Tae Kwon Do Times©2

Tae Kwon Do Times© March 1997

KUN TAO Philipino Fist Art
by Eric Breuer

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Grand Master Joe Rossi

Text from above (white text may be difficult to read).
In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines. Magellan did not know how the native tribes would receive him and his crew, and he decided to land on an uninhabited island, later known as Homonhou. Once his crew had recouped from their long journey, Magellan decided to explore other islands. During his travels, Magellan became friends with a local Rajah named Kalumbu. With the help of Kalumbu, Magellan and-his crew went on to discover many of the islands of the Philippine chain.

Magellan was able to convert Rajah Kalumbu, his wife and 500 of his tribe to Christianity. With this new conversion, Magellan gave Kalumbu power to rule over all the islands in the name of Spain. Magellan brought all of the Rajah’s together for a conference. With a show of military prowess Magellan informed the Rajahs of Kalumbu’s new position. Most agreed to cooperate, however, one stood against them. His name was Rajah Lapu-Lapu, ruler of the island of Mactan.

Magellan believed that the spears, swords, daggers and sticks of Lapu·Lapu’s tribe would be of no match for his muskets. Thus, Magellan and Kalumbu went to war on the island of Mactan. Soon, much to Magellan’s dismay, he learned Lapu-Lapu was more formidable than expected. Lapu-Lapu and his wariors had great confidence in their Artting-Anting (magic amulets), Kali (use of weapons) and KunTau (fist way).

For the first time in the history of Philippine martial arts, they were used to defend their homeland from an invading force. Legend has it that Magellan died on the shores of Mactan at the hands of Lapu-Lapu in a fierce hand-to-hand battle. This pitted Magellan’s sword against Lapu-Lapu’s rattan stick. Magellan’s army also suffered defeat at the hands of Lapu-Lapu’s men.

During the time of Spanish rule, all weapons were banned from the local tribes. As a result, the continued . . .

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