Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by ap Oweyn, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    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.
  2. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog

    If anyones got any comments or anything to add, we can look to make this a sticky.
  3. TheDarkJester

    TheDarkJester 90% Sarcasm, 10% Mostly Good Advice.

    I do.. In pekiti tersia we do what is called Florete... which is probably the closest thing to a 'kata' per say that we have.

    and as far as the death matches go... Its a part of the culture, they happened, they probably still do happen. Leave the can of worms be.

    and as far as Number 10 is concerned... Why is it some Japanese and chinese systems look like FMA Hmmmmm? :D

    Theres all my .02 :)
  4. Taliesin

    Taliesin Valued Member

  5. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog

    As we're looking for a MAP FAQ, it's prob best we don't rip off other sites.
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin Valued Member

    Sorry for any misunderstanding - I wasn't suggesting ripping it off - just sharing some interesting reading.
  7. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog

    don't fret it Tal, it's an interesting read :D
  8. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    Well, could not have put it better myself and it also saves on the age old argument of what term is supposed to be used.

    That about sum's it up.

    On first glance it can be seen as stick fighting, but only really in the early stages, as you delve more and more into the art you soon discover it is an art that covers all areas of combat, not just stick fighting per say.

    Some may even see the 2 man drills as a form of Kata, but even the Sayaw and Anyo's of the FMA are more about teaching the student to flow with the weapons, using footwork and body possition as opposed to learning a set pattern of movements.

    And then some;)

    At senior level even the blunt weapons such as sticks and the empty hands can be geared around live training.

    FMA to my mind is a weapon.

    Only if you really upset someone or make them lose face, but just because they are called "Death Matches" does not nessesarily mean someone will die. It just means that their is a much higher risk of this happening if you are foolish enough to participate.

    Like anything, if you beleive in it enough, it will work for you, until the day it stops working.:)

    In my own expeariance and having trained people from a whole myriad of martial arts styles, most can relate to the FMA in one form or another and aprt from the above mentioned I feel there are another 2 reasons for this. The main one being the constant trade and clashes with other cultures and the other being the fact that you can only hurt someone in so many ways and as FMA covers all aspects of fighting it can be very easy for someone from another martial art to see in it what they have already learnt, just that we may have a different way of looking at it.

    Just my 2 penny's worth.

    Go on MAP make it 'Sticky':)

    Best regards

  9. Brunstick

    Brunstick (^_^) I need a girlfriend

    i second the vote to make this a sticky. :)

  10. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky, Sticky,

  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Some great filling in of blanks by Pat. Cheers!

  12. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog

    I'm going to give it a bit longer incase there any other additions people want to suggest, then if Ap's happy with the finished product (it was his baby, so I think he should get final say) we'll get it posted as a sticky.
  13. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter


    In one sense the "box pattern" and other 2-man drills are 2-person kata, in that the individual movements of the pattern are prearranged and known by the participants.

    But on the other hand, these are not exactly kata because when the practitioners reach a certain level of experience they stop following a prescribed sequence of movements, and instead just move in a free flow of spontaneous action and reaction.
  14. shootodog

    shootodog restless native


    hey stuart!

  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Oh hey, yeah! I can do that now, can't I. Woohoo!

    So we don't get inundated with stickies (and because this is a better sticky anyway), I'm "unsticking" my quick notice thread about becoming topic moderator. We'll let that one sink. And this FAQ will take its place.

  16. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    great faq stuart!
  17. BGile

    BGile Banned Banned

  18. Brunstick

    Brunstick (^_^) I need a girlfriend

    wow! it took almost a year to make this a sticky! at least it got done! :)

  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Actually, it took a year and our friend Shooto reminding me that, as a moderator, I can actually do that. :)
  20. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    anything else we might want to add?

    PS: these are great Q&A so far. AP is great for making them.

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