Liberate Yourself from Classical FMA, pt VI

This is the final installment of this popular series. We hope you’ve found it valuable!

Get Off the Nipple!

I love this country, and I love the people, but I don’t love how they treat the Filipino martial arts. Martial arts in general are not taken seriously, but at least in other arts there are still a lot of admirable qualities found. The FMAs have really degraded to just a long-running fad. But something about how the West changes people really hurts the growth of the Filipino arts, and it’s that most of you (us) are still breast-fed as Martial Artists.

This is what I mean.

  1. FMA people are really afraid to stand on their own feet. And I’m not talking to just my American brothers, ang aking kumpadre… I’m speaking to the Filipino as well (especially the Filipino). You have been brainwashed to think that you cannot come up with your own techniques unless it was passed down from your Lolo or some master from the province. You think that you have to have company with the arts you teach, as if you wouldn’t be respected on your own. The truth is, you don’t need associations. You don’t need a ton of “certified representatives”. You don’t need to gain credibility from the presence of others who are like you… or even others who LIKE you. As long as you are skilled and are willing to demonstrate how skilled you are, you will be respected.
  2. Why do you think it’s necessary to put everything on Youtube? Do you really believe people will say, “Oh, I have to study with that guy!”???  Most of you look like you came from the same system and have about the same amount of training, and almost none of you look like you can fight.
  3. Skill and fighting ability is the goal; not certification and starting up your own classes. Turnover from student to teacher is so high, you’re putting out levels of generations faster than an Amway organization. And again, most of you suck. That’s the truth. If you want me to say it to your face, trust me, I will. And that’s sad, because I know that 99% of you will never step to me in person and challenge me on this statement:  Most FMA people suck, and they suck bad. Why? Because you’re really not training to learn how to fight. You’re just learning some neat moves to show to your students, so that they think you can fight. Like I said, the goal for most of you is to get certified and learn a few tricks to show to the boys and post up on Youtube…
  4. For God’s sake, please get out there and show the Karate guys how it’s done!!!  It’s lonely being the only FMA school on the circuit among mostly Karate and Kenpo fighters, and it is very difficult to convince them that FMA people can fight with their hands. They already think we just swing sticks around and slap hands, and will never step out on the floor and most of you are proving them right. Plus, if you do it more often, you will develop somewhat useful empty hand skills and will be able to do more than just demonstrate technique; you’ll be able to pull stuff off in real time!
  5. Take some lessons from the guys who really get out and fight. I’m talking about boxers and karate/Tae Kwon Do fighters and the like. Spend a little less time in seminars and more time in some gym somewhere. You’d be surprised how much your training will change, as well as improve, by doing it. Hey, excuse the shameless plug, but go to my Offerings page and get my book, Mustafa Gatdula’s How to Build a Dominant Fighter in 12 Months. Trust me, it’s cheaper than a FMA video and I guarantee you won’t find any other FMA book on the market quite like it. That crap they’re spoonfeeding you in the seminars will get your ass handed to you in a real fight. Try something different for a change.
  6. Do a little self-discovery. Train yourself, and then get with some guys you don’t know well for some “experimentation”. You don’t have to “learn” all the time… try some “do” sometime, you might like it! I honestly believe that if you did this, you’d drop most of that empty handed FMA stuff you do.
  7. Break away from the formula for your FMA empty hand. First, I can tell you, as a Filipino FMA person, most of that FMA empty hand is BS. It don’t all look like Kenpo/Wing Chun hybrid stuff, and it damned sure don’t like like the Sinawali. At least not the stuff you’d do while fighting with your empty hands. Maybe if you played a round of “patty cake” with your little girl, those skills might be of some use. 😉  Really look at fighting barehanded as a fighter, not as a FMA fighter. Seriously, too many of us are trying to force-fit our empty hand to make it look “authentically Filipino”, and it’s coming out as some sissified cheerleading stuff.
  8. Take a look at some of the things Filipino-based FMA people are saying. Not me, I’m here in the U.S. with you. I want you to go over to and listen to what they say about the Filipino arts. I’m not alone and I’m not crazy. You’ve been suckered. You’ve been bamboozled. You’ve been had! Much of the FMA history and “facts” you’ve been told are so incorrect and inaccurate, I’m tempted to call them lies. I think if you started with that, and then come back to this blog and reassess what you’ve learned you might end up on thekuntawman bandwagon. And don’t listen to some of my adversaries on MartialTalk and who call me a troublemaker. They just don’t like for anyone to speak with authority who hasn’t taught seminars or wrote magazine articles or sold videos… otherwise representing the status quo. I call crap where I see it, and we all don’t have to see things the same way and we all don’t have to get along, LOL.

What I’m trying to say is, FMA people, think for yourselves. Stop following the crowds. Stop doing what everyone else is doing. Learn to think outside the box. When it comes to art, mainstream is most often wrong. This isn’t like other industries where the few who differ are the weirdos. In the martial arts, doing what everyone else is in agreement with makes you cookie-cutter. And like I say in many of the articles I write, most of you sheep are unaware of how foolish you look.

Break away from the mold, stand on your own feet as independent, skilled fighters, and stop following the masses. Get out from under your “Tuhan’s” skirt, and be a man. Make your FMA strong, it won’t happen while you’re still breastfeeding on cereal and formula. It’s about time for you to start eating meat, tough guy!

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come and visit again!

Author: thekuntawman

full time martial arts teacher, full time martial arts philosopher, and full time martial arts critic

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