History of Filipino Fighting Arts, USA
Jay de Leon operates all his martial arts schools under the name of Filipino Fighting Arts USA, which is affiliated as a member school with Filipino Fighting Arts, Int’l under Master Godofredo Fajardo of the Philippines.
Filipino Fighting Arts, Int’l (FFAI) was founded by Master Godofredo Fajardo in 1991 somewhere in the beaches of Binmaley, Pangasinan, Philippines with the help of then student Guro Jay de Leon. (See relevant article Master Godofredo Fajardo : The Paladin of Modern Arnis). In addition to a student-instructor relationship, a common bond between the two men was their friendship, loyalty and admiration of Professor Remy Presas, Father and Founder of Modern Arnis.
After years of being an instructor, tournament champion, referee and official for several Modern Arnis organizations, Master Godo felt it was time to break out on his own, and create his own arnis organization.
Both Master Godo and Guro Jay agreed on the name, as well as the creation of Filipino Fighting Arts USA and the appointment of Guro Jay as head of the US chapter. After Guro Jay returned to the U.S., both men wasted no time in promoting their respective organizations.Within weeks, Master Godo designed a logo for use both in the Philippines as well as the U.S. This historic logo is still in use in the Philippines as well as the U.S., showing up in websites, business cards, stationery and clothing, including T-shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts.
Master Godo established numerous chapters of FFAI in the Philippines, both in Manila and outlying provinces. These chapters were active in local tournaments, community and charity events and demonstrations.
Guro Jay established the first Filipino Fighting Arts USA chapter in San Jose, California, USA. This chapter participated in numerous demonstrations in both FMA and traditional martial arts dojos in San Jose all the way to Daly City and South San Francisco, training camps like the Kilohana Gasshuku, seminars, as well as joint classeswith countless instructors in the area like Jeff King (TaeKwonDo), Matt Furey (Combat Wrestling), Riz Angel (TaeKwonDo), Jason Inay (Inayan Eskrima) and Hans Ingebretsen (Danzan Ryu Jiu-jitsu).
Eventually, Guro Jay would also establish Chapters in Laguna Hills (Orange County, CA), in Glendora (Los Angeles County, CA) and in Murrieta (Riverside County, CA).
In 1994, Master Godo was appointed Commissioner of the Middle East based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Arnis Philippines, thegoverning body for arnis and the Olympic Committee headed by Raymond Velayo. Master Godo brought his twin organizations to Saudi Arabia, namely International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines and Filipino Fighting Arts Int’l.
Eventually, Guro Jay de Leon would also be appointed Commissioner of North America (United States, Canada and Mexico) by the International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (IMAFP) and the Sports Commission of the Philippines.
It is the avowed goal of Masters Godofredo Fajardo and Jay de Leon to continue their tradition of excellence in Filipino martial arts and hilot training in the Philippines, United States, Canada and the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Dubai and the other Gulf states.
Filipino Fighting Arts USA Logo
Actual logo used by Filipino Fighting Arts USA while in Orange County, California, USA. There were a total of three locations in Orange County:
- a dojo in Laguna Hills (shared with a kempo group),
- a dojo in Coto de Caza (shared with a jiu-jitsu group),
- and a garage dojo in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, USA.
This particular logo design was used in t-shirts, modified from a previous logo used in San Jose, California. Original logo designed and copyrighted by Godofredo Fajardo.