Is your FMA for the specialist or the generalist?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts - General' started by geezer, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Chris- thanks! Sounds pretty well rounded. So... if you’re a “generalist” who leans more toward stick and knife, do you train using your sticks with an awareness of “blade orientation” as though it were a bladed weapon?

    BTW- what system do you practice?
     
  2. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Just re-read this. You might do well to try some historical esgrima or esgrime rather than escrima or eskrima.

    That is to say HEMA (esgrima and esgrime being Spanish and French words for fencing). We have some groups around here that really seem to have fun. I tried it briefly just to get another perspective.

    I came away thinking that there’s probably a stronger European influence on the FMA I practice than many patriotic Filipinos care to admit.To my perspective, we’re kind of a global, weapons-based MMA.
     
  3. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    It doesn't solely focus on it, but i would say if you would put a name to its specialism it is that. Also, it all looks interesting, but at least the Filipino version of it is machete and dagger rather than rapier. :p

    And there probably is quite a bit of western influence. Its not like they were not a colony of Spain and then the U.S.
     
  4. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Blue Belt

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    Not often, we will just switch to the training machetes for blade orientation

    I studied Atienza Kali for a while, and krav that had kali elements, and the rest is all self taught
     
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  5. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    This is a really good analysis of similiarities between one system of FMA and one HEMA system.

    That said, from what little I have seen of Filipino Espada y Daga, it is very different than its European counterparts and that is largely due to the characteristics of the swords used, or maybe it is more about the daggers. On the Spanish side (just looking at obvious possible influences here) the "sword and dagger" would have been rapier and dagger, both blades would typically have good hand protection (attached picture is of a European sword hilted by a cutler in Manila). The heavy defensive use of the dagger is much much harder with the typical Filipino dagger with essentially no hand protection and the European examples. This has to impact blade play significantly.
     

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  6. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Lamont- that was an excellent clip. I would suppose the European use of a navy hanger or cutlass would translate even more closely to the usage of typical Filipino blades, although as you pointed out, the basket and later cup-hilted European designs provided far greater hand protection which impacted usage, leading to a hand-forward position in which the large, protected hilt was almost used like a small shield.

    Otherwise the strikes and parries are often quite similar. Not surprising considering that such weapons were standard for defending merchant ships, and plenty of Filipinos served as sailors on Spanish vessels of the era.
     
  7. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    One of the things I found when I started HEMA (specifically Georgian era British military swordsmanship, so sabre, cutlass, spadroon, Scottish broadsword) was that the fundamentals of weapons handling were literally the opposite of everything I did in Pekiti, the grip, the power generation method, etc were all very very different. The soft skills of understanding measure and the like translated over, but mechanically it was very different.
     
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  8. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    That makes me want to go back and take another look at HEMA to see if the same differences you note are equally true for the FMA I studied as well. One of my instructors had a background in Pekiti, but my foundation was early Latosa PMAS Escrima which is kinda like a more simplifed and direct version of serrada with a lot of boxing influence. Since it's not as focused blades as Pekiti, short-power generation is highly stressed.
     

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