Phil Arnis team - anyo got silver

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by pinoy, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. MataPula

    MataPula Valued Member

    Philippine Team

    Hello qcjunkie, as you seemed to be well versed with the Philippine Team perhaps you could enlighten us to how recognition is being given to a certain individual/group.

    If one is interested to become a member, what are the qualifications required.
  2. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega Frustrated pacifist

    Yup, you're right, I can't disagree with you. (Guess I got caught up with all the patriotic fervour. Have so little chance to do that here and still be proud of it. ;-( ) I think, however, that the Vietnamese team was more synchronized because their movements were much easier with a performance that was more staccato than flowing. They also appeared much more synchronized because they were all about the same size. Whereas the 3 Filipino guys were of different size and build. I did mention that one obvious flub to Nathan when I spoke to the guys afterwards and they were very aware of it.

    Having said all this, I think that the idea of having synchronicity in a martial arts forms competition is completely useless. I think that you can show off the applications much more if you allow the people to interact instead of having them all mimic each other.
    As a gripe, I hate the way they conducted the judging. They spent like 5 to 10 minutes judging 5 different criteria for a 1 minute forms. The focus should have been on the performers not on the judges.
  3. gatsbi

    gatsbi New Member

    sir vega what does "staccato" mean?
  4. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega Frustrated pacifist

    Hello Mr. Gatsbi,

    Congratulations on a great job with the Vietnamese team! Amazing what an excellent teacher can do with great athletes.

    What I meant in this case by "staccato" was the way your team would do a short series, or bursts, of movements in one stationary position or stance, then change directions to do another series of movements, then step in another direction and do another series of movements. It was basically a series of detached movements done one after the other. Whereas, I Philippine team didn?t pause as much and had, more or less, one continuous flowing form from beginning to end. Just my opinion.
  5. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    Hahaha, sorry, I have to get a sports arnis coach first before I even try to set my eye on being a Phil team member! Hmmmm, recognition? Membership? I'll ask around. Most of our masters sort of discourage joining ARPI in the past years, because we have our own modern arnis sports tournaments. But, hehehe, that doesn't stop me from underground sparring, does it? Hehehe! It was a learning experience for me, and good that no one was around while I got beat up trying my abanicos and pilantik. Sure, I'll ask my sparring buds. As for us, our application/membership is taken cared of by our instructors, we just give them our yearly applications. So, if we want to be members of ARPI, our instructors/seniors must give their consent first before we even try to approach the Arnis NSA.
  6. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    That's a good insight... syncronized forms if for what purpose? We aren't robots, and we do not go to war using one technique "syncronized" against the other tribe. But to defend it, I can say that I think I understand where those who push this category are coming from. They are trying to match Arnis with other martial arts/sports events. Syncronized Kata, swimming, or figure skating, or other such sports. In the same logic, why not try syncronized dribbling and 3-point shots in basketball? :bang:

    But seriously, the other side of the coin is that there are many who wish to practice just the fancy side of Arnis. And let's face it, when most clubs do exhibitions, more often that not the techniques that are shown are fancy to the point of sacrificing effectivity. This is because the very nature of exhibitions is to recruit people. To recruit, one must impress them. And usually, impressive martial arts are those that people have been trained to like and admire, those type of sensationalized and artistic "Hollywood" type of martial arts. And when they do get in, many demand to be taught "just the fancy stuff that doesn't hurt". In the end, we can never stomp out that particulat culture in Arnis, the demonstrative type (just for fancy exhibitions but not for the real fight). And part of an internationally accepted practice for sports showcasing forms is the syncronized category. So come to think of it, why try to stop it? If others don't want the forms part, then they can opt out. Their efforts will be better spent training than trying to stop what is already in motion.

    Oh and incidentally, they did admit to the obvious flub? Hmmm, my respects to the Phil team. :)
  7. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    I just read Diego Vega's reply on this one. He's right. But I like staccato! Nice Anyo, Mr Gatsbi. It's really a pity they got 2nd place, I liked their performance better
  8. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega Frustrated pacifist

    The way the forms were done in the SEA Games I think it was possible to have it both ways. The performers were required to perform forms twice. Almost all of the teams (except for the Philippine men's forms team) did the same form twice. Why not have them do the synchronized forms first and then a more free-style demonstration of their art second. This way you can see what those movement can be used for. Instead of having 3 guys standing still and doing 3 sets of identical siniwali, why not have them do attack and defense movements to show what the stick movements are for.

    As an aside, I remember judging a wushu competition where one competitor dominated the forms side (something like 5 gold medals) and another dominated the sparring and push-hands side (2 gold medals). The tournament officials ultimately decided to name the sparring and push-hands guy the competitor of the tournament award. The forms guy complained and demanded to know why he wasn't given the award. The rather blunt Indonesian-Chinese tournament offical he spoke to looked at him incredulously and asked him to name one "shadow boxing or kickboxing world champion."

    Fancy is relative. Risk taking fighters like Rumina Sato, Kazushi Sakuraba and others are redefining everyday what will and won't work in a fight. Any technique will work just as long as you can make it work. I've seen abanicos and pilantik work in a fight. If it doesn't work in ARPI style it might be more a reflection of their equipment limitation (the sticks are too flexible and give too much lag time) than the limitation of either the practitioner or the technique. I applaud arnis people who work on their presentation skills. Too many times I've heard people say that their style is ugly but it works in a fight. Well, congratulations! Don't complain when nobody wants to study what you do. And don't complain every time you see another martial art being featured on a tv show or movie. If you want to attract people to what you do, make what you do attractive. Martial "art" is suppose to be an artform, there should be aesthetic qualites not just combative.

    Personally, if I were to do a tournament, I would implement a rule where if you wanted to participate in sparring, you have to participate in forms first and get at least a minimum requirement in marks. Sparring isn't fighting. We can never replicate all of the variables possible in a real fight. Sparring should be used to show off an arts applications and techniques and making certain decisions to emphasize certain skills over others.

    There are so many different tournament types that everybody should be able to get what they want. It they feel strongly enough, then contribute constructively, don't just whine.

    They admitted to a couple of flubs. I've always found it amazing that people who do compete in sporting events have so much less ego than those who don't.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2006
  9. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    Rules, no matter how sincere the people who made them are (in making the the rules as objective as possible), are still very subjective. The end result would be that which they think is what is right. However, this does not stop other groups to push their own set of rules. This is why instead of trying to pressure an association to change their rules, it is more polite to just host a tournament with a different set of rules and invite participants. If one states that "you should do this, or do that," it's very close to saying "you're not doing it right." In the martial arts, there are people who are diplomatic and discrete, and there are those who, even unintentionally, agitate others by telling them what to do.

    Yes, I agree with you! Any technique will work as long as you make it work. So even if there are equipment restraints, anyone who is a master of abanicos and pilantiks should be able to make them work. However it is in the nature of these techniques to be in the corto range. And any way one puts it, reach is definitely an advantage, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL. It so happens that masters who are so fond of these wrist action techniques have so much ego that they either do not want to adapt in order to win given the sport restrictions, or they do not want people to know that they cannot adapt so they don't join.

    Yes, to all those Arnisadors out there, did you hear? Don't complain! I was trying to put it nicely when I said that I understand when people perform their fancy stuff to recruite, and all that stuff. That is why, I specifically separate what is for exhibitions and what really works. Of course, there are parts of the exhibition that are not only effective but also eye candy. But not all parts can be like this. This is why a lot of people study what I do. But one can never generalize that all combative techniques can have an aesthetically appealing form, nor vice versa.

    Hear, hear!!! :Angel:

    Uuum, I was just feeling that it was my duty as a spectator to keep historical accounts accurate. If posts keep telling people that these guys were really syncronized, and no one checked these statements, then the general public might assume it's true, when it most definitely is not.

    Anyway, thank you Diego Vega for giving in-depth analysis and opinions, these talk on martial arts theory and practice is what I really like. :)
  10. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega Frustrated pacifist

    Great. Thank you as well. Let's continue then.

    I am Filipino, but was raised in a different country. My wife tells me that I am irritatingly honest. When people ask me what they think about their tournaments, well... I tell them. (Though, I've become adept at sugaring my words when people ask me what I think about their arnis. Self-preservation and all that... ;) ) I think that since we're all sincerely interested in portraying fma in the best light, then discussion is a good thing. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, ' 2 friends of truth should promise not to yield to the other until they've resovled what that truth is.' I acknowledge the progress made and work done by the people who've organized these tournaments. I'm actually looking forward to going to their next judges and referees training sessions so that I can learn more and possible make my ideas known face to face and not just through the anonymity of the internet.

    Guilty. Ay that's me.

    Well, if they're sincerely interested in promoting the art through competitive events, then they should consider WEKAF type tournaments. Otherwise, they should follow your advice and organize their own tournaments with their own vision of what arnis competition should look like.

    I think that giving a martial arts demonstration is like giving a business presentation. You do show what is best and what is most likely to attract others to what you do. I usually save the realistically mundane stuff to the classroom. Having said that I think people do have to be careful about showing stuff that so unrealistic that they lose all credibility. I don't think the House of Flying Daggers wushu stuff makes fma look particularly flattering. If you want to show really fma, warts and all, I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with those fma presenters with no presentation skills that fma looks like all warts.

