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So, I keep an eye out for Escrima videos on FB and various other sights.  I like to see what other people are doing and keep tabs on the progression of organizations I have either been associated with or admire.  I see a lot of people who claim to carry on a legacy art and I often question the validity of their techniques.  At best, I think we can only manage to carry on principals of a legacy art but not wholly and perfectly the actual techniques.  So, some nod to creativity and improvisation has to be made.  Because we are all built differently and are all uniquely creative, I think absolute mimicry of your Master's technique is impossible.  We are, after all, Martial "Artists", not Martial Mimics.  Being artists, we are creative and usually headstrong; believing we are the only ones who truly know what the Master was saying.  But even with that individual flair, the fundamental principals of an art should still show through.  I often say, I had ten people teach me the same technique and they all did the very same things very differently.  Yet, it was somehow still the same fundamental technique because my teachers had mastered the principal while still performing in their own, individual, creative way.  This makes for very exciting Escrima and colorful training sessions.  Seeing the individual stamp each player puts on the technique is fun and reassures the student that they will someday make the art their own as well.  What troubles me most, however is when I see, in some of these videos, techniques that have lost the fundamental principal and degraded into a sloppy, half baked misrepresentation of the art.  There are certain fundamental principals of footwork, range, timing and tactics that our Grand Masters insisted we maintain.  I am excited when I see those principals expressed elegantly and effectively, disappointed when I see them ignored and misrepresented.  Working very hard to maintain those fundamental principals, for me, is how we honor the memory of our teachers and Masters.  While encouraging creativity and improvisation, we need to also adhere to the core principals or else, our arts will die.  I'd rather be a simple Guro, striving to do it right, than a "Master" who has failed to keep an art alive by letting the fundamentals atrophy.

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Comment by terry joven on June 3, 2014 at 9:13am

Great post Sir!

Comment by Patrick Lee on June 11, 2014 at 10:26pm

Good post, thanks for sharing and making the point sharp!

Comment by Michael Cardenas on June 16, 2014 at 5:17pm

Great post, hopefully you are not talk about me FUBARing basic principles, LOL.

Comment by Guro Lawrence Motta on June 17, 2014 at 2:43pm

Oh, by no means whatsoever, Master Michael!  I am no expert in your system but the quality of your work shines!  Sorry I missed the MACE event - we are on baby watch with my daughter due any minute so no trips out of town.  Looks like it was another spectacular event, though.


Comment by Michael Cardenas on June 19, 2014 at 10:32am

 Congrats Grandpa, another Eskrimador on its way.  MACE was awesome but there will be others.


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