?Why do Filipinos prefer foreign martial arts?

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

  1. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    cheers pat!
  2. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    Good link Shootdog

    Thanks Shootdog,
    Clicked on your link, great stuff, maybe more should read this page and they may get the point.

    On another point everybody, If the Spanish influenced Espada 'Y' Daga (Spanish for Sword and Dagger) then so to the English Sabre must have influenced the FMA indirectly, Consider this, in the 300 or so years that the Spanish and Filipino had fought each other, the British were also fighting the Spanish. The British favoured the Sabre and it must have influenced the way the Spanish fought the British, which in turn would have influenced the way the Filipino fought the Spanish too.
    So if someone decided to add English Sabre (not sporting Sabre) to their FMA style (and I did not say this although now looking at I think it may be a good idea) then are they not just adding something that is already there, after all there are only so many ways you can use a sword, only so many ways you can thrust and slash, only so many ways you can move your feet. And if we look at it in reality, a real combat sword technique will look almost identical no matter which country it comes from, the only difference if the culture that the person weilding the sword lives by.
    Did not the old Knights Templer live by the sword as did the Samurai, is is not true of any warrior that lives by the sword no matter which country they come from. Look at the heros of the past in any country and you will see that their sword was a mark of their status in society. So what are we talking about here when we say "Why do Filipino's prefer foreign martial arts" at the end of the day as they say a Punch is a Punch, and the Punch that lands is the one that works, no matter what country it comes from.


    Pat :woo:
  3. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    sound familiar

    Is this similar to FMA or not????

    This would be around the same time Lapu-Lapu met Ferdinand Magellan and beat him, shortly followed by the Spanish invasion and ending around the same time as the Filipino helped to bannish their Spanish invador would it not. Is there an influence there, I think so. and did not FMA single stick replaced the sword, "similar or totally different"???

    Sounds a bit like the old Death matches to me.

    Sounds very much like a combinations of WEKAF and Arnis Philippines with a touch of Dog Brothers / Balck Eagle Society.

    Read on!

    Tell me this does not look like FMA?

    Soory Loiue for nicking your peice and pinching your picture. But I think it makes the point.

    Oh! by the way, the attachment titled Black Eagle is me fighting FMA in Cebu City in 1998.


    Pat :Angel:

    MAP Western Martial Arts Forum

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2004
  4. Estel Authorion

    Estel Authorion Regrets my stupid posts

    National Pride

    Exactly! :love: If anyone thinks that this could not happen to the Philippines, it has already happened. All in the name of "pride". I could provide examples (all humiliating) but that would be beating a dead horse, so to speak.

    Probably even a direct influence. Remember that the British helped equip and in all possibility train Diego and Gabriela Silang, along with the Ilocano freedom fighters. Remember that the Ilocanos were more of the largo mano type than the Kapampangan sinawali.

    Too true!:)

    Furthermore, Lapu-lapu used a kampilan rather than the short weapons now common in modern FMA. This weapon has more in common with the European hand-and-a-half swords and the Japanese katana in terms of mechanics rather than the flicking abanico.

    And on all the similarities between the British sabre and FMA largo mano:

    I cannot, for I could only see not only the similarities in technique but also in development.

    The sabre (or rather, broadsword) method I would want FMA exponents to consider can be found in http://www.aemma.org/onlineResources/library_H.htm
    Download the file and see for yourself how similar the techniques are to escrima. The only differences are a) the names are different, and b) the techniques are done on horseback. So, why not FMA on horseback? Furthermore, this method has the battlefield in mind, thus, the whole body is the target, including the horse.
  5. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    As a matter of fact I picked up an old book of the Filipino Heros and guess what, a picture of Gabriela Silang fighting from horse back.

    May god the similarities never end, Try this too, Britain and the Philippines both Islands, both had tribal warfare up untill recenlty, both have continuasly repled invadors and both known for their stick and sword fighting skills.

