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Thread: Racism in FMA

  1. #1
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Racism in FMA



    I recall years ago reading an article about racism in FMA, but it was before I'd studied the arts so it was more theoretical. Unlike a lot of racism complaints in Asian martial arts, this one wasn't aimed at old school Asians who wouldn't teach westerners. It was about taking a racial caricature of the Southeast Asian to embody the fierceness and legitimacy of the local fighting arts. Going on about how its the art of little brown exotic headhunters and pirates.

    Today, I saw the above pic on Facebook from one of the FMA groups I'm friends with (never met IRL, they're Brazilian), and it totally reminded me of the critiques of using racial caricatures to make an art look more badass.

    What do you think of this sort of thing in FMA or silat? Is the pic at the top racist?



    As a white guy, I try not to take on the cultural burdens of other people, cause that's sorta racist in its own way (implying that they can't champion their own causes). But as an aspiring FMA instructor, I don't want to make anyone feel excluded or mocked, particularly Filipinos.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten. supporting member
    Devil's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it's the Spanish that should be offended by your picture.

    And whitey, who is getting portrayed as fat, ignorant and insensitive. If they wanted to be fair, they could've at least given the Indian a bottle of liquor.
    Last edited by Devil; 11/06/2013 8:58pm at .

  3. #3
    FHoppy's Avatar
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    The biggest example of racism in FMA that I've seen is the Filipino hatred for all things Japanese.
    Quote Originally Posted by Canuckyokushin
    I would so do Buttsecks.

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    Not the first time I've seen MA school logos involving severed heads. Doesn't matter whether the logo is racist. Its ugly as hell, not the type of image a respectable school or instructor should identify with, and is most damaging to the members of the school that uses it.

  5. #5

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    Agreed Capn, particularly as you aren't allowed to cut people's heads off as an act of self defense. It's macho-masturbatory imagery.

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    DCS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's the Spanish that should be offended by your picture.
    Can't talk for every Spaniard but I find the pic more funny than offensive and being used by Brazilians totally loltastic.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's the Spanish that should be offended by your picture.
    Actually, your typical Spaniard doesn't give a **** what "the natives" in the Phillipines or in Latin America think of them. Spaniards are better because they're European.

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    My bad IIF, that went really off track. Won't **** up this part of the forum like that again.

  10. #10
    Mr. Machette's Avatar
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    I've never met an FMA school that was inherently racist.

    "Racial" might be a better word as the FMA is a truly unique cultural heritage of theirs and is often passed down from family members. So it's more than just some fancy moves learned at the quasi day care in the mall, it's a blood tradition gifted down the generations.

    I'd say they are rightfully proud of that. While race is acknowledged I've only ever seen it manifest in a negative manner when someone was being out of line, I.E. trying too hard to be something they're not.

    Any other time it was quite jovial. For instance, there was this hulking Germanic guy in one of our classes. He worked in demolition with some of the other students. One day he's using a long crow bar to try and wedge apart some concrete and he snaps the damn thing in two! Racial comment of the day "You white boys are too big!".

    That isn't hateful. That's just funny.

    You know what else they did? They invited us "white boys" to stay in their homes, share their meals and learn their heritage like we were family.

    AFA as holding up a Spaniard's head? Crude depiction for sure, but that's Magellan. The guy who killed Maegllan (Lapu Lapu) is their national hero. His face is on the logo of the main school I trained with. It's not a gruesome cartoon like in the OP, but it's basically celebrating the same act of violence. If that makes you uncomfortable then maybe the FMA thing isn't for you because boy do they frickin' love Lapu Lapu.

    I don't really see their national pride as any different from that found in your local Aki-Kai or Karate Dojo. I'd say what nationalism I've seen presented in FMA was a lot less toxic and condescending than what I've seen in other martial arts. It's more in the spirit of sharing. What I've experience from other Asian MA was usually downright dogmatic and oppressive.

    So "racism", maybe? Discrimination? Not where I stand. It may be out there but I haven't experienced it. Could be a "west coast" thing. We're pretty diverse out here and most groups of people will reflect that. But I don't know.

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