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  1. Kuya is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 1:05am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Ok, havent posted on Bullshido in ages, and have since change FMA systems, and done alot of different training, competing, and sparring since then. But had to jump in since many guys are identifying something in modern FMA that sadly is the trend, but not the origin of the art.

    Complacent/Dead training, ala. compliant drils, are a modern invention. The art almost died in the Philippines, because traditional training was too rough for most parents to want their kids to do. Traditional training, particularly the original Kalis Ilustrisimo training (e.g. before it became formalized), was very basic and involved essentially lots and lots of unarmored sparring. The original KI guys, e.g. Mang Tony, Mang Yuli, etc... can all show you the scars, and missing teeth from those early days of training with Tatang. Great for a fighting art, but hard to keep students, let alone teach to the masses, as you would have to have a teacher who could out fight all their students, which is time consuming since that is all one on one.

    This is where GM Remy Presas came in. In an effort to "modernize" the art, and spread it to the masses he started creating complacent drills, particularly non-contact drills (e.g. hit the stick to represent hitting the person, whereas in the old times the master would simply hit you). I've spoken to many of his old time masters from PI, including the late great GM Roland Dantes, and they were the first to admit that this type of training wasnt the old/realistic training, but simply to get the art into Gym class for kids.

    It worked. GM Presas has spread the art all over the world, particularly the US, and his methods of non-contact, drill heavy training made the art accessible to people who would not put up with getting beat up in sparring on a regular basis. His methods were adopted by alot of West Coast Eskrima guys, particularly of note Dan Inosanto, and a push for drilling, and ever fancier FMA came to be.

    Throw into the mix that many FMA players were tapped to be actors in the old Moro-Moro plays, or Komedyas, and suddenly instead of the old way of settling arguments and competing, its the stylized play fighting and drilling that is being sold as FMA.

    So yes, what you see are dead drills, and complacent training. If you have the fortune to meet the old timers who created these training methods, they are pretty much up front as to why, because modern kids dont like getting their teeth knocked out in sparring. They dont like not being able to open their hands the next day because they've been hit too many times. They dont want to look like they are a ninja but dont want to put the actual work in, and if someone new comes in and wants to spar that can disrupt the fantasy. Natural things for a modern world, but not traditional/old fashioned eskrima.

    Old fashioned eskrima is simple ala. old school boxing. Few and simple techniques, and lots of sparring. Many groups develop flashy stuff for demos, but again that is more of a modern trend, and really would be like using the Rocky fight sequences as representing all of boxing.
  2. Chili Pepper is online now
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 7:46am


     Style: Siling Labuyo Arnis

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    I kinda like that very first thing that camo did- the low horizontal forehand with shoulder roll. Maybe I'll play around with that.
    That's from the Sayoc Kali stick grappling dvd. I liked the instructional stuff at the beginning, but the end section (where they're out in the woods) not so much.*

    *although, they get kudos for a) alive sparring and b) being willing to show it on the dvd even if the students in it had very little actual grappling training.
  3. Chili Pepper is online now
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 8:01am


     Style: Siling Labuyo Arnis

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    The Irish stickfighters also seem to like a long punyo
    Yeah, they like a much longer and heavier stick. You could only effectively wield it with a choked-up punyo if you had wrists like an ourangutan.
  4. Permalost is online now
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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 10:50am

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Kuya- my teacher's first teacher was his father, who taught him Batangas baston, and what he's said about it sounds like the old style of training.

    I was wondering how Doce Pares fits into the narrative though (where FMA became Presas' technical non-contact method), since DP was founded before Presas was born. Doce pares also uses plenty of stick on stick patterns and drills and angle systems etc. Did it change, and was it because of Presas?
  5. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 10:55am


     Style: fma

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    was it because of Presas?
    no. that's a popular narrative, but it's not accurate. weapon-on-weapon contact and drills are not the invention of remy presas, and they're not a modern invention.
  6. Kuya is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 12:19pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There's a BBC documentary floating around on youtube, from the 70s possibly early 80s, and they talk alot about the changes in DP to modernize and make the art more accessible to modern ages. One thing to remember, Doce Pares used to be known as Doce Pares Eskrima Club it was either Judo or Karate club, because eskrima was not as popular (I forget which though there are photos floating around of the old Doce Pares logo from the 50s, and you see that name).

    For better or worse, one cannot under-estimate the influence of Remy Presas (and I do not and have never been a modern arnis guy though I know alot of them). Remy did alot to popularize the art, and that popularization, especially under Naraphil and the power of a dicatorship, did alot to help get the old masters out of the shadows, and influence the way of training. There is a reason about the only time you see a gathering of the different masters, like Momoy Canete, Mang Ben, Tatang Ilustrisimo, GM Jose Mena, etc... at the first Naraphil tournaments, and it wasnt because they all magically became friends, for the same reason you dont see them gathered working under the same banner afterwards. Marcos and guys like General Ver, influenced alot with a heavy hand.

