DepEd Benguet Trains Martial Arts Teacher-Coaches

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The Department of Education (DepEd) – Benguet trained more than 60 elementary and secondary teacher-coaches from the different municipalities of Benguet during the first Division Training on Sports Coaching in Wushu, Muay Thai, and Pencak Silat on September 22-24, 2017 at the Benguet Sports Complex, Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.

This coincides with the ongoing International Martial Arts Festival in South Korea being participated by the Philippine Team which includes Cordilleran Glen Gunan who will compete in Pencak Silat.

Benguet is the first in the entire region to conduct the training in response to the inclusion of Pencak Silat as the newest martial arts sport in next year’s Palarong Pambansa. Muay Thai is proposed again to be a demonstration sport while Wushu is already included in the annual event.

Ceasar B. Luma-ang, sports coordinator of EPS-SGOD and DepEd Benguet initiated the successful training with the able help and eagerness of martial arts trainers and coaches Bryan Olod of Sablan National High School and Richard D. Tabacla of Benguet National High School-Main.

The basic skills and techniques in Wushu, Muay Thai, and Pencak Silat such as punching, kicking, blocking or parrying, catching and takedowns, as well as how to teach the same to their students were imparted to the participants. Some competition rules were also shared together with demonstrations.

Renowned Wushu coach and region pioneer Michael Humiding, also the King’s College of the Philippines sports coordinator, challenged the participants to first know and master the foundations of the sport, the skills, and how to teach the same as coaches. He emphasized on empathy and knowing the soft skills, understanding the temper of students, and disciplining in private while praising in public in an effort earn their subjects’ respect.

Finally, he pointed on the importance of being passionate to the sport. “Walk the talk. You have to give it your all or not at all. All of these happen gradually, just give it time”, he said

Olod handled the training in Wushu and Muay Thai with trainers led by Rhea May R. Parayao of Mil-an National High School, Loakan, Baguio City, Joseph Oloan, Chairperson of Baguio Muay Thai Federation under the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines, Balson Cabato, and Zephania Ngaya of University of the Cordillera who, like Ms. Parayo, is a former member of the national team, and co-national coaches Perlito Shiador, Roland Claro, Jay Harold Gregorio, and Edzel Ngina, a Muay Thai International Referee.

Tabacla, the DepEd-Benguet provincial coordinator of Pencak Silat, handled the training in the sport with trainers led by Salaknib Martial Arts System founder Reynaldo D. Samson, the OIC Regional Director of the Cordillera Administrative Region Phil Silat (CARPS) Association under the Philippine Silat Association (PhilSilat), Ryan B. Batinay, CARPS Benguet provincial coordinator, and Reggie Pachong, also of CARPS Benguet. Joanne Ekid of CARPS Mountain Province and Theodore Bilagot Solang of CARPS Baguio City served as facilitators.

Pencak Silat is the only martial arts sport that gives additional point to blocking or parrying when followed by a successful counter attack. This emphasizes the importance of defense. Also, the valid target is only the torso, front and back except the spine, although the entire body is protected with various gears and body armor similar to those used in other full-contact sports.

In closing, DepEd Benguet Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Nestor Bulayo stated the need for trainers and coaches in Wushu, Muay Thai, and Pencak Silat. He also challenged the participants to have the passion to teach. “Attend trainings as much as you can. Do it the hard way if you have to. You will be able to find ways and strategies if you put your heart to it and use your initiative”, he said.

Luma-ang also implied the conduct of succeeding trainings. “We hope to conduct other trainings kasi bitin ito. […] We hope the regional office will conduct trainings for the new sports,” the energetic sports coordinator added, referring to the support of the DepEd Regional Office.

By: THEODORE BILAGOT SOLANG with reports from Rhea May R. Parayao, Richard D. Tabacla, and Edzel Ngina

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