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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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I am Filipino; an immigrant to America. I got started in a Korean martial art when I was a teen many years ago. Later, as an adult, I wanted to reconnect with my culture in a profound way and so I sought out the very best in Filipino martial arts. Fortunately, I found Dr. Remy Presas Jr. and have been training with him under his MARPPIO system for many years. His father, the late Grandmaster Remy A. Presas Sr., created Modern Arnis (his family's version of Filipino martial arts) with the idea to compile and expand everything about the FMA in a comprehensive, organized and intelligent manner and which would allow practitioners to train safely. I have found this to be true and discovered that Modern Arnis continues to expand beyond the late GM's pioneering concepts. Additionally, I find Modern Arnis to be creative, flexible and relevant to this era's need for effective self-defense.

I expect to continue studying this martial art for the rest of my life. The FMA has gained popularity in recent years beyond the level that GM Presas and Dan Inosanto, before him, would have thought possible. The Filipino culture, through the FMA, is now enjoying the highest level of awareness and respect from the West. I am feeling less 'invisible' as a person of color and slowly becoming acknowledged for what I truly am -- a proud Filipino.

Salamat po.
Hi Ramon,

First of all, thank you for sharing your story. Not only we share the same first name, we also share the same story - I myself started learning different martial arts but then felt the need to reconnect with our culture and so like you I began my journey to study the Filipino Martial Arts and I expect myself to continue to learn, teach and pass it on to the next generation. This way our art will live on.

Mabuhay ang Filipino Martial Arts!!

Maraming salamat.

Guro Ramon,

Simply put, I had no choice. When I was growing up back in the Philippines I was not fortunate enough to learn any martial art. Although my father knew Eskrima, to this day he has not shown me his style for he said it is not the life for me.

Our family immigrated to Canada, I got married, finished school and got a job but I still had this longing to learn FMA. My wife convinced me to look for a FMA school here in Edmonton. But unlike other states and provinces here in North America, FMA is not as popular and readily available to anyone. It took me 3 years and 2 schools to find my Guro's. Both of them filipino's and I only heard of them through word of mouth.

Currently I am still learning their styles (Paclibar Arnis and Sikaran-Arnis) and hopefully help them spread the art to everyone here.
Maraming salamat, Phil. Like in Edmonton, FMA is not popular in Toronto. What is very popular here is BJJ or MMA. Because of the media, people want to learn BJJ/MMA not FMA. But FMA has existed for hundreds of years and I'm sure it will continue to exist because there are those who choose the path of "mandirigma" and devote themselves to the study of the "Warrior arts of the :Philippines."

By the way, please let me know if you visit Toronto, I will invite you to the gym.

Best regards,
Salamat po for the invite, i will sure to contact you if i come visit Toronto.
I'm the wrong one to ask.. because I DID pick other styles, and the more I learn, the more I want to learn from others. So why did I pick any particular style? Because it was right there in front of me and it has something I like. Does it mean I won't pick another style. NOPE.. just haven't gotten there yet.
Good for you, Marcus. Knowledge is power!

Well i have always been interested in FMA and was just really blessed that GOD lead me to VISAYAN LEGACY ASSOCIATION which does have a complete system.
Do you practice Balintawak?
Ok, Here is my story

I started at a early age studying the Aiki Arts of Japan, including Aikido and Aikijitsu, Kyusho and Tuite,The problem is many of the techniques which are tought today are not truly effective in real world applications. I have some Filipinos in my family, and they told me about FMA and Escrima, but didn't know enough. Just enough to get me interested.

To make a long story short, I was lucky enough to be invited to train with Stanly Tippins a student of Dr. Remy Presas
the founder of Modern Arnis, and is still my instructor today. It hit me like a bush fire, I love it, its everything, I have ever wanted in a martial art, and more, as time went by I attended several seminars by Tuhon Ray Dionaldo founder of FCS Kali, he also studied under Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje. I never seen speed like that, so simple but so deadly it was. And the Krambitt, We want even go there......

That was 4 years ago, and at age 49 I am still training 2 hr's per day, every day, and combining it with my Aikijutsu, its the most unique and destructive thing I have ever seen. I think I am the only person who combines FMA with Aikijutsu that I know if. Its my understanding that some of the Doce Pares have done this as well, I don't know.

that how I got interested in the FMA, and its just the beginning, weight until I get to the Philippines..............
Thanks, Gregory. Keep up the hard work! Don't forget to share your experience with us when you go to the Philippines.

Thanks for your well thought response. I invite others to respond to Master Saturno's view as he says, in order to liven up our discussion. What do others think about his view that the art chooses you and not the other way around?


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