History of Tapado
Tapado is an Original Filipino Martial Art which came from a Hiligaynon (a Filipino dialect) word ‘Tapat’ or ‘Tapos’ which means – finished or done in english or to finish the job in one strike. This art was founded in 1960 by the late Grandmaster Romeo ‘Nono’ Mamar of Taloc, Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. ‘Nono’ as he was fondly called, was an accomplished stickfighter specializing in lagas, sinamak and oido arnis systems. But despite his proficiencies in these various arts of arnis/kali/escrima, he found them wanting because according to his actual experiences during matches among his peers, he could still be hit by his opponent. As in a boxing match..where even the champion could still be pummeled despite his experiences, training and exposures, Nono didn’t like the idea of taking hits at all. So after experiencing these various hits and a few times, even defeats, he decided to take a break from stickfighting for a couple of years. But due to his undying love of this art, he continued his personal search along the line of other arts in relations to stickfighting.
He noticed that a sword with its longer length has an advantage of reach and power. And so this prompted him to experiment with longer sticks of various sizes and length. After his rigid testing and re testing, he finally settled for a longer stick 43 to 47 inches long. The length is based on the height of the person. But then again, he started thinking : what if the opponent has the same size and length of stick.too?. Thru persistent research and self discovery, he came up with the solutions. He developed various unseen hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and body movements, that jibed with the law of Physics, that generated a lot of power to his strikes and always resulted in overpowering all incoming strikes. Not content to just the overpowering strike, Nono wanted to add a simultaneous offensive hit at the same time thereby rendering the opponent incapacitated with just one powerful and speedy blow. And thus the birth of Tapado.
Tapado ,in its early inception, was secretly propagated and practiced only by relatives and family members of the clan. There was an early Tapado Association formed in 1980 but it was still limited and exclusive for members of the family , close relatives and associates. In 1983, Tapado was formally organized and introduced to the public. When the founder died on February 15, 2005, the leadership of the original tapado organization was handed down to his nephew GM Benefredo ‘Bebing’ Lobrido . It took on the official name of Original Filipino Tapado Longstick Fighting Association. Inc. Another Tapado group was set up under GM Mike F. Vasquez, the founder of Vasquez Modified Martial Art International. An undefeated heavy weight Karate champion of the Philippines , a Master Arnis practicioner and a top tapado student of Nono Mumar.
GM Mike introduced modifications in the tapado system and called it MODIFIED TAPADO. GM Mike had discussed his ideas of modifications with the original founder while he was alive and was given the authority to do so. The author Master Jose Valencia Tan, has the privilege of having studied under both Grandmasters, GM Nono Mumar and GM Mike Vasquez and including GM Lobrido (when the latter was the Chief Instructor of Original Tapado ). The author is recognized and Certified as Master of Tapado by both Organizations. Currently, Master Joe is propagating Tapado in the US and is an authorized Sole representative of Modified Tapado Organization in the State of California.