Yaw Yan
(Philipino Kickboxing)

Developed in 1972 by Napoleon Fernandez, Yaw Yan is a Filipino hard-style martial art that resembles Muay Thai and San Shou, but with many kicks as in Taekwondo (about a 70-30 ratio of kicking and punching). It is a 8-contact-points fighting style using fists, elbows, feet and knees to strike.

It was probably developed from Arnis as the strikes are similar to Arnis movements. Typical of Yaw Yan are its hip torquing motion and spinning back fist, as well as downward-cutting of its kicks, like the scorpion kick. Yaw-yan also differs from Muay Thai because its practitioners can deliver their attacks from long range.

The term Yaw-Yan was derived from "SaYAW ng KamataYAN" which means "Dance of Death".

Yaw Yan practitioners are expected to "lead their life based on each of the significance of the Yaw-Yan seal".

All lines on the Yaw yan logo show the non-resistance principle of Yaw-Yan, what Yaw Yan practitioners commonly refer to as "go with the flow". The non-opposing lines flow continuously and fluidly, either with others or independently on its own.

There are 3 main colors inside the black circle which signifies the same meaning as the Philippines' flag - White for peace which can also mean truth or purity, Red for bravery, and Blue for loyalty.

White signifies peace; it covers the largest colors than red and blue to remind us to be always at peace and to live harmoniously with others. White also signifies Truth or Purity.

Red signifies bravery and preparedness, being always ready for what is to come. The space it occupies on the seal also stands for 40 basic kicks. This color is on a sort of elliptical or eclipsing shape. Imagine this to resemble the Philippine bamboo tree - when young, it boasts to reach the sky, it continues on as it grows, but gradually in time as it aged it bends humbly forward. This is the same as the learning process common not only in all martial arts but life in general.

Blue stands for Loyalty and Allegiance, it is next to red and also occupies the space next to white. The space it occupies on the seal also stands for 12 bolo punches. Notice that this color is on a humbly smaller round circle than the other circles - where it begun it continues without end. It is directly connected to the bigger circle, signifying loyalty to the organization. Yaw-Yan members are loyal to the brotherhood, the organization, and to its founder. When they became an advanced disciple, Yaw yan practitioners are not given a belt (which they say can easily be taken off your waist), but carry a branded mark they'll carry with them wherever they go, signifying that they are a part of the whole. They are expected to willingly accept the hot iron brand, giving up their ego and their fears, to pledge their loyalty "Once a Yaw-Yan, always a Yaw-Yan".

The successive circles stand for: Infinite Power (the outer black circle), Secrecy (white circle between the first and second black circle) and Organization and Honor (second black circle), respectively. The latter represents the traditional hierarchy within the organization, common to the Filipino customs and values, that shall be observed at all times. The blue circle, the red ellipse, and white space are all directly connected to this third circle, all remind Yaw yan practitioners that life's most valued treasure (more valuable than life itself) is their Honor. One of their expressions is that "Honor is their wealth".
All the curving lines and the colors - black, white, red and blue… stands for the creed declaration - "Yaw-Yan is my weapon."





Mixed Martial Arts:
The Book of Knowledge


by BJ Penn, Glen Cordoz,
Erich Krauss
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Photos by Gregory Brophy (hand wraps), Gerville Hall (TaeKwonDo girl), Lucian (Karate fight).
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