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

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.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts On FMA Empty Hand, pt II”

  1. […] 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 ba … Read More […]

  2. You have to fight if you want to be good in fighting. fight with both medium and High intesnity are the most important part of developing real fighting skills. drills are good, hitting the heavy bags is a way to grow. but the most attention of a fighters training needs to be in actual fighting, if being good in fighting is the goal.

  3. The way I see it, 99% of the world fighting systems are primarily empty handed. Unless Filipino martial arts starts focusing more on empty handed fighting system like silat or muay thai, its going to die off.


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