Are the FMAs "devolving" from the lack of real combat testing?

Discussion in 'General' started by Datu Tim Hartman, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I saw this on one of our related sites
  2. Paul

    Paul New Member

    Devolving or Westernising (if such a word exists, but you know what I mean)
    People from the west are not doing this as a family art to defend their families and/or property, for most it's a hobby, something to do, an excuse to get out of the house for a couple of hours, so yes it's softening, but that's just the rule of supply and demand, offer joe public a room full of nutters going hell for leather, knocking seven kindsa ***** out of each other and they're walking away, I know this as fact, because they've walked out after watching my practice sessions saying it's too much, they just want to do something for a bit of fitness.
    It's a shame they won't try it 'cause as we all know, it's damned good fun smacking hell out of some other idiot with a stick, I never see anyone in my sessions without a big grin whilst picking up another broken stick and everyone has a good laugh at the end comparing bruises.
  3. William

    William Mongrel Combative Arts

    Well, I can't speak for everyone else out there, but my classes will always be small because we will usually work the concepts covered in class with full contact afterward to test out the tools. I don't force people to do it but I do encourage it. I don't fault people for not wanting to get down and dirty, everyone is different and I know some folks just aren't interested in getting banged up. The point is I refuse to water it down to make it more palatable to the masses.

    The thing to keep in mind is that we walk that line between making it as realistic as possible, yet try to keep folks from getting seriously hurt so they can return to train. Short of going into a war zone for some CQC, or walking into the closest biker bar and starting some ****, full contact, minimal gear scenario/full contact training is about as close as you're going to get to the "real thing".

    Best regards,
  4. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Devolving (That's a word?)

    I think this issue comes down to the individual and where he gets his training from. As Paul mentioned, some are simply looking for fitness and others are looking for truth. Where the probem lies is in the teaching of the knowledge. I have seen far to many times where people are watering down the info for a quick financial fix but touting it as combat efficient. They lure people into the mix this way. It isn't the students fault at first...they may be laymen to the Filipino arts but after awhile one has to throw a red flag of fake when it just doesn't look, and more importantly feel effective. To many times do people attend this seminar or that seminar and viola the next thing you know they are a grand poobah and promoting their bit of FMA technique as the gospel, when in fact it is nothing more than a few techniques done poorly with no principle or heart behind it (sinawali is one of these drills stolen and bastardized). This why you have the general mentality in the martial ats world that FMA, Arnis, Eskrima, Kali whatever is strictly a stick art. How many times have you heard it yourself? Tell someone you do eskrima and they say ; "Oh you swing sticks"...this to me is the watering down and the loss of effective material that should be taught in a simple yet highly effective package. For myself I teach what I know...I give credit to whence it came and always give credit to the manongs and to the Philippines (my second home)...I base what I teach on what I have done, and survived. SEAMOK is combat ready and easy to learn, as it should be...I do not look to get rich nor do I seek the limelight as the next big thing. I am a simple man, raising his family and his martial tribe to the best of my ability. I never tout what I do as the best, it is simply my interpretation of what I do, all rolled into a small little package of is there for who wants is there for those who have the hutzpah to come get it, it is there for those not afraid of hard work, it is there for those who seek truth as it relates to combat....I turn away more people than I except..I do not have the time to run a revolving door for the half hearted and the maybe is full of lockers, they can go find another one to dive into...mine is only open to those with mana (spirit) and heart....

    I water nothing down...and scare most away who come and play...mother earth and father concrete are not so forgiving when your being bounced off of it ina timely fashion..but as I say " You will never be hit, or dropped on the street harder than what you catch in my ludis, never"...those who stay realize that being combat ready is a matter of hours, not years.....and that with effort and dedication all things are possible....

