?Why do Filipinos prefer foreign martial arts?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by patfromlogan, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Estel Authorion

    Estel Authorion Regrets my stupid posts

    Token Strikes, too!

    Gryph, if the competitions you want is anything like Pat described above, then there definitely is precedent. Maybe one does not need to create a new competition format anymore since WEKAF has already been doing it.

    If it were only that easy, but yes--I would rather lose in a tournament using techniques that would win in a real fight rather than win in a tournament but get beaten on the street. I agree that it is better to learn methods that will save one's life than learn methods that will gain one medals. I just get upset when I see an obviously beaten-up person--one who could barely stand up, let alone continue to fight--win over a person who is up and kicking.

    I hope that future WEKAF events will not be like this and return to the kind that, although it is not "real" fighting, approximates real fighting. Anyway, Pat, I will look into the WEKAF competitions (and I suggest you do too, Gryphon).

    It's true, many Filipinos see FMA as just "stick-fighting" and are generally impressed when they see the various Wushu weapons and Samurai gear. What is a Filipino bolo to a Japanese/Okinawan kama? Or a kampilan (the sword of Gryphon is a kampilan) to a katana? Masyadong na-iimpress ang mga Pilipino sa kultura ng foreigner (Filipinos are too impressed by foreign cultures). And the fault is not confined to the modern Filipino but can also found in "original" FMA. Why else would FMA techniques be classified in Spanish?

    Also, that very diversity and complexity works against the FMA sometimes. I suspect that just as the Philippines actually has many related but distinct languages (not dialects[!]), FMA actually covers distinct martial traditions. Kapangpangans fight differently from Ilocanos, who fight differently from Tagalogs, who fight differently from Visayans and the Muslims of Mindanao. My Physical Education instructor in "Arnis" (he is actually an old style fighter) specifically taught us moves to defeat what he called "Moros" (Moors), all the while dissing their fighting style. What makes this interesting to me is that I have been reading highly favourable foreign reviews of kali.

    Unfortunately, Presas style arnis has become to the FMA in the Philippines what Tagalog has become to the Philippine languages. Tagalog is "Filipino", while Visayan, Ilocano, etc., are merely "dialects" of "Filipino". This has caused the neglect of many provincial styles as "Arnis" is associated with Manila while the other styles are just too "rustic" and simple, even uncouth.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with Presas style arnis as a martial art as there is nothing wrong with Tagalog as a language. But I think that greater appreciation of the FMA will come once it is realized that FMA is a catch-all term for several distinct martial arts, many of which are still passed on by families and churches.

    Also, the connection of the FMA and Filipino patriots will help greatly. Few people know that Jose Rizal was an FMA exponent skilled in the use of a yo-yo in combat, and whose style seems to be a version of largo mano (his favorite weapon, other than the yo-yo, was a walking cane). Other people should also know that FMA can be used not only with "traditional" Filipino weapons but also with other weapons, such as the Western saber or the Japanese katana. I have seen a Rapid Arnis exponent use two gunto. And there is no shame in this. If FMA can incorporate Spanish terminology and swordplay, why can't it now incorporate Western and Eastern MA?

    The British financed the Ilocano Insurrections by Diego and Gabriela Silang (yes, a husband and wife fighting team[!]) against the Spanish. This was during the Seven Years War. So the Brits were influential in the Filipino fight for independence. I have read the British manual Hungarian and Highland Broadsword and I find its techniques compatible with largo mano. Why not have a Filipino martial art that incorporates British saber techniques? Filipinos have done so with Spanish swordplay, so why not incorporate a style from a people who in the past supported one of the more successful attempts at Philippine independence?

    I am glad to hear people describe FMA as a superior martial art. I think so too and I believe that one of the reasons for FMA's superiority is its compatibility with other martial arts. Practitioners of FMA should always be willing humble enough to learn from other arts, Western or Eastern.

    I'm sorry to be a bit off-topic at the start of my post, guys, but I hope that the second half is relevant.
  2. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    British Sabre

    Why not have a Filipino martial art that incorporates British saber techniques? Filipinos have done so with Spanish swordplay, so why not incorporate a style from a people who in the past supported one of the more successful attempts at Philippine independence

    :Angel: As a matter of fact, in my group Rapid Arnis International I have one of my guys who specialises in the English Sabre techniques and how it compares to the FMA techniques. He was teaching at my Annual training camp here in the UK and it was received very well. My group tends to look at every aspect of the FMA and studies every anvenue of how techniques came about and for what reason. It is the only way I will let my people rise up the ranks of the group. They have to research and study not only the Filipino culture and history but also why techniques are used and how those techniques were influenced over the years.

