All FMA is all the same ! ? !

Discussion in 'General' started by Rich Parsons, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    I can understand the uneducated person on the street who has never heard of or barely seen any FMA's, to think that they might all be the same.

    What gets me is why do people from different art, and different systems, or locations from the PI assume that the names of simliar technqiues must all be the same?

    This is not a new thing, I have run into this a lot of times and places.

    Some people think that if person X calls it technique Y then all others must also, or they are not right or somehow not true to the arts or not teaching a valid system.

    Yes, A rose by any other name is still a rose, but doe the Frnech call it a Rose? Do the Spanish? Is it spelled differently?

    Just curious if I am the only one that thinks that those who have trained a while and possible obtained rank in systems that offer rank, to be aware that other people do things differently. Or similiar but by a different name.
  2. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega New Member

    People "from" the Philippines, or people "in" the Philippines. Often times overseas fil-foreigners (Filipino-Americans, Filipino-Canadians, etc.) aren't fully aware of the diversity of their own land. They know about where they came from but little else. Fma wise, they may think that fma begins and ends with what they've been taught and everything else is made up. This is especially true if they're the only fma teacher in a particular location. Anywhere you have a lot of Filipinos (ie. The Philippines, California, New York City, etc.), we pretty much take it for granted that there is a lot of diversity. Another factor might be if the person trying to explain the differences in Filipino terms is himself/herself not Filipino. A lot of older Filipinos resent being told about their own country, culture, martial art by those who aren't filipino. They don't want to admit that they don't know as much (academically speaking) than somebody else. We're not the most opened minded of people at the best of times. As a society we're conservative and traditional, meaning that we're not that open to new ideas.

    There are a lot of systems that I've only heard about outside of the Philippines. This may not be exactly what you're talking about as it isn't about nomenclature but rather about making up arts that don't exist here. Nobody outside of Dan Inosanto's system knows about "kina mutai". They snicker here when you ask about it. Otherwise, its the way non-Filipinos pronounce certain words. For instance, the "hubud" drill is named after a word from a language from the central Philippines. FMA people here in Manila and elsewhere now know what you're talking about when asking about it. But if you ask a non-fma person or someone in a non-urban setting about it and pronounce it the way Americans sometimes teach it comes out as "hubad" which means to undress instead of "hubud" to tie up. They might bring you to a place along Quezon Avenue instead that specializes in a different kind of artform.

    Many times the Filipino systems, as opposed to Fil-foreign systems, don't have names for techniques or combinations. They may have names for individual movements, but not for every set of movements they may put together that characterize their art. The system that I belong to Kali deleon, just numbers the strikes and we use those number whenever we want a particular combination or technique.

    Well, you can ask GM Diony Canete or his uncle GM Cacoy Canete about how "esk(c)rima" should be spelled. I'd rather not do it myself in person.

    A lot of us "citified" or international Filipinos who do fma can't help but be open minded about the different nomenclature. As well as being aware that nomenclature exists at all. A lot of Americans are looking for "exotics", something that nobody or very few people do, and if this is the case, you'll probably be dealing with somebody who is off the beaten path. If you want to say that you're a teacher of "hayop hayopan" system (I made up that term, from a cave I visted in Bicol), then you'll have to go off the beaten path to some teacher who probably doesn't know the internet and isnt' aware that other teachers have already established certan names for what he does. In this case, you'll have to respect how they do things in the provinces.

    I hope I dealt somewhat with what you were getting at, at least a little bit.
  3. Nanalo74

    Nanalo74 New Member

    You know, once upon a time way back when none of these techniques or systems had names. Guys went out to battle and those that survived came back and showed others what they did to stay alive on the battlefield. When asked what it was called they came up with names, or their students came up with names. The systems were usually named after the founder or his family or some concept that was central to his martial philosophy. Prior to that, it had no name. It was just fighting.

    So if Johnny Lacoste taught Dan Inosanto that you can grab an ear or grab the skin under the neck or grab the skin on the bicep to control a guy when in close and he called it Kinomutay, which someone on another thread said was Visayan for squeezing, then what's the problem? That's what he called it.

    And if Lucky Lucaylucay called his family's system of Filipino boxing Panantukan, well that's what his family's system is called. So what? Why is everybody so bent out of shape about it?

    Once upon a time Bruce Lee came up with a system he called Jeet Kune Do; hundreds of years ago in China a nun came up with a system called Wing Chun Kung Fu; back in Japan somebody came up with something called Shotokan Karate, and so on and so on and so on.

    So what's the big deal if Johnny Lacoste or Lucky Lucaylucay or Dan Inosanto or Floro Villabrille or Angel Cabales or Melacio Illustrissimo or anyone else gave names to what they do? Does it make them any less valid or subject to ridicule just cause they gave it a name? Or should we be asking the more important question which is "Does it work?" And if it does, then why not use it?

  4. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega New Member

    Actually I don't know anyone who's gotten bent out of shape because of a particular name given any aspect of fma by any teacher. Our response usually is, "Really? Is that what its called? Great, thanks for telling me. Now I know what to call it." Nobody considers it less valid or subject to ridicule just because of how its named. As much as we appreciate attempts by non-Filipinos to speak our language, we're much more interested in your ability to perform what your talking about. Of the names you mentioned, Guro Inosanto is the only one I've seen personally and I worship at his altar. Kina mutai is the only exception. Nobody knows what it is here and they all laugh when you try to explain it to them. Other issues deal more with language than anything else. "Panantukan" should more probably be spelled and pronounced "pananantukan" if you're to follow the grammatical conventions of the Filipino language. The question of validation, I think, seems to be more onerous to those who don't know the terms you mention. Imagine a lifelong practitioner of the Filipino martial arts, living in his own country and speaking his own language being told by a non-Filipino speaking relatively beginning foreign student that a complete fma system should include x many named elements, and those that don't have them are incomplete.
  5. Nanalo74

    Nanalo74 New Member

    You should read the thread called "FMA boxing and Western boxing". Some people did get bent out of shape and there's a bit of ridicule going on there. But I agree that the name isn't as important as one's ability to perform.

