Thoughts On FMA Empty Hand, pt II

Although 75% of the articles on this blog is offering ways to improve your FMA, people are complaining that my blog is too negative. (Oh? Would you like some cheese to go with that whine? Sorry, couldn’t resist) So I’ve been asked by my own students to give the solution–or possible solutions–to what is lacking in FMA empty hand.

I’ve said these things hundreds of times on this blog, I’m sure. But here goes:

  • FMA people must spend more time on basic skill development. Not drills. Not prearranged counter and defense. Basics. Skills. Development of those basics and skills. They must take each type of hit, each type of kick, each individual skill and work them to exhaustion… a lot. You must refine your technique. You must develop accuracy to land these hits while moving and while being attacked. You must develop power mechanics with each skill and technique, and understand the difference between a jab and a power jab. No, it is not “jabbing with power”. But like I said many times before, this blog is meant to cause discussion and reflection, not to teach. Learn all you can about each skill and each basic technique and refine them.
  • You must be a student of fight strategy. Not drawing board fantasizing. Not “if he does this I can do that”. You must learn the methods of attack, the methods of counter attack, the types of fighters and how to beat them, and study how to force an opponent to do what you want him to do. Trust me, I have seen darn near every FMA video on the market and NO ONE teaches this. You must go to a teacher to learn it, and then be a true technical fight scientist.
  • You have to engage in matches. Call it what the hell you want–tournaments, scrimmages, challenge matches, death matches (lol)–but you need to engage in them. Preferably with people who don’t know you. Preferably with people who want to dog you out and prove that your art is bs. You guys spend too much time shying away from these forums, and you have too many damned reasons NOT to fight. Tournaments aren’t real enough. Too many rules. Can’t kill anybody in tournaments. Nothing to prove. Over my dead body. Shit like that.
  • You must have had enough of a variety of opponents and situations that you can bridge the gap between sport and practice and real fights. Too many of you don’t have this balance. All sport, no “realism” (whatever the hell that is). All practice and no sport. All streetfights/real fights for your life (lol) and no practice or sport. Sport is the safest place you have defend your way of doing this while still being in a venue you can learn from and still experience the rush of losing/winning or kicking ass/getting your ass kicked. You must have balance, and them fights you had in high school or when you were working as a bouncer in a night club damn near don’t count.
  • You must have had so many of these “practice sessions” that it would not bother you to be called to the carpet to prove yourself. That is something that every boxer has that you don’t. Even basketball players know how to handle a guy who says, “I’m better than you.” Emotionally, you are not ready to be a fighter although you call yourself one. It must be a drop in the bucket for you to hear a guy question your way of doing things, and you should enjoy the opportunity. This can only happen when you have had your own experiences to brag about, and is extremely necessary for you to elevate your fighting style.

So, I hope you’re not disappointed. You probably were hoping for a youtube clip you could make fun of, or see a technique you’ve never learned before that you could copy and show to the boys next time you are fooling around in the gym. Not at all. I am not a showman. My art is for my students and my friends. If you want to see what I’m made of… really see what I’m made of, plan a trip to Sacramento or catch me on the East Coast. I announce it every single time I travel and I always end up hooking up with non-FMA people. I would love to have the opportunity to prove my point.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Thoughts on FMA Empty Hand

I am going to have to remember this date:  February 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day. Boy, did I accomplish my secondary mission in the FMAs. We had the highest number of hits in one day on this blog, because of this article, entitled “Fallacy of Empty Handed FMAs”. My mission was simple:

  1. Teach my styles of martial arts and make the best possible students I can, and
  2. to lay the groundwork so that the Filipino Martial Arts can be restored to a place of respect in the Martial Arts community.

You guys don’t realize this, but you just got your wake-up call. The most important four words any martial artist could ever hear in his career:  Your art is inferior. Some martial artists welcome these words, and most fear them.

Why? Because there is only one logical answer to that statement and that is to PROVE the statement is false. You guys have been hanging out in online forums too long, hanging around friends and patting each other on the back, being too damned chummy and non-confrontational. So it made you weak, and made your arts weaker. And worst of all, it’s made your skin so thin you want to cry foul whenever someone insults your art.

