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On March 10th, Eskabo Daan was crowned Best Martial Arts in the Bay on the San Francisco A-List. This is Eskabo Daan’s 2nd Best in the Bay title in two years.
However their victory did not come easy. Master Joseph Bautsita explained “The people who won in 2012, started just as soon as we did to rally votes. We were in a head-to-head competition from the get-go, so for almost two months we were neck and neck. We were going back and forth between first and second place sometimes by no more than two votes at times. So there was added pressure at that end.”
When asked what this win meant for Eskabo, Bautista beamed “Feels good! This is big step for us personally because we came from the garage, remained underground until four years ago. But now I think this has helped solidify us and put us on the map.”
Miles Lucas, who joined Eskabo Daan seven months ago, was elated about his school’s achievement.
“I’m very happy about it. I definitely was telling all my folks about it, to get on and vote. I definitely feel it’s a righteous win. It just reaffirms how brilliant the whole system was designed.”
But Bautista believes this win does not belong Eskabo Daan solely but also to Filipino martial arts as a whole.
“When people win for the first time people always think it could be fluke, we were the underdog. Since we won it twice in a row, are we still considered the underdog? I don’t think so. I think people are starting to wake up and ask ‘what is this art that beat out 60 nominees, the only school representing Filipino martial arts and beat all these other schools that are well-represented and mainstream?’”
Despite the win, Bautista and Lucas both say it won’t change how they perceive and carry Eskabo Daan.
“We are who we are, we are going to keep doing what we do. We’re still going to do what we can for the community; presentations, performances and fundraisers. We’re still going to do our Alaska trip and support Mission High with their high school program.”
Stated Bautista. “I just like to bring what I can to it, I’m not a competitive person and I have never been into competition. I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing and represent and have my own style, which is what Eskabo encourages, your own style,” explained Lucas.
Although this victory is celebrated, it is just one accomplishment on Eskabo’s list of endeavors.
“We are going to put out more seminars, this year we are hosting 20 seminars but we are hitting different aspects of Filipino martial arts. Not only are we promoting it to people who have an understanding of FMA but hosting other seminars geared for the masses who know nothing of FMA.”
Eskabo Daan strives to promote and preserve FMA worldwide.