    We are even looking at several tournament formats that can allow for Sabre or Sword techniqes, dagger fighting, Stick fighting as well as Dumog and Panantukan formats. All to be geared into one event in order to bring it to a grand final were we could have a Grand Champion. We already have the basic rules but obviously we need to work on them to ensure it is as fair as can be. It wil be brought under the banner of P.A.S.O. a new organsation that is politics free and free to join and the nice thing is that is is open to all FMA styles and no one person will be in charge. But that will be for another thread in the near future.
  3. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    Why not have a Filipino martial art that incorporates British saber techniques? Filipinos have done so with Spanish swordplay, so why not incorporate a style from a people who in the past supported one of the more successful attempts at Philippine independence "

    Masyadong na-iimpress ang mga Pilipino sa kultura ng foreigner (Filipinos are too impressed by foreign cultures

    .....Hey I have an answer on how to make Filipinos prefer their own Martial arts...mix it with another countries art!!

    It's funny how my discussions with some of my elders talked about this very topic. With all due respect Mr. Omaley...no thanks, I would not like to mix in anything else that is already there within my art. To master one art is hard enough. My journey lies in learning more about the different systems of FMA, If I'm lucky I would hope to master one system but enjoy the others. Truthfully, It's a matter of nationalistic pride. Something that I hope my people would not loose with the forming of a non generic Martial art even if proven to be more effective but souless to me....to me I said. I don't think there is anything else to add to the arts. They have been put in place in a tried and tested manner. Like Tuhon Gaje says ..Many lives have been lost to perfect one technique. If you believe in the mysticsm of the art then you will also understand how our ancestors will not support this but this is something I don't think the western mind will understand, We have the body count of what works, To add or subtract even in the name of advancement is for others to do ...not me. We are here talking about the reasons why we do not care for our own and you offer to add what was not clearly ours? We have something we are very much proud of that I would gladly put forward infront of any art. Stand proud Pinoy! what we have is enough in itself. Seek your roots to fully understand this we do not need others to tell us how good our own is. Kung tayo mismo walang tiwala sa sarili...sila pa? translation - If we do not believe in ourselves what more from them?
  4. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    mix saber techniques with arnis? sabre is kind of limited by rules and movement while arnis is not. why mix it? in fact, why call the new thing fma? since we'd be discarding the "filipino" in it. i know a guy who mixes fencing footwork with arnis. it works well but he's weak in the latteral movements (he still gets knocked on the head a few times).

    besides, the filipinos studied how their opponents worked and thus incorporated the "contra" into our own work. the influence of spanish sword fighting to fma is only to provide our forefathers with something to "contra" ( since we'll be fighting against it anyway).

    i have studied saber. the "school" that modern sabre is derrived from is the humgarian school where, it is believed, that the modern battle saber was born derrived from the scimatars of the turks. prior to this, most western bladed weapons were straight blades.
  5. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Kalis Illustrissimo has large spanish fencing influence...
    Tatang illustrissimo is supposed to have learned a lot from from a spaniard (mestizo?) called Cortez in Sulu who may have known spanish martial fencing.

    :) funny my instructors in the Phils who introduced me to it thought I'd done fencing for years and that I didn't want to admit it...
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2004
  6. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    Ay, naku! Here we go again!

    If that's so, then let us banish the Rompida, the Espada y Daga, the Redondo, the Banda y banda, the Figure eight heck! all those "foreign" techniques that make Filipino arts "soulless" (probably only to you, as you said) but effective. Let's go back to using shields again, let's stop using sticks altogether. Let's ditch the Kris, the straight-bladed kalis which we base all, as in, all our stick exercises. Let's get rid of the Kali circle. Hey! Let's stop using Spanish names for our techniques, since the Spanish conquered us and really took away our national pride.

    "Stand Proud Pinoy"? What, by isolating ourselves? By being Xenophobic? By letting our stupid "national pride" (yes, I call it stupid; all that bull about Sariling Atin is what caused all the national mess in the first place, and why nobody would believe why a Marikina shoe is better than Nike, because our stupid "national pride" would not accept that techniques can become outdated).

    Exactly! So what is wrong with "incorporating", as in, finding the "contra" to techniques, i.e. other fighting systems? What, do we all have to start from scratch all the time?

    A reminder from the Bible: "Pride goeth before destruction."
  7. Estel Authorion

    Estel Authorion Regrets my stupid posts

    Token Strikes: Part Three (Third Time Pays For All)

    I'm not talking about the French-inspired sport saber fencing but about the heftier highland/hungarian broadsword used by the British Dragoons during the Napoleonic wars. Ibang-iba 'to sa (it's way different from) sport fencing. The reason why I find it compatible because of the numerous payong, bubong, and haligi techniques in the manual. Iba lang ang pangalan (they just have different names). There is even a rompida maneuver in the basic strikes which, by the way, is presented in a manner reminiscent of Escrima.

