The Immersion Review - Stick Arts - 01

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TAPADA STAFF William McGrath

IT WAS DURING the summer around 1979 or 1980 that my Pekiti-Tirsia teacher, Leo T. Gaje, came back from one of his frequent trips to the Philippines with an interesting staff style he learned during his visit. He called the art “Tapada” and said he had learned it from an old man in a rural part of his home island of Negros. (Sorry, I don’t recall more than this. As a kid living in NYC, I wasn’t much interested in the staff at the time, and these techniques were from a different art than the main one I was training in).

Note: Tapada is a different art than the better known Tapado” from Romeo ‘Nono’ Mamar of Negros. Tapada uses a flexible rattan staff the same overall height as the user, while tapado uses a stiff hardwood staff that comes up around the height of the user’s elbow. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any information on Tapada through a Google search; but here are the techniques I learned.