Tuesday, January 27, 2009


"There is no one silat, there is only YOUR silat" - Punong Guro Jeff Espinous

What does he mean?

Unlike traditional martial arts instruction in the East, FMA are typically concepts-based and expect the student to free-flow.

This has both good and bad elements, but when taught and practiced properly, opens the door to a level of skill and creative self expression that otherwise would take decades of training.

At its heart, FMA is practical. That means that it must have the "Martial" element of martial arts and be effective when used for self-defense. This is only possible if concepts are fully taught and understood, and the key principles followed during application.

1) strong basics including distance, timing, footwork
2) flowing
3) constant guard
4) holistics including striking, kicking, grappling, and weapons

At the same time, FMA allows for total self-expression and the gestalt of our unique backgrounds applies itself when we overlay concept on technique. Our experience of martial arts gives us access to a giant library of martial arts techniques, especially now that visual media such as youtube are so accessible. These techniques can be adapted and integrated within the framework of FMA as long as the concepts and principles are properly followed. The result is one's own style, reflective of our own unique artistic sense. This is the "Art" of martial art.

The result is FREEDOM. This is the freedom to evolve, and will allow you a lifetime of study, training, and growth without becoming bored or repetitive.

This freedom has been absent from most martial arts taught in Japan, Korea, and China. Many of those schools rely on rote memorization and adherence to a pre-defined set of movements or techniques, not allowing for individual expression, progression, or evolution. In many cases the original deep meaning of the movements has been lost forever, especially in the importance of footwork.

If you are in the FMA, remember how lucky you are to have FREEDOM.
If you are not, there is a world beyond technique and kata for you to explore.
I encourage you to seek it out.


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