    It's nice to know that! :D Again, I am not talking about sport fencing (another game of tag with metal whips) but about the sword method taught to the British Dragoons. Their method is as different from modern saber fencing as kendo is from Shinsengumi-toho.

    Whose lives? The ones who used the technique? If they (the ones who used the technique) lost their lives, then that "technique" was not perfect.

    But that's just why FMA is so great. It's because our forebears were not content with their laurels, their body count, but incorporated methods even from those who conquered them. The espada y daga method is now an integral part of traditional escrima, but it did not exist before the Spanish arrived. Gryphon listed only a smattering of techiques which originated from the Spanish. Even the vaunted triangular footwork of escrima came from the Spanish.

    The kris is an import from Indonesia, the kalis from India via Malaysia. Probably one of the only truly Filipino weapons is the kampilan, and even then some people assert that it is copied from a design from Damascus. Our own revolutionaries used sabres and bolo, the latter a weapon based on a farming implement introduced by the Spanish intended for sugar-cane harvesting, a crop introduced by the Spanish.

    Which is why I want to incorporate the British Highland Broadsword/Saber. As I said earlier, the techiques are very similar.:)
  8. krys

    krys Valued Member

    The filipino Kriss is very different from the Indonesian-Malaysian Kriss.
    It is mostly used for slashing contrarly to the Indonesian kriss who is used for thrusting. I've also seen big (filipino like) krisses in Bali but those were just ornamental and not used for combat.

    Other pure filipino weapons: the pyra, barong very popular among the Yakans...
  9. LastFMArnisador

    LastFMArnisador New Member

    What difference does it make when the FMA incorporates other MA's into our own ? :woo:
    this simply is just a way of how the FMA survives to this day.. :D

    to beat our foes, whoever they may be, we need to learn who they are, how they fight, techniques they use, find strengths/weaknesses in their MA, and adapt their style of fighting and so on..

    We can all agree that the FMA in its basic form, a devastating art, since it incorporated the MA's of its neighboring nations, and adding/complementing with with our already lethal arts (Silat from Malaysia, among other things), and even the tribes too developed their own after fighting oneanother for centuries prior to the arrival of the spanish... and adapted their arts to their own... classic survival tactic. and possibly might start an evolution within the art.. but to weed out the wannabe FMAers ? challenge em in a tournament.. if they dont show up ? pity.. :woo:

    its no wonder the Spanish conquistadors found numerous excuses to drive the art into extinction.. fools, since then, we found means to adapt the art to theirs.. adding more techniques, improving our own, learning what works and ditching what not works.. and skillfully hiding the art right under the very noses of the conquerors..
    this proves that FMA is more like a survivalist MA, add to the fact that its a military MA, and when in times of conflict, taught away to the masses simply for our defense..

    this is just my 2 cents..

    before training FMA, i was a karate practitioner, finding the art too stiff, and limited to general streetcombat, i decided to quit it. to some, it may seem as if im trying to get back to my roots... and indeed.. its true.

    When was the last time Karate/kung-fu/tae-kwon-do was used in real combat ? all we have is nothing but rumours and such...
    Finding out how once these MA's i mentioned went into sport MA, i doubt wether how a karateka/aikidoka will fare against an armed kalista/arnisador/eskrimador with a knife or a stick.. will the defender live ? what will the outcome be ? and all the rumours of FMAers testing their skills by way of a duel to the death or otherwise.. probably bogus or not.. but the fact remains that these FMA grandmasters live today and eagerly pass the art on to us folks, is that they have been in deathfights(if we can believe in their stories), and survived.. since their skill saved them from death. Why not ask a master if he has any scars or wounds that attest this fact ?

    To tell the awfull truth, some pinoys are losing something more than their lives when they train other MA than our own.. they lose their identities as well. If this happens, then our conquerors have already won, and completed what they came for centuries ago... turn us into their servants...

    It seems that for us to lose our colonial mentality, we need to adapt what culture we already have to that of our "visitors"... not necessarily replacing our own culture, but merely complement it/adapt it to our way of life... we need to survive afterall, dont we ?

    some of you may be ****ed off with what im trying to reach here with this post... but this all just my thinking...

    Here is a link that might interest you all FMAers = http://palaisipan.net/index.php/Articles/PageIntroduction

    this link contains something about the origins of the FMA, what it is and how it survived to this day, and an interview of a few masters of Illustrisimo Kali, and an analysis of the Filippino Martial tradition.

    thats all for now..

