What can I say, I am inspired... As I write this I think back to not more than 3 months ago my brother in laws introducing the Filipino Martial Arts to me. All my life I always loved and respected the martial arts but never became involved with any of the disciplines or systems out there, other than what I had seen and loved in Bruce Lee movies or Hollywood's depiction of the martial arts, I never trained. My brother in laws who have more than 60 years of martial arts training between them; one in Taekwondo/Hapkido and the other in Kenpo and his experience with self defense techniques as a Law Enforcement officer, they have in the past shown me a thing or two, but I never did anything else. I have watched them conduct lessons with students and family, and this was my only taste in martial arts training. Why I never fully indulged myself before I believe is because I never found a system that fit me and more I was not inspired enough to make time for a discipline that required dedication and passion. This has changed and more than ever I wish I had found the inspiration earlier.
This passed year, my brother in laws have began incorporating a new system to their repertoire, Filipino Martial Arts. This struck a particular chord, or more inspirationally sparked a light within me. Yes, why not the Filipino Martial Arts? By heritage and culture, myself and my brother in laws are Filipinos and as I observed them becoming more serious and inspired to train in FMA, it stoked my interest. I quietly listened and saw in their eyes their motivation not only out of their own respect for being open to other martial arts, but for the notion and discovery that the Filipino Martial arts is a more than worthy and respected system, and on top of it all, it is a salute and respect to our culture. This is what has inspired me along with all the other reasons one dedicates themselves to a martial arts, love of the sport, art, discipline, etc... This became more pronounced after an event and more so an epiphany that took place for me in the last couple of months.
The first inspiration being simply attending my first seminar of any kind in martial arts training by participating in Ray Dionaldo's Filipino Combat Systems Kali Seminar last July in San Diego. I wanted to support my brother in laws by attending this seminar for a good showing, but also for myself to test and see if this was something I can and wanted to do. The prior weeks to the July weekend FCS seminar I had already begun basic training with eskrima sticks and some hand to hand, and I was hooked, but after getting a taste of the system under the instruction of Ray and his partner Marie, I was getting reeled in more rapidly. Admittedly I was hesitant and intimidated by the company of martial artists surrounding me, all or most of the attendees had some form of martial arts training, I even deduce some at a very high level from military or law enforcement. All this was awash after seeing that Ray and his system was very open and simple to understand, I realized this is what I had been looking for in a martial art for myself, immediately I was immersed in a very practical and effective system in which the foundations you learn apply to 3 disciplines in itself, stick work, hand to hand, and blade disciplines introduced at the same time, I liked it!
What finally got me in the me into the boat so to speak, is the epiphany of the importance of it all personally as a Filipino. As the weeks have gone by I listen to my brother in laws and not only what they have been learning in technique, but the history of Filipino Martial Arts. I borrowed from one of them a documentary that has inspired all three of us no doubt, the very well made documentary, "Eskrimadors: A Filipino Martial Arts Documentary".
As I dig more into FMA, there is a sad realization that there is very little written, recorded, or documented about Filipino Martial Arts and this is painfully pointed out in the documentary. For those who have not seen it, I encourage a viewing, as a self proclaimed ambassador I encourage to buy a copy for yourself! "Eskrimadors" paints a beautiful portrayal of the Filipino Martial Arts, you'll get a brief informative synopsis of the origins of FMA, which then warp drives to the 1940's -1970's and how FMA under the Doce Pares system, the most recognized FMA system at the time and arguably today, became finally recognized internationally. The documentary ends with the realization that the Filipino Martial Arts could one day be lost in Filipino culture in the sense that as the grand masters of the art age, who will carry the torch if the eskrimadors or Filipino martial artists of tomorrow are not passed onto Filipinos as grandmasters.
As a Filipino by ethnicity, this is where my inspiration has come from, realizing for myself as an American born Filipino I can be a part of something in my culture. Growing up I was one of your basic non stereo typical Filipino Asians, I was only an average student growing up, I blended in American society more than I stood out in any other talent. As a Filipino, I am even picky on my culture's traditional foods, I don't speak the language at all and barely even understand it, and finally I don't even sing well in karaoke like so many Filipinos love and or noted in doing, LOL! Inspite of all that, finally this is how I can honor and pay tribute to my heritage and culture by learning as much as I can about FMA, participate, and help spread the word and inspiration. As I pick up the discipline and art, I hope to instill to my children and their kids one day to be inspired and help preserve this important part of the Filipino culture as the world continues to recognize and respect the Filipino Martial Arts.
And so begins my tribute to FMA, I am creating this blog site to help create an Filipino Martial Arts presence in the San Diego area under the Filipino Combat System Kali. While I have aligned myself to the FCS discipline, I hope this blog becomes a gathering place for FMA enthusiasts, respecting all Filipino Martial Arts styles and all other martial arts. I believe Bruce Lee had the right idea and philosophy in being open to other forms, arts, and disciplines in the martial arts and with that spirit this blog is for everyone.
Thank you for taking the time to read and visit this site, I hope you find it refreshing, informative, and enjoyable. May this site form a bond with all, and my hope is to one day affiliate it with an official FCS school or representative in the San Diego area.