I have been part of the FMA world for over 15 years now and it has been one of the best things that God has brought into my life and my school has a lot to do with that. But like all things we either adapt or die. Well this might be hard to read but,

Now the question is what are we doing about it?  At the core of the FMA philosophy is being efficient. And that’s what we need to do. 
performing or functioning in the best possiblemanner with the least waste of time andeffort; having and using requisite knowledge,skill, and industry; competent; capable:
We as a sport, fighting style, culture has (in my opinion) forgotten that. Let me ask you this?
Are the competitors only one sacrificing? Yes there is no doubt in order to achieve greatness, it requires a great amount of scarcities. Unless your last name is Gates, Jobs or Walmart, the requirements are great. But it’s not just the fighter sacrificing. It’s the fighter’s family. If you are a fighter of any age, training cost money.  Money tha t could go towards rent, mortgage,  even leisure activities such as going to the movies. The fighter’s family has to sacrifice a lot too for their loved one achieve greatness. Either paying tuition, all those coupon cutting and overtime working just to make ends meet. The after all those training , all those hours of working an extra shift just to afford this obsession we call ESKRIMA. The day of the tournament is your family’s day too. So why is it that after all that, now they have to PAY to watch you compete and pay extra to record their matches?  It is IMHO that is double dipping. Well the upcoming GSBA USA Western Regional tournament, spectators are FREE. That’s right free!!!  You as parents no longer had to choose who gets to watch little Debbie fight boys twice her size. Now you can invite your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate to the tournament and it’s FREE. Family’s have sacrificed enough don’t you think it’s time they get to enjoy the fruits of ther hard work?

By making it free for spectators, we will attract more people to the event, the more people the more likelyhood of someone saying, “Hey, I’m crazy enough to try thay.”  Which will grow the industry. 

I have heard many times that the GSBA board should outlaw THIGH PADS.  I have heard both sides of the argument and it actually extends further than just thigh pads but hockey gloves.  So let me first what are the arguments. 

For (Outlawing Thigh Pads & Hockey Gloves)
When fighting, the fear of pain or injury sets a mind set of self preservation. As a result a person would be more apt to be more cautious and if they do get hit at a certain spot they will be protective of that one spot. Their whole fight plan changes because of the injury and the need to protect the injured area. I quote Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face.”  Extra thick padding negates that mentality of self-preservation, they don’t have the fear of injury thus creating a false sense of security thinking that the kamikaze style is the way to fight, but in reality it is not. In a real life situation you would not have extra padding. Thus tournaments should make it illegal to wear hockey or thick gloves and thigh pads. Just the standard body armor and helmet. 
The argument against the outlawing of Hockey Gloves and hockey thigh pads does not refute the above arguments. In fact I personally agree with it. As a practitioner I do not likes to wear a lot of armors. I think the more armor you wear the slower you become. So you become nothing but an oak tree, a stationary target.  Unfortunately that point of view cannot  be afforded here in the United States. 
Our society is a society that is ready to file a lawsuit on anyone irregardless of its merit. The whole suing McDonalds because the person didn’t know the coffee was hot is just a long list of frivolous lawsuit clogging up our courts. As a former member of the Global Stick and Blade Alliance USA board of directors as well as WEKAF USA we had to think about the good of the entire organization not just the tournament. Hypothetically, if the directors were to create a rule banning thigh pads and hockey gloves to be worn during matches, that opens up the organization for possible lawsuit. Imagine if a fighter got hurt because we banned thigh pads, and that same person is unable to work due to injury, that fighter has the right to sue the organization for income loss and medical expenses as well any other expenses incured. Then the organization might have to fold due to the lawsuit and believe me the organization does NOT have a lot of money. What the organization can do to limit it’s exposure is set a minimum guidelines and discourage competitors from adding on from the minimum. To say they cannot wear a particular protective gear is too dangerous for the organization. 
So at this point I’ll let you decide what you think should be done, talk to your regional director and or national director and tell them as a member of GSBA USA in good standing I believe we should…

We all have it, our very own pre fight ritual. What ever we all need to be able to get us to the place where the warrior meets the ring. But when you prepare yourself I encourage you to consider what or who are your preparing for.  I know there isn’t anyway for your to know who you would be facing in the ring at least not till they call your name.  

Sometimes your biggest opponent isn’t the guy in front of you. It’s that person inside of you that ones that wants to quit in the middle of the third round and your hurting all over and you just don’t have any more gas in the tank. That same voice that’s get louder and louder as you get tireder and tireder. When you ask yourself is this last mile worth it. Is 99% good enough? 

That’s when you find the warrior in you. It is when you say to that voice, I will not be mediocre, I will not settle for good enough and if I go down, then let me go down swinging.