Mark Wiley's Arnis: History and Methods of the Filipino Martial Arts

Black Grass

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Aug 27, 2001
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Halifax,Nova Scotia, Canada
I was just interested in everyone's opinion of this book.

Anything you liked, disliked agreed disagreed with?

In particular the first set of articles dealing with FMA origins.


I have not had enough time to go threw the whole book but, my Balintawak teacher {GM Bout} tells me that the part on our style is incorrect. I have heard the same about the first book he wrote on Serrada.

You and/or GM Buot may be thinking of FMA: Theory and Practice which was also released this year. This book was about the techniques of various arts. If i remember correctly (will have to double check when I get home) the Balintawak was more of the GM Bobby Tobada method then the way GM Ted Buot does it ( e.g. no mention of weight distribution on stick side)

On Arnis: History and methods Wiley was the editor although he did contribute 3 articles. It deals more with perspectives and opinions about the FMA then on there techniques.

I would recommend it as some of the write do have some interesting ideas some which i don't agree with. What I found particular interesting was the article on Silat in the Philippines.


(aka Black Grass)
Is the book a retail version or a direct published? Can you post the ISBN# (usually found by the UPC code)?

I have not read the mentioned books but I have read "Filipino Martial Culture" and enjoyed it very much. As others have stated, the information contained in this book as well, was not, according to my Instructor, (Paul Vunak also an Instructor of Wiley's) entirley accurate. The book however was a good read.
My understanding of the Phillipines is that the culture, although very accomplished, did not have good record keeping practice. Much of the accuracy and authenticity of stories pertaining to origins, linneage, reasons for technique and terms must be held in question. For this reason as I teach I always try to add that this info is as we know it today or that some accounts will vary.

Jim Miller
I will review specifically for this. To be fair I need to check. (I have many notes in the book) I just don't want to say without being sure. I will get to it by the weekend
Jim Miller
Mr. Wiley tends to print what he is told by whomever he is interviewing. Some of what he prints may well be only the imagination or wishfull thinking the person interviwed.
Some of the things I have read in his books I know are untrue I know from first hand experence dealing with people mentioned and not mentioned
No disrespect intended to those in his books but I think he may be to trusting of a person because of the title they carry
I agree. It is hard to find the facts on Filipino martial arts. It is not a written culture as much as it is pasted done like folk lore.
There's a new book out by Amante Marinas, Sr. called Pananandata (panananananana...:D) that looks like it maby be a pretty cool read. Has anyone had a peek at this book yet, or has info on the author?

Originally posted by Cthulhu
There's a new book out by Amante Marinas, Sr. called Pananandata (panananananana...:D) that looks like it maby be a pretty cool read.

In fact there are several such books (search on Pananandata at but yes a new one is due out this month. I believe I have the rope fighting one somewhere in my martial arts book collection.
i like mark wiley's book because he is giving attention to people you wont hear to much about. and yes, some of the stuff people tell him is bs, but you know the history of the philippines is mostly what the older people tell you. you cant believe what the colinial masters write in there books. you cant believe what the rich pilipinos with foreign educations write. and old pilipinos tell whopper stories. but it is all part of the philippine culture and if you understand it, then the stories arent too bad.

when a pilipino old man says he killed a gang leader and half of the clan, that means he beat up a ganster.

when the old pilipinos says he was unbeaten in 100 fights and they are all death matches, that means he beat ten people in a row with no losses.

when he tells you there is no counter to a techniques he is showing to you, that means this is a favorite technique and maybe he used it successfully a lot.

few manong will lie to you, but they will stretch out the truth a lot, so there is a good reason to listen to the lesssons he gives you. mark wiley was willing to write there stories and didnt ask for teaching and certificates from them. i believe that is why he got them to talk, and why we all get to hear their stories.
also the pople in his book, they dont make men like that anymore. i am glad we get to see them before they died. if you get the book, i believe its worth a lot because nobody else did anything like that before.

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