Ever heard of "Kombatan"?
I'm currently looking for a good filipino style school in the Kansas City area, but the only one I can seem to find that is purely FMA and not "Our grand master has black belts in Karate, Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Aikido, Escrima, and Making Super Poison Pancakes" (we've all encountered these schools before) is something called "Kombatan".
First, and foremost, I have never taken FMA before, and am really looking for something to add to my Aikido regimen. I love Aikido, and I truly believe that in a few years I would not have any problem taking somone to the ground using the joint manipulations/pins I have learned so far, but the truth of the matter is while I have learned enough Aikido to avoid getting repeatedly punched about the head and neck, I don't have enough confidence in my abilities (I've only been there for a year) as an Aikidoka to handle myself in a dark alley (although I have no doubt that my Sensei, or even upper level students could); therefore, I want other options in my pocket so to speak.
I've looked at some Kombatan videos online, and it seems interesting, but I'm hoping to get a firsthand opinion from someone out there.
Now, as to what I'm looking to get from FMA:
1) The empty hand side of things looks sweet, the locks, traps, etc. look a lot like the style of Aikido I do, just a little bit modified (I mean "modified" to the training I've personally done, in no way am I implying that FMA sprang out of a Japanese art, or really any other art that I'm aware of) by throwing in checks and what not.
2) I've always thought knife fighting just looks good, ever since I was a kid. It's asthetically pleasing, and even when done at a snail's pace one can genrally see the effectiveness of technique.
The one main question I have, that can't be answered through just watching videos on youtube, is this: Can/Does FMA work against a brawler type opponent?
Sometimes I wonder if it borders on too much of a dance, and while it is effective/potentially lethal I can't help but wonder if it only qualifies as such when/if your opponent is also using FMA. I mean, in most videos when FMA is used it's done against FMA, and looking at where it originated, this makes sense.
Everyone (generally speaking) does FMA in the Phillipenes, I kind of equate it to pre-1950s/1960s United States when most peoples dads took them out in the yard and taught them how to box after they got in their first school yard brawl. If you got in a fight after that it was more or less a quick boxing match.
Thanks for any input.
Last edited by timolocus; 9/08/2007 9:27am at .
I don't have much experience with Kombaton (a few hours at a seminar) so I can't speak too much about it specifically. So I can only talk about FMA in general.
If you're looking for empty hand skills, then you should probably seek out styles that specialize in empty hand fighting. Most FMA styles in the United States are going to spend a lot of time doing weapons. You may get empty hand training, but it is rarely the focus with an FMA group and it will take you longer to develop proficiency since it is not the focus. This will depend a lot on the individual teacher and how they break up the class.
With regards to FMA vs. a brawler, it can work very well. The important thing to consider is how you are being trained. If the focus in the beginning is on movement and striking with power, you will develop a good foundation. This foundation combined with regular sparring should quickly give you the skillset to deal with a brawler. You should learn basic tactics like moving out of range to hit the hand. This is the approach I've seen out of groups like the dog brothers (Guro Crafty's DBMA specifically) and Pekiti Tirsia. They deal with committed, powerful attacks in the beginning and work their way up to more complex tactics.
If the training is not focused on good foundation skills (movement and striking), then you will probably not develop the tools to deal with a brawler very quickly if at all. A lot of people want to learn flow drills, disarms, and things like that because they are fun and look impressive. These training methods can be useful if you have a good instructor, but they are also much easier to do poorly. If the instructor doesn't know what they are doing, but they know a single pattern which they can go through quickly with a student it looks impressive. That doesn't mean they have any actual skill or even an understanding of the training method.
Basically, if you can't swing a stick or knife with power or evade a strike, then you will not be able to do any of the fancy stuff.
Kombatan is Ernesto Presas' system. (One of Remy Presas' Sons.)
ergo it is a derivative of Modern Arnis.
Ask the guy about his lineage(ie who was his instructors, how much experience he's had)
If he's directly trained under any of the big name FMA teachers for a long period of time. he should be pretty good.
