Yaw Yan training in Manila


It’s been exactly a month since my last post :(. So before I get into this one, I want to say sorry first to everyone who follows this blog and I promise that I will try my best to keep this updated. That said, let’s get on with the post.

I’ve been training in Yaw Yan or Sayaw ng Kamatayan for almost two months now. It’s a Filipino Martial Art (FMA) and it has several branches/divisions/schools (I don’t really know the proper term for these lol), I train at Yaw Yan Kampilan.

The branch I train at is found along Quezon ave, it’s right after nagtahan bridge (if you’re coming from aurora boulevard). It’ll be on your left. They also have a gym in Las Pinas and another one somewhere else, I can’t remember where lol. Here’s a map to the one I go to:

 Yaw Yan Map

Here are a couple of pics of the Yaw Yan Kampilan Gym I go to 🙂

Yaw Yan Manila Yaw Yan training Yaw Yan Philippines Yaw Yan MMA IMGP3768Yaw Yan Martial Arts IMGP3774

The gym is actually currently under renovation as I write this. Dimensions are still the same but they took out the ring and are now using that area for mat work. Then the other side of the gym (the one you see on the second picture) will be for equipment like bags, weights, tires, etc….

Only the mat area is finished, the other training equipment haven’t been brought in yet. We were able to train yesterday but we only did body weight workouts and sparring drills since there was nothing to use. They said it should be ready by next week, first week of August.

I’ll update this post with newer pics once I get them.

What is Yaw Yan?

I don’t really feel like I know enough about the Martial art and its  history to be able to talk about it accurately, so I figured I’d just link to some of the Yaw Yan documentaries on youtube that I’ve found.




What I will talk about are the training regimens that they’ve had me and my fellow students undergo. So like my post about boxing, I’m just gonna talk about the training hehe, not the philosophy or ideologies of the martial art. Like I said, I don’t really know that much about that side of the art since I’m still new.

What is training in Yaw Yan like?

Training here at Yaw Yan kampilan is a lot harder than your typical workout. It’s maybe twice or possibly even three times harder than your normal boxing session at elorde if you have experience in that. It’s certainly a lot more challenging than your typical day at the fitness first or any of the city gyms like golds or slimmers world.

Training style is similar to boxing training since what they teach here is not really the Martial style that you’d consider traditional. They train MMA fighters here so the drills that you’ll be doing are round based. You do them for 2 or 3 minutes then you’re given 30 seconds to a minute of rest, then you do the next drill. Like I said, very similar to boxing training. This setup get’s the students used to the round system in actual fights.

So what exactly do they teach at Yaw Yan Kampilan?

If you’re new, you’ll probably be bombarded with a lot of basic stuff. I’m almost two months in and we’re still working on my endurance and stamina. I’ve been taught the basic strikes early on though since you’ll be need to know how to do them for the drills.

Most drills are un-weighted, meaning you’ll only be working with your body and maybe a bag or some tires. Naturally you’ll be using your gloves, MMA or boxing, from time to time as well depending on what you’ll be working on.

Training varies from day to day, so it never really gets boring. It just gets harder and harder haha. My first two weeks we only did strengthening drills for the legs, core muscles, neck, and some basic striking work. Having some background in boxing I did ok with my strikes (punches) and the coach noticed that so he made me work more on my kicks since I kept reverting to muay thai kicks which are different from Yaw Yan kicks.

With Muay Thai kicks you usually do a 360 turn if you miss because of the way it’s done. With Yaw Yan tho you have to be able to pull it back. This is so you don’t go “all in” would be the best way I can describe it. The logic I was told was that since in MMA you need to be able to react quickly and not lose control of your body while striking. The angle of the kick is also a bit different, I think, I could be wrong tho lol. Like I said I’m still really new to it so I don’t understand everything yet so anyone who knows better, feel free to correct me :).

But other than the slight difference in kicks, it’s very similar to Muay Thai and I know a lot of people confuse the two since it also uses knees and elbows on top of the usual punches and kicks. But being an MMA based system, it’s also got back fists and hammer fist type strikes although these strikes go by different names in the Yaw Yan system. Also strikes like these are based on hand movements that you’d be using if you were holding a weapon like an itak or bolo. So Imagine your arm being a weapon like that and use it that way when you strike. It’s hard to explain lol. It’s talked about a little bit in the videos above though so make sure to watch those.

We also do a lot of wrestling training at Yaw Yan Kampilan. Being an MMA system, the martial art can’t just be all strikes. You need to have a bit of take down offense and defense. On Wednesdays it’s usually wrestling training although there really is no specific training type that’s set each day. It all depends on what they feel the students participating in that particular training session need the most in terms of over all development.

Then of course there’s also ground work, although what’s been taught to us have mostly just been ground positioning and strikes. From what I’ve noticed Yaw Yan focuses more on ground and pound when you get the guy down, they don’t really teach submissions that much.

I don’t know if it’s because we’re still new or if it’s because they don’t really have them in the system or that they don’t have enough. I think it’s the latter. There are some Yaw Yan Hybrid gyms that have mixed the martial art with Jiu Jitsu so I’m guessing by itself, Yaw Yan doesn’t really have much subs.

