“Dance of Death” is what Yaw-Yan a Southeast Asian martial art form literally means when translated. This “hybrid” form of combat is said to have originated in the Philippines and is developed by a martial artist named Napolean Fernandez. Apparently, the Yaw-Yan as a combat form is extremely similar in style to the Muay Thai. Furthermore, several practitioners of this martial art form also participate in many popular mixed martial tournaments such as the Universal Reality Combat Championship. In addition, ever since the 1970’s the popularity of Yaw-Yan within the Filipino culture has only grown from strength-to-strength.

History/origin of the Yaw-Yan:

According to the cultural history of the Philippines, Yaw-Yan was first developed by Napolean Fernandez who was also known as “Master Nap”. Apparently, Fernandez was a martial artist who had learnt several combat styles such as Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Eskrima, Aikido, and Judo. It was thus fusing elements belonging to all the above-mentioned styles that Master Nap created a unique form which was called Yaw-Yan, meaning “dance of death” when literally translated. Furthermore, while creating this combat form Fernandez ensured that it suited the body structure of the Filipinos and proved to be lethal to the opponents during a duel.

Weapons used in the Yaw-Yan:

In terms of unarmed combat, the weapon mainly used are the “hands and legs” of the fighter. Furthermore, with regards to armed combat weapons such as knives, and sticks are mainly used in this martial art form.

Techniques involved in the Yaw-Yan and training availability:

In terms of technique, a fighter essentially uses a “striking” technique to overcome an opponent. Furthermore, moves such as elbow strikes, punches, takedowns, and grappling are commonly used in this martial art form. In addition, weapons such as sticks and knives may at times also be used in this combat form. As for training centers/schools, there are a few available in the Philippines for those interested in learning this “hybrid” martial art form.

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