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Old 28th February 2010, 10:37 AM   #31
KuKulzA28
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I'd like to thank all the participants of this discussion for where the discussion was gone... I started out with a curious question and now we're discussing the origins of some very specific styles and some very murky and obscure histories....

I have almost nothing to add... I know so little about this area
but I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion. So, thanks guys.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 03:15 PM   #32
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Hi PepperSkull,

Just thought I'd point out that the term "kuntao" is Chinese in origin, and would probably not be used by the Moro to describe their own arts. It is the same as "kune do" in Jeet Kune Do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuntao
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Old 2nd March 2010, 11:56 PM   #33
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hi harimauhk, thanks for that post. didn't know that.

this will be pure speculation on my part, as research still needs to be done: given the fact that the chinese influenced the moros a lot, especially the tausugs (i.e., the people of sulu), then perhaps chinese martial arts somehow influenced the tausugs also.

even that signature everyday jacket-vest ("chaleco") of the moros is thought to be of chinese influence, for instance.

and of course everybody knows about the chinese-markings-stamped barungs.

another anecdotal evidence -- one of the most prominent filipino historians today is prof. (dr.) samuel k. tan. he is actually tausug! and yet he is a protestant. talking about cross-pollination!


Quote:
Originally Posted by harimauhk
Hi PepperSkull,

Just thought I'd point out that the term "kuntao" is Chinese in origin, and would probably not be used by the Moro to describe their own arts. It is the same as "kune do" in Jeet Kune Do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuntao
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Old 3rd March 2010, 12:19 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimasalang
Our elders never want document anything in writing...I don't understand why. And look at our history now, it is filled with so many holes, us Fil-Ams have a hard time finding and understanding our own identity when we go looking for it... Even older eskrimadors don't want to put their curriculum and lessons in writing...they all feel what ever is in their brain is enough. My only guess would be they believe their written secrets can get stolen?
dimasalang, i feel your pain

on the non-documentation of things by our forefathers, i think it's a case to case basis. because as i'm sure you also know, the so-called "philippine insurgent records" (the term used by the americans for those docs gathered during the occupation period) are literally several tons of papers (gathered from the fleeing phil. forces from 1898 up to their surrender).

they continue to be a treasure trove of info for researchers here in manila.

but you are definitely right that other than those bunch of very impt. papers, there's nothing much original (i.e., written by filipinos themselves).

of course we do have the spaniards' accounts, via those parchment records. there's that built-in bias in their reporting understandably.

but as one author said, there are "cracks in the parchment curtain" (cf. iron and bamboo curtains of ussr and china). thus we still can see what the true picture was, through the "cracks", in spite of the state-controlled reporting.

also we do have a lot of myths and epics, passed down through generations via oral tradition.

for sure there's a lot of hyperbole and other exaggerations in there. but still our peoples' way of life (including their weapons) are well-preserved in those epics and legends.

on martial arts, i agree with you that the reason why the teachers don't put that in writing is for fear that they might get stolen.

i mean if your life depended on it, why give away the ace up your sleeve?

on the other hand, those battles are things of the past (well mostly).

hence i think filipino martial arts (fma) schools everywhere should agree that they should divulge all their secrets to one another. and the common objective is to take the martial arts to a new level.

i know that is easier said than done.

but if fma is to be made even better, then the old mind set has to be thrown out the window ...

just my two cent(avos)
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Old 3rd March 2010, 02:18 AM   #35
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This also happened to many Chinese martial arts as well and thus a lot of knowledge has been lost over the years as well.

Also, just to make it clear, there has been trade and Chinese in the Philippines for a 1000 years or more.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 02:54 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Also, just to make it clear, there has been trade and Chinese in the Philippines for a 1000 years or more.
Indeed

And what's good is that the Chinese like to put things in writing. Thus the Chinese records dating back to more than a thousand years ago (describing trade with the Philippines -- the Chinese were not interested in conquest, they're in for the trade) continue to be excellent source materials in the reconstruction of our country's precolonial past.
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Old 5th March 2010, 12:46 AM   #37
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Yep, the Chinese influence is evident in the Phils, particularly more recent influence. I was surprised to see dim sum for sale everywhere and I bought some hopia at Goldilocks without realizing they're traditionally served at Chinese weddings! Filipino culture really is such a hodgepodge of cultures.

