who with his partner Mr. Martin  produced our recently released bolo dvd and as well as our upcoming knife dvd) together with pak Sam Halim who arranged this meeting. I was also accompanied by one of our AK Instructor residing in California Ka Japs Jayme who also served aa my partner during the demonstration.

Kindly order your copy through the link below:

Thank you also to the support of my friends and especially fellow brothers and teachers in AK and  Kalistas Ilustrados Brotherhood

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Philippines

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

With the first Bolo Fighting DVD released, second DVD from Abenir Kalis ~Maestro Bong Abenir ~ on Knife Fighting is in the work.
Behind the scene is the wonderful work of the super talented Ka Japs Jayme  !

Trailer coming soon !!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


By Marvin Mendoza

To forward grip or to Reverse grip? Among knife enthusiasts there has been some sort of opinion bias whether which grip is more effective. My humble two cents here is that both have merits and demerits but BOTH MUST BE PRACTICED!!! The reasoning is simple in a perfect world in a real life or death scenario you would wish you can always fight in forward grip where you have maximum penetration and range however battle is never perfect…What if you drop your weapon in the heat of engagement and as you scramble to get your blade you happen to grab it reverse side? Do you say time out? May I change my grip? Or do you fight anyway? The goal is to be versed in both although when you do employ reverse grip I don’t like the clipping or trapping method of using the reverse grip. Because it opens you up to getting cut as well due to lack of tactical distance. I honestly think the reverse grip is a defensive grip rather than an offense grip because you can use it to keep someone at bay by employing jabbing style of attack and defense instead of getting in deep with a thrust. As I have demoed below I use jabbing type attacks and defense even hiding my weapon to camouflage distance…

FMA, is involved in the practice of blade techniques that does have a rather dark premise behind it but bear in mind this has always been practiced just the off chance you need to defend the lives of your loved ones.  Avoidance and diplomacy and always erring on the side of caution is paramount. The video below is for demo only not to be taken as an instructional vid practice under the watchful eye of a professional and know your state laws.

Be safe. Pugay!

Monday, May 22, 2017


By Maestro Marvin Mendoza

One of the most difficult and dangerous situations anyone can face is the multiple attacker scenario it raises the risk of injury or death, exponentially. In Abenir Kalis, the training is taken a step further we do practice multiple attack scenarios with weapons involved from sticks to knives which makes it even more challenging. The following are a few thoughts on how to approach it. Bear in mind we are not covering ambush scenarios in this article.

As the comedy director Mel Brooks once said in one of his movies, “it’s location, location, location”.
To survive a multiple attack scenario location and distance is the most important. Though most people would just use instinct and reaction time to survive. We believe considering your location in relation to your opponents is also essential. In this article we’ll begin with a one against two scenario.

The most ideal location is the triangle location(you are  in the center and both opponents in front) because you can see both opponents and somewhat predict movement.

From here we start our tactics, one of the tactics is to see who is closer and attack or defend against them.

From this scenario you can take out the first person to come in and deal with the other one after. The second situation is when both are equidistant from you now there are two ways to engage them one is to draw one of them in by moving back when they attack even if they simultaneously attack they cant come in at the same speed one will always be faster than the other and you can deal with first person to come in.

another way is to line yourself with one opponent if they are equidistant from you so by simple geometry you make yourself farther from the other opponent

Now some may ask, what if they’re not in front of me but instead one in front the other in the back? Then choose a side either left or right to run to to create that triangle distance even if they give chase they will align in a triangle if you run to one side.

Now all of these tactics are good if and only if you actually try them out in sparring or even in light drills with foam sticks or knives. Do bear in mind that there are NO GUARANTEES in a multiple fight scenario but if you try these tactics with honest partners and do some analysis yourself you’ll find that you will get better instincts when it comes to multiple attackers and gradually you can increase the number from two to three etc. The idea is just survive not conquer. If you try to conquer in this scenario you are likely gonna get injured or die in the process. Survive long enough to create space for a hasty retreat.

I myself have tried these tactics with some level of success, by success I mean I was able to survive, not win against my opponents. As I said above, multiple attackers is the most difficult scenario you will get peppered in training just continue to experiment and you’ll develop your own tactic that works for you.  For a knife scenario parrying is likely better than trapping one opponent because you are likely to get stabbed by the other opponent so parry and hit or stab(if you're armed with a blade). For an all stick scenario, parries or passes are favorable over solid blocks because you can move seamlessly between opponents if you block hard you stay put and that can be dangerous. Like I said, these are all easier said than done so try experiment and see what works for you.


