About Us

Art Juridico

Ninong Art “Bubuyog” Garimot teaching knife defenses

Tandang Garimot Martial Arts & Wellness was opened in October of 2012.  Head instructors Mike “Tandang” Eugenio and Arnold “Sawa” Ibardaloza came together to create a comprehensive training program for adults and children to improve health and build strength physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The two martial artists ran a martial arts studio together for several years in Chicago’s lakeview neighborhood.  Since then, the school has moved to the Depaul University Campus, and  Guro Mike now teaches alongside other instructors of Garimot Arnis as they continue to learn from him, and pass their collective knowledge to more junior students.


Filipino Martial Arts is the main focus of our curriculum.  FMA is sometimes referred to as Kali, Eskrima, or Arnis.  These are regional differences and all refer to styles originating in the Phillipines, but difference schools and lineages of FMA often look very different, although they typically include the use of rattan sticks for training.  You might liken different schools of FMA to different styles of kung fu (Shaolin, Wing Chun, Southern Mantis, etc).  Unlike many others styles of martial arts, we introduce students to weapons training very early on, if not immediately.  The philosophy behind this is that a weapons training levels the playing field between you and a stronger, larger aggressor more quickly than empty handed training.  In true self-defense situations (as opposed to social posturing and barroom brawling), it is likely that a weapon will be involved.  We believe that it is essential that students learn about and appreciate the danger these weapons pose, and how to minimize that danger.

We teach a complete system that includes weapons, empty handed striking, and grappling.  These techniques can be adapted to many situations, ranging from self-defense, to sport, to simply staying in shape.

What does Tandang Garimot mean?

Guro Tandang Garimot demonstrates a knife defense and control on Art "Buboyog Garimot" Juridico.

Guro Tandang Garimot demonstrates wrist lock and knife techniques on Guro Art “Bubuyog” Garimot.

The pronunciation is tuhn-dung’ ga-REE’ mawt.  Don’t worry too much about it.  Tan-dang is fine.  Tandang means young rooster in the Filipino Tagalog language.  If you have trouble pronouncing it, just call us “TGMA”.  It’s okay, not everyone speaks Tagalog.

Tandang is the fighting name given to Guro Mike Eugenio by Gat Puno (Chieftain) Guro Abundio “Garimot” Baet, who is the founder of the Filipino martial art of Garimot Arnis de Mano. “Tandang” means “Rooster”.  “Garimot” has been the fighting name that has stayed within the Baet family. It means the absorber or to absorb whatever is in front of you. Hence, in honor of our teacher and his family art, Guro Mike is known as Tandang Garimot.

In Filipino Martial Arts, there is no tradition of using belts to signify rank.  However, upon becoming an instructor in the Garimot family, each apprentice earns their fighting name.  There are now 3 instructors of the Garimot family at Tandang Garimot Martial Arts & Wellness.  They include, Mike Tandang (Rooster), Art Buboyog (Bee), and James Barakuda (Barracuda) Garimot.


Tandang Garimot Martial Arts is now teaching regular classes at the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility on the DePaul University Campus in Lincoln Park.  Please check the locations tab above for more details.