Founder, Inayan System of Eskrima

Mangisursuro  Michael  G.  Inay

1944 - 2000

Inayan  Eskrima  Founder

Inayan Eskrima was developed by Suro Mike Inay. Suro Mike Inay devoted his entire adult life to the promotion, preservation, and propagation of the Filipino Martial Arts.

Suro Inay studied privately under the tutelage of two great Eskrima Masters, Max Sarmiento and Angel Cabales. It was Suro Inay who proposed, to Master Angel Cabales, the formation of an organization to preserve and promote the Cabales Serrada Style of Eskrima. With Suro Inay's help, Master Cabales formed the first Cabales Serrada association. Suro Inay also developed a ranking structure for Master Cabales.

 The ranks that were developed and presented to the budding Cabales Serrada Association were:

  • The Basic Level Certificate
  • The Advanced Degree Certificate
  • The Masters Degree Certificate

The Advanced Degree and the Masters Degree gave the certificate holders permission to award rank in the Cabales Serrada Style of Eskrima. Each certificate was an acknowledgment of proficiency achievement by the student named there-on. Master Cabales accepted and adopted the three certificates and at least two of the certificates were in use as of 1998.

Suro Mike Inay co-founded the West Coast Eskrima Society with its first chairman, Max Sarmiento in 1979. The West Coast Eskrima Society was formally inaugurated in Los Gatos, California in Suro Inay's home. The West Coast Eskrima Society was founded in the hopes of preserving, propagating and promoting the Filipino Martial Arts. The "West Coast Eskrima Society" was, for the first time in the Filipino Martial Arts community, able to unite several Filipino Masters under one organization. The Society's Charter was signed in Suro Inay's house in Los Gatos, California on January 13, 1979. Many notable Eskrima Masters joined the West Coast Eskrima Society and were present during the Charter signing. Some of the original members were: Max Sarmiento, Mike Inay, Jimmy Tacosa, Jeffrey Elliott, Sam Tendencia, Dentoy Revillar, Gilbert Tenio, Leo Giron, Narrie Babao, Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo.

Suro Mike Inay was instrumental in bringing both The "West Coast Eskrima Society" and the "Cabales-Serrada Eskrima Association" to light. They were the forerunners of the present day Filipino Martial Arts organizations that have emerged in the last 20 years.

Suro Mike Inay also played an integral role in the events over the past several years that lead to the growing acceptance of the Filipino Martial Arts in the U.S.

Suro Mike Inay began teaching law enforcement throughout the United States and became well known and respected in the law enforcement community. Suro Inay also began traveling abroad to conduct seminars and clinics on Inayan Eskrima in England, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Australia.

At the request of a large Midwest law enforcement organization, PPCT, Suro Mike Inay developed the first nationwide law enforcement knife defense program called "Spontaneous Knife Defense". He also appeared on Law Enforcement Television Network (LETN).

During this period, Suro Mike Inay also developed and refined the Inayan System of Eskrima. Inayan Eskrima is comprised of 7 distinct styles of Eskrima. Each of these styles have a complete set of basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques and concepts that make them independent of each other in terms of self-defense viability.

Suro Mike Inay put a learning structure to these styles and a ranking system for grading. Suro Mike Inay elected to call all of the styles he teaches "Inayan" to avoid confusion with other teachers and styles that have the same or similar names. This also reduced the amount of controversy and claims of validity others could or could not profess with regard to "Inayan" Eskrima.

Suro Mike Inay developed several courses dealing with pressure sensitive nerve areas, riot baton and advanced knife training. Suro Mike Inay also developed the use of the knife as an alternative weapon for executive protection in instances where a firearm is not warranted or safe to use.

Suro Mike Inay passed away while doing what he loved the most - teaching Inayan Eskrima. Though he was taken from us long before his time, he made a profound impact in the Martial Arts world and improved the lives of many. Those that he touched most have vowed to keep his dream alive by spreading the word of Inayan Eskrima. The Students and Instructors at the ISE do our best to honor Suro Inay's memory and every aspect of Inayan combat and philosophy is maintained and practiced with the deepest respect.


In March of 2008 the Filipino Martial Arts Digest released a Special Edition on Suro Mike Inay and Inayan Eskrima. This publication should bring those that did not have the opportunity to meet the founder of Inayan Eskrima closer to him in many ways and raise questions and comments for years to come....  

For those that did know him well, this publication is a gift that can not be measured with words. 

Download the PDF version of the Digest by clicking on the front cover to the right.

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