Thursday, May 26, 2016

Q&A About FMA

I was recently interviewed by writer Caitlin Basilio for an article about Filipino Martial Arts that appeared in a local newspaper. (You can see the article here.) As is often the case, only a small portion of the interview was included in the finished article. For those who might be interested, the text of the full interview is below. Enjoy!

What are the philosophies behind Filipino Martial Arts?
FMA is all about practicality and flexibility. Methods and techniques are not written in stone. It’s very open ended. You personalize the art and do what works to defend yourself. Adaptability is key. A big part of FMA philosophy is learning to see things as potential weapons. For example, people wonder why bother learning to fight with sticks. Look around you; the world is filled with sticks and stick-like items: car antennas, longneck bottles, rolled-up newspapers, etc.

It’s important to remember that FMA has its roots in warfare. The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands with countless tribal and ethnic groups who were often in conflict with each other. If the village a few miles away periodically sends war parties to raid your village, you develop some effective, easy-to-learn combat techniques.

When did you begin practicing? What drew you to it and what keeps you interested? 
Ii started training with Burton Richardson about 15 years ago. Even before taking up FMA, I was interested in the art based on what I’d read. The integration of both weapon-based and empty-hand techniques fascinated me. And I’ve always been interested in hand-to-hand armed combat. It goes way back. My father was a fencer, and his dad was a U.S. Marine Corps saber champion who learned machete techniques from Filipino guerrillas while island-hopping across the Pacific during World War II. I was playing around with real fencing foils and quarterstaves from when I was a kid. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Me! In a Newspaper! Talking About Filipino Martial Arts!

Yours truly was interviewed for an article about Filipino Martial Arts that appeared in Marine Star, a local newspaper. The PDF is available here. Enjoy!