    We aint pretty but we get the job done!
  5. Killbot

    Killbot Sereeus Biznus

    I wouldn't say devolving. Just shifting of priorities.
    yes there is deadly intent behind some stuff we learn and teach. but personally, I teach my guys a control and submit/disable style for a few resons. Mostly legal issues, especially concerning unarmed encounters. Once arms enter the equation, I tell them anything goes however. But aim to disable, not to kill unless totally necessary.

    We spar hard and we test our stuff. We try to avoid having to test it outside of a controled environment. Its happened, but rarely. The shifting can be linked to the fact we live in a different culture. Yes, we l;earn our basics, but I also try to throw in fun stuff because , come on, we're not trained killers. if your mindset is already there, then you have issues. If the situation dictates you be a killer, so be it. You can be. but to have at the center of your mind that you are walking death incarnate, you got problems.

    Another thing related to that is that the people who are the killers...our military folks a brisitling with firearms. H2H just doesn't happen. I had a friend in SF in Trashcanistan for 6 years on and off. He said he had to hit a guy once and that was a rifle butt to the face. Military folks, mostly, are armed to the teeth. All the uberninja, swordmaster, force recon commando stuff is just non-applicable. Why on earth would you go H2H if you have unlimited ammo? You'd be a fool to risk your life or your partners life like that.

    So, I don't think its devolving. Its evolving and adapting to the situation it has been introduced into. Sure, there's violence here. But I just don't believe that because we're not training to kill exclusively, means that its devolving. Seriously...who here carries around a Bolo and expects to need to use it because the invaders might get you? or the rival tribe might attack? Not everyone is walking around under a cloud of life or death struggles. If you are, get a frickin' gun if you're that worried about it.
  6. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    As someone who has worked in both the military and law enforcement fields since the early 70's, I find it hard for the most part to deescalate the methods of the FMA I have been taught.. In the most part, I only teach these two client base personnel, and have been doing so since I have been teaching since 1975.. My students have used the training they have received from me in various conflicts and situations since that time.. They have also been able to survive and bring home the after action reports where we sat down and were debriefed in their responses.. This has enabled me to keep on the up hill climb of providing instruction for people who have a need to go and do when their situation dictates..

    I am not saying that I train a bunch of cut throat para military and renegade cops, I only teach people who have the need for specialized training from some one who has been in the field a little more than a day and a half and has used it in my own survival mode when dictated..
  7. tkdbadass

    tkdbadass New Member

    The nature of every martial art is cyclical. And there are different phases of growth for each.

    When most arts began they were fighting arts. There practioners walked around and the intent was of maiming, killing, and destroying. All the other submissions, pins, etc didn't even enter the equation because they were invalid in that context.

    Now add a few hundred years of peace to this. This allows the fighting art have a metamorphsis into a martial art. In this realm, a few killing techniques remain, but because life and death are not our SOLE purpose, we add restraints and refinements. This is why it is termed martial and art.

    Now add a few more years of peaceful time and a martial sport can develop out a martial art.

    These are my thoughts but I would like to point a few things out. It doesn't take long for the martial art to digress back to its roots into a fighting art. A few rough years and the focus shifts back to survival. Techniques become raw again as well as mentality.

    Just my thoughts.
  8. geezer

    geezer Member

    I'm flattered that Datu Hartman brought this thread over here from another forum where I first posted it. My own view is that some folks are definitely testing the arts and keeping it real. In fact, many of you posting here are doing just that. On the other hand, I'm on the small side, turning 55 in a month and it seems like it takes me forever to heal these days, so honestly, I'm personally not taking it to that level. But I do appreciate realism. And I'd still rather get beat up a bit and know what I'm learning is useful, rather than to find out too late that I've been wasting my time learning some kind of "stick dancing". On the other forum, some folks responded to the OP by saying that "realism" didn't matter and the FMAs are essentially a "fantasy" since that there is virtually no likelihood of a "stick-duel" ever happening in the real world as it is today. Maybe so, but the FMA I'm trying to learn, isn't about "stick-dueling". It's about understanding armed and unarmed combat, about concepts such as balance, speed, power, focus, attitude, transition... and about finding a way to work your mind and body so you will accomplish what needs to be done when things get really, really bad. Reading the comments on this page makes me more certain that, as so many of you share this belief, the future of the FMAs is strong. Mabuhay all.
  9. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Pray it's not a 1% BAR...won't be much hand to hand there..just getting rat packed, stomped, stabbed , shot and dumped in a hole some where outside of town...LOL....
    The few operators I have trained had the exact opposite thought process to the above post. They wanted to know the knife, the machete, the empty hand...One lad told me that he and his buddies new that their last line of defense was themselves...and if it came down to it they would rather have those archaic skill sets as to not have them. The following story was related to me by a student who was RECON MARINE based out of the 4th Recon Reserve group here in San Antone.

