Among the feared and respected Grandmasters of Philippine Warrior Arts, there exists one common bond that ignores regional styles, tradition and dialect. There exists a common concept and principle shared by these warrior Grandmasters.

The drills, techniques, terminologies and training methods may be different and varied but the mind training, the mental attitude, the focus and control of mind, body and spirit, are one and the same. The alertness and adaptability of a Filipino warrior or Mandirigma is not a natural talent, but a skill honed and cultivated to its highest degree. The ability of the Mandirigma to expect the unexpected, to overcome the insurmountable, is the product of rigorous, serious training, discipline and dedication.

Dakip-Diwa is the secret behind the reputation, the art, the skill of the Filipino warrior, the Mandirigma. In the practice and cultivation of this mind-set, the Mandirigma develops, trains and controls his mind for combat situations until Dakip-Diwa takes supreme and absolute control of his body, emotions and skills.

Fear and hesitation are ignored if not totally eliminated. Dakip-Diwa narrows the warrior’s perspective to isolate and focus on the motions of offense and defense. The opponent becomes a mere representation of combat motion, angles and lines.

Under the control of Dakip-Diwa training, the enemy is no longer a person with physical and psychological advantages or threat — only a source of offense and defense. With Dakip-Diwa, the size, reputation and psyche of the opponent is no longer of any consequence. It is only the physics and rhythm of combat that matters. Emotion is no longer a factor, only the action and the dynamics of combat matters.

In Dakip-Diwa training, the mind is trained to recognize motion and action for what it is, simple movement, nothing else. The enemy becomes faceless, devoid of personality. Dakip-Diwa seeks and studies the opportunities, the changes, and the dangers of live and active combat. The mind-set of warrior trained in Dakip-Diwa, sees the enemy as a battlefield of lines, angles and trajectories, of strength and weakness.

Under the tutelage of experienced and proven masters, the secret of Dakip-Diwa is passed on to the next generation of Mandirigma. The meticulous and tedious training required to attain Dakip-Diwa is a legacy that is selectively and discriminately given.

What then is the essence of Dakip-Diwa?

What is involved in developing Dakip-Diwa?

First and foremost, it is commitment, followed closely by dedication and sealed with discipline. A Mandirigma must develop his mind and body to expect the unexpected. A Mandirigma must know how to provoke movements and reactions and to take advantage of them. A Mandirigma understands the angles and positions a body can take during the execution of offense or defensive motions. A blind corner hides no surprises to a Mandirigma trained to anticipate surprise attacks. Peripheral vision and mental awareness is set to its maximum as one ventures into the unknown. A sudden motion, whether from an acquaintance or a total stranger, holds no surprises. Distances and ranges are always scrutinized unconsciously and possibilities analyzed.

Dakip-Diwa trains the warrior to move and flow within the dynamics of combat. The Reloj de Arena and Prakcion principles of Kali Ilustrisimo are prime examples of Dakip-Diwa developed to its maximum. Recognizing these concepts and principles may give one a deeper and better understanding of combat, but without Dakip-Diwa training, they will remain nothing but concepts and principles, never combat skills.

Grandmaster Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo has made Dakip-Diwa the very soul of his art. Though seemingly relaxed and friendly, Tatang’s Dakip-Diwa is constantly attuned to the possiblities of sudden combat. Any surprise and sudden attack is reciprocated immediately with an even faster and deadlier retaliation.

Tatang’s senior students are aware of the nature of depth of his Dakip-Diwa and accordingly move very carefully when in his midst. This legacy has been given to and learned by a very select few of Tatang’s disciples. Dakip-Diwa is a legacy to be treasured, nurtured and shared. Yet, it is a legacy that can and will only be given to the deserving few who have the desire, the discipline and the dedication to discover, learn and master it.

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