Master of Clubs:
Lightning scientific arnis Israel
Academia Tercia Cerrada Cadenilla y Espada y daga (aka, sunday School) - Philippines
Jon was born in the city of Manila on August 26, 1975.
From an early age Jon has always been interested in Martial arts. It doesn't comes as much of a surprise since his father and grandfather have always been interested in sports. His granfather also did amateur boxing fights in his youth. He blames his interest mostly on his dad who often took him to double features of kung-fu and ninja movies in downtown Manila. So naturally, these fantastic features took root in his brain and kick started his desire to learn martial arts. He clandestinely tried various Japanese and Korean Martial arts this school during his childhood & teens which were the ones mostly available then at that time.
The turning point for him was In College at the University of the Philippines he met his first Kung-fu teacher in 1994, Sifu Benito Khu, who steered him on a path of serious training and study. He trained in different forms of Kung-fu with and without weapons. He was the first president of the U.P. Wushu Club that he and his classmates founded in 1995. He also studied some of the different Shaolin wushu forms as well as the different styles of Hsing-i, Bagua and Taichi chuan, Particularly Chenjiaguo Taijiquan which he still practices today.
In 1996, during a Martial Arts demonstration called the "School of Martial Arts" (SOMA) sponsored by one of the university fraternities, various university sports and martial arts clubs, including the Wushu Club, performed demonstrations of martial arts. He saw a demonstration of arnis that changed his life performed by the Lema Scientific Kali Arnis Club - LESKAS led by Master Elmer Ybanez.
Greatly impressed by the demonstration that showed Filipino martial arts at a world class level , his interest and desire to learn it grew. One of the reasons behind the interest is that it was the martial art of his country and that it embodied a fierceness and energy that took his breath away. He eventually joind this group to learn lightning scientific arnis. Along with it this group also cross-trained in various other sports and martial arts like Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu-jitsu. Though Master Elmer moved abroad a year earlier to the United States, this group trained daily in the different aspects of the art all the way until the passing of the system's
Grandmaster and Founder, Benjamin Luna Lema. GM Lema was so impressed with this group that came from Master Elmer that he took them under his tutelage, as well as training them every weekend for four years till his passing, earning them the name U.P. Boys.
Jon, along with others from the group, was privileged to accompany GM Lema to the Chungju World Martial arts festival in 2001 & 2003 where the best martial arts teams from all over the world were present to represent the martial arts of their country in an event that fostered and promoted brotherhood through the martial arts.
In 2001 GM Lema awarded him the rank of Master making him the youngest in LSAI to hold this rank.
When GM Lema passed away in 2003, a profound loss was felt throughout the entire system. The university group continued on train people in LSAI in their university group while awaiting Heir-apparent Master Elmer's return to the Philippines. Unfortunately Master Elmer passed away due to complications during the treatment of a rare form of cancer leaving the system without leadership.
With the support of the Lema Family, Jon starts his own group by the name Academia Tercia Cerrada Cadenilla y Espada y Daga, also known as FMA Sunday School. It started out as a group of people who wanted to learn martial arts but were only available on the weekends, particularly Sundays. He began his classes at the "Lagoon" of the University of the Philippines on Sundays and is still in operation and is still growing to this day due to the efforts of his senior students.
In 2005, with the cooperation of Professor Felipe Jocano, Jr., and the support of the Lema Family and his club, he organized the First Masters Assembly whose intent was to bring together all the legitimate Masters and Black belts who were ever taught by GM Lema. It as the first time in a long while that these Masters and black belts were brought together since the Grandmaster's passing.
In the following Assemblies a council of these masters was established to discuss and decide upon policies and agenda for the organization. GM Lema's daughter, Patty-Jean Lema Caballero, Deputy Grandmaster attends the meetings.Famous actor and Modern Arnis Grandmaster Roland Dantes who also studied under GM Lema for a while also attended the earlier assemblies and nominated Jon to the position of Secretary General for the whole organization which was appointed and affirmed by Deputy GM Patty and all present. This assembly has taken up it's role in preserving & protecting the Legacy of GM Lema.
Academia became more established in the following years through participation in various events and activities and demonstrations involving people from all ages and walks of life. Academia was envisioned as a martial arts group that was open to people with the interest of learning martial arts in a friendly, family atmosphere.
He continued to pursue his studies in other martial arts alongside operating Sunday School. These include Hungar kung-fu with Sifu Alfonso Co, Capoeira with Master Kim and sport fencing with his old teammates. He also pursued certification in Refereeing and Judging under ARNIS Philippines.
Jon Also facilitated and conducted edged and impact training for some military, law enforcement, security and rescue units in the Philippines with his knowledge of other martial arts combined with Filipino martial arts.
He also opened classes at Redcorner at the Hotel intercontinental, club 650 Libis Sports and recreation center and Movement Dance studio.
In 2006, he was contracted as Stunt director and fight scene choreographer for the movie "Super Noypi" where he was asked to train and develop the actors and actresses for their roles in the movie. His expertise was also sought for the direction of fan films, talks and demonstrations about fight choreography and stunt work.
Projects and Events
FMA Picnics -
The picnic was the brainchild of Jon and a couple of people from the FMA Forum. It was a revival of a picnic that members of a martial arts thread on a popular forum had together a couple of years earlier. They wanted to create an atmosphere of fun, brotherhood and camaraderie through the Filipino martial arts spirit. They also wanted to establish a venue where practitioners from differen styles could share their knowledge regardless of style or rank. The picnic is co hosted by Jon, Torqui, Mon & Robbie of the FMA Forum website.
Lema Cup - One of the decisions of the Master's Assembly headed by
Jon as Sec-Gen,
was the revival of the "Lema" Cup. This was to be an annual internal competition to commemorate the Grandmaster's birthday among the different clubs that comprise LSAI.
In 2006 Jon was invited to become a member of the board of Directors of the Philippine Council of Kali Escrima Arnis Masters, an entity whose goal was the recognition of the different Filipino Martial arts styles and systems of the Philippines and the Masters that comprise it through fellowship, brotherhood and nationalism. He is also a member of the World Arnis Sport Alliance whose goal is fellowship through competition.
In 2007, Jon was on the board of directors in charge of the demo team during the World Arnis Sport Alliance World Championship. He was also part of the team invited to singapore to judge the Singapore Cup hosted Kilat Senjata.
Jon and Neta Shermister met at the 3rd World FMA Festival in Tagaytay in 2006 where he was invited to be a guest instructor at the event. Neta stayed on in the Philippines to pursue training in LSAI under the tutelage of Jon through which they developed a strong friendship which grew into a relationship and partnership in training and their lives together.
Jon and Neta opened Lightning Scientific Arnis Israel in 2008. Lightning Scientific Arnis Israel seeks to promote the Filipino Martial arts through classes, demonstrations, talks and other media events and to provide information and awareness about the Filipino culture.
Jon currently resides in Tel Aviv.