The Filipino Dumog is a very rare art today. Dumog Wrestling can be found mostly in the Southern part of Negros Island and in the island of Panay in the province of Antique. This can be found in small barrios where Dumog Wrestling became a past time, an entertainment and a form of survival. Dumog Wrestling were a normal practice used by the farmers to catch the Carabao by the horn to control and wrestle down.
To control the Carabao, the rope is entangled around the neck or at the nose rope holder made of rattan hooked to the Carabao’s nose. Dumog techniques are best used by an expert who has a well-built body with sturdy legs and broad shoulders. His legs are spread far apart when he walks and normally he doesn’t wear shoes. To build the legs for strength and resistance, they use a mud pit about knee high. After several months or years of training the legs as strong as the legs of the Carabao . For the Arms and Shoulder, the farmers cut a strong branch of a tree and tries to bend it until the branch either breaks or bends. For the Hand Grip, the farmer takes a rope and ties the other end against the tree and while holding the end of the rope, the farmer turns around in full force.
The Head Butts, the banana tree is used as the object, but the head butting is started by running towards the direction of the banana tree, the head hits the banana tree with vigorous force that sometimes the banana tree falls down and that ends the training for the day. Dumog Wrestling has a lot of foot work, namely the squaring/parallel footwork (the Baka) the Footwork (Panikang) the feet twisting (Palubid) strong footage (Pamigas) footclipping (Pangipit), forward push (Pasudsud), foot deflection (Palapas) Lampasu, (foot drag), foot smashing (Panglinas), footbar (Pangligwat), ability to balance and deliver vigorous throw (Haboy).
During the celebration of the Saints, to include the Thanksgiving ceremony for the first harvest of the rice field, corn fields, several entertainment are prepared for the big show. Like Carabao race, Horse fight, Dog fight, Cock fight (Bulang), Spider fight, Sipa (kicking contest with chicken feather wrap with cloth and a peso coin inside). The Sipa takraw (a volleyball by using the feet). The Kali fight using the hardwood (Lampusanay), leg wrestling (pi-ol) then the Dumog.
Winners are given awards, a dozen chicken eggs, a fighting cock, a sack of rice, a sack of corn, one gallon of coconut wine (Tuba), bunch of bananas, 2 dozens of coconut fruits and many others. These entertainment sports were considered cultural in nature but what count most is at the coronation of the Queen in the evening, there are contest for the native dances like the Tinikling (bamboo dance) the Maglalatik (coconut shell dance), Pandango sa ilaw (candle dance), the Itik-itik (a bird dance.)
Dumb Wrestling is considered as a natural sport and a natural ground combat fighting art. In most cases, if there are feuds between family against family, the first to be called to be the middle man to pacify the trouble is the Dumoguero because the presence of the Dumoguero scares everybody. Some will always say, “Don’t kid around, the Dumoguero, he will plaster you to the wall or the Dumoguero will plant your head into the ground”.
Dumog Wrestling as a Sport
Dumoguero positioned their heads placed on each left shoulder. Both players put their two hands at the back. The players during contact can immediately used the Dumog technique to outbalance each other.
Action takes place when one of the Dumogueros moved his arms by touching the opponent’s neck, shoulder, arms and body. Then immediately the planned strategy is applied without hesitation. Then the action takes couple of minutes sometimes little longer, depends on the skill of the Dumoguero. What happens in between the time when both Dumogueros are preparing for action? There is a interacting exchanges of (Yawit) Anting-anting. The one with powerful (Yawit) anting-anting demoralizes the opponent with lesser power and the action starts.
It is a must in a Dumoguero that physical strength must be developed at the same time, the power of the Mind and all components will be developed to re-enforce the physical deficiencies.
Dumog techniques – Counter Combative Art
1. The use of the Pangamut, the art of deadly empty hands.
A. The tempering process
The hands are tempered by slapping the banana trees and for hardening the hands are smashed by slapping into the bark of a tree. This bark of a tree is freshly cut with the juice still fresh became the useful medicinal liquid that will help to harden the hand. Selection of this tree is only known to the Dumoguero.
B. The hacking process
The forearm is hardened by tempering against the banana tree and accelerated to the branch of a tree. This branch is from a tree that is considered as one of the families of the medicinal tree. During the hardening, while the forearm is smashed against the branch, the juice of the bark is medicinal that helps to harden the forearm.
C. The Elbow hardening
This is a special training which is done only on the beach. Immediately after the low tide, the Dumoguero goes into the shoreline and find a suitable place for him to practice. The sandy portion after the high tide is ideal for elbow training. The elbow is brought high above the head and with vigorous force, the elbow together with the body is trapped into the sandy portion and is being repeated by using the left and right elbow. During the dropping of the elbow to the sand it creates several bruises that causes pains caused by the salt water that enters into the cuts. This feeling of pain conditions the Dumoguero to take the pain and while doing so the mentality of the Dumoguero is to take the pain at the same time encourage him to hit more the sand believing that the pain will go away. After the vigorous training and the elbow is already bleeding, then a medicinal oil is applied to the cuts.
D. Hardening of the Hand Blade
The hand is thrust into the soft sand while the sea water is flowing into the area where the Hand Blade is thrust. The purpose is to penetrate the sand by using the thrust to go deeper and deeper. This is done in the middle of the day where the Sun is drying the sand to be very hot. The thrusting of the hand is continuous until the feeling of numbness is attained. At this point both hands are dipped into the medicinal herbal pot for several hours. After the numbness is removed then the hands are wrapped with thick clothes for keeping the flesh and the nerves safe against water or air that may cause bad effect into the hand blade.