Ok , so now I am totally confused

Discussion in 'General' started by kuntawguro, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. kuntawguro

    kuntawguro -== Banned ==-

    I have been watching the FMA on many forums and blogs and have wondered what is going on. From what I have known and been told over the years Guro is teacher in the FMA. Guru is teacher in the IMA or Indian Hindu Tao type arts. So why are so many FMA people going by the title Guru when they are teaching FMA? Can anyone enlighten me or am I correct in my assumptions that they are using the wrong title?

  2. kuntawguro

    kuntawguro -== Banned ==-

    Guro, the Filipino word for "teacher", a teacher of Filipino martial arts; derived from the Sanskrit word guru.

    In Hinduism, a personal spiritual teacher. In ancient India, knowledge of the Vedas was transmitted through oral teaching from guru to pupil. The rise of the bhakti movement further increased the importance of gurus, who were often looked on as living embodiments of spiritual truth and were identified with the deity. They prescribed spiritual disciplines to their devotees, who followed their dictates in a tradition of willing service and obedience. Men or women may be gurus, though generally only men have established lineages. Seealso Guru.

    n., pl. -rus.
    1. Hinduism & Tibetan Buddhism. A personal spiritual teacher.
      1. A teacher and guide in spiritual and philosophical matters.
      2. A trusted counselor and adviser; a mentor.
      1. A recognized leader in a field: the guru of high finance.
      2. An acknowledged and influential advocate, as of a movement or idea: “In a culture that worships slimness, he was the Guru of Lean” (Erica Abeel).
  3. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Hi Buzz,

    As far back as I can remember, Guru has been used in the Ilonggo/Hiligaynon dialect. As you know, they mean not quite the same thing. Guru really means Master in Suluk but only teacher of knowlege in Hiligaynon dialect. Mata-as-na is Master in Hiligaynon. As far as I know it has always been Guru in Suluk dialect. Of course we both know it is not really part of the Philippines either.......... In my past studies, I have noticed that Datto became Datu recently. Because when the Ilonggos migrated from N. Borneo, their Chieftans were refered to as Datto, not Datu. Datu is Suluk, not Hilgaynon. And you know me Buzz, I am a stickler for tradition and historical accuracy. If I,m wrong, I'll face up. But if my memory serves me correctly, that is what I read while I was at IU thumbing through the old Anthropolgy thesis in the library archives a long time ago. I'll have to ask GT and Pendakar to be sure.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  4. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Probably because no one told them otherwise. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people misspell their ranks in their e-mail signatures.
  5. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Great point Datu Tim. I have enough trouble typing "Mike" correctly let alone other words. I am constantly referred to as both Guru and Guro, makes no different to me since they are implying with the same intent. Even though I stated earlier, I am a stickler for tradition. I think people should kniow the original titles and history but again, if their intent is the same who cares. GT Nene is mostly referredc to as GM as you well know are he cares not which term is used. Words evolve and change constantly, who would have thought that "ain't" actually would have made the Webster dictionary or that a word like "Kali" that was invented in the US would become a commonly used word in the Philippines either.

    See ya in October Datu/Datto!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  6. Raul

    Raul Mananandata

    Kali was invented by yambao.. adopted in the US.. and as common as guru in the Philippines. The use of both words are more common in India than the Phi and US combined.
  7. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    And both words are actually pronounced the same way, if I understood correctly...
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  8. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Sorry Bros, but it's not the same word, it's not pronounced the same in Hindi as it is English and Tagalog. And it does not have the same meaning either. It sounds more like " Kali' " The meaning is not nearly the same either. Two entirely different words that are spelled the same. Are you confusing it with the system of Kalari(Kalirippayattu)?

    Kali is a ferocious form of the Divine Mother, who sent her Sakti, the Mother of Gauri, to free the gods from the dominion of the demonic forces Shumbh and Nishumbh, who had conquered the three worlds of earth, the astral plane and the celestial plane.

    Guru really does not have the same meaning in Suluk as it does in the PI either. Guru, means the mastery of knowledge, movement and spirituality combined. Even though Guru is used in Hiliguynon, it just means Arnis/Eskrime instructor. After master of Arnis/Eskrima, is Mata-as-na. Again, Guru-different word, different meaning, but spelled the same.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  9. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member

    Would you mind sharing where you knowledge of Suluk comes from?
  10. mabagani

    mabagani Pendato

    regarding spelling, one has to take into account native phonetics and the english alphabet, some of the various spellings would be correct using- "to", "tu", "too" ... "ru", "ro", "roo"... "ti", "tee" etc. they are just interchangeable sounds, even though they may look odd. search old translations, there were variations depending on eras and translators...makes more sense when one studies our old native writing systems based on syllables rather than applying today's english standards and expecting everyone to spell it the same way. besides native pronunciation, the correct usage is important.
    philippine dialects have countless words adopted from india, the middle east, asia, and europe etc...again its a matter of native adaption, words are not always going to mean the same thing in different countries or dialects, and now current times vs. the past.
    ...to add to the confusion or clarity.lol
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  11. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Sure Buwaya,

