Maestro Elmer Ybanez (1953 - 2004)
Master Elmer Ybanez was the highest-ranking and most trusted student of Grandmaster Benjamin ‘Mang Ben’ Luna Lema who was the founder of Lightning Scientific Arnis International (LSAI) and whom he trained under for nearly 20 years.
The LSAI martial art system became widely known and accepted, first, in the Philippines, and now, in the U. S., mainly because of Master Ybanez’s efforts and hard work to promote the art. Both he and Grandmaster Lema were delegates to the Martial Arts Federation for World Peace in Washington D.C. in 1997 representing the Philippines.
Master Ybanez was also the first runner-up in the Second World Eskrima Kali Federation Championship (Super Lightweight Division) in 1992 and was national champion in both the Philippine’s National Kali-Eskrima Tournament and the Philippine Union of Martial Arts Arnis Tournament in 1991 and 1990 respectively.
He founded his own organization in 1996 in honor of the Grandmaster (who passed away in January 2003) which is what is now known as the Lema Scientific Kali Arnis System (LESKAS). Master Ybanez finished his degree in Business Administration, major in Accounting, at the Philippine Christian University, and earned his Diploma in Physical Education at the University of the Philippines where he founded and started teaching LESKAS style of Eskrima to a handful of dedicated students who now have their own organizations in the different parts of the Philippines .
Since then, LESKAS has been adopted by the University as part of the regular physical education curriculum. LSAI/LESKAS practitioners are found not only in the Philippines and the U.S., but also in England, Hong kong and Singapore through the enthusiastic propagation of Master Ybanez and his students. Master Ybanez was based in Seattle, WA where his students continue to both practice and teach the art.