The Global Sikaran Federation has been founded on the principles that are true; they have been tried and tested by our seeds that have grown. We plant seeds today in each one of our students and watch them flourish tomorrow. We help each other throughout the way of victory and defeat. We have chosen to become one with the love of Joy and the burden of Sorrow. We stand on the beliefs that no one should stand alone, for those with selfish ambitions, your presence is not welcome and this is not your home. Some may think that to gain victory is all that matters, but yet to know true victory you must first experience defeat. This shapes and molds ones character, in daily challenges of day to day life we meet. We believe that martial arts is a science and self-defense should only be applied to defend one’s self or others. We teach honor and discipline, how to use common sense, and respect for all life. We show loyalty to the heads of our home schools and our mother organization. For without the basic foundations of Honor, Respect, Loyalty, self-discipline, and dedication we would not achieve success. As some train for glory, power and greed, we choose to promote humility, honor and dignity. We believe that one should always continue to be a student; regardless of being the highest ranking master of the world one should always consider himself a student first. With our motto in our hearts of help changing ones past and help setting their future, we believe that only through the art Sikaran and the ability of empowering ones self-worth and teaching them Martial Arts may we see a new generation of warriors with humble hearts.
By: Hari Osias Catolos Banaag
Sikaran is contact sports game, contest or tournament using both hands and feet to parry the attack of the opponent which is usually a strategic kick. Sikad is a Filipino root word for Kick thus Kicking used as an active Verb translates to Sikaran. This ancient sports was popular among the Farmers in the Village of Baras, Tanay and Morong in the province of Rizal east of Metropolitan Manila in the Philippines even before the Spanish Conquest of the Philippine Archipelago on March 16, 1521 when the Islands was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan. This sports uses both feet to gain points while the hands and arms are employed to parry the incoming foot blows.
The rich history of Rizal province traces Sikaran as an ancient game of Rice Farmers that was discovered from their daily routine farming activities to ease the boredom during their idle moments from their backbreaking work in the rice paddies. Youth farmers and farmhands were the first ones to play the game by kicking mud on the faces of their playmates using their feet eliciting much laughter and enjoyment whenever a tiny dirt lands on their target while other farmers watch from a distance.
Farmers from the Village of Baras, Rizal were credited as the first Sikaran initiators and players of the foot and mud game until the nearby Villages of Lagundi and Morong adopted it and called the game “Paninggara” in their vernacular dialect.
The game is usually played during the land preparation stage of rice farming when farmers would irrigate the barren farm to soften it up and prepare the area for plowing, harrowing and eventually planting the Philippine staple food. Rice paddies are submerged in ankle-deep waters for easy grubbing and plowing using farm animals such as Carabao (Water Buffalo), Cow and Horse to draw crude farming implements. The muddy area serves as a wide arena for playing before rice-transplanting, thus attracting the playful mood of youth farmers who engage in mud kicking. Early stories that were told and retold say that God-fearing people during those days do not have the courage to hurt others so much so that the game of mud-kicking would only limit them to hitting the clean clothing of their fellow farmer and that body contact that could hurt was always avoided. The one who has the soiled trousers are, therefore, the losers of the game although no scoring system was ever agreed upon then until such time when bigger chunks of mud could already be kicked to the direction of the body and would make one fall down.
As Sikaran evolved into a popular Farm Game more rules have since been mutually agreed upon by those who are interested to play it. Initially, a player who is hit by a big slice of mud in the body and fell down on the paddy loses until it was agreed upon that the player who fell three times loses the game, thus the early scoring system was already recognized by the players.
As the game gained popularity among the farmers, the kick style that was commonly used evolved into variations. These kicks were derived from the helpful farm animals. By constant day to day observation, the farmers learned that the frontal Carabao Kick was very strong and the “Sikad-Kalabaw” came into the picture.
When the Carabao Kick (Tadyak Kalabaw) was already a popular kick, the farmers also observed that the Cow, of all Bovines, could kick sidewards. This unique kicking characteristics of the Cow was carefully studied and included in the existing variety of styles in kicking mud. The farmers foot soles, during those days, were callous and wide as they wear no shoes nor slippers and would step barefooted over barren soils and grassy and muddy surface in those days. A bigger and wider foot, therefore, would give a Sikaran player the edge over an opponent who has a smaller feet. Soon after, they also discovered the powerful horse kick delivered backwards.
Interestingly, the three-point system was adopted from the popular Spider Quarrel wherein two Spiders of the same size would be pitted against each other using the broomstick (rib of the Coconut leaf). The spider that will fall from the stick three times loses.
