83-year-old Martial Arts Grand Master Is Not Letting His Age Limit Him

Kamari Esquerra

“At the age of 83- look at me. I can stand. I can walk. 83 already,” said Great Grand Master Crispulo Atillo.

Grand Master Atillo is 83-years-old, and a master at Eskrima, a Filipino martial arts that focuses on the use of sticks, weapons, and hand-to-hand techniques.

“To use the term ‘Grand Master’, you have to be exceptional. Exceptional at fighting and exceptional as a person,” said Jacob Brinnand, Owner and Founder of Iron Wire Martial Arts.

Grandmaster Atillo began his fighting career at the age of five in his hometown of Mambaling Cebu City, Philippines. He was an instructor for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and later brought his skills to the U.S.

“His history is absolutely wonderful,” said Brinnand. “To learn from somebody who’s been doing it for 78 years is so inspiring.”

At his age, he has no problem defending himself.

“I can fight, but I will not ask to fight,” said Grandmaster Atillo. 

Grandmaster Atillo is now teaching younger generations as a special guest instructor at Iron Wire Martial Arts in Rancho Mirage the art of Eskrima, and showing people that age is just a number.

“If I can move, I can teach Filipino martial arts stick fighting,” said Grandmaster Atillo. 

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