The origins of TAPONDO, a Filipino art of self-defense developed by Master AMBROSIO “MONCHING” J. GAVILEÑO can be traced to the year 2000. it was on 22 December 2000 that TAPONDO International Federation Inc. was registered with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission.
Prior to this year, the originator was involved in all kinds of martial arts. Through his experience, he gathered the most effective techniques and combined them until he came up with what is now known as TAPONDO.
In 1992, the originator started to research on the art of self-defense that will cope up with the culture and tradition of the Filipino people. He thought of a martial art that must also be universal in nature so that it can easily be adopted by other nationals and to be more effective, it must consider a scientific approach in defending one’s self against single or multiple opponents. In every region, he found out that there exist unique traits and behavior among different individuals in actual street fighting. From this observation, little by little the originator developed techniques that can be proven effective and accepted by the masses especially those from all walks of life.
The originator found out that in Northern Luzon, “kogtaran” [kicking] is commonly their way of fighting, while in Southern Luzon “Sipaan and Suntukan” [kicking and punching] at the same time are being used during tribal conflicts. In Western Visayas, they have their local version of wrestling called “Dumog” [grappling] so that every time they have an enemy they defend themselves using this arts, while in Central and Western Visayas where most of our worl class boxers namely Flash Elorde, Dodie Peñalosa, Gerry Peñalosa, among others came from “Sombagan” [Boxing] is very popular. In Mindanao, the kris, binangon, talibong and itak which are bladed and deadly weapons were used by the Muslims for the uprising against the Spanish, American and Japanese soldiers during their occupation in the Philippines. The originator further noticed the women have different characteristic than men in defending themselves. He observed that the weaker sex has a universal movement in fighting their enemies. Scratching, hair grabbing, slapping or even biting is being used, hence TAPONDO was designed to be simple, effective and easy to learn not only by men but also by women, children and the old, for the purpose of preserving life.
By May 2000, this Filipino martial art was completely developed. The research was still going on for the name that will be to the arts itself and at the same time be part of the culture that Filipinos will be proud of. On October 28, 2000 he discovered two existing words from the Filipino dictionary. The first word is TAPON and the second word is PONDO.TAPON means to throw and PONDO to pin down or lock. If TAPON and PONDO were joined together, a new word TAPONDO came out meaning to throw and pin down at the same time. In the Filipino Dictionary, we don’t have TAPONDO word that will describe this art of throwing and locking simultaneously.
TAPONDO was later defined as a Filipino method of self-defense based on the principle of non-aggressive martial arts.