Online Class Writing Assignment for Tuesday, 12 November 2013.
ALL classes: ETHN 11, ETHN 114, ETHN 119

Professor Sobredo is on personal leave to attend the funeral of Grandmaster Tony Somera. Somera was the grandmaster of Bahala Na Filipino Martial Arts, a lifetime member of the Filipino American National Historical Society and a trustee of the Little Manila Foundation. 

Prof. Sobredo and Grandmaster Somera have worked on several projects together: editing Sgt. Leo Giron’s autobiography (Giron Escrima: Memories of a Bladed Warrior (Los Angeles: Empire Books, 2006)) that narrates Giron’s life as a commando for the US Army in World War II, assisting in the PBS-TV production of An Untold Triumph: The Story of the 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiment  and several community photography exhibits and presentations on Filipino American martial arts. Somera was much beloved by the Filipino American community and highly respected as a martial artist (he was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame).

Somera was also a close friend and associate of Dan Inosanto, who is one of the world’s most renowned martial artists and Bruce Lee’s training partner—Inosanto has appeared in several major Hollywood films.

Somera spent his life serving the Filipino American community by keeping alive Filipino martial arts and honoring the legacy of his Filipino elders and the memory of the Filipino American community (“Little Manila”) in Stockton.

There is an extent to which Filipino martial arts is one of the most popular fighting arts seen on screen but is mostly unknown to the audience. For example, it was featured prominently in Hollywood films such as The Hunted, Bourne Identity and especially in The Book of Eli; however, unless you watched the DVD commentaries, you would never know that the system used were Filipino martial arts.

In honor of Grandmaster Somera and for his contributions to the Filipino American community, please watch this lecture on Sgt. Leon Giron, a World War II commando for the Filipino Regiment in the US Army and founder of  the Bahala Na Filipino Martial arts organization in the United States: Prof. Sobredo’s lecture at San Francisco Asian Art Museum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d0dCw2fh28

Here is a tribute to Grandmaster Somera written by Guru Harley Elmore, a certified JKD and Filipino martial arts instructor: http://www.warriorswaytx.com/

ASSIGNMENT: write a 300-word essay on someone who has made an important impact on your life and on your community. What does this person share (in terms of their personal qualities) with the special qualities of Tony Somera?

PAPER DUE: in beginning of class: Thurs. 14 Nov. 2013, typed, single-spaced, use proper source citation format, minimum of 300 words.  *Do a word-count and write the number of words.

See you in class on Thursday (14 November).
Dr. Sobredo