Could FMA have some Spanish influence?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by katame-waza, Apr 6, 2006.

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  1. katame-waza

    katame-waza New Member

    It's purely out of interest, but seeing as the Spanish occupied the Philippines for centuries (they all have spanish surnames and most of them are catholics), is there the possibility that there was some Spanish influence to the Filipino Martial Arts? In the Middle Ages, the Spanish were renowned for their skilled swordmanship and Eskrima looks very much a swashbuckling art (as opposed to kendo) I was just wondering if any of that skill trickled it's way down to FMA.
  2. Jesh

    Jesh Dutch Side Of The Force

    From Wikipedia:

    But I think there are people here who will add to this information and maybe even correct it on some points.
  3. tim_stl

    tim_stl Valued Member

    it certainly could, but whether or not, and the extent, is unknown. mostly because the only knowledge we have of spanish swordsmanship of the era is la destreza (verdadera o comun), which is rapier fencing and doesn't much resemble most fma. pietro monte's manuscript may contain spanish non-rapier swordfighting, and there is an anonymous manuscript from the era undergoing transcription.

    the consensus among filipino artists is that spanish swordfighting did have an influence. the important question is what kind of influence and how much influence.

  4. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    fma has many influences. the spanish, the chinese, the southern island muslims (including indonesia, malaysia, and burnei). adopt and adapt. what makes it fma is the mindset and the "spirit" of it.
  5. Limbas

    Limbas Valued Member

    I wonder if any FMAers can demonstrate any specific technique that can convincingly illustrate spanish influence.
  6. Geijhan

    Geijhan New Member

    Seeing as how the Spanish fencing arts aren't practised anymore by themselves, that's going to be very hard. At best, you can try the combination Espada, Daga y Paƫlla. :)
  7. tim_stl

    tim_stl Valued Member

    no, because similarity and dissimilarity in technique does not illustrate influence. the problem is that we don't have a pre-hispanic reference.

  8. rebecca kane

    rebecca kane Valued Member

    The Sabre used in filipino martial arts shows spanish influence doesn't it?
  9. stickfan1

    stickfan1 New Member

    you could argue that to see spanish influence you need only to look at a pinoy as we have spanish influence in our DNA... :D
  10. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Valued Member

    Certainly the "Semi" technique of San Miguel Eskrima has some strong similarities with the European sword - especially the sabre or rapier-sword. Below are two strikes, commonly practiced with rattan sticks, that are being demonstrated with practice rapiers. In the first picture the opponent has "chased" the rapier too far in his attempt to parry the cut and is vulnerable to a cut to the wrist (shown in the second picture). Semi closes with a third cut to the torso that is much more of a heavier, commited slash than the sabre-type cuts shown below.

    In the third picture, the opponent is shown with a rattan stick (surrogate for a shorter sword) to demonstrate what happens if he over-commits and the defender re-counters with a thrust with a longer weapon. A thrust to the face is implied in San Miguel's "Espada y Daga" drills whenever the defender's stick leaves the attacker's stick to meet the attacker's dagger - but it is also the logical counter to a slash that goes past the defender's parry.


    Steve Lamade
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
  11. TongPu

    TongPu New Member

    A lot of Filipinos were integrated in the Spanish armed forces during those times. These troops, all converted Catholics, formed the bulk of the forces that pacified the islands under the "cross and the sword" of Spain.

    An exchange of fighting forms / skills / styles /ideas between the Filipino and Spanish troops would not have been impossible.
  12. Limbas

    Limbas Valued Member

    Yup.. the "siesta" and "manana" habits are definitely spanish. And "fiestas" of course!
  13. Limbas

    Limbas Valued Member

    FMA has sabre?
  14. stickfan1

    stickfan1 New Member

    footwork influences

    The footwork definately has similarites. They have a diamond pattern which is the same overall shape as our female and male triangles placed back to back.

    Thrusting partner drills are also practised in fencing.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
  15. rebecca kane

    rebecca kane Valued Member

    I would presume so! I bought one from Dionisio in Cebu in 2000. Its not identical to the spanish sabre though!

    best regards

    rebecca kane
  16. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    Perhaps you mean Espada.
  17. MaxG

    MaxG Valued Member

    Iirc correctly the FMA didn't stem from strictly a Spanish influence. The stick arts started off as sword arts to begin with, the machete being the most common used weapon, during the Spanish occupation like any conqueror they limited the weaponry allowed to the people so the arts were then hidden into common sticks and filipino dances to preserve the arts that existed before the Spanish invasion.
  18. Limbas

    Limbas Valued Member

    The sword methods were never hidden into sticks and Filipino dances. These were mock swordfights (moro-moro) performed by indios to please their spanish conquistadores.
    Real swordsmen practiced at night using real live blades never with sticks.
  19. MaxG

    MaxG Valued Member

    Quote from Inosanto's book The Filipino Martial Arts

    "Once Spanish rule was secured, the Filipino Martial Arts were outlawed. Skirmish, a translation of the latin word escrima, was not something the Spanish wanted their conquered people practicing.

    Escrima became a clandestine art, hidden from Spanish eyes. Meanwhile, the lace and steel clad Spanish nobles developed a new interest in some of the quaint island dances. In one particular dance, the performers wore decorated wristlets made of leather to accentuate their hands. This became a favorite of the Spaniards who commisioned the dancers to perform at special functions and even to entertain in Spain. They were amused by the villagers, dancing in their island costumes, rolling their outstretched hands to the beat of native drums. The Filipino's must have been amused as well. The native dances employed many combative Kali moves. This was the way they practiced and preserved the outlawed martial arts - right under the noses of the Spanish."
  20. oosh

    oosh Valued Member

    uh oh here we go :D
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