Discussion in 'General' started by Datu Tim Hartman, May 2, 2010.
This is a mail I received on facebook. What do you think?
The Phil. govt. wants more unity too!
They'll never get it.
As per the email above they are trying to identify and distinguish "Common Basics" from "your individual style".
Our style is our basics. These look different to the basics of other groups.
Why confuse people and waste their time but teaching another system's basics?
Who exactly gets to chose what's "common"?
It would be cool to see them offering government credited FMA accreditation - regardless of style. As long as it was a good standard and was more involved with how to effectively teach, plan syllabus, seminars, programs for security, police, etc etc. That would be cool. It would be impossible to keep money and politics out of it I guess though....
...now how much would you pay?
It slices, it dices...makes perfect French Fries....but wait, there's more!
You also get this matching T-shirt!
(Apologies to the folks outside the US and anyone too young to know Ron Popeil)
I wish I'd said that!
I'm reminded of the ZNKR Iaido etc. in Japan...common, but very, uh, vanilla.
There are way too many issues involved to make something like that happen or actually work. As pointed out previously, each FMA style has its own 'basic fundamentals', and each system within a particular style might have very different 'basic fundamentals.' I can say from experience that each system of Sikaran currently being taught in the U.S. teaches a totally seperate set of fundamentals that serve as the core techniques or approach to the system.
Then there is the whole issue of 'Just who exactly gets to run this whole operation?' There is already enough disputes about ranks and titles within the FMA. I imagine the theory is that this 'one system' plan would somehow put everyone in place according to the vision of whoever is running this operation... we all know there is no way this is going to happen.
Give it a few months, and we will probobly see this whole plan repackaged as someone's 'brand new unified system' that he has been teaching for decades in a dark underground passage, and is now ready to share with the world.
I think it would be possible, but I don't like the idea.
Making FMA too united is a bad idea if you ask me- it takes a lot of what drew me into FMA out. The competition, even if friendly, brings out the best in me, for sure- I would hate to lose that.
Who sent it to you?
I re-read my post and I should have phrased it more politely in case it sounds rude. Apologies for that. I'm interested in knowing more about its origin though-mind if I ask who sent it to you?
Which came First? Your Style or FMA?
I said the quote which Datu Hartman posted.
It is apparent most people who have responded to it are so stuck within their Styles. I'm not talking about your groups particular style... i'm talking about Filipino Martial Arts. People tend to forget that the Styles fall Under FMA and Not the other way around.
The problem is that most people Promote their Style and call it FMA, this is Not true! If it was, then who is the real FMA... Modern Arnis? Balintawak? Doce Pares? Therefore, the best thing to say is these are the different Styles (your groups self-expression) of Filipino Martial Arts. Now you ask, well what makes them all FMA? Because it all stems from one source which is the Original Armed to Unarmed Combat fighting. Remember that mere Farmers started this Art to use against foreign invasion before they even had a name for it.
If all of our styles come from the same source, then we must have started from the 'Same Basics'. What is the Common Basics of FMA? Here are some examples, 1. downward/upward diagonal strikes 2. 8 lines of motion 3. 12 strikes 4. even how to hold a stick and use the punyo We all have these! Even all groups are familiar with Sinawali. It is all Basic Fundamentals. To be a good teacher you need to show your students what others are doing.
Now to go beyond that... is where your Style comes in. Your groups style will prefer one over the other, use more of one and less of another... this is called your styles 'Preferences'. For example, Some may focus more on Sinawali, some on Abanico, others middle-range fighting, and your style may use 9 strikes instead of 12.
Take a look at the Japanese Karate. It all comes from one source... but there are different groups, Shotokan, Kyokoshin, Goju Ryu, etc.. However, all their basics are the same. If you were a student, your basic fundamentals are the same (strikes, blocks, stances) so you can go into another style and still be familiar with movements, but have to learn their particular thought on strategy and technique. Even you go into the Korean Arts, you will still have the 'Common Basic Fundamentals'. So why can't we have this in Filipino Martial Arts?
