Are the FMAs "devolving" from the lack of real combat testing?

Hand Sword

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Everyone keep in mind too, that great skill is not needed when weapons are used. An untrained swing, at full speed, and connection to your skull will cause the same damage as a trained one. A blade cuts for any wielder, trained or not.
 

Arnis7Tres5

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So crying about the 'devolving' **** like it's happening now, is just plain stupid. It's like crying because you can't get musket balls to fight with.

You basically proved the point of this thread, kid. Devolving of the FMA is you. You think combat can only be done by soldiers and rifles. That is a failure in imagination, and the cause is the McDojo-izing of the FMAs.

A failure in thought. Look who's acting like a troll, kid. You've just disrespected a man who trains US Navy SEALs and SF in the Philippines, along with Filipino soldiers. Who has trained police officers internationally since the 70s. Some of us actually use what we study, this is the reason we demand the best.

You don't understand, yet you're still typing. Take some time to read and re-read what you've just sent. Please.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Well, let me interrupt the game of back and forth stick measuring going on and interject something not dealing with personal grudges, internet vendettas, and so on.

I don't think they are devolving. Every school I've looked at is for the most part still swinging sticks, slashing with swords, stabbing with knives, and tossing each other around without weapons. I haven't seen any put the rattan down and reach for a caveman club, or stone knives, yet. Plastic knives yes, stone no. ;)

But there is a disconnect I think, between being able to run a commercially viable school where you have to make rent, cover utilities (at biz rates, not cheap home rates), obtain insurance, pay staff and advertise, compared to someone teaching as a hobby out of a basement or garage who doesn't worry about "crazy" things like mats for the ground, or insurance in case someone gets hurt, or those taxes that always come up somehow.

Kids are of course the life-blood of any commercial school, and you just don't toss a 10 yr old around like a crash test dummy, or put a live blade in their hands. It's just not too smart, not if you want to still have a house after the lawsuits end.

I think the confusion here is often times hobbyists without the requirements, or understanding of commercial school operation, or dealing with kids, screaming about "watered down" and the famous "mcdojo" comment. Most kids today do the arts as a hobby, and neither they nor their parents will tolerate the "old school" training, which while hardening them up and teaching by immersion can be excellent methods, tend to leave one bruised, bloodied and sometimes quite busted up. Send a kid home like that, you can expect a visit from Child Services and the boys in blue I'm sure.

Sure, some are crap. Like was mentioned, there are tons of videos out there that show it. But, like was also said, some of it lack of understanding by the viewer. Opinions on those, are subjective, and we can all view the same video, and all have different opinions, based on our own experiences, etc.

Maybe the real question here isn't one of devolution, but of evolution.

How are the FMA's evolving to adapt to changing needs, and new situations? Combat arts are just that, combat. But not every encounter is life or death. Not every match is a death match. Not every fight should mean someone gets their block lopped off. How do the combat arts, born of tribal warfare, and the necessities of a World War, where you could crash course the core in a few weeks, evolve to fit into a society where most members will devote 45-90 minutes a week at best to train, for a confrontation not against a group of sword swinging warriors, but knife and gun weilding muggers.

That's my question.


Oh and guys, enough already with the shots. Otherwise, you can send us notarized copies of your ID to prove who you say you are or get the ban stick. This site doesn't care about -that- issue and we don't want it here, at all.
End of that discussion.
Danke.
 

Arnis7Tres5

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Oh and guys, enough already with the shots. Otherwise, you can send us notarized copies of your ID to prove who you say you are or get the ban stick. This site doesn't care about -that- issue and we don't want it here, at all.
End of that discussion.
Danke.

Sorry about that, Bob. But the kid, the Game, had it comin'.

I think the confusion here is often times hobbyists without the requirements, or understanding of commercial school operation, or dealing with kids, screaming about "watered down" and the famous "mcdojo" comment. Most kids today do the arts as a hobby, and neither they nor their parents will tolerate the "old school" training, which while hardening them up and teaching by immersion can be excellent methods, tend to leave one bruised, bloodied and sometimes quite busted up. Send a kid home like that, you can expect a visit from Child Services and the boys in blue I'm sure.

The product or the outcome, if you will, of that type of training is the Game, and kids similarly trained. The kids do not understand anymore why or what they are learning. He's successfully separated in his mind the FMA and combat, when those two are one and the same. You learn the FMA because you are going to combat, not some padded stick competition.

