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Is there such a thing as selective training or restrictions in teaching Filipino Martial Arts ?

Is there such a thing as selective training or restrictions in teaching Filipino Martial Arts ?
There’s a tradition I know that is still being practiced in every Filipino Family as of today -that you don’t ever teach secret fma techniques to just any person because later on that person might betray you… teach it only to a member of the family or to a person that you trust completely. Is it right ? or wrong ? There are times when certain Arnis techniques are not being passed on to anybody that they get lost or buried with their master. As of now, most of my students are below twenty years of age so I only teach them less fatal techniques for the main reason that they might use them wrongly due to their young age or poor judgement. What do you think? Is it right for one to teach or to limit one’s self in learning and teaching the true form of a Filipino Martial Arts? Or Is it purely selfishness ? Or is there no such thing as secret techniques?
Yours truly.
Sony P. Sy Palis Sagasa Arnis Pilipino

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There are secret techniques. That's an open secret.

One secret is, "The Teacher will never be able to teach everything that he knows."

If he can, then what he knows isn't much.

I like it Raul!

I like it too!   Good answer...


I think we need to be selective on who we teach. I think we should be aware of their background and reasons for them seeking instruction, if they have a criminal background that should eliminate them right away. We should be selective on the techniques that we show kids... making sure they are mature enough to know that these are learning a very dangerous art. Also as well as teaching students your art they should also be aware of the consquences of aplying it in a self defense situation.

As far as "secret techniques"  i'm not sure that there are any secret techniques, it all come down to the practitioner and how well he applies those techniques and usually the "apple does not fall far from the tree"

of course this is only my opinion!


Anyone can get arrested, charged and found guilty.  All that you need to have happen is to not have any money for a decent defense or be in a city, county or state that hands down harsh penalties because they are ultra conservative.  Also, what do you do in the case where all of your accusers in court are gang bangers!  Even a cop could catch a bad rap.  Better think that it cannot happen because it does here in Chicago.

With regard to applying the arts of escrima / arnis in a self defense situation... that would mean that as soon as you used your training, you would no longer be able to be a student because you had an arrest!  You CANNOT apply anything that we know on the street.  If you are lucky, you may block, and disarm...but you may NOT use a weapon against anyone or you are going to be charged.

Also, I had a neighbor that was arrested for shooting someone, and he was going away to juvie jail here in Chicago for 1.5 years... and I taught him how to deflect incoming knife strikes.  That was ALL that I taught him.  His parents were worried sick, and they knew me and approved of it.  I spent just a couple of hours showing him how to block thrusts and slashes, and had he died in prison, I think that that would have been a horrible thing to happen.

Personally, I know of guros that have spent time in jail, and they graduated AFTER they had been arrested.  I am not going to say which art, because, you really have to know the human being, and that is how you make the decision, or you rule out a lot of really nice people for no reason.



being arrested for protecting yourself may get you arrested but it does not nesssarily make you a criminal!...


I think that whoever I instructed, any of the arts that I have studied, I would say that it would be on a day to day basis.  You and I, many of the instructors, and guros know so many things that any one of them could land a person who is inept or out of control in prison, so I know what you mean.  Recommendations to teach someone would weigh heavily, such as a referral from a very well know person, but I would be the final arbiter on a day to day basis...and I would try to be very fair, because there are so many different situations as there are laws that can con found even the most respectable person.  

Life is short and the information that I have might save your life, so I will teach it.  The person that gets that knowledge needs to be careful in its application.

I look forward to having a beer with you and chatting about this someday.



me too bro!

Dear Tomas,
You know what, those things that you had mentioned, that’s not new in my homeland. Even some of our police officers are doing, what we called “hulidup” arrest and extort money from you. But you have to protect yourself from arrest or any charges that may sent you to jail. You need a good lawyer to protect and uphold your rights. It is what we call due process. Find ways and means to secure or hired one. Hoping that you don’t mind , and I am not imposing.

You CANNOT apply anything that we know on the street. If you are lucky, you may block, and disarm...but you may NOT use a weapon against anyone or you are going to be charged. With due respect I disagree with your ideas…in a life or death situation you have to protect one’s life at all cost, it is better to be charged or be arrested at least you’re alive not a dead meat. If I may suggest a lesson I had learned through experienced that sometimes in a situation like this, think and act as a lawyer try to bend the truth on your favour.

Yours truly,


i they say better to be judged by 12 than carried by 8...


I agree that it is, "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 8."


The reality is that the police do not file cross complaints when one has a knife.  They charge the knife "holder."  Note that I say holder because I know of a situation where the guy was not swinging a knife and merely drew a knife to prevent the beating that was taking place by 5 thugs.  And then the courts in Chicago do not believe trained martial artists, when they say that they were getting beaten, and had to draw to stop it so that they could walk away unharmed.


So you do walk away, but with a misdemeanor ag assault.




I agree with you Sony, I've been a Law enforcement officer all of my adult life as well as a martial artist.  In the matter of self-defense you either protect yourself or you risk death. As a criminal investigator when I investigate an assault I detain all parties involved and then conduct my investigation into the matter. 

 It's true that laws are different wherever you go, in South Carolina a person has the right to carry a gun and use it in self-defense but in New York you could be prosecuted for the same act.  My advice is to obey the law wherever live or go and prepare to defend yourself in accordance with the law.  So in other words, if you are allowed to defend yourself with a gun in one place but you travel to another place and they have laws against carrying a weapon, be prepared to defend yourself with empty hands if necessary,




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