GAT Saint Louis was founded to provide training in the Filipino martial arts (FMA) of Garimot arnis, buno, and esgrima to the Midwest. Arnis (also called eskrima, escrima, or kali) deals with the use of and defense against weapons; Garimot arnis is a system that integrates different styles from the northern area of the Philippines (Luzon) and incorporates many types of weapons, including sword, knife, stick, staff, spear, and shield. Garimot buno consists of wrestling and striking, as well as the use of a rope in fighting. Garimot esgrima is a unique type of Filipino fencing, using swords with long, thin blades.

The training at GAT St. Louis is guided by a group of martial artists with decades of experience.

Tim "Tamaraw" Rivera

Picture of Tim Rivera

Tim is the founder of GAT St. Louis. He began training in Filipino and Indonesian martial arts in 1995, and holds the rank of Ninong in Garimot arnis. Tim is also a well-known researcher of historical Spanish swordsmanship, having taught at international events and produced many translations of fencing treatises from the 16th - 18th centuries.

Tim's GAT fighting name is Tamaraw - the solitary buffalo native only to Mindoro island, known for its dangerous ferocity when threatened.

Anna "Musang" Saindon

Picture of Anna Saindon

Anna began training in the Garimot system in 2007 with Tim at GAT St. Louis and holds the rank of Ninang. Anna is also a group expert in FMA Connects, an international organization focused on providing women a safe and respectful place to train and discuss Filipino martial arts. She is a member of the National Women's Martial Art Federation, which covers a variety of martial art systems, self-defense, and healing arts.

Her GAT fighting name (Musang) is the Asian palm civet, a small cat-like animal in the Philippines related to the mongoose.

Jerryl "Panda" Peralta

Picture of Jerryl Peralta

Jerryl has been a martial arts practitioner since he was six. His grandfather, who fought during World War 2 as a boloman, was a big influence to him practicing martial arts. He has trained in Tae Kwon Do, Inosanto Kali, Shito-Ryu karate, kickboxing, and Pekiti Tirsia Kali.

He began training at GAT St. Louis in 2012, earning the rank of Ninong and the fighting name of Panda. Although Pandas are assumed to be harmless, they can deliver a devastating bite if provoked.


Our training philosophy encourages active learning; instead of relying on an instructor to tell you when something is right or wrong, you'll be shown how to evaluate your own actions in a given context. This enables you to not only self-correct, but to evaluate an opponent's actions and determine a suitable way to deal with them as well.

Principles over techniques

Because we train for many different situations - standing or on the ground, wrestling or striking, weapons or empty-hands - we focus on principles that can be applied to any situation. Your training consists of discovering how to apply those principles to a particular context, giving you the freedom to express those principles in your own way.

Fighting and self-defense

Our method emphasizes practical application, so every training session involves limited-context freeplay or sparring. You have the ability to limit the level of intensity; keep it low for experimentation, exploration, and play, or turn it up to a desired level to pressure-test yourself.

Historical, cultural, and artistic aspects

You'll also learn the about the history and culture of the arts. Garimot arnis has roots in Paete, Laguna, and the surrounding area that goes back for generations. If you only want to learn the artistic aspect, we have an alternative approach that emphasizes aesthetics through learning movement patterns and choreographed sequences with a partner.


Flexible training options are available to enable you to begin your training right away. No prior experience is necessary; contact us to get started.

e-mail: tim@gatstlouis.com
phone: 314-722-5712
Facebook: https://facebook.com/GATStLouis

Group training

We have group training sessions twice a week, on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. You'll have the opportunity to experience a variety of training partners, while still working toward your individual goals and being in control of the intensity of the training. Cost is $75 per month (no contracts) for both sessions, and only $50 for one session a week. The drop-in fee for a single session is $20, though the first is free.

Thursdays at 6pm
Sundays at 9am

Center St. Louis
6727 Langley Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63123

Private training

One-on-one or small group training is available as well, if you prefer to train privately or can't make it to a group session. The cost of private training is $75 per hour; up to three people can train together and split the cost.


For larger or more distant groups, multiple-hour training sessions over the course of one or more days are available. This is a good option if you want to start a training group in your area, or you want to expand the training of your existing martial arts group.