The End of FMAs?

geezer

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Over on the Wing Chun sub-forum a poster offered the opinion that traditional Kung fu was on its way out, do to the interest in MMA. Kung-fu, like Karate and TKD before it, had it's heydey way back in the 70's. Then came ninjutsu in the 80's. Now, except for small die-hard groups, these arts mainly survive in McDojos for kids and in really cheesy movies. Is this true? And are the FMAs the next passe martial fad destined to join the realm of kids entertainment and movie parodies? What's your take on this?
 

Touch Of Death

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Over on the Wing Chun sub-forum a poster offered the opinion that traditional Kung fu was on its way out, do to the interest in MMA. Kung-fu, like Karate and TKD before it, had it's heydey way back in the 70's. Then came ninjutsu in the 80's. Now, except for small die-hard groups, these arts mainly survive in McDojos for kids and in really cheesy movies. Is this true? And are the FMAs the next passe martial fad destined to join the realm of kids entertainment and movie parodies? What's your take on this?
Are FMAs going to get walked on by BJJ for a while?... yes, but fads, die. I'm sure some famous fillipino will shine a light on FMA in some movie or TV series one of these days. Is that a bad thing?
sean
 

Rich Parsons

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Over on the Wing Chun sub-forum a poster offered the opinion that traditional Kung fu was on its way out, do to the interest in MMA. Kung-fu, like Karate and TKD before it, had it's heydey way back in the 70's. Then came ninjutsu in the 80's. Now, except for small die-hard groups, these arts mainly survive in McDojos for kids and in really cheesy movies. Is this true? And are the FMAs the next passe martial fad destined to join the realm of kids entertainment and movie parodies? What's your take on this?

FMA's have not had the same lime light as some of the other arts. They have been in the backgroudn and used as "The Weapons Guys" the other arts got to beat up. Some recent movies have more and more FMA and it is a good thing.

Recently an Army General stated that he did not believe that the current combative training was the right program. He stated something with hand held weapons and knife training would be better. The FMA's are prime for this. So there could be rise in the future if something like this happens.

All things have a parody made of them. The more success the more Parody.

I do know that we have our core students (* always been a small school *) but many people call and ask about MMA training. I tell them if they are looking for UFC style training contact my friends ....
 

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I dont see any of that, and I do not see karate or kung fu or any of these other arts as having their haydays in the 70s, I will bet alot of money there are more people taking lessons in karate and kung fu and any martial art today then there were in the 00s, and the 00s had more then the 90s, which in turn had more then the 80s, and so on... more people and more practitioners... hell I would be surprised if california alone did not have more practitioners today then the entire united states has in the 70s.

now what I will agree to is that MMA is the new buzzword... It is not a fad though, it will be around long long into the future. I think any martial art can benefit from the excitement MMA has caused in the martial arts world.
The key is for those running schools in any given art to be able to capitalize on it, and be smart enough to alter their marketing and possibly how they approach teaching students.

I think you are going to see two different classes of martial arts schools do well in this new age.... the Mcdojos and the schools run by great individuals. I think you will see alot of the mediocre crap go away, and alot of the part timers go away... especially with the economy hurting.

the Mcdojos are going to do well because they cater to kids, bring large numbers of kids in, and provide a valuable service in regards to discipline, self control, self confidence, etc... regardless of how crappy their material is, parents want kids to be happy, and to grow... Mcdojos offer this, if only this...
great individuals in any art who are motivated, and dedicated will draw in students, grow, and pass on their art.

I think traditional schools are going to have to make some shifts from what most have been doing to make it, but I think that there is more opportunity then ever for any martial art to make a great income..
 

wushuguy

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FMA needs more attention, http://eskrimadorsdocu.com/ is a good start, but it would be great if someone made a kick *** movie set in filipino history, like the development of certain style, like the movie yip man did for wing chun.

otherwise, FMA will become a more esoteric and hidden art, which is also fine.
 
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geezer

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FMA needs more attention, http://eskrimadorsdocu.com/ is a good start, but it would be great if someone made a kick *** movie set in filipino history, like the development of certain style, like the movie yip man did for wing chun.

otherwise, FMA will become a more esoteric and hidden art, which is also fine.

I really want to see that movie. Also the new Ipman 2 movie.

