Filipino Martial Arts

I want to get back to my roots – through Martial Arts. Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) to be specific!

Here’s a fantasy – going to a beautiful island to train for 3 months to a year. No, not Hawaii – but the Philippines – where you can find a plethora of different Filipino martial art forms and systems.

That’s my roots. I am a Filipino but I was born and raised in the good old USA. I’ve studied several martial arts and now, I want to study Filipino Martial Arts!

Most people, who have some familiarity with martial arts may think of Filipino Martial arts as stick fighting. Well, there’s a whole lot more than stick fighting in the Philippine islands! And I want to learn as much as I can.

Here’s a wish list of Filipino Martial Arts I want learn and add to my education as a mixed martial artist.

Yaw Yan – This is a Filipino Martial Arts developed by Grandmaster Napoