Name of sport (game)
Name in native language
Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
Today, Sikaran is fast gaining popularity worldwide and has been taught and played in various countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa. Its main headquarters is in the United States.
THE ORIGIN OF SIKARAN By Hari Osias Catolos Banaag
Sikaran is contact sports game, contest or tournament using both hands and feet to parry the attack of the opponent which is usually a strategic kick. Sikad is a Filipino root word for Kick thus Kicking used as an active Verb translates to Sikaran. This ancient sports was popular among the Farmers in the Village of Baras, Morong and Tanay in the province of Rizal east of Metropolitan Manila in the Philippines even before the Spanish Conquest of the Philippine Archipelago on March 16, 1521 when the Islands was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan. This sports uses both feet to gain points while the hands and arms are employed to parry the incoming foot blows.
The rich history of Rizal province traces Sikaran as an ancient game of Rice Farmers that was discovered from their daily routine farming activities to ease the boredom during their idle moments from their backbreaking work in the rice paddies. Youth farmers and farmhands were the first ones to play the game by kicking mud on the faces of their playmates using their feet eliciting much laughter and enjoyment whenever a tiny dirt lands on their target while other farmers watch from a distance.
Farmers from the Village of Baras, Rizal were credited as the first Sikaran initiators and players of the foot and mud game until the nearby Villages of Lagundi and Morong adopted it and called the game “Paninggara” in their vernacular dialect.
The game is usually played during the land preparation stage of rice farming when farmers would irrigate the barren farm to soften it up and prepare the area for plowing, harrowing and eventually planting the Philippine staple food. Rice paddies are submerged in ankle-deep waters for easy grubbing and plowing using farm animals such as Carabao (Water Buffalo), Cow and Horse to draw crude farming implements. The muddy area serves as a wide arena for playing before rice-transplanting, thus attracting the playful mood of youth farmers who engage in mud kicking. Early stories that were told and retold say that God-fearing people during those days do not have the courage to hurt others so much so that the game of mud-kicking would only limit them to hitting the clean clothing of their fellow farmer and that body contact that could hurt was always avoided. The one who has the soiled trousers are, therefore, the losers of the game although no scoring system was ever agreed upon then until such time when bigger chunks of mud could already be kicked to the direction of the body and would make one fall down.
As Sikaran evolved into a popular Farm Game more rules have since been mutually agreed upon by those who are interested to play it. Initially, a player who is hit by a big slice of mud in the body and fell down on the paddy loses until it was agreed upon that the player who fell three times loses the game, thus the early scoring system was already recognized by the players.
As the game gained popularity among the farmers, the kick style that was commonly used evolved into variations. These kicks were derived from the helpful farm animals. By constant day to day observation, the farmers learned that the frontal Carabao Kick was very strong and the “Tadyak-Kalabaw” came into the picture.
When the Carabao Kick (Tadyak Kalabaw) was already a popular kick, the farmers also observed that the Cow, of all Bovines, could kick sideward. This unique kicking characteristics of the Cow was carefully studied and included in the existing variety of styles in kicking mud. The farmers foot soles, during those days, were callous and wide as they wear no shoes nor slippers and would step barefooted over barren soils and grassy and muddy surface in those days. A bigger and wider foot, therefore, would give a Sikaran player the edge over an opponent who has a smaller feet. Soon after, they also discovered the powerful horse kick delivered backwards.
Interestingly, the three-point system was adopted from the popular Spider Quarrel wherein two Spiders of the same size would be pitted against each other using the broomstick (rib of the Coconut leaf). The spider that will fall from the stick three times loses.
The frontal stance of the players using the Carabao Kick ( Tadyak Kalabaw) remained as the most popular form and technique until the players learned to turn sideways to avoid being hit by the kicked while delivering a sideward or backward kick and at the same time parrying to counter. The forward and backward format of the game has since adopted the sideward technique.