Filipino Martial Arts needs to have it's own Identity! Not expressed by one's Style and call it FMA. If can all Unite under FMA Education of the 'Common Basics' and able to teach a Standard Course for it, then we can have a proper structure for learning. Then it is up to the student where he wants to excel and focus his efforts... be it Pekiti Tersia, Kuntao, or De Cuerdas. Then we can be Teachers and not just Instructors!
will never happen
While you do bring up a few valid points, what needs to be realized is that some FMA's are more blade oriented while others focus soley on just the stick (ie pekiti tirsia/kali illustrimo blade oriented. Balitnawak/ lightning scientific more emphasis on the stick). Also some fma's are a bit more footwork intensive than others so the basics will be different all across the board. You brought up karate basics being the same...well I will use japanese jujitsu as an example. You take lets say Sanuces ryu here in the U.S. (founded by the late Dr. Moses Powell) and compare it to lets say the jujitsu that George Kirby or Michael Depesquale does. they will have similar elements (ie: locking and throwing) but how the cover the fundamental principles of their art will be different. I think there does need to be unity in the arts, and if we cannot get that well I think a mutual respect for each other's systems would be a good place to start.
Of course I am stuck with my particular style, I'm stuck on it because I think it is a pretty good training methodology. I went through a couple of others before I found it, if I didn't like it, I'd be stuck on another system or approach.
I think your argument would be great for a one month "intro to FMA" class. Just enough time to get people interested, give them some references and have them check out whatever instructors are available in the area. And not enough time to hardwire bad-habits. The last thing I would want to do is to have to reprogram every student into my style's "better" way of doing things. And of course it is better, because it is the style I teach.... A Pekiti #1 isn't a Serrada #1 despite the fact that they descend from the right shoulder at some angle toward the centerline. Any longer than that and you are just creating more problems than it is worth.
Your analogy to Japanese (and Okinawan) Karate is both very good and very flawed. Both are island countries subject to repeated waves of invasion and subjugation. And like the Philipinnes, indigineous martial arts sprang up in multiple areas and bonded with other imported arts. Karate does have its own identity despite the fact that they aren't unified, and with regard to your argument that their basics are the same, they aren't. As just an obvious example take a look at the difference between Goju-ryu and Isshin-ryu basics, particularly their blocks and preferred punching methodology. Same with the Korean arts, look at the lineal stepping of TKD and their now popularized "sine-wave" motion versus Tang Soo Do which holds more to its Karate style roots.
Finally, I do not understand your "Teacher and not just Instructor" line. Is this distinction regarding formal employment in a school system somewhere?
This just smacks too much of empire-building. Join my organization/group/alliance (and pay the fees) and we'll all be unified! I don't buy it. Its like the United Professionals schools that have these "universal forms" that are supposedly required material for United Professionals school. Why, other than giving someone a chance to be power broker, and someone else the reason to charge membership fees. Sorry I'm a bit cynical, but I've heard this whole "we'll all be united" argument in plenty of places....and they always have dollar amounts attached.
Let's say we could do this. Who would be the "ONE" to set the standard?
If they do this, it'll be a commission of Filipinos endorsed by the Phil. govt. Look to the examples of the Japanese weapons arts with their now-standardized curricula, or how the Korean govt. standardized TKD.
Wow, now there was a great idea. Now we have 50 million 8 year olds running around with black belts doing katas and yelling and kicking the air thinking they're learning how to fight.
Unification is never cool in my book. Standardization from within your particular syatem, sure, but unification all around. nope. You end up with stagnation and potential civil wars.
The problem is that in my opinion based on quite a bit of exposure over the last thirty years to a variety of Filipino styles is that many of them have different basics or additional basics. Not all of them hold the stick the same way. Some treat the stick as a stick while others treat it with a stick/blade perspective and yet others treat it solely as a blade in their system. Not all of them use the same numeral system for striking. Plus I really doubt they all came from the same source. Remember there were back in the day constant migration and invasions, etc. That means that there was always a flux of new people, new ideas, etc. coming through. Out with the old and in with the new! The mother art idea is just that an idea as I do not think that there was just one mother art but instead many variations and completely different systems. This variety and innovation in the Filipino Martial Arts is what makes it so strong and effective. Just my 02!
Work on uniting the practitioners....let the systems alone, they were designed and built for reason and should never come under the scrutiny of change, unless said change comes from the system heads themselves.
Our GM only emphasizes forehand and backhand, serrada & Abierta so that doesn't apply to our group.
We also hold the stick differently as Brian alluded to and use no punyo at largo / medio range. So that also doesn't apply.
Sure, we are familiar with it but it is not part of our system or basics.
Playing "Devil's Advocate" you see how hard it would be....
Separate names with a comma.