the other side of commercial martial arts


Purple Belt
Jan 12, 2002
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sacramento, ca
i was going to post this on the topic about the boy in new york who killed the bouncer. but since there been a lot of talk about, why should i go to the philippines to learn, they are no better than the teachers in the US.

i dont know, but this might be the result of the opposite side of commercialized martial arts.

yes, we have deadly skills in our martial arts. yes, we can reach a lot of people from seminars and video and make the fma popular. yes more people will come if you teach how to kill somebody.

the question is, should you?

i know how to use a knife, and my students ask me about it all the time. but only when i know a students well, do i teach him. when i do, its very little, and most of it is to give him the speed and eyes to stop a knife from getting him. but my fast food students get bored, because he wants to learn right away and he will go to a teacher who will show it to him. (really, i could teach them a better technique, but they prefer the fast food style).

the knife is a serious thing, and you should not play with it. the philippine styles have so many ways to cut a throat, or somebody veins ane arteries. those things are not stuff you should show to just anyone (even your students). in the case of this kids, i dont know what happened, because anybody can figure it out, how to cut someone inner thigh. but my guess is, he was taught how to do it, and he probably was copying from his teacher, who talks about carrying the knife all the time, so now the kids want to do it too.

i been criticized before, sometimes on these forums, about my attitude about teaching the philippine martial arts, that it is not for everyone. hopefully somebody here will see what i was talking about.

the main problem with the "blade experts":

they are afraid to work on empty hands, they are afraid of hard work and exercise, they are afraid of face to face confrontation, they are afriad of taking an *** whipping, so they hide behind there blades.

you guys liked to put down moromoro for saying this, but this is the other side of commercialize martial arts, and what can happen when you miss the deep part of the "FMA", which you would learn from a filipino teacher. see they understand the philosophy of the art. even some of the ones here understand it, but like i was told so many times before, if you want to make money here, you have to give the students what they want. so to commercialize and give them what they want, you give the most dangerous techniques in the beginning, and you get more studets. most teachers back home will not do this, and this is why you have people coming back from the philippines, upset, because they did not get what they want, they didnt get the "goodies". but really, they miss out on good teaching and they come back here for the mcFMA.

the only difference is mcdojo gets you killed, mcfma can get somebody else killed.
so what should the philippine martial art teacher do?

he should teach his students how to fight. teach him how to subdue his opponent, how to break him down, and how to keep even the worst opponent from beating him up. there is plently to learn while you are building his non-physical self. non-physical, i mean developing fearlessness, teaching him to keep his eyes open, developing his ability to work when he is under pressure. for the physical, he needs to build his strength, speed, balance, and the attacks and counters.

when he is advanced, you teach him how to kill somebody. when he is advanced, he will know when to do it and when not to do it. he wont kill someone just because he got his butt whipped up. he wont pull his knife because hes scared.

that is the responsibility of the martial arts teacher. you build a fighter who can hurt somebody if he needs to, not put a deadly weapon of a coward who will cut you when he is scared, or an idiot who cannot wait to use his blades.

these skills should never go on tape or in seminars. and they should never go to a beginner.
Excellent points, KTM.

I, my instructor, and all the instructors that I personally know all feel the same.

We're very particular about who we teach knife work to.

As far as me, my immediate peers, and our instructor, the only knife work we teach publicly are some very basic empty hand defenses against the knife. And even that is not taught real early in the curriculum. We'll occasionally make an exception if a person is vouched for by someone we trust. But that's pretty rare.

I think you have a point, i think it is more the instructors fault then the students. Yes the students mite be misguided, and looking for the "fast food" version of that martial art, but it is the instructors responsibility to teach them properly. If the student leaves and finds a "fast food" instructor, the student is not the one screwing with FMA's its the teacher, who passes down this knowledge (or lack of knowledge) without considering the consiquences, or just doing it for money.

any punk kid can pull a knife and do serious damage to someone, most likely they would find a way to cause harm even without some form of training.

I dout much people start MA's so they can "kill anyone who crosses them". If they are going to kill someone over pride, they already have something wrong with them, and most likely would not be anymore dangerous with training then without. In the end its the persons choices, not a persons training, which evaluates how dangerous a person is. It doesn't take much training to fire a gun, or beat someone with a lead pipe.
i dont think that boy in new york believes that he was going to kill the bouncer. i think he was just cutting what he was taught to cut. he probably wanted to hurt the bouncer, and didnt know how serious the cut to the leg was going to go.

but its sad, especially he feels bad about it, but is too late now.
I agree with both thekuntawman and pesilat in being careful who is taught, what is taught, why we teach/learn, and emphasizing the lethal/legal nature of using the blade.

However, there are some points of concerns I want to raise:

I) We don't know where this person got their training or their lineage.

II) Is this technique commonly known or specific in nature? If this was a lower "Dim Mak" thrust, it should have been known that the results could have been lethal in nature. The news reports that I have read were that it was that type of thrust.

III) This person claims that he was drunk. How many times have we heard of tragedies like this because someone was not sober and they either hurt or killed someone out of violence or with an automobile.

IV) There is a difference in a "commercialized" mindset and a "commercial" mindset. In a commercialized mindset, some of the dangers and ugly truths are homogenized to make it more "family friendly" and mainstream.

Commercial is about the dollar/power, with no regard to short/long-term concequences and is without conscience. The ends justify the means.

These mindsets are not based soley in the US, I am sure.

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