Friday, May 12, 2017



I have taught many students during the past two decades that I have been actively  teaching and promoting the Filipino martial arts along with other martial arts which I have studied under the great teachers I learned from.  And it is very usual to see students come and go. Some stay for a very short period of time, there are those who stay for a couple of years and others even decades. Up to the present time I have students (now wonderful teachers themselves) who have stayed within our group for more than 20 years already and not because they are kept within the confines of invisible walls for which there is none but they just chose to do so and stick around due to the friendship, trust and brotherhood built around everyone else. I have always encouraged them to do as they want. To learn as much as they want from other teachers, styles, system of these vast  and wonderful world of martial arts. And now when we cross sticks and hands, I am humbled and proud  at the same time for many are better than me now. Yet they still  remain with us and indeed they are the same people who from the very beginning were always free. And these are the people who are usually  found to be of great character and with an attitude of humility, compassion and kindness towards others. For them martial arts is a way of life which had created a positive impact in their lives. While others who came in already with swelled heads and arrogance in their demeanor were usually the people who just use others for their own fame, glory, selfish motives and everything just for their benefit. They are mere egotistical  salesmen in our opinion and not martial artists.  Most of the time they are the ones who speak much (usually nonsense) and show off their so called skills yet with a very shallow understanding of what it means to be a true student of the martial arts. They love to be addressed as someone with authority and yet does not know how to do so with others and would often verbally and arrogantly  berate the very system for which they have become famous and known for in order to lick the boot of others. And indeed many who don't have a clue follow them and praise them not knowing nor understanding  the level of deep insecurities and shallowness the person has. They're like horses on the park with blinders on their eyes while nodding along up and down with a cloud of flies, pissing on the bucket.  These are the poison or the rotten apples that we have to throw out in order not to contaminate or destroy the others.

Bong Abenir

Abenir Kalis Philippines

Monday, May 8, 2017


I would be conducting a seminar this May at Seal Beach, California at OC Muay Thai headed by Master David Jansson. 

Scope of seminar:
1. Fundamentals of the bolo and golok  fighting systems of Antonio Ilustrisimo and  Silat.

2. Knife fighting system of Abenir Kalis as taught to me by Mang Inyong and Mohamad Hadimulyo.

Date: May 20, 2017
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Instructor: Bong Abenir
Venue: OC MUAY THAI, Seal Beach California, USA

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Our first of its series.
Kindly click this link for your orders:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017



Training with a knife doesn't mean that me,  you or anyone else automatically  becomes a knife fighter. One should not confuse his or her own thoughts and beliefs about this.  Only a someone who has a good amount of actual experience could claim to be one. And truth is, those people who truly are, wouldn't even claim (or openly, that is)  to be one.  The reason we train though is for us to have at least an understanding of how to use it should we need to have a skill that might help us to survive against an attack from it. Therefore I believe that in order to get the most out of it then " training should be both seriously fun and seriously serious" if one should either choose any and lead it to extremes, then neither path would be of good value.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art
AK Kalistas Ilustrados

Training on knife wrk with the men and women of Sensei Tony Yap's Aikido class in Malaysia .

Monday, April 17, 2017



It is everyone's  right and moral duty  to learn how to defend themselves in order to know how to protect others as well. - bong abenir

Seminar hosted by Aikido Sensei Tony Yap
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photos by Aziz Getufi

Saturday, April 15, 2017


By Michael Cruz

A colleague once approached me saying that he is interested to learn Kali as he learned that I am a practitioner. My mistake was I showed him my arms - there were fresh contusions that I received just the day before (it literally looks like that I have been hazed but it was the result of the weekly live stick sparring sessions in AK Mandaluyong and Pinaglabanan Abenir Eskrima) . His expression – initially of enthusiasm and interest turned to apprehension and possibly disgust. There was even a time that my manager told me that the our division head called our group head asking what happened to me as he had seen my swollen upper arms and forearms. Our group head had an idea of what I do during my “free time” so she told him that it is due to Arnis practice. During our AK demonstration at the SM Mall of Asia, Ka Richard Grimaldo and I fell on the mat and proceeded to some stick grappling. I received a knee in the left side of my face which was red after the demonstration. The next morning, I was standing in the office, when the same group head walked in looking straight and then gave me a second look. My manager also asked what happened so I told him that we had a demo yesterday. “Ibang klaseng demo yan. Demo pa lang yan (thats a different demo. Thats just for demo)" he said. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t openly show or brag about these”souvenirs.” In fact I do my best to hide them. However due to the humidity in the Philippines, it is not practical to always wear long sleeves or a coat (and definitely I can't report to the office wearing a balaclava after that knee to the face).

