An American Art
The following is a post of mine on a martial arts forum.
My training is in the Filipino martial arts, but I decided to pursue an American path, to make the art American and contemporary, which for me means:
- I speak English. I use English terms. Although I am fluent in Spanish, and know all of the Tagalog and Visayan terms, I have decided for the sake of clarity and accessibility to label everything in English.
- I use American weapons. I have been in the Philippines and have seen people wearing machetes as casually as baseball caps, but here in the US machetes are a rarity. The same can be said for rattan sticks. I train with a baseball bat, and my techniques are intended to be implemented with a baseball bat. Someone else earlier in this thread mentioned flashlights -a heavy case flashlight is an example of a realistic, Western weapon.
- I wear American clothes. No gi’s. I wear tennis shoes. I don’t go barefooted.
- I believe in the scientific method. I’m tired of the old, “2,000 years ago, in the mist-enshrouded Himalayas, Sifu/Sensei/Guru Immortal …” A technique is valid because it makes sense and because it can be proved to work, not because someone did it this way 200 years ago.
- How many Filipino stylists have considered the implications of taking an art founded in a humid tropical climate and applying it in Michigan during the winter?