Martial Arts

Yaw Yan Ardigma Filipino Martial Arts

First time hearing Yaw Yan Ardigma martial arts I legit taught it was one of those chi shooting martial arts, heck I was wrong Yaw Yan was derived from the words “Sayaw ng Kamatayan” which in Filipino stands for “Dance of Death”. Now that is a badass name fit for this Filipino martial art.Yaw Yan Ardigma Filipino Martial Arts

What is Yaw Yan?

Yaw Yan as the name implies is literally a dance of death. The Yaw Yan fighting style is extremely aggressive, there stand up fight is very similar to that of  Muay Thai but with less clinches and emphasising more on long range strikes the reasoning behind this is that Yaw Yan  is specifically designed for the average build of the philippines. There fighting ideology is “The best defense is the best offence” This makes them an extremely dangerous fighter not to mention they also have quite unique kicks not used in most martial arts. In fact Yaw Yan fighters are know for breaking femurs, ribs or jaws of fighter’s inexperienced to the Yaw Yan techniques. Besides there berserker upper fighting style Yaw Yan also focuses greatly on takedowns and grappling which gives them an edge over non-grappling type martial arts. In my opinion this martial art style resembles more MMA than Muay Thai contrary to popular belief a more aggressive/kick-boxing variation of MMA. You will see what I mean when watching this video featuring the creator of Yaw Yan himself Napoleon A. Fernandez.

Yaw Yan Ardigma Tradition / LifeStyle

Yaw Yan highly promotes discipline like most martial arts out there breaking certain rules will get you suspended from the Dojo the rules apply both while in the dojo and away from the dojo. (Yaw Yan Etiquette)

  • No Drinking
  • No Smoking
  • No Gambling
  • Don’t provoke fights
  • Properly groomed and clean (hair tied, fingernails cut, clean clothes)
  • Arriving 10-15 minutes early
  • Cell-phone off (Inside Dojo)
  • No jewelry (Inside Dojo)
  • Prepare Dojo (helping with sweeping, setting up mats, etc)
  • Bring required gear (Gloves, padding, etc)
  • Treat other students/seniors with respect as you would treat your family
  • Having sex only with your significant other and in moderation
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Yaw Yan Grading Ranks

Unlike most martial arts Yaw Yan does not have belts to rank the students It’s your skills in the ring that define you and earn you recognition by the master and other students. I really love this concept and personally prefer it over the ”Now a way to milk more money out of students” though traditionally most martial arts had little belts unlike some dojo’s nowadays that manage to squeeze in 20 belts till you get your black belt. Not to mention ‘martial artists’ bragging that they got a ‘black belt’ within a year like awhh ye right black belt in swinging your arms around is more like it. Even though there are no specific ranks in Yaw Yan there is a tradition called branding. Branding is the sealing of the Yaw Yan emblem in order to prove your commitment to the martial arts. The process involves heating a branding iron similar to the ones used to mark cows and having the emblem burned on your skin. Some Dojo’s require you to do this if you want to continue to train while others lets you choose freely if you wish to place the seal on your body. I was weirded out by this tradition to be honest definitely would be a dealbreaker if it was mandatory for me therefore I decided to send a mail via facebook to practitioners of Yaw Yan which those that replied all were looking forward if not already done this I was amazed with the replies. You can see the branding tradition in this video Click to 5.00 to skip and get to the branding.

Yaw Yan History

You might think this art has been practised for centuries but in reality the creator of this style Napoleon A. Fernandez is still alive to this day (10-7-2017). Napoleon A. Fernandez founded Yaw Yan back in 1973 only 44 years ego. Fernandez was obsessed with martial art’s besides various filipino martial arts he also studied  Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Eskrima, Aikido, Judo and his favourite Jujutsu. From his studies he decided to combine these martial arts and create the best style possible for the average filipino body structure. Yaw Yan greatly influenced the kickboxing scene in 1970 and later in 1990 the mixed martial arts scene both in the philippines and worldwide.


My opinion for this martial art is quite positive and will one day definitely go to the philippines to spar and learn from masters of this art. The only thing I don’t fancy from it is the branding though thinking about it it’s similar to getting a tattoo and most tattoos are done to represent something that person likes. I can understand why all my replies were positive. I’m also the type that likes to fight by countering techniques instead of going full berserk but that’s more of an opinion. So you reading this article how would you’re tactic be when facing a Yaw Yan Ardigma would love to hear and learn from you guys. Hope you enjoyed reading the article and don’t forget to smash that share button!

Sources :
All images have been taken from pixabay with a Creative Commons CC0 licence.
Videos are embedded so that the original creator will still gain the views and any monetization they have.

Yaw Yan Ardigma Filipino Martial Arts
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Yaw Yan Ardigma Filipino Martial Arts
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