When I came to New Zealand, I had the privilege of practicing and having sparring sessions with AK New Zealand Guro - Ka Bradley Castle. After one of our sparring session, I took a bus in Botany. I tried hiding my arms in the bus as I’ve been getting a lot of stares from some of the passengers. When I reached Glen Ines, I decided to buy a bandage from a drug store to hide the marks.

I first heard about live stick sparring was when I initially joined an Arnis group in my hometown. I thought that it was foolish but I was also intrigued. Something in me wants to try the format someday but at the same time there is fear. I later learned that not all Arnis practitioners spar live stick. Or if they spar using live stick, they wear heavy pads and recklessly whip each other with no concern for defense and footwork. Well, they can be reckless all they want - thanks to those pads.  But if one tries to spar live stick without those pads, their movement would definitely change. They will be cautious. Defense and footwork would surely come into play. The first time I sparred live stick was during a session with Maestro Bong Abenir. It was a Friday night and I was the only student – which was the set up before. He handed me a live rattan stick and told me to spar. I even inquired if there were cases of broken bones after being hit. Possibly sensing my apprehension he replied smiling, "Wala pa naman (None so far)." Good enough! However, I find it unthinkable to hit someone-moreso my teacher with a live rattan stick. Unlike other FMA masters, Maestro Bong spars with his students. I was hesitant to proceed but I can't turn back now. "Kahiyaan na ito (it will be shameful)." I let lose of some (limp) strikes that failed to hit my intended target. Master Bong returns with a controlled but crisp hit on my right forearm. My senses awaken due to “the feel" is different from what I was accustomed to. Exercise continues, after 3 more hits I called for a time out. I found sparring with a weapon to be intriguing, exciting and most of all-realistic.

Is Filipino Martial Arts training painful? TRADITIONALLY-Yes, FMA training is painful. In fact there were innovations that aimed to address this issue as Filipinos are gearing towards foreign martial arts due to painful training. One of such innovation is Modern Arnis, the brainchild of Prof. Remy Presas. However, pain is a reality in any combat sport. I also have my fair share of injuries and hematoma in the other martial arts that I tried. There was a time when I was in highschool that I received a spinning back fist to the nose during sparring. When I got home, I immediately submerged my gi (uniform) in the washing machine to prevent it from being seen by my mother. However, my sisters noticed my nose and I came up with the excuse of epistaxis – a term I learned that week during Physical Education, Health and Music class. I even spar with fellow choir members who are practitioners of other arts prior Saturday choir practice. There was even a time that we were singing a hymn while all of us were nursing our sore arms, legs or chest. Not too long ago, we were young and admittedly foolish.
Don’t let sparring stop you from learning FMA. Sparring is part of training but it is not the entirety. You can tell your instructor if you are not up to it. FMA training is enjoyable. It builds coordination and is an effective self defense system. No one can force you to undergo live stick sparring or even sparring per se if you you don't want to. Your teacher can modify the material for you. In fact I have a friend in Karatedo class who never sparred in his life. He just loves doing forms, katas and taking the exams. Well, there are exams in Karatedo that require sparring and I never followed his progression after he earned his green belt. So I don't know if he eventually sparred (which I strongly doubt). As we are in an all-boys school, he’s got a lot of booes and teasing (including joking punches...he just punched back) intended to push him to spar. But he never relented or sparred in all four years that we trained. Or if you would like to spar but don’t want to go live stick, you can still use padded sticks and wear pads-nothing wrong with that.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Monday, April 10, 2017



It's not so much about the tool that you're using. But it's actually the heart and mindset  you put into what you're doing. - B.A.

