The Magnificent Seven

On April 27th I turned 32 and the world kept spinning. Two days later, I gathered with my fellow Kuntaw practitioners (Kyuds as we call ourselves) for a journey we would never forget. Kuntaw is the ancient Filipino art of hand and foot fighting, and is the martial art we have taken in our hearts. The mission on this day, was to take one SUV filled with 7 individuals packed with clothes and snacks, to drive down to Wilson, North Carolina. We were set to reach there in about 8 hours and meet up with other Kyuds and Kyudais(female practitioners) from places like Canada, Virginia and Saudi Arabia to train and grow together in our art. The trip down was filled with jokes and sleep. The cast of characters was my father Lakan Guro Lakeim, and fellow Kyuds Daoud, Rasu, Dahkil, Erik, Suhail and myself.

Once we arrived in Wilson we went directly to the Kuntaw palace and met with Kyud Al. He gave us a warm welcome and took us to a near by restaurant for some breakfast. The meal was very affordable and an indication of the type of hospitality we were to enjoy while staying in Wilson. This trip was called by Kyud Bud who is a Grandmaster in the art of Kuntaw. He is on a mission set forth by the Great Grandmaster Carlito Lanada to streamline the practice of Kuntaw. Over the weekend we spent many hours going over forms and sparing with our fellow Kyuds and Kyudais. There were tons of knowledge being spread from the older to the younger both ways. I believe I speak for my fellow Kyuds from New York when I say we felt like we belonged to a bigger family.

Kyud Bill and Kyudai Alice run the Kuntaw Palace in Wilson and they did a great job along with Kyud Bud making everyone feel at home. The experience was very enriching both physically and mentally. I can say I returned to New York a different person. My approach to my art is now enhanced thanks to the people I met in Wilson.

Take a look at some of the photos taken during this great weekend. Also stay tuned for pt. 2 with more pictures and stories including the infamous “Usher singing incident”!

We Made It (Tired but Present)

Just arrived at the palace

Kyud Al preparing for a great weekend

Erik showing the keys to fine dining

Black Belts Assembled

5th Degree and above conversation

The next generation

Kyuds and Kyudais having a good time

Yes, we train with sticks too!