Diamondback Eskrima International was founded by Maestro Greg Henderson. As one of the principal founding members of WEKAF ( World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation), he is often credited as the “Father of Filipino Martial Arts” in New Zealand for his effort and dedication in promoting Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) in that country.
With over 40 years experience in FMA and oriental martial arts, he is also the only Westerner to be accepted as an indoor disciple of Eulogio ” Yoling” Canete, founder of the famous Doce Pares. Unfortunately, GM Eulogio Canete passed away before Greg able to complete his training under him. GM Abner Pasa, the successor of Eulogio’s Larga Mano system and founder of Warrior Eskrima was kind enough to allow Maestro Greg to live and train full time with him.
Maestro Greg started his FMA training at an early age with his grandfather, Alexander Henderson in Ahm Eskrima. Following from that, he also ventured into other arts including Tae Kwan Do, Li Gar Kung Fu and various FMA systems more often than not the honour to train with the founder or high ranking student of the systems.
Among the other systems and grandmasters that he have the opportunity to train with
- GM Filemon ” Momoy” Canete ( San Miguel Eskrima/ Doce Pares)
- GM Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete ( Doce Pares)
- GM Vicente Carin ( Doce Pares)
- GM Teofilo Velez ( Balintawak)
- GM Winnie Dela Rosa ( Balintawak)
- GM Liborio “Boring” Heyrosa ( Balintawak /De Cuerdas)
- GM Benjamin Luna Lema ( Lightning Scientific Arnis)
- GM Jose Mena ( Doblete Rapillon Arnis)
- GM Filemon Caburnay ( Lapunti Arnis De Abaniko)
- GM Antonio Tatang Ilustrisimo ( Kali Ilustrisimo)
- GM Tanny Campo ( Pangamut/ Filipino Boxing)
- GM Joseph Seregar ( Silat)
- Maestro Sonny Umpad ( Visayan Corto Kadena)
- Sifu Philip Lam ( Li Gar)
- Alexander Henderson ( Ahm Eskrima)
He was subsequently been given the nickname ” Maltido” or the damned by GM Tanny Campo, himself a legendary boxer during his prime for Maestro Greg aggresiveness during training/sparring.
One unique feature of the Diamondback Eskrima is its Pendulum concept. Much impressed by Diamondback Eskrima training methods, Maestro Sonny Umpad the founder of Visayan Corto Kadena adopted the Pendulum concept/system into his art. Maestro Greg also adopted the unique inside line method of Corto Kadena system. Maestro Greg rates Sonny Umpad as one of his best friends during his time in USA. They often train and discuss their favourite topic FMA together during his tenure in US.
In New Zealand, Diamondback Eskrima is also known as Diamondback System due to the fact the eskrima is still not as popular as a martial art. Also owing to the fact that Eskrim in Indonesian language means ICE CREAM !!!! Its New Zealand chapter is currently run by Maestro Greg’s two senior students and founding members of Diamondback, Maestro Lee Mackie and Maestro Daniel Brown.
Maestro Greg has conducted seminars around the world including in USA, Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, UK and New Zealand in an effort to promote Diamondback Eskrima and FMA in general.
Today, Maestro Greg only teaches a handful of dedicated private students whom he personally groom/train to be future instructors of the art.