Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo (English version)

Tatang as he was popularly known was a warrior in the strictest sense of the word. He was a street fighter and his manner of \ instruction was situational. It was not configured in a step-wise I manner from basic movements. His philosophy was that there V was nothing basic and nothing advanced. Fight situations * dictated the techniques to be used.

Tatang would ask you to attack him and he would execute a technique. If you wanted him to repeat that technique, you would have to execute the attack exacdy as it was first executed (same angle distance, speed, etc.), because if the attack differed in any way, Tatang would use a modification or different technique in defending and countering. However, if the attack was executed exactly the same as before, just maybe he would repeat the same technique. For as said before, aspect-distance-speed-angle, were never exactly the same to Tatang and he would use a different technique for each.

While Tatang was often seen teaching in Luneta, it does not end there. Dedicated students would go to Tatang s house for further instruction. This is where Tatang would explain the deeper meaning of his system- philosophy of combat, presence of mind in battles, correct body positioning, blade (&z/w)awareness and orientation, and the use of the eyes peripheral view. The list is endless because of the wealth of knowledge and experience the old man had.

Often questions were asked why the Ilustrisimo style has no standard measurement of sticks. One of the reasons behind this is because the nature of a combat does not allow favorable situation at all times. The Ilustrisimo practitioner is thus trained to aptly handle various weapons of various lengths and sizes depending on what is available.

Tatang was very involved with the importance of timing. The concept of maintaining specific distances from the opponent such as long, medium, short, and trankada (locking techniques executed at very close range) had a lot to do with improving timing along with angles of attack.

Tatang had no rankings or levels. You were either a student or shared your experience with neophytes as an instructor. He never offered information. It was up to the student to ask the right question.

'lavang believed that techniques were more important than the execution. For if the technique is bad, it requires a very skilled person to execute it and overcome an opponent, whereas, an efficient technique even if executed poorly will work to protect ones’ self.

Author - Peachie Baron Saguin

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