Trovador Ramos (Grandmaster Trovador Ramos Sr.) is the only one who defeated the legendary Bruce Lee in sparring (Hong Kong) during 70's.
Trovador Ramos (born 1933) a movie actor, stunt man, Martial Arts Red Belt master (14th degree), and founder and developer of the Trovador Ramos Asian Consolidated Martial Arts or TRACMA, a unique and complete system of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Ramos Sr. established TRACMA in 1956 and went on to become a one of the most popular Martial Arts schools in the Philippines and in different parts of the world. TRACMA is a Filipino self-made Consolidated Martial Arts.
Master Trovador successfully was able to re-establish the worth of the Filipinos through unbearable endurance, self- discipline, sacrifices and willful determination that can equate and stand out over the world famous Martial Arts experts in terms of skills, talents and ability.
He believed that there was always a room for improvement and endeavored to develop his self-defense knowledge, which he inherited from his grandfather's clan, who were all exponents of sports in their prime days. He painstakingly analyzed, evaluated and modified every movement and step to give it a more rewarding effect in its inflictions and defense.
A foretaste of his efforts was realized in his hometown at San Antonio, Zambales wherein his first gym was established. Martial Arts enthusiast from all over the fourteen towns of Zambales, overwhelmingly surged to his gym to learn the art and enlist as student/members. The art spread like a wild fire. Thus, he was recommended and personally was asked to teach TRACMA at the near-by-bases.
Master Trovador was hired as the Chief Instructor Of Martial Arts at the US Naval Base namely in San Miguel Navy Radio Station and in Subic Bay in 1961, together with the US Naval Security Department-Uniform Guard Chief Capt. Andy Cascante,being appointed by Master Trovador as the Administrator of TRACMA, the Olongapo gym was organized. It was followed by another one in Pampanga, then in Tarlac, then in Pangasinan and way up to Baguio City. All of each gym on different places had an assigned trained and qualified instructors through the recommendation of Capt. Cascante. And this is where and how the Master/Founder came to know the Administrator, who also became his good friend.
The established gyms and it's members were named "D' Invincibles", because of its aim to train only on gaining friends and did ways with enmity. It had justified the group for logically saying "One knows not of defeat when he has an enemy". Thus, Master Trovador had the opportunity to have personally met several world renowned Martial Arts Experts, such as Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Aikido and many other self-defense groups in the Base, whom all earned their rank and belt from different foreign countries. To their surprise, they merely turned dull-rats and sluggish when faced and tried by only student beginners of Master Trovador. And because of this, frequent invitation was extended to him to lecture and demonstrate on board ships as a Civilian US Navy Martial Arts Instructor on a Temporary Additional Duty. This had made him saw several places in the world possible. And the most frequent question asked to him was on what/which book or where his art was acquired. With the humility and with a smile, he explained that such forms could not as yet be found on any book for it was personally developed and consolidated by him.
Mr.Teddy Halper, the 1956 World Champion Of International Real Combat, in his capacity as head of the World Research on Martial Arts and Education and World Authority Consultant on Real Combat studied TRACMA's art. After thorough and careful evaluation of the Filipino Martial Art Instructor's knowledge, agility, skills, techniques and ability, he then awarded and vested him the title which all of Mr. Halper's staff concurring, the "fourteen ( 14 ) Degree Red Belt Master".
He decided to legaliz the introduction of his self-made Consolidated Martial Arts for official recognition after returning from his duty on TAD order (Temporary Additional Duty). Authoring it's operation, he organized a non-stock corporation and called it the "international Real Combat Judo-Karate Organization" under Sec No.36882 on November 25,1968. He then gave birth the recognition of Filipino Martial Arts' in the country.
The Philippine Karate Association (PKA) was also formed in 1970 and thinking that Master Trovador's organization was also a karate group, they listed it as a member of the formed PKA subjecting it under their leadership, laws and regulations. Master Trovador then vehemently with tact and humility objected and appealed to the PKA Secretary Atty. Jesus P. Arino Sr.
1. That his founded Martial Arts was a self-made style and technique. Not copied from any foreign Martial Arts. It's obviously very different in many ways from that of Karate which was an art form that originated and introduced by a foreign country. 2. That the self-made art of the Founder was already established and had proven supremacy and efficiency in several parts of the world where it has been accepted, acknowledged, respected and adopted as the Filipino Martial Art; and that it has already one hundred ninety seven (197) branches that had been organized outside of the Philippines. 3. That to accept subordination and/or membership under Karate, a Foreign Martial Arts in the Philippines, is a disgraced and discrimination to the Filipinos and to the Republic of the Philippines. It could also degrade the Filipino Master/Founder who already had sacrificed unbearable time and efforts in his founded art's upliftment that required not only acknowledgment and respect, but also recognition on it's supremacy and efficacy above many other Martial Arts. 4. That it's name recorded in the Security and Exchange Commission was given to show due respect to the world organization of Mr. Teddy Halper, who awarded Master Trovador his present title and degree. It did not mean that it was a part of the Karate Association. Karate was merely a tiny part of the Filipino Consolidated Martial Arts and should not therefore, and in any sense of justice, fall under or to subordinate it to any foreign Martial Arts.
