Cross Post: What the Hell Is Kali? (From Darrin Cook’s Blog)

A man after my own heart!

Darrin Cook has an article on his blog, entitled “What the hell is Kali?”  He is challenging the claim by many who use the name “Kali” for their FMA that Kali is either, older, more complete, or just better than the arts of those who use Eskrima or Arnis. I want you to go and read it, because he puts it all down much more eloquently than I can, and says exactly how I feel about the subject.

I consider this issue very close to home because I experience this in my business all the time:  Some guy walks in or calls and asks if I teach Kali. I say no, I do Eskrima,  then the guy says thank you, but I’m looking for Kali. Now, I have to explain to him that what he had been reading is a myth and more marketing hype than anything else. It’s not even point of view or philosophy. Excuse the language, but the use of Kali for any other reason but “I like the name” is bullshit. They are attempting to latch onto Dan Inosanto’s image of a pre-hispanic art, that is the “mother art” to everything done today, that still involves the “12 weapons” and ranges, taught by Muslims. Guys like Leo Gaje and groups like the Sayocs try and convince their flocks that the art they do is somehow different than most other FMA styles–other than the fact that most every style of the FMA is unique from every other style. They have gone to great lengths to pretend that the arts are unchanged arts from many generations back, and that the influence from the arts of Arnis and Eskrima were minimal. The “blade orientation”, this is for killing, blah blah blah, is all a part of that propoganda of the Kali-keepers.

But I digress.

Anyway, go and check out BigStickCombat’s Blog. It’s both entertaining and enlightening, plus his philosophy mirrors mine (except for his opinion about 28-inch sticks, but I still like his way of thinking). Leave a comment for him!

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Author: thekuntawman

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

One thought on “Cross Post: What the Hell Is Kali? (From Darrin Cook’s Blog)”

  1. Thanks for the referral, and the back-up. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m the lone voice in the wilderness.

    Your example is exactly my point –not to put down people who use the term “kali,” but the overwhelming hype that leads someone like the young guy who came to your studio looking for kali, and dismissed you out-of-hand, in total ignorance of what you have to offer, together with a lack of curiosity or willingness to considers your offerings, just because it doesn’t have the label “kali” on it.

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