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.