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"Kicks and Sticks" FMA Studio & General Questions on FMA's Worth

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    "Kicks and Sticks" FMA Studio & General Questions on FMA's Worth

    (Sorry if this belongs in the FMA forum, I figured it would go here because I am asking about a school's validity.)

    Here is the only link I could find about a FMA school I am thinking about visiting:

    The website covers a typical class as well as a bio on their instructor. I am not sure how up to date it is. Could anyone tell me if this is worth looking over?

    Also, could I hear opinions on whether this school's focus on "Filipino Martial Arts and Modern Arnis", as well as the instructor's background, would be effective at teaching me a well-rounded system including weapons, striking, and grappling? I have been searching these forums but cannot find any terribly concrete/specific answers, just that it seems possible. I have been training in bad CMA (luckily only for three months) and would like to learn something real.

    Thanks for your time,

    I don't know too much about FMA, but they seem low-key (which is a good sign, in my books) and lacking in the pretentious rhetoric martial arts schools usually use to try and sell their product (2000 years old, too deadly for the UFC, etc.), which is also a plus. I think you've got a decent school here, and you should investigate further.
    Also, your chances of getting a well-rounded system of weaponry, striking, and grappling is extremely difficult to find in one school. Hell, it's hard enough to get just a well-rounded grappling system in one school (thus the number of people around here who cross train BJJ and Judo). But chances are, FMA is going to give you good weaponry training, and probably at least a bit of skill with the other two fields.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.


      That's odd.
      the color belt ranking there is different than my modern arnis school was.
      I've been in it on and off for 4 or 5 years (Lima is my grade i think)
      with additional Doce Pares training with another teacher.
      some Lameco seminars and Dog Brothers DVDs.

      anyway FMA is great and probably the most functional/complete self-defense (in that we typically spar/drill with weapons with aliveness and noncompliance).

      a pure FMA place will be a great place to get well rounded in standup/self-defense.
      Without weapons FMA empty hand is closer to Muay Thai/Silat.

      The groundwork might not be the best or most technical. but thats what BJJ is for later on.

      Now as for Modern Arnis itself
      I'm not the most fond of some of the traditional approach modern arnis takes
      (ie. having to learn some forms) but as long as there are alive drills, actual sparring
      and the teacher is good.

      Originally posted by Website
      Kicks and Sticks is a full contact studio giving you the opportunity to fight in simulated real-life situations. That means, while sparing, unless you are new, punches and swings will not be pulled and you will be hit. Although, at the time you will be wearing protective gear, it will still hurt to some degree.
      From the sounds of that. the definitely train alive so you should get some very good training.

      Much better than empty form CMA training.

      Like my Guro says.

      If you get hit while training. it's your own damn fault for not paying attention/keeping guard up

      Originally posted by Website
      Laberge has studied numerous styles of martial arts, including Modern Arnis, AMOK! Tribal Knife fighting, Dog Brothers Inc. Real Contact Stick Fighting, Silat, Ju Jitsu, Judo, Kali and Escrima.
      If all his credentials check out.
      Sounds like a VERY good FMA place.
      Last edited by variance; 12/29/2007 6:18pm, .


        The Fort Worth School is headed by a good man. He and Guro Laberge are both very talented fighters, teachers and human beings.
        The Kicks and Sticks way is to leave the faculty's background open for inspection. In short, they ask that you make your own judgement, not take their word at face value. This is a big part of how one learns to trust their word and the quality of their information.


          I train in Modern Arnis all I can say is that if you have the right instructor to teach you then go for it. Also, look at some of the different styles of FMA on youtube. I hope that helped. Don't look so much at the belts, I mean make the belts of course, but think more about the applications and the mindset. Good luck.


            Ranking systems in FMA scare me. Automatic knee jerk badness
            Monkey Ninjas! Attack!


              FMA is good for reflexes, paying attention, weapons training as well as developing fluid action (the flow) and the ability to counter the counter. Go for it.