    Forgot to add, this page is in french but the interviews, and essays are all in english.. no worries there.. :Angel: :D

    Feel free to add more into this.. :Angel:

    1 final question.. what do we want from our FMA training ? to fight a duel out ? protect our loved ones and ourselves from others who want to harm us ? bash eachothers heads ? fight to prove the lethality of our art ? many you here have reasons in doing so.. and i stated mine here... whats your reasons ? anyone got any 2 cents to spare ?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  10. krys

    krys Valued Member

    There is filipino silat and a few less known martial arts of protomalay origin....
    Those arts are in the Philippines for a long time and there is no proof they came from other countries... Local silat feels very different from Malaysian-Indonesian silat and has NOTHING to envy to non filipino silat systems. Less flashy, less rigid and more realistic than most malaysian systems I've seen.....
  11. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    Adding is evolving

    In my 20 plus years in training with many of the top Masters from numerous styles and groups in the Philippines both in Manila and Cebu I have always been informed that the FMA is all about evolving and adapting your skills to your opponent.
    As the old quote goes "To beat your enemy you must first know your enemy". If you do not undertand how your enemy fights how can you beat him. I am a firm beleiver that the FMA is by far the best martial art system to be taught around the world today and this is why it is my chosen art and lifestyle (Not Hobby). I have fought both with and without armour using techniques taught to me by Masters of the art who have tried and tested their skills. They too have recognised that other combat arts have something to offer the true Eskrimador.
    I have not incorporated English Sabre into my FMA, but I have over the years studied my own hertetage in the British Martial arts systems and the similarities are amazing. Is it so unusual that a martial system from the east can compare to a martial system from the west considering that both regions have been comunicating and fighting each other for longer than most historians dare to admit. NO.
    My group have been trying to come up with a set of rules for FMA that can show the fencing skills using the sword and we have been looking at ways of developing the Sabre competitions and adapting the rules to suit an FMA sword sparring event.
    If you dont experiment with ideas and other methods of training you will never evolve or improve, some of you are starting to sound like a karate expert who say's it is traditional (bearing in mind Karate is not old enough to be traditional) and not acepting the fact that times and peoples attitudes to fighting have changed, the martial arts have to change with the times or they become useless.
    Also when mentioning something like English sabre we are talking about method of combat and techniques that have been developing as martial skills from endless conflicts with their foes for longer than most can remember, their evidence showing that the European martial arts are in fact older than the martial arts from China, some evidance dates some 2000 years before it is recognised that the martial arts were brought to china. Over the years the European has fought and overrun many countries around the world and with this they have brought their fighting skills with them, the skills that helped them defeat people in the first place, what makes the FMA so effective is that they A) had their own techniques which at first was being beaten which in turn made them B) study their enemy and develop their fighting skills into their own which in turn helped them C) start to defeat their enemies with their adapted fighting techniques that also in turn had to D) continuasly evolve as each enemy from a different countriy brought a different fighting skill. This is what makes the FMA unique, the ability to study the enemy, learn their skills then evolve and develop their skills to over come their enemy.

    But then again I may be wrong?

    Mabuhay to you all

    Pat :Angel:
  12. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    From my previous post I already said that everyone borrows from each other. Like Shooto said people find what works and will stick with what works. I agree and glad Pat pointed out and like I said I have always enjoyed the forte of FMA in it's transerrance technology of adapting to the situation. But have most practitoners really looked into every aspect that their art has to offer and master it before going out to try it vs other arts? Before looking around to see what can be mixed in to improve or evolve the art first you must really excell in your art in order to come up with the right questions and not just questions. I strive to master one art then be .a jack of all trades. The master of one knows exactly what he lacks and where he is weak and then may try to find answers. A jack of all trades who dabbles here and there will come up with many questions that may have had answers if he only continued to Master a system. I'm not also saying we have all the right answers, just our own answers.

    To clarify the statement-many lives have been lost...if it's no good...it dies with you so it won't be passed on is what I think Leo Gaje Means.

    And as for Gryphon...sorry you feel that way about Pinoy pride, I try my best to change colonial mentality, Instead of whinning about all our faults as a people I strive to point out what is good and what is effective and look at the positive aspects to try to lift up the hopes of Filipinos who have lost their identity or are embarrassed by it. It is through FMA that I am able to do so. So here Ill be standing with my "stupid" Pinoy pride.
  13. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    here! here!

    as some of my old classmates find juicy jobs in other countries, i find myself thinking that the country is in for some very interesting times. in the past 5 years, i have been offered scholarships and jobs in other places but i can't seem to shake the feeling that i have much to do here. yet i am happy to know that my grad school classmates are making vp and evp abroad.

    i am stupid, i know. i too stand by my "stupid" filipino pride.
  14. Estel Authorion

    Estel Authorion Regrets my stupid posts


    Too true. We can say that many FMA styles are "bred to perfection". As in all genetics, in-breeding creates weakness, while introducing new strains enhances the strong traits.

