Combat vs Art
In the Filipino martial arts you have the translation of techniques from weapon to empty hand. This is one of the unique qualities we have, and one that sets the Filipino systems apart from others. You use the same techniques, weapon vs weapon, empty hand vs weapon, empty hand vs empty hand, with little or no modifications. What a beautiful, compact, effective fighting system.
The better one sees the translations, the more one sees. The simpler it gets. The more efficient, thus more effective. Simplicity is one of the keys for effective combat. The more complicated the moves, the less likely it will work. You must stay focused on the end result, maximum damage, with the least amount of effort. Damage incorporated!
And then there is the most important translation of all. Translating the "Art" to the "Combat"! What came first, the Art or the Combat! There is no debate here!
If you were to pay attention to the Grand Master himself, you would here him say, " If it were for REAL, you would STRIKE him here! But I want you to learn the "ART" !!!
The art came after and for a many reasons. One being that instructors wanted to teach for a living, and wanted to appeal to the masses. The people would not be going into combat, they would be just training for recreation. If the training was to hard and intense, with contact and risk of injury, only few would be willing and able to continue with the training. Thus the "Art" was born. Make no mistake about it, there IS a difference from the "Art" and the "Combat".
The art is a more passive way of expressing technique and training. It is where you will see the more complicated moves and techniques put together in sophisticated drills and forms. Being practiced stick to stick, no contact. Beautiful to look at when expressed by one proficient in the "Art". Oh you would be amazed at what some can do with the stick. Like a chess match, you do this, then i'll do this, and punish you with this, counter for counter, and so forth. Like an intricate puzzle. Amazing to watch! And it draws many people, they want the same proficiency with the stick, and after all, theres no intimidation of getting hit! The emphasis is on the "Art".
But how do you know you can fight, if you never fight!
The "Combat" on the other hand is ALOT different. You cant prepare for combat by training the art. This will become apparent very fast, when one steps up and fights with minimal equipment, fencing mask, gloves and real sticks and experiences the adrenaline rush, when the opponent in front of you is trying to take your head off for REAL! Or when you take a full power shot to the body......... Thats gonna leave a mark!
This is where you discover alot about yourself, and the realalities of combat. Its only a part of the training, but an important part. The realalities you learn from these experiences flow back to your other training, and you make proper adjustments so that even your basic fundamentals can be more realisticly and effectively practiced. From your basic body dynamics of striking, blocking and footwork, to your flow drills and your Tapi-Tapi and Visidario. The way you train is the way you will react.
Some may say that to train like this is barbaric at best, and lacks technique. I say it is the REAL arnis, more pure. Real fighting isnt pretty, and executed with perfect technique. Oh theres technique involed, most importantly the real and combative application of technique.
"Dedication. Determination, Destruction" Guro Andrew "Tattoo" Filardo M.F.A. Academy, New York