Arnis is one of the names for the Filipino martial arts (FMA) that teach the use of and defense against weapons. Eskrima (also spelled escrima) and kali are other common names for the FMA. Garimot Arnis is a system that incorporates many styles from the northern area of the Philippines (Luzon) and teaches many types of weapons, including sword, knife, stick, staff, spear, shield, and rope, although the training gives a practitioner the skills necessary to fight with any weapon. Garimot Arnis Training (GAT) also includes other Filipino martial arts that are not considered arnis, such as wrestling (buno), healing (hilot), and fencing (esgrima).

GAT Saint Louis was founded to provide training in these traditional Filipino arts to the Midwest, headed by three of the highest-ranked instructors of the art. Every GAT instructor receives a fighting name that represents both their personality and fighting style.

Tim "Tamaraw" Rivera

Picture of Tim Rivera

Tim is the head and founder of GAT - St. Louis. He began training in Filipino martial arts in 1995; when he was introduced to Garimot Arnis Training in 2001, it was love at first sight. He dedicated himself to studying the secrets of GAT's precise footwork and fighting strategies.

He is honored to carry the title of Gat Ninong, one of the few entrusted by Gat Puno Abon Baet (the head of the family and system) with a deep understanding of the arts, helping to guide the Garimot family.

Tim's fighting name is Tamaraw - the water buffalo native only to Mindoro island. It is renowned for its dangerous ferocity, especially when threatened.

In addition to researching Filipino arts, Tim is a well-known researcher of historical Spanish swordsmanship, having produced many translations of fencing treatises from the 16th - 18th centuries.

Anna "Musang" Saindon

Picture of Anna Saindon

Anna began training in the Garimot system in 2007 under Gat Ninong Tim at GAT-St. Louis. She had little other martial arts experience beforehand.

She is honored to have the title of Gat Ninang, and is the first woman to receive this honor in Garimot Arnis. The Ninongs are entrusted by Gat Puno Abon Baet with deeper learning as well as helping guide the Garimot family.

She teaches under Gat Ninong Tim at GAT-St. Louis and assists him at local Filipino demonstrations, events, and seminars. She also teaches women's self defense on request.

Her fighting name (Musang) is the Asian palm civet, a small cat-like animal in the Philippines related to the mongoose. It is known for it's curiosity and playful nature unless cornered.

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.

However, when he was young didn't know of any strictly Filipino martial arts instructors, so he was not able to practice as much as he wanted to. He started with Tae Kwon Do and Inosanto Kali, then transitioned to Shito-Ryu karate, kickboxing and Pekiti Tirsia Kali.

In 2012 he met GAT Ninong Tim "Tamaraw" Rivera and was introduced to Garimot Arnis. After being shown the possibilities of Garimot and how well the style/philosophy matched his personality and views on fighting, he decided to focus on Garimot.

The results of his training earned him 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. He's thankful for being trusted with carrying on the family art of Gat Puno Abundio Baet.


The arts we train are comprehensive, and can be tailored to fit your goals, whether you want to learn how to fight, learn the history and culture of the arts, just have fun swinging weapons around, or all of the above.

Fighting and self-defense

GAT focuses on keeping yourself safe against both armed and unarmed opponents. You'll learn how to be elusive at long range, staying out of your opponent's reach while maximizing your own. At close range, you'll learn how to quickly shut down your opponent's ability to attack or control you. Sparring is an integral part of developing the ability to use these skills; our method can take someone with no experience and quickly get them successfully defending themselves.

Historical and cultural aspects

GAT has deep roots in Paete, Laguna, and the surrounding area, which is known for maintaining traditional arnis. It was founded by the fifth-generation inheritor of these family arts (Gat Puno Abundio Baet), who preserves the legacy and promotes it worldwide. The history of the arts reaches back to the 17th century, when friars from New Spain (Mexico) introduced what is now known as moro-moro to the Philippines.

Artistic expression

The fighting postures and weapon movements in GAT are beautiful to watch, especially when properly executed against an opponent. In addition to teaching the fundamental concepts of weapon handling, the battles in the moro-moro plays were traditionally performed on stage with costumes and music.


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 classes

We have group training sessions twice a week, on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. You'll learn in a class setting with a variety of levels of other students, guided by the instructors. Cost is $75 per month (no contracts) for both classes, and only $50 for one class a week. The drop-in fee for a single class is $20, though the first class is free.

Thursdays at 6pm
Sundays at 9am

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

Note: Due to the close contact during training and the surge of cases of the delta variant of Covid-19 in Missouri, we require all those who train with GAT St. Louis to show proof of vaccination.

Private lessons

Each instructor is available for private lessons as well, if you prefer to train privately or can't make it to a group class. The cost of private lessons is $75 per hour; up to three students can train together and split the cost.


For larger or more distant groups, multiple-hour training sessions over the course of one or two 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.