    My arnis teacher in UP has such scars on his forearms. His name is Ilanan and he is one of the best arnisadors I have ever encountered. He can make sticks literally explode from people's hands with a technique I cannot even duplicate. I am not aware if he has any rank, but all I need to know is that at his age he is still good. That is rank enough for me.

    I'm not! :D

    Of course! But remember that the original inhabitants of the Philippines came from Malaysia and Indonesia. The Philippine festival Ati-atihan commemorates this event. The Filipino kris is related to the Indonesian one in the same way that the Kentucky rifle is related to the German originals.

    But the Filipinos themselves are of Malay origin. The only non-Malay and non-Indonesian Filipinos are the Aetas, whose martial traditions are vastly different from what is now being presented as FMA.

    Indeed it is! :)

    Exactly! Just what's the diff between a payong and a Bridle-arm Protect? Or the St. George with a bubong. Wala! [Nothing!] It just a squabble with names.

    My point exactly. Filipinos in the past are concerned with winning. Did they fight the Spanish in order to perfect their art? No. They studied the art to beat the Spanish. Like it or not, FMA to our ancestors was a means to an end: to kill the enemy, to defend the homeland, to gain freedom for their nation. The old Filipinos were more pragmatic then.

    The soul of FMA comes not from its techniques, but from the willingness of the exponent to use his/her art for a greater good. Escrima, arnis, and kali was used against the Spanish, the Americans, and the Japanese, not for the sake of those arts. No. These arts were used for the sake of the homeland, for the sake of freedom. What good is escrima if it did not beat Toyama Ryu? And it beat Toyama Ryu because the Filipino exponents noticed the similarity of the Japanese tsubame gaeshi with the Rompida.

    FMA prides itself on being able to use any weapon. Why not then prove it by actually using these foreign weapons with FMA. Jose Rizal and General Luna have proven that escrima can be used with the army saber and walking stick.

    Does one have to master mathematics before one can study statistics? Does one have to gain a M.A. in Tagalog before one studies English? True, a jack of all trades is master of none. But FMA and other martial arts are just one trade: the trade called hoplology, the science of conflict. What I and others are suggesting is that we compare notes.

    Colonial mentality is bad, but it is not the only evil plaguing Filipino culture. There is the "Pwede na 'yan" attitude, translated freely as, "No more need for improvement", and literally as, "That's all right!" many Filipinos are content with what they produce, resting on laurels, thinking that any move to improve is counterproductive. Thus, many Filipino industries which used to produce good stuff degenerate into mediocrity because they refuse to adapt. And often in the name of "pride".

    Pwede pa rin ba ang mga natutunan nating mga pamamaraan para sa ngayon (Are the methods we have learned still sufficient for today)? FMA has gained its reputation because the original masters were not afraid of trying the methods of even their conquerors. Pride is a fault whether one is Filipino, American, or British. Humility is the only virtue which Filipinos in the past have excelled in.

    Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan. A person who ignores what is behind him will not reach what is before him. A person who does not learn from the past will have no future. Pero, saan ba tayo nanggaling (But, where did we [Filipinos] come from)? We came from a past where what mattered was not the origin of the technique but its effectivity in demolishing the opponent. That is where we came from. I will take humility any day. It was because of "stupid" pride that Filipino heroes fought amongst themselves and allowed newly won freedom to be killed in infancy. It is better that Filipinos own up to our own faults than have "foreigners" :Alien: point them out to us. We cannot afford to ignore our weaknesses, either as martial artists nor as Filipinos.

    Filipinos hate it when the Japanese, the Chinese, and the "Westerners" proclaim that they will not learn from other cultures. Please, let us not do the same thing.

  15. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    I still am not getting my point across, What I am trying to say is that you are trying to improve upon something that is already quite effective but have you even mastered the skills of your art? Hmmm it's as though your looking at other foods to taste when your own cooking is not yet prepared...does that even make sense? :rolleyes: Probably not.

    Because the way we Filipinos have looked everywhere else...results? Tae kwon do , Karate do , now..Bjj is what is popular and growing if not improving in the Philippines but so what of the FMA left behind? Frankly and sadly... Majority is not up to par!!I am lucky enough that I get to travel and believe you me practitioners of our arts are getting better skilled....why must we have to look deep in our lands to find quality FMA? The reasons have already been stated in previous posts . How good are you with your FMA? How uch time have you really spent to master it before you even put it in front of other arts? We have kicks, we have strikes , we have our own brand or grappling and of course weapons but why is this so hard to find and only a few are able to see excellent quality. yet the rest of the world slowly sees how good FMA is or can be if people nly supported it to train in it so that one who is truely good at it can really show that it is quite effective in itself. It is not the Pwede na yan attitude (no need for improvement) but rather the alam mo ba talaga kung gaano ka lalim ito-translated (do you know just how deep this is?!

    you say :FMA prides itself on being able to use any weapon. Why not then prove it by actually using these foreign weapons with FMA. Jose Rizal and General Luna have proven that escrima can be used with the army saber and walking stick.

