I knew the title would get your attention.
Let’s get to business.
The Filipino Martial Artist spends too much of his training time thinking of the art as a skill of coordination. Let’s see how complicated these stick patterns can be. How many alternatives can you come up with for trapping a punch. What’s the trickiest way to take a stick from your opponent? This isn’t fighting, and it sure as hell ain’t something your Guro’s Guro’s Guro’s Guro’s Guro would have recognized in Eskrima. When we talk of youtube clips and seminars and videos, the big thing is how original can you make this art look–how unique can it be to what everyone has seen rehashed through this guy’s seminar, through that guy’s system, and this Master’s recently-uncovered, secret style? When all the while, the real art–the one that earned the reputation for offing Magellan and carried from island to island hundreds of years ago in the form of battle-tested essentials for warriors–is not the shit being taught in Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo dojos across the world.
When this art was in its heyday, it wasn’t a duel between two guys who agreed to fight. Hell it wasn’t even an “A” team versus “B” team battle in the jungles. It was guerrilla warfare where one man was determined to take the life of another, for whatever reason it was, and screw “tried by twelve than carried by six” cliches…. this was devoid of any legalities, rules, or bragging rights. This art wasn’t self-defense. It was for the preservation of a people. One group moves in on the territory of another for the purpose of enslaving that people, eliminating that people, or wiping their way of life off the face of the earth. These guys didn’t cry about rank and promotions or certificates. They couldn’t give a damn what names you drop from your lineage. They didn’t argue philosophically, they didn’t send out press releases every time your Master farted, or huddled in private rooms to ridicule the next guy’s ideas. One group decides to erase the next, and the next group decided to eliminate the first group before they got him.
They were ninjas before the term got popular.
They were hit men who worked for free.
And frankly, they couldn’t give two hoots if anyone knew they had done it. If your woman got in the way, your kids witnessed it and they might decide to take revenge when they became an adult, or the neighbors got too close, the Eskrimador was going to make this a family affair. No, it doesn’t make for good PR. It didn’t sound pretty when you’re telling fantastical “why-you-should-study-with-me” stories to potential students. The real art of Eskrima didn’t conjure up music to anyone’s ears, didn’t bring back fond memories when someone smelled burning rattan, it didn’t form brotherhoods that made these girls all get the same tattoo like they were in a sorority or something. They didn’t wear T-shirts, they didn’t come up with cool slogans, they didn’t pimp their dead Masters like Biggie Smalls samples in rap music (a lil something for the hip hop heads) for validation. The Eskrimador doing the real thing was a killer. He was cold blooded. He was unapologetic. He did not ask his sons if they’d like to learn Eskrima one day; those boys inherited the skill like a father bequeaths his good looks on a baby–you had to learn it, because one day, I will hide behind you when the bad guys come. I’m telling you, modern FMA guys, that stuff you do ain’t nothing like the real thing.
I could just hear some pussy FMA guys right now on Facebook or FMAchat or whatever they call it:
Well I’d like to see Gatdula show his stuff on youtube so we could see if what he does is so “old school”, since apparently our grandmasters got it wrong….
I’ll do better. Come ask me that question in person, and I will show you personally what I do. But I tell you what, you have never met a man like me before, trust that.
My point is this. The Filipino martial arts is like a cordless mic, those who are holding it, become so happy and full of themselves they wander too far from the source. So they usually end up emitting a lesser frequency. The art must not be mass marketed, because like hamburgers, the more people who eat your hamburger, I don’t care what family recipe you come up with–the more who does it, the more that stuff starts to develop an “M” and a “c” behind it. And one day, you look in the mirror, and some small FMA master from an unknown part of town, in an unknown system who scares the shit out of you in person–so much, he must smile and be friendly so he doesn’t make any more enemies–calls you out and calls your art what it has become: McSkrima. Old ladies, 10 year old boys, certificate collectors, fat, out-of-shape, lazy ex-martial artists–all are armed with your Black Belt, and no one in the group can prove its worth the way those forgotten Eskrimadors use to do it. And you know exactly what I mean.
That’s why you arm yourself with reputations and websites and rhetoric and friends and associations. Must I say it again… None of those true Eskrimadors had all that shit. And if they were alive today, and saying what I am saying right now, you’d dislike him too, you’d put down his art, you’d hope he sucks in person, and you’d refuse to recognize his credibility because that guy wouldn’t recognize the bruise-free, painless, sticks-and-a-smile “fighting”-like art you do either.
I want you to answer this question to yourself:
I will pay you one million dollars and allow your family to live. I need you to kill a few people. If you don’t kill them, they will kill you and your family members. They may be armed, possibly better armed than you. You choose the day and the time and the place. You won’t have to serve ONE DAY in prison for assassinating them, because they are bad, evil people. You can choose the weapon you want to utilize. You can kill them one at a time, or all together.
(but here’s the catch)
You can ONLY use what you were taught–or if you are a Guro, only what YOU taught–in Eskrima class within the last two weeks. Not modified from what you taught. Not drills, not simulated–just the techniques. They aren’t attacking you first–because you’re an assassin–you seek them and then take them out. Doing only what was practiced in class within the last two weeks…. Can you do it?
Real Eskrima can answer this without a pause–yes. Very few men reading this article right now can even fathom what I am asking you. It’s time to return to Eskrima’s roots, before it was called “Eskrima”. Thank you for visiting my blog.