In the 1970’s, Chris Sayoc pushed the boundaries of training to the point of extreme, fighting in the streets and in tournaments. Chris’ personal training ranged from Tae Kwon Do to training with the likes of Cacoy Canete, Leo Gaje, Professor Vee, Remy Presas, Mat Marinas and many, many others. The Sayoc household was a hub of newly arrived Filipino martial artists.
It was during this time that Chris Sayoc decided to be called by the name ‘Tuhon.’ This wasn’t a title used in the martial arts at the time, instead it was in reference to the historical Malay word, “Tuan,”
meaning “Leader who has achieved Mastery.” This was his role in his gang, to his friends and his students.
For a brief time spanning from September 1976 to December 1979, a teenager named Chris Sayoc was a private student and demonstration partner of Leo Gaje.
Years later, as the handful of Tuhons in Sayoc established a highly respected presence in FMA, Leo Gaje who went under the title “ Master ” also chose to appropriate “ Tuhon ” as a honored title of rank in his Pekiti Tirsia organization. The title of “Tuhon” suddenly become widespread in the Filipino Martial Arts as more indiv iduals piled on to use the title. At that point, there were no longer universal standards or quality control set for the Tuhon title.
To make a distinction between the proliferation of entirely arbitrary Tuhons versus that core group who represent the Sayoc organization; 10 individuals are now listed below as Sayoc Tuhons, alongside 2 Atienza Tuhons.
As the sole originator of the Tuhon title, Pamana Tuhon Sayoc only recognized leaders who represented the living legacy of the art of the blade, beyond self promotion and their individual achievements.
To earn the rank of “Tuhon” in Sayoc Kali involves not only the physical aspects that are required of a martial discipline, but also the mental aspects of how to succeed at whatever goals one sets out
to achieve. How to think, how to observe, and how to positively affect your environment.
Holding the Sayoc Tuhon title is not a static based rank. Each and every Sayoc Tuhon have worked and trained alongside one another for decades. Sayoc Tuhons actively build and lead the various groups and companies worldwide in the Sayoc organization as “ One Tribe ”.
Contrary to its Malay word origins, SAYOC Tuhons do not self- promote themselves as “ masters”, or “ grandmasters ”.
Sayoc Tuhons are akin to tribal leaders and, most importantly, as teachers in the “constant pursuit of mastery.” They continue to evolve, and specialize in a wide range of interests, not only for themselves, but to better sharpen those individuals who earn the opportunity to be a member of the Sayoc tribe.
Founder and Creator of Sayoc Kali® and the Sayoc Fighting System
Pamana Tuhon Christopher Sayoc – Founder and Creator of Sayoc Kali® – The original source of the first TUHON rank in Martial Arts history.