The frontal stance of the players using the Carabao Kick remained as the most popular form and technique until the players learned to turn sideways to avoid being hit by the kicked while delivering a sideward or backward kick and at the same time parrying to counter. The forward and backward format of the game has since adopted the sideward technique.
The first tournament was called “Patas na Labanan” (Fair Game) wherein two players would play against each other. Since their playing techniques were limited to frontal and sideward kicks, they have since improved and developed a variety of turns and started using the horse-like backward kick. The first three major kicks learned from the main farm animals were, therefore, the most potential techniques that they have since develop to improve their skills. When during the early discovery of the game, players would only engage in frontal kick, they have since learned to turn sideways and could deliver the backward kick without necessarily turning in front. Players have also learned to employ several techniques to distract the attention of their opponent so that they could freely attack.
They have since developed the quick spider frontal attack, the Carabao kick, the cow sideward kicks and the horse backward kicks as the major elements in playing Sikaran. Accidents do happen that sometimes a player would be hit by a direct contact in the stomach whenever a back kick is delivered and the player who is hit would gasp for breath and fall. This contact has amazed the crowd. Over time, they have learned to develop more variations of the game which has already gained popularity province-wide until it eventually became a major attraction during big gatherings and celebrations of feast days. A native dance called Tinikling requires dancers to dance between two bamboo poles being clicked together. It would train dancers’ feet to be quick to avoid being caught in between the poles and help in the training of Sikaran Players.
The farmers who are focused in playing Sikaran would then go to the fields early in the morning to train how to kick mud using various techniques. They continued to research and observe the movements of their farm animals and have since become conscious in preparing their body condition preparatory to the game. Plowing the paddies and following the animal-drawn implement was a good foot and leg exercise/training as their feet and legs are submerged in knee-deep mud. They ate more vegetables and fruits to gain stronger bodies and maintain good health.
The primary industry of the inhabitants of Baras Rizal aside from Paddy Rice Farming and Upland Farming (Slash and Burn farming in the mountains called “Kaingin”) is Fishing along the Laguna De Bay, a large body of fresh water rich in marine resources. Baras Village is bounded by Barrio Lagundi. This adjacent village has since adopted Sikaran as their farm game and would often compete with Baras Players and meet to play the game at the different places in the Villages of Baras, in Pulo, Patadyang, Suro-Suro, Ulahan, Basud, Kalang Bato, and Malalim large farming villages with large rice farming paddies. Women have since caught interest in the game and have started competitive games of their own. Men have become more aggressive in playing with the entry of women in Sikaran competition.
Another game or competition in Baras during those days was the popular “Karera ng Bangka” (Boat Race) which eventually waned because not everybody could afford the cost of a boat and the river was so small for competition. It was not developed like the Sikaran.
Over the next decades, the “Patas na Labanan” (Fair Game) was developed with more innovations. The age, sex, body size (height and weight) was already considered as factors in Tournaments. The rules would include accumulation of body points and the three fall rule or the Spider Quarrel three-fall rule loses, because players have since been quick to parry blows at the same time dodge incoming attack. The players rules of the game adopted a new point system.
A new variation of Sikaran has also emerged when the players agreed to a formal version of the game. The “Partida Laban “ (Handicap Match) This new variation will pit two players against the tall or toughest one inside a circle area in the paddy. Whoever could land the first kick in the body and get out inside the circle wins. If the two players gets out of the circle are loses. The winner stays inside the circle and will be challenged by a woman player who will play outside the circle while the prior player is limited within the limits of the circle. Within a certain time, if the woman player fails to drive the player inside the circle outside , then the player inside the circle stays inside and will eventually be declared Champion. But there were also women who fight men inside the circle and eventually win. These women-players have become the inspiration of men.
Then the variation of “Labo-Labo Matira Matibay na Labanan” (Mix up, the toughest Rules) was also played. This was played inside the circle by three to eight men who could not efficiently kick due to the limited space. The ones who goes out of the circle loses and the toughest that will be left will be the Champion.
Origin of Sikad Biyakid or Biakid ( Sickle Kick )
The Mix Up Variation of Sikaran has now inspired Sikaran Players to ponder on a new challenge to improve their capabilities. They must develop a fresh technique of delivering a kick given a limited space inside a circle. They have been confronted with the reality that the four commonly used kicks can only be executed efficiently if ample space is available inside a given Tournament Arena.
During harvest Season, Palay produce are usually partially underwater making it hard for the farmers to Scythe the trunks of the palay. The technique is to separate the palay trunks and harvest it by cutting a grip of trunks upward. This technique of harvesting palay given a limited space was conveniently adopted as a farming practice whenever the palay stalks are immersed by water.