    As somebody who's seen fma both here and overseas, I have noticed a distinct difference in what people perceived to be aesthetically pleasing fma. The fma I've seen overseas really does try to look like what they think "Filipino" martial arts should like like. Maybe its because we're Filipinos living in a foreign land and we're really trying to promote fma as a cultural treasure and not just as a martial art. We want to distinguish what we do from what other ethnic groups do. Chinese and Japanese looking moves really are avoided. Ironically, these discarded foreign looking movements are often replaced by moves that look more like Indonesian silat than fma. So many of the forms I've seen here remind me of kata in the spirit and way that they're performed. That's something that I only saw with some of the Modern Arnis people overseas.

    It's everybody's duty to portray historical accounts as accurately as possible. I didn't mean to disceive anyone with my account. This is where I think we have a difference of opinion. I'll stand corrected, the Philippine team was not as synchronized, however, I do think the Philippine team was synchronized. They just didn't appear as identical in their forms as the Vietnamese team. There were several reasons for this. I mentioned them in another post. There was that one obvious miss with the front man and a couple of other areas where their difference in build kept them from stepping down after a kick at exactly the same time. Perception might also be at issue here. I sat under the baskeball backboards and saw things from the side. Maybe you had better seats than I did. Maybe the judges were too close to the action to see everything. I don't know. However, I do think that to focus strictly on synchronicity would take away from the advantages the Filpino team did have in terms of level of difficulty, athleticism and originality. Nathan told me that they purposely stayed close together while using the blades so show their control with the edged weapons and create a sense of excitement. It worked. I was afraid we were going to see blood. I thought that more spacing would have showed off their form better by allowing the audiece to actually see what they were doing individually and not just as a unit. Emphasizing one aspect usually takes away from something else.

    Thanks again for this thoughtful discussion.
  11. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    Yes that's right! My experience is that Pinoys who have stayed long abroad yearn for everything that is authentically Filipino, as in they want the real deal. Locals/natives, however (at least many of them), aspire to copy/import much of foreign culture. I really don't know why it's sort of the other way around. I try my best to affect anyone around me who's got colonial mentality, to show them how we could be proud of our heritage (and yes, Arnis is one way to go about it).

    I think this sort of thing also spills into FMA practice. I've seen and read about some of JKD style FMA, and you are correct- they try as much as possible to research original Filipino terms (although some terms really aren't used they way they're supposed to, if we are to stick to the original/local meanings). And yes, they do tend to incorporate a lot of Silat into FMA... but I have a theory regarding this. Since Silat is developed around these areas as well (south east asian region), I think it's just sort of logical that many of the moves/delivery of take-downs have a similar/almost identical flavor. Maybe in ages past, when martial arts in this region weren't called by these devisive names such as silat, escrima, kali, arnis, dumog, etc., maybe people were not so concerned as to the name of the style, but more on how to survive. Seeing techniques done by other groups, maybe neighboring groups tend to copy and/or improvise, and thus we have similar take downs and such. I'm sort of basing this theory on the fact that many old masters, the way they talk about other FMA practitioners, they just say that this or that guy is "Marunong," or "Marunong siya," which means "he/she knows... (how to fight)". This sort of shows that many masters in the Philippines just determine if someone is "marunong" or not, and the styles/names of groups or techniques just emerged as a result of the need to identify different people/different movements. I'm rambling... aaaarg, just a theory.

    Hahaha!!! Guilty as charged! But that was before... now I can sort of "shift modes", depending on my crowd. If I'm with my instructors, of course I have to show those deep stances and the angular moves. However, when I am alone in my demos, I show what I think is closer to original FMA- flowing instead of "Karate-type" Arnis.
  12. qccirclejunkie

    qccirclejunkie New Member

    Hello again sir! I tried emailing the Arnis Philippines website ( They sent me requirements on how to be an accreditted member. You have to have a minimum of 10 members, inclusive of coach/instructor/master. There are application forms that need to be filled out, as well as the minimal processing fees. So accomplish these requirements and PRESTO! You are accreditted by the Philippines. I'm so lazy that I really can't tell you everything... just contact them and they'll send you everything you need. It's really easy.

    Sorry for the late reply. I tried asking my instructors, but i guess they're too busy.
  13. MataPula

    MataPula Valued Member

    Thank you! I shall try to contact them when I have time, but of course, I will ask permission first with my master. BTW, I was able to watch one of their event, an Inter School Competition at T.U.P. Manila, was a good one too!

    Somebody also gave me a copy of their Calendar of Activities, they will be having several international activities for this year. Will convince my seniors to participate with some of the events.

    Many thanks!

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