I train Jiu Jitsu at Deftaq RT so at least I’m learning a bit more ground work separately, but it’s usually with Gi. Although we sometimes train without Gi just to change things up but we don’t do it as often as I’d like hehe. But it’s cool. I’m still new to both martial arts, no need to rush things.

The Yaw Yan Kampilan system in my humble opinion is a very well rounded mixed martial art that has strikes (punches, elbows, hammer fists or bolo punches, knees, and kicks), wrestling, and ground and pound stuff in it. A bit lacking in the ground work, but again I’m a noob still so I might not have seen all it has to offer on the ground yet.

If I had to break down the typical 2 hour training session it’d look like this:

  • 20 minute cardio
  • Stretching
  • strengthening drills
  • Whatever technique drills you’ll be working on for the day (striking work, wrestling or ground work)
  • Some more cardio/strengthening drills (usually quick stationary run and sprawling work, but it could be anything to be honest)
  • Stretching

They’re open Mondays to Saturdays, and sometimes even Sundays.  Just check with them regarding time slots but the ones I’m sure of (because that’s when I train) are 10-12 AM, 6-8PM, and 8-10PM. They used to also allow me and my friend to train 8-10 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But we started training at night after a couple of weeks because it was only us two who went during those times. It’s always a lot more fun to train with other people and there are usually more students at night. Also I feel that it’s necessary to point out that the 8-10PM slot is when fighters train so be sure you’re adequately prepared for a lot of pain if you plan to train during that time slot :).

I’ve been told that what we’re doing is actually only about a third of what their actual fighters do so I know I’ve still got a long way to go. I actually just came from a training session yesterday and Maestro was there. His comment on our training was that we really need to work on our stamina more. We can finish the 2 hour session but we’re always gassed out after every round and our strikes become sloppy when that happens.

So yeah, still got a long way to go.

So how much is it to train?

I will have to update this post sometime next week when I next train since I can’t really remember the rates for all their packages. So for now I’ll just put in what I’m paying:

  • Registration (yearly) is 500
  • 8 Sessions for 1 month is 2,000

They also have packages for more 4 sessions and more than 8 sessions per month, as well as unlimited training per month but I can’t remember how much those are lol. Will have to check again and update this.

What do you need to start training in Yaw Yan?

A couple of basic things you’ll want to have if you train in Yaw Yan:

  • MMA gloves (costs around 900 pesos)
  • Boxing gloves will also do fine initially if you already have them but you will need MMA gloves later on (1.5k to 2.5k)
  • Wraps (mga 200-400 range para sa isa)
  • you’ll be training barefoot so you don’t need shoes
  • always bring a towel
  • always, always bring a lot of water and/or a sports drink. They sell energy drinks there but they don’t have water so be sure to bring your own.
  • A change of clothes is necessary because you’ll almost always be drenched in sweat after working out. And this is not Fitness First level sweat lol malamang para kang naligo sa pawis after so bring pants and underwear din.

I’ve never done martial arts nor have I ever been a physically active person, can I still learn Yaw Yan?

Yes of course you can. It will be very difficult, I’ll be honest, since the level they go at is really high. It’s something more for people who really like physically challenging things or for those people who are really determined to change themselves through training. It’s not really the “I want to look good so I’ll do this” type of activity thing.

So basta hindi ka lang susuko at may “fight fight” mentality ka, you’ll be fine. I suggest that you not join the the 8pm-10 pm training though coz that’s the one for fighters and you’ll be forced to go at their pace if you do. The 6-8pm one on Wednesdays might be better for those who want to see if they can train in Yaw Yan at our gym because that one is usually lighter than most sessions. There are a lot of women who train on Wednesdays I’ve noticed and a lot of new students do as well.

There are new students coming in all the time that have no martial arts background and the coaches adjust the training naman depending on what you can do. Expect to be pushed though. You might be allowed to do the drills a little slower than others or to take more breaks than normal but you will still be expected to complete everything.

So yun, that’s pretty much it for this post.

I’m enjoying Yaw Yan and I love the hardcore training. I start missing it now actually if I go for a week without visiting the gym.

If you want to give it a try feel free to drop by :).

If you’ve got any questions about Yaw Yan Kampilan, leave a comment below. If you’re already doing the Martial Art and have something to add or if I made a mistake in this post feel free to comment as well. Like I repeatedly emphasized, I’m still new to the Martial Art so I have much to learn still :).

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Malds Menzon is the owner and main writer for The Fit Pinoy blog. He's a law student, blogger, internet marketer and fitness enthusiast who enjoys writing about all the gyms he's been to and fitness classes he's tried. He spends most of his time either at the gym or studying/writing at one of the Starbucks places in the Metro Manila Area. He usually looks a little too serious but he's a nice guy so don't be afraid to say hi if you run into him :). You can follow or add him on Twitter and Google+ by clicking the appropriate buttons on your left (below the picture).

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  1. Thirdy Lopez 28 July, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Sounds cool! Sayaw ng Kamatayan!

