The video above is a demonstration that my daughter and I did for the Idaho Fil-Am Society last night, which was a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
After sitting through a number of these programs with Filipino cultural dances, coupled with singing and hip-hop dancing, I decided that somebody needed to represent the Filipino cultural heritage of the FMA. What was interesting was that in describing our presentation before the program, there was a constant assumption that we were doing generic martial arts, like karate, kung-fu, judo, etc. On several occasions I had to clearly state “We are demonstrating the FILIPINO martial arts.” A Filipina came up to me after the program and told me, “I thought you were going to do Tae Kwon Do.”
I think this goes to show how little awareness there is among Filipinos of their cultural heritage with regard to the martial arts. I realized that for too long I had sat back and watched programs with the Pandango sa Ilaw, Maglalatik, the singing of Ako Ay Pilipino, more singing, hip-hop dancing, Muslim cultural dances, kids singing, etc. I think the point needs to be made that the Filipino Martial Arts are as much a part of Filipino culture as the tinikling.
An Ilocano friend of mine came up to me afterward and told me that his young son was being bullied at school. This type of thing infuriates me. I told him to bring his son over and we can train in self-defense, and/or enroll him in a youth wrestling program. Another Filipina had a grandson that she was interested in having learn the FMA. I’m kicking myself for sitting on the sidelines for too long when those of us who practice the FMA have something of value to offer the Filipino community.
Lastly, if you watch the final sequence of our demo, you will see the kabaroan. The old short stick style, with sticks clacking and flying is very entertaining. In fact, the only reason we did the sinawali is that it is traditional and it looks good on stage. In a noisy hall like last night the clacking sticks are loud and draw attention.
The kabaroan, on the other hand, is hard to demonstrate. It’s not very entertaining. My daughter is executing the kabaroan, and there’s no clacking. It’s difficult to demo because on every single beat she is blasting me, with 3 out of 4 strikes being shots to the head with a baseball bat, all without any blocking. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t see it, and the demo looks like nothing. But if you understand, you will know that you are seeing the real deal, fighting at the highest conceptual level of the Filipino martial arts.
Extraído de Big Stick Combat.
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