Promoting FMA

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by tonglonglengjai, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. tonglonglengjai

    tonglonglengjai Valued Member

    Hi All,

    Here is a question (or two) for you.

    What is the best way to promote FMA and get people training in your class?

    Do you focus on empty hands, fitness, knife defence, competition?

    I am trying to promote Doce Pares Eskrima in Newcaslte and have GM Danny Guba here 2-3 times per year now but how do we increase interest and number of didicated students.

  2. Bambi

    Bambi Valued Member

    I accidentally said something to someone who suggested working more empty hands to try and attract new students: "If I wanted to do empty hands I wouldn't be training this". It was a spur of the moment comment but there's some truth in it.

    FMA's unique selling point is it's weapons application, and weapons are a minority interest
  3. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I don't know. I kind of feel the opposite. That one of the things that keeps FMA such a niche pursuit is the misunderstanding that it's all sticks. It's what keeps people who are interested in an overall martial art from joining up AND what keeps teachers of other styles going to seminars to learn a few sinawali patterns and then going out and propagating this pale impersonation of actual FMA.

    Misinformation (including a lack of information) is always going to be the enemy of any legitimate style.
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    When I've worked on promoting an FMA class, I've tried to emphasize a few things. I've tried to promote the cultural angle versus the too popular image of FMA as some sort of "tactical" add-on to another style. I want to incorporate elements of the language, society, etc. Not an easy thing for a white guy who's never set foot in the PI. But I think it's important all the same.

    I do believe in promoting the empty hand dimensions of FMA, but honestly. Not all mano mano (or pangamot or panantukan or suntukan) is the same, and I think it's important to acknowledge that empty hand in FMA is not a cohesive, set style. It's appropriated from other sources, and I think that understanding that is important to understanding the culture of FMA overall. So I have no qualms about acknowledging that my empty hand FMA is cobbled together from boxing and muay thai, etc. And then modified to address the needs of a weapons-based system.

    I also try to emphasize a lot of equipment-based training, similar to what you'd see in MMA or kickboxing. Not because I'm trying to ride the wave of MMA. (I started out riding the JKD wave, which was big on focus mitts, air shields, etc.) But because I do believe strongly that resisted training is important.
  5. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Same for me, I like to relate any new material to the appropriate free-flow drill or delivery system - e.g. With padded sticks and gloves - new type of disarm thrown in to a sumbrada drill (single stick), feeder resists the disarm (and can punch/whatever) gradually add more aliveness (buzz word I know), stagger the timing, move to long range and hit the hand, add double hit etc etc etc. Then put the headgear on and have controlled sparring - both only hit to the head and body, then one hit to head and body with the other to hand and leg also, then both hitting anywhere. All with the aim of moving from 'naked technique' to 'full sparring' in gradual steps...
    Just my 2p!
  6. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I absolutely love panantukan, it's why I attend half an hour of stick work, so that I can have fifteen minutes of empty hand.
  7. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I was working with a Modern Arnis group a while back. A friend and I were working on abecedario, and I suggested that we put a boxing glove on our empty hands and pop each other if we left ourselves open for it. It immediately ratched up the quality of the checking, zoning, footwork, etc. Made a real impression with the other guy. It's a small thing, but really important.
  8. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    It's always good to remember you're rehearsing a fight!
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    It's a lot easier to remember when you're picking boxing glove out of your teeth.
  10. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Exactly ;)
  11. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    strangely a lot of people get interested in knifework. very strange. not a teacher i know will teach knifework unless he's known the student for sometime. why? because you're basically teaching someone how to efficiently butcher another person.

    promote it as it should be. a complete system that includes weapons and empty hands.
  12. lawin

    lawin Valued Member

    Amen brother.
  13. cjsmap

    cjsmap New Member

    I think the diversity of the FMA's are a great asset!
  14. cjsmap

    cjsmap New Member

    Could ask yourself what area you most passionate about, and focus on that that. Passion for the art within an instructor can be a powerful inspiration / motivational tool
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I wonder that myself. After a bit of soul searching, I concluded that I'm not really prepared to stab someone. So, even though I've learned knifework, I'm uncomfortable with how casual people are when I look around and see them going through the motions of slicing throats, etc.
  16. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    you can choose something else to slice and stab other than the "prime" spots. the reason i can think of is that when it comes down to "survival" or "your family vs joeshmoe" the instinctual training comes in handy.
  17. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Fair point, my friend. And it's not that I don't train in knife. It's just that I never want to get too "casual" about what we're actually simulating. If that makes sense.
  18. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    It makes sense. But in the same light that soldiers are taught to shoot at silhouette targets to de-sensitize the kill, I suppose that if you took time out to consider what you did then you would not do it at all.

    I myself train myself to hit the limbs first and try to go for the disable. I usually couple it with talk-fu.

    *slash the hand* "dude you're bleeding! you sure you want to do this?" *slash arm and forearm* "dude you're bleeding! you can't go on"

    hopefully the sight of his blood will demotivate him and de-escalate the whole matter. If not, well, I know how to mechanically go for the prime spots. Make sense? I am sorry. 4 hours sleep isn't much.
  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    No it makes perfect sense. I think it's a question of "know thyself." As you pointed out, if you take time out to consider an action, you won't do it at all. I have a lot more faith that I'll follow through with an impact weapon than with a knife.

    That's not, however, a judgment on those who do opt to deploy a knife when the situation calls for it. I'm not opposed to someone cutting someone else in self-defense. Just in the sort of laise faire (sp?) approach we take to training that. If we're mimicking that motion, I think we need to be square with ourselves about what we're actually approximating. You mentioned cuts to the extremities. But I'm reacting to this unthinking pantomime of slashing another person's jugular.

    Assuming I survive an attack, I still have the task of living with what I did in the process.

    It's good to see you back here again, my friend. :)
  20. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    Aye Stu! But the key word is you survived to live with what you have done. There are tough Batman-esque decissions you may have to make when the StuffHTF and it all goes to hell. At the very least, take comfort in the knowledge that you have the skills needed to execute. As they say mercy is the luxury of the strong.

    Glad to be back Stu! Glad to be back!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2013

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