    I understand where you're coming from and I agree. That shouldn't happen. Your system is your system. My system is my system. What we do and how we do it should be the subject of sharing not criticizing.

  6. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

    Diego wrote:

    "They might bring you to a place along Quezon Avenue instead that specializes in a different kind of artform. "

    Lol :D
  7. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    I was in a coffee house and a friend asked me about pin replacement on a Balisong knife. A woman about my age late 30's to mid 40's asked about the knife. She was into metals as a sales person with an engineering degree. We replied about it being a Filipino knife. She was with an older gentleman and the other couple with them were also older and the second woman was a Filipina in her late 50's to early 60's. When she asked how we knew about such a knife, we explained we trained in FMA's. She said Judo or Karate? I replied Modern Arnis and Balintawak. She was then visiable upset, and it was made worse as her husband asked us some questions that we answered. He then realized she was upset and asked how come us young one knew stuff she did not. I explained that she obviously came from a family of money (* he rolled his eyes away from her in affirmative *) and that the local arts many times were considered for field hands or street thugs while the arts with the uniforms and schools were respected to not be for those of street types. She was much happier with this answer as she could save face then on why she did not know. Also continue with her normal way of life and not have to worry about it. And that is fine to me.

    My point is that I have been at events where multiple people from different areas of the PI cannot use the same term for words out side of the MA's. It just does not follow that all FMA's would use the same terminolgy as well.

    Not only Native and second Gen ex-patriots, but also where ever the art has been taught to the natives of the new country. So what about those who are in a new country and are native to that country and are taught. Should they not also do some reearch about the culture to understand the linguistic differences and cultures within the PI? Or should it be acceptable to jsut assume that is is all the same?

    Thanks for the insight.

    Yes, and those that came over that created their own names of the system did so. I think credit should be given to them, and then move on.

    I have seen this. Do it this way. Move now. Here is where you insert ...

    You see I except both, because both are used enough that I search on both. :)

    Yes, my comments were not to imply that all Filipino's or those who study were or are as I discribed. Just some and why is this?
  8. Matawguro

    Matawguro New Member

    For a moment there, I thought I had mistakenly logged into :EvilGrin:
  9. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega New Member

    Well, hyphenated Filipinos living overseas tend not to be "ex-pats," they're immigrants or citizens. Ex-pats are like the Americans and Brits who live in the Philippines, run their businesses that make money off the general public but don't really interact at all with that same public. They have no intention of assimilating into the culture but instead have their own organizations that are usually hostile to locals joining. They don't have local friends, just employees. When they socialize its with other ex-pats so they don't have to deal with the funny accents of the locals. Ex-pats don't ever attempt to learn the local language. I was at a mall once where I saw an ex-pat lady drop her wallet from her bag, I picked it up and walked up to here. She had this look on her face that I wanted to beg for a handout or something, and was quite surprized to find nothing missing in her bag. She then offered me 20 pesos. I told her in my best french that it wasn't necessary and walked away.

    When I attended university doing development studies with my specialty in Asian and African political systems, an African-Canadian friend told me that as a person of African decent he was much more qualified to talk about African history and politics than our Jewish professor (who spent most of his life in Africa both as an academic and working for various aid organizations). He was serious. I told him he should start doing the reading list so he can raise his marks. I suspect many Filipinos feel this way about the Philippines. That they have some sort of inherent genetically programmed knowledge base about the country and its culture based on being able to swear in Tagalog and eating adobo. I think they should consider reading more books.

    Darned if I know.
  10. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega New Member

    From the outside those places in Quezon City all look alike, but once you go inside to do your study..... They're not all alike.
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    If people had any idea about the linguistic diversity of the Philippines, they wouldn't make such a mistake! I think it also comes from expecting the sort of very formal style and structure of martial arts that one sees in Japanese systems, with set lists of techniques, scrolls, etc. Last night a FMA instructor was describing to me how his art's head originally just showed people what he knew--no set curriculum, no list of techniques, no traditional names. I thought, Now there's a story I've heard before (e.g., Balintawak). I think this is why a punyo strike is sometimes called a poke-poke; people just gave them obvious names when they needed to refer to them for teaching purposes, rather than using the historical "Golden Buddha Fleeces White Sheep" names one thinks of with Chinese arts.

    I have abandoned all hope that I will know what someone means by the term redonda. Everyone uses it, but everyone uses it differently! I've seen palusut used both for a specific technique and for a class of go-with-the-force techniques. I use hirada, but many people don't seem to know the term at all.
  12. tim_stl

    tim_stl Junior Member

    in garimot arnis, we use the term, although we spell it 'herada.'

  13. Diego_Vega

    Diego_Vega New Member

    A lot of the terms my instructor uses aren't even words at all, -- ticbang! (and yes you must have the exclamation point at the end), ta-ra-tat!, wis/wis/wis (no exclamation point needed), ka-boom!, arrrrrr!!!. Each of these actually express an actual technique or concept.
  14. Nanalo74

    Nanalo74 New Member

    Exactly my point. So what if he came up with names. It's his system; let him call it what he wants.


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