“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

What Makes an FMA “McDojo”

i think what makes our FMA water down, is not the fat that it is taught in a school, or money is paid for the classes, or that we fight in tournaments. i dont know about most of the filipinos on this group, but tournaments, is a very FILIPINO thing. rules? oh come on, everyone has rules, even in “no rules fighting”. if there really is no rules, then i will bring my knife to the next one. people who dont like tournaments, usually is scared of fighting in them, and you know he aint fighting in the street.
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but when many of us complain “mc dojo” we are talking about the quickness that some people get to be considered an expert, and how easy it is to be considered “expert”. we have people who complain that there is no teacher in his town, so he must go to video and seminar to learn the art. but what if you want to become a lawyer and there is no law school in your city? how bout if you want to become a doctor? you travel. i know i am not getting my divorce by some guy who is too lazy or too not committed to travel to learn his law. and yet, some of us, trust our lives in the hands of a teacher who did not thing is important enough to travel to learn from a qualified master.
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how many of us, have slept of the floor of an arnis master to learn his style, or catch a bus to learn a new style, or save his money to travel to study under a great master. in this country, where money can be made everywhere, people dont want to spend $200 a month to learn from a qualified master, but he will spend $75 for two hours of learning in a seminar, or $200 to learn from a video tape. mc dojo.
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last year, when i had a conversation with a teacher, who is a member of this forum, who told me, the “black belt” is the beginning. really? since when? when you are a black belt, you are an expert. supposed. but it is not for a beginner of the art to wear, which is the attitude, and this is why we have 7 years old 1st degree, 14 years old 4th degree, and lost interest by age 21. what makes our FMA a mc dojo? too many beginners with no skill who now have rank to teach. who will take FMA serious with black belters who cannot fight? we have too much of that.
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then the last part, is we have liars in the FMA. they lie about history, they lie about who they learn from, they make up words and styles and give fake histories, even created new things in our culture. and its not about money all the time, lost of time, its about a small butok, who tries to act like a BIG butok. they use stories, and tough talk, and fancy names, youtube demos, and big words to describe what they do. they teach cops, military, wear army uniform, go to isreal, take hundreds of foreign students, make nice websites, put out videos with rock music and rap, etc. but people forget the most important thing, can you fight? and this is filipino….can you fight. screw the drills, and fancy disarmings, forget the neat tricks and cool locks and throws. i dont care who you train with, or who certify you, or if you use to shine bruce lee’s shoes. can you fight.
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i always say, its the one who can’t fight, who talks politics, rank and gossips. he must distract you so you dont notice, that he cant fight.
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mc dojo, is the one who is so far from tradition, he becomes like mc donalds of martial arts.
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2 Responses to “What Makes an FMA “McDojo””

  1. I agree 100%. I spent 3 years training, or suffering, under a “master” in Doce Pares. His strategy in a fight was, “Let them hit you until they’re tired.” During armoured sparring, I used to get chastised for developing a strategic defense. My blocking, counter-attacking, and disarming we’re met with stern condemnation. “You must flow. Take the hits. They’ll tire themselves out.” I don’t think taking hits from a weapon is a very good defense. I could be wrong. I don’t have a black belt.
    He, and most of his black belts, were only happy when they were allowed to win. Our school had several black belts. Only 2 of them could fight or even execute techniques at real-life speed. They rest just had excuses and belts. I left when I found myself throwing every fight to avoid watching my instructors make fools of themselves with their temper tantrums.

    • wow i’m sorry to hear that. I think that is one of the biggest problems when the sport becomes more important than the art. or the result of young or immature teachers. hope you found a new teacher!


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