    He told me the following;

    While in Fallujah we had to do a **** load of house clearing. Your going in with a four man fire team, into a dank poorly lit room. Your looking for bad guys but there are none..where are they? He told me they pop out of hidden spaces in the wall..from under the floor....they design the homes as kill houses to funnel us in.

    So when you ask "Why
    He related to me that on several occassions the enemy came out of now where and took out his people at extreme close range because they could structure their ambush where the weaponry of their target was not maximized....Mick told me that he was jammed up agaisnt the wall by a big Mujahadeen and didnt have the first idea of what to do..if it wasn't for the **** house luck of the guy slipping down Mick would have been KIA...when he slipped down Mick was able to swing his rifle butt around catching the dude int he chest thus clearing the fire lane for his buddy.

    Mick after his 2nd tour came to me and I taught him simple methods to counter this, with his rifle, empty hands and knife..we worked for over a year before he re-deployed...he wrote me several times from his last tour saying how much it helped him, and gave him more confidence that he had a stronger tool box to back himself up with.

    IMHO it won't hurt you to have it..but it may kill you if you don't..especially if your gonna work for Uncle Sam doing some gut rowdy stuff!

    Because in combat Senor Murphy rules...that's why!
  10. William

    William Mongrel Combative Arts

    Yeah, I wasn't refering to the weekend warriors hanging at the local Starbucks....though I hear they can get pretty nasty if you accidentally knock over their Mocha Frappicinos.:)

    I have a couple of guys that I'm currently working with who have done tours in the sandbox. The feed back is invaluable. One in particular who also worked house clearing echos the comments of your guy. They go by the same addage..."they'd rather know it and not need it, then need it and not know it."

  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Absolutely Mike! The guy's that I have trained that have gone overseas definitely saw value in what we do and appreciated that we took the time to show them a few things.
  12. Killbot

    Killbot Sereeus Biznus

    I wholeheartedly agree. And I agree with everything you said.

    When I wrote what I did, I was speaking more to the non-military side nof things. Law Enforcement folks and civies in general aren't going to encounter, or have the same goals, as active duty military folks.

    That's funny. Different strokes for different folks I guess. The guys I've talked and trained with all about the firearms. They didn't give two s****s about melee weapons. One guy said to me, "That's what pistols are for dumba$$."

    But your example of clearing a firing line is a perfect counter example to my thoughts. And I'll add to it that frnakly, being pinned against a wall, you should know what to do and not freeze because you don't know something. Freeze because you're stunned a bit, sure, but not due to lack of knowledge. I can think of two or three things off the top of my head to do with a rifle while pinned against a wall.

    I think alot of what the subject of "devolvng" is coming down to is the split between the civilized world and the world of war. Different goals and methods deliver different results and are produced through different mindsets and training. I still wouldn't call it a de-evolution, but an evolution of shifting priorities. Cops and civilians are not "in the line of fire" and thus thier programs are gonna be different produce different results from soldiers and their programs.

