Juego Todo, Philippines
A Juego Todo bout in the Philippines during the double-stick first round. Juego Todo/Facebook


  • MMA organizations around the world are hoping to strike gold with their own unique variations
  • Juego Todo is a new sport in the Philippines that combines the national martial art of arnis with MMA
  • Juego Todo founder Ferdinand Munsayac elaborates on the hows and whys of the sport

The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is an ever-changing beast as different countries bring a local flavor to the mix in the hopes of developing the next big thing in combat sports.

From bouts that involve fighters playing basketball in a cage, multi-person matches akin to pro wrestling, and even close-quarter jousts inside a car, the sport has seen its fair share of unique attractions through the years.

In the Philippines, one sport that hopes to gain mainstream success is Juego Todo–a new discipline that combines the national martial art of arnis with the concept of MMA.

The words "Juego Todo" is of Spanish origin, which simply means "game" and "all" respectively.

At a glance, questions about how a match could be carried out with athletes utilizing weapons alongside preserving their health and the perceived sanctity of the sport all while wishing to gain the support of the public will surely arise.

The International Business Times reached out to speak with the sport's founder Ferdinand "Ferdie" Munsayac and pick his brain about what Juego Todo aspires to be.

"Back in the day of our forefathers, they used to do duels and this was really not a sport. It's actually a fight to the death. Whatever they bring with them to the fight, they use it until the end. For us, since it's a sport, there are rules that have to be followed," Munsayac explained.

A Juego Todo bout begins with both competitors having "live" (unpadded) arnis sticks in their hands (doble baston in Filipino) while donning a headgear that protects the head, shoulders, chest, and upper portion of the back.

Juego Todo, Philippines
A Juego Todo bout taking place in the Philippines. Juego Todo/Facebook

The second round will then have fighters be stripped of one stick, which now allows the fighters to throw punches and elbows with their free hand while still being able to utilize the sticks.

While Juego Todo competitors are allowed to strike with the sticks, their lone restriction during the first two frames is that they cannot poke or thrust with the weapons.

The final round is where it gets interesting based on Munsayac's statement.

"In a sense, the third round is Filipino MMA. No more headgear, no more weapons, and they go hand-to-hand. This is where the Filipino martial arts of 'panantukan,' our version of boxing, the 'sikaran' (Filipino foot-fighting), 'Yaw-Yan' (Filipino kickboxing), and then the 'dumog' and 'buno' (Filipino wrestling and grappling respectively)," he proudly told IBTimes.

Throughout the three-round affair, fighters are allowed to utilize their knees and kicks, which makes the first two rounds even more interesting as there is a sense of risk and reward between putting on the pressure through arnis-based strikes while heaping more force on the opponent with leg-based attacks.

Munsayac also noted that those fighting under the amateur category of Juego Todo would be contested in three three-minute rounds, while the pros have a maximum of three five-minute rounds.

With a sport like arnis so heavily revered among Filipino martial artists, it is expected that backlash would hound Juego Todo.

"From the very beginning, I was heavily criticized and I still am. Of course, there are the purists and typical crab mentality that we, unfortunately, experience in the Philippines. That was a struggle in the early goings," Munsayac stated.

"However, I'm the type of person that really doesn't give a [expletive]. If I want something, I'm gonna do it. If I come up with a professional sport, it's going to uplift the quality of life of FMAers (Filipino martial artists)," he stated.

Juego Todo initially piggy-backed off the success of Underground Battle (UGB) MMA in 2014 as the organization started to include the bouts in the lineup then and it eventually rose to a point that in December 2019, it held the first-ever Juego Todo Grand Championship in Sta. Ana, Cagayan in North Luzon.

The winner of the tournament, as Munsayac later revealed, was given a house-and-lot, a motorcycle, ₱50,000 ($903.71) small-business package, and ₱20,000 ($361.48) cash plus a championship belt.

"This was practically my response to my doubters because all they can throw at me is criticism... Little did they know that I could deliver. Now, I have their attention and there has been less noise from the doubters and I get more support and inquiries from foreigners," he said.

Ferdinand Munsayac, Juego Todo
Juego Todo founder and chairman Ferdinand Munsayac (left) speaks to the crowd alongside the 2019 Juego Todo Grand Champion. Juego Todo/Facebook

The emerging combat sport was also set to hold an event in April 2020 where Filipino martial artists were set to face Italian practitioners under Juego Todo rules.

But due to the onset of the global pandemic, such plans were scrapped.

Juego Todo On Pro Level

Currently, Juego Todo's hopes of being a fully recognized professional sport by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) of the Philippines is nearing completion, only needing one more signature–it being from the Office of the President.

With the change of GAB chairman from Abraham "Baham" Mitra to Richard Santos Clarin, Munsayac had to make some changes as seen below:

  • Only padded sticks will be allowed
  • Thicker sticks will be used (half-inch rattan sticks but with thinner padding)
  • Red and blue colors for the sticks padding will remain for amateur competitions
  • Pro Juego Todo bouts will have sticks mimicking the rattan design to simulate the live sticks
  • Flaps of the headgear found on the chest, back, and shoulders will also be given an extra inch of padding for safety purposes.

In Munsayac's eyes, all of these are easy compromises to make for the sake of getting Juego Todo off the ground.

GAB EXAMINES JUEGO TODO’s ACCREDITATION AS PROFESSIONAL SPORT January 27, 2023 🇵🇭💪The CEO and Founder of Underground Battle Mixed Martial Arts (UGB MMA), and the proponent of Juego Todo (weaponized...

It would be easy to count out the burgeoning sport as just another fad in a long list of experimental MMA events, but Munsayac's drive to make it a professional and globally recognized sport is admirable, to say the least.

In an effort to "put the arnisadors on a pedestal," as Munsayac later said, he plans to also institute a Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame for Juego Todo.

"The ones who get chosen to be inducted into the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame of Juego Todo, because the masters are already of advanced age, I will give them at least ₱100,000 ($1,807.42) cash. That's the plan."

When asked about his motivations for doing so, Munsayac simply had the following thoughts.

"I wanted to do this earlier for Yaw-Yan grandmaster Napoleon 'Nap' Fernandez before he died. I really feel bad for these old masters because they're skilled and really good, but when they pass, the money needed for funeral services is going to be exorbitant. That's not right," Munsayac pensively declared.

"These guys are national treasures then nobody gives them the attention and the finances that they need. These people are our own people."

Juego Todo is set to hold its next big event on April 28, and it will feature the first-ever all-female Juego Todo championships.

They appear to have everything in place for Juego Todo to officially be recognized as a professional sport, but until they get the go-ahead from the Office of the President, Munsayac will continue to toil in the hopes of making his dreams a reality.

Juego Todo, Philippines
A Juego Todo competitor attempts to fire a leg kick in the first round of the bout. Juego Todo/Facebook