Rodolfo T. Poblacion, Jr. comes from a martial arts family and as expected, has excelled in the field. His uncle, Grandmaster Romeo Tabano, founded the Martial Arts Training Center of the Philippines (MATCOP) in Quiapo in 1975. Many world-renowned martial artists of all styles visited MATCOP during its heyday, including Shotokan Karate’s Hirozaku Kanazawa, and Kali Grandmaster Antonio Ilustrisimo. Rodolfo began his training at MATCOP while in elementary school. Grandmaster Ramon Ribay was one of his first Karate instructors. Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc was one of his first Arnis instructors.
Rodolfo has cross-trained in multiple martial arts styles, but it was the Filipino Martial Art of Arnis that struck his passion. Rodolfo has achieved “Master” status in Modern Arnis, reaching the level of 6th degree black belt under Grandmaster Samuel “Bambit” Dulay, Vice President of the International Modern Arnis Federation Philippines (IMAFP).
Rodolfo’s martial arts resume is extensive and includes induction into the Philippine Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2012, where he was named one of the Top Ten Filipino Martial Artists. He has competed, coached, and officiated Arnis as well as Karate tournaments for many years. His expertise in Filipino Martial Arts has brought him all over the Philippines, as well as Hong Kong and the United States to conduct seminars. As an officer of IMAFP, he has been instrumental in organizing several of the FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) World Festivals that have taken place in the Philippines.
In 2012, Rodolfo accompanied a delegation of Filipino artists, musicians, and performers to share in the celebration of Philippine culture at the Memphis in May Festival. To a packed house at the Orpheum Theater, he and his colleagues demonstrated Arnis and re-enacted the Battle of Mactan. During this performance, Rodolfo had the honor of playing the part of Lapu Lapu, the first Filipino hero, at whose hands Magellan fell.
Since 2014, Rodolfo has served as Master Instructor at the World Martial Arts Academy USA in Geneva, Illinois. The academy named him its Most Valuable Person in 2015. During his short time in the Chicago area, he has accomplished quite a lot in the promotion of Filipino Martial Arts. He has conducted classes in local elementary schools, as well as performed in demonstrations at area festivals and parades. He was instrumental in organizing the 1st and 2nd Annual FMA Day seminars, in which several Filipino Martial Arts instructors from around the Midwest came to suburban Chicago to conduct workshops on different aspects of FMA.
Rodolfo is committed to the idea that Filipino Martial Arts and culture should be spread to all corners of the world.