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Why did you chose your system/style over another system/style?

I would like to ask my fellow Filipino Martial arts practitioners on why you chose your particular style/system or method over the other FMA styles/systems.

Thanking you in advance.

Guro Ramon Villardo
Bakbakan Kali Ilustrisimo
Toronto, Canada

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Honestly when I moved to Illinois there was a class at the local MA dojo that was sponsored by the parks dept. With out turning this into a " my style is better than your style" thread, my "style" of Eskrima which our little group calls the Black Sheep System of Eskrima is pretty versatile and my instructor (Bruce Booker) does not want to spit out clones that do everything the way he does. All of the members of our training group are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses in certain areas and all do things slightly different as that is the way it works for each individual. Also my instructor and the rest of the group are friends and there is a casual relationship between all the members , it is not run in a militaristic style. As far as the actual content of the system itself , we as the students are exposed to the bulk of the material and then allowed to specialize in what we like. If solo baston is your thing then that's mostly what you do, if dulo dulo is your thing then that's what you do. Another reason that i like our method is that we pressure test everything we do and try to make it work in real world conditions , slippery , dark, uneven terrain etc. We try to strip away all the flowery and showy stuff as a lot of it does not work in the real world . We try to think in terms of street assault and less in the terms of stick fight matches. equal conditions like stick vs. stick, knife vs. knife are very very very rare. Well that's why I chose the style I did.- Joshua Morale
Well said, Joshua. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. My reason for starting this discussion is not to turn this, as you said, into a "my style is better than your style" thread but to connect with other FMA practitioners like yourself and to learn the unique aspects of your particular art/system. Let us use this forum for education. So I invite others to share the uniqueness and strengths of your particular system (what draws you to continue to study your art) while respecting each other's chosen art. Maraming salamat po.
There are many reasons why i chose Bahala Na Escrima. The simplicity of the style, the hard blocking, the strong counters... our ace the hole the largo mano style....were some of the 1st things that drew me to the style! The 1st time i saw Leo Giron sitting there surronded in a protective circle by all of his instructors, graduates and students. Such an unassuming schoristic/intellegent looking man.... with all those guys in black willing to put their lives on the line for him. The 1st time I sat down and talked to Leo i felt like i was at home... i came to think of Leo like a father/grandfather and i also would have given my life him! We were a family.
Since Leo's passing Bahala Na Escrima has never been the same.
So when Leo's 2 sons and the majority of the active 1st generation instructors and graduates left i followed and Bahala Na Multi-style/Original Giron Escrima was created! It feels like family again. Bahala Na!
Thanks, Terry. I appreciate sharing your story with us. You were fortunate to have trained with such
an icon in Grand Master Leo Giron. I wish you the very best of luck with your group.
When I started my martial arts training I started in a japanese dojo that was unique in my martial arts experience.
My dojo aloud other styles to take part and share what they taught and how they trained. That is how I was introduced
to fma. I chose my specific style based mainly on availability in arkansas, but more importantly I chose fma for the
broad spectrum of training it allows for on an everyday basis. From empty hand, weapons, and fighting tactics fma aloud
me to train with (in my opinion) the proper attitude, intent, and realism I feel the martial artist needs. So in short I didn't
chose a style specifically for the style but for the martial mentality fma brings to my table.
Thank you for allowing me to share my opinion.
With respect Josh
Thank you, Josh. I also started with Karate or more specifically, Okinawan Goju Ryu and like yourself I chose FMA for its broad spectrum of training e.g. weapons, empty hands, fighting tactics, etc. It did not take away from what I have learned before but it added and complimented what I have learned or done previously.

Thank you for sharing your story with us here. I appreciate it.

Yours in the arts. Maraming salamat po!
I have trained in six FMA different systems and found that the Province system I teach and practice is simple and effective. Some I studied were incomplete, some were overly complex, I like my Province as it is complete. That means mine has stick work, blade work and empty hands. I found that with the Mountain Visayan system flows well from one thing to another, so it doesnt matter if I have stick, bolo, spear, rock, shoes or just my bare hands and feet to work just fine. I had Grand Master of another system say that my system was the OLD WAY of fighting and that was they did it in the mountains, I said it still works just fine. It was one of the few that just made sence to me.
Thanks for sharing your story, Master Marc. I've seen some of your video clips. I just have these words to say....You're incredible!!!

Maraming salamat po.
I chose Pekiti-Tirsia Kali because I was looking for a well-rounded system that taught the full transition from Filipino weapons to Filipino empty~hand/gun fighting. I'm interested in Filipino, Indonesian, and Malaysian (and Kuntao) systems. I am drawn to FMA's like a moth to a flame, and I don't question why that is. To be frank, I have tried several systems, even been invited to "learn" different systems, and sometimes I felt discriminated against because I wasn't Filipino enough (I'm an American Mestizo) and other times the techniques just didn't seem to jive with me (no footwork, not practical, etc), other times the training was too far and few between. Through it all, my love for FMA has grown and I still seek to learn as much as possible. It's very hard to find consistent training here in my neck of the woods due to the terrible economy here, people simply can't afford to live here anymore unless they have family or friends that own property, it seems. I urge anyone who seeks a consistent training partner and lives near Santa Clara, CA, to get ahold of me. I have a space for training, tires, sticks, Ginunting, rubber knives, and a Sibat. I don't enjoy politics, I'm open~minded, and I'm not much of a follower, however, I am traditional in the sense that I respect traditions deeply. I'm a nice guy, and have never learned any other martial art outside of Eskrima/Arnis/Kali. Only that my father was trained as a professional boxer by the late, great Filipino icon, World Champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde's trainer, and as a young boy, taught me the fundamentals of "boksing" (hehe), as well as Greco-Roman Wrestling. Needless to say, I prefer FMA's!

Thanks,

~Johnny
Thanks for your contribution, Johnny. I appreciate it. Your father was trained by the great Flash Elorde. Wow!!!
Oh no, he was trained by Flash's trainer, but we ourselves come from a family of Filipino boxers! My uncle fought 2nd to the world champion, he accepted though he was sick with the flu, he didn't know when the chance would come along again. My uncle was Manuel "Bolo" aka "The Fighting Filipino" Montes. He died on the dance floor as an old man (think of it this way, he was as good looking as Filipinos come, and dancing with beautiful younger women, wouldn't YOU want to die as such?? hahaha)! My family (I myself included) insist that any fighter worth his mettle ought to be a good dancer as well. When I think of this, I think of the late Sonny Umpad, who was known for his dance skills... haha ^_^
I agree with you....the late great Bruce Lee was an excellent dancer. Great dancers have great footwork; a must if you want to be a good Filipino Martial artist. Cheers!

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