    Mabuhay ;)

  6. Tank Gurl

    Tank Gurl A Thorny Rose

    Aren't all martial arts good? Don't they all offer something? Why stick to just one because of culture?
  7. dyak_stone

    dyak_stone Valued Member

    Bruce Lee is very Pinoy

    I agree, one of the best traits of the FMAs is their openness to change. It is this adaptability and open-mindedness and ingenuity that certainly elevates our understanding of the art of fighting into one that we can truly be proud of.

    Like Bruce Lee (and the truly traditional, not "traditionalist" arts), the FMA see that we should not stagnate in mere repetition of empty movements, but in the growth of the individual, using the system as a mere tool for self improvement. That is why we do not care so much if the syllabi of our respective schools and arts change from time to time. This is why we are not hellbent on preserving centuries-old martial arts styles and traditions to the letter (as do our Chinese and Japanese counterparts) and are always agreeable to flowing with the times.

    This ingenuity of the Filipino is something I would always stake my Pinoy pride on, given that it is in the right context and not overdone.

    The problem arises when, given this ingenuity, we lack the industriousness to really sweat on it and really make the system work. Sometimes we do not give enough effort and practice on one system to be able to truly implement it, get impatient and then move on to the next. We often get blinded by this desire to "add more" and find new ways to solve problems, even when what we already have would be enough as it is. In my opinion, the downfall of the Filipino today is that oftentimes we always look for or invent something new without really giving justice to the current system, that we lose sight of where we are really coming from. This ingenuity, when not balanced with perseverance, can lead to short sightedness.

    The problem with Bruce Lee is that he espoused being open to learning from other arts and synthesizing ones own interpretation of the martial arts, without explicitly stating the importance of rooting one's self on one's own identity and devoting much effort in learning to grow and improve based on these roots. What most people lose sight of was that Bruce Lee, beyond everything else, was still very rooted in his mother art and was for all intents and purposes a gungfu practitioner. He put forward his rather anti-structuralist philosophy of sariling pamamaraan (own way) in Jeet Kune Do, but he still established his structure of Jun Fan Gungfu. A balance of yin and yang.

    This is why I would have to be hesitant to agree with you, Tank Gurl, Pat, Estel, and Gryphon, on the subject of readily taking in foreign concepts/techniques and incorporating them into FMA.

    My issue here, would be identity. Being a melting pot of different cultures is fine, learning from other martial arts is fine. I have studied foreign martial arts myself. But if we become overzealous in looking at foreign arts/cultures/traditions to look for what is effective, we might lose out on what our own fighting arts have to offer. Our own quality of movement, our flow, our identity as a Filipino Martial Art might be put in jeopardy. FMA is not just a system of fighting. It is and should be a symbol of a nation.

    Humility and open-mindedness, I agree with you there, are positive traits and are trademarks of the Filipino mindset and the FMA that contribute to the effectivity of our fighting arts. However, we should differentiate this from self deprication and colonial mentality that only endangers what little Filipino identity and pride we have, if it is not yet too late.

    Perhaps our own fighting systems are not necessarily lacking in their concepts, but are just not taught today in the correct manner. Yes, we should get new, modern ways of teaching our traditional arts so that they may better be understood. But we should not replace our traditional concepts with foreign ones.

    For one, I do not believe that we got our espada y daga methods from the Spanish. Perhaps we may have been influenced by their idea of using a sword and dagger in tandem, but we put in our own concepts of range and movement into the use of these weapons, that are different from the Spanish system. (Or am I wrong here?)

    Are you guys proposing that we let go of our own concepts of largo mano and take in those from another system? Maybe I just misunderstood misunderstood your points.


    And, at this point I would like to apoligize if ever I got carried away there, I am just really getting tired of how some Pinoys here in the motherland do nothing but bicker amongst themselves and try to grab for short term power in exchance for long term progress. Politics, short sightedness, and not enough pride and patriotism, sucks.

    Why don't most Filipinos patrinoze their own arts? Its a compounded issue in my opinion, that traces its origins to our history and very identity as a nation (or lack of it). The Filipino people today desperately need something to be truly proud of and call their own, so that they can be proud of themselves. For the longest time, I have seen arnisadores fight among themselves while desparately trying to impress and befriend foreigners.

