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Old 15th April 2009, 10:01 PM   #1
KuKulzA28's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Posts: 718
Question Filipino/Moro Martial Arts question...

No toes are intended to be stepped on here.
I am not a practitioner of Filipino fighting.
I'm no master historian on this topic.
I've noticed that there's very little on Moro Martial Arts, call it Kali or Silat, and from the little I know, it seems they are often taught through family and is dying out in many places. I've also noticed different, mainly Visayan, fighting arts claiming to know, in addition to their native daggers, sticks, bolos, etc., how to use a weapon such as the Kampilan or barong.

The body can only move efficiently in certain ways and there's only so many viable fighting principles that can be applied - let us not get hung up on style too much. While I understand there can be a general categorization of blades and that similar principles apply to different blades - there's always subtleties and movements unique to the particular weapon. For example, a da-dao and a chang-dao may use similar movements, but one is a closer-range chopper, the other has a very long reach and a sharp point. It's user's tactics would be different. Or for example a rapier and a jian. Both are double-edged, long stabbing swords, but can slash and often require a lot of finesse to use effectively. However, the guard on rapiers is very different than that of the jian. The rapier also emphasizes a lot of thrusts, parrying, and in the old days, locks and daggers. The jian, while being similar, still emphasizes a lot of cutting, and is not commonly seen with a dagger which seems to be a very European take on the finesse-oriented fencing sword. They both had a similar role in their respective societies and battlefields though.
What I am saying is: did Visayans blend these Moro weapons with their styles of fighting, or apply Moro fighting to moro swords?

So while long-blade principles in Visayan arts may apply well to a Kris or Barong, would they have all the subtleties of the Moro practitioner? DO those even matter (except when two warriors would be fundamentally equal in skill)? Even if it looks different perhaps they both use the 'moro' sword effectively? Also, kris have been used all the way up to Luzon, even if slightly different, Spanish influenced, and of lesser quality. The Visayan area also had contact with Borneo and the Moros, where these 'Moro' weapons were "from". There is no doubt they had barongs and kris, and there's no doubt at all that they encountered them in battle.

I suspect no one knows the answer for sure, but maybe we can discuss?
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