The first tournament was called “Patas na Labanan” (Fair Game) wherein two players would play against each other. Since their playing techniques were limited to frontal and sideward kicks, they have since improved and developed a variety of turns and started using the horse-like backward kick. The first three major kicks learned from the main farm animals were, therefore, the most potential techniques that they have since develop to improve their skills. When during the early discovery of the game, players would only engage in frontal kick, they have since learned to turn sideways and could deliver the backward kick without necessarily turning in front. Players have also learned to employ several techniques to distract the attention of their opponent so that they could freely attack.
They have since developed the quick spider frontal attack, the Carabao kick (Tadyak Kalabaw), the cow sideward kicks and the horse backward kicks as the major elements in playing Sikaran. Accidents do happen that sometimes a player would be hit by a direct contact in the stomach whenever a back kick is delivered and the player who is hit would gasp for breath and fall. This contact has amazed the crowd. Over time, they have learned to develop more variations of the game which has already gained popularity province-wide until it eventually became a major attraction during big gatherings and celebrations of feast days. A native dance called Tinikling requires dancers to dance between two bamboo poles being clicked together. It would train dancers’ feet to be quick to avoid being caught in between the poles and help in the training of Sikaran Players.
The farmers who are focused in playing Sikaran would then go to the fields early in the morning to train how to kick mud using various techniques. They continued to research and observe the movements of their farm animals and have since become conscious in preparing their body condition preparatory to the game. Plowing the paddies and following the animal-drawn implement was a good foot and leg exercise/training as their feet and legs are submerged in knee-deep mud. They ate more vegetables and fruits to gain stronger bodies and maintain good health.
The primary industry of the inhabitants of Baras Rizal aside from Paddy Rice Farming and Upland Farming (Slash and Burn farming in the mountains called “Kaingin”) is Fishing along the Laguna De Bay, a large body of fresh water rich in marine resources. Baras Village is bounded by Barrio Lagundi. This adjacent village has since adopted Sikaran as their farm game and would often compete with Baras Players and meet to play the game at the different places in the Villages of Baras, in Pulo, Patadyang, Suro-Suro, Ulahan, Basud, Kalang Batong and Malalim- large farming villages with large rice farming paddies. Women have since caught interest in the game and have started competitive games of their own. Men have become more aggressive in playing with the entry of women in Sikaran competition.
Another game or competition in Baras during those days was the popular “Karera ng Bangka” (Boat Race) which eventually waned because not everybody could afford the cost of a boat and the river was so small for competition. It was not developed like the Sikaran.
Over the next decades, the “Patas na Labanan” (Fair Game) was developed with more innovations. The age, sex, body size (height and weight) was already considered as factors in Tournaments. The rules would include accumulation of body points. They do not use the three fall rule or the Spider Quarrel three-fall rule because players have since been quick to parry blows at the same time dodge incoming attack. The players changed the rules of the game and adopted a new point system.
A new variation of Sikaran has also emerged when the players agreed to a formal version of the game. The “Patas na Laban. This new variation will pit two players inside a circled area in the paddy. Whoever could land the first kick in the body and get out inside the circle three times his opponent wins. The player who gets out of the circle loses. The winner stays inside the circle and will be challenged by a woman player who will play outside the circle while the prior player is limited within the limits of the circle. Within a certain time, if the woman player fails to drive the player inside the circle outside , then the player inside the circle stays inside and will eventually be declared Champion. But there were also women who fight men inside the circle and eventually win. These women-players have become the inspiration of men.
Then the variation of “Labo-Labo Matira Matibay na Labanan” (Mix up, the toughest Rules) was also played. This was played inside the circle by three to eight men who could not efficiently kick due to the limited space. The ones who goes out of the circle loses and the toughest that will be left will be the Champion.
Origin of Sikad Biyakid or Biakid (Sickle Kick)
The mix up variation of Sikaran has now inspired Sikaran Players to ponder on a new challenge to improve their capabilities. They must develop a fresh technique of delivering a kick given a limited space inside a circle. They have been confronted with the reality that the four commonly used kicks can only be executed efficiently if ample space is available inside a given tournament arena.