    Sorry guys, really. I think I'm just ranting aimlessly now.
  8. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    National Pride? or National Chauvinism?

    Apparently so, dyak_stone. Don't get me wrong here. A lot of what you said makes a lot of sense. But, yes, I believe you misunderstood some of our points.

    For instance, we aren't saying that FMA practitioners abandon Pinoy techniques en masse to get dayuhan (foreign) techniques. Instead, we think that deliberately limiting one's repertoire to just the traditional ones will mean not only stagnation but death due to loss of effectiveness. The reason why I am against too much Pinoy nationalistic pride is because its usually just an alibi not to learn something non-Pinoy.

    How do I explain this? If you will pardon me for using another dayuhan example, I'd like to call attention to a show called "Iron Chef" (which is being shown on RPN 9 in the Philippines). In the original show, challenger chefs would go to Kitchen Stadium to battle it out with the Iron Chef of their choice: either Iron Chef Japanese, Iron Chef French, Iron Chef Chinese and Iron Chef Italian. The most controversial Iron Chefs in the show were the Iron Chefs Japanese, namely Iron Chef Japanese I Rokusaburo Michiba and Iron Chef Japanese III Masaharu Morimoto.

    They were controversial because, being Japanese Iron Chefs, they still freely borrowed from "foreign" techniques and used "foreign" ingredients (like truffles and foie gras) in what is still, essentially, Japanese cuisine. Traditionalist chefs from Japan accused them of not having Japanese pride, criticising them for using non-Japanese techniques and ingredients. Which was always a shock to the traditional Japanese chefs that challenged them and were always defeated.

    Now, these Iron Chefs Japanese did not create foreign cuisine. They would still make the traditional type of food using foreign techniques. So, for instance, when Michiba would use truffles instead of the traditional shiitake mushrooms in a maki so that it would properly blend in with the theme ingredient, or when Morimoto would marinade red bell pepper and use it instead of tuna to make a vegetarian sushi... yes they were using foreign techniques to augment their own. But in the end, Japanese cuisine is the over-all winner, having entirely new dishes to the repertoire. Eventually, they would best 3-star chefs in international battles, so much so that the current Iron Chef America show on Food Network features Morimoto as the most powerful Iron Chef.

    Let's go to a local example: adobo. So many ways to cook it, so many regional differences. What if we limit ourselves to only Pinoy ingredients? How many kinds of adobong anything would not be made because we reason that it isn't Pinoy enough? In fact, as my mother and I were watching an eggplant battle on Iron Chef, we thought that there were so much more ways in preparing eggplant here than the "combatants" eventually came up with.

    (I know what you guys are thinking—another Pinoy ends up thinking about food... so I continue)

    In FMA and Pinoy cuisine, which is known for adopting what is useful and discarding what is useless, it should be traditional for us to appropriate foreign techniques and concepts and make it our own. True, modern espada y daga techniques are formally different from the Spanish system, but only because it had three hundred years to evolve separately from the continental style. Others more qualified than me can describe the stylistic differences of escrima that was influenced/augmented and that which is "purer" (notably, Moro styles), but basically augmentation should be part of our national pride. It is not colonial mentality. It is our power.

    What is colonial mentality? When someone would think that anything Pinoy (not necessarily in the martial arts) is necessarily inferior to anything dayuhan.

    But what is national chauvinism? When someone keeps on insisting that anything Pinoy is necessarily superior inspite of the glaringly obvious that in many instances it is not. Summed up by former President Manuel Quezon's soundbite: "I prefer a country run like hell by Filipinos to a country run like heaven by Americans." So, okey lang that Pinoys suffer as long as it's Pinoy? I don't think so.

    The Samurai were defeated because they refused to acknowledge that guns and cannons were valid martial weapons. Our genuine Moro datus and rajahs are still around because they didn't pander to such nonsense, using guns and cannons along with their hand-to-hand skills. FMA practitioners should do the same.

