I met the late Master Ted Lucaylucay and spoke with him several times. One story he told me
The Late Master Ted Lucaylucay (on left) and one of my teachers, Tim Evans Sensei
Master Lucaylucay lived in a very rough neighborhood in Los Angeles, in a home as part of an extended Filipino family. Next door were some neighbors who were fond of big parties. One night the neighbors threw a huge party and cars filled the streets, blocking off the driveway where Ted lived, so no one could get in or out.
Well, Master Ted decided he needed to talk to the neighbors next door so people in his house weren’t trapped. But there was a large crowd next door, the music was loud, and the booze was flowing (perhaps along with other illegal substances). It was a raw-looking crowd in a tough neighborhood, and there was no telling how they would respond to his request to move their cars.
So Master Ted came prepared. He was carrying his short stick and knife, in a Filipino style called “espada y daga,” which is Spanish for “sword and dagger.” Now only once at a seminar did my friend and I see Master Lucaylucay give a glimpse of what he was capable of, and I can tell you that it was jaw-dropping. I would not confront Master Ted with any weapon, let alone a stick and a knife.
Master Ted went up to the neighbor’s door, prepared for the worst. He wasn’t brandishing his weapons, but he wasn’t hiding them either. When the neighbor opened the door, the party was in full swing, and Master Ted politely asked if they would move their cars.
The Late Master Lucaylucay. Why yes, I'd be glad to move my car, sir.
To his surprise, the neighbors immediately agreed to move their cars, without any protest. As Master Ted returned to his house, he was thinking to himself how threatening he must have been, and how his mere presence and warrior’s self-assurance had caused the otherwise troublesome neighbors to fall in line.
It was in the midst of these thoughts of self-congratulation, walking back home with his stick and knife in hand, that he happened to look up.
“When I looked at my house,” Master Lucaylucay told me with an amused smile, “there was a gun barrel sticking out of every window, pointed at the neighbor’s house. I thought I was all bad with my stick and knife, when what the neighbors saw was my whole family and a house full of guns pointed out all the windows right at them.”
Like a true master, Master Ted had the humility to see his own failings and to laugh at himself. This story has an important message for every martial artist –don’t believe your own press. And there’s nothing wrong with having a little backup.