The great masters: Benjamin Galarpe (Part 1)

Benjamin G. Galarpe (US-Veteran, Ret) is considered to be the father of Aikido in the Philippines. He began training in 1957 in Guam under Harry S. Ito.Four years later he earned his Shodan (rank) degree from the Japan Aikido Hombu Dojo.

He was the first Aikido representative of the Japan Aikikai Hombu Dojo to spread and propagate Aikido in the Philippines. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, promoted him to the degree of Nidan after advanced training in the World Aikido Hombu in Sanjukuku, Tokyo, Japan.

While teaching in the Philippines, he held exhibitions in Bicol, Pampanga, Baguio, Olongapo City, Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Cebu City, Batangas City, and other places within the Philippines.

Benjamin Galarpe’s students, namely Chan Hok-seng, Ernesto Talag, Max Tian and Manuel “Omar” Camar, became the prime movers of the Aikido Movement in the Philippines.
In 1963, Benjamin began teaching Aikido in San Andres, Bukid, Malate, Philippines. Monching J. Gavileño, later to found the Aikido Association of the Philippines (AAP), became his first student.

The school later moved to Avenida Rizal, Philippines and finally settled in Quiapo located within Metro Manila, Philippines. As of 2007 the school was known as the Manila Aikikai and was under the supervision of Manuel “Omar” Camar.

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