How are the FMA's evolving to adapt to changing needs, and new situations? Combat arts are just that, combat. But not every encounter is life or death. Not every match is a death match. Not every fight should mean someone gets their block lopped off. How do the combat arts, born of tribal warfare, and the necessities of a World War, where you could crash course the core in a few weeks, evolve to fit into a society where most members will devote 45-90 minutes a week at best to train, for a confrontation not against a group of sword swinging warriors, but knife and gun weilding muggers.

This is similar to the Game's thought process. To me this proves the danger of McDojo FMA, which causes this type of thinking. "Knife and gun weilding muggers" or "a group of sword swinging warriors" is combat. It's life or death. The needs are the same, Bob. There're people who have used the FMA in Iraq, Afghanistan and surely back in the Philippines.
 

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But. It's not all 'life or death'. Guy jumps me in the park, I carve him up, -I- am the guy who has to deal with an assault/murder rap. In combat, people die. In a fight, you might get hurt. Different result. That whole escalation of force thing.

Of course, this "its all combat" approach is one view. But there are enough who disagree. Then again, it depends on how you define combat. Under a loose definition, I'll grant it's all combat. But my definition is where it's potentially lethal. I don't consider a football game to be combat, or a boxing match combat. A fight, a struggle, a conflict, but not combat. Combat to me involves soldiers, not athletes. But that's my personal definitions. Mr. Webster probably disagrees. lol!

I also don't believe that the FMA is any 'better/worse' than the CMA/JMA/KMA/etc. FMA to me is just a broad term, and the individual components under it are more, or less, ranged in combat, conflict, offense, defense, and lethality, and I highly doubt any of us would agree on what falls where on each scale. MA to me is a self-defense are. PT a combat art. and so on.

You learn -martial arts- for any of a hundred reasons. Some people learn the FMA so that they can excel at padded weapons events. Some for fitness. Some for dexterity. Some for weapons mastery. Some for social time. And so on.
It's their reason for doing. Some expand and learn more and get in deeper, others never pass the hobby stage.

Who am I to say either is wrong?

As to training, I'm sorry, but I don't think I want a 10 yr old to play with a live blade, or even a live stick. Not until they learn to respect the weapon, and that will never happen if you send the kid home black and blue from the uncontrolled shots of his classmates, much less the traditional 'wack em into line' instructors. Especially not in the US today.

I think there are places where hard training fits, but what a cop or soldier needs, is different than what a hobbyist needs, or even wants.

Least, that's my opinions, but it's late, and I need sleep, so lets try not to burn the forum down tonight eh? ;)
 

Arnis7Tres5

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Bob, I'm just making a larger comment on this type of mindset, and how it directly relates to the "devolving" of the FMA, since failure in imagination and thought is central to this subject

Maybe your 'master' needs to explain that to you, if he's not too busy trespassing, or having his cronies do his dirty work. Running around the jungle playing Rambo

The sad part of this McDojo FMA vs. Combat FMA divide is that we now have a generation of FMA students ridiculing FMAers who strive and push the envelope of the FMA day in and day out, instead of thanking them. Taking and testing techniques in the laboratory of combat is what only a very few in the FMA community do, yet you have so many hang on the coat tails to benefit. It's not so much the hobbyist vs. business owners argument, but more between the timid versus those that want to keep the combat aspect of the FMA and keep pushing for it.

It seems like the very people involved in the "devolving" of the FMA are almost proud of it. Proud of their ignorance.
 

Arnis7Tres5

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But. It's not all 'life or death'. Guy jumps me in the park, I carve him up, -I- am the guy who has to deal with an assault/murder rap. In combat, people die. In a fight, you might get hurt. Different result. That whole escalation of force thing.

Of course, this "its all combat" approach is one view. But there are enough who disagree. Then again, it depends on how you define combat. Under a loose definition, I'll grant it's all combat. But my definition is where it's potentially lethal. I don't consider a football game to be combat, or a boxing match combat. A fight, a struggle, a conflict, but not combat. Combat to me involves soldiers, not athletes. But that's my personal definitions. Mr. Webster probably disagrees.

This type of thinking allows one to think that Chinese stick puzzles and turning your back on your enemy technique to flourish. Life or death, is what's going to save your life, Bob. That mind set. I think there was a book written by a police officer and an SF fella about how to correctly approach a fight or combat. Most FMA schools are losing this mentality, because they are taught by subpar people who do not understand combat and the mindset it requires to survive it.

