WEKAF, or World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation, is the largest organisation representing the Filipino Martial Arts, with members in over 30 countries. WEKAF is open to all Filipino Martial Arts Styles.Along with the team came the highest-ranking Doce Pares Grandmaster in Europe, GM Danny Guba, as well as world champion Kevin Angeles.
At registration, packs of fighters in orange shirts overflowed the hall, including the Doce Pares teams of world champions Jim Smith and Phil Ireland, who fought alongside Ermar Alexander a couple of years earlier.
The event began with the Sayaw (or Forms) competitions wherein all of the 6 competitors, apart from one, were all from Doce Pares. Each competitor had to perform individually and we’re watched by everyone in attendance including fighters, spectators and guests.Next was the single stick sparring all across various divisions, inluding Kids, Cadets, Adults (Men) and Adults (Women) all across different weight categories. This was followed by the double stick sparring in the same categorised manner.
In spite of the competition, friends were made at the end of the day, where the event was also attended by competitors from other styles such as Kali Ilustrisimo, JKD, and Kapatiran Arnis.Ermar Alexander’s team, which consisted of a majority of Filipinos, did extremely well, taking into account that this is only the second tournament that they have ever attended! Despite only learning and training in Eskrima for less than a year, they were very competitive against more experienced fighters, such as those who have been members of the British Team for years and those who have been training in Eskrima for over 5 to 10 years.
The following list is of students of Ermar Alexander who joined the competition:
Paul Rasay – 1st place in Single stick
Marvin Alexander – 1st place in Double sticks
Diana Fauner – 1st place in Forms (womens)
Norman Charles – 2nd place in Forms (mens)
Sarah Charles – 2nd place in Forms (womens) and 2nd place in Single stick
Darren Nichols – 2nd place in Single stick
Ermar Alexander – 2nd place in Single stick
Cielito Caneja – 3rd place in both Single and Double sticks
Jean Krohn – 3rd place in Single stick
Michael Catindig – 3rd place in Single stick
All gold medallists now have a secure slot in the British Team and will be going to Cebu, Philippines for the 10th World WEKAF Championships in July 2008 to represent Great Britain.
It was a great event and everyone is looking forward to the British Open Championships in March, which will be held in Bristol. This is the second qualifying round for the British Team. Anyone who would like to come and support the team and event, please contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org – competition photos can be viewed at the Danny Guba Doce Pares website at www.dgdocepares.co.uk.
By Diana Fauner