Then Master Trovador finally decided and resolved the confusion by renaming it as "TRACMA". It did not carry the previous listed members under the non-stock organization and also primarily avoided all who were dropped out for non-participation and obvious disinterest to the group as well as those who did not kept in touch with the Founder for the last six (6) or more years.
TRACMA Promotions was then formed. It was approved by the Bureau of Domestic Trade of the Philippine under the B.D.T. Certification of Registration No.0141/77 and a B.D.T. Provincial Cert.No.P.76/ 13772 was issued to continue it's operations legally.
TRACMA was therefore an acronym for Trovador Ramos Consolidated Martial Arts. Therefore, it Is proper, wise and fitting to know more of the Filipino Founder in order to fully visualize the evaluation of it's significance and entirely.
The Founder was likewise a professional musician. And after leaving his US Navy Civilian job as Chief Instructor, he traveled with his brothers, who were also all musicians, with an aim to earn and pursue the global recognizance of his founded Martial Arts. He established gyms in all the places he went up to. Slowly, but with willful determinations, the Founder courageously hurdled and surpassed all of the countless rival resentment and odds triumphantly. His tactful and friendly approached had paid off effectively. All those who opposed and confronted him, one after the other, accepted their defeat and fell on to his aide. His safe and constructive method was sincerely shown and the interest for their behalves was proven by actual efficacy of Master Trovador's art. And with this, he gained their respect and acknowledgment for his art's Mastership supremacy. They vowed down to him and submitted themselves under his tutorship and proudly adopted TRACMA as their choice of Martial Arts.
Hong Kong was not different to all these places in the Far East that the Master/Founder had been to. In fact, it was where he met so many challenges that gave him the limelight break to popularity. Hong Kong was not only an open port, but was also a creamy melting spot for relaxation that invigoratingly invited the world noted Martial Arts Expert to converge and domicile.
With the tide in favor of the Master/Founder and perhaps with lady-luck on his side, he undoubtedly had proven the strength of his friendly and tactful approaches. He showed with ease the supremacy of his founded art to whoever confronted him. This had boosted his personality and his name became an epitome and by word of so many Martial Arts Experts who have tried and accepted his Mastership.
Then one afternoon, the late world famous movie action star, Mr.Bruce Lee, whom in real life was an acclaimed International Martial Arts expert uninvited, visited Master Trovador. With evident curiosity and obvious intent to try the fast rising Filipino Martial Arts Master, the Chinese action star challenged Master Trovador very tactfully. And on pretext of the game Mr. Lee wished to warm up and invited anyone in the gym to try and fight with him. Mr. Lee, being an international figure and celebrity aside from being a Chinese Martial Art idol, is a much respected man. Thus, no one dared to accept the challenge. With countless avid fans in addition to so many media men, camera men and movie personalities whom were always following him, several people witnessed that event. The Filipino Master had no alternative but to give way in protecting the prestige and image of his founded art for his gym's respectability, for his member's moral, for the pride of the Filipinos as a whole and for honor to his country - the Republic of the Philippines.
Together with all those people around him and those who believed and supported in his invincibility, Mr. Lee's superb fighting speed, knowledge and agility had made him over confident. Master Trovador, on the other hand, had that equaled timing, guileful defenses and counters that kept him unperturbed by human opinion. Both started with great confidence and it was actually the audience whom visibly showed worries than excitement to the result of the sparring.
The Filipino Master's dynamic sportsmanship and professionalism however, prevented the would be most embarrassing position and unamendable disgraced of the famous Chinese Action Movie Star. Instead of subduing Mr.Lee, which obviously could have been easily done, Master Trovador caught the Chinese Actor's fall twice and with out an attempt to inflict a blow. He vowed to signify his desire to put an end in the worthless sparring in cognizance in the Martial Arts Master especially in an official sport fighting.
Master Trovador delightfully amazed all with his scientific and perfect timing, thwarting with case and beauty of Mr. Lee's all out efforts of attack with lightning speed and agility which resulted in vainglory.
He could have won and done it with all the justification in the book, but he would just be creating an untoward feeling among the Chinese followers or perhaps eighty percent (80%)of the Hong Kong Chinese population who loved and idolized Mr. Lee. He then signaled the Chinese Action Movie Star to stop the fight and was gladly acknowledge. In return out of gratitude, Mr. Lee loudly announced that his main purpose at the gym was not to challenge Master Trovador nor sat with him but to offer him a good role and be a part of his forth coming movie entitled "Enter The Dragon".