Now granted you should use the front of your brain, as well as the back of your brain, but during the fight or combat you have to think it's me or him, no question about that. And that's what's missing in McDojo FMA, as demonstrated by the Game's lack of understanding in this area. Somewhere along the line, something was lost.


You learn -martial arts- for any of a hundred reasons. Some people learn the FMA so that they can excel at padded weapons events. Some for fitness. Some for dexterity. Some for weapons mastery. Some for social time. And so on. It's their reason for doing. Some expand and learn more and get in deeper, others never pass the hobby stage.

If you just want to excel at padded weapons events you can just buy one of those Nerf swords and play with the neighborhood kids, no need to learn FMA. Fitness, you can buy P90X or join a local CrossFit, there're hotter girls there, compared to the fuglies doing FMAs (but that's another topic). For dexterity take up break dance or ball room dancing. Social time, join your local toastmasters or join a church choir. Now for weapons mastery, the only way you'll master a weapon is if you understand what and why you are using it. If you say you are learning it to play patty cakes with sticks, then you'll never master it. If if you say you are learning it for combat. Then your mind is in the right place. And that is where everything starts.
 

Guro Harold

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Greetings Guru,

I didn't know you knew of this group and/or affiliated with them in some way. But the title of this thread is "Are the FMAs "devolving" from the lack of real combat testing?/ Why Testing the Efficacy of techniques in real Combat is very Important".
I am not. And that wasn't the point.

The point was right or wrong, good or bad, we have had professional and critical discussions regarding groups and individuals on MT. And some who have personally discussed their views here.

Are we clear?
 

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Bob Hubbard

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This type of thinking allows one to think that Chinese stick puzzles and turning your back on your enemy technique to flourish. Life or death, is what's going to save your life, Bob. That mind set. I think there was a book written by a police officer and an SF fella about how to correctly approach a fight or combat. Most FMA schools are losing this mentality, because they are taught by subpar people who do not understand combat and the mindset it requires to survive it.

In looking at the great variety of blades and hilts one finds in Filipino swords, I see something that you're missing. That being, there are a lot of different opinions on what the 'right tool' is. How it's shaped, how it's formed, how it functions, and why it should be used. That tells me that there is more than 1 way, more than 1 option. Even in the FMA. Chinese society and CMA are older than the FMA. Concepts and ideologies again, different. So there is more than one "right way" here. Not all schools exist to train you for war. They don't have to, because we don't live in a war zone.

Now granted you should use the front of your brain, as well as the back of your brain, but during the fight or combat you have to think it's me or him, no question about that. And that's what's missing in McDojo FMA, as demonstrated by the Game's lack of understanding in this area. Somewhere along the line, something was lost.

What was lost was the -need- to train warriors, to battle constantly for land, and food, and resources, and mates. What was lost was an occupying force that necessitated constant combat preparation. What was lost was the time to spend 8 hours a day, every day, training and honing ones skills, with the idea of being a warrior the reason one woke up in the morning.

If you just want to excel at padded weapons events you can just buy one of those Nerf swords and play with the neighborhood kids, no need to learn FMA. Fitness, you can buy P90X or join a local CrossFit, there're hotter girls there, compared to the fuglies doing FMAs (but that's another topic). For dexterity take up break dance or ball room dancing. Social time, join your local toastmasters or join a church choir. Now for weapons mastery, the only way you'll master a weapon is if you understand what and why you are using it. If you say you are learning it to play patty cakes with sticks, then you'll never master it. If if you say you are learning it for combat. Then your mind is in the right place. And that is where everything starts.

I'll agree with most of this. Yes you could. But some won't. Some don't seek mastery, but diversion. As I said, most people don't have time to spend training to be a warrior, master of the martial arts, highly trained killing machine. Most people don't want their kids training for warfare either. This is why you really never see any school advertising with stuff like "Bring us your kids and in 4 weeks they'll be able to cut throats, break bones, and disembowel their enemies like the warriors of Lapu Lapu.". Personally, I'd love to see the ad slick on that, little Tommy standing over the body of his enemy, raising the bloody knife to his lips to savor the sweet nectar. But I suspect some parents would complain and it'd get pulled.

No, today you market things and push the currently acceptable benefits of training. You use words like 'honor', and 'success' and 'pride' and 'respect'. You push the physical fitness, the confidence, the balance, and the social interaction. You use safe training methods to minimize the chance of injury, and you make the training relevant to what is going on in your neighborhood. All this while competing against after school programs, and little league, and dance, and such for a limited disposable income that people have today.