During harvest Season, Palay produce are usually partially underwater making it hard for the farmers to Scythe the trunks of the palay. The technique is to separate the palay trunks and harvest it by cutting a grip of trunks upward. This technique of harvesting palay given a limited space was conveniently adopted as a farming practice whenever the palay stalks are immersed by water.
The technique was studied and was proven to be very deadly in delivering a new kick. The foot is pointed downward and and the body is bent while they kicked upward usually hitting the upper torso or head of the opponent. The Biyakid Kick was introduced in the new world of Sikaran Competition.
The evolvement of Sikaran is also the history of Sitio Baras, Baras Rizal is an idyllic town situated between the towns of Morong and Tanay. In the olden times in the Sitio of Baras, the residents get their source of living by planting vegetables and other root crops, another livelihood was fishing from the Laguna de Bay, Baras has mountains and plains and the life of the people was plain and simple.
The Origin of Baras
Baras Rizal has different version as to its origin. The first version was that it was founded through the Franciscan Missionaries in 1595 under the leadership of Father Jun de Pacencia and Father Diego de Oropesa, founded a visita in Morong or the present site of Boso Boso South of Painaan. It was known as Visita de Santiago or Santiago until such time it became Baras.
Another version of its origin was from the Spanish priest Father Francisco Barasoin, he is known for his kindness and the community was named after him.
The third version of its history dates back in the olden times when there were plenty of hardwood which were made into baras of two pieces of wood between which the house was harnessed and later became Baras. In 1750, it was divided into Barangays. It was under the jurisdiction of the province of Laguna from 1606 to 1853.
In 1929 to 1931 Baras was classified as a fifth-class municipality and had settled its conflict with Morong and Tanay.
Through the Executive Order No. 57 dated November 24, 1920, His Excellency, the Governor General of the Philippines, it became a full pledged municipality.
Grassroots Sports in Baras:
The first sport was known as patintero, a line will be drawn in the fields or streets by means of water. There are at least three or four players in each team, one human frontline, one for the rear and one for the vertical lines and the other for center line. The objective of the game is to outsmart the other. The objective of the sport was to accumulate as many points by passing the lines without being tagged.
The next sport is hide and seek (tago-taguan). This is a game in which the ik will go behind the tree and will give time to the players to hide by counting from one to ten. The ik will begin to look for the players and whoever will be found will be the next ik.
The third sport was (karera ng Bangka) boat regatta or the series of boat race. Racing event of rowed or sailed water craft, three or four boats will race, whoever will reach the designated place will be declared the winner.
The fourth sport was water wrestling (Buno sa Tubig). They play this game whenever they were in the river with breast deep height and the opponents are in pair. Both carry their partners in their shoulders they will wrestle in the water and whoever will be down three times will lose the game.
Another sport is known as the Mud Flip (Sabuyan ng Putik.) There are two or three players and they will throw mud at each other using hands and feet and this paved the way to the sports Sikaran, the ancient art of Filipino Foot Fighting.
Evolvement of Sikaran:
Sikaran is a sport using the legs and hands. Farmers having well developed feet emphasized the use of the feet. The farmers discovered the use of SIkaran in Baras, Province of Rizal. They often prepare the fields for planting palay. Rice is the offshoot of palay, usually grinded and it became the staple food of the Tagalog region. When farmers are resting after every harvest of palay, the farmers will bring their water buffalos in the hole full of mud. During the olden times, the youngsters of Baras were respectful and they do not mean to harm their playmates in their Sikaran. The teenagers used to throw mud at each other. They usually cover their bodies with mud and afterwards they jump into the river together with their water buffalos. The strength of the farmers was derived from working in the fields gathering woods in the mountain or planting root crops, or fishing in Laguna de Bay.
The farmers walked barefooted under the heat of the sun and so they have well developed legs. In using their well-developed hands and feet, anybody who will experience the kick of the opponent will be brought down fatally.
Sikaran in the War Eras:
Sikaran was also used of the people of Baras for defense in the year 1640, when the people of Baras suffered from the hands of the Chinese. The houses of the people of Baras were burned down by the Chinese. It was also used in 1898 when the people of Baras heed the call for a revolution against the Spaniards under the leadership of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. During the Second World War, Sikaran was also used against the Japanese.
