Vicente: FMA is extreme martial arts

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By Jayson Vicente

The Path

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FILIPINO Martial Arts (FMA) is deemed to be the most complete martial arts in existence as many regard it as such.

Filipinos and foreigners alike who have known FMA either as a practitioner or even just as an attendee in seminar workshops have mutual comments. Some even regard it as one of the most dangerous.

The comprehensiveness is seen in the diversity of practices that includes both armed and un-armed aspect of the art, un-armed which includes strikes, takedowns, locks and groundings which has its odd characteristics that is slightly similar to other arts but presents a more comprehensive approach in the most practical way in its armed concept, the use of almost all kinds of weapon to include things that are not expected to be used as armament.


Un-armed techniques are almost common to everyone in the martial arts world, even to those non practitioner enthusiasts because of the media exposure of martial arts presented as sports like MMA.

But when an FMA master performs the techniques weird but effective approach to what is usually seen on TV and even in social media baffles and amazes many first timers like locks and strikes to unusual parts of the body that could only explained by an expert.

In the armed concept on the other hand, blades are always a come-on much more with the inclusion of weapons like “dulo-dulo” (palm stick), “karambit” (tiger claw blade), “balisong” (butterfly knife), “sibat” (spear), “sumpit” (blow gun/blow pipe), and off-course the famous “baston” (stick) and many other weapons arguably Filipino in origin but never the less used in FMA.

What is unique and so astonishing in FMA is the use of everyday things as weapons. An experienced master of FMA could readily ask for whatever is inside your pocket or your purse and show you how could turn it into a weapon.

What separates FMA thinly maybe with the other martial arts style is simplicity, masters understand the human body not by science, biomechanics or anything like that found in medical books discussed by professors but they know it because they took time to study their own weakness and strong points of their own body thus making them explain it with confidence and with accuracy.

In this generation, we all have the benefit of studies about the human body presented thru internet and books, all we have to do is read but because of the complexity of how it is presented, its hard to decipher the contents and relate it to our art they say only some are gifted of interpreting it, I say just a few are patient enough to not give –up.

I believe and agree about the complexity of FMA, but come to think of it, during the times that they have no internet and limited books to read they still found a way to understand their art and how it is applied in a human body, so where does that leave us? What is extremely obvious is our lack of patient to understand what is already prepared for us to dissect and ready to use.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 07, 2014.


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