You call it a McDojo, because it caters to it's customers. I call it a commercial business that must satisfy it's customers. Not everyone has an inheritance or government check to live off while they "teach for free". The days of living poor and training warriors while the village takes care of you is over, in much of the world.

I'm of course sure that somewhere in the PI, on a beach, in a hut, is the best fighter ever, who trains from sun rise to sun set, who like the masters of old uses his cane to beat his students into line, who has withstood challenge after challenge, whos killed countless enemies and who fits this 'mythical' warrior archtype that the "real combat" folks fantasize about. Being in his presence would probably curdle my blood. But I'll never meet him. Which is sad, because I'd probably learn more in a month than I have in a decade. But, I'm not a warrior, and I don't seek to be one. For me, martial arts is a hobby, not a lifestyle.

Going back to the original post:
On another thread, the point was made that a lot of FMAs being taught today --especially here in the States-- lack the realism that characterized the stuff taught by the older generations of masters. Think of some of the legendary names in the FMAs: Dizon, Cabales, Villabrille, Ilustrisimo, Giron, Bacon, the Tortal family, the Latosa family, to name but a few... these guys used their arts for fighting. Some used them for killing... especially the Filipino freedom fighters resisting the Japanese during WWII. So the FMA systems that were exposed to the US public in the '70s and '80's were still lead by individuals who had seen those arts used and tested.

Now the old generation of masters has almost entirely passed. FMAs are being widely taught by people who have never used them in anything like an actual life-or-death struggle. We see more and more fancy, flowery techniques being taught, and we no-longer test what we learn. Meanwhile, the public turns increasingly to MMA, which, though a sport and not the same as a life-or-death struggle, at least is constantly being pressure-tested in the ring. So where does that leave the FMAs in the modern world. Are we going to end up as another, non-functional, ritualized art form and philosophical discipline like some Japanese Budo? Worse, are we going to become another flashy, phony martial dance-form taught to kids at the corner McDojo? Or is there a way to keep the original fighting spirit and realism of the FMAs alive in the modern, civilized world?

I think I addressed the first part. I'll try and hit the second now.

There is no need to constantly retest things. The techniques that are passed on are the successful ones. The guys doing the stuff that didn't work died trying it. That said, there is a danger that things will water down, that the edge as it were, will blunt. All arts go through this over time as the reasons for their existence vanish. Some people however will continue to train in the old ways with the old mindset. It is the job of the serious student to find those people and learn from them.

I'll use Tai Chi as an example. Most people only know it as a form of fancy stretching done by old people at senior homes. At least 1 international organization in fact teaches that as the -only way-. But after much digging, I've found groups who still teach Tai Chi as a real martial art with the original mind behind it, and it's pretty brutal stuff, when done in a martial manner.

The true McDojo teaches real crap for cash. I don't equate commercial with mcdojo automatically, that's another failure in the minds of those who seek the fantasy of the 'real deal'. But even a crap mcdojo serves a purpose here, as a gateway. For some people, the mcdojo is all they have to fill that desire to train in the arts. Many people leave after they get their taste, but others attend camps and seminars and get in deeper. They'll move schools and look for the deeper answers, and higher levels of training. As they learn more, they want more, and they hunger for the "true" knowledge. And they become people like many of us, not content for playing patty cake and taptap 45 minutes a week, but who hunger for the skills and knowledge that the arts original innovators had.

The student, evolves. So must the arts.
 

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I can sort of see the middle-ground here. It's the eternal conflict between "combativeness" and "commercial success". Look at TaeKwonDo. In the US it is a commercial powerhouse but look at what that success has done for it's reputation (deserved or not) as a fighting art. I can understand how some practitioners don't want to see that for their art, but I can also understand needing to "keep bread on the table" for the school owner. It's a clash of worldviews and thus I doubt there will ever be a meeting of the minds on the issue.
 

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Sigh...its good to see the political BS is thriving in the FMA world. :rolleyes:

Seriously folks, lets get back to some normal, civil discussion, eh? Anywho....I look at it like this...the BS isn't limited to FMAs...its in TKD, Kenpo, the X-Kans, everywhere! Are there people out there that're not representing the art like it should be? Of course. But the FMA world, hell the martial art world in general is waaayyyyy too big to police. That being said, why worry about it? I mean, yeah, the jokers out there, the ones that suck, the ones that are rank whores, yeah, they give the bad image, and sadly, the uneducated people in the world will assume that ALL FMAs are like that, but fortunately, there're some damn good groups out there that do teach and spread quality stuff.