    No problem with that..but how good are you with your own weapon before you even consider what others do? That's what I'm talking about! I don't practice FMA for just the sake of it, I seek it's perfection and mastery. Why do you think I have continued to search out different masters from different systems just so I could find the best way to master our arts? How many masters of your own art have you trained with? To do statistics you need basic math....ok, one thing at a time :)

    I agree that studying other arts to improve upon your own is a good thing if not something you should do. But do so only after you fully understand what it is you are doing not just knowing . It's not fair to the art to send a representative who is so so in their skills, wanna compare saber skills or bo staffs etc...Let the masters get up there, people who have been doing it and are quite qualified then you will see a true comparison but instead we have novices or dabblers who see only the surface of their art...not thier fault for not being able to find these masters but their education is quite lacking. What can you do, it's true that all the great practitioners have fled the country because they would gladly support FMA in another country but if you seek out and you will find the source that will bring you so much pride in what you already have and when you see this , you too will want to shake up your own countrymen who have only seen the surface of your own art. I'm talking in circles maybe there's just no answer to the question of this thread....but that's Ok I guess :D
  16. krys

    krys Valued Member

    I practice Yakan martial arts (silat and escrima). The Yakans are said to be descendants of the proto malay Orang Dampuans. I am not sure the early migrants from Indonesia-Malaysia knew advanced arts like silat or arnis as they arrived a very long time ago, my impression is those arts developped locally.
  17. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    Apologies in advance. This is gonna be a long one.

    Apparently, I am not getting my point across either. What I am trying to say is that taking techniques from a non-Filipino martial art and incorporating it into escrima is basically the same thing as taking techniques from Mindanao and incorporating it into that of Luzon. It is just geography. All this about the Pinoy losing one's soul if, God forbid, some British saber tactics makes it's way into escrima is simply, well, how do I put this with all the possible due respect to everyone here (please, I am trying not to be sarcastic), simply "foolish". One could say we should get rid of pansit (a very, very Pinoy food that had its origins from China) and just stick to proto-Pinoy cooking. Did the Ilocanos have to have mastered every culinary possibility of their own region before learning to cook pansit? or adobo? or bicol express? Maybe we should give up using soy sauce?

    I notice that neither Sir Bayani nor Sir shootodog has yet answered my question: why do we have so much "foreign" techniques and call it by Spanish names if we are so bent on having a pure Pinoy Martial Art. It has already been admitted that we borrow, we learn from others, we learn from the dayuhan, the foreigners. Now, why can't that continue? The very reason that there are so many interpretations (what some would call styles) of Arnis/Escrima is because the old masters did not make sure they went to every region of the Philippines to learn the Filipino "styles" first before incorporating or developing techniques against Spanish sword. Isn't that what Master Nap is currently doing with Yaw-Yan ArDigma, developing it further to
    (from the thread http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15444 )?

    You know, I had been a language teacher. And just like every language teacher, I have been in the perennial argument about the Filipino language. On the one hand, there are the purists, those who would have a Filipino language devoid of any foreign influence, those types who would frown on words like tambay merely because it came from "stand-by"; on the other, to which I belong, are those who are content to have the language evolve as it is, without requiring anybody to master the entire vocabulary of Tagalog (or Ilocano, or Ilonggo, or Bisaya) before one creates new terms that is more suited to make one understood in communication. Those of the former group would brand those of the latter as anti-Pinoy, or Indios with the dreaded "Colonial Mentality", for obvious reasons.

    Definitions, I believe is in order. "Colonial Mentality" means the belief that anything foreign or from the former colonial powers is automatically better. So when somebody is presented with two brands of toothpaste, one local, the other imported, both having two flourides, the same chemicals that freshens breath and whitens teeth, and that someone will choose the imported brand as better for no other reason than that it is "imported", that is Colonial Mentality.

    It is not Colonial Mentality when one would try to break out of the status quo, however effective it already is, and aspire to something better. The original Converse Chuck Taylors was already an effective basketball shoe, or, more locally, we already have great Ang Tibay (literally, "so durable") brand shoes; why would we need to learn new manufacturing techniques?