    As a former high school teacher, I get frustrated when kids refuse to learn more than the bare minimum or learn beyond what is in the curriculum. Because of that, more and more college freshmen go in to college unprepared and, seemingly, uneducated. Pwede na 'yan! is what I always hear. Really, is this Pinoy tradition of sticking to the bare minimum worth keeping? Or shouldn't we get back the more original Pinoy tradition of ingenuity?

    Really, the answer should be obvious. There is a difference between someone sweating it out to make something work and someone sweating it out on something that is not working, but sticking to it for sentimental or sariling-atin reasons.

    And, as an aside, if it weren't for foreigners taking interest in FMA, all of us would have been karatekas, judokas and TKD practitioners long ago, with nary a mention of FMA. I certainly never saw any of it in our history books or popular culture until the movie "Kamagong."
  9. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    It is so funny that only in this forum can we make conceptual analogies with food. :D Now with my two cents.

    The reason may lie more on economics. Since FMA is not as popular than the imported MA's, instructors tend to advertise that they also teach these foreign fighting styles. This is regardless of whether or not said instructor has attained the proper ranking in these styles to teach (but in retrospect, are we even sure that these "masters" of foreign MA's have a right to be called that).

    I think you misunderstood our esteemed statesman. The reason why he said that is because we needed to be free from Americas saya. Even if we run our country like hell, there is still hope that we will learn and eventually run it well. With America looking over our shoulder how would we learn? I agree that we need to learn better ways of doing things, but it must be our choice to learn and we must not be forced into it.

    Quezon wasn't chauvinistic, he was desperate. If there was anybody chauvinistic in the Phil. Commonwealth gov't it was MacArthur.

    It is too bad that this is the reality of things. But it is also the reality that most of us have no drive or or drives are so diffused because of the collectuve hardships we have to endure. But I always find it amazing that if given direction and motivation, we usually see things through. (And that is not unique to us Filipinos).

    How true. In fact the drive to revive FMA actually came from former Pres. Marcos!
  10. dyak_stone

    dyak_stone Valued Member

    Yes, I agree with you that national chauvinism is an extremist outlook that surely would be detrimental to the effectieness of FMA. But is that our imminent problem? Are our culture and martial arts as they are today too closed?

    I am not saying that we need to be uptight ultra rightists. I am just saying that we need balance.

    And when I said we (all martial artists in general actually) need more industriousness, I did not mean blind faith in our art. I did not mean thoughtless repetition of techniques from a syllabus imposed by closed minded teacher.

    What I wanted to say is that we really should give effort to study the depth of our martial traditions and culture, if we are to preserve our identity as Filipino martial artists.
  11. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    We agree naman pala, eh!

    No, not yet, but it will be unless we become more open-minded.

    Oh, good! I totally agree with you there. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you. What I was really against are the purists who would rather see the art go down than see any foreign techniques incorporated into the system. But you are right, what we need is balance.

    I agree with you there. We should study our martial traditions and culture, even when those very traditions and culture are not indigeniously Pinoy in origin.

    Nice one, dyak_stone! :D
  12. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    Warning!!! Rant ahead...

    Yeah, it sure is, isn't it? But so apt, don't you agree? ;) :D

    Unfortunately true, especially since our fighting styles don't look nearly as impressive on the big screen. It doesn't matter that wuxia fighting isn't real or combat effective. It doesn't matter that combat effective techniques are not flashy. But that's how impressions are made. Unfortunate indeed.

    Arguably, he was. But I will admit that he became chauvinistic as a reaction to the chauvinism of not only MacArthur but also the Governor-generals that America gave us, as well as the treatment of the Commonwealth to our common wealth. But IMHO, yes he was. And not just a Filipino chauvinist, but a Tagalog chauvinist as well. Or when has the national Pilipino language ever have more than 1% corpus from Ilocano, Kapangpangan, Cebuano, Hiligaynon? These languages, in fact, were relegated to dialects, all on the suggestion of Quezon (who reasoned that since most of the Revolutionary Heroes were Tagalogs then Tagalog should be the basis for Filipino nationality).

