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Groundbreaking: Local Woman Leads Filipino Martial Arts School

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What does it take to lead a Filipino martial arts school in Winnipeg?

Kelly Legaspi and her family run the Winnipeg Sikaran and Arnis Academy. They are the first Filipino martial arts group from Manitoba to be invited and included at the world’s largest and most prestigious outdoor event, the Calgary Stampede Parade, in 2016 and 2017, and again invited for 2020. Three of their students took pride and honour in representing our country as members of Team Canada and competed at the 2018 World Karate Championships in Dublin, Ireland. They came home victoriously, winning two World Bronze medals and one World Silver medal, and ranked as the 5th best fighter in the world. 

Sikaran is a traditional martial art originating from the Philippines, specifically from the province of Rizal. It is known for emphasizing kicking techniques, executed with speed, precision, and power. The word “Sikaran” itself translates to Arnis, also known as Eskrima or Kali. It is a traditional Filipino martial art focusing on armed combat using sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and empty hands. It is renowned for its practicality and effectiveness in self-defence and combat situations.
 
The term “Arnis” is derived from the Spanish word “arnés,” meaning armour or protective gear, reflecting the art’s historical context of combat training. “Eskrima” and “Kali” are other terms used interchangeably with Arnis, reflecting regional variations and cultural influences within the Philippines. 

Since its establishment in 2004, the Winnipeg Sikaran Arnis Academy has played an active role in advancing the practice of Sikaran Arnis martial arts. Its students have consistently achieved commendable results, earning praise and numerous awards, including championship trophies. 

Aside from running the school, Kelly is also a full-time registered nurse and a mother of four. Kelly regards Martial Arts as a way of life. Teaching kids martial arts fosters holistic development, nurturing their physical, mental, and emotional well-being while imparting valuable life skills that last a lifetime. 

– Lourdes Federis, U Multicultural

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