Believe it or not
For several years now I’ve been blogging and introducing threads on martial art forums for a variety of martial art websites. My purpose for writing in these forums are to share my experiences and start a conversation in regards to Southeast Asian martial arts namely FMA on this site. Often I read comments like, “I’m calling BS on this or that.” But the fact that whether a person believes something or not is based on their exposure or the lack thereof.
When I first began studying Filipino Martial Arts my exposure was very limited to what my teacher was teaching and the material I was able to access through other sources such as books, magazines, seminars, and video.
There was a point back in the mid 90’s where I had almost given up on Filipino Martial Arts because I felt stagnant in my learning and everywhere I turned it seemed like there wasn’t any system or individual that really stood out. But then I took a chance along with a very dear friend while I was living in Germany. I saw an ad in a martial art journal regarding a Filipino Martial Art Grand Master from Cebu City Philippines who was going to teach a workshop not far from my area. On day one and two of the workshop I learned some new drills, techniques, and concepts about this grand master’s particular system but it was still nothing special in my opinion.
I bonded with the Grand Master during this two day workshop and I decided to write a letter to him when he returned home to the Philippines. In the letter I told him that I really enjoyed the workshop but I was frustrated with my own progression in Filipino Martial Arts. He wrote me back and
subsequently accepted me as a personal student so I invited him to stay with me for a while in order learn more about his system. But in no way was I expecting to learn and witness the things that this man was capable of. What I saw and experienced during that time was truly unbelievable! In fact, I can even understand why people are so skeptical when write about such things in the forums.
Unfortunately I missed an opportunity to travel to the Philippines and train with some who many considered legendary in the Filipino Martial arts before their passing.
I once heard someone say that the best martial arts have not been seen by the public. I have no way of knowing if that is a true statement but I know one thing, I haven’t seen or experienced anything close to what I experienced and saw back in the mid 90’s when I was training with my teacher, believe it or not.