              Dan Anderson


                Originally posted by JKDChick View Post
                Ranking systems in FMA scare me. Automatic knee jerk badness
                Its no different than ranking systems in BJJ or any other art for that matter. I actually like the ranking system in Modern Arnis because it give a level of understanding as to what the progression through the curriculum looks like. To me, this removes subjectivity on the part of the instructor or head of the system out of the equation to the point possible. Many other FMA systems have a grading structure as well. Modern Arnis, Kombaton, and a few others are the only ones I am aware of using belt structure but that doesn't mean that other styles don't have it. Heck, Doce Pares uses a rank structure as does Balintawak, Sayoc Kali, Pekiti Tirsia, Filipino Combat Systems, Inosanto-Lacoste Kali, etc. Hard to argue that those systems are not representative of FMA.


                  Also, to the OP, if you are in the Springfield, MA area, you may consider this training location as well.

                  According to the instructor bios, one of them has been making the drive from Springfield for a number of years. You may be able to talk him into some privates or take turns driving and get some good training if you are not happy with what you see at the other location.



                    The quality of FMA varies wildly. Some instructors are well-rounded badasses, while others can't fight and got their "rank" at a seminar. There's no consistent quality control.

                    Most good clubs I've met have very good weapons work, solid basic boxing/empty hand, and some basic tadedowns. This would be fairly typical for a good club. Of course what you will actually find could vary substantially from this, as the areas of emphasis, quality of instruction and amount of sparring can be quite different.


                      I was lucky enough to find a good club right off the bat.

                      FMA has been to me everything a martial art is supposed to be and then some. It's what really started me on my journey so to speak.

                      So for me at least, the "worth" of FMA is priceless. It changed my life for the better. Can't really put a price on that. And yeah, I learned some tings that have helped me out of tight spots.

                      I can't speak for kicks and sticks, but there is definite "martial" value within FMA, and I am more than confident in the skills it's given me. So if your guys are decent, you will be able to learn a lot from them.

                      I say go for it! The dues on the website you linked are more than reasonable. If I was in the area, I would definitely give them a the meager sum and a month of my time. (I like visiting new schools and fostering bridges of friendship from one art to another. It's a big sprawled out community.)


                        Originally posted by Mr. Machette View Post
                        I was lucky enough to find a good club right off the bat.

                        FMA has been to me everything a martial art is supposed to be and then some. It's what really started me on my journey so to speak.

                        So for me at least, the "worth" of FMA is priceless. It changed my life for the better. Can't really put a price on that. It's a big sprawled out community.)
                        I am with the edited quote except for I found a good instructor right off the bat. It continued my journey. I was a great tournament fighter but I was at the end of my game and it was 'Where do I go from here?' Then I found FMA and it opened up a whole new piece of the martial arts pie for me. I got luck with Prof. Presas because he was versed in a lot more than the stick.

                        Now as I get older (57 this month) I find the basic tenet of FMA - the Flow - is invaluable for my continuing my training in martial arts.

                        Dan Anderson


                          Originally posted by jwinch2 View Post
                          Its no different than ranking systems in BJJ or any other art for that matter.

                          And I think they should all be abolished, actually. These are combat arts, you can kick the ass of who's ass you can kick and everything else is irrelvant.
                          Monkey Ninjas! Attack!



                            At Kicks and Sticks, the rank is meant to be an indicator of what amount of the curriculum a student has and of what level of proficiency they can perform the technique. It allows instructors to roughly guage the level of the students present in class and that is about it.
                            The school does not dangle belts in front of students as a reward, or as some sort of badge that they are somehow better than someone that wears a different color belt. It is an indicator and no more. Even individuals that have advanced rank and the accompanying title manage to maintain humility and not lord over whomever they work with or teach. The goal is and has been to instruct and aid individuals in thier pursuit of thier martial arts goals.



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