A general thread as we've not been discussing much on here lately.... How did you first get into FMA and what keeps you going? In 2001 I left my native UK and went to train at Emin Boztepe's WT gym in Hollywood. They had a great program where you paid $80 a month and could train for 20 hours a week in WT and Latosa Escrima morning and evenings as much as you wanted. That was my first exposure to Eskrima really. I think they had a few sticks at some WT classes in England but not really anything formal. Like most people; I thought to myself "When is anybody going to be stupid enough to attack me when I was carrying a rattan stick?!" However, the instructors showed how anything can be a weapon and how to deal with common weapons like baseball bats, lead pipes etc without a weapon. This really opened my eyes. So I went to all the classes and picked up a couple of grades at the end of my 9 months of study (I went back in 2002). I didn't really develop a "Bug" for it though. The particular style didn't seem a good fit for me and I was obsessed with the WT at that time. I ended up hitting myself with the stick a lot and it just didn't click! Several years down the line I moved to the Philippines and thought I'd be stupid not to explore what arts there are here. So I got back into it a found something that suits me a lot better. We are always taught "You will not truly understand something unless you teach it" so for me that goal keeps me going. I often assist my GM when teaching basics and have just started teaching the system on my own. One of the things I always think about is when somebody asks "O.k, what is your art - can you show me?" I feel it's important to be able to adequately demonstrate and represent the teachings of my Master. To deal with the type of questions that usually arise. Being able to put whole thing together is really key for me and keeps me wanting to learn more. That, and sharing my Master's teachings while hopefully making the art something intrinsic to me. So how about you? How did you get into it and what keeps you going? Simon.