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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I wear American clothes. No gi’s. I wear tennis shoes. I don’t go barefooted.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?


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