Upon hearing the words “Karate, Taekwondo, or Kung Fu,” almost anyone can easily identify these as Asian martial arts forms. But say, “Escrima, Arnis or Kali” – forms of Filipino marital arts, and blank stares are sure to ensue.

Grandmaster Robert Castro, also known as GM, is hoping to change that by bringing Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) into the mainstream with ESKABO DAAN, a weapons based system he devised which teaches weapon to weapon, empty hand to weapon and empty hand to empty hand self defense.

ESKABO, originally an acronym for Escrima, Serrada, Kali, Boxing and Jeet Kune Do, now incorporates Dumog (Filipino wrestling), jujitsu, Muay Thai and Aikido into the aforementioned marital arts forms.

Just as escrima has evolved over 400 years due to influences from other countries and cultures, ESKABO has transformed well. ESKABO began 27 years ago, with GM practicing these forms in his humble garage.

Students of ESKABO learn disarms, locks and take downs with or without weapons. The students also learn hand-to-hand combat utilizing everything humanly possible for the purpose of self-defense.

Students learn the efficiency and effectiveness of punches, kicks, elbows, head-butts, throat shots, eye gouges, biting and even pinching when it comes to defending yourself from an assailant.

Like many other Filipino Martial Arts practitioners before him GM mainly did his training underground making sure to stay out of sight of public eyes.

The tradition of training in secret is still going on today, but in order to help spread awareness of FMA, GM has hosted countless seminars and demonstrations throughout North America. He has even gone on television promoting FMA on Good Day New York, Adobo Nation and Eye on the Bay.

GM recently decided to open up a FMA studio to the general public. He now has chapters in Oregon, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and California. The San Francisco location is located at 1475 Polk St Suite 11.