And in response to what 'LuckyKboxer" posted, in my town some of the high overhead McDojos have been closing down, and the part-timers have been proliferating. People have their hours cut back, so they open a garage school, or a school closes and the die-hards keep getting together in a park. Some of these guys are really good too.
 

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I really want to see that movie. Also the new Ipman 2 movie.

And in response to what 'LuckyKboxer" posted, in my town some of the high overhead McDojos have been closing down, and the part-timers have been proliferating. People have their hours cut back, so they open a garage school, or a school closes and the die-hards keep getting together in a park. Some of these guys are really good too.

I'm not worried about it, I don't think the public can differentiate between a gi wearing FMA guy and a gi wearing karate guy and a gi wearing TKD guy. For the not gi using fma population, the appeal of parents putting their kids into programs where the uniform is a camo BDU pant, beret, and black t-shirt is going to be uh, limited to say the least. :)

Point sparring with padded sticks has been going on in karate tournaments for years now, I don't see the FMAs making a major impact into a market that already figured out that aspect. I can't imagine WEKAF style sport fighting really taking off, mostly because it looks stupid and it hurts when you get hit. I guess I'm not real concerned, I don't think the FMAs will ever take off as a mainstream fad, and I think that is a good thing.
 

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No way, and this thread should be renamed "The End of FMA in AMERICA"

But back to the original post... From the POV of a MMA practitioner, there is a LOT to be learned from TMAs... ESPECIALLY the FMAs.

Footwork, creative striking technique, takedown concepts are all integral, basic concepts that are widely used in FMAs and can (and will?) have applicable function in MMA competition.

In sub grappling, triangular footwork from my FMA days equal a very mean, creative guard-passing game. I've introduced some FMA concepts to my gym buddies and they use it with a lot of success in the gym and in competition.

I've seen a lot of MMA practitioners "fine tune" concepts by going back into the TMAs and improving their overall game, and can adapt to different rule sets, whether they be competitive or legal.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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FMA's are gaining strength but not a fad yet..... I think the FMA's will always be around for those that need it and want it but they may not get the notoriety that other systems enjoy. Still I think every military, police, etc. should have FMA training couple with an effective grappling system. Just my 02.
 
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geezer

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FMA's are gaining strength but not a fad yet..... I think the FMA's will always be around for those that need it and want it but they may not get the notoriety that other systems enjoy. Still I think every military, police, etc. should have FMA training couple with an effective grappling system. Just my 02.

I think you may be right that the FMAs will survive the boom and bust cycle of fad arts, but I don't think they will ever be taught on a mass marketing scale like some arts have been. Each FMA group is so personal and individualistic. But that is also part of their strength. They are, and have been for centuries, extraordinarily adaptive martial arts. And, you know what, I'd rather see FMA's remain somewhat obscure rather than have them totally pimped to the point where they lose their credibility.

What I'd really hate to see, above all, is for them to lose their combat realism. As a mostly peaceful people, living in mostly peaceful environs, we are moving further from our combat tested roots with the passing of each generation. While I'm truly thankful that I live in a time and place where I don't have to defend myself and my family with baston and blade on a daily basis. On the other hand, I'd hate to see the FMAs become degraded into a merely aesthetic discipline, a quaint folk-dance in which fancy twirls, unrealistically complicated techniques, disarms, locks and so on, displace the austere yet effective combat versions of these arts (as has happened with some other martial arts). Can a peaceful people truly maintain an effective fighting tradition? Time will tell.
 

MJS

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IMO, I dont see the FMAs fying out anytime soon. Popularity wise...well, they may not be up there with the current fads, but is that a bad thing? I mean, its kinda like someone who has a huge school with hundreds of students, and you can have someone who teaches a small, dedicated group out of his house. The small group can and often does, turn out quality people just as the larger school does.

So, my point of saying that was simply...just because something isn't on the same level as the more popular arts, doesnt mean its going to disappear. Fortunately, there are many very good FMAists that're keeping the art alive. :)
 

Guro Harold

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Results 1 - 10 of about 2,560,000 for arnis OR escrima OR eskrima OR kali-silat.