Training with my good friend Steffen Billhardt at AK Bahay Ezkrima. A big guy with a humble attitude. Like him,  we had  a lot of foreign students who come and go here for training. . And like him  there were a few  exeptions  such as Sebastian Rauch, Bradley Castle, Nero Lynx Smith,Gilles Blessed, Javier Naranjo, Jorge Talaya who came all the way here to the Philippines  to really learn and understand our way. These are but few examples of people who were already accomplished martial artists in their own right even before they came here,  yet had the humbleness to set those aside for a while and began emptying their cup in order to recieve what little we can offer that may help them. For which they trained hard and fought even harder. They aren't  just the typical guys who merely asks for certificates after a few days or a month of training.  If ever they got one, it was given to them freely and wholeheartedly.  They understood the real value and the culture of what Filipino martial arts is. They came to understand the identity as to why we do this and that instead of merely conforming with what they want or what they insists upon or to have us copy what others are doing. They respected  and accepted the uniqueness of FMA as it is. These are the types of people worth teaching and keeping.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art


Maraming salamat po for mentioning me Maestro.

It's nice to see Steffen going at it. Indeed a nice and humble guy!

I really can recommend to everybody that is considering going to the Philippines for training to follow that dream. It is a very special experience to train in the home country of this beautiful art.

I had a great time in Manila for sure. 5 hours of training, every day is not easy especially when you keep in mind the climate...but it was so worth it.

With Master Bong I've found somebody who is truly interested in teaching me in order to help me progress....not just for the money, not just showing off and teaching random techniques but somebody who cares about his students, who takes his art very seriously and who obviously is pretty damn good in what he does.

The reason why I decided to go with AK is because it really focuses on the blade side of FMA and it is all about application. It's not a style that cares on how beautiful techniques might look in order to attract the masses but rather puts functionality first in order to make things work.

Mabuhay FMA

Saturday, April 8, 2017


By Marvin Mendoza

I am a proud Kalista and member of Abenir Kalis System founded by my master... Maestro Fernando "Bong" Abenir you can find his story in the essa entitled "MY JOURNEY THROUGH  SILAT AMD ILUSTRISIMO MASTERS"... The system itself is very well rounded and well structured and is well suited in modern times...Like a living thing this system evolves, expands and improves itself making it better prepared for anything...

It has it's roots in Kalis Ilustrisimo, which my master diligently studied for 19 years under the watchful eye of the late GM Tony Diego along  with guro Jong and guro Pedro Reyes back in 1994 till Tatang's twilight years in 1997.

and apart from Master Bong's extensive KI training for which he is also certified to teach under GM Diego. He also studied and taught extensively the indonesian martial art of Silat and Master Bong is also skilled in Muay Thai he trained with MAP, Judo brown belt under the legendary Judo Champion John Baylon and coached BJJ at Don Bosco school under the banner of Kamphui-Machado bjj with his students winning tournaments in the span of 10 years...his experiences in these systems and others. Which also included laban baston and dumog for which he honed for decades he combined to become Abenir Kalis. A martial art that evolves with you and for you...

As for my self my own personal journey wasn't easy either I had to undergo intensive training and tutelage first from PG Rommel Ramirez  then after a year or so I trained directly under Maestro Bong till getting my own instructor certificate under AK...

Although Ak will allow anyone the ability to defend themselves even after a few sessions. To be considered guro status one must train for years and endure a lot of testing. Myself and my batch mates had to pass a 10 round sparring match just to even pass the bolo section of the instructor certificate. Mastery over Ak demands dedication and years of toil. And the system is still evolving and modifying it's structure even as I write this a lot changes has taken place and all current instructors must under-go a new process of training and even re-certification to continue teaching the new process which includes:

Espada y daga
Dos Manos
Empty hands

and each of these also requires years of mastery before one can teach with authority.

The beauty of this system is that it is always ready to question itself, ready to improve and move with the times and demands of survival against violence but at the same time only the most dedicated select few ever makes it to the end.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Guro Bradley Castle and Guro Michael Cruz

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Kutsilyo or knife training is the heart of our curriculum in our system. Although we have put up a lot of videos on bolo or machete type swords for quite some time already and have expounded most of our principles and philosophies using these weapons, the knife  which we seldom put up is still the very center of our training regimen along with our empty hand fighting.  It is for the simple reason of remaining relevant to our current times and getting practical for the streets. Training how to defend against these easy to conceal weapons including hand guns is for us the most important aspect of Filipino martial art training.

Training with me here is Japs Jayme who now resides at  Huntington Beach, California. He is among the certified instructors of Abenir Kalis in the US.



