What do I do when…

Eversince people learned that I practice Filipino Martial Arts I get some more often than not these type of questions.

So here is my answer to those query…

Question:
What if someone pulls a gun/knife/pipe etc and ask for your money what would you do?

Answer:
Give that person my money. My life is far worth more than whatever amount I carry in my pockets. I can always make more money (sure not as much as I would like) but I can’t make another me.

People are in a daze to hear me say those things. I think they expect me to pull a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Move. Trust me that movie was all fantasy. But that’s what that us a fantasy. If anything a responsible martial arts instructor should teach you how to survive first. And in that situation why risk it over a few dollar bills. There is nothing in this world more precious than your life.

Now don’t get me wrong if after I give the money and I feel my life was still in danger well it’s on like donkey kong. But self defense starts with self awareness. Be aware of the situation around you. Pastor Rick Warren author of Purposr Driven Life said stay focused for just like light, focused well enough it can cut through anything such as rock or a sheet of metal.

So till next time keep swinging.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Training

My students know that I don’t care so much for speed or power, but more important is accuracy.

Who cares how fast you are or no matter how strong when you keep missing the target does it matter? Accuracy once mastered is then a matter of adding either more speed or power but at least each strike counts.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS

Filipino Martial Arts is the indigenous martial arts of the Philippines.  I have always wanted to make a video of me and my crazy obsession with stickifghting and now thanks to the magic of a digital camera as well as iMovie and Garage Band from APPLE, I was able to make this video.   This is a very rough first video but I think it will only get better in time.  As you can see I know my spacing very well as not once did the GIANT T.V. behind me was in ever any danger.  And for all those that say big people can’t move, well this should say otherwise.  You can find us at www.fmaschool.com

Special thanks goes out to Aaron Grodin for helping me make the track… Camera Operators Joy and Kiko Noche (my niece and nephew) as well as Chief Jo and Sonny Napial for always believing in me and for Guro John Garcia who always supported me as well as the rest of VISAYAN LEGACY ASSOCIATION for always having my back.  And last but not least the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY for without HIM none of this would be here.  

Man Down

ROGER BARNES
It is with great sadness that I pass on this message that a brother in FMA has died.  Roger Barnes WEKAF World Champion and WEKAF GB director died on March 8 doing what he loved which is coaching his fellow teammates.  His contribution to the art as well as to mankind will always be remembered.  

WHEN DEATH COMES
By: Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
, ,

the Gathering – BAHAD ZUBU Seminar

February 21, 2009 – Anaheim CA As I look around this row of office complexes the scene does not fit what was in my head. But there it was a group of Filipino Martial Artist stretching and twirling and preparing themselves for the physical demands of the day ahead of us.

Bahala Na style of Grandmaster Leo Giron starts the day. This would be my first exposure to their style, as they start showing the basics of the five strikes, they definitely have emphasized LARGO style fighting. The movements are interesting as they are focusing this as a bladed style of fighting. I was having difficulties with the timing. For that is key in there system. It’s almost about striking firs. GM GIRON was a soldier in WW2 and I can definitely see the influence on that. What was fun was when we started sparring sessions and I must admit I got clocked right on the hand and that is why it took me this long to type it out since my hand still hurted.

Bahad Zubu – GM Yuli Romo’s style is a huge contrast as it was more corto ranges and although still bladed emphasized about baiting your opponent. Checking as well as of course foot work. John Brown the organizer as well as the teacher of Bahad Zubu was awesome. His technique and passion is apparent. A friend of mine said that there is a strong Ilustrisimo influence and I can see that.

Blaise Loong had a style but not really a name unfortunately I couldn’t stay long enough to see the whole demonstration.

Overall for the price and the exposure I felt that I got my money’s worth as well as making some new friends.

