By GM Napoleon “Nap” A. Fernandez and Master Benigno “Ekin” R. Caniga, Jr.  

Cebu – It sounds Chinese, the movements slightly resemble that of Thai boxing and Korea’s taekwondo, but the origin is strictly Filipino.

Yaw-Yan is billed as the Philippine’s most lethal martial art. The acknowledged originator of Yaw-Yan is born Filipino and native of Quezon province.

He was undefeated All-Asian and Far-East kickboxing champion. The Yaw-Yan is designed for a Filipino fighter. It is specially invented for small Filipinos to fight against big and heavy opponents.

The originator creates these martial arts in consonant with Filipinos culture; the organization, food, uniform attitude and others. The word Yaw-Yan was derived from the two last syllables of “Sayaw ng Kamatayan” meaning “Dance of Death”.

Yaw-Yan is considered as one of the world’s latest form of martial arts considering that it was originated only in Manila year 1972. Yaw-Yan is faster and more powerful than other martial arts. A Yaw-Yan fighter utilizes the strength of his opponent against him through leading techniques.

Fernandez calls it “non-resistant” martial arts meaning no blocking are involved at all. This is simply redirecting your opponent energy to one’s favor. Yaw-Yan specialized to disarm knives, guns and stick in a split second without the use of force using the arms and legs as the weapon.

Yaw-Yan is a serious graceful performing art that requires an incredible amount of concentration for lightning speed movements.

It is expressive and requires great focus, it is systematic fighting art, realistic, energetic, complete and practical. In essence, it is sophisticated form of street fighting.

It has its own original style and not copied to any Martial Art. It is ultimately a highly develop personal spirituality and physique.

Yaw-Yan is a perfected special skill with great impact, smooth and very pleasurable like dancing. It is an excellent physical fitness exercise and a fine art of self defense, which requires the proper full use of skillful body movement.

Yaw-Yan stylist use mobility and swift maneuvering footwork and it counteract the balance of force when fighting. You will become a combatant fighter to force the opponent to make a voluntary sacrifice reaction to his own detriment. Opponent can easily detect his strengths and weaknesses by way of quick strike.

Yaw-Yan techniques are applied to paralyze, eliminate, disarm and injure the enemy. Yaw-Yan is very flexible style without limitation.

All Yaw-Yan weapons are used for close range, medium range, long distance and in-fighting. The hand and foot striking techniques are equally unique and deadly-lethal weapons. It stresses fastness, accuracy and power by practical and realistic actions.

Yaw-Yan mortal combatant is like a wind, alive, quick, fast, free and formless. Throwing perfect lightning punches and kicks from all angles. The hands and legs techniques are derive from stick and baton movement.

Yaw-Yan fighter can dominate and maintain control over his opponent with his quick reaction and relentless foot/hand fighting combinations to various part of the anatomy.

The effectiveness defends on split-second timing and reflexive action which can be achieved only through repetitious practice.

GM Nap Fernandez believes that combat is always alive and constantly changing. This is the very reason why he innovate methods, modified and improved theories and progressive ideals daily.

Yaw-Yan is a winning self defense system. We are sorry to say that Yaw-Yan dominated every facet of Martial Arts in the ring of competition.

Yaw-Yan ultimate goal is to preserve, promote and continuously improve and further develop our very own Filipino Martial Arts.

The most rewarding element of being Yaw-Yan practitioner is that it helps you gain self confidence by making tough but cool in dealing with pressured situation. Fernandez always remind the Yaw-Yan members that “we can be a winner even without fighting” by avoiding violence.

Contrary to most popular belief, Yaw-Yan is not purely a full-contact no-holds barred sport martial arts. It is a complete martial training with body-mind coordination and test of enduring indomitable spirit.

More than just physical training, it also involves the mental disciplines of focus, concentration, alertness, flexibility, stamina, speed and continuity.

Students train for real confrontation and actual fights – on or off the ring. Advanced Disciples have to go through a rigorous ritual of practice and discipline consisting of actual full-contact sparring, bag hitting, mind fighting and flexibility exercises. The Elbows (siko), knees (tuhod), and shin (lulod) are utilized in much the same way as in Muay Thai.

Yaw-Yan practitioners have to learn 40 basic kicks, advanced disciples have to be able to execute and apply complexes advanced kicks requiring great dexterity, flexibility, and mastery. Most of these advanced kicks are trick kicks which always caught unsuspecting opponents by surprise.

Yaw-Yan practitioners are also adept with Philippine bladed weaponries as balisong and bolo. Bladed weapons are mere extensions of the hands. The forearm strikes, elbows, punches, dominating palms, and hand movements are empty-hand translations of the bladed weapons.

There are 12 bolo punches which were patterned from Arnis, the Philippines’ very own armed art. These punches have continuous fluid striking motion quite similar to western boxing but incorporating the art of Arnis.

Grappling, ground-fighting, and knife-fighting had always been a part of the Philippines’ martial art and are always incorporated in Yaw-Yan. (to be continued) – THE FREEMAN

Source :