Leo M. Giron was born on August 20, 1911 in Bayambang in the Philippine
province of Pangasinan. In Pangasinan at this time eskrima matches
where a daily occurrence and the barrio could be tough at times.
At age of 10 GM Giron's first instructor was Master Benito Junio,
a master in Largo Mano, or Cabaroan style. His next instructor
was Master Bundoc, GM Giron's cousin and a graduate of Master
Junio's. Master Bundoc also taught GM Giron the Cabaroan style
as well as the Cadaanan style. His third instructor in the Philippines
was Fructuso Junio, Master Junio's uncle. He taught GM Giron the
Macabebe style, which uses the double sticks. Master Fructuso
Junio also helped GM Giron distinguish between the old and new
styles of Luzon.
20th, 1926 GM Giron migrated to California, USA. While working
in the orchards GM Giron met Flaviano Vergara. Master Vergara
teacher was Delmacia Bergonia, the only person who ever defeated
the legendary fighter Santiago Toledo, a champion of the Philippines.
Master Vergara taught GM Giron some of the influential styles
from Giron's old home of Pangasinan and the nearby Cagayah. GM
Giron's training with Master Vergara laid the ground work for
GM Giron's Abanico Del Maestro, "The Fan of the Master".
war GM Giron only thought of eskrima on occasion. He wanted to
leave all the violence behind as most soldiers do when their job
is done. But just as the violence of WWII made GM Giron retire
from martial arts violence would encourage him to teach and pass
on his knowledge. It was 1968 in Chicago when eight nursing students,
most of whom where Filipino, were killed by a maniac. During the
tragedy not one of the victims made any effort to subdue the killer.
This prompted GM Giron to teach Filipino martial arts so that
innocent persons would not have to give up their lives because
they did not know how to defend themselves.