As for FMA in the PI... well its part of the PE program.. meaning its required but not everyone there takes it seriously.
As has been said countless times before:
- Look for a instructor your comfortable with and who appears pretty confident in his knowledge when you ask questions.
- See how much he emphasizes footwork and ranging as well as transitions between stick to knife to empty hand.
- Is it more active drills / alive training or is it empty/dead patterns/forms/kata?
- How are the students holding the sticks? (should be about a fists length frlom the end)
- Does he focus on power, Does he chastize students or correct people with bad form?
You can learn more about his teaching ability from watching the students he's teaching. If they suck, chances are he's not that great at teaching it.
As for Aikido vs FMA jointlocking/trapping/breaking.
I'd say FMA is different because for the most part
we train/practice/drill all the moves against a resisting opponent.
Just guessing here, because I don't know much of anything about FMA...Is the abbreviation for "As for FMA in the Phillipenes, it's part of Phys Edu." ? If not then I'm really confused as to what you are trying to say :P
Originally Posted by variance
Thanks again...at least now I have some sort of idea as to what to be looking for.
Last edited by timolocus; 9/08/2007 8:01pm at .
Ernesto Presas is Remy's younger brother, not his son. Kombaton does have similar roots to Modern Arnis. Both Remy and Ernesto trained in the Presas family system, so they have a similar base. From that base they each trained with different people and developed their systems differently over time. Though for many years Ernesto did you use the name Modern Arnis for his system.
As an example, Remy trained in Balintawak with Arnulfo Mongcal, Timor Maranga, and Anciong Bacon, which influenced his close range single stick methods. I don't believe Ernesto had any Balintawak training. So the styles branched out over time as both Remy and Ernesto trained with different people. If there are any Kombaton people, maybe they could talk about some of Ernesto's training beyond the family system. I think he had some training in Kendo and Karate, but I'm not sure.
I stand corrected.
Originally Posted by Epa
Kombatan, which is under Ernesto, focuses on the Sinwali (dual stick weaving), dulo dulo (short palm stick), single stick, dumog (filipino wrestling) and open hand. They do not believe in the joint locking as much as his late Brother's System Modern Arnis. Kombatan seems to flow more without the locks. Modern arnis, seems to focus a lot on the locks and the small circle jujitsu incorporated.
The Modern Arnis system seemed to focus more on the single stick and the up in your face Balintiwak sparring. Kombatan also adds Sikaran, the filipino kicking. I only trained three months in Kombatan and almost a year in Modern Arnis. Both seemed to use a lot of palm strikes and open hand hits, as not to break a knuckle in combat. There is a third brother, who is not allowed outside of the Philippines due to a flight risk. He has his system Arnis De Mano.
Kombatan seemed to flow, almost like dancing to me, and Modern Arnis was more like
Shotokan Hard style. I would ask to observe a class as well as participate in one.
Originally Posted by bravespirit
I practice a derivative of modern arnis
My Guro was a direct student under Remy Presas in the PI for over 15 years.
I can vouch for Modern Arnis being more like shotokan (I think Remy had training in it)
We do seem to focus more on breaks, locks, disarms and stop-blocks than flow.
The downsides of Modern Arnis as a system: (IMHO)
1. Inclusion of empty hand forms. (The flow/alive partner drill forms are fine. because your responding to a person)
2. The "Grapple Flow" / "Dance of Pain" / "Buno" - I believe this was taken from small circle jiujitsu. Supposedly you flow from one lock into the other from different positions.
Most of it being standing locks. Seemed kind of useless to me but doing it helped me (as a newbie) with spatial relational perception and leverage stuff. but I think a more effective alive method could be better.
3. The Pressure point stuff. (Thank you dillman for polluting FMA) It's fine using them with sticks but I find the application of them in locks in empty hand (pain compliance) to be gimmicky.
good Kombatan is the ****.