The Way Of A Modern Fencing Master

Grandmaster Bill Newman

Bill Newman's interest in the martial arts began in the early 1960s. At that time the only Asian martial arts familiar in the West were Judo and Ju-Jitsu. By chance he got to know the martial arts pioneer Brian Jones and became his personal student, learning a mixture of Wado Ryu Karate and Wing Chun and training with him enthusiastically every day for seven years. One day Bill Newman heard from his training partner Dick Morris that the Escrima instructor R. Latosa lived not far from his house and was giving lessons in Philippine armed combat. Naturally Bill Newman immediately became curious about this exotic martial art and started training with Latosa, who also introduced him to several of the great old escrimadores such as Angel Cabales, Leo Giron and John Latosa. For some years Bill Newman and R. Latosa trained together, travelled throughout Europe and introduced this still completely unknown style to the martial arts world.

   GM Bill Newman was one of the first
   Europeans to learn the art of Philippine
   armed combat.


With ChiKung expert Professor
Chu in Hong Kong

Among the Zulu warriors of
South Africa

Teaching the "staff"


   Traveling the world for decades, GM Bill Newman is
   spreading the knowlege of Escrima.

In November 1977 Bill Newman and Latosa were invited to Kiel by Dr. Keith R. Kernspecht to hold an Escrima seminar there. Grand Master Keith R. Kernspecht had read about them in various martial arts magazines and wanted to see Escrima for himself. Fortunately he was also an author and the owner of a publishing company, and decided on the spot to write a book about Escrima. The first and only book about this Philippine martial art was published by Wu Shu Verlag Kernspecht in 1979, with many subsequent editions over the next twenty years owing to the large demand.

Having completed his tour of military duty in Europe, R. Latosa returned to the USA and Bill Newman continued to teach Escrima in Europe under the aegis of the European WingTsun Organisation (EWTO). He travelled to the USA regularly to learn from the best teachers of Escrima and in order to teach his European students to the highest possible standard.

Philippine Escrima also gave Bill Newman access to the great tradition of European weapons skills. In decades of research he rediscovered numerous occidental weapons and combat concepts which were now familiar to only a few specialists. He examined the possible application of Escrima principles to these "exotic" weapons and built up a new "medieval and ancient weapons" section for the escrimadores in the EWTO.

Grand Master Bill Newman has travelled the world tirelessly for almost fourty years now to teach a constantly growing number of enthusiastic escrimadores the traditional armed combat skills of South-East Asia and Europe. In recognition of his achievements as a teacher of Escrima the State University of Plovdiv has made him a visiting Professor.

The present popularity of Escrima in Europe is in large measure due to the commitment, enthusiasm and not least the outstanding knowledge and skill of Grand Master Bill Newman. He has determined and guided the development of Escrima to an unparalleled extent.