Somehow I tend to think that many assaults/murders got re-classified as "deathmatches" by the victor over time. Was it a fight? Sure. Was it always fair? Doubtful.
Many old escrimadors were rough customers. There were obviously the occasional duels, but I'd bet random street violence was much more common.
Pulling a few bits of info from Mark Wiley's Filipino Martial Culture book...details of death matches/patayan is a bit vague other than it was officially outlawed in 1945 by General MacArthur. I guess the introduction of organised stick fighting replaced these challenges although I believe they still exist in some capacity due to the integral nature of anting anting, orasyones that is still prevalent in Filipino culture. Due to the non scholarly nature of the history of FMA a lot its past has been handed down orally so it can be difficult separating fact and embellishment.
The interview section with Antonio Ilustrisimo has a few stories of various fights and challenges he was involved in, most usually ending up with him mutilating his opponent in some way rather than outright killing them so I guess the definition of what constitutes a death match is somewhat variable!
Just found a section in said book that when masters/fighters/whatever would look for opponents to challenge there would be variations on symbolic gestures as to whether the match would be merely a test of skill or a fight to the death which ties into what RynoGreene said about re classification of events.
This is more along the lines of what I was looking for when I started the thread. I suppose it suggests that I may not be able to find any documentation of actual matches. Do any of the masters that describe these fights ever mention the names of their opponents.
Originally Posted by Kalichap
I assume a deathmatch is merely a full contact match where no protective gear is worn. Is anyone aware of any documented matches that fit this description? What are common rulesets for death matches? I wouldn't be surprised if there was a no grappling rule observed by both fighters.
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Ive heard a good deal about the deal matches here and there over the years. My understanding is that these matches have the possibility of ending in death, but much more often, someone either submits (throws in the towel) or gets knocked out and then the fight is effectively over. I think they just called them death matches because both individuals agreed that it was a potential outcome...One which rarely actually took place.
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