    But even without that, Quezon's caveat should now be seen as no longer applying. Yes, it's true that people remember most only the first part of his very vehement (as I heard it in the soundbite) phrase, that he prefers the country run like hell by Pinoys rather than run like heaven by Americans. But my issue was with the second part; he thinks that running the country like hell was an acceptable risk because he assumed that once it gets to that point, the Filipinos would have the capability and the motive to change it. Just look at our recent history in the last 50 years: do Pinoys actually want to change it? And if they do, can they really? In the meantime, we are running it like hell, while the rest of us wish that not so much the system is replaced but the people that are routinely voted into power (these people not voted in by capability per se, but because they are their local kababayans). The sooner we see that there is a problem instead of continually hoping that things will "get better" the sooner we can put our nation, not just of the Tagalogs, back on the right track.

    Sorry, that was a rant. I hope fellow Pinoys will excuse me, but recent current events are just too relevant.

    Sorry to be the devil's advocate right now, bro. But recent experiences in the educational sector has me so jaded. I can understand that all Pinoys living in the Philippines right now are undergoing hardship, which should be motive and incentive enough for us to better our lives. But, thanks to the pwede-na-'yan attitude, even those motives and incentives are corrupted. For instance, during my teaching stint in high school and college, students would routinely cheat. As an experiment, I asked them to write a two-page essay on why students cheat and why it should or should not be allowed. Almost to a man, almost every student, male or female, justified cheating as the only way out of economic hardship. If they don't cheat, they reason, they won't pass the subject. And if they don't pass the subject, then the tuition they paid for is wasted. And if it is wasted, then they bring suffering on their poor parents. So, they therefore conclude, it is their "duty" to cheat, but also their duty not to get caught.

    I then asked them how they would feel if they were involved in some accident and had to be operated upon... how would they feel if they knew that the doctor and nurses operating on them merely cheated their way into their diplomas? A lot of sheepish silence. They got the point.

    Still, they later told me, in the meantime they had to cheat because the others are cheating and it isn't fair that they are the only ones not cheating. So, they got the point but deliberately are going to cheat anyway, then later just say "I am sorry. It was a lapse in judgement." ;) ;) At least, they reason, they "arrived." :rolleyes:

    Practically speaking (in the martial arts sense), how would one feel if you had to learn your skills from a Guro who merely went through the forms of a system, not really mastering it but doing just enough to "pass" and get his certification (in the colloquial "ipinasa lang niya"). How would one feel if, after this Guro got his certification, felt no need to expand his skills further, seeing his profession of teaching martial arts as merely a job?

    So, actually, I'm not just ranting on FMA "purity" per se, but also on the work ethic of this generation of Pinoys.

    ;) Yup! And from his beauty-loving wife Imelda. I'm a martial-law baby, and if my memory serves me correctly (and I think it does; feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), there were more "cultural" events during the Marcos era. All that changed after People Power—anything blatantly Marcosian was frowned upon. But I also remember that the general trend of education at that time changed. English was frowned upon as a type of foreign domination, and so teaching it was neglected and actively frowned upon. If you spoke English too well, you aren't maka-Pinoy and had colonial mentality. A lot of other "good ideas" from the Marcosian era were similarly "sequestered" not because they were bad but because they were Marcosian.

    Fast forward to the present, where a lot of People Power babies don't even know how to give a one-page description of what they did last summer coherently, either in English or Tagalog (I also worked in a printing press, and have seen textbooks written—once the English textbook started getting written by Pinoys eager to cost-cut by slashing the number of pages, the Balarila or Pilipino textbooks, which copied from the English textbooks whether we like it or not, were also similarly slashed; the thing is, if you cost-cut on education, prepare to pay the consequences). Their spelling sucks like a hungry baby and their syntax appears like it went through a blender. Sometimes, in an effort to become too nationalistic, too many good things are taken away that later are seen as important. As long as English was respected as a language, there was a standard that our own Tagalog (and other Philippine languages) can compare itself to and improve itself if need be.

