An instructor teaches Filipino culture through martial arts


A man from Anne Arundel County teaches people about Filipino culture through martial arts every day. Filipino American History Month celebrations commemorate the first documented arrival of Filipinos in the United States on October 18, 1587. The The murals and light fixtures on the wall and the bamboo lining the floors of the Kali Filipino Academy in Glen Burnie all tell a story about Filipino culture. “Basically, this whole school is more like a cultural art in addition to martial arts. While Ladra has high-ranking black belts in Tae Kwon Do, he wanted to use martial arts to pay homage to his culture. martial arts career, I promote the culture of others. Meanwhile, we have this rich Filipino culture that I would love to share with everyone,” Ladra said. So, Ladra opened the Filipino Kali Academy, and he shares bits of Filipino culture wherever he can. students learn to show respect in the Filipino culture, they learn techniques using sticks and they wear handkerchiefs instead of belts to show their rank.” When they wear the handkerchief, we call it Bayanihan, which means that a person can come to you and I am ready to serve. I am ready to give value to others,” Ladra said. implemented in their schools. “They build their confidence. They learn to speak in front of people and to teach. For example, I can ask an 8-year-old to lead a whole class,” Ladra said. Ladra uses Zoom to teach students. around the world on Filipino martial arts and culture as well as its teaching program. He also teaches a women’s self-defense class at his academy.

A man from Anne Arundel County teaches people about Filipino culture through martial arts every day.

Filipino American History Month celebrations commemorate the first documented arrival of Filipinos to the United States on October 18, 1587. The murals and light fixtures on the wall and the bamboo lining the floors of the Kali Philippine Academy in Glen Burnie all tell a story about the Filipino Culture.

“These bamboos are a big part of our footwork. It’s not just there for decoration,” said Apolo Ladra, owner of the martial arts academy. “Basically, this whole school is more like a cultural art in addition to martial arts.

While Ladra has high-ranking black belts in Tae Kwon Do, he wanted to use martial arts to pay homage to his culture.

“Throughout my career in martial arts, I promote other people’s culture. In the meantime, we have this rich Filipino culture that I would like to share with everyone,” Ladra said.

So, Ladra opened the Filipino Kali Academy, and he shares bits of Filipino culture wherever he can. Students learn to show respect in the Filipino culture, they learn techniques using sticks and they wear handkerchiefs instead of belts to show their ranking.

“When they wear the handkerchief, we call it Bayanihan, which means a person can come to your house and I’m ready to serve. I’m ready to give value to others,” Ladra said.

Ladra also teaches his students how to become teachers through his Learn to Teach program, Teach to Learn, which more than 160 martial arts instructors have implemented in their schools.

WBAL

Inside Kali Philippine Academy in Glen Burnie.

“They build their confidence. They learn to speak in front of people and to teach. For example, I can ask an 8-year-old to lead a whole class,” Ladra said.

Ladra uses Zoom to teach students around the world about Filipino martial arts and culture as well as its curriculum. He also teaches a women’s self-defense class at his academy.


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