Martial arts group goes for the gold


July 26, 2002|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHILE MOST locals were busy celebrating our nation's break with the Brits earlier this month, a dedicated group of 12 Filipino stick-fighting competitors from Kick Connection found themselves in the heart of London, joining with other Team USA members in defending their championship.

The three-day battle for the gold at the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation tournament took place July 4-6 at the Royal National Hotel in London. Competitors from 20 countries traveled to London to participate.

When the final match ended, the Pasadena group emerged victorious, capturing 16 medals for Team USA. "It was quite an accomplishment," said Carlos Patalinghug, Kick Connection president.

Arnis, better known as stick fighting, is a highly specialized sport that combines graceful movements with lightning-fast, intense sparring matches involving the use of bastons, or sticks.

It can be traced back to the 16th-century Filipino hero Lapulapu, Patalinghug said.

"Lapulapu killed Magellan with a stick in 1521. After the Spaniards gained control of the country, they banned Arnis," he said.

The defensive art resurfaced several hundred years later in the Filipino culture through the use of sticks in local plays and dances. "The Spaniards believed that they were only playing, but it was an opportunity to keep Arnis alive," he said with a smile.

Modern stick fighting emerged from a federation originated by the Canete family in Cebu City in 1932. It combines offensive and defensive movements with the use of one or more wooden weapons. "The federation created the form, Doce Pares, and helped turn Arnis into the national competitive sport of the Philippines," Patalinghug said.

The sport appeals to experienced martial arts enthusiasts as well as novice students of all ages, Patalinghug said.

"We start out learning Arnis with a weapon, unlike other martial arts," he said. Graceful moves, with and without weaponry, as well as sparring with opponents add a certain appeal to the sport. "We have men, women, and kids learning the sport."

Winners in the seventh world WEKAF tournament in London included:

Individual patterns: Arlene Reyes, Matt Cerbas and Pete Barna, first place.

Group pattern: Carlos Patalinghug, Matt Cerbas, Alvin Caragay, Danny Castro, Aaron Seligson and Chad Rogers, first place.

Single-stick sparring: Sharon Miletich, first place; Arlene Reyes, second place; and Peter Barna, Aaron Seligson and Rico Arus, third place.

Double-stick sparring: Aaron Seligson, second place; and Kenny Harris, third place.

With this year's victory at the world tournament behind them, Arnis enthusiasts at Kick Connection are not resting on their laurels.

"Nationals are coming up in six months, then regional," Patalinghug said. "In two years, we hope to be back at the world tournament that will be held in the Philippines, defending our titles."

Congratulations on winning the gold for Old Glory.

Pancake breakfast

Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, 4760 Mountain Road, will hold a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. tomorrow in the fellowship hall.

Diners can partake of pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit cup, juice, coffee, and milk. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and younger.

Proceeds from the monthly breakfasts benefit the church building fund.

Information: 410-255-8887

Dinner and bingo

The Ladies Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2462 will hold its monthly Sunday dinner/bingo Aug. 25 at the post home, 1720 Bayside Beach Road.

Doors will open at 1 p.m.

The cost is $20 and includes dinner, dessert and a beverage, and 20 regular games of bingo.

Raffles, door prizes and a Chinese auction also are scheduled.

Tickets or information: Rosemarie Billing-Briggs at 410-255-7101 or Kate Kane at 410-255-4053.

Online marketing

The Pasadena Business Association will hold its monthly membership meeting at noon Aug. 7 at Kurtz's Beach.

The guest speaker will be's Doug Butschky. He will discuss how local owners can market their businesses on the Internet and the benefits of online marketing.

The cost to members is $12 with reservation, $15 at the door.

Reservations must be made by Aug. 2.

Information: 410-987-4887.

Weight-loss group meets

Take Off Pounds Sensibly, a support group for individuals trying to lose weight, meets each Wednesday at Jenkins Memorial Church, Riviera Drive at Jenkins Road.

Weigh-in starts at 5:30 p.m.

New members are welcome.

Information: 410-255-2430 or 410-255-0158.

Bible school for children

Pasadena United Methodist Church, 61 Ritchie Highway, will present vacation Bible school for children 4 to 11 from 9 a.m. to noon August 5-9.

"God's Great Gallery" will include Bible stories, crafts, games, and songs.

The cost is $3 per child, or $5 per family.

Information: 410-647-3090.

Kids fishing derby

Members of the Pasadena Sportfishing Group are gearing up for their annual kids fishing derby, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Aug. 18 at Downs Park.

The derby is open to children 5 to 15.

Although catching fish is the focus of the derby, PSG volunteers will be on hand to show young anglers how to prepare tackle and tie knots, and to talk with kids about water safety.

The cost is $2 per child. Advance registration is required. Free bait and refreshments will be provided by the PSG.

Prizes will be awarded in three age categories: 5-8, 9-12 and 13-15.

Information: Downs Park at 410-222-6230 or the PSG at 410-439-3474.

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