A friend of mine worked up an FMA FAQ I thought new people here might find useful. So (with his permission) here it is: --- 1. What is FMA? FMA stands for Filipino martial arts. It refers to all endemic and cultural fighting arts developed in the Philippines or developed by Filipinos for the purposes of fighting. 2. Arnis/ Escrima/ Kali All of these terms refer to one and the same thing: FMA. It really depends on where the art originated within the Philippine archipelago. Most Visayan arts call it escrima/ eskrima. The arts that developed on Luzon are usually called Arnis (short for Arnis de mano or harness of the hand). Kali was developed by Filipino immigrants to the U.S. silat is the most common art with the Filipino Muslim communities. 3. Is FMA stick fighting? Yes and no. Yes because FMA does utilize the stick as the primary medium of instruction for weapons. It is also the safest way to train for bladed weapons. No because FMA is way way way more than that. Depending on the system that you study, FMA has as part of its curiculuum, weapons, empty hands striking (and kicking), and grappling. 4. Does FMA have kata? No. FMA does not have kata in the sense that they have pre-prescribed actions. FMA does have “sayaw” wherein you dance using all the moves that you have learned so far. This act enforces the “flow” aspect of the art. 5. How many styles are there? Funny question. Almost as many FMAers. 6. Does FMA train alive? Yes. If with live blades, then maybe dead too. 7. Are FMA all about weapons? Yes and no. Yes because the essence of FMA deals with all weapons available, including body weaponry. No because some styles and systems deal only with body weaponry. 8. About deathmatches… Hmmm…next question. 9. How about anting-antings (amulets) and oracions (prayers)? Do they work? Some claim they do. I say, it’s just a focal point in which the practitioner draws confidence in his abilities to overcome adversity. 10. How come some FMA systems look like they’re Japanese or Chinese? One of the basic rules of FMA is “to adopt and to adapt”. In so many conflicts that FMA have been used, they adopt and adapt what works in combat. Sometimes these are foreign systems. In the case of Modern Arnis/ Kombatan, The Presases had previous background in the Japanese arts. They adopted and adapted these to suit what they thought to be a system that would popularize Arnis in a time that so many foreign martial arts were becoming ever more popular in the Philippines. In the case of Kuntao, muslim traders that traded with the Chinese, adopted and adapted Chinese Kun Tao to merge with their Silat to produce a better form of fighting. There are so many other examples of this such as Hybrid Yaw Yan and the like.