I know what I do, I know who I train with, and thats all that matters to me. I'll never associate with those other people so I'm not worried. :)
 

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I'll agree with most of this. Yes you could. But some won't. Some don't seek mastery, but diversion. As I said, most people don't have time to spend training to be a warrior, master of the martial arts, highly trained killing machine. Most people don't want their kids training for warfare either. This is why you really never see any school advertising with stuff like "Bring us your kids and in 4 weeks they'll be able to cut throats, break bones, and disembowel their enemies like the warriors of Lapu Lapu.". Personally, I'd love to see the ad slick on that, little Tommy standing over the body of his enemy, raising the bloody knife to his lips to savor the sweet nectar. But I suspect some parents would complain and it'd get pulled.

I'm fine with people not wanting to be a "warrior," but if they are going to train with me, I'm going to be focusing on high percentage workable material, stuff that might actually save their life should they run into a bad situation. Just because something is a hobby for someone doesn't mean the material has to be taught for entertainment value. Most of the guys training in MMA classes are never going to be professional fighters, but their material is going to be the same effective, high percentage stuff that the fighters learn.

I am not a "warrior" I don't go into combat. My teacher is one of those guys whose job it is to run toward the sound of gunfire, as a student I've trained with several others of those guys, and now from time to time I have the opportunity to be the trainer of those guys. The material I show my civilian students is the same stuff. I see no point in "fluffing" the material for the sake of commercialism.

You call it a McDojo, because it caters to it's customers. I call it a commercial business that must satisfy it's customers. Not everyone has an inheritance or government check to live off while they "teach for free". The days of living poor and training warriors while the village takes care of you is over, in much of the world.

Commercially my little club is an abject failure, complete and utter, and I couldn't be happier. I see no reason why the war arts should be changed and softened so some instructor can make a living off of it. This isn't just FMA, this goes for many arts.

But, I'm not a warrior, and I don't seek to be one. For me, martial arts is a hobby, not a lifestyle.

Me too, a challenging, highly effective, high-percentage focused hobby.

There is no need to constantly retest things. The techniques that are passed on are the successful ones. The guys doing the stuff that didn't work died trying it.

It is the job of every student and particularly every instructor to constantly retest. If something doesn't work they better figure out why.
Are they doing it at the wrong range? They aren't reading the attack early enough? Or is the technique so low percentage that it requires the somewhat active cooperation of the attacker to complete correctly? Several of the poor examples of FMA show such half-hearted attacks that somehow slashes stop when contacted with a simple wall block. Why? How? My three year old doesn't throw slashes that would stop with a simple wall block. Test, test, test and use some common sense.

Combative weapon arts are usually fairly simple. Lots and lots of practice at basic striking, lots and lots of practice at footwork, lots and lots of practice at getting the hell out of the way, and as you get better, lots and lots of practice of getting the hell out of the way AND strking the other guy. Many practitioners skimp on the important part to get to the cool locks and disarms. Bad form on the part of the instructors, bad results for the students.
 

Rich Parsons

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As my uncle and instructor in Balintawak loves to remind me, Lihok! (Move!) and my new instructors now, "It's not called Pekiti-Stand Still". There's no room for mediocrity. No Room.

Who is your Uncle and with whom did he train with? Just curious as I like to know and learn about all the branches of the Balintawak Family.
 

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Who is your Uncle and with whom did he train with? Just curious as I like to know and learn about all the branches of the Balintawak Family.

I don't think he can reply to you right now. He appears to be temporarily suspended/under review.
 

Bob Hubbard

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The 2 guys involved in the mudbath have been asked to produce proof of their claimed identities. Once we get that, we'll let them back in. If they don't produce, we'll permanently boot them.
 

Rich Parsons

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I don't think he can post anymore.

I don't think he can reply to you right now. He appears to be temporarily suspended/under review.

The 2 guys involved in the mudbath have been asked to produce proof of their claimed identities. Once we get that, we'll let them back in. If they don't produce, we'll permanently boot them.

Gentlemen,

Thank you, I did not read his title under his name to see Contact an admin before I had hit quote and asked my question.

Hopefully all can be resolved and a peaceful discussion can continue. Non peaceful discussions should happen in person. :)

Thanks
 
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