Filipino Combat Arts are the best, why?

Discussion in 'Filipino Combat Arts Forum' started by Pahtoocara, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Pahtoocara


    Feb 9, 2006
    We already know, Filipino Combat Arts are among the best. Let's list the reasons why! I'll start:

    The ability to transition through a wide range of weapons: empty hand, knife, impact weapon, or firearm.
  2. Benjamin Liu

    Benjamin Liu

    Jan 26, 2000
    Rahther than going into what art is best, I'll just discuss some advantages to learning FMA.

    I'll add that in addition to using the skills you mentioned, it also had very good counters to them as well. I've seen few good disarms outside of FMA, for example.

    The biggest advantage of FMA over other arts, IMO, is not these skills and their counters, however. I've seen effective versions of these skills in other arts, even equal skills to FMA.

    The big advantage over other arts is the speed in learning these skills. Given the same quality of instructors, a person with a few months in FMA would have better skills in using and disarming blades and sticks than people with several times more training in most other arts I've seen.

    In real life, attacks with firearms, edged, and impact weapons are more common that an unarmed brawl unless you get into a lot of barfights.

    Many arts take a while to get the student into defensive applications, FMA starts the student in defensive aplications right away.

    I've also heard that one of the Eskrima masters, the late Gilbert Tenio, describe it as an "old man's art," meaning that you can practice it well into old age, as long as you are mobile.

    FMA is the only traditional art I can think of where a student can take only a few months of classes and still have very good, practical skills against real-life attacks. Not that I recommend only a few months of training.
  3. m_calingo


    Oct 13, 2003
    I'd add that FMA training places heavy emphasis on training with a live partner, much more so than many traditional MA other than exceptions such as judo and BJJ. I believe that aids in the fast learning curve mentioned above.

    FMA does seem to lack depth where it comes to fighting on the ground compared to BJJ, but at the same time, I favor the fact that FMA practioners prefer to finish the fight on their feet. In any case, fighting someone on the ground who may be armed with a knife or other weapon does not equal fighting an unarmed opponent in a ring with a ref.
  4. Pahtoocara


    Feb 9, 2006
    Another one:

    We hit each other with sticks and remain friends afterwards.
  5. fixer27


    Nov 17, 2004
    I look at the Filipino as "better" because they don't have access to firearms generally speaking, but they face the same problems that we face here with crime and what have you.

    So their techniques are done so that they will be the most effective.

  6. Derek24


    Jan 23, 2008
    The FMAs emphasize flow and that can be related to the speed with which a student can progress to a reasonable level of competency in little time. Here's a good write up on flow by Guro Jeff Chung.

    Got Flow?

    How does one measure achievement and progress? In the FMAs people very often talk about 'flow.' What is flow?

    Flow can be defined as a smooth ability to move, easily transitioning from one task to the next task with control and relatively relaxed timing and expenditure of energy.

    Flow is important because our movements are a direct reflection of where our mind is at. Our minds should be dictating the movement.

    If you see someone who is moving in a herky-jerky fashion, or with an uneven tempo or needs to stop often or is obviously exerting excessive force, you are seeing someone whose mind is not able to process information, and has limited ability to think beyond the movement being done at that given moment.

    Flow translates into other aspects of life, not just physical movement. In conversation or in communication with others... flow in discussion or expressing oneself is also crucial. How does one communicate? Is he confrontational, resistant, sullen... the list goes on, both positively and negatively. Remember, the mind controls our actions.

    Hence, when we speak too quickly, or respond without processing appropriately, we may not have the desired effect.
  7. untamed


    Jan 7, 2003
    Hey Pahtoocara!

    Lot of good thoughts were shared.

    Well, I honestly wouldn't say its the "best". My belief has always been that ALL MA's are effective because in theory, Martial Art "A's" technique can counter Martial Art "B's" attack and so on and so forth and becomes academic. However, when it comes to the inherent efficiency of an art/style/system, there the difference becomes apparent. FMA is a very efficient style.

    And what is the efficiency I'm driving at? It's what was already described as the "neuro-motor-tool interface" of the weapons-to-empty hand learning transition enabling the learner a steeper learning curve.

    The methodology of flow drills also contributes to this, also mentioned by Derek24 in the above post. It gives the learner a controlled give-and-take learning scenario of attack and defence. Many people, including some instructors, misunderstand this concept saying that it lacks "aliveness" or the intensity of a committed attack with gross motor movements. What they fail to consider is that this is a gradual process as well because that is what "flow" is, gradual transitions until it all comes together. Only then does intensity come into the picture.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  8. saint o'killers

    saint o'killers

    Jul 20, 2001
    in FMA...we break em and we can also fix 'em (well most of them anyway. :)...look up HILOT.
  9. DanKwonDo


    Jan 29, 2008
    How many FMA'ers really do healing? Seems none of the big names practice it.
    Dan Inosanto doesn't.
  10. AF1


    Apr 4, 2005
    FMAs intruduce you to weapons use from the very first day, then later on progress to empty hand material. IMO this sharpens your reflexes and fight instincts much better than if you did empty hand first.

