Discussion in 'General' started by arnisador, May 1, 2010.
The challenge of historical documentation on arnis
From conversations I've had with several long timers, it seems that much of the history is passed on verbally, subject to memory and personal spin distorting much of it over the years. I think I've read a dozen contradictory histories of Modern Arnis alone, and that's just 1 art among many.
Yes there is a lot of spin and personal interpretation. I think that Historical researchers need to delve in and get to the root of the history of Arnis, Eskrima and Kali. Leave no bones about it and pick no sides.
That is probably not going to happen unless you get someone who is not involved in the art and is only interested in the information from an academic perspective. Historians aren't going to be the only ones involved either. You are going to need a team of people including anthropologists, archeologists, geographers, historians, etc... To do it properly would be extremely expensive and would involved desecrating the graves and burial sites of the elders and ancients. That sort of thing is hard to get people to agree to. You are going to need significant funding (which comes with a point of view typically) and carte blanch to do what needs to be done. Otherwise, it isn't going to happen.
I have read most of what is out there in terms of FMA history over the last several months. Some parts are good, most are not.
Well, that might turn out to be double-edged sword. I remember reading John Keagan's "History of warfare", in which he nicely notes that curators of many a military museum he had visited are utterly uninformed and ignorant about the functional aspects of the very items they lecture on, i.e. the period weaponry exhibited. Sure, they can tell you volumes about the ornamental decorations on sword handles and basket-hilts, even go at length about the regional and era styles of aesthetical aspects of those weapons, but next to nothing about how the manner of utilization changed with times. This lack of insight could hinder the understanding about how, and more importantly why, thigs happened at certain times and in particular places, which in turn would make for more educated guess about some historical events.
Very good points above! It would be cool but probably is not going to happen so it is what it is at this point and each individual needs to delve into the stories presented themselves.
I too hope some disinterested academics, from various disciplines, will tackle the issue...govt. funding can make that happen!
There is a difference between being knowledgeable of warfare in such a way that allows you to properly interpret your findings, and having preference towards a given system or style.
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