It seems these days, that the FMAs have gotten really caught up in a grand old Pyramid Scheme. You know:
- It’ll cost you $Xx.xx dollars to get in on the ground floor
- To get started you need our “kit” (sticks, T-shirt, association patch, blah blah blah)
- All new members are also Team Leaders! Yay! Build your own team!
- Within a year or 6 seminars, we’ll make you a Team President so you can build your own organization
- “Support” our organization’s products and services (certificates, seminars, and media), and we’ll support yours
- When you get enough Team Presidents under your belt, you too can be a Grandmaster and start your own Pyramid and make money off your downline
Whoa. Maybe I didn’t screw up by passing up a higher education. This stuff is phenomenal! How can I be down?
Aka, Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money…
The product isn’t martial arts anymore, it’s more like we’re selling Martial-like Arts. Here, put on this bandanna, do your sticks like this, pose for pics, learn the jargon. Boy, you sure look like that Lapu-Lapu pic on my T-shirt. Let’s have a tournament for the boys to smack the hell out of each other with these pool noodles and give everybody an award.
And for those who are a little apprehensive about using the pool noodles, just hold on for about 20 years, we’ll hold an awards banquet and “certify” them as A-1 Billy Bad Asses.
Okay, I know your blood is probably boiling, so I’ll stop. I know how sensitive FMA people can be.
To be honest I do acknowledge that Grandmasters exist. I believe that tournaments are necessary. I think awarding certificates can be honest business. But this stuff in the FMA has overtaken the one thing that FMA people seem to try and avoid, which is (let me give it it’s own line):
Proving that your skill is not only superior to the next guy, but has improved since the last time we saw you.
I should expound.
FMA people are awarding certificates to people who have not shown superiority over another FMA guy. They are awarding Masterships to men who have not shown superiority over enough FMA guys. In none of these cases are FMA guys proving superiority over non-FMA guys. And we have people who are awarding Grandmaster certificates to people: 1. that they cannot award because you’re equal, 2. grandmastery in someone else’s art, 3. to someone because you like them (it’s not like anyone who doesn’t like me will award ME a master certificate, although I can whip most guys reading this blog), and 4. when the term “grandmaster” is not a level one reaches–rather it is a familial term.
Let’s define: Grandmaster: grand·mas·ter (gr nd m s t r). 1. n. the one who taught your master. 2. A founder of an art.
Hmm. Does my Dad need a certificate to let the world know that he is my kids’ grandfather? Could someone who is not in my family, say my next door neighbor, award my Dad that title? If he did award my Dad the title (or not) does it matter? Why would my Dad want such a certificate?
I have a theory. Ready?
People covet these things when they want validation. Your skill doesn’t speak for itself, so you need for other people to say it for you. You believe that people around you won’t respect you or follow you, so you need websites, friends, associations, aka validations. People find safety when they hide behind things that cannot be attacked, and so they seek protection in numbers and reputations. Tell you what. I have a 6 gentlemen in my school I would put my money on any of you reading this article, with or without weapons. That’s right. My six students would beat dog shit out of any Grandmaster or Master who would show up at my school and step on the floor….
Why did I say that? Two reasons. One, because I have full confidence in the guys I’ve trained. I have taught them for the better part of the last decade, and I know what they can do, I’ve trained with them myself, I believe they have surpassed me in skill, and I think pretty damned highly of my own skills. Two, I know that while you may run to MyFMA.net or Facebook and run your mouths about me, no FMA man within 100 miles will accept. Proven fact. I received about 20 challenges after the fuss over the “Fallacy” series, and none showed up. I’ve said it before, only two people have shown up at my door step after a FFSL article to fight me, and one is studying from me now. Neither is an FMA guy.
I am alone. I don’t have many FMA friends. My younger brother lives in town but no longer trains. My sister lives 3 hours away and does MMA. If someone was serious about showing up to kick my ass, I would have to do this one alone. If I called out an FMA guy on this blog today, at least 20 of you would speak up for him, and I doubt he and I would ever fight. If I seem disrespectful of the FMAs it’s because the Filipino martial artist doesn’t demand respect. He wants to be accepted as a martial art rather than a martial-like art. He puts on demos and posts videos. He pats his girlfriends on the back and never says “I don’t think that is combat-worthy.” He does the same shit everyone else does, and when someone brings an element of martial to their arts, he gets panties all in a bunch. He hides behind profiles and calls his buddies to talk crap instead of making a road trip. He makes excuses for why he doesn’t fight. He’d rather show demos of empty hand skill on youtube and facebook clips, rather than cross hands with karate and kung fu guys to prove that they work. We have become martial-like entertainers instead of fighters. The most we will do is let the little guys in our schools do padded stick fighting, and when someone questions us, we will point to other guys on the internet (and real world) doing the real stickfighting. But the truth is, the more we promote, the bigger our force, the less we feel we should be questioned.
Try telling Prince that his music is crap. He’ll point to the hundreds of sell-out crowds and his multimillion dollar bank account to say that he isn’t–but the bottom line is that you’d rather reach for the Eagles Greatest Hits CD than any garbage Prince has put out in the last 15 years. FMAs are no longer martial arts–they are martial-like arts that are for entertainment purposes only. No more danger to a 7 year old than his soccer team.
Well, he’d probably get more injuries playing soccer.
Thanks for visiting my blog.