    • Malds 28 July, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Nakakapagod bro haha but def enjoying the challenge 🙂

  2. Roi Patrick 3 September, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I would like to join pero pupwede ba ito sa tulad kong payat (literally) as in payat talaga…standing 5’7 and weighing only a hundred and twenty pounds (120)….do you think I’m up for some training there…..

    • Malds 3 September, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      yup pwede yan. I momodify naman yung training para sa level mo. Pipilitin ka nilang sumabay sa training pero syempre kung di mo kaya, papahingahin ka muna hehe. And di naman nasa taba or payat yun. Kung gusto mo talaga, makakayanan mo sya. Pero yun lang talaga, di ka nila i ba-baby :).

  3. Adrian 21 September, 2013 at 7:27 am

    sir may alam ka bang yaw yan school dito sa manila? thanks po

    • Malds 22 September, 2013 at 1:13 am

      Bro kung nas ako nag tratrain, sa baba lang ng nagtahan bridge. Nasa Yamaha building sya. If you’re coming from Aurora/Espana, it’ll be on your left. If you’re coming from Quirino Ave, nasa right mo sya.

      Then I believe there’s a hybrid yaw yan gym din na nasa cubao area. Sa anapolis street, it’s near gateway mall pero nasa other side ng aurora.

      • JC 15 November, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        They have a school in Cubao, Hybrid YawYan under Sir Henry Kobayashi. They also have one in Marikina, YawYan Buhawi under Sir Rey Yap and MAC YawYan under Sir Louie Yap.

  4. Bruno 30 November, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Paano po mag-commute to the gym? Ano pong sasakyan at saan bababa? Manggagaling po ako ng UP Diliman o kaya Lacson St. sa Manila. Thanks!

    • Malds 2 December, 2013 at 12:35 am

      Bro not entirely sure sa kung anong jeeps pero if manggagaling ka ng lacson, hanap ka ng jeep na papunta nagtahan/quirino direction. There should be one kasi pag diredirechohin mo ang lacson dadating ka naman talaga sa Nagtahan bridge. Yaw Yan Kampilan is on your left after you cross the bridge.

      I don’t think may jeep na direchong tumatawid from lacson tho. I’ve passed through the overpass many times and neverseen one. My guess is lumiliko sila sa baba, bago nagtahan bridge, sa may malaking intersection ng Lacson tas Aurora. From there either lakarin mo na papuntang gym, see the map nalang in my post. Or kung ayaw mo maglakad sakay ka ng Paco jeep pataawid ng nagtahan bridge. Yung sakayan nya nasa unahan ng konti ng KFC sa baba ng nagtahan. Then pag tawid mo ng bridge baba ka bako sya kumanan sa may PSG (first right yan after the bridge) tas makikita mo na sa harap mo yung gym. Nasa Yamaha building sya sa other side.

  5. ---- 5 December, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hi! May update na po ba sa rates? How much po ang unlimited sessions? Any discounts or promos? 🙂 😛

    • Malds 5 December, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      hmmm I will update you this week hehe. Napatigil din ako ng more than a month since finals and sembreak. Pero hopefully makabalik ako this week/weekend mag train.

      Pero as of october 3k ang unlimited session nila. I’m not aware of any promos tho.

      • ---- 6 December, 2013 at 8:41 am

        Ah ok. Aside sa 3k may membership pa na babayaran o kasama na sa 3k yun? Thanks for the reply 😀

        • Malds 6 December, 2013 at 10:22 am

          meron pa bro, 500 ang yearly membership unless nagbago na. Pero once a year lang naman sya babayaran and unlike elorde, walang tip tip dito sa kampilan. So yung expense mo nalang after mo mag enroll transpo tas tubig.

          • ---- 6 December, 2013 at 3:56 pm

            I see. Sige maraming salamat! Now I know how much to save before going there. 😉

  6. JT 11 June, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    How can I contact them? I want to start ASAP training eh. thanks I hope you can help me.. pati yung rates nila.. taga pandacan lang po ako..

    Please help me to know their contact details and rates. 🙂

    • Malds 12 June, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Jt,havent been there in a while tho i do want to get back. Daan ka lang bro sa gym nila ideally mga 4pm onwards kasi usually ganoong oras may nag tratrain. hanggang 10 pm may tao yan. Closed sila pag weekdays thos usually sa manila branch kasi fighters training sa las pinas pag sabado so most people are there. So try dropping by pag weekdays.

      Try messaging them din dito if you want http://www.facebook.com/yawyan.kampilan. Medyo active naman si maestro sa FB.

      Not sure sa rates na bro pero dati 500 ang yearly membership, 3k ang unlimited training na monthly, parang 1.5k ata ang 8 sessions a month and 750 ang 4 sessions. I could be wrong about the last two pero nasa ganoong range yung 4 and 8 sessions nila. nAkalimutan ko na kung magkano yung per session rate.

  7. E 9 October, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Sir Malds, question lang po. Aside from their gym in Las Pinas do they also have other Yaw Yan gyms in the south (i.e. Alabang). I reside along Daang Hari which is closer to Alabang kasi. Thank you.


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