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I am a Filipino Martial arts practioner and Jazz Trumpet player. It appears to me that there are so many similarities between practicing martial arts, particularlly the FMAs, and playing music, e.g. use of drums in training. I have found that my FMA training has helped me as a musician and vice versa. Any other musicians/FMA guys out there who have the same sentiments?  Interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks

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I completely agree, especially as a drummer. You can use rudiments with two sticks to come up with unique sinawali patterns.

A guy I used to train with is a very talented musician as well a very talented martial artist.  He believed that understanding music has given him a great sense of timing.  Since in most things timing is everything the connection between music and martial arts is very obvious in that sense.  Where can we hear your music?

Starting to really put some stuff together, but I'm almost 60 so my days of travelling and playing gigs are long behind me, but will post when I have something for you guys to here. Thanks for your comment!!

I also use a metronome when I do my FMA workout....I start at the slowest setting on the metronome, say 40 beats per minute, and do strikes to each click of the metronome and gradually increasing the speed. It great for doing a sayaw, and sinawali patterns!!!




You have a great point. I'am also a Jazz, RnB, Gospel, Roc N Roll, and Contemporary Trumpeter. I have played all of my life basically. Since playing trumpet requires breath and upper body dynamics control. The basic martial arts preparation training unknowingly came very early in life. As i grew in age, playing skills and working with other young musicians as jazz ensembles and group players; paved the way for minor demonstrations of displaying expressive talents. The upper body waist, arm and hand skills were developed as dynamic motion tools in creation motion entertainment routines for audiences of all ages. This further lead to marching band expressions of continuous and returning motion dynamics of the upper and lower extremities. High stepping dynamics obviously helped lead to powerful basic kicks and stomps etc! The list goes on and on,...etc!

So yes, music and martial arts have and will always knowingly and unknowingly go hand in hand as training tools for success in life!


Music and dance are a vital part of my primary system founded by my Sifu, Earl White.  Though our roots are in Kajukenbo/Wun Hop Kuen Do, he's incorporated many more applications of FMA, African Martial Arts and Capoeira along with the essential drumming to heighten energy, timing, coordination

and rhythm.  His system is based on the concept called "Ijo Ija" (Yoruba words literally meaning "Dance" and "Fight", an expression that emulates the philosophy of "Yin/Yang").  The djembe is incorporated in the school logo.

Yeah, I know what you mean, Sonny. At the school where  train they have a African drumming class which I may ultimate take also, and they teach the djembe also. I think the Filipino Martial Arts in particular lend themselves to music, or understand the relationship between music and martial arts...any good dvds anybody can recommend? Thanks

Many great FMA legends are also musicians...Maestro Sonny Umpad comes to mind. 


Hey Sonny..funny that you should mention Maestro Umpad...I am currently studying with a guy here in DC area that studied with him in San Francisco in the late 90s up until his death..Visayan Corto Kadena Eskrima...its a lot like dancing and he said Sonny was a pretty good bass player at one time...

Correct.  Maestro Sonny was a very well known bass player in a band in Cebu before coming to the States.  It's obvious how much his dance ability influenced his footwork and rhythm. 

Another well known Master who was a very well versed dancer was Juanito Lacoste.

Thanks have a wealth of knowledge!!

You might already know that Bruce Lee was a cha-cha dance champion in Hong Kong but did you know that he learned how to cha-cha from members of a Filipino Band that were entertainers there? :)


I knew he was a champion dancer but did not know he learned to dance from a Filipino band...



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