    As for the heavy emphasis of pattern drilling and non-contact existing before Remy, I dunno most of the old timers I've talked to credit him. Would like to know who/what system should receive that dubious credit, if its not "modern" arnis and Remy Presas. I can talk about a few systems, from whom I've met old timers or guys who trained with the old timers who were willing to tell stories of old. Those are KI, Modern Arnis, Kombatan, Dekiti/Pekiti Tirsia, LSAI, and Balintawak. Would be curious, who is claiming to be the group that popularized this trend in FMA training, because chances are they did come under Remy's influence.

    Anyways one thing to clarify. I am not saying Remy invented all the drills, and non-contact training that every group uses. Rather, he popularized the idea of doing such things, which other masters looked at and eventually applied to their groups. Kinda like Balintawak changing from free form teaching to groupings and palakaw, or LSAI formalizing their curriculum, etc...

    Whether old style training vs modern training is an issue of good vs bad, is debatable since modernizing the art has resurrected it, and made it accessible to people who would never ever been able to train the old way. Not to mention, even today Phil groups struggle with things like structure and curriculum, and passing the art in a consistent manner. So its not necessarily a bad thing, but its not a traditional thing either. It marks a turning point for FMA, whether or not it wants to remain as a fighting art or turn into something different (e.g. an art for exercise only, or meditation, etc...). I've talked to many practitioners, particularly here in the US, who will say they are not in FMA to learn to fight, but rather for exercise, for sense of belonging (hey alot of FMA groups are close knit), for some philosphical fulfillment. Can't blame em. Sword/stick fighting is anachronistic for modern American society. Even knife fighting, isnt quite so common either, versus learning an empty hand art like boxing or Muay Thai.
  7. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 12:35pm


     Style: fma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuya View Post
    I am not saying Remy invented all the drills, and non-contact training that every group uses. Rather, he popularized the idea of doing such things, which other masters looked at and eventually applied to their groups.
    i don't disagree with that. generalizing beyond that is where i disagree, that that type of training didn't exist in the filipino arts before remy, or that that type of training is necessarily modern and no old style training is of that type.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuya View Post
    its not a traditional thing either
    this assertion, for instance. do you believe that sinawali, for instance, is modern? or that the old-style way of sinawali is people just hitting each other?

    as another question, you brought up moro-moro/komedya. how does that fit into this idea that drills and weapon contact is modern?
  8. Kuya is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 1:32pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    To clarify, from my original post the context of weapon contact I am referring to, is hitting the weapon as a representation of the person. Many styles will have some weapon to weapon contact, because simply they use the weapon to block, or parry, but I am referring to the attack. E.g. instead of hitting you, I hit the stick to represent you. So big difference between you try and attack me, and I use my weapon to parry, and then return and you parry in turn versus you attack me and I hit your stick but say that if it was in real I would be hitting your arm.

    Anyways, I would be interested in learning what old style training emphasized drilling and non-contact. For my own research/meeting old Filipino guys, I havent found one yet. I listed which groups I've interacted with (at least the ones that are probably more known there have been a few rare style practitioners that I have met that well just wouldnt be known), so curious which groups teach an old way that emphasize non-contact.

    As for sinawali/pattern in general, there is vid of Tatang Ilustrisimo on youtube showing some double stick work, and yes no simply tapping sticks, instead contact with control.

    As for moro-moro/komedyas. Those were stylized plays. The fighting in them were choreographed to entertain not necessarily to fight. It happened that it was easier to get fight choreographers back in the day who were eskrimadors, than simply actors, but just because they did something in a play doesnt mean thats who they actually fought or trained. That would be like assuming the way Rocky fought in all his movies is the way real boxers fight, or any action movie in that manner. Did some real elements fall in, sure but again that emphasis on stylization, non-contact is for theatrics not fighting.
  9. Kuya is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2012 1:40pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Anyways, we can go round and round on this topic of whats trad vs new, but on an FMA podcast, called FMATalklive.com the last show was with a cultural anthropologist from the University of the Philippines, named Felipe Jocano, who is also a FMA practitioner and has trained/talked to many old time masters. He goes into alot of the old vs new forms of training, and alot of good info (including direct tagalog translation of the infamous Placido Yambao book where people credit Kali coming from).
  10. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/21/2012 10:39am


     Style: fma

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i'm not attempting to go round and round, just trying to discern why you think weapon-contact drills are not traditional. i listen to fmatalklive regularly, so i've heard the interview with prof. jocano.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuya View Post
    As for sinawali/pattern in general, there is vid of Tatang Ilustrisimo on youtube showing some double stick work, and yes no simply tapping sticks, instead contact with control.
    so, is it your assertion that tatang ilustrisimo's method of using two weapons is traditional, and that all sinawali with weapon-to-weapon contact is modern and non-traditional?
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