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Zach Jenkins promoted Guro Lawrence Motta's blog post Diversity in Style
4 minutes ago
Zach Jenkins posted a blog post

The question no practitioner of FMA wants to hear

The question: How practical in today's world is the use of the stick or sword as a necessary means…See More
10 minutes ago
Niwlrae X updated their profile
Jun 22
Niwlrae X posted an event
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FMA ESKRIMA KALI ARNIS WORKSHOP at Anzu Martial Arts

June 24, 2017 from 11am to 3pm
SATURDAY, 24 JUNE 2017 @ 11 AMANZU MARTIAL ARTS 13911 AMAR ROAD LA PUENTE, CA 91746A MARTIAL ARTS…See More
Jun 22
Francis Serrano posted a video

Get to Know Bon and the Fighting Style of YawYan

Bon Bautista of YawYanAcademy.com talks about the fighting style of Yaw Yan (Dance of Death) LIKE COMMENT SHARE Directed by: Eric Chang Hosted by: Victor Mam...
Jun 14
Niwlrae X posted a video

NECOPA Balintawak USA

Follow NECOPA Balintawak USA on Facebook (facebook.com/NECOPAusa). Private lesson is recommended, but training on Wednesdays, 8:00 p.m. at Arnott Kenpo Karate (Eagle Rock, CA) is also available.
Jun 14
James Windholtz posted a video

Old School Lacoste Arnis Cross Stepping Double and Single Stick Drill

Double, Single and Single no Check Hand Stick Drill w Stick Tapping, Side Cross Stepping W foot stomp and bent knees. Need to get each segment to 1 minute ea...
Jun 14
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Jun 14
Black Swan Tactical commented on the blog post 'BARK RIVER KNIVES MORO BORONG'
"I just wanted to point out that I have no affiliation with any of these parties, but have purchased…"
Jun 13
Black Swan Tactical posted a blog post

BARK RIVER KNIVES MORO BORONG

FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTISTSI don't know about you, but I collect knives of all kinds for practice and…See More
Jun 13
Francis Serrano commented on the blog post 'Doug Marcaida on History Channel, "Forged In Fire"'
"yeah its pretty cool"
Jun 13
Niwlrae X posted a status
"RATTAN STICKS FOR TIRE BAGGING AND HARD HIT SINAWALI DRILLS | https://ello.co/earlwin/post/yqosa7qchyjkztzt_7fgnw"
Jun 7

I wanted to have a brief chat about style. One thing I have learned over the years is that each player has their own style; distinct, individual, unique. Yet, how does that square with the need for conformity and consistency in curriculum? I have to teach the same technique to a wide range of individuals. Does that mean that I have to change the technique for each student or is it the student who needs to change? My Dad was a strict Biology professor. His opinion was that it was the obligation of the student to go to the teacher, not for the teacher to "dumb down" his lesson. I can agree with that but I often remind him that his students' most loved lesson was his "Champagne Lecture" in which he set a table with some of the products of biology we consume; cheese, salami, bread, and Champagne. Once the table was set, he would invite a pretty young student to join him for lunch and dismiss the class. (Okay, it was a different time). The class loved it. It was pure theater, hardly a droning lecture on mitosis. So, strict dispensing of canonized curriculum isn't really the only way to impart knowledge. There has to be a certain amount of art, creativity, expression of the individual.

Moreover, how does this relate to preserving an art as individuals with their own interpretations take the art out into the world and spread it? I have always been of the opinion that the art is indeed living and students should be encouraged to bring creativity and their individual style into the art after they have mastered the basics and fully understand the concepts that underlie the art. Demanding a dogmatic adherence to a "standard", I have always felt, is a path to stagnation and more an expression of fear than dedication. An art should adhere to standard principals and concepts but should be allowed to flourish and grow and manifest in the individuals who practice it as the unique expression of their personalities and body types.

I watched a video of a master of Escrima playing his version of Larga Mano yesterday. Much as I would like to level some severe criticism on his style, I have to step back and celebrate his unique take on the art. It's not what I was taught. It has some concepts I would take issue with but it is his and it shows some of the most important concepts of the art. His unique play is an indication of the diversity in which one art can manifest. It stands in stark contrast to the style of play of other graduates. It is unique, his own artful expression; neither more nor less valid than any other. And, if we fail to recognize and celebrate the diversity one art can inspire, we will certainly kill it. In an effort to codify, "dogmatize" or otherwise hold fast an art, we risk choking it to death by quelling criticism, individual expression and curiosity. There is risk too in letting an art go and flourish and adapt. But, that risk can be mitigated by adhering to sound principals and basic concepts while embracing individual artistic interpretation. It would be a grand departure for that master to institutionalize his style as the standard or for students to believe that his rank eliminates all options for interpretation or expression. I think it is best to see the personal expression each player brings to the art as their unique style and a positive celebration of diversity, not a negative threat to authority.

Play on with a living art and always feel free to ask questions.

GLM

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