The Chinese did indeed take good records of their impressions of foreign lands. I've come across a few in the last year or so and they were very interesting. I didn't know the Chinese had had a significant influence on the Moros and Tausugs though!
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Old 5th March 2010, 11:03 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harimauhk
I didn't know the Chinese had had a significant influence on the Moros and Tausugs though!

Oh yes, lots of trade and influence with the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesians, Indians, even some Arabs.
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Old 12th March 2010, 08:04 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
dimasalang, i feel your pain


also we do have a lot of myths and epics, passed down through generations via oral tradition.

for sure there's a lot of hyperbole and other exaggerations in there. but still our peoples' way of life (including their weapons) are well-preserved in those epics and legends.

on martial arts, i agree with you that the reason why the teachers don't put that in writing is for fear that they might get stolen.

i mean if your life depended on it, why give away the ace up your sleeve?

on the other hand, those battles are things of the past (well mostly).

hence i think filipino martial arts (fma) schools everywhere should agree that they should divulge all their secrets to one another. and the common objective is to take the martial arts to a new level.

i know that is easier said than done.

but if fma is to be made even better, then the old mind set has to be thrown out the window ...

just my two cent(avos)

Here is my two centavos on this-
I am teacher of a FMA system that comes from the Visayan Mountains. My teacher favored the Pinute. He always told me that it was chinese that brought steel making to the island and then the Filipinos learn how from them. Many Chinese married into families in the Visayan region. He said that Chinese made trade weapons and swapped for gold along time ago.
I have taken a number of my weapons and used them working out. What I have found is this: The type of strike and grace of motion is effected by shape and the weight of the blade. Depending if the FMA system and range you fight affects the sword, sword & dagger you would use. Yes many systems have influence of Indonisian, Spanish & Chinese as they would cross over when fighting and spying on them. I am current working on book on the basics of Filipino Martial Arts, it based upon my research of working with 30 different masters and teachers and keeping notes on common threads. The names of some of the moves may be different due to local dialect but the motion is always the same.
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Old 12th March 2010, 09:11 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilAmfighter1
Here is my two centavos on this-
I am teacher of a FMA system that comes from the Visayan Mountains. My teacher favored the Pinute. He always told me that it was chinese that brought steel making to the island and then the Filipinos learn how from them. Many Chinese married into families in the Visayan region. He said that Chinese made trade weapons and swapped for gold along time ago.
I have taken a number of my weapons and used them working out. What I have found is this: The type of strike and grace of motion is effected by shape and the weight of the blade. Depending if the FMA system and range you fight affects the sword, sword & dagger you would use. Yes many systems have influence of Indonisian, Spanish & Chinese as they would cross over when fighting and spying on them. I am current working on book on the basics of Filipino Martial Arts, it based upon my research of working with 30 different masters and teachers and keeping notes on common threads. The names of some of the moves may be different due to local dialect but the motion is always the same.
FilAmfighter1, thanks for your comments! Looking forward to the publication of your book.

I met in Manila once the head of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He told me that in their field, some architects would keep their cards close to their chest.

But this person (a prominent architect in the US) said that he does the opposite. He shares everything to his competitors he said.

And his goal is simple -- he wants the other architects to better him, so that in turn he'd be able to come back and beat them. And then another cycle ensues ... and so forth and so on. A virtuous cycle is thus created.

And he said that that's how things can be brought to the next level.

I am not into FMA or any martial arts (my first love was firearms and explosives). But if I were into FMA, I'd encourage my mentors to adopt that mindset
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:20 PM   #41
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^^