By Guro Bradley Castle
AK New Zealand

An excercise we done a few weeks ago, was "Chalk Sparring". Each person has a different colour and its no more than 3 inches long. It's done with the view of using a small blade, or more so going up against someone with a small small knife, box cutter, bottle head, shank. Also a way to get comfortable with the idea of having to be that close to someone with a weapon, when all else fails and there is no where to run. At the end of it we get to assess the damage. It is clear to say everyone got cut. When the chalk falls we have to do what we can to survive , thus the clinching to take control. I ended up with a huge cut/mark on my right thigh, which I only seen at the end. We done one minute rounds and kept changing partners. We also chalk up the sharkie knife trainers for sparring, to get visual feed back.

Monday, April 3, 2017


This DVD entitled "Labanang Tabak" meaning sword fighting, covers the basics of Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art System. The ten angles of attack and the method of practical defenses against each strikes is also well covered. Many of our fighting strategies, principles and philosophies are included as well in order for the viewers to understand what the system is all about. Clear methods of instructions is  presented in this instructional DVD.

AK family worlwide would like to give our gratitude and BIG  THANKS  to Andy Martin and Cranes Productions for their full support in making this first out of our series of instructional dvd projects. Thank you also to Pak Sam Halim for his genuine friendship and for  intoducing us to these wonderful people.

Special thanks to Japs Jayme and Mac Miranda for their expertise, time and  patience to us while shooting and directing each scene.

And thank you most especially to the Abenir Kalis Family here in the Philippines, Europe, Middle East and America.  Mabuhay!


Sunday, April 2, 2017


BY Javier Naranjo

My journey in Abenir Kalis started almost accidentally in January 2014 while living in Manila. I was looking for an instructor within Mandaluyong city, where I was based, purely to avoid Manila’s traffic as much as possible.
My first choice among what google threw at me was Bobby Tabimina whom I found out was teaching nearby; Balintawak is another style close to my heart and having practiced it in Cebu I was keen to continue learning while in Manila; however several tries to contact the gym where he was teaching lead to nothing. I decided to expand my search and came across Ka Richard Grimaldo’s contact details. It just happen we were almost neighbours and although I knew next to nothing about Abenir Kalis I decided to give it a try.
Ka Richard managed to impress me so much on the first class, both at a personal and technical level that I decided to schedule one to one daily trainings with him, Monday to Friday, 2 to 3 hours a day. Based on that first class impressions Abenir Kalis seemed unlike any FMA I had practiced till that date (due to my continues travels I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to several styles and I have achieved instructor level not only in Filipino Martial Arts but in several other eastern and western fighting styles), from the footwork to the blade legacy AK it’s quite a unique and lethal blend of Kalis Ilustrisimo and several Silat styles.
Having studied with Richard for a while, he introduced me to GM Bong, and since then I’ve been lucky enough to count them among my dearest friends. My journey in Abenir Kalis is just starting but looking at the road ahead I can see it’s going to be a very interesting, challenging and rewarding journey.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Journey with Abenir Kalis

By Dean Franco

My Journey with Abenir Kalis started with watching videos of Master Bong Abenir on Face Book. I was first exposed to Master Bong videos through his old student Fabrizio . I was enamored by his feet, more specifically his footwork. I knew before checking his background that he had trained in Illustrisimo Kalis. This was apparent by seeing his fore mentioned footwork and later observation of his defensive movements. Being a Tatang fanatic I was even further curious to the system in which he created. Sure enough my hunch was correct; he had spent on 19 years with Master Tony Diego, Tatang’s heir.
                                I emailed him stating my admiration for his ability and skill and queried whether he had plans to ever come to the states. He answered not as of yet and this is the kicker, he responded humbly with “I am sure there are qualified instructors in the US.” Shortly thereafter I contacted his old student Fabrizio who informed me he was coming to the states. He offered me private training, I suggested going out to California to meet him.  He suggested in coming to me, well schedules didn’t work out but that set the path to Ka Marvin Mendoza.
                         I found about Ka Marvin Mendoza via Master Bong’s Abenir Kalis Blog site. I diligently tried to get contact information through searches. I then messaged Master Bong again who shared with me that Ka Marvin was on face book; to this day I can’t believe I didn’t check that first. Well I reached out to Ka Marvin Mendoza and shared my interest based on my observations of Master Bong and his system which at this point I had researched more. This is where the quote “the rest is history” is very applicable.
                          Spoke to Ka Marvin on the phone a few times and I could tell he was making sure I was a good fit lol. Something we joke about to this day. However it’s a testament to how serious he takes sharing this system and his respect and loyalty to Master Bong. He was finally convinced when I commented on the Master’s quick and economical feet. I then went to Chicago to train with him which was such a wonderful experience. My first trip I was exhausted and got to literally feel Ka Marvin’s number 4 strike which despite adjustments on my part he was still so efficient. First time ever I experienced extreme quickness in foot movement and striking delivery. His instruction was so organized and he gave plenty of time for practice. Ka Marvin even took the time to video our sessions for me to have for reference.  Ka Marvin and his family were so kind and hospitable. His wonderful wife on both visits went out her way to cook 3-4 course lunches just incredible!!!
                                 In conclusion I am so happy I was persistent in finding an Abenir Kalis rep. My patience paid off with Ka Marvin accepting me as a student and to this day I still so grateful.  He has been nothing but wonderful to me as well as the other instructors. I believe this is due to Master Bong’s humility and grace and that has been instilled in all of us. Lastly, I am so proud to be the first American promoted in this system. Thank you Ka Marvin, all the other instructors and most of all Master Bong in what you have created for all of us. Pugay!!!

