Monsour del Rosario also a big FMA fan

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2020 06:00 AM | Updated as of Dec 23 2020 05:41 PM

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Although Monsour del Rosario is recognized for being a taekwondo champion, he revealed he has been practicing Filipino martial arts (FMA) as well.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, the former Olympian said he has been practicing FMA for 27 years.

The actor-martial artist said he is a student of the Kalis Ilustrisimo system, a style of Eskrima founded by Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo. 

"Sinabi sa akin ng master ko na namatay na kung paano mo napromote ang taekwondo sana i-master mo rin ang FMA," said Del Rosario.

He was referring to the late master Christopher "Topher" Ricketts, a direct disciple of Tatang Ilustrisimo.

Del Rosario, a 2-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist and Asian Games bronze medalist in taekwondo, said FMA has become popular overseas, thanks to Filipino masters who worked abroad.

Monsour del Rosario also a big FMA fan 1

"Maraming mga instructors na nag-alisan sa Pilipinas kasi gusto lagi natin imported. Parang 'di masyadong na-appreciate ang sariling atin. So yung masters na yun nagpunta sa France, Amerika, Russia," he explained.

Aside for being a former taekwondo champion, Del Rosario was also the former secretary general of The Philippine Taekwondo Association. He is now the current president of the ASEAN Taekwondo Federation.

"Pag nag-umpisa ka ng FMA, ang umpisa mo weapons agad. Ang drill mo mag-umpisa sa stick, then itak, then punta ka sa kutsilyo. Pag namaster mo iyon, mapunta ka sa empty hand. Huli ang empty hand," he said.

"Kasi noong panahon ng Kastila hindi tayo pwedeng lumaban ng hand to hand sa iba kasi may mga kutsilyo sila, espada o baril. 'Yung gamit noon tinatago nila sa Kastila sayaw kuno, pero weapons drills yon."