FMA and the MEDIA

Visayan Legacy Association

Filipino Martial Arts School
January 13, 2009

I am pleased to announce that Filipino Martial Arts School a branch of Visayan Legacy Association is up and running.  Moving to the Philippines I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn so much more about the FMA world especially since it came from here.  And I’ve always wanted to start my own school and have my own students.  But I envisioned that further down the road.  Not necessarily in the Philippines but somewhere down the road.  But circumstances has forced me to move my expected date further up.  For it is scarce to find a decent FMA school here in Manila nor is the typical Pinoy know anything about FMA.  And to makes matters worse more Pinoys are interested in foreign martial arts instead of even learning our own art. 
WHERE?
So I decided to start my own school.  Now starting one was a process in itself.  Now most FMA school here in Manila (at least that I know of) don’t have a formal gym to call their own.  Which is not to surprising to me since FMA has a tradition to be taught at home and only within the family.  And also it’s expensive, and anyone who’s anyone knows you can’t get rich with just teaching FMA.  Most of the FMA groups that I found train out of Luneta Park on Sundays.  So finding one was difficult, especially since Manila is as foreign to me as CHINA.  I don’t know where to start looking nor do I know who can help me look.  Especially since I had to find a place to live to begin with.  I started making inquiries but with a limited budget (none actually) it made things even more difficult.  But thank GOD that my church CENTRAL UMC allows me to use the place for free on Mondays and Tuesdays 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.  So now I have a place to call my own.  Now we got to start getting students.  
Price
How much do I charge? Normally I would calculate the cost then mark it up, but my cost is minimal.  Then of course if I was going to capitalize on the DOCE PARES name I have to make sure that I don’t charge to low where the “home” school will get mad at me.  But all in all with advices from friends and themselves school owners I set a price that I feel is competitive.  So the place and price is set. 
Marketing
Even though I like to think myself as a natural marketing person, being in the Philippines the mentality is different.  But I was determined to take advantage of it.  I know that once I get the “gist” I should be able to start making headway.  Now I don’t have a high budget, but I found a place that charges me 210 PhP to print 2000 flyers.  I mean designing was never a problem and now the printing isn’t either.  I noticed that people hand out flyers here like crazy so I thought I should join the fray.  If anything it could just be a business card.  But like they say, you get what you pay for.  The one tool that has been generating all my business is the web.  Now I assumed that here in the Philippines that the internet is not as easily accessible.  Man was I wrong.  I knew I should have stuck with my instincts and go online media.  Like 99% internet.  Thanks to my friend Aaron Grodin from DruidsDesign he came up with a wicked starter site.  I always loved his designs especially they are more geared towards marketing and not just flare.  After going back and forth over what to name it, God gave me the perfect name for my school.  I wanted something straight to the point and short.  FMASCHOOL.com, I couldn’t believe it was available and now it is mine.  
Getting my name out
So another great site is FMAFORUM.org, where anyone whose anyone can hook up with FMA’ers from all over the world.  So I started posting and starting some threads, and even got to meet some great people.  Kabayo and Diego_Vega has been great support to my school.  But Diego Vega who is really Roland Isla of Kali De Leon even asked me to do a demo.  Here are some pictures from it…

The demo was fun and I think Roland’s students got a kick out of it.  But it’s good to expose our styles to other styles…
But the ultimate was when SPORTS21 contacted me last friday and asked if we wouldn’t mind appearing on National TV and have a one hour special on my school.  After I got Master Sonny’s blessing as well as my students we had filmed yesterday.  I felt that the experience was great but what was more gratifying how much my students really enjoyed our class.  And how they have adopted my philosophies when it comes to Eskrima and life.  
OVERALL
It has been a great experience so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.   

www.FMASCHOOL.com • Mission Statement

The celebration of our differences and the building of a bridge that links all our styles, all our knowledge, all our experiences and push it further into the next generation of Filipino Martial Artist.

Signs of a Hardcore Filipino Martial Artist

• you do siniwali drills in class with your pencils

• at Thanksgiving you don’t get to carve the turkey because of last year’s “espada y daga demonstration”

• whenever someone is hoggin the remote you use a disarm to get it away from them

• you think the only word that belongs in front of do is eskri

• you train with axe handles/iron pipes/telephone poles

• you know the difference between Kali, Escrima, Arnis and all of the other 400 or so different FMA styles

• you’ve ever been in a death match

• you broke an “unbreakable” olisi

• Lapu-Lapu is your hero

• you own 6 t-shirts and 5 of them are from doce pares

• the guys at Manila Passport Control just wave you through

• no one asks you anymore what those sticks you bring to school/work/church are for

• 6, 10 and 12 are you favorite numbers

• you’re fluent in Tagalog

• there is some video about Eskrima on the web with you in it

www.FMASCHOOL.com


FMASCHOOL.com is up but not yet running. But if you have any inputs and or ideas on what to add or do just let me know…

FMA SCHOOL in MANILA

Hello,

This is my first entry in a new blog series. As I try to start my own branch of Visayan Legacy Association in Filipino Martial Arts, I will try to also be an advocate to not just growing my chapter but the art as a whole. I am sure that there will be a lot of people that might disagree with what I’m doing, but they can start there own blog. But the MOVEMENT has begun.

So keep yourself posted and see what’s next…

Francis