How Much influence did the Spanish have on FMA?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by Acekicken, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Acekicken

    Acekicken Submission Fighter

    I here alot of Spanish words & have
    Even seen comen tactics from fencing?

    Just wondering what everyone else
    knows or thinks.
  2. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    There are several schools of thought on this. Some say that Spanish fencing influenced the FMA of the Northern and Central Philippines (the regions controlled by the Spanish ... the Southern Philippines was never conquered by Spain). Others say that the Filipinos wouldn't have seen Spanish fencing because fencing was a passtime of the nobility ... not the common soldiers that the Filipinos would have come in contact with. And, I'd bet, there are probably other schools of thought about it as well.

    I don't know. I know that the Spanish definitely had an impact on the religion, culture, and language of the North and Central PI. It's very evident even today (Catholicism is a huge religion in those regions and there are quite a few Spanish influences in the language ... and any time the religion and language are impacted, the culture is impacted as well).

    As far as the martial arts go ... I'd say they (including the Southern FMA) were *definitely* influenced by the Spanish.

    In the martial arts, "influence" happens (both ways) *any time* two arts interact. Weapons and tactics are either "stolen" from the each other ... or they are developed to counter each other. Either way, there's an influence. I would wager that a Spanish soldier in the Philippines would fight differently than a Spanish soldier who never left Spain ... due to the influence the soldier in the Philippines would have gotten while watching and/or fighting the FMA. The Southern FMA would have been influenced through their fights with the Spaniards and the Filipinos of the North and Central regions ... and by their fights with the Portugese.

    And they all might have been influenced by any number of other interactions with trading vessels ... South East Asia was one of the *major* trading routes (the "Spice Islands" and the "Seven Seas" of lore are in South East Asia).

    I think it's impossible to accurately trace the specifics of all this cross-pollinization ... especially when much of the "history" is oral or non-existant.

  3. Acekicken

    Acekicken Submission Fighter

    Wow that was great Thank u
    More please
  4. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    LOL ... more of what?

  5. Acekicken

    Acekicken Submission Fighter


    I would like more info, more thoughts,more more more-------------------------------------------------:D
  6. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Re: LoL

    LOL ... that's a pretty tall request ... the subject is potentially *HUGE* ... do you have any specific questions? Or can you narrow the areas of curiosity?

  7. dredleviathan

    dredleviathan New Member

    There was a really long discussion on the dog brothers forum a while back that touched on this heavily... in fact many discussions, some quite heated.

    It was a bit long winded and slightly anal for my tastes but definitely covered material that you might find interesting.
  8. officer_fujita

    officer_fujita New Member

    Re: Re: How Much influence did the Spanish have on FMA?

    This is the popular belief of many people, but Spain *was* able to control some parts of the south like Zamboanga. They were aided by the Macabebes (a tribe from a part of central Luzon, which is now modern-day Pampanga) and modern-day rifles. The language of modern-day Zamboanga is based heavily on Spanish.

    As for the influence of the Spaniards in the development of Filipino Martial Arts (besides some spanish terms used in describing some of the techniques), I would have to say the time the Spaniards took measures to disarm the Filipinos might be a contributing factor. This might have prompted the Filipinos to replace their lethal bolo, tabak, or other bladed weapons with the "harmless" looking baston or pamalo.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2003
  9. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Re: Re: Re: How Much influence did the Spanish have on FMA?

    Yes ... but controlling some parts of the south is a far cry from "conquering the south."

    Throughout the 399 years of Spanish control in the PI, they never established more than a foothold in the south ... and, usually, didn't hold those footholds for very long.

    For anyone who's interested, here's a link to a book called "Swish of the Kris." This book, originally published in 1936, has now been painstakingly type up and put on the web by Bakbakan International. This book is a great read and gives a good overview of the history of the southern Philippines.

    They've also got "Jungle Patrol" on the site (same author as "Swish of the Kris" ... Vic Hurley). I haven't read this one yet ... but am about to start it. The main site, of course, is


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