On March 21st, Eskabo Daan was crowned Best Martial Arts in the Bay on the Bay Area A-List. This victory is Eskabo’s fifth title in the last five years, making them the first school to win consecutively and the first Filipino school to win. Master Joseph Bautista shared his insight on this accomplishment.

“I was happy, of course. We knew we were going for five in a row; we are unaware of anyone else achieving that. As long as we keep chugging and doing what we do we keep putting our best foot forward. It still feels good; it’s still a win.”

Bautista views this victory as Eskabo fulfilling its mission to share Filipino martial art culture.

“I view our job as being able to teach the public not only self-defense, but also teaching them about Filipino martial arts and for those who are interested, we teach them about the history, culture, tradition within it.”

Bautista believes this win could greatly impact the Filipino American community.

“For the Filipino Americans who are unaware, I think this could mean the world. It could be life changing. A lot of the Filipino Americans that have trained with us have thanked us for the knowledge we have given them. For those who are aware, it validates what they know and gives them something they are proud of.”

Miles Lucas, a senior student who is approaching his fifth year, believes Eskabo’s victory supersedes ethnicities and gives the Filipino American community a source of pride.

“I’m not Filipino American, but I think anyone can recognize the significance of Eskabo Daan winning best martial arts in the bay. It would make me proud of I was Filipino American and I’m already proud.”

With a resurgence of pride, Bautista hopes this win will bring Filipino martial arts on the same status as it’s Chinese and Japanese counterparts.

“The way I see it, its one small step. If we keep taking those small steps, together the Filipino martial arts community will get FMA it to the stage where it can be and in my opinion, where it should be. It should be there with all the other martial arts, not better or worse, just up there.”

When asked what is the reason for their success, Eskabo Daan had a resounding answer.

Eskabo Daan’s emphasis on family is one that resonates with all its students. Testament to this is the hashtag #EskaboMeansFamily which has circulated around multiple social media platforms.

Annie Jalota, who has trained with Eskabo Daan for two years, explained her peers are more than training partners.

“I just don’t come to class and then leave. I spend time with them, I get to know them, these are the people I can go to for anything and I trust them with my life. Once you come you stay because it’s like your family.

That’s why Eskabo means family. We will help you grow, we will always be there to support you and we will put you to be your best self. I choose to stay here not only because I believe those things, but I can see how I have grown in the last two years.”

Lucas explained that his connection to Eskabo was not what he initially sought but has fully embraced.

“It was something I did not even expect coming into it, but without a doubt, that’s how I feel now. So just on my own personal aspect, I feel that I have gained close family and friends just being here. It’s not strict, it’s open for anyone just to come in and learn. That’s the family atmosphere to me.”

Though this is a an accomplishment Eskabo is celebrating, they still believe their work is far from over. Eskabo Daan continues to promote, propagate Filipino martial arts world wide, one venue at a time.

Approved by: Grandmaster Robert Castro