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

Test Your Empty Handed FMA

I’m having a discussion on the Inayan Eskrima board about my statements that FMA empty hand is an embarassment. The thread is entitled “Does KDM (Kadena de Mano) work in a real fight?“, and my opinion is that I really don’t think so. When you get a chance, mosey over there and take a look at it.

Well, as usual, feelings get hurt, names being called, folks taking grave offense and points are being misconstrued… typical for FMA people. I would say that the discussion is good and helpful, but it is not. In fact, I can see from the comments being made and the tone of most people, that FMA people are (1) the same pretty much everywhere, and (2) always falling back on the same old cliches and excuses not to fight.

Let me run down a few of those things for you:

  • i don’t fight in tournaments because there are too many rules. my art is made for killing, not simulating combat. Well, my question is, who are you killing and maiming in practice? My guess is “no one”. People who talk this way usually don’t spar (read:  “Moore’s Sho Shu Kong FOO“) but where they do spar, it’s just like the tournaments they like to put down… with rules, no injuries, but with less skill
  • if you’re so good, why don’t you enter MMA or full contact?  This is supposed to shut critics up, but not here. I fought full contact for nearly a decade. I’m just suggesting that you do the same.
  • i’m a cop/corrections/military/bouncer/security/streetfighter. i KNOW how to fight!  Brothers, if you only knew!  You see, people who fight rarely put it out there like that. I usually talk about training and philosophy as a martial artist and teacher. I will mention my experience while teaching, but I don’t use it as a resume bullet point for my credibility. First, let’s look at soldiers and cops. How many of them are actually fighting with their hands? Not many, and not many that do end up fighting one on one. I know they do it in corrections, but it is not the same as a guy fighting on the street. I hope you don’t expect us to believe that you fight on a daily basis. You’ve been watching too much Rambo and Dirty Harry movies, and reading too many Jim Wagner articles.  The truth is, that what our brothers in uniform deal with has very little to do with what the guys on the street must endure, and almost NOTHING to do with martial arts fighting and training.
  • i just fought last week. Brother, please.
  • if i fight you, i will have to kill you.  LOL. If you are willing to fight to the death, but you won’t fight LIGHT CONTACT, you sir, are not a fighter. You’re just talking smack.

Testing of martial arts skills cannot be done in dojo classrooms with friends and family. I would even go so far as to say, it’s not necessary. But what is necessary is that you must test your art against someone determined to make you look like a monkey. You can control how far you go with it, but you must spar with someone who does not know you, is not familiar with you, and is trying to beat you. Looking at the choice of techniques many FMA people work with, and their training methods, I would say that most people are not doing enough testing, which is why they swear by unrealistic techniques and hide behind associations and excuses not to fight.

There will have to be a part II to this article. I’ve got to start my class in a few minutes. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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3 Responses to “Test Your Empty Handed FMA”

  1. You are an inspiration, keep preachin the good fight.

  2. […] friend of mine called me and told me that he printed this article and the forum strand that inspired the article, for discussion among his advanced students. He is […]


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