Master Ted Lucaylucay

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

stands out.

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 failingsĀ  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.


5 Responses to “Master Ted Lucaylucay”

  1. Great story, thanks for sharing. I watched his Kali JKD tapes 1, 2, 3 and his knife one; he seems like a real nice guy and kept saying don’t worry about the technique just look at the concepts.

    Must have been great to train with him.

  2. Nothing says move your cars like gun barrels aimed in your direction…lol…great story and a good lesson.

  3. Tanya Subingsubing Monroe Says:

    I was married to Guro Ted Lucaylucay when these incidents happened and there were times when he would confront the neighbors with a stick at his side me behind his back with my stick at my side and no gun barrels sticking out of any windows and that was very scary at the time.

  4. I knew Guro Ted very well, he was without a doubt one of the very best Kali/JKD instructors of our time. I miss his smile, charm and wisdom.

  5. Lino Espejo Says:

    Greetings Darren,
    Regards to Manang Tanya. Great story about Guro Ted. What an inspiration and an honor to have trained with him & to just discus life in general. On a side note, we will be honoring Apo Ramiro on 8/5/11 in Fresno. Please contact me by my old phone number. Apo will be teaching at the Inosanto Academy a few days later for the IAMA Instructor Association. Best regards my old friend, Lino Espejo

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