    And yes, Mr. Murphy rules the day. lol. I just meant when , say, doing HRT, a guys not gonna put his M4 away just so he can pull a K-BAR and make with the H2H. I just think H2H is the last resort. Thats more what I was getting at. Basicaly, why bring a knife to a gun fight? Like you said. Murphy. I'm just saying act though Murphy's not there until he does show up.
  13. Rapier

    Rapier RHC

    Today we have many instructors out there teaching FMA, some learned from the old masters who used it for real, and so are also advanced in age, 57 in Dec LOLJ . But kidding aside whether FMA evolves or degenerates is in the hands of today’s instructors, and it all boils down to how they were taught, their backgrounds i.e. Ex-Military, Law Enforcement, etcetera. What are their goals? big schools, well not if your keeping it real. For those that are keeping it real, it’s our job to educate the public. To show that its not all just patty cake with sticks. FMA covers it all. Real FMA is adrenalin pumping, it makes your heart go a mile a minute and yes it will scare a lot of people way. But then again it will also attract those that want the real thing. After spending 22 ½ in the military, combat training, and being assigned to the Philippine Constabulary for a couple of years then as a state certified police defensive tactics instructor you start to understand what FMA/CQC really is and how to use it or not use it depending on the situation. Also when it comes down to fire arms there are such things as misfires, Jams and running out of ammo. And like the last person said you don’t know when Murphy’s law will come into account. You need to see both sides to keep yourself out of jail or the cemetary. Remember Educate yourself and the public so that way the public will seek qualified instruction and will recognize to real thing when they see it.
  14. grimfang

    grimfang Junior Member

    Unfortunatly, the current state of training and testing for most martial arts has been effected by cultural influences. Back in 'the old days', instructors were not as concerned with things like insurance and lawsuits. Their primary mission was to teach rather than trying to run a business. They attracted a particular type of student who was looking for a hard-nosed type of training. They did not deal so much with parents looking to send their overwieght kid to have fun at a fat-farm for the summer. Little Billy comes to class because mommy wants him to shed a couple pounds, Little Billy gets a bloody nose in class because he is too lazy to block, Little Billy's mommy and daddy file a lawsuit. Years ago, Little Billy's parents would have understood that their kid would be taking a few beatings in class from time to time.

    There are still schools out there that still train with realism. They typically are not an economic windfall for the operators. The general public these days will simply not endure what it takes to last in a really tough class. In many cases, its simply becomes a matter of an instructor having to choose between teaching the way they want or putting food on the table.

    Another factor is the vast quanity of instructors popping up everywhere. With the sheer volume of instructors springing up every year, its safe to assume that not all of them have gone through the rigors of training that was standard a few decades ago. Every clown with the internet and a printer sudenly has all they need to set up shop these days. They possess nothing of the old ways, so they certainly cannot pass on the training and traditions.

    The combination of the financial and legal concerns of the instructor, the high volume of instructors lacking the 'hard' background, and public misperceptions of the martial arts are all major contributors. Luckily there are instructors out there who will still continue to teach with realism without worring about getting rich from it.
  15. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    This seems very system and location specific to me. There are a good many systems and individual teachers doing their best to maintain a high level of combative effectiveness in their art. To the point that many of them have restructured their styles to meet their own needs. On the other hand, there a good many who, while showing a high degree of technical skill, seem quite content to play patty cake with sticks and call it FMA. Even within particular systems there are those who train with intent and those who do not. I will never deny the importance of skill acquisition. However, if there is no intent behind it, it won't matter in the slightest.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  16. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    AMEN..I have been blessed in my martial pursuits. Every teacher I have ever had in any art I learned was from an old school mentality. It was hard brutal and down right nasty...not to mention fun..LOL...everythingwas back the garage etc...a few guys strewn about going at each other with gusto. I keep it the same way. Perhaps I am to old and to set in my ways but I owe it to the men who taught me to keep it as real as they did with me.

    I ave a small group here in soth Texas and a few other small groups around the south...I'm not getting rich by any means, but I am as rich as can be in happiness when doing what I love to do and passing on the knowledge that was entrusted to me. That to me is a hell of a nice paycheck...Mabuhay!

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