Sensei Ray Feliciano performing a high throw.
Maru SF Dojo will house different Martial Arts under one roof.

Uniting the Arts

 

Sensei Ray Feliciano, a Filipino-American, has announced that Maru SF Dojo is set
to open in May 2013. The decision to open a dojo in Northern California comes after
six years of progress and is one Feliciano describes as “a culmination point in my
martial arts journey.” Rather than opening a dojo that will only teach one art, he
took the framework of a Bukodan, a place that houses different martial arts under
one roof. Maru dojo will serve as “an avenue for me where I can share and promote
Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Eskabo Daan (Eskabo Daan) and Judo in the community.”
The decision to create a dojo that will encompass all these different martial arts is a
reflection of the journey undertaken by Ray Feliciano.
 
Originally from Manila, Philippines, Feliciano was small in stature and was often
bullied. For this reason, he began training in the martial arts to properly defend
himself. In 1988, he joined Pasadena Aikikai and began training in Aikido. Since
then, he has earned the rank of Yondan (4th Degree Aikido Black Belt) and is the
chief instructor/owner of Pasadena Aikikai. Feliciano’s success not only thrived
in Aikido as his journey took him through different styles of martial arts such as
Shotokan Karate, Shorinji-Kempo (Black Belt), Brazilian Jujitsu. But Feliciano’s
recent martial art seemed connect with him in different way.
 
Eskabo Daan is Feliciano’s newest art but is being offered at Maru SF Dojo. “There
are two fold reasons in offering an Eskabo Daan class at Maru Dojo. First, it is to
promote the Filipino Martial Arts. But most importantly it is my tribute to his top
students and Grand Master Robert Castro who welcomed me to his Eskabo Daan
School with no reservation.” Feliciano was then asked what Filipino Martial Arts
meant to him as Master of other martial arts and as a Filipino-American. He replied
“It’s learning about my culture... I didn’t know that there were such fast hands and I
was looking for a martial art that would make my hands quicker. It was something
hybrid, something that would compliment my art now.” He further explains that he
didn’t want to “relearn whatever skills I have already and change them. At Eskabo,
I didn’t have to do that, it was whatever you have let’s put something around it or
on top of it. So it was easy to assimilate my techniques with the other arts I have
learned.” But aside from techniques and adaptation, SF Maru aims to achieve much
more.
 
SF Maru Dojo aims to promote not only Filipino Martial Arts but martial arts as a
whole. With individuals like Ray Feliciano and support from Eskabo Daan, SF Maru
Dojo will be one more place people can learn to appreciate and respect other arts
free from criticism and prejudice.