In the agricultural town of Baras, Rizal, girls and boys get their kicks by training for Sikaran. This marital art traces its roots to their fondness for displays of agility during their town celebrations for a successful harvest. According to Grandmaster Hari Osias Banaag, founder of the Global Sikaran Federation, the sport originated when their ancestors started mimicking the natural and instinctual defense of farm animals.
- A Side Thrust Kick, for example, copies the kick of a cow.
- The Back Kick is inspired by the powerful backwards punt of a horse
- The Jumping Front Kick copies a steed as it rears.
- The most widely-used or “signature” kick is the Biyakid or Biyak Patagilid which engages the power of the whole body and channels it to the waist, leg, and feet, making it the most effective one in the combatant’s arsenal.
This Biyakid is said to be the only martial art move in the world of its kind. Banaag says that it gives MMA fighters a winning edge over other disciplines. “The power of a straight kick or side kick lessens as the opponent moves away. With a Biyakid, there is no escape and no lessening of the impact. Whether your opponent is near or farther away, you can cause damage.” This damage, he says, has caused a few calls to 911 in the US. “This does not mean that we at Global Sikaran advocate its use towards bodily harm. We teach discipline and respect in our gyms. Sikaran is a tool for self defense and sport.”
Banaag is an ambassador for the sport, and has already spread the message of Sikaran to other countries. With the efforts of other Sikaran enthusiasts, they are building a reputation for the sport that originated in his hometown. For his efforts, he was warmly received in ceremonies led by the town’s Vice Mayor Wilfredo Robles. “We are happy that Baras is becoming known as the birthplace of Sikaran. We are also happy that there are people like Hari Osias Banaag and the other groups who are bringing Sikaran to the global spotlight,” he says.
The Vice Mayor himself remembers growing up practicing the sport, which has now been passed down to his grandchildren. “It is important that we give value to our traditions such as these, and preserve and pass them down to the next generation. In our town, we have free Sikaran lessons and we host an annual Sikaran festival.” He cites that it helps the children grow up healthy in mind and body, disciplined, and tough. The activities help the citizens remain productive and away from vices. “If anybody from Baras gets into trouble, you can be sure that the one from Baras will win,” he says proudly.
The Global Sikaran Federation gave a demonstration on the town plaza, and afterwards, Hari Osias Banaag conferred awards to those who have been instrumental to the growth of Sikaran in the community
Vice Mayor Wilfredo Robles received the Outstanding Leader Award, Tourism head Susan Mendoza received an Outstanding Achievements Award and Baras Sports Coordinator Emmanuel Olano received an Outstanding Contribution to the Art award. Harshad Jayantilal Salla from India was appointed as Global Sikaran Federation Vice President in India.
Sikaran is a source of Filipino pride in the field of martial arts, Osias says. It helps demonstrate the Filipino’s connection with nature and discipline. To learn more about the Global Sikaran Federation, visit http://www.globalsikaran.com.