I want to thank you for taking the time to visit Filipino Martial Arts Canada. One of my top passions is Filipino Martial Arts. Growing up as a child in the Philippines, my uncles and cousins would talk about their instructors and how gifted they were. I was amazed by how they spoke highly of them. When I asked them where the teachers are now, they replied “They’re dead.”
Life went by and I didn’t think much of the teachers that had gone before us. We left the Philippines to live and work in the Middle East. I studied other systems from other countries. I had a good time. However, on rare occasions I would see an older gentleman swing a stick. As a young boy I thought the fluid motions were more magical than other martial arts.
That perception all changed after I met a man named Kelly Dadap. He was a local martial arts instructor. Highly respected in the community and he had a lot of experience – not just in the gym but on the streets of Cebu and Manila.
After my dad introduced me to Kelly’s martial arts, I was hooked. Kelly and his assistant instructors were all from the Philippines and living in Saudi Arabia. They worked as nurses, heavy duty mechanics, laborers, engineers of varying practices, and the list goes on.
I was the only teenager in class. I didn’t feel bad about being young. Hey, we all get old sometime.
My family and I moved to Canada. Most of the people that mentored me in the martial arts are nowhere to be found. They might be pushing daisies or close to doing so. The only memories I have left of them are their teachings and some old film photographs.
Since a lot of grand masters in the Philippines and Canada have passed on and many more are getting older I was inspired to create this living history of the Filipino Martial Arts in Canada. I want to thank Kuya Herald Casana of Pekiti Tirsia Kali Alberta for letting me be a part of PTK. I now run two training groups in Southern Alberta. I also want to thank Kuya Oliver Salvador for encouraging me to continue this project. There was a time that I thought it was not worth the effort, but I was wrong.
The more I made contacts with Filipino Martial Arts instructors all over Canada, the more I was inspired to give them the recognition they rightfully deserve. They paid their dues and have taught countless numbers of students. Some of their students are now masters of the art themselves.
I thank you all for joining me in this journey. This project really means a lot to me and to many Filipino Martial Artists as well. Thank you my brothers and sisters for supporting me.
It would be a shame to lose the legacy our Filipino and Canadian masters have worked so hard to share. I hope this project preserves the teachings, philosophies, and the love our masters have for Filipino Martial Arts. The next generation will know them.
Peter Codizal of Filipino Martial Arts Canada