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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: 1206

Comment by Edward Talib on May 29, 2013 at 1:17pm
Great article! How do you draw the combat out if you've only been taught the art guro Andrew.
Comment by robert small on May 30, 2013 at 3:24pm

sorry I forget who said it... we practice (or get proficient) in times of peace so that in times of war our blood isn't shed.. something like that!   in the early days training in arnis (in the 80s) lol we were taught this is for combat the stick is a practice tool representing a sword but could also be just a stick. we practice the art to make ourselves more proficient in preparation for the real thing. example (hitting the stick). allways we should be mindful of what the real thing is. but in order to practice we must do so safely carefully so we can continue to do so. its kinda  frowned upon when we practice going around killing people. so we practice the art in preparation of our skills... hoping we will never have to go farther....

Comment by robert small on May 30, 2013 at 3:26pm

great topic...

Comment by Black Swan Tactical on May 30, 2013 at 7:05pm

In training, I don't often look for it, but in fighting, I do.  What is it?  The kill shot.  Stress makes me a better fighter, and some of the craziest ideas flood my head.  I fear losing because you never know what the other guy has planned for you if he begins to overtake you.

It is always easier to let up once you have control, but it is often impossible to wrest control from a dominant opponent, so you must exercise it from the outset, by using 100% cunning and 100% effort.

Comment by Tony Whittington on May 31, 2013 at 4:59pm

Good Post, and great replies..personally I many times find myself pointing out to students the Art within the combat system, even the most practical and combat orientated techs have a beauty and a finesse, particuarly in the details....., when understood ...I dont think either could or should be seperated unless the Art aspect overides all practical combat applications (and in the FMA Ive never personally been involved in this  happening though I know it does) but in truth I think its vital to ensure students  (and your self) are motivated by the ability to protect family and self first, an understanding of the beauty contained within  the Art is a reward attained by hard work and a more in depth understanding of the combat system once the right tools are available and sharp...LGT, PTK Dubai


Comment by Garrick Jordan on June 1, 2013 at 3:47pm

great post, i enjoyed reading the article. i sure did learn a lot.

Comment by Ernel Rodriguez on June 2, 2013 at 7:48am

Great topic Masters.If I may, ARNIS is a very conglomerate art.I would divide it in to three categories : 1.EXHIBITIONS ASPECT.



I think I dont need to elaborate it more. MABUHAY MGA ARNISADORS.

Comment by Brian Sauer on June 3, 2013 at 9:27am
Great read and great points ....
It's so important to be able to find the balance of art and need the art to develop your attributes you need for combat....the art isn't combat..but without the art you'll suffer in combat........combat makes the art functional......or makes it work.........and with weapons training in the sparring or combat you will find out if you're out-classed very quickly..........the truth is always obvious when it comes to weapons.......keep on training , fighting and growing!!!!
Comment by Ramir General on November 2, 2013 at 8:29pm

Great comment Henry.  I agree with that approach, I modify same way for my students.


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