GGM Carlito Lanada Sr.
Young GGM Carlito

Great GrandMaster Carlito A. Lanada Sr.

Great GrandMaster Carlito A. Lanada Sr  was born in Naga City of the Bicol region of Luzon Island in the Philippines in 1939. He is the son of Yong Iban Lanada, whose father Yuyong Huenyo came from the Tausog Tribe in the southern Muslim island of Mindanao. He was taught by both his Grandfather and his Father in the art of Kuntaw back in Mindanao and was passed down within the Muslim royal families. Great-Great GrandMaster was one of the sons of Rajah in the Tausog tribe. He decided to find his fortune in the northern Philippines.

After forming his organization of Kung Fu-Karate Organization of the Philippines and formalizing the training of Kuntaw, he went on to train many champions. In 1966 the Great GrandMaster was rewarded by his peers the title of “Youngest Filipino Martial Art Founder”. In 1968 his organization became a founding member of the World Union of Karate-Do Organizations (WUKO), and in 1970 he became one of the founding members of the Philippine Karate Association (PKA). He changed the name of his organization to Maharlika Kuntaw Association, honoring the Filipino Muslim royalties from which Kuntaw originated. In 1974, he changed the name to Kuntaw Ng Pilipinas following his award for work in the Filipino Martial Arts by then President Ferdinand Marcos, thus completing the formalization of Kuntaw as a Filipino national art.

With the closeness to the U.S. Naval Base he trained many Americans and other foreigners, as well to many Filipinos who migrated to other countries. These Kuntawista’s went to countries such as America, Saudi Arabia, Japan, England, Canada, United Arab Emirates and others to establish schools of their own. In 1979, he held the inauguration of the International Kuntaw Federation (I.K.F.), thereby uniting all members of Kuntawworldwide.

To date the Kuntaw Temple in Olongapo City is being cared for and run by his eldest son, Master Carlito G. Lanada Jr. The Great GrandMaster Carlito A. Lanada Sr has moved to United States with most of his family and bases the I.K.F. main Headquarters in North Carolina, U.S.A. Within few years of residing in U.S. he garnered the highest award by being a recipient of the Presidential Sports Award as a Martial Arts GrandMaster in 1993. The Great GrandMaster completed his book “KUNTAW – The Ancient Filipino Martial Arts” in January of 1995 and commenced the compilation of an advance book on Kuntaw.

In 1996, he was inducted into the International Karate Hall of Fame and the Martial Arts Museum of America. In 1997 he founded a new worldwide organization – World Unified Council of Martial Arts (WUCMA), with five other GrandMasters. Kuntaw has come to age, from obscurity to international renown. Grandmaster Lanada is the 2002 Filipino Martials Arts Magazines Who’s Who Man of the Year! In 2008, GGM Lanad travelled to Canada, where he was inducted into the North American Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In June of 2010 GGM Lanada inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in Anaheim, California. There he was also awarded their Highest honor- the Platinum Lifetime Achievement Award. GGM Calito A. Lanada Sr. is currently residing in California. GGM Calito A. Lanada Sr. is a livingg legend known and respected world-wide throughout the martial arts community. Kuntaw has come of age, from obscurity to International renown!  

Message: From Great GrandMaster Carlito A. Lanada Sr.

Greetings! To all Martial Artists and practitioners of Filipino Martial Arts!

Since the time of my Lolo (Grandfather) Yuyong Huenyo who tried to organize the Buklod Kuntawan Tausog late of 1907 in Cototbato Tribes (Tausog) and the other parts of Sulu Island in southern Mindanao, before he decided to move north of Luzon, and to the second attempt to unite Kuntaw into Katipunan Kuntaw of my Apo (old father) Yong Iban Lanada in the mid of 1947 after the second world war in Mount Tangkongbaka in Bicol region, Luzon area of the Philippine archipelago, it has been instilled in me to propagate the Filipino Culture of Martial Arts as I’ve taught them. In my time, my first organization and instruction was in Rinconada District, Camarines Sur of Bicol Region in 1957. I finalized my organization of Maharlika Kuntaw then changed it to Kuntaw Ng Pilipinas, the mother organization of the I.K.F. in 1960 at Olongapo City and Angeles City of Central Luzon area, especially when I was employed in the U.S. Naval Base as a Physical Training Specialist.

Even through the dark years when it was not in vogue to promote our arts, even in the Philippines, I have persisted. There were even times that I was ridiculed, but I persevered. I have always used the spelling of Kuntaw as it is. This was passed on to me from my Grandfather. Thanks to the efforts of a few legitimate Pilipino Martial Art Historians in bringing forth to light the arts of the Philippines we are experiencing a bonanza in parishioners using me as a reference that have no ties, including the use of my Kuntaw as spelled with the “w”.

I would first like to acknowledge some of my Filipino students in the Philippines, GrandMaster Benjamin Ortiz, Roger Roncesvalles, Alex Lopez, Rene Velasco, Jonathan Bais and Narrie Babao. My very first American student and Kuntaw Blackbelt was Marine Doctor Dick Fox, this was in 1963. After that I’ve had numerous American students, to mention a few, GrandMaster Bill Roy, Marine Captain W. Fitzgerald, 1’Lt Jack Wetzel, 1’Lt Wally Goddis, Lt Col. William Perry, M/Sgt Joe Frazier, Air Force Major Brooks and Sgt Johnson whom I promoted up to 4th degree Kuntaw Blackbelt, Cpl Robert Jaunet, and William Parker. These were all promoted to Kuntaw Blackbelts and I thank them for their support.

In the 1970’s I would also like to mention Kuntawista’s such as: Ernest Kay, Steve Bailly, Donald McDonald, James Smith, James Bond (not the 007), Michael Hunt, Daniel Pappas, Arthur McArthur, Wilber Anthony, Daniel Harvey, Mike Barry, James Brooke, James Stephen, Reginald Tayler, Frank Zachey, and especially my son-in-law Master William J. Spence (the current I.K.F. Executive Director).

Last, I would caution all, as in any other Martial Arts family we have our prodigals, they are classified as “Tampalasan Kuntaw”, basically Kuntaw practitioners who will not affiliate with me or my organization and are working against the organization. I try to keep the best and qualified instructors and studios out there to present my art, part of this is to have the required certifications for instructor and studios present for inspection by prospective students, family and civil authorities. I would make it clear if you are not sure of an instructor or studio or you are interested in the real Kuntaw, you can contact me or my son-in-law through this web site only and we will guide you to an authorized teacher and school and keep you from becoming a victim of unscrupulous and bogus Kuntawista. There are many more Kuntawista’s, but it is in the process of their status, for inclusion to the “Tampalasan Kuntaw”. Stay in touch with these web pages, as we will be adding many new features including an art gallery, technique pages, profiles of studios and instructors and many more.

Thank you again and be well!