Animals as Models of Sikaran:
Animals were used by the farmers as their companion in the fields. By imitating animal behavior, they developed kicking techniques and they gave different colorful and descriptive names to these techniques.
The daily companion of the farmers in the field, which was the water buffalo, was constantly observed by the farmers. They usually hit the opponent by using their feet, this is known as “Pitik-putik” (mud flip). This technique was derived from the kick of the water buffalo. The farmers also discovered how to be agile and watch the hit given by the opponent. In their moves they found out that the hit on the right side which was the opposite of the kick of “Sikad Kalabaw” landed on the right side of the opponent which proved to be very effective, and when the hit landed on the right side it seems to be fatal. The players discovered that the hit on the right side was very effective and they practiced the kick on the right side and named it “Sikad Baka” (cow kick). In all the animals, the cow is the only animal which can hit on the right side.
As Sikaran continuously evolve another animal which they constantly observe was the horse. They studied its moves and they learned the double alternating front kick they combined the prowess of the chicken “labuyo” and the horse and the result are “Dublihang Sikad Paharap.” Or dambang paharap.
There was a saying in the older times that goes “Huwag kang dumikit sa baka o kabayo baka ma sikaran ka” which means, “Don’t get near the cow or the horse or you might be kicked.” The saying has its roots that the animals which were not domesticated were usually ferocious.
The farmers of Baras used to work in the fields and mountains and their source of livelihood is planting, and kaingin (slash and burn). Barrio Lagundi was the boundary of Baras and they invited farmers from Morong to join the tournament. The ancient name for Sikaran was “Paninggara.” in their vernacular dialect. They had different competitions with the different places of Baras, in Pulo, Patadyan, Suro-suro, Basud, Ulahang, Salang Bato, these were the places in which the competitions took place.
As years passed many forms of competitions were developed such as “Patas na Labanan” two opponents draw a circle with a space of eight feet diameter. It was a competition between two males with the same age and height. This is a game of accumulating points by hitting the other, if the opponent falls three times, he loses the game. Another competition is known as “Labanang Haragan” the competitors usually use the field with the size of 25 square feet. This is a game of chasing up to the time that the opponent will raise his hand as a symbol of defeat.
The next game is known as “Partida Laban” there are different types “Labanan sa Hagdang Bato” a game in which the strong men are on top and the loser is under and he will kick the strong men up to the time he reaches the top of “Hagdang Bato.” The next game is known as “Isa Laban sa Dalawa,” one against two. They will fight in a circle with a size of eight-foot diameter. Whoever will be able to push the strongest outside the circle will be declared the winner.
Many years had passed and the farmers developed ways of playing Sikaran. They discovered a kick pattern using the sickle as a model. It is a combination of the horse kick and the use of the sickle for gathering palay in the field. The kick that was developed is like the use of gathering palay using a sickle and burying the palay in water and makes an upward movement. By using this sickle kick the feet is free to move upward and free to kick the opponent. The other movement that was patterned in the using of their daily living was “Sikad Palakol o Sikad Pasibak” axe kick, this movement makes the feet to kick upward and strongly bring it downward, it is either axe kick pointing outside or axe kick pointing inside.
The major kick of the art of foot-fighting was known as “Biyakid” it is a kick where the center of the force is at the back of the heel. It is the most powerful kick. It can be delivered in all angles, and usually controlled by the hip, thigh and legs to the heel and the back. The largest muscles that run in the body control the kick. The farmers used this kick for sports and used it for self-defense.
The different styles of this game evolved like “Labanang May Hangganan” opponents will fight inside the circle with the size of eight feet in diameter. The weak ones who will be thrown out of the circle are the losers.
Another style used by the players is known “Labanan sa Suga o Lubid” here the two opponents with a string attached to their hips with the size of three (siko), this is a game of accumulation of points by pinning the players down or making them accept defeat. They can pull the string to make the opponents come closer.
