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I am not affiliated with any other established Filipino groups even when I myself am Filipino by blood. So straight to the point I shoot.

I'm certified to teach FMA under a non-Filipino instructor. Does that suppose to mean that it's not as good as training under a Filipino instructor?

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I feel its not wether you were trained by a non-Filipino instructor.

If the Instructor is good and he is a good teacher than you can be a good escrimador.

If he is a good escrimador but cannot teach that is another story.

The way i see it " the apple does not fall from tree!".....

take that for what its worth



No kidding, Terry! That's what I said also to the Filipinos I was arguing with about this very discussion. The look on their faces registered that it was a well-made point but out from their mouths came more denial.

Hi Guro Arola:


It does not mean that at all...your development is only limited by your understanding of what FMA is to you.  FMA is a very different experience for everyone...even those who have trained under the same instructor.  The manner in which we each experience our current reality is shaped by what we have experienced previously (how we lived, philosophical imprints from our parents and living communities, experience with adversities, influence of our teachers/masters etc.).  It is up to the individual to determine how he grows and where he ultimately ends up.  That is the beauty of the Filipino martial arts, as well as other martial arts.  The art that we develop is our expression of ourselves, and that is truly beautiful.


With respect to all always,




I can DIG IT, Oliie!


Interesting question.  Many Phillipinos don't even know FMA exists, including my own wife.  As time wears on and borders break down it becomes harder and harder to even find a pure Philippino lineage in these arts. If you were lucky enough to train with one of the old Manongs in Stockton or the PI, consider it a rare priveledge. Is there a sense of colonialism still pervading the atmosphere between Americans and Philippinos?  Yes.  These are painful reminders of our sometimes difficult past.  In America, Philippinos were subjected to some of the worst racial discrimination in our history.  So, it is understandable that Philippinos feel proud of their heritage and the art which represents it.  It is incumbent on those of us who are not of Philippine blood to extend deep respect and humble ourselves to the culture which spawned such an awesome art.  I have been entrusted to teach this art despite the fact that I am not Philippino.  But I know it is not my art.  I am just a conduit through which my students can learn and respect the Philippine culture and it's awesome warriors.  Is there something lost in translation?  I think there may be.  Because our art is as much culture as it is technique, I think students may lose something if they do not train with a Pinoy instructor.  They may miss out on subtle cultural nuances.  But when it comes to technique, no.  There are plenty of poor instructors from all cultures including Philippinos.  Likewise, there are great instructors throughout the world.  What Guro Ollie and Guro Terry said is true.  It depends on the character of the instructor and their ability to pass the art to their students that matters, not their ethnic background.

I've trained in both the Philippines and here in the US. I'm grateful for both experiences.

Great reply Guro Lawrence and Guro Zach!

What does it mean to train with a Pinoy instructor?  Is this an American-born Filipino, or someone raised and trained in the Philippines?  While there might not be the rivalry the Chinese community has between U.S. born and F.O.B. Chinese (Fresh Off the Boat) there is a cultural difference.  I've encountered plenty of American Filipinos who are looking to find their cultural roots through FMA.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it is not the same thing as learning the art for its own sake. 

"I'm certified to teach FMA under a non-Filipino instructor. Does that suppose to mean that it's not as good as training under a Filipino instructor?" 

 The art originated in the Philippines and is now practiced in almost every part of the world.  Why? because it is a beautiful and deadly form of martial arts with a rich history and traditions that dates back hundreds or perhaps more than a thousand years depending on historical research.

 When Filipino teachers taught the art to non-Filipinos, the art, its history, and traditions were passed on and  manifested in each student and those students who achieved enough competency to teach, passed on the same knowledge to their students.  So in essence we have all become a part of Filipino culture and history in terms of martial arts. So lets look at it this way, regardless of who is the vehicle by which the art is transplanted, in the end everyone is being taught by the ancestors of FMA.


My two cents anyway,


Thank you Zach...

That's also another helpful example to prove my point in an underlying discussion I had with a certain group of "purists" that expected instant rapport with me "jus' bekuz" I'm Filipino. This was long after they opened up about particular prejudices against 'white people' from so many angles that did not just stay in martial arts either.... The bigotry alone disgusted me. I even began to feel sick to my stomach when they tried to treat me like one of their own. Especially the ones that kept pestering me about competing and joining their team for the tournaments "because we peeleepeeno got to steek to-gedder.." and every time I hear that phrase, I hear the alarm of the red side of the flag over the blue side. (sigh) I know I enjoy me a few black and Mexican jokes now an then, but I most certainly am not a bigot. Homey don't play that!

Hello Daniel,

 It may sound a little coy but I often feel a connection with like minded people like yourself.  I once heard an African martial artist say that martial art or martial science was social and  I believe in this is a true statement.  I have also met people as you mentioned who believed in such prejudices but the people who don't feel that way greatly out number the ones that do.  Sometimes its due to painful experiences that they had in the past that made them feel bitter towards "others". This happens in every society and/or culture unfortunately and it's the reason wars were fought in many cases.  Whatever the case may be I will always outstretch my hand in friendship.




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