They received thunderous applause and both became good friends. However, the offer was later turned down tactfully in the interest of preserving Filipino Prestige, ego and principles. Nevertheless, Mr. Lee requested to Master Trovador to teach him some routines to use in another movie productions to be filmed entirely in Italy, which was entitled "The rhythm Man", named after Master Trovador's perfect rhythm and timing. He was then recognized as Bruce Lee's coach. Unfortunately, the Chinese famous Action Star's untimely death shattered the realization of the said film.
Amazingly, an American Producer of Pan Asia Movie Production was one of those who witnessed the sparring of the two Martial Arts Experts and offered Master Trovador a directorial action job in his company. It was a shining opportunity to once more further the expansion of the Filipino Martial Arts inspite of the monitored meagerness, compared to that of Bruce Lee's offer which he turned down politely, the Founder readily accepted the offer.
He went with the company to so many places in the world, directing action portions and also acting when giving an important and good role to play. This likewise made possible the establishment of TRACMA's gyms in so many places in the world. And made TRACMA a legend etched a deep in history never to be obliterated that members distinguished it with pride and honor, worth of the highest quality to preserve.
Master Trovador returned back as well polished movie star and was offered to do so several Chinese action movies on which some where box office record grosser in Japan, Australia and several other places in the world. Then a Filipino producer of a certain movie outfit met Master Trovador in Hong Kong and offered him to make a movie in the Philippines. "The Red Belt Master" which earned him for the first time, acceptance and cognizance in the movie world of his own country after working at many foreign movies. Then another offer came in promptly entitled "Sandugo", which became top grosser. Then it was followed by the "Big Fist" that made him stay in the Philippines a little longer.
In support to a Presidential Decree No.604 in 1975 at this juncture, the Inc's Nationwide Development of Sports and Physical Fitness Program decided then that TRACMA art be nationally adopted. It was not because the Master/Founder was a brother of good standing but due to its high degree of choice in its development program and fervent nationalistic support.
Aware of the officers’ significance, Master Trovador happily accepted and regarded it as another challenge whether he could once more stand out in terms of leadership dynamism. To ascertain a resounding success, he stayed in the country for a couple of years to oversea the establishment of TRACMA schools and nationwide teaching for the interest of his country and fellow Filipinos.
After a while, Master Trovador continued his career in the music world as a Musical Director in Hong Kong. Aside from his high paying job in the music industry, he still continued teaching TRACMA. And because of his greatness in the art, countless people of a new batch registered to him as a student of TRACMA.
Being one of the pioneer brethren of the INC in Hong Kong, Master Trovador assisted on establishing a locale in the country and congregate worship services. He actively participated in the Kowloon Locale being one of the officer and even becoming the Head Deacon.
Then Master Trovador met Mr.Roger Boschman, an INC member, who is also an exponent and an ardent lover of Martial Arts. The two became good friends. Mr. Boschman eventually studied and learned TRACMA. With great appreciation and high regard to TRACMA's art and especially to the Master/Founder, Mr.Boschman, together with Master/Founder Trovador and Administrator Capt. Cascante, agreed and got together and pursued the revitalization of TRACMA. Thus, on April 24,1988 TRACMA World Wide FEDERATION as registered in Hong Kong with Master Trovador Ramos Sr. as the Founder/President and titular head and Mr. Roger Boschman as the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. However, Capt. Andy Cascante was still the International Consultant/Adviser and managed TRACMA PROMOTIONS in the Philippines nationwide. It was later on re-registered as Philippines TRACMA Worldwide.
In 1988, Mater Trovador's two youngest children came to Hong Kong to study. The opportunity that his children were there enabled him to upgrade the teaching of TRACMA to them. His youngest son Trovador A. Ramos Jr. or James as they call him and his youngest daughter Lyrabelle A. Ramos or simply Lyra to them, learned fast and well. Thus, when both acquired the Black Belt, they were officiated by Mater Trovador as instructors. Although Lyra concentrated on the level of administrative, James on the other hand actively trained the TRACMA students and pursued on to a higher belt and earned the title of 8th Degree Black Belt.
Then in 1992, Cathay Pacific Airlines, an internationally acclaimed commercial airline company in Hong Kong, contracted TRACMA to teach Consolidated Martial Arts Techniques to all its Pilots, Flight Attendants and Management Team. The teaching and training took place in the gym of the Cathay Pacific Building near the Kai Tak (old) Airport. With the personal supervision of Master Trovador, this deal was done and administered by James and Lyra. Aside from their regular training of forms, they developed the Cathay employees’ alertness/readiness and fast adaptation to crucial situation in line of duty and had provided Special Anti-hijacking Training Course.
Ramos, Trovador "Tracma Manual" Vol.1 Number 1 1974 Manila, Philippines