What does a real fighter do when somebody says, “I can beat you”?

He sets out to prove that you can’t.

And what does the FMA guy do? He goes on Facebook and whines to his girlfriends about what an asshole you are. He goes to your website to look for holes in your bio that he can ridicule and try to question the validity of. He calls other girls on the phone and tries to find out what he can, so he can feel better. He wants to question your credibility, your rank, your knowledge, even your fucking existence. And why all of that work? Because the one thing he is supposed to do as a fighter–kick MY ass–he isn’t willing to do.

Have I been challenged before? All the time, you guys have no frigging idea. Have people shown up to my school to fight me (or bring students to fight my students)?  Yup. Have they gotten matches from us? Every damned time.

Now ask me how many were FMA guys. Wait, one… and you’d never believe who he is.

That’s right, kids… NONE.

So now you want to figure out who has gotten matches, right? You want to see if I’m lying? I challenge you, contact them yourself:

  • The late Frank Waller and his students (Rancho Cordova)
  • Thomas Gibbs (East Wind Martial Arts, Sacramento, CA)
  • Students of Uriah Faber
  • Master Don Bitanga (Baltimore)
  • Michael Ajay (Sacramento)
  • Greg Alland
  • Deathkido members Norman Charles and others (Baltimore… thought I was lying, didn’t you?)
  • Wayne Hatcher (Sacramento, school is called “Scorpion”-something)
  • Tae Kuk Mu Sul (Citrus Heights, CA)
  • Students of Master Eddie Chong
  • Students of Cedric and Cliff Robinson (Robinson’s Tae Kwon Do, Sacramento)
  • Robert Dosty and his students

I’m getting bored. I didn’t ask any of these gentlemen’s permission and so they don’t know you’re going to call. But humor me. If you think I’m fake, call them or email em.

Now, people who can verify that I am a martial artist, and what type of martial artist I am. I’m sure you are hoping I don’t know what I’m doing… after all, you’ve never heard of me right? Perhaps you’ve heard of a few of these people:

  • Eddie Chong
  • Greg Alland
  • Apolo Lladra
  • Mike Ocampo
  • Robin Taberna
  • GM Ed Bansuelo
  • Chuck Perry (Alexandria, LA)
  • Master Raymond Wong
  • Master Deric Johnson
  • Grandmaster Dennis Brown (yes, that Dennis Brown)
  • Grandmaster Carlito Lanyada
  • Master Boggs Lao
  • Master Don Bitanga
  • Master Joey Paman
  • Master Emilio Labarcon (Bay Area, California)
  • Master Carlito Bonjoc
  • Grandmaster Diony Canete
  • Guy Kinanahan (I call him “master” but he doesn’t like the term)

That’s it… No more. I feel like I’m catering to kids. You have enough. Now the question is… why go through all of that, when there are people right here in my town who can “check me out”? Why ask me to post a youtube clip? Why imply that my history is false? Why call me a troll? Why ridicule me on the net from the safety of friends and your computers, when all my information is on my websites?

Because when a martial artist’s fighting skills are not up to par, when his knowledge is weak, he will emphasize other things like rank, lineage, and amiability. Are you serious? By how likeable and respectful I am? You’re kidding.

So, this article was supposed to be a “positive one” and not “negative”. I’ve been asked by my students not to be so darned grumpy in my writings and give tips and helpful hints, like I was some type of fucking Martial Stewart or something.

Before we can start to fix something, you will have to first acknowledge that it needs fixing. FMA people aren’t willing to admit that they don’t know if their empty hand is functional because they simply don’t fight with it. We have to first (if my tips and advice is to be, excuse me… “helpful”…) admit that you even NEED tips. And as always, if you are local, and anything on this blog needs clarification, or you aren’t convinced that my advice works or will work–email me and arrange for a match (excuse me, demonstration) and I will gladly show you in person. I mean that. Ace Goldsby, you are the man. You’re the only guy to show up and ask for a match after reading my work. I’ll ask him to post his info if anyone would like to verify that he exists. If you’re in town, I’ll even let you meet him when he comes to class. He’ll even spar you, I’m sure.

Without further a due, the tips.

But next article. 😉

Thanks for visiting my blog.