The technique was studied and was proven to be very deadly in delivering a new kick. The foot is pointed downward and the body is bent while they kicked upward usually hitting the upper torso or head of the opponent. The Biyakid Kick was introduced in the new world of Sikaran Competition.
Today, Sikaran is fast gaining popularity worldwide. It was recognized as a Filipino Contact Sports by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and has been taught and played in various countries in Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Its main headquarters is in the United States.
Its current Federation Officials are now working to have it recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee in line with their continuing grassroots development program.
By: GM Hari Osias Catolos Banaag
The evolvement of Sikaran is also the history of Sitio Baras, Baras Rizal is an idyllic town situated between the towns of Morong and Tanay. In the olden times in the Sitio of Baras, the residents get their source of living by planting vegetables and other root crops, another livelihood was fishing from the Laguna de Bay, Baras has mountains and plains and the life of the people was plain and simple.
The Origin of Baras
Baras Rizal has different version as to its origin. The first version was that it was founded through the Franciscan Missionaries in 1595 under the leadership of Father Jun de Pacencia and Father Diego de Oropesa, founded a visita in Morong or the present site of Boso Boso South of Painaan. It was known as Visita de Santiago or Santiago until such time it became Baras.
Another version of its origin was from the Spanish priest Father Francisco Barasoin, he is known for his kindness and the community was named after him.
The third version of its history dates back in the olden times when there were plenty of hardwood which were made into baras of two pieces of wood between which the house was harnessed and later became Baras. In 1750, it was divided into Barangays. It was under the jurisdiction of the province of Laguna from 1606 to 1853.
In 1929 to 1931 Baras was classified as a fifth class municipality and had settled its conflict with Morong and Tanay.
Through the Executive Order No. 57 dated November 24, 1920, His Excellency, the Governor General of the Philippines, it became a full pledged municipality.
Grassroots Sports in Baras
The first sport was known as patintero, a line will be drawn in the fields or streets by means of water. There are at least three or four players in each team, one human frontline, one for the rear and one for the vertical lines and the other for center line. The objective of the game is to outsmart the other. The objective of the sport was to accumulate as many points by passing the lines without being tagged.
The next sport is hide and seek (tago-taguan). This is a game in which the ik will go behind the tree and will give time to the players to hide by counting from one to ten. The ik will begin to look for the players and whoever will be found will be the next ik.
The third sport was (karera ng Bangka) boat regatta ¬¬¬– or the series of boat race. Racing event of rowed or sailed water craft, three or four boats will race, whoever will reach the designated place will be declared the winner.
The fourth sport was water wrestling (Buno sa Tubig). They play this game whenever they were in the river with breast deep height and the opponents are in pair. Both carry their partners in their shoulders they will wrestle in the water and whoever will be down three times will lose the game.
Another sport is known as the Mud Flip (Sabuyan ng Putik.)There are two or three players and they will throw mud at each other using hands and feet and this paved the way to the sports Sikaran, the ancient art of Filipino Foot Fighting.
Evolvement of Sikaran
Sikaran is a sports using the legs and hands. Farmers having well developed feet emphasized the use of the feet. The farmers discovered the use of SIkaran in Baras, Province of Rizal. They often prepare the fields for planting palay. Riceis the offshootofpalay, usually grinded and it became the staple food of the Tagalog region. When farmers are resting after every harvest of palay, the farmers will bring their water buffalos in the hole full of mud. During the olden times, the youngsters of Baras were respectful and they do not mean to harm their playmates in their Sikaran. The teenagers used to throw mud at each other. They usually cover their bodies with mud and afterwards they jump into the river together with their water buffalos. The strength of the farmers were derived from working in the fields gathering woods in the mountain or planting root crops, or fishing in Laguna de Bay.
The farmers walked barefooted under the heat of the sun and so they have well developed legs. In using their well developed hands and feet, anybody who will experience the kick of the opponent will be brought down fatally.
Sikaran in the War Eras
Sikaran was also used of the people of Baras for defense in the year 1640, when the people of Baras suffered from the hands of the Chinese. The houses of the people of Baras were burned down by the Chinese. It was also used in 1898 when the people of Baras heed the call for a revolution against the Spaniards under the leadership ofGen. Emilio Aguinaldo. During the Second World War, Sikaran was also used against the Japanese.
Animals as Models of Sikaran
Animals were used by the farmers as their companion in the fields. By imitating animal behavior, they developed kicking techniques and they gave different colorful and descriptive names to these techniques.