    Let me go a bit deeper. Marikina-made shoes used to win awards in Europe and in the States for shoe-making artistry just twenty years ago. Then I saw this Probe Team documentary about this alcoholic bewailing the fall of the shoe-making industry. Oh, how he wept as he showed his trophies and medals and his pictures taken abroad. Now, he is poor. He complains that the cheap Nike imports were putting him out of business for the simple fact that the old way of making his shoes is simply too expensive. He still comes up with very durable "effective" footwear, he just can't sell it. Marikina is only beginning to make a come-back because they are copying the shoe-making technologies of the West.

    The commentator saw that as the Filipino shoemaker losing his heritage; I saw it as a second chance for the heritage to keep on living. Marikina has become, again, our shoemaking capital.

    I was hoping that the nature of combat (which deals with the same human physiology essentially trying to best another human physiology in really a finite number of ways) would make the discussion about a "Filipino Martial Art" easier to engage in. That is, basically, what techniques work. I don't want to think that I am wrong here, as hitherto I had enjoyed the posts of Pinoys above all others in this forum.

    Frankly, I didn't think that anyone would defend the sort of "pride" that has turned the first democratic republic in Asia into merely a band of guerrillas, slowly being hunted down, their Generals fighting amongst themselves, slowly being picked off one by one, while ignoring the fact that "their" government was no longer controlling the destiny of the rest of the nation. I mean, why shouldn't that policy not have worked? The Americans successfully fought for their independence, so did the French (sort of); so why didn't the Filipinos? Why didn't the Americans make it work?

    And so, the sort of "national pride" I would rather have over that is that of the Pinoy, seeing that the "tactic" that has worked in the past (that is, has been effective) but is no longer working would insinuate himself with the invader, learn the invader's ways, then seek to replace them; but even this sort of "pride" I have problems with, for even in our own past it has created a new batch of those who think that "well, it's worked before, so why not use it further."

    I am surprised that you don't have a problem with holding on to something "stupid", sir. I am not saying we abandon being proud of the country; rather, let's not give it our blind allegiance. I am very aware of the brain drain happening to our country. With the risk of lifting my own bench up, I am one of those who vehemently disagrees with the idea that the Pinoy can only prosper abroad. However, if I wanted further studies in, for example, Archeology (our country needs it); do I stand on "national pride" and insist that I get my degree here no matter what (whether or not that particular degree is offered here), or do I go abroad? Is it a question of where I can get effective education, or just a question on sariling-atin, dapat tangkilikin (lit. self-ours, must use; freely translated, "we must only use what is truly ours"). How poor our culture would be if we become so isolationist. To risk further accusations of Colonial Mentality, let me point out America, which, originally having no culture of their own except that borrowed from other nations, now have a very distinguishable culture.

    The question of this thread is why Filipinos prefer foreign martial arts over their own heritage. It was a question I originally asked, one I thought can be answered. I thought that all it needed was exposure, through movies or through competition. Apparently, it goes deeper than that.

    Exactly, 'di ba? Yet, using your argument, one has to "master" math first before one goes to statistics. Elementary math will do. So would good elementary/basic FMA do (I am not talking about that crap they are teaching in high school).

    Sadly, there is a double standard amongst Pinoys. They hate it when some other foreign national claims that their art is the best, and they don't want to learn or incorporate FMA, yet fall all over ourselves in saying the same thing about our art. Maybe we have a reason to say so, as I too must admit that Escrima is a better, more practical art to study. When Estel suggested incorporating sabre techniques (and, at the risk of being redundant, I repeat that he didn't mean Olympic saber techniques but the ones the English actually used for building their empire), he did so with the idea of making a good thing better.

    It has been asked whether we have mastered our own weaponry before going looking for answers elsewhere. I humbly lay all my cards on the table: I admit that I am not a connosieur when it comes to techniques; I have limited myself to only a few techniques I know will work; I am more comfortable with the longer than the average weapon than with the typical arnis stick; I wanted, but have found no opportunities to study the other interpretations of Escrima, except by sparring with the precious few I come across with; I know I can be beaten; but I will not back down from demonstrating my skills in either sparring or in a real fight.

    Elsewhere, streetfighting has been held up as the standard, as the benchmark to see whether your art is effective or not. I used to think so, until I saw that most streetfighting is not actually duelling but ambushes. Some would actually be proud of the fact that they can kill a student by sneaking up on him and bashing his head in with a baseball bat or a boat paddle. If that is streetfighting, which involves no other skill than the noislessness of your sneakers and the effectivity of your swing, what others are so proud to say Pinoys are good at (as in, hindi patas lumaban-they don't fight fairly), I want no part of it. Duelling, though it is illegal, is apparently more noble and is a better showcase of skills than the typical frat rumble or jolog mugging.

