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Filipino Martial Arts group originated from Paete, Laguna (Philippines) founded and head by Gat…See More
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                                                           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

Views: 1203

Comment by Guro David Battaglia on April 10, 2012 at 9:47pm

"Everyone has a plan, until they get hit."

-Rocky Marciano

Comment by terry joven on April 11, 2012 at 1:40pm


I love this saying!

Comment by Mataw Guro David Battaglia 15 hours ago

"Everyone has a plan, until they get hit."

-Rocky Marciano

Comment by Guro Ollie on April 11, 2012 at 11:01pm

Hi Guro Filardo:


Your words speak the truth!  As a high-risk security contractor, I have seen live combat more than a few times...the most recent being in 2010 in South Master Joven said, train for the truth, and if it is barbaric, then so be it...real combat is VERY UGLY...and if you're not prepared for it...then it will destroy you physically, mentally and emotionally...for example, please look at the photo I posted where my hand was stiched up...I was assaulted at close quarters in low light...I thought it was a punch until I saw the gleam of the blade...that's when everything hit the fan...I was lucky to - as Grandmaster Kleeman advocates - control my adrenalin dump and keep my motor skills up so I could continue to fight after being cut (in law enforcement research this is known as the "inverted u effect")...but it was ugly indeed...I never realized how ugly until I was able to review the surveillance footage...


Since that time I've seen combat in Africa, the Middle East and Central/South America...and its been ugly every time...with regard to the skills I use, just as the other highly esteemed commentators have said, its always been simple and direct - whatever I had to do to destroy the enemy while sustaining as little damage or injury to myself or unit...


I also learned that in real combat you have to make choices that eat you up Sudan, we were ambushed by teenaged soldiers...but I had no choice but to return fire as I needed to make it home to my wife and year-old son...when you are left standing over the bodies of those whose life you've taken - even though its kill or be killed - you are left with an empty feeling like you're dead you have to prepare for the emotional backlash as well...


Sorry for carrying on so long everyone...I hope I was able to contribute something meaningful here in even a miniscule way...


Respect and love to you all always,



Comment by Guro Ollie on April 11, 2012 at 11:44pm

Hi Guro Filardo:


I just also wanted to add that I am no longer a security just got too ugly for me, especially the last one...but again, real life and death combat is always ugly...


I hope my students never get to feel what I feel inside...but I do my best to prepare them in case it is the path they choose for themselves...


Respect and love to you all always,



Comment by Guro Lawrence Motta on April 12, 2012 at 10:08am

Guro Ollie,

Thanks for the real world perspective.  I find it very humbling.  Grand Master Leo Giron used to have a number of quotes posted on the walls in his basement.  One that always stuck with me was "It is better to sweat in peace than bleed in war".  He had his issues with the lives he had taken during the war and he was certain that he did not want his students to experience the same horror.  He told us "We train for peace".  His art was meant to lay a foundation for combat if needed.  But, conflict was to be avoided if possible.  Thanks for a great topic Guro Andrew.

Comment by Jerome Barber, Ed.D. on April 12, 2012 at 3:10pm

Good Afternoon, Guro Ollie,

You're absolutely right, real combat, when someone is trying to seriously maim or kill someone is quite ugly, sweaty, time distorted, smelly and difficult to explain to people who have not been there and had to deal with that, regardless of the place the confrontation is going down.  Good training, sound fundementals and simple, well rehersed techniques and mental toughness are all needed to pull you through each circumstance.

Good luck and I hope that you can find some inner peace for yourself.



Jerome Barber, Ed. D.

Comment by Guro Ollie on April 13, 2012 at 2:08am

Thank you so much Master Barber...inner peace is so hard to seems to quiet my emotions and still my mind...I guess that's why I've always returned to it...I just hope my young son cannot sense the turmoil I feel are a very insiteful person Master Barber...I hope I can learn in person from you one day...


With respect always...



Comment by Guro Ollie on April 13, 2012 at 2:21am

Hi Guro Motta...Thank you very much...I just wanted to try to contribute...especially on the topic of the blog...I have been practicing Filipino martial arts for 37 years and have also been employed in a profession that included interpersonal human aggression, so I have been able to experience the difference between art and combat, and the difference is very real indeed...admittedly, I believe I am an emotional casualty of my experiences because I wasn't prepared for the reality of making a choice to end someone's life...I just wanted to help a bit...


With respect always...



Comment by Sony P. Sy on June 11, 2012 at 2:20pm

combat vs art
With due respect, To make it clear,anybody can fight (combat),the question is how you do it ? Did you win or loss. What are the outcome of the fight (combat). Now your given a piece of wood or cane,or even a bladed weapon and your are force to use them in combat. Basically you just attack your opponent with it instinctively.Another example, A boy in his first time engaged in a fist fight will just act or instinctively, will act according to his knowledge or basic instinct, how to defend himself. Martial Arts will come in,if somebody will teach you how to fight or you are able to mimic some movement in fighting naturally. Martial arts is a scientific and proven forms of arts in fighting an enemy or opponents.A mere holding of a cane is an art, how and why you should hold it, that way.There are good and bad arts, it depend on one's acceptance or rejection. There are the basic and magnificent arts,also applied in martial arts.Therefore a combat is instinctively reaction of a man, and a Martial Artists is much superior,and would likely to win in a combat situation. I think what you mean about combat is the actual application of what you have learned in Martial Arts.And the arts you mentioned are forms (anyo) in FMA.To my opinion both are needed in developing oneself, to become a superior Martial Artist. Respectfully yours, Sony P.SY Palis Sagasa Arnis Pilipino

Comment by terry joven on July 3, 2012 at 3:20pm

Train for the truth!

Bahala na!


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