Who Were The Paladins In Filipino Martial Arts?
We Are A True Paladin Connection
The Paladins were the Elite Knights of France and known as the 12 bodyguards of Emperor Charlemagne of France. To be selected as a Paladin, Knights had to be versed and excel in all aspects of fighting arts. The Twelve Peers were sort of like Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. The Twelve Peers commanded Charlemagne’s first division in the army. They were the Elite troop and advance guard, meant to spearhead in the attack in battles.
Each Paladin was a formidable warrior and each Paladin had a peer as a companion to fight alongside him. Therefore, in the time of battle they fought in pairs. This was done not to defend each other’s back, but to kill as many of their enemies as possible, matching the prowess of their companion. For a knight or Paladin, courage and glory are paramount to them.
The Paladins held a very important place in Filipino Fighting Arts. Much of the Philippine combat knowledge known and used in combat was gleaned from the Spanish fighters who in turn learned their knowledge on combat arts from all over Europe. Sword combat was at its perfection hundreds of years ago with fighting academy’s and schools all over Europe. European fighting knowledge was sourced from German, Italian, French, Spanish and many other European Masters.
How the Paladins directly relate to our Academy is by the Greatest Philippine Eskrima Master Lorenzo “Tatay Enson” Saavedra (1852-1944). The Saavedras were arguably among the most famous and feared practitioners of Filipino Combat arts in the last 100 years. Saavedra already a Master of fighting arts was thrown in prison for decades for being a rebel fighter against the Spanish. Saavedra there met and with the assistance of a French Master of European Fighting Arts (Paladin Fighting Arts), honed his fighting knowledge to develop a devastating fighting system. Once released from Prison, Saavedra taught his system composed of 60% European Fighting Techniques along with 40% Filipino Fighting Techniques to others. He started the Doce Pares Eskrima Club meaning 12 Peers to give recognition to the European knowledge he built his system upon and just as there were 12 Paladins, he brought together 12 of the best Filipino Kali Masters from the Philippines to share knowledge and fighting strategies within the club. The Doce Pares is known as the most famous eskrima club in the world today due to its longevity.
Our system of Arnes Diablo (Baraw Sugbo) is the original and unchanged knife defense system developed by Saavedra and the European Master of Paladin Combat Arts passed down within the family and not taught to club members or others except those the master deemed worthy to learn and pass on the knowledge within the family.
See the information on Difesa Pugnale for more information on our Paladin Fighting Methods sources.