The daily companion of the farmers in the field, which was the water buffalo, was constantly observed by the farmers. They usually hit the opponent by using their feet, this is known as “Pitik-putik”(mud flip). This technique was derived from the kick of the water buffalo. The farmers also discovered how to be agile and watch the hit given by the opponent. In their moves they found out that the hit on the right side which was the opposite of the kick of “Sikad Kalabaw” landed on the right side of the opponent which proved to be very effective, and when the hit landed on the right side it seems to be fatal. The players discovered that the hit on the right side was very effective and they practiced the kick on the right side and named it “Sikad Baka” (cow kick). In all the animals, the cow is the only animal which can hit on the right side.
As Sikaran continuously evolve another animal which they constantly observe was the horse. They studied its moves and they learned the double alternating front kick they combined the prowess of the chicken “labuyo” and the horse and the result is“Dublihang Sikad Paharap.” Or dambang paharap.
There was a saying in the older times that goes “Huwag kang dumikit sa baka o kabayo baka masikaran ka” which means, “Don’t get near the cow or the horse or you might be kicked.” The saying has its roots that the animals which were not domesticated were usually ferocious.
The farmers of Baras used to work in the fields and mountains and their source of livelihood is planting, and kaingin (slash and burn). Barrio Lagundi was the boundary of Baras and they invited farmers from Morong to join the tournament. The ancient name for Sikaran was “Paniggara.” In their vernacular dialect. They had different competitions with the different Places of Baras, in Pulo, Patadyan, Suro-suro, Basud, Ulahang Salang Bato,and Malalim these were the places in which the competitions took place.
As years passed many forms of competitions were developed such as “Patas na Labanan” two opponents draw a circle with a space of eight feet diameter. It was a competition between two males with the same age and height. This is a game of accumulating points by hitting the other, if the opponent falls three times, he loses the game. Another competition is known as “Labanang Haragan” the competitors usually use the field with the size of 25 square feet. This is a game of chasing up to the time that the opponent will raise his hand as a symbol of defeat.
The next game is known as “Partida Laban” there are different types “Labanan sa Hagdang Bato” a game in which the strong men are on top and the loser is under and he will kick the strong men up to the time he reaches the top of “Hagdang Bato.” The next game is known as “Isa Laban sa Dalawa,” one against two. They will fight in a circle with a size of eight foot diameter. Whoever will be able to push the strongest outside the circle will be declared the winner.
Many years had passed and the farmers developed ways of playing Sikaran. They discovered a kick pattern using the sickle as a model. It is a combination of the horse kick and the use of the sickle for gathering palay in the field. The kick that was developed is like the use of gathering palay using a sickle and burying the palay in water and makes an upward movement. By using this sickle kick the feet is free to move upward and free to kick the opponent. The other movement that was patterned in the using of their daily living was “Sikad Palakol o Sikad Pasibak” axe kick, this movement makes the feet to kick upward and strongly bring it downward, it is either axe kick pointing outside or axe kick pointing inside.
The major kick of the art of foot-fighting was known as “Biyakid” it is a kick where the center of the force is at the back of the heel. It is the most powerful kick. It can be delivered in all angles, and usually controlled by the hip, thigh and legs to the heel and the back. The largest muscles that run in the body control the kick. The farmers used this kick for sports and used it for self-defense.
The different styles of this game evolved like “Labanang May Hangganan” opponents will fight inside the circle with the size of eight feet in diameter.The weak ones who will be thrown out of the circle are the losers.
Another style used by the players is known “Labanan sa Suga o Lubid” here the two opponents with a string attached to their hips with the size of three elbow (siko), this is a game of accumulation of points by pinning the players down or making them accept defeat. They can pull the string to make the opponents come closer.
The Origin of Biakid
When the folks of Baras discovered Sikaran, teenagers and almost all folks who were strongly built play the sports. They joined the different competitions whether it was rainy or dry season. It was also the time for the males to show off to the females. They enjoy the games especially if the women of the barrio were watching. They can’t accept that they will lose the game or be kicked in any part of their bodies especially if they are being watched.
The competition which was called Labanang Labo-Labo is a competition of three four, five or more players they will play in a circle with the size of eight diameters and whoever will be forced out of the circle will be the loser. It is the most difficult game in Sikaran.
The game “Labo-Labo” became a mind boggling situation for the players of Sikaran. The space is limited and it is quite difficult for the players to move and kick. In those times to be declared as the King of Sikaran is very coveted title for the males, but it is quite unusual that the females also joined this tournament and proved themselves good in the Art of Sikaran.
The Labanang Labo-labo paved the way for the game of Sikad Biakid. There were some modifications that took place in the game and paved the way to the modern Sikaran.