This article is actually “part two” of a series I am in the process of writing, although I’m releasing this one first.
In part I, I discuss how the art is treated as a “hustle” for those who claim to love–but really don’t–love the art. To sum it up, let me post a series of questions:
- What is your most precious possession? Is it something you bought? Something you know? A family heirloom? Was it given to you?
- Assuming we just met, can I have it? I won’t take it forever. I just want it, a part of it. Let me take it/him/her home with me. I’ll bring it back, on your terms even.
- How much money would you accept to give it to me? Could I, upon meeting you, see/use/keep it, and call it mine?
- How would you feel, after you DID let me have it or see it–if I turned around and gave it or sold it to someone else? How would you feel if I called it “mine”?
Like I said, most of you really don’t love your art. You’re selling it to any bastard with a buck. You show it for FREE on youtube every chance you get, for what? Notoriety? Likes? Comments? And then you wonder why some asshole just copied it and reposted it or repackaged it. Hell, some of you even gave this jerk a CERTIFICATE! Your Guro might have paid for the art in blood, sweat and tears, but he sure as hell gave it to the guy you’re trashing today for what, a $200 seminar?
Brothers, you have to LOVE this art if you want to earn the right to bash guys like me on the internet.
I see it. Many of you even know me personally. You live near me. We see each other at tournaments. You’ve visited my school. I’ve been to yours. Our students meet sometimes in competitions, if I decide to attend an FMA tournament. But you and I treat our arts completely different from each other, and this is why you talk smack on those sissy FMA groups and smile in my face. And this is why I can insult you and your masters in person and you don’t do shit about it, because in a way–you know I’m right.
But enough about me. Let’s talk FMA. That stuff ^^^ is so “part one”. Lol
If you are teaching the art, you have to revere what you do. Many of us don’t really believe in what we’re doing, so we scan the magazines every month for ads for the next DVD series. We hang out at seminars to see what new moves we can pick up. We troll youtube when students aren’t around looking for cool stuff to introduce to our classes, or circle jerks the next time we are at an FMA event with other teachers. If you believed in what you do, you won’t feel the need to add and update, you just take what you know and make it stronger.
Hang with me… I’m not saying don’t study other arts. What I am saying is believe what you do is strong enough to stand on its own two feet. Hell, I’ve studied a bunch of arts myself. But I respect my teachers enough to keep what they taught be mostly intact (cause really, we all do the art justice by putting our own stamp on our teacher’s teachings), and I try to present the strongest version of it I can. There is a difference between that and adding and mixing and matching. Now, if you’re trying to form a new art, by all means–add away! There’s nothing wrong with that too. Just don’t take your teacher’s art and still call it your teacher’s art when you secretly stole moves and drills from Guro Inosanto’s videos and pass it off as his. Your teacher did his research and tried to give his students the best art he could, don’t dishonor it by passing off someone else’s work as his.
This is why I advocate cross-fighting over cross-training. If you do cross-train, do it to actually learn that art and do it right. Or on the other hand, you learn the other art so that you can learn to beat it. That is more honorable than dabbling in another system (ahem, seminars!) and then adding that art to your resume alongside your own Master’s art that you studied for years! Or worse…. pretending that the stuff you dabbled in was taught to you by your Guro. Because, believe me, you suck at it–and you will be a poor representative of something you really don’t know. (If you want to learn a good way to make your art stronger, check out my books on Amazon.)
Eskrima, for example, has great stick and knife fighting. In my opinion, we are the absolute best at it. So why are these guys prancing around in skirts and scarves with fancy blades and fighting with spears and sarong? I swear, I shake my head sometimes. Somebody give me a leg from your grandma’s coffee table, I will beat the holy crap out of one of those guys. Eskrima is valid as an art and doesn’t need to add on a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo, chicken blood and music. If some guy wants to learn to put a mugger in the ICU, that’s where we come in. If you want to put on a skirt and dance around to music-go join a tinikling group. This is a warrior art, not a theater company, let Eskrima keep its dignity.
As far as fighting goes, I said it before I will say it again. Your Eskrima needs nothing but tempering. If your teacher didn’t do much empty hand, go ahead and learn it. Just take what he gave you and make it stronger. Do your numbers. Dissect the system. Go and participate in some matches. Train until your hands bleed and your shoulders pop. Keep hitting until your stick strikes sound like gunshots. Revere what you do as if there were NO other art out there to learn, as if your life depended on it. That’s what the grandmasters did. They might have picked up some things here and there as they traveled through life. More often than not, they most likely found more opponents than friends and training partners, and certainly didn’t go around trying to join every damn martial arts group they could. The FMA guy today is as loyal as a whore girlfriend at a banker’s convention. Your grandmasters and mine may have had one, two or three teachers in a 30 year period. But he endeavored to take the little he knew and sought to make himself unbeatable. Then he tried to prove it to himself as much as he could BEFORE going out to teach it to someone else.
Most of you guys are already recording youtube videos before the ink is dry on your “Guro” certificates. Treat your art as you would your favorite child. Stop giving him up to any idiot with a buck. Stop putting your kid on the internet for other wierdos to see and Faceturbate off of. Don’t let just anyone claim your kid as his own. Your Masters traveled on foot, slept on floors, and missed meals to earn this knowledge–and here you are, teaching the shit in a seminar for $50 bucks to a roomful of guys you don’t know. Revere your master’s art.
Thank you for visiting my blog.