It’s been almost six months since I cutover from PMAA (Philippine Martial Arts Academy) to PMAA (Pamanang Mandirigma Arnis Academy). It is time to recognize the progress the students have made. It is usually done via rank promotions but with this new academy, I want to deemphasize rank and emphasize virtue. So I wrote my thoughts down and am posting it here for feedback, both good and bad, and for advice, hopefully all good. (smile) Thank you in advance.
We begin a journey with no end because perfection is the goal. Knowing that we cannot achieve perfection on this plane of existence, we strive for it anyway.
3 Types of Practitioners
- The Student –The most important. Once a student, ALWAYS A STUDENT.
- The Teacher –Can teach the Art but not necessarily perform it at a high level.
- The Fighter –Can perform the Art but not necessarily teach it.
To be complete, to be a Scholar-Warrior, you must be all three.
3 Types of Students
- The Undergraduate
- The Graduate
- The Post-Graduate
3 Realms of Endeavor
- The Mental (Everything begins with a thought.)
- The Physical
- The Spiritual
The Seven Primary Virtues of a Warrior
Once past probation, the student acquires the warrior’s virtues on a cumulative basis. He does not drop one virtue to acquire another one.
Masipag (“May Sipag”)
Masipag at Magalang (“May Galang”)
Masipag, Magalang at Matapang (“May Tapang”)
Masipag, Magalang, Matapang at Marunong (“May Alam”)
Masipag, Magalang, Matapang, Marunong at Magaling (“Hindi lang marunong, magaling pa!”)
Masipag, Magalang, Matapang, Marunong, Magaling at Matalino (“May Utak”)
Masipag, Magalang, Matapang, Marunong, Magaling, Matalino at Malalim (“May Puso”)
Levels of Progress
- Maari Candidate appears teachable; no apparent vices. Okay to begin training and let us see. Probationary period. (“Puti” = White) This is equivalent to White Belt in other martial art systems. In terms of ranking, it is the lowest of belts; but the most valuable, and the most significant, because it marks the turning point in his life where he takes responsibility for himself and begins his lifelong quest towards perfection.
“The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence…
- Undergraduate, Level 1. Masipag Candidate has been accepted as a student. Shows industry. Will succeed because of this. (“Dilaw” = Yellow) This is equivalent to the Yellow Belt in other martial art systems. There is no yellow field on the Philippine flag. For the student who is “masipag”, the yellow is just a whiff of what is to come: the stars and the sun.
”the second listening...
- Undergraduate, Level 2. Magalang Student shows respect for himself and respect for others. Demonstrates proper character. Okay to continue training. Because the student is industrious, the student can succeed whether or not he has this virtue; but the student will not get training from this institution. Color: Blue (Asul) –Nobility of purpose. This is equivalent to the Blue Belt or intermediate student.
“the third memory…
- Undergraduate, Level 3. Matapang Student shows courage, a necessary virtue for a warrior. Student will know fear but act anyway. This is courage. In the training, the student will come to understand fear and learn to set it aside in order to perform at his best. Color: Red (“Pula”) –for bravery and “Lakas Loob”, the will and determination to do what’s morally right regardless of popular opinion. This is equivalent to the advanced student, Brown or Red Belt in other systems.
“the fourth practice…
- Graduate. Marunong Student knows the basics and has his foundation. He knows the Art and can perform it but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Color: Black (Itim). This is equivalent to a Black Belt in other martial art schools.
“the fifth teaching others.” ~Solomon Ibn Gabriol
- Post-Graduate, Level 1. Magaling –“Hindi lang marunong. magaling pa!” The graduate has been polished and reflects the Art as it should be. He is now a post-graduate, having the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the Art. This is equivalent to Guro (Teacher).
“The brain is the seat of knowledge…
- Post-Graduate, Level 2. Matalino –“May Utak.” Intelligent –“Has a brain.” This post-graduate has the brightness of the stars. He not only can teach the Art, he can add to it because of his high level of understanding. His light can no longer be put out except by The One Creator. This is equivalent to “Master” or “Master Teacher” ranking in other arts.
“but the heart is the seat of wisdom.” --Solomon Ibn Gabriol.
- Post-Graduate, Level 3. Malalim –“May Puso.” Deep – “Has a heart.” Because this post-graduate has compassion for his fellow-man, he uses his knowledge to elevate mankind, not himself. This post-graduate reflects the life-giving warmth and nurturing nature of the sun. This is equivalent to “Grandmaster” or “Head Master” in other systems.
Supreme Grandmaster??? There is only one Supreme Grandmaster and that is Our Creator. After that, there is only the Burrito Supreme at your local taqueria.
Alex(ander Bautista Bayot France)
Pamanang Mandirigma Arnis Academy
Barangay Looc, Sibulan, Philippines
June 1, 2013