    Now, if I had been touting my interpretation of the art as effective and needing no more improvement, and I get a challenge, how would it look like if I said "I will not meet you, because I don't need to fight you to know that my art is effective or perfect; I only need myself" wouldn't that just seem like a cop-out, no matter how truthful or sincere I am?
  18. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    I agree to disagree, Thank you for your counterpoints I have learned a lot from these posts.
  19. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Yours is an excellent point point Bayani. I decided to earn a mastery of karate before branching of to other styles. Because of this I can appreciate both their genius and their flaws. Most people try out a style for some sessions and go look for another style, but I think it best to have a firm ground in one style before branching off (like the Gracies did then went out to inprove their boxing skills).

    As for Pinoy pride, I'm not going to begrudge you for it. It is amazing that with decades of fighting, Mindanao hasn't turned into Bosnia. Says something about the rebels and the soldiers doesn't it? :D
  20. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    Pride can be your demise?

    Pride if blinkered can be the demise of a nation and in many cases an art form.
    I am very proud of my nationality (Scottish of Irish Decent) and the history my country has gained over thousands of years, I am a very proud Celt and gald to see the martial skills from the Celts being revived by many lately.
    I learnt some of the British stickfighting skills from my grand father when I was a child which is why I took to the FMA in the first place, also because their was nowhere to learn the British art of the Cudgle (Stick) once I was old enough to appreaciate its effectiveness, the next best thing I felt at the time was the FMA. The similarities are endless and for this I have stuck with the FMA even though according to some people if I understand them correctly I should be more proud of the Cudgle.
    But the difference is I fell in love with the FMA and had been training in it so long now I can see no other art that I would prefer to spend the rest of my life doing.
    Such is my love of the art that my wedding (to an English Girl of Irish Decent) was arranged in the Philippines by a Pinoy Master and many Pinoy Masters attended the wedding, as they understood that I have taken both the art and culture to more than just a hobby.
    My Culture which I am very proud of is very different from what it used to be 200 years ago, Britain has become one of the most diverse and culturaly rich countries in the world, considering Britain colonised more than 3/4 of the planet and brought back those cultures to their homeland this is no surprise.
    Are the British worse off because of this. NO as a matter of fact it is this diversity that makes Britain one of the most respected countries in the world today.
    Are the nations that they colonised and influenced worse off for the British culture that was left behind NO, as a matter of fact they too are all the better for it.
    Take a look at nations such as USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Siri Lanka and so on and so on, all culturally rich countries all hold their national pride in high esteme and all nations that have a lot to offer the world both in culture and martial prowess.
    So too has the Philippines, like it or not over the past 1000 years the Philippines has been influenced and has taken in the cultures of many nations, it has made many of these influences part of their own culture. many of the Pinoys quite happily eat Burgers (American), how many whatch TV (British), a lot of the traditional Philippine Music has Spannish Influence. Pancit Canton (Chinese), Basket Ball (American), Soccer (British), need I go on. Do you celebrate New Year on the 1st of January this is a Scottish / Celtic celebration originally known as Hogmanay, on this celebration do you sing Auld Lan Sign (Scottish Song). Does celebrating new year make you Scottish, No, does it make you any less proud of your own national heretage, no of course not, but it is a dam good excuse to have a party and drink too much "Hic".
    You can still be proud of your herretage and proud as a nation but too much pride can also be the downfall of a nation or it's people. After all how would the people of the Philippines be in today's world if Pride had kept them still living the tribal mentality in small villages with no electric, no running water, no telephone (British) or Computers (British) etc etc, are you not a better nation for having fought off your so called conquerers (including the Americans and the British), and are you not also better off for tasting their culture and taking from it what is usfull to you and evolving in to a Democratic nation (Dievised by the Greeks, evolved, developed and improved by the British and given to the World) that has an influence in the world today. Most countries that were colonised by the British became Demoracies. Does that make them British, even thought Britain influenced their culture.
    Is your nation not predominantly Christian (origins in Palistine and evolved and influence by the European, Britain was one of the last European nations to take on Christianity as a National religion) Also to point out few people realise that Judaism, Christianity and the Muslim fath are all branches of the same belief, they all read the same stories and beleive in the same God, they just have different cultural veiws about the religion.
    Do all these things not make you the person you are today or would you rather go back to hunting in the forest and worshiping the Tree as this is what too much pride can do to you.
    Look what National Pride did to Germany in 1939, it made the world go to war and it nearly killed of a nation of people (The Jewish Nation). National pride is a good thing as long as it is all for the right reasons, adapting and evolving with national pride is far better than staying stagnent for the sake of Pride.
    As the old saying goes "Would you cut your nose of to spite your face" all in the name of Pride.
    We are all proud of who we are and were we come from, but it is the wise man who looks foreward and evolves and the poor man who looks back and blames everyone else for his own misfortunes.

    Mabuhay or as we say in Scotland before a Drink "Slange"

    Pat :D
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2004

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