    I watched a lot of 70's movies and listen to a lot old people from the 60's and 70's and they can speak Tagalog without having to resort to words like "ano," "chu-chu" and "chikka!"—they can express themselves well not just in English but in the local language. Compare that with today's generation who, because their Tagalog vocabulary is so sparse, have to Tagalize foreign words needlessly, or corrupt them so much just so that they can express themselves. I mean, really, where did the term "chechebureche" come from? Wasn't that just a piece of nonsense that we arbitrarily put a meaning to? Of course, for all intents and purposes, they are part of our language now. :eek: Artificially banning these new terms now will just do more harm.

    Anyway, 'yun lang. Sorry for ranting, everyone. :eek: :cry:
  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Filipinos study 'other' martial art's for the same reasons that western people study Japanese/Thai/Chinese or Indonesian martial arts instead of studying traditional western style fencing, wrestling or boxing.


    Personal interest

    Ignorance of indigenous MA's

    Mass Media sold conceptions of MA's

    The reason that Filipino boxers don't all of a sudden jump up and join the MMA is because they're boxers... not mixed martial artists. Two very different sports with very different rules and techniques... not to mention fan bases and cultural support. When for all intensive purposes one of the national hero's of the Phillipines is Manny Pacquiao why is any Filipino going to jump up and want to be Kazushi Sakuraba or Dan Severn?! :confused: Why should he?

    I don't find it shocking that Filipino's study other martial arts. Why should they be locked into only their indigenous MA?

    If you think the situation there is shocking... imagine my suprise when I came across a Tae Kwondo gym packed to the rafters in Bangkok!

    Go figure. :D
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2005
  14. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    {QUOTE=Gryphon Hall]And not just a Filipino chauvinist, but a Tagalog chauvinist as well. Or when has the national Pilipino language ever have more than 1% corpus from Ilocano, Kapangpangan, Cebuano, Hiligaynon? These languages, in fact, were relegated to dialects, all on the suggestion of Quezon (who reasoned that since most of the Revolutionary Heroes were Tagalogs then Tagalog should be the basis for Filipino nationality).[/QUOTE]

    But you have to admit, that Tagalog was the trade tongue. It can even be inferred that the Americans had an influence in this since it is the dialect thy know most. It obviously worked for Quezon since he is Tagalog.

    History is filled with self-governed states that were run like hell before having some semblance of order. If it worked for them why cannot it work for us?

    We do. The problem is most of us feel that we are powerless to do so.

    The problem with most Filipinos (particularly those below the poverty and uneducated line) is that they are much prone to influences they see portrayed in mass media especially those they can realte too. This is why Estrada won so convincingly and probably the reason why it took so much money to make FPJ lose.

    Again power is the issue. Even Blumentritt said to Rizal in a letter that a successful revolution has to have the support of the military, the support of the money-making class, and the recognition of a foreign power to the emerging government. In Edsa 1, Cory had all three, especially number 3 when Marcos was convinced to exile himself from the Phils. Fast forward to now, GMA may not have the full cooperation of the first 2 but she definitely has 3 going for her.

    NaaaaH! But maybe you can start another thread? :D

    I get you dude. But my views on cheating and passing are somewhat different. I honestly feel cheating is not cheating if not caught. In this way I also feel that cheaters should be able to accept the consequences when caught. More often than not, most of the information taught in schools are forgotten anyway by the time we have our respective careers.

    But I always give this advice when I tutor somebody: You can maybe cheat in class, but you cannot cheat in a college entrance exam or the board exam. (Well okay they can, but it is unlikely that they will have the tools for it.)

    Again this might be a good discussion for another thread.

    I agree. Frankly I think it has much to do with popular culture. The first time I heard of acheche was I think in "OK Ka Fairy Ko" (an old sitcom starring Vic Sotto). Then there is the texting and chat generation where typos and synatx errors are blatantly used and tolerated. Furthermore, there is this irritating beauty parlor lingo that has successfully found itself in schools.

    :bang: We goota do this in another thread.
  15. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    Isa pang sinulid... hehehehe...

    Righty-o, pardner! You start it nga. I ranted too much that I don't know how to start it. I'll just reply once it's been set up. Sorry for passing the buck. :D
  16. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    It's started.
  17. Gryphon Hall

    Gryphon Hall Feeling Scholler

    And it's right here. :D

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