Is FMA a low-class "Ghetto" art? The other day I had a brief conversation with a co-worker who is something of an authority on Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). He is a tall, very thin devotee of the rapier, as well as broadsword and Polish sabre. He is so slender, in fact, that his training partners complain that when he turns sideways, he is hard enough to see, let alone hit! Anyway, when we spoke, he was nursing some sparring injuries and complaining about a certain mutual acquaintance of ours, a burly FMA guy who also attends the local HEMA practices. This fellow, by contrast, is a powerfully built individual, and apparently when technique fails him he compensates by just going ape and pounding his HEMA partners with brute force, oblivious to the strikes he receives in return. ...Incidentally, this same individual is not a particularly popular training partner in local FMA circles either! Regardless, my battered HEMA friend, knowing of my love of Eskrima, concluded the conversation dismissively, stating something like, "Well, what can you expect, ...that Filipino stuff is basically low class, ghetto fighting with machetes and crap. On the other hand, what we do is a sophisticated art, ...very elite!" Somehow I never imagined the regular guys on the battlefields of Europe in centuries past, hacking each other apart in a desperate battle to survive ...as elitists. Neither do I think of myself, as an FMA enthusiast, as doing something particularly ghetto. Does this mean I have to start wearing my pants down below my butt and listening to gangsta rap?