Our Services



Head Instructor: GRAND MAESTRO NORMAN SUANICO                                     

Grand Maestro Norman leads our Tuesday and Thursday Kali Ilustrisimo classes. Learn the fundamentals of bladed combat through use of escrima and a variety of other training weapons. With emphasis on basics and building a strong foundation of movement and mechanics through the first 4 levels with a single escrima, carry on to the succeeding levels and learn:

  • double blade
  • sword and dagger
  • knife
  • long sword
  • hand to hand

Kali Ilustrisimo: A Brief History

Our curriculum of Kali Ilustrisimo was formed by Grand Maestro Norman Suanico in the early years of the Kali Academy of Martial Arts, based on the direct teachings of the founder Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo. The Ilustrisimo style differs from many other styles of Flipino Martial Arts in that it advocates training solely based on use of blade mechanics, whereas many others advocate the use of the baton or escrima mechanics. 

Late Grand Maestro Ilustrisimo's style of combat was based not solely on time spent in a gym learning the style of other Maestros, but based on his personal experience. In the time when he was growing up in the Philippines, challenge matches as a means of resolving status amongst fighters of notoriety were a somewhat regular occurrence. It was within this arena that Tatang honed his style of one on one combat which is applied and practiced differently than the systems built for use by military within war zones.  

In addition, Tatang spent the duration of the Second World War as a guerrilla fighter, operating in the jungles battling occupying Japanese forces. His preferred weapon was a barong, which is a large leaf shaped, single handed blade. By way of his exploits and the use of his barong, he earned the moniker "Executioner" from his exploits during this time.

Antonio Ilustrisimo accepted his first students in 1976 at the age of 72, among this original group of 12 students, Grand Master Suanico is 1 of 8 surviving to propagate the art. In 1997, Grand Maestro Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo died  a poor man, unrecognized officially for his accomplishments during WWII . But his legacy is the most respected among the Philippine martial tradition,  of the Grand Masters of old, he is widely accepted by those who know as the greatest.


Emergency Preparedness Workshop

At the Kali Academy of Martial Arts we specialize in training clients to exceed in their ability to provide security. Security of self is the primary goal of our Hive Combatives and Kali Ilustrisimo curricula. We now offer 1 and 2 day Emergency Preparedness seminars so our attendees can  extend their mindset of defense and and security to include their friends and family. Course content includes planning and supply strategies as well as familiarization of the specific dangers and emergency that apply to us locally. Each participant receives a binder containing all information covered in class,  enabling them to hit the ground running when the workshop is complete. 

Two day seminar also includes physical portions from our Hive Combatives curriculum as well as preparedness extending to travel abroad. Contact us to book a seminar at your location or if you have any questions about our workshop. When emergency knocks, your first line of defense should always be you planning. 



Hive Combatives


Hive Combatives is the brainchild of Dax Williams, borne out of a lifetime of experience intentionally being in the wrong place at the right time and experiencing real world violence on a regular basis. Our curriculum focuses on empowering each client to recognize the tell tale signs of violence and abuse and react to them accordingly. Our vision is to empower each individual who makes that first big step into an unfamiliar environment to learn something new and indescribably important. Our clients will leave the gym, confident in their instincts and able to act on them when and if the need arises.

Why "Hive" Combatives?

It isn't any sort of fancy acronym, but instead an allegory to the standard we hope to instill in those who attend. A hive of bees operate as a synchronous unit for the greater benefit of all who reside within, and to the detriment of anyone who tries to bring harm to any individual member. Dax's vision is to reduce the incidents of violence that are so prevalent in our society today by training individuals to be proactive, vigilant and supportive of those around them who could use a helping hand in dealing with an aggressor or aggressors. Hive Combatives stresses dialogue and questioning throughout the training schedule, as everyone's experience is different and valid, and everyone can benefit from frank discussion regarding the subjects contained within. It is a simple idea with huge potential benefits for clients and their friends and families.

What can I expect to gain from attendance?

Hive Combatives stresses an understanding of the nature of violence and the roles that it takes in our society. We cover abuse in its many forms from physical and sexual, to financial and emotional. Our curriculum supports individuals to share their experiences (in whatever way is most comfortable for them), and to help them work through questions that they may have or issues that have come up on account of experiences they may have experienced personally or witnessed. 

We take time to cover the letter of the law and how it applies to every individual. We steer individuals away from egotistical response and toward logical forethought, so when the need arises the individual isn't frozen in a typical panic state. In addition, we emphasize the rights of each person who finds themselves at the receiving end of violence both legal and moral, and provide a framework of support in teaching and aiding the client where possible to take the steps necessary to resolve incidents.

Physical training is the backbone of the Hive curriculum and is compiled from 15 years of training in traditional, contemporary and sport based martial arts. Finding none of them directly relevant to reality based training, or the real world violence that became commonplace in the areas he existed in, they have been pared down to the essentials of self preservation and efficiency. Dax's background working in event, nightclub and personal security provided ample opportunity to discern what works, what doesn't work,  and most importantly, why. Hive Combatives training methods and techniques focus on things that can be learned simply and expediently as well as deployed reliably over a number of scenarios. That means more time training what works, instead of being baffled with showtime nonsense.




Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defense or for the defense of the defenseless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.
— Mahatma Gandhi