I believe in what you are saying, and it would make sense to do so. This keeps the wheels turning for all parties and this is how a system "evolves". Bruce Lee being the best example and greatest innovator of what you speak of. His style was basically stealing techniques and moves from several arts and making them his own. Did I say stealing?...maybe I should of said borrowing. BUT, I can only agree with you up to a certain extent. Personally, I have seen many things that just don't make any sense to me in Martial Arts(not just FMA). Giving away or sharing trade secrets can only work up to a certain point...anything beyond and that is now the head chief giving away his treasured recipes. It is what keeps food on the table, a roof over your head, and clothes on your kids backs..all the while sticking with tradition of the ones who came before and established the art. Some of the more advanced teachings and/or secrets would only make sense to the practitioner who has been studying that particular art for a long time. But still, I can see how a chief can share ideas and put twists on dishes that are universal...that I would say is as far as I would see it going for more traditional schools. Grabbing certain secrets and/or moves from different arts for your own benefit helps you become a more well rounded fighter, BUT, the person also loses the essence behind the other arts he grabbed from. Essence as in foundation, a true understanding, or history to go by. Evolving is a good thing...but that is also not for everyone. Not everyone wants to evolve or follow the path most Martial Art schools have gone today...most of which is now geared towards "SPORT" fighting. Sport fighting will not save you on the street. My own school, we tend to stick to traditional eskrima...which is older style from the 50-60s. Why?..because that was considered the golden era of stick fighting, where there were death matches. My own teachers belief...he wants to keep the old school tradition in its purest form(nothing added) and not evolve...as he feels the style from the death match era is what works best on the street. And personally, this is why FMA is considered one of the best and most raw of all martial arts. Forget all that fancy stick twirling most FMA school glamorize, in true raw form FMA isn't pretty, but it is straight to the point and it works. This is why it is so effect on the street...and when street fighting, the most dangerous person is not the guy you are fighting, it is the guys friends that you have to be more aware of. FMA has always took in to account multiple attackers...but now a days, with MMA and WEKAF, most FMA schools are also going the sport route. And after much training in his class, I notice we tend to stay on the old path. Just to throw this out there...what I find always works best is simple and basic striking. But the key is more then just Bunal(striking)...the key is to hit and not get hit. You can apply that to any art. Every single school will teach you how to hit...but how many schools teach you on how to NOT get hit.

I know that all sounds like I am rambling. I guess basically what I am trying to say is, everyone has a preference on how and what they want to learn. Me personally, I wanted to learn a traditional FMA...aside from just pure self defense on the street; I wanted to learn for the cultural heritage part. So obviously, a FMA school that changes with the times by adding this and that and does what every other martial art school is doing; that really is not for me. Hope that all made sense.
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:44 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimasalang

After reading the entire thread from where that quote came from, it looks like it was written by Celestino "Tinni" Macachor(who is based out of Cebu). Aside from being a researching historian, he is also one of the pillars of De Campo JDC-IO. He is the co-author of the book, Cebuano Eskrima: Beyond the Myth...which delves heavily in to the history of Visayan eskrima. I actually have this book and it is extremely deep. But I have only read a few of the chapters...I think I'll have to sit down now and read it in its entirety. You can also email Tinni Macachor at ambangmac53@yahoo.com. I think I need to send him a few emails.


Just to mention, I have been reading this book. And wow, there is a wealth of information on how FMA came to be. I strongly suggest reading this book if you are curious on the development of FMA(particularly eskrima from the Visayas region) during the Spanish/Moro era. Everything just makes so much more sense to me. Not everything in the book is concrete evidence, but much of it makes good sense and gives one a much better understanding of the overall history. Other aspects not clearly answered should open other doors to look through for more information..in other words, having better direction on where to look.

Just a bit of info from the book. In a nut shell... If seeking info on Moro arts, look to Silat. FMA, Arnis, and eskrima in general does NOT follow any form of Moro martial art. Any FMA art not falling under Silat that uses Moro clothing and weapons should be questioned. Eskrima is a tried and true Filipino Christian martial art unique to only the Philippines and evolved from fighting with the Moro raiders.
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:33 AM   #43
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We also remember that when the Spanish first took Manila there was a Moro Datu or Sultan there at the time .

They might have been more than occasional raiders .
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Old 15th March 2010, 01:44 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimasalang
I guess basically what I am trying to say is, everyone has a preference on how and what they want to learn. Me personally, I wanted to learn a traditional FMA...aside from just pure self defense on the street; I wanted to learn for the cultural heritage part. So obviously, a FMA school that changes with the times by adding this and that and does what every other martial art school is doing; that really is not for me. Hope that all made sense.
Yup, to each his own, and what you said makes a lot of sense. Thanks also for the summary of that book you mentioned.

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Originally Posted by Rick
We also remember that when the Spanish first took Manila there was a Moro Datu or Sultan there at the time. They might have been more than occasional raiders .
Hello Rick. Yes, there were several Moro rajahs ruling Manila and environs then, when the Spaniards came during the mid- to late-1500s.

Islam was not as widespread then in northern Philippines (i.e., Luzon), like it was in the southern Phils. then (i.e., Sulu and Mindanao). And central Phils. (i.e., the Visayas) were the least influenced by Islam at that time.

Just to clarify the terms describing Phil. precolonial form of government --

Datu - the head of a barangay (pronounced buh-rung-GUY), which population consisted from just a few families, to several hundred persons; a barangay is run fairly independently vs. other barangays; thus a barangay is the basic political unit, and all of the Philippines' peoples then were organized in this manner.

