di Andrea Rollo
Gold medalist – Kali Sport World Cup 2008
It was just only 2 years ago that two Filipino workers who were living in Rome Italy for over 20 years finally decided to establish something that no other Arnis-Kali-Escrima Master has ever attempted to do in Italy so far away from the Philippines.
The two authentic fighters grew up in the dangerous and hard streets of Mindanao. They look like the average person in Italy’s chaotic capital city. They had a dream; that dream was to do everything possible and bring together different Masters, Schools and Associations who practice their native fighting art under one federation. They also wanted to have the ability to select the best Italian fighters and bring them to the Philippines to participate in a world competition and come back to Italy with at least one gold medal.
Mangdirigma Italia (Italian Federation of Filipino Martial Arts) was Founded in December 2006. As the federation grew, President Master Aurtenciano Revolos Miranda Jr., and Technical Director Master Jorg Miranda, also supporters of PCKEAM (Philippine Council of Kali Arnis Escrima Masters) of Grandmaster Roland Dantes began pro
moting the sport and martial art by organizing workshops, conferences and competitions. By doing this, they were able to spread the Filipino combative systems to the people in Italy and also got the media’s attention.
Thanks to the support and assistance from the other members of Mangdirigma Italia, among which there are Rodelo Ubaldo (LAKAS), Librada Ramos (Arnis Ramos Batanguena), Giancarlo Casula (Accademia Moros), Barbara Canoci (Urban Tiger) and many others, they were able to enter a team from Italy to compete in the Philippines which will allow them to experience an exciting adventure that is dreamed by all practitioners of martial arts. A, particular thanks goes to Mirko Bruzzone, who helped in the Federations financing it in different occasions.
The journey began with fighting matches and meetings with important local public figures. We had an amazing and unforgettable experience being on TV, radio stations and were honored to train with many old Filipino Grandmasters.
It was Punong Guro Reynate Dominguez, the General Secretary of the PCKEAM and the Kali Sports Director that assisted our president (M° Aurt R. Miranda Jr.) to organize our stay in the Philippines. The whole entire trip was very well organized.
As soon as we arrived at the airport in Manila, there was a van ready and waiting to pick us up and there was also four wonderful ladies welcoming us at the airport placing traditional necklaces around our necks for us to wear. We also had policemen escorting us all the time as we drove and walked around the city. There was always something planned for us each and everyday. We went to Radio DWIZ studios where anchorman Rey Langit interviewed us, we also went to GMA-7 television studios where they were recording a video on behalf of a famous Filipino show and General Bartolome interviewed us on a national PNP television program.
We also had the chance to meet the Mayor of Cainta (Rizal province) Mayor Gatchalian (Valenzuela City) and the Governor of Rizal Governor Ynarez. We also had the opportunity to watch Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri who demonstrated a few techniques from the famous Ilustrisimo style. Not to leave out the time we went to the firing range with the policemen.
Over the course of our adventure in the Philippines, we had a chance to talk and train with very well respected Grandmasters and Masters: Vincent Sanchez, Rodel Dagooc, Bert Labaniego, Yuli Romo (at the Valenzuela University), Romeo Sanchez, Jerson Tortal Jr., Chuck Canete (son of Edgar Canete), Henry Espera, Pepito Robas, Frank Sobrino and his 94 year old Grandmaster and World War II veteran Jesus Pallorina. Training with all of these Masters was a very exciting part of the trip.
At home in Italy, we always had read about fighters who in the past had gone around all of the Philippine islands to test their combative skills against other Arnis-Kali-Escrima experts. On July 12th and 13th, Team Italy had the opportunity to compete at a world tournament along with training with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the RTU University Team, Pamantasan Lungsod ng Valenzuela. Sure enough the atmosphere of our exhibition matches was different from the actual “sudden death” matches. The emotions that were felt amongst us at the well known PNP Head Quarters of Camp Crame in a big square with thousands of their students watching, and being 16000km away from home is a feeling that is not easy to describe.
Mangdirigma Italia was formed by different schools and systems who always felt like family to me. The Sardinian guys of M° Giancarlo Casula, Andrea Pani, Federico Pinna, Antonio Mannu e Alessandro Casanovi were our brothers and very strong fighters. The Filipino female Master M° Librada Ramos together with Gianluca Polimanti gave us the power and energy with their amiability. Raffaele Navarino and Giacomo Ciocchio (Osca Campobasso) helped us with their technical ideas. Arnel Zamuco was an amazing member of the team and the determination of Andrea Favalli who had a physical disadvantage was an example we all had followed who also came home with a silver medal. The son of our President, 9 year old Giordano was also a champion. The rest of the members of Team Italy were Luca Desibio, Pino Mastronardi and Sergio Calabro who are very much like brothers to me as Master Miranda Jr. is like a father to me.
Two years later, the two Miranda brothers have done what they dreamed of doing, which is to come back home to Italy full of Medals.
|1 Gold||Andrea Rollo(Kali Istukada Miranda System)|
|3 Silvers||Federico Pinna (Accademia MOROS ) – Andrea Favalli (LAKAS Arnis) – Giordano Miranda (Future Heir of Miranda Istukada system, his family style)|
|2 Bronze||Antonio Mannu (Accademia MOROS ) – Arnel Zamuco (Kali Fight Sap Academy)|
I am very proud to give my Master the only Gold Medal of the Italian team. I thank him for teaching me his Kali Istukada Miranda style. With his knowledge, I had the ability to win at the competition.
Thanks to Mangdirigma Italia!
06 Apr, 2016