    Please let me note that I do NOT claim to be an expert and it has been meny years since I have learned or studied Suluk. But my Great Grandmother Oressa. I have told some people in the past that she was Tausug and I was wrong, it is her mother that was full-blooded Tausug. My great, great grandmother's name was Mahsa., which I think is actually a Persian name. GGM Mahsa was brought to the US/adopted as a child around the turn of the century. So as a kid, I was always curious about the stories I was told abot GGM Mahsa by great grandmother. So between that branch of my family and GT Nene, I have a special interest in the Suluk and Hiligaynon languages and cultures. I really have no interest in the other languages. That is why I started studying a little bit of the history and culture a couple of decades before I even started FMA's. Plus, I have archeological, anthropological and linguistic fetish For instance, I am studying the Hittite's, Germanic style of language instead of my Physics assignments right now. I hope to begin persuing more soon, but it will probably have to be after I graduate, unfortunately. And please do not think that I am trying to stake claim to a link to the Tausug culture to promote my self. On the contrary, I am becoming very conservative with what I do learn. Since I now understand why you guys are too. Everytime we discuss or post a tad bit of information out of kindness, some people use it to commercialize it and promote them selves. As a matter of fact, Pendakar has already asked me to shush and rightfully so.

    Bismillaah, my friend!
  12. selfcritical

    selfcritical New Member

    "Misspelling" is a dubious concept when we are dealing with arbitrary romanizations of words translated from dozens of different dialects without internet agreement on initial spelling (or even meaning) of the starting word.
  13. Bobbe

    Bobbe Member

    I am LOATHE to get into this discussion again, as if my time served in the Eskrima Digest wasn't enough. But I think it's important for everyone to understand what they're seeing and ignoring before we take this any further.

    "Guro" is a version of the Indian "Guru", or maybe I should say the Malay-Indo word "Guru". Understand this; THEY MEAN THE EXACT SAME THING. GURO doesn't mean you are one whit different from GURU, only spelled different. I mispelled the term on your concession of rank, Buzz, but it's not from the Hindu method of thought. Well, it is, but in a roundabout way. Indonesians spell it as "Guru" as well, and although the fault was mine in mis-wording it, the feeling is the same:


    Now, about "Kali"

    Getting into this argument is like shoveling out the ocean with a teaspoon.

    You don't need to look at India for the meaning of Kali, you have roots much closer than that. (By "you" I mean "Practitioners of Filipino Martial Arts.")

    Saying Yamabao "Invented" the word isn't really accurate...It's just the only verifiable written evidence you can trace, am I right?

    But let me ask you this: Why choose "Kali" as a word? Why not "Lumpia"? Why not "Karate"? "Kunesegrado Hataw"?

    Without invoking Latin-based terms, what was the art called BEFORE the arrival of the Spanish?

    Arnis? Nope, sorry, Latin-based word.

    Eskrima? Eeenngh, strike two.

    Now, understand that it doesn't matter to me WHAT the hell you call it, just give me a name that predates the Spanish!

    ...Unless you care to admit that the Spanish INVENTED the Filipino art.

    *Pause here for unwarranted nationalistic backlash*

    No, of course I don't believe that, but the Philippines, Like Malaysia, Indonesia and lots of other 3rd-world type countries suffer from something I call "Village Education". This is the result of people who have never left their village or town to discover other cultures and languages giving advice on something they know very little about. So you wil hear things like "Well, my teacher called it Arnis, so that's what I always called it. It's Filipino, because I'm Filipino, therefore "Arnis" is a Filipino word!"

    (Quick, for $50.00, can someone tell me what the Philippines were called by the natives BEFORE King Phillip of Spain got ahold of it?)

    There is nothing I can provide that vindicates my next projection, but it's just as valid as any of yours:

    Kali, like the native immigrants to the Philippines, came from the Indo-Malay area.

    Now, we have some witnesses: Language, for a start.

    Let's look at the word "Tagalog". What does this word mean?

    The first person who said "The language of the Philippines" gets to wear the dunce cap. I'll let you fight over it.

    "Tagalog" is from two root words (and for once, they're not Spanish in origin) "Taga-Illog" , meaning "To cross the river" or "Those who crossed the river".

    So, here's the first clue: WHO crossed the river? WHERE did they come from?

    Here's a freebie: What language did they bring with them?