Ka Dean Franco


By Richard Grimaldo

I often hear people discuss techniques and boast how many techniques they know and how deep it is with regards to the art. I openly hear what they have to say but rarely do I ever say anything against it even though I consider it secondary to actual combat skills. I believe that techniques emphasize the art in “Martial Art” and I consider this not only a necessity but our responsibility as a martial ‘artist’. The way I see it, techniques are nice but as I was told countless times by various teachers and various anecdotes it is the basics that wins the fights. And through sparring I find techniques secondary to three other aspect of combat that is often overlooked and understated. The way I see it combat revolves on several principles: Range, Timing, Mindset, and Techniques.

If an enemy cant reach you, you will not be defeated, if you cannot reach the enemy you will not win.
First and foremost is range. If one is to throw an effective punch, kick or any strike, the proper range has to be observed. You can throw all the punch, kick, elbow or what not and still miss the target completely. For example, an upper cut to the jaw cannot be executed from long range, a spinning back kick cant be effectively thrown at close quarters, a clinch and knee cant be executed if not within close quarters and a jammed punch will lose its power. If an enemy cant reach you, the enemy cant hit you, and if you cant hit or touch the enemy odds are you wont win either. It is in this aspect that foot work comes in to play. Foot work can increase your range for defense or execute long range techniques or decrease the range to go in to the full offensive. One can therefore say that techniques are dependent on which range they are to be executed from. And I am only talking about the offensive aspect of combat. Range plays an even bigger role in defense. This aspect of combat can be emphasized all the more with the use and application of weapons.
Various weapons have been developed to capitalize and give the fighter the advantage of range. Spears, halberds, and pikes have been developed and were a mainstay of many armies in countless wars. Bows, crossbows, rifles, and sniper rifles have been created in order to capitalize the range even more.
Needless to say, getting the range right determines half of your chances of hitting. Now moving on to the other half which is timing.

Even if you are physically and numerically faster, if my timing is right I’m still faster.
First half of determining whether you will land a hit or not is range and the other is timing. You can throw all the strikes you can and still miss the target completely if your timing is off. It is the aspect of combat where in based on the motion of the target you are to generate an assumption where the target will be at a given time in order for one to land a blow. Range together with timing is the quintessential aspect of combat. Timing is the speed equalizer between two combatants for it will enable a slower combatant to hit an otherwise faster enemy.
Needless to say Timing is dependent on range. Timing simply means shorter travel time will allow a strike to hit it’s target faster compared to a strike which is faster but will come from a much greater distance. It is with this regard that economy of movement is employed, quick tight movements, reduction of telegraphic movements and the reason why the centerline principle is developed.
To further expound on the concept of timing you can use the concept of beats. Every motion has a timing and can be assigned a beat. A jab or a fake can be counted as a half beat (or what we call fraccion in Abenir Kalis), a straight punch, a knife thrust or a bolo slash can be counted as one beat. Any technique or movement which exceeds 1 beat will have a great difficulty of succeeding as combat is ruled by multiple half or 1-beat movements and finding the gap in between the beats will enable one to land a blow or execute a technique.