I don't think the FMAs are going anywhere but up judging from the numbers stated above.
 

thekuntawman

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no, i dont think filipino arts going anywhere. many styles are not best for teaching to large groups, and arnis and eskrima is one of them. even in the philippines, where you still have some large groups, in schools, colleges, and a few arnis schools, most of the people who learn the FMA, learn in small groups. and still, you have filipinos who say the filipino art is dead, and nobody knows them. but you have many other filipinos who say, you dont know what your talking about, we have lots.

its more a thing of, which circles do you exist in. people who want FMA will find it. the people who just want some entertainment for little mikey, will find the mc dojos. the guys who drink beer and like MMA will find MMA. there is something for everybody. in my school, we have really four groups of people, almost like i have four schools. we have a traditional kung fu group who i teach Jow Ga to, we have die hard FMA people, we have tournament fighters, and we have people who want to just work out and get in shape. the MMA popularity didnt change my enrollment at all, except it brings grapplers to my school who want to learn to fight standing up.

i dont even think the commercial karate schools hurt because of MMA either. they are really looking for kids, and MMA are looking for men who are never going to be found in a tae kwon do school, unless they are looking for directions to some MMA school. schools are always opening and closing, and i dont think popularity is going to change it.

its true that every art has "its day", depending on the movies and fads. but even ninja schools, real ninja schools, still have students. its more a question, does this school know how to do business.

i know a lady here in sacramento, who use to make her living teaching two weapons, archery and naginata. no empty hand, not tae bo, or streetfighting, just those two weapons. she is an old woman, and she did not have a school, but she had students and made good money teaching it. im just sayting that there is something for everybody, and every art, aslong as the teacher is good, will have students.
 

ap Oweyn

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Over on the Wing Chun sub-forum a poster offered the opinion that traditional Kung fu was on its way out, do to the interest in MMA. Kung-fu, like Karate and TKD before it, had it's heydey way back in the 70's. Then came ninjutsu in the 80's. Now, except for small die-hard groups, these arts mainly survive in McDojos for kids and in really cheesy movies. Is this true? And are the FMAs the next passe martial fad destined to join the realm of kids entertainment and movie parodies? What's your take on this?

I don't think that FMA are going to faze out like a fad for the simple reason that it's yet to have it's time in the sun. You see a lot of movies these days using FMA in their choreography. But, really, only people in the community already know that. Look at the Bourne series. Unless you were already in the community, you likely don't know Jeff Imada, kali, etc. Same with the Sayoc taking place in various movies.

So, in some sense, FMAs are popular right now. But the waning of that popularity has everything to do with image. And FMA still doesn't really have the public image that ninjutsu, kung fu, kickboxing, MMA... have had over the decades. You saw kung fu movies in the 70s, ninja movies in the 80s, kickboxing movies in the 90s, and MMA movies nowadays. But you haven't really seen a slew of movies ABOUT FMA.

Not here anyway.


Stuart
 
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geezer

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You saw kung fu movies in the 70s, ninja movies in the 80s, kickboxing movies in the 90s, and MMA movies nowadays. But you haven't really seen a slew of movies ABOUT FMA.

Thank goodness for that!


BTW I have just seen the end of FMA...

...It's sharp and pointy!
 

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As long as people like Dan Inosanto does his FMA seminars ...

As long as people want to play with blades ...

As long as Hollywood makes movies like The Hunted or the Bourne series ...

I do not see an end to the FMA.

I see other schools adopting FMA to their curriculum.
 

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Over on the Wing Chun sub-forum a poster offered the opinion that traditional Kung fu was on its way out, do to the interest in MMA. Kung-fu, like Karate and TKD before it, had it's heydey way back in the 70's. Then came ninjutsu in the 80's. Now, except for small die-hard groups, these arts mainly survive in McDojos for kids and in really cheesy movies. Is this true? And are the FMAs the next passe martial fad destined to join the realm of kids entertainment and movie parodies? What's your take on this?


FMA has always kind of hid in the background which is a good thing. It is not as bastardized as TKD, kung fu, and karate. BJJ is good, but it has a lot of hype over it right now because of the Gracies success in the UFC.

I just started learning Arnis and I am glad that its not well known as the techs are amazing, and it is a real edge to have them up your sleeve as they are very practical, but I do know that many FMA patterns pop up in movies they just don't get credit for it.

I am in the process of combining what I find useful into my own style.

FMA is going to be a big part of it. I also plan on using some BJJ, boxing, and muay thai, along with a bit of wing chun and the TKD + HKD I already know. I feel this will give me a well rounded and balanced skill set, but just the hubad has applications to be used against punchers, kickers, and grappling styles.