    As taught in a lot of other martial arts.
  11. Pahtoocara


    Feb 9, 2006
    Another thing that makes them the best...
    The FMA's are constantly evolving and adapting, making them as formidable as the person who practices them.

    I'm not sure about Inosanto, I would assume he has studied some form of healing. After all, he is Dan Inosanto. :)

    I have a video from the Philippines where Hilot healers are still apparently common in some areas. It shows a fighter going to the healer after being injured during training. Man... I hope to go to the Phillipines someday, hopefully soon.
  12. thefarmer


    Aug 14, 2008
    Don;t come here for the Hilot, its painful and very oily. :p
    it costs only 20pesos. like 0.48 UScents.
    Very few people know actual hilot and most of them are not martial artists. They are usually old women, sometimes men with very powerful fingers!

    If you want to learn real Pinoy contemporary martial arts, go to the ganglands of Metro Manila. They have excellent home made weapons and local fighting styles.

  13. untamed


    Jan 7, 2003
    Quite common actually. There's bound to be some usually elderly folk in the neighborhood, but most especially in the provinces and rural areas. There are several types, the usual one is the deep-tissue therapy massage kind but there are also those that delve into mystical/esoteric. Almost all employ a homemade remedy of an "oil" mixed with healing herbs (though the commercial "efficascent" oil brand is also used at times) to rub on the affected area. As with most folk healing arts of other countries I suspect, you'll have to apprentice if you wanna learn.

    Though "hilot" is for everybody, eskrimadors, especially the old-school ones had their own favorite healers whom they go to after training to set right their injuries (I incidentally need to see one right now for my lower back; early onset of arthritis I think :grumpy:)
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  14. Pahtoocara


    Feb 9, 2006
    See, I find this topic utterly interesting. My instructor said when he was a child and was visiting relatives in the Philippines, one of his relatives had some lymph node swelling. He said they visited the hilot healer and it went away very, very fast. The nearest hospital was something like 2 days trip partially by boat.

    So, maybe another thing that makes FMA the best is:
    There are so many interesting variations and disciplines it keeps you studying.
  15. Ultraman


    Oct 28, 2005
    No offense to anybody, but many Manghihilots basically are quacks, you could have fractures, internal injury or disease and they will use their oils and herbs to massage their "patients" to a point where without fail they will be worse off. Same with faith healers. I've seen enough to shy away from romanticizing their miraculous healing powers. However, like was said before, I'm sure they give a killer massage :)

    Also, going to a Manila gang to learn "contemporary" martial arts is like going to a gang in prison or ghetto to learn 52 blocks. Would you really want to jeopardize your life to go into their environment to do this? And at what cost to get initiation? :)
  16. Benjamin Liu

    Benjamin Liu

    Jan 26, 2000
    Someone could also seek out the NPA, MNLF, or MILF for "contemporary" training if they want something more dangerous than a gang. :D
  17. AF1


    Apr 4, 2005
    True, be careful of quacks.

    But at the same time keep an open mind for the real thing, as some of the old ways have a quite a bit to offer.
  18. Ultraman


    Oct 28, 2005

    That's very true. For serious business, they usually use a .45 or an "armalite" as it's commonly called there. The NPA sparrow units would casually walk up behind their target and shoot the back of their heads with a .45. Then just as casually, walk away. Scary stuff.
  19. Pahtoocara


    Feb 9, 2006
    I think, your right, be careful but keep an open mind.
  20. untamed


    Jan 7, 2003
    I second AF1 in his fair and honest assessment. :thumbup:

    Along with native herbalism, nowadays they're considered part of the sphere of alternative medical systems such as naturopathic and homeopathic medicine.

    The "hilot" is part of traditional native folk medicine and wisdom, which if you consider from an anthropological angle, has always existed in one form or another in almost every culture in every part of the world.

    Just to emphasize how we're not trying to "romanticize" them, we should realize in what context/s these arts have evolved and preserved in; logistically for example, a far-flung village or remote mountain location prevents one from adequate modern medical assistance or economically when these peoples can not afford such services as well. Obviously the quasi-religious aspect also affects this, which may have mystical/esoteric undertones BUT does not have to be "quack" or fall into superstition (case in point: the Indian Ayurvedic traditions for example).

    In the long run though, I'd like to believe that it does have some root in the knowledge of the human body's workings. After all, it has worked for me in the past, the non-quacks of course.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008

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