Technique is a movement or series of movements developed to capitalize the weakness of an enemy or to compensate for the weakness of the executor. Its development and execution is the culmination of the combatant’s knowledge of range and timing. It is meant to maximize the effect of a strike for a weak strike delivered properly to a critical target will have a greater effect compared to a strong strike delivered to an unsuitable target. As good as it sounds, techniques alone however will not guarantee victory. In the heat of the battle, it is but the basics which will count and half or single beat strikes that will win fights. Techniques are therefore incidental, meaning its successful execution is greatly dependent on the situation.
But one can throw all the techniques one can and land a blow but without the proper mindset the effectiveness and strength of the strike/technique will be greatly affected by the intent of the strike or the mindset of the executor.

It’s no surprise when a well trained martial artist foils a robbery or beats up a group of thugs, in fact it is expected. However it too is common news to hear many well trained martial artists fall victim to these petty criminals. Why? These well trained martial artists with years of experience of hard sparring in the dojo with an arsenal of punches, kicks and various techniques are falling prey to petty criminals with little or no training whatsoever so what gives? What do these thugs have that a trained martial artist doesn’t? My guess is the mindset that makes the difference. While there are many other factors that may constitute to the defeat of a trained individual versus the common thug, the mindset or the intent of an individual will overall affect the outcome of any encounter.
An individual intent on hurting someone intent on protecting himself will almost always lose. Once the attacker fully commits to the goal, the attacker will stop at nothing, utilize every exploitable element possible like, terrain advantage, shadows, sand to throw at one’s eye, a broken shard of glass or anything that the attacker can get his hands on until the goal is achieved



By Marvin Mendoza

It was my first day training under the master of this new system I've been introduced to by a dear and trusted friend.

The dojo was small compared to the one im used to but their mats are worned out and rough evidence of countless of hours logged on to the perfection of technique.

Though it was my first day in their system I'm in no way a novice myself I have taught aikido and submission grappling for most of my adult life and was used to this sort of thing. But what they had to offer was different- The Blade- the master is a kind looking man but you can sense a power a skill behind the smile that im anxious to see...

We started out with usual routine warm ups followed by the basics then he showed how to hold a kali stick...the rough texture of the rattan dug deep in my palm but somehow felt at home with it. We started to learn the basics of the blade and the accuracy and fluidity of the master's skill is awe inspiring...

I tried my best to mimick what the master was doing but mostly I felt slow, a fish out of the water while the master flowed in and out of his attacking space swinging the stick like a natural extension of his limbs...His name is Bong Abenir and his system Abenir Kalis.

I have always trained empty hand so the weapon aspect felt different not awakward but it made you feel alive.

Time came for us to spar , my opponent is someone I didnt know but we were paired to do a knife fight armed with sturdy short sticks as stand ins...

My adrenaline raced as we threatened each other with our weapons he stepped in i drew a breath stepped offline and stabbed him point blank in the chest he reeled back and felt the tip of my weapon our skirmish drew on into the 2 min mark each getting stabbed or slashed we got into a clinch so i pushed him with my shoulder pinning him to the wall pulled my weapon arm out and stabbed him  once more ending the match. I was sweating and my arms felt like a ton..

Master Bong watched from the sideline...i was thinking to myself that wasnt so bad. Then master Bong asked me to step up and spar with him this time empty hands.

In the back of my head every reptilian brain cell is screaming at me "RUN FOOL!" But I was there and I had to do it. The timer started,  he threw a jab I parried and he closed in...all i saw was the ceilling and both my feet up in the air the only thing that saved me was a well practiced breakfall, gravity took hold and down i was the fastest takedown or sweep I have ever experienced.

And all I can say about the experience was... "I was hooked on AK" and never looked back to my old systems since.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Study courses offered: Abenir Kalis

1.Labanang Tabak - Bolo/Machete
2.Labanang Kutsilyo - Knife Training
3.Tabak at Punyal - Sword and Dagger
4.Dos Manos - Long stick and sword
5. Silat, Dumog, Shemagh at Kerambit - Stand up to ground fighting and the use of shemagh and curved blade for fighting.
6. Labanang Olisi - Single stickfighting method
7. Doble Olisi - Double stickfighting method
8. Doble Kutsilyo - Double knives
9. Doble Espada - Double swords
10. Olisi at kutsuliyo - Stick and knife training

Certifications are awarded only after completion of each course.