The Origin of Biakid:
When the folks of Baras discovered Sikaran, teenagers and almost all folks who were strongly built play the sports. They joined the different competitions whether it was rainy or dry season. It was also the time for the males to show off to the females. They enjoy the games especially if the women of the barrio were watching. They can’t accept that they will lose the game or be kicked in any part of their bodies especially if they are being watched.
The competition which was called Labanang Labo-Labo is a competition of three four, five or more players they will play in a circle with the size of eight diameters and whoever will be forced out of the circle will be the loser. It is the most difficult game in Sikaran.
The game “Labo-Labo” became a mind-boggling situation for the players of Sikaran. The space is limited and it is quite difficult for the players to move and kick. In those times to be declared as the King of Sikaran is very coveted title for the males, but it is quite unusual that the females also joined this tournament and proved themselves good in the Art of Sikaran.
The Labanang Labo-labo paved the way for the game of Sikad Biakid. There were some modifications that took place in the game and paved the way to the modern Sikaran.
The Origin of Sikad Biyakid or Biakid
A long time ago, before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, there was a game that the farmer kids of Sitio Baras used to play. The game was called Sikaran.
The game’s first ever main objective was simply for players to throw and sprinkle mud against each other’s entire bodies. But, later on, the game was continuously being developed into more strategies, ways, techniques, and tactics. The approaches, methods, and manners were later enhanced into more variations.
Example of this is when players now started to use the tip of their toe and the top of their foot that they named “mud flip” or “mud kick” to attack their opponent.
The whole premise and intention of the game in the beginning was for them to have fun and play around the mud.
The farmer kids of Sitio Baras would always take advantage of their spare time from farming to play the game. In the fields, farmers and children used to water, plow, and harvest weeds within the rice paddy for germination. And after they finish their chores in the field, they would immediately play and roll in the mud and fill their whole entire body with it alongside their friends. Then, they’ll ride onto each of their carabaos towards the nearest river or stream, and from there, they would start to dip and bathe their carabaos to make them feel relieved and relaxed.
And in the course of the carabao’s bathing, the farmers would start playing “Buno sa Tubig” or “Water Wrestling”. “Buno sa Tubig” or Water Wrestling, is a type of wrestling game where one farmer is being carried by their fellow farmer, who’s in the same team, on the shoulders. Same goes with the other playing competitor. Both teams would wrestle with each other using their hands and arms while on the water. Whoever falls off the shoulder will be considered the losing team.
One day, the farmers went to the field to cultivate and plow in their paddies. Upon reaching their stations, they suddenly thought of playing “Sabuyan ng Putik” or Mud Flip, and that’s exactly what they did. One of the farmers wanted to gain the upper hand, so he dipped his toes in the mud then ferociously kicked the mud towards his fellow farmer’s face that resulted in a terrible puff in the eye.
So, to take revenge, the poor farmer also dipped the end of his toes in the mud then flicked the mud back to the other farmer’s face, which also resulted in him the same way.
The other farmers took notice of their new way of playing the game that they started to imitate what they were doing. They set aside their traditional way of throwing mud using their hands and started to give the game a little twist of using their feet to attack one another.
Favorably, their attacks became more effective than their previous ones because it directly hits their friends right in the face that causes them to fall and lose sight of their vision. Thus, the farmers begin to formulate new ideas to make the game more interesting and enjoyable.
“Tadyak Kalabaw” (carabao kick) or “Tadyak Paharap” (front kick) is the easiest type of attack because even though the player is in the mud, it only requires one to lift their foot and kick it frontward that results in their opponent hitting the ground. Each player’s main goal is to fall the other player down.
Another occurrence was on a hot day. The farmers have just finished harvesting in the paddy when one of them thought of playing the same game but on a haystack. Surprisingly, this made the game effectively better for the players. They discovered that they can run towards their opponent before prompting an attack and not get hurt once they have fallen down. So since then, the farmers’ options have widened. The mud wasn’t their only choice of location, it expanded to dry land and on top of haystacks. At first, there weren’t any rules to determine which of the players is the winner. Through different techniques that they have come upon, each of them gave the farmers a variety of choices depending on how much strength they put out into each kick they perform.
