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What is Dumog?

The Filipino grappling and wrestling art called Dumog has existed as long as any weapon and empty hand arts in the Philippines.

Due to the popularity of the grappling arts nowadays, the art of Dumog has come to the scrutiny of some grappling enthusiasts, especially those that practiced Philippine based arts. Some has doubted the existence of the art because of the lack of available information. Some has concluded that if ever it existed, it has  now died,  forgotten, or lost. Some say that the art never made it to the North American continent.

These perceptions about the art is due in part to the fact that most practitioners of the Filipino martial art were drawn to the art for the effective weapons training that it offers. Another reason that adds to the confusion is that well known practitioners of the art, those that are considered to be masters and grandmasters of the art calls their grappling art as "combat judo". When queried about this, their response is one of the following:

     "Combat judo is popular, Dumog is not known, therefore it is easier to attract student."

     "I was not taught Dumog, I have to learn judo, jiu-jitsu, and/or aikido to round up my stick fighting art"

This clearly shows a lack of understanding of the Filipino martial art.

Traditional Filipino martial art disciplines are complete system by themselves. It teaches the use of various kinds of weapons (sword, dagger, stick, etc.), punching (sinumbagay), and kicking (sikaran), and grappling/wrestling (dumog/layug) skills. If you , as a practitioner of the Filipino martial art have to go somewhere else to learn grappling to supposedly "round up your present system", then you do not understand your system.

Dumog is a generic word used in Central Philippines that refers to wrestling and grappling. In some part of Aklan Province in the Island of Panay it is known as opas.

Dumog is a complete grappling and wrestling art. Its techniques are composed of choking (to-ok, lo-ok), joint locking (trangkadas), dislocation (pag-kalisa), tearing (paggisi) of muscles and tendons, throws (labay, itsa, ihaboy), and takedowns (panumba) designed to break bones and incapacitate opponents, as well as pressure point and nerve attack (pamislit). Its takedown techniques and body manipulations are base on the principles of physics and geometry.

What is Haribon Dumog?

Haribon is composed of two words: Hari (king) and Ibon (bird). By combining these words, you get "Haribon", meaning "king of bird". This is the term used to refer to our National Bird, the Monkey-eating Eagle. I use this term to refer to my interpretation of Dumog. The reason for this is I would like to draw attention to the fact that Haribon or the Monkey-eating Eagle is an endangered species. Just like Dumog, if we neglect our responsibility to perpetuate and preserve it, Dumog will be lost forever. Also, the techniques of Dumog is always described as similar to an Eagle tearing and breaking its prey.

Source & Origin Of Dumog Techniques

Dumog is not a separate art, contrary to what some Filipino martial art practitioners led you to believe. It is an extension of the weapons techniques. All the techniques in dumog, were all taken from weapons techniques, movements, and handling.

To have a good understanding as to where dumog techniques actually came from, you need to breakdown the many principles and concepts found in various sub-systems within the Filipino martial art.

Grappling and/or wrestling are a natural progression from long (largo), medium (medio), to close (corto) quarter fighting. It is a given that once you bridge into into the close quarter range, clinching, grappling, and wrestling techniques can not be avoided. It is no surprise that each "sub-system" in the Filipino martial art includes grappling techniques in their arsenal.

(Excerpts from Haribon Dumog Volume 1)


Copyright © 2006  Daniel G. Rutano.  All Rights Reserved.