I have Leo's emblem tattooed on my right shoulder and where my shirt also while traveling thru Cebu & Mindanao. I do get some funny looks and questions mostly to do with the BNG gang. But when i tell them were an escrima school in the US they seem to be pok with it.
Also been question at Customs in Manila!
Be it known to all men who follows your principles of teaching that respect is earned and not demanded. As a teacher and at the same time as a student to the same tradition is to pass on the knowledge to those who are willing and able. You are what you make out of your teachings and let people decide if you deserve that rights and respect. In our tradition ranks and titles are not given but earned with long years of dedication of learning. The knowledge is not bought but given as a gift of life as for life os just a
Nice question but the emphasis is in the wrong place. It really doesn't matter who comes to the USA, Canada or any European country from PI, the problem is within us, the non-Filipinos who blindly accept those Filipino individual's claims regarding titles and ranks. All too often the claiment is allowed to proceed without anyone seriously questioning the credibility of the claims being made simply because the person is Filipino-born. No attempt is made to check the claiment's lineage or verify that he did in fact study under and was promoted by the person or persons that he claims as his instructors back in PI.
Add to that problem the tendency of some people in the USA, Canada and European countries to support the notion that only Filipinos can fully understand and teach the FMA; in effect they are making the old nationalistic/racist arguement that 'it's in the blood'! In other words you would have to be born Filipino in order to know, learn and truely understand the FMA (kali, eskrima, arnis, garrote, etc). It's bad enough when some Filipinos make that arguement, but to have Westerners making the same arguement and/or strongly supporting that position is simply incredible.
It is the above stated positions that encourage and allow the Japanese, Koreans, Indonesians and Filipinos to come into the Western World and make their Grand Master claims in the first place.
Please be advised that I Am NOT saying that there are no valid Filipino Grand Masters. Nor am I saying that all of the people who show up on the American shores as you put it are frauds in terms of rank, title, knowledge and experience. I am simply putting the burden on you, me and others to make every reasonable effort to check out the claims before accpeting the claiment as a valid GM. In other words why don't you/we "trust but verify"?
In my opinion, far too many martial arts students blindly accept everything that they are told by their instructors. They willfully and deliberately give up their sense of individuality and thoughtfullness in favor of an imposed certinty of the system being studied and the instructor providing the lessons. They do not want to think for themselves nor will they take the resonsibility for cross training with other instructors and in other systems. Most martial arts students and instructors that I have met in the USA and Canada are led like sheep. Let's forget for a moment the idea of Asians coming to the USA and claiming to be Grand Masters; how many Americans can you think of who claim to be Masters and Grand Masters, yet they have only earned their 1st or 2nd degree black belts? I can recall one American school owner in my town who claimed black belts in 6 arts, yet he was only 36 years old! How in the world is that possible, given that he only began his martial arts training at 23 years old. He also failed his first 2 tests for his first black belt. I know all of that because I know and trained with his first martial arts instructor.
The basic problem "As the FMA continues to grow (is) will we see more and more of the same from the PI's?", is US! We have to be much more careful in what we are willing to accept from others, both visitors and homegrown folks. We have to do our own due diligence in terms of checking credentials, references and lineages. Anyone can be fooled, but the lazy people and hero worshippers are the easiest to roll over and place face down on the mat...
Regarding "it's in the blood." I've heard this as well. I'm not trying to defend it but see it from a different perspective.
In the Filipino culture if certain youngsters grow up eating and sleeping FMA they do have a big head-start on many of us who began our training as adults.
I think it's much like US kids growing up eating and sleeping football or baseball, or Canadians and hockey. They have a nice head-start on different cultures more recently adopting the above sports.
I agree the responsibility is on the consumer-"caveat emptor."
Funny you mention the guy with 6 bb's. We had a guy around here with about the same. Roughly the same age at the time, too. One was in Modern Arnis (MA). I'm one of the longest practitioners of MA in my area. I know the back door deal that was cut for him to receive his MA bb.
At such a young age I imagine similar deals were made in the other respective arts he claimed to be a bb in.
Of course he went on to found his own system and become a GM.
He was an incredible seller of what he taught and had a huge school.
Thanks for your very kind reply. The headstart thing is debatable because there are fast and slow learners as well as dedicated learners within virtually every human learning activity. The "in your blood" arguement is a smoke screen issue as far as I'm concerned and not worth any real discussion time or energy. I simply disagree with the basic premise.
"I agree the responsibility is on the consumer-"caveat emptor." That is my point. No one has to blindly accept the word of anyone else regarding credibility, titles and ranks in the martial arts. We can and should check out the claims made by people before we start paying them money and taking lessons from them. From my perspective as a person who got burned by a martial arts instructor because I blindly accepted his every word, I am totally committed to checking and verifying claims. I am committed to cross training from time to time just to see how my training and approach dove-tails with other arts.
Going to seminars outside of my own system is very helpful, but it took me 9 years to realize that fact.
When my cousin, who started training 2 years after I did, was neutralizing some of my attacks and/or
counters after just 1.5 years of training, I knew that something wasn't right, but I remained blindly loyal to my instructor and system. I refused to accept the idea that my cousin's instructor was an excelent teacher. My teacher had told me and all of his other students that we didn't need to train with anyone else because he could and would teach us everything that we needed to know. He routinely mentioned a number of area instructors by name and art who were "frauds" or poorly trained. My cousin's instructor
was included in that listing. Yet time after time when we sparred and traded ideas/information my cousin was able to stand toe to toe with me empty hand and bested me with sticks inspite of being behind me by 2 years in training.
I soon realized that I needed to get out and train with other people and make decisions for myself.
Blindly accepting someone's claims be they American, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese or whatever nationality is not very smart. If we want to avoid being taken to the cleaners, intellectually, emontional, martially
and financially, the trust but verify dictim is a mandatory method of research and discovery, in my opinion.
"Funny you mention the guy with 6 bb's. We had a guy around here with about the same. Roughly the same age at the time, too. One was in Modern Arnis (MA). I'm one of the longest practitioners of MA in my area. I know the back door deal that was cut for him to receive his MA bb."
I'm quite sure that there are a good number of that type all over the country as well as in other countries.