In 1937, Grandmaster Benjamin Luna Lema founded Lightning Scientific Arnis International in the Philippines. The system was a combination of various older forms, Tercia, Cadenilya, Serrada, and Espada y Daga.
GM Lema went on to train with numerous practitioners, and continued developing his skill and personal fighting style.
With the passing of GM Lema, his son Benjamin Jr. became head of the system, and he is represented in the Philippines by his sister, Patty Jean Caballero.
In 1996, Maestro Elmer Ybanez, protege of GM Lema, founded the Lema Scientific Kali Arnis System (LESKAS) at the University of Philippines Diliman. Prior to founding LESKAS, Maestro Elmer had trained with the grandmaster for decades, and had begun making some training innovations to make learning of the Lightning system more efficient. Due to these additions and personal innovations, Maestro Elmer founded LESKAS with GM Lema’s blessing.
Under Maestro Elmer’s leadership, LESKAS/LSAI clubs began to proliferate, with many excellent practitioners. When Maestro Elmer relocated to the United States, these strong clubs carried on under excellent leadership.
In 1999 Maestro Elmer founded LESKAS Seattle. Once again he developed a very strong club which has continued to train hard even after his passing in 2004.
The LESKAS organization is headed by Maestro Elmer’s widow, Maribel Padua-Ybanez. LESKAS Seattle is now led by Bob Park who runs classes along with Ryan Greene and other senior club members.