    The second clue is language: Many Filipino words find thier roots in the Indo-Malay language. Words like "Payong" "Gunting"...And "Kali"

    "Kali" means a few things in Indonesian, but most notably for this article, it means "Time" and "River". I think, from what I have seen, read, learned and experienced, it means something deeper when referenced to the martial arts. "Kali" doesn't mean time, or a river, but the essence of what these things DO:

    "Kali" means "Flow".

    I think the Indo-Malay race that left the Malaysian paninsula and migrated to the Philippine islands took this method of flow with them. Since I have lived in both the Philippines and Indonesia, I have an insight into the language and culture of both countries. I can tell you right now, with no shame or reservation, that Kali (Filipino Martial Arts) and Pencak Silat (Indonesian Martial Arts) are children of the same mother, PERIOD. They both developed differently under different foreign influences, the Spanish for the Filipinos and the Dutch for the Indonesians. But that style of flow, that fluid, rythmic motion...They are, at minimum, brother and sister arts.

    I have watched for years as people struggled with the origins of the word "Kali" came from, and always there is some controversy: Yamabao, Inosanto, Gaje, the list goes on. Its not my intention to piss people off or offend thier teachers or anything. But I hope this article makes you think, consider and research.

    Take nothing at face value.
  14. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    Welcome back Bobbe!!!!!!! Glad to see that you are letting us know that you are around again.. The postings that you do really put into perspective the mistruths that have prevailed over the last few years.. Kali is just another way to get money out of the geographically disadvantaged martial artists who haven't made the trip to research the origins of their art and having to rely on hearsay information as interpeted by those who come from the far east and cross the international Dan line where their rank mysteriously goes from 1st dan or what ever to the highest level that those who are sheeple follow blindly along with the fong pei
  15. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Bobbe waxes poetic once again, good article. It is chalked full of useful info. I just so happen not to give to craps and a Dixie cup what anything is called..LOL, only if it works. If it is called WHO Flung POO it's cool by me. whats in a name anyhow? Well in this discussion of Kali etc..it always turns out to be a drool fest for the short bus jeepney crowd. There is an old saying "Don't sweat the small ****..and everything is small ****"...rings true on this topic.

    It's been beaten like a hoe owing slobber cash to Smokey the Pimp..
  16. tim_stl

    tim_stl Junior Member

    pananandata. tagaan. itakan. saksakan. those are all just from one language.

    i'm pretty sure it's 'native of the river' or 'inhabitants of the river' or 'people who live by the river.' i have never heard the 'taga-' prefix translated as 'to cross' or 'people who cross.'

  17. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    Bobbe finally brings some worthy elements into a discussion that I could not believe was still going on...but there you go, had I skipped it, it would have left me without some great insights from Bobbe.
    Although, I ain't taking his arguments for granted either...
    Anyway, with regard to this whole debate (from a 'professional' standpoint of a linguist) I tend to be in the Nepangue/Macachor camp, at least until somebody else provides better presentation of the opposite. However, from the standpoint of a practitioner, I cannot but join Mike and his approach...
  18. Bobbe

    Bobbe Member

    They called it ALL those things? From one language? I think you meant dialect, but I don't know for sure. But I would still ask, why so many names for one thing in one dialect?

    Is this "Forward Stabbing"?

    Honestly, I could accept your reasoning just as well. I'm unsure about it predating the Spanish, due to the use of "Pananandata" in recent times, (There are recent additions to the Filipino language as well as old ones) but as I said in my initial article, my argument is no more valid than yours.

    I think one of my points may have been drowned out from the others. Why would you choose the name "Kali" to market something? It wasn't a "known quantity" at the time, no one would have associated it with FMA. So one of my questions was, why simply pull THAT word out of the air? I believe there had to be a reason, otherwise we could have just stuck with "Eskrima" "Arnis" and "Pananandata". Unfortunately, we will probably never know the reason.

    It should be made clear that we will probably NEVER have vindication. There simply isn't enough of the culture left to make accurate arguments, we can only proceed with what we have in front of us today.

    I got that translation from a native Cebuano, and I could be ENTIRELY wrong as well. Like I said, I'm cutting and pasting as I see fit, like everyone else.

    GOOD FOR YOU! Go with whatever makes the most sense to you, train hard, nurture the seeds of the FMA you have been given until they become oaks, and pass it on to good persons. That's whats really important, anyway.
  19. tim_stl

    tim_stl Junior Member

    a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.

    why only one name? don't we also use 'cut' and 'slice' synonymously, as well as 'thrust' and 'stab' or 'wrestling' and 'grappling?' they're just different ways of referring to fighting.

    so what use is speculation?

  20. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Hark, do I hear the thumping of that same old horse..thwap..thwap....LOL

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