Raja - a datu who was designated by his peers as the head of an alliance of several barangays; thus Raja Sulaiman was one of the three rajas who ruled precolonial greater Manila then which consisted of many barangays.

Sultan - a sultan is the leader of a much larger geographical area, and there would be rajas and datus under the sultan (like in the sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao, respectively).

Now on the Moro raids of old, they were done by southern Philippine Moros for two things -- (a) as an act of retribution against the incursion of Spaniards against their homeland (Sulu/Mindanao), and (b) as a means of boosting their rising local economy via the procurement of more manpower.

There were plenty of good and arable land everywhere. Thus conquest of territory did not make sense. It was the people who were the precious "commodities" -- thus, slave raiding was the sensible political and economic move.

As for the 16th century Luzon Moros, they were not engaged in raiding, as there were no Christians then to get irritated at

And perhaps the local population was able to support the Manila economy.

On a related matter, historians also say that the reason Luzon and Visayas fell easily to the colonizers was precisely because of the loose alliance amongst the barangays.

In the case of Sulu and Mindanao however, their higher level of political cohesiveness (via the sultanate) allowed them to resist the colonizers more effectively.
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Old 15th March 2010, 01:50 AM   #45
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Thanks Miguel for explaining the order of the titles .
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Old 16th March 2010, 02:42 AM   #46
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I wonder about the silat connection to original Moro systems. I will not deny that there may be some relation, but from what I have seen of silat, it seems to go mostly near the ground. From some old photos of the turn of the centyr and a particular Moro practitioner on Cecil Quirino's Crossing the Sulu Seas, Moro martial arts may not be as low to the ground as silat.

Just my limited observations so far.......
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Old 16th March 2010, 02:04 PM   #47
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Default weapons and trading the Philippines pre-Spanish & Spanish colonial day

Guys,
FMA was been impacted by the constant raiders & settlers from many places. Raiding became an form of commerce. Blades were traded for and many types of blades were used. Yes there are local adaptaion and creations as well. It was so bad that English and thier trade ships were plaged by Moro Pirates. If you want read a excellent book that also refferes to the weapons complete with sketches read the Pirate Wind. You can get it from Austrialan, Hong Kong and England book sellers. The English did great job of documenting their enemies of trade. If you get the chance read the book you get really great feel about the southern Philippines in the 1700- 1800s. It was amazing place and times.
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Old 17th March 2010, 12:57 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilAmfighter1
Guys,
FMA was been impacted by the constant raiders & settlers from many places. Raiding became an form of commerce. Blades were traded for and many types of blades were used. Yes there are local adaptaion and creations as well. It was so bad that English and thier trade ships were plaged by Moro Pirates. If you want read a excellent book that also refferes to the weapons complete with sketches read the Pirate Wind. You can get it from Austrialan, Hong Kong and England book sellers. The English did great job of documenting their enemies of trade. If you get the chance read the book you get really great feel about the southern Philippines in the 1700- 1800s. It was amazing place and times.


Sounds good! I'll see if I can find it here--I live in Hong Kong.
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Old 18th September 2011, 12:56 AM   #49
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Just wanted to add some input after spending time with Tausug and Yakan tribesmen in the Southern Philippines--culturally there are strong ties to Malaysia in so many ways. I now see the myriad of connections that influence all cultures throughout the Philippines after having spent so much time here this year.

Both the Tausugs and Yakan have terms for their fighting systems, and like many words in Bahasa Sug and Yakan, they are somewhat similar to words in Malay. The term for their fighting systems is something like silat, but I can't remember what it is now. Silat is NOT always low to the ground. If you look at Seni Gayong from Malaysia, or Minangkabau Sitarlak, both systems are relatively upright. There is a strong possibility Chinese fighting systems did influence the Bangsamoro, however. Chinese kung fu systems have affected Javanese systems. The Chinese, to this day, live among the Tausug and Yakan on Basilan and Sulu, and we have all seen barungs with Chinese characters on them.

I wish I could get a taste of the Tausug fighting systems, but traveling to Jolo or Patikul at this point in time is a really bad idea unless you have ransom money ready at home. I doubt they would even be willing to teach their systems to the Yakan, even though there is relative peace between the tribes now and members of both tribes work and live together in the Abu Sayyaf/MILF/MNLF and even intermarry.
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