I don't think FMA will get turned into what TKD and karate have become, as long as it doesn't get the attention that these arts have.
 

Mark Lynn

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While I don't think the FMAs are on the down hill slide per say, I don't believe they will ever be as popular as TKD/Karate Kung Fu etc etc.

I believe only a very small segment of the population will seek out and or adapt themselves to training in the FMAs. Not many people can wrap their heads around the concept of training with two sticks, or single sticks, or knives, or any combination thereof and that the movements may relate to empty hand moves. It is to foreign to them, to big of a concept.

Especially here in America everyone is use to the quick fix, from fast food to the video games, instant communication, instant changing of the channel when something (like a commercial) comes on. the average person won't want to stay with it to see the benefits that training in the FMAs, the TMAs, etc. etc. can bring.

Mark
 

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FMA will never be "Flavor of the Week" the same way Judo, Karate, TKD or BJJ have been.

  • There aren't as many people interested in weapons as boxing or wrestling (broadly defined)
  • The Phillipines has never had the mystique of China or Japan
  • Parents aren't going to send their kids to after-school daycare which teaches knife fighting
  • The PI government doesn't have the money to do an international marketing effort the way the South Korean government did
  • MMA is where it's going to be at for a long time
  • Not as flashy as kicking-punching styles
  • Not the TV appeal of MMA

That said, FMA is Flavor of the Quarter Century for weapons arts. Nothing else is going to come close any time soon. The alternatives?

  • People don't take African MA seriously. And there are very few teachers around
  • Same with WMA except for fencing which has a serious image problem
  • Kendo and its imitators aren't as approachable or obviously applicable.
  • The weapons arts of China have largely - not entirely but largely - turned into rote forms practice. For most people that's Bo-Ring!
  • The Korean weapons arts are extinct. Apologies to the self-styled Sul Sa and Hwa Rang Warriors. It's the simple truth. It's less historical than SCA fighting
  • Krabi Krabong is too small worldwide
  • Silat usually turns into a bunch of disconnected techniques in a mixed art or demanding almost all of a student's attention
  • Despite what they say most people aren't interested in workmanlike military combatives. And most of that is guns and group tactics

And look at the FMA's advantages:

  • There are lots of Pilipino teachers in North America and Europe
  • FMA teachers have been a lot more open than most to mixing, matching and being an accompaniment in someone else's school
  • While the FMA can have a hell of a lot of depth the basic physical tasks are easy to pick up
  • They've had decades of good press in the MA world
  • If an empty hand MA school wants to add weapons it's easy to find an FMA teacher or credential to get started
  • The equipment is cheap
  • Over thirty years' head start

People have mentioned movies.

Movies aren't as important as they used to be. Martial arts aren't exotic and foreign any longer. And since Chinese action cinema went mainstream and its tropes got into everyone's action films there just isn't the draw there once was. For the pure action fantasy fan there's plenty of anime. Besides, I just haven't seen the interest in people hitting each other with sticks as you find for people kicking each other in the head.

There's already a rich well-developed cinematic tradition of sword fighting all over the world from Douglas Fairbanks to Lord of the Rings to Yojimbo to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. FMA aren't going to displace that any time soon. Add to, yes. Dominate, no.

Outside of The Hunted there hasn't been a breakout film centered around knife work. Unjust as it is there's no way around its reputation problem.

Honest gawd-fearing tax-paying Christians shoot each other.
Nobles, warriors and exciting pirates duel with the sword.
Manly Men™ stand toe to toe and dominate other Manly Men™ with Manly Fisticuffs™ which theoretically makes the ladies want to have their babies.
Cowardly, swarthy, lower-class criminals butcher each other like animals.

So no, I don't see FMA ever being the next Tae Kwon Do. And even popularity hasn't managed to completely ruin the other styles that have had their day in the sun. Their fortunes have risen and fallen, but for the most part they've continued on with a core of serious practitioners.
 

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I don't think the FMA's will become a burnbrite/burnout fad like some TMA's..........I do think it is growing in popularity, however.......and I think some of the growing popularity is with some sections of the MMA crowd.

I think this is partially attributable groups like the Dog Brothers, who have been featured on National Geographic.

I think the aggressive style and desire to engage in hard sparring is attractive to some of the same crowd who are interested in MMA.
 

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