Promotions for maestro (teacher) and antas (degrees) would be held annually here in the Philippines and would be conducted by the maestros within the brotherhood of AK Kalistas Ilustrados. Other opportunities for  promotions could be hosted by AK Eskrima schools abroad through special invitations to any members of AK Kalistas Ilustrados. We strictly ensure the standard methods of teachings, principles and philosophies  are well kept and taught within the AK Eskrima community.

We also offer separate private lessons in Ilustrisimo blade fighting system (no certifications are awarded in respect to the wishes of its current and only recognized heir of the system)  and Pencak Silat.

We also conduct street awareness seminar  for the youth and self defense for men and women.

Program for law enforcers and other special units  are conducted by PSI Deejay Domingo and Bong Abenir together with its team.

Pre-Order of Bong Abenir first ever DVD :
                     Coming Soon !

Seminar in Malaysia on April w/ Sensei Tony Yap

Seminar in USA on May at Camp Jansson

Seminar in Belgium (TBA)

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Official AK kalistasilustrados blogsite:

Official Abenir Kalis worldwide blogsite:

AK Kalistas Ilustrados
Abenir Eskrima

Saturday, March 18, 2017

AK Kalistas Ilustrados Brotherhood Blogsite

Sunday, February 26, 2017



Why training with sticks is important in Filipino Martial Arts?

By Bong Abenir

The Philippines is simply rich in rattan sticks and many other hardwood material. But rattan is generally used for training due to the fact that the composition of its material is neither very soft nor very hard in order for the structure of an average human body to withstand its force impact. Now don't get me wrong, of course it could still knock out anyone receiving a hard blow on the head or get all bruised up and suffer broken bones. That is if it is used with extreme force that would cause such unwanted injuries. Now that's the reason we have to wear headgears  and other stuff to prevent such things (although injuries still happen but is significantly reduced or minimized). So if it is used just to train to learn the movements and the rudimentary forms of the art and an occasional hard yet still controlled contact then it does help with buliding up good foundation in ezkrima , honing one's reflexes for attacking and defending and countering, and the tolerable hits recieved from a good exchange serves as an awakening to the practitioner that a good defense, sense of good timing, proper form and correct attitude towards weapons training is indeed a must.
Does training with sticks makes an eskrimador's skills functional and relevant to real self-defense scenarios? Yes and no. It all depends on the situation. Sticks are still used on the streets by muggers and even the riot police. Sticks that comes in many forms such as baseball bats, pool cues, batons, tree branch, floor mops, etc. Training with sticks also represents other harder objects such as steel bars, crow bars, big wrenches, collapsible baton etc.  Many violent fights and crimes have happened  using this types of things. Moreso as compared to long swords (which is not very relevant in our times) except for machetes, bolos and knives wherein the Filipino Martial Arts is among the very few fighting systems who spend a lot of their training dealing with these weapons.  Now the truth is: Any deep thinking martial artists know the strenghts and as well as the limits of any form of martial system.  Even if you are among the best and highly skilled hand to hand or weapons instructor or fighter one wrong decision, a careless move, an extremely disadvantage position or an ambush could turn all the years of practice, knowledge and expertise into nothing. So why then do we still need to learn or practice? Well, like any good insurance agent would tell you: "You never know when you'll need one" and just think about those seatbelts in the car. Strapping them may sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it may be the only thing that could or might save you when your car hits hard on the wall.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art
AK Kalistas Ilustrados


We have many gripping methods in our system. Let me share you two of them that we use for single hand held swords. I am using a pinuti sword in this video.

The movements I did which shows my fingers extending out was a deliberate  exaggeration in order to stress which fingers are gripping tight and which fingers are a little bit loose on a certain grip. In actual application these transitions wouldn't be noticed. Most Filipino blades were originally used as farm implement which requires little or no guards at all. Therefore any protruding fingers would be an easy target. The grip transitions in real time application is done with subtlety.

The Pinuti is indegenous to us which comes from the Visayas region.  The blade is  approximately 16 to 18 inches long with a wooden handle. The term Pinuti means white or whitened. It has a very good balance and easy to carry.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art

For more info and  private training, please contact us through FB Messenger or send us your message at our email address at

Watch out for our upcoming instructional DVD on the use of Tabak (sword). It would serve as an introduction to AK. It will be followed by Laban Kutsilyo which is an introduction as well to AK knife fighting under Cranes Production.

We will also have our second book "DEEPER THOUGHTS ON THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS under Tambuli Media.

Training Center:
Taytay Rizal, Philippines

Thursday, February 16, 2017