“Labanang Hagaran” is a type of duel in Sikaran wherein participants with shorter height are competing against taller opponents inside a circle drawn on the ground. And as soon as someone raises their hands, that person declares its surrender. Another type is “Labanan sa Hagdang Bato” where stronger competitors are positioned on the lower part location of the stone stairway while the weaker ones are at the top. And lastly, fighters with the same height and strength compete in “Patas na Laban”. There weren’t really any clear rules on how one is distinguished as the winner. But suddenly, they thought of emulating the gameplay of “Labanan ng Gagamba sa Tingting ng Walis” or “Spider Fighting on Thin Rod” that dictates, whoever falls down three times, that player will be announced as the loser. As well as if he appears to exceed himself out of the circle drawn on the ground.
Now that the players have finally come up with different types of playing the game, they decided to continue the next duels on dry land. Unlike the first few times where they played it on muddy fields, that only gives them limited movements such as moving onwards and backwards with only little to know kicks. The only kind of kick they knew of was “Tadyak Kalabaw” or the Carabao Kick, or also known as “Tadyak Paharap” or Front Kick. Eventually, they started to learn new kick techniques, and one of them was “Tadyak Baka” (Cow Kick) or also known as the Side Kick. This kick was much more effective than the earlier one because of its unexpected strike due to most players being used to avoid attacks by going towards the side with no anticipation of them getting hit resulting in the receiver to fall down.
Everyone was amazed. From then on, they realized that only a “baka” or cow can kick sidewards. As a result, everyone got into it which led them using it often to attack their opponents. And during the height of it, some discovered new ways to counter the attacks. One of which was players now spin towards the opposing player’s back to get away from the front kick and the side kick. Surprisingly, this counterattack voluntarily made the player kick backwards that hits the opponent in the abdomen, then falls. Since then, they started to observe and adapt the behaviors of animals and formed various attacks based on them.
Undoubtedly, one of the animals they came upon were horses. They learned that horses can kick backwards and they saw that their kicks are powerful which come from their knees and hips. From then on, they named this technique of kicking backwards the “Horse Kick”. All the while, the concept behind the name of “Sikaran” was established because of the people continuously integrating the animals’ kicking behaviors to the game. Meshing the word “Sikad” which means “kick”. Moreover, one of their observations from horses is that they can kick forward with their two feet. The “Sikad Kabayong Patalikod” or Backward Horse Kick is one of the strongest kinds of kick, where the main target of this attack is the opponent’s lower and upper abdomen. It is intended to be powerful and forceful that makes the opposing player struggle for air. Furthermore, to identify how many points each player got, the participants have to remove their tops to see the kick marks around their body.
That’s where the Sikaran logo was based off of. Two people performing the Sikad Biakid with no shirts on. One extreme rainy day, Sitio Baras experienced a mighty storm that caused a
major overflow in Laguna de Bay. The entire village submerged. This caused the farmers to have a huge dilemma. Their roots and crops drowned. They were not sure how to harvest the crops that were under the flood. It took a long time for a farmer to assess the field and figure out how to harvest the submerged crops.
One farmer cannot risk his safety since there was a high possibility for him to get harmed from harvesting using the HARAS or KARET. HARAS or KARET sways underwater which makes it difficult for the farmer to control its direction.
One morning, a farmer brought his HARAS/KARET (a HARAS/KARET is a type of karet with thick metal, curved at the end, and a short handle). He tried to harvest a crop using it, but it was too challenging considering he cannot control the tool’s movement of direction. He almost scarred himself using that technique. However, he still managed to harvest the crops, but the progress was slow and laborious. While he was harvesting the crops, he thought of breaking the bundles using his hands. He tried to submerge the HARAS/KARET sideways and pulled the crops upward. Fortunately, it was effective. He discovered that the HARAS or KARET does not sway when it’s used in a vertical direction. The crops are freely harvested upward since the water does not impede the direction of the HARAS or KARET. There he discovered the efficiency of that technique. Since then, that technique was now being used whenever they would harvest submerged crops.
First, they break the bundle of crops then they harvest it sideways and upward. And from there, they had the idea of mimicking its movement (because of its unexpected potential) for labo-labo, which is a type of duel in Sikaran. They kept the behaviors of animals in mind, how they can protect themselves against their fellow animals. They became open minded and searched for ways to attack, and they carefully studied the customs of the animals, and discovered animals become fearless when they are bullied by other animals. They get an attitude especially when they have just given birth, they become overprotective of their children. Examples of kicks they know are “Tadyak Kalabaw” or Carabao Kick, “Sikad Baka” or Cow Kick, “Sikad Kabayong Patalikod” or Backward Horse Kick, “Dambang Kabayong Paharap” or Horse Kick using Front Legs, and “Pitik Gagamba” or Spider Flick.
One afternoon, after the farmers had finished their harvesting, they had a huge festival in the middle of Sitio Baras, which was once part of Tanay. There were a variety of dance parties, parades, and games going on during the festivities. One of the games that were held was Sikaran, where the farmer kids had the opportunity to exhibit their skills and mastery in the game featuring the different modes of Sikaran, which are: Hagaran, Patas na Laban, Partida Laban, and Labanan sa Suga. It was a huge hit among the villagers.
But the one type of duel that really stood out the most was Labo-Labo, wherein there are four to six (or sometimes eight) players competing against each other inside an 8 ft diameter circle. Whoever steps beyond the circle or concedes loses the game and the last man standing will be declared the winner or champion. Labo-labo is one of the most difficult challenges or contests. Participants with shorter legs and height have the most advantage since they can freely stretch out their legs to prompt an attack. While players with longer legs are more at risk
because of the circle’s limited space for them to stretch out their legs to kick. One of the benefits of the farmers’ consistent walking barefoot is that their feet became more dense, thicker and wider.
The main source of livelihood of the locals of Sitio Baras consists of clearing the forest, cultivation of rice fields, planting vegetables, and fishing in Laguna de Bay. Adding to this, the villagers would often carry tons of heavy wood and sacks of rice and sweet potato from the mountains to their homes. As a result, their feet and legs gained more and more strength and endurance. However, these body developments were not as much beneficial for them in Labo-Labo since it only gives them a limited amount of movements due to the circle’s lack of space. Until one farmer thought of using the technique in harvesting a submerged crop. Putting the haras or karet down sidewards then pulling the crop upwards. With that idea, the farmer thought of doing it upwards instead of executing “Sikad Kabayo” or Horse Kick that targets the lower and upper abdomen. He freely kicks his foot upward, hitting the opponent’s hip and spine with his heel.
It became effective because of its power. The kick made the opponents concede yet amazed. When the fight ended, he was crowned champion.
Everyone asked him where he learned the back, upward kick. He then explained that he learned it from harvesting submerged crops. “I broke the bundle of crops first and then pulled it upwards.” he explained. Since then, they call a back, upward kick “Biakid” which came from the word “binibiyak” which means “split”. “biyak / biyakid / biakid”. From Karet, it created the name “Sickle Kick”. From that incident, the “Sikad Biakid” is the only kick derived from a farmer’s equipment. It gave them the idea to search for other kinds of kick. There, they discovered “Sikad Harabas” also called “Sikad Papasok” or Inward Kick which uses the dorsum of the foot. They also learned the “Sipang Palakol” or “Sipang Pasibak” which uses the heel of the foot. Raising the foot high then bringing it down with force the same way as axing a firewood.
Their knowledge of “Sikaran” had expanded and that made them more and more curious with an open mind in learning and observing every behavior of the animals. Until the Spaniards came to our country, the sport “Sikaran” subsided but not gone.
International Headquarters: GLOBAL SIKARAN FEDERATION
Sikaran Bldg., 1122 High Street, Delano California, 93215 U.S.A.
Philippine Headquarters: GLOBAL SIKARAN FEDERATION
28A-Andres Bonifacio St., Brgy., Katipunan, Tanay, Rizal, 1980, Philippines