How did you get into FMA and what keeps you going?

Discussion in 'General' started by, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. 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?

  2. neo

    neo New Member

    In a word... accidently

    I started studying FMA (Pekiti Tirsia specifically) in 2001 because that was all that was available near me at the time other than various styles of Karate that I knew I wasn't interested in.

    Little did I know at the time how lucky I was to be in an area with a PT instructor.

    As a brief background, during high school I began taking lessons from my best friend's dad. He taught a Hawaiian style that mixes various arts he has learned through the years. We focused on boxing, conditioning, and what I will term general self-defense skills. He sparked my interest in martial arts.

    In 2001 I moved and began looking for Wing Chun lessons. I knew that that was the art Bruce Lee started with and was adamant that I learn it. During my search I met one of my future training partners and she told me that she wasn't familiar with any local Wing Chun schools but that I should come check out the PT school she trained at. I told her that I would but wrote it off. Due to my complete ignorance in FMA at the time, I pictured people in karate uniforms performing katas, etc. Of course that was a ridiculous assumption and I should have performed better research but I was still focused on Wing Chun.

    Eventually I found the bio of the local PT instructor by accident while searching for Wing Chun instructors. As it turns out, he has studied Wing Chun and use to teach it. I called him to see if he would teach me but he convinced me to check out the PT class instead. Although I was hesitant at first, I did check out the class and the rest is history. I fell in love with it immediately and while I still think Wing Chun is a neat art to train in as a supplement, FMA is where my heart is.

    Ironically, I have moved around quite a bit in the last 7 years and have not had the opportunity to formally train in PT since. However, I currently train with someone who does have a background in several FMA styles, including PT.

    I look forward to reading other responses.

  3. Raw_Prime

    Raw_Prime New Member

    I came into FMA through Capoeira. I was hooked on a part of Capoeira called MaculelĂȘ. I was researching other ways to use my stick & stumbled upon the Dog Brothers. This was back in 2005. In 2009,I was still interested and found a local EBMAS school. I built up the nerve & finally went. The Guro (Edgar Rotger) made me welcome & passed me a stick,gave me some 1 on 1 instruction and I was hooked. Latosa Weapons Systems opened my mind WIDE. I love the real world applications and also the WT training. I'm currently trainingg twice a week and have been coming along nicely.
  4. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    I was already years into the martial arts and a blackbelt in USA GoJu karatedo...I was working as a bouncer, big strong, fast and thought I was the ****. An incident while taking an unruly patron out of the club lead me to the FMA. I was stabbed , damn near died, collapsed lung etc. by his buddy who I never even saw. When I recovered I realized that the Karate avenue was not what I needed at the time. Once I got into the FMA I never looked back, it became my religion, my way, my still is....I love it more and more and learn every single day from it....I have been in the arts for 30 years now and more than 17 of those dedicated to FMA
  5. EliasPFS

    EliasPFS Member

    Pretty simple. I wanted to learn how to fight and my buddy from the marines was also a krav maga instructor. He was also a PFS full instructor, and he wound up teaching me more of that than anything. I like fighting people, and FMAs are great for that. They are also awesome.
  6. Great posts and good to see the forum coming alive!

    BTW - what is "PFS"?
  7. qwertz

    qwertz New Member

    I guess he meant Progressive Fighting System from Paul Vunak
  8. geezer

    geezer Member

    I just always liked hitting things with sticks. I started martial arts with kenpo, then Wing Tsun in my late teens and early twenties, but the weapons were held back for most advanced students. Still, I knew about FMA from Dan Inosanto's book, so I started looking around and finally got together with other members of our WT group and brought out Rene Latosa for a seminar. That was back in the mid-eighties. Had the bug ever since.
  9. The Old Way Traveler

    The Old Way Traveler a sponge for knowledge

    why did i learn FMA? simply put, i wanted to learn something from my culture.. i was born and raised in the Philippines and for the twelve years i lived there, i was completely oblivious of any form of FMA.. other than a balisong here and there i see on the streets.. when i moved to the US, i wanted to learn a martial art to defend myself from "bullies" (i was 4'10 80 lbs) at the time.. over the years (1990s-2000s), i learned a couple of things from different mcdojos, but nothing really caught my interest.. some of my friends learned PTK from their brother and were teaching me a few effective moves, so i became intrigued by FMA.. over time, i seemed to have lost interest in it because of life: work, school, girls.. etc.. but still there was a need to learn.. i was surprised when my brother-in-law and his friends started to teach me FMA a couple of years ago.. from then on, i was hooked..

    what keeps me going??? the fact that i do not know a whole lot about FMA.. learning how to defend and strike someone is good and all, but i also want to learn the history, the reasons why the masters of each style chose that way to strike, block, and move.. i want to be a sponge, to soak up all i can about FMA.. and the realization that i'm still far away from attaining that knowledge motivates me to learn..


    ps.. on a side note, i really wish i started younger.. my "old bones" are not used to the routine of FMA.. but i still tread on.. with ben-gay and icy hot as my companions.. haha
  10. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    I got into FMA almost by accident. A friend of mine is a Modern Arnis instructor under Dan Anderson and he was in town doing a demo/mini-seminar at a Jujutsu dojo I used to study in. I decided to attend the session pretty much out of loyalty to him rather than any particular interest. Later, when I was moving to northern Virginia, I was looking for a place to train when he reminded me of FMA and gave me some suggestions if I was interested in continuing. I started off in Modern Arnis and we were also a training group in Sayoc Kali and quickly fell in love with the Filipino arts and all that they had to offer. I went into it thinking that it was stick fighting and didn't really understand the depth and breadth of what the arts contained in terms of empty hand material as well as other weapons. After a little over a year of training, my instructor stopped teaching and I switched to Inosanto-LaCoste Kali which I really enjoy a great deal. In the last two weeks, I have moved out of state and am currently looking at training options. I am supposed to meet with a potential instructor tomorrow night and am hopeful that it goes well. All of my options are a good deal away from my new home town so that is a bit of a downer. However, I am determined to stick with FMA as I have come to believe it has the most to offer in terms of combat effectiveness and real world application from a personal and family self defense stand point.

    I am in a similar boat with James in that I wish I would have found the arts much sooner in life than I did. I feel like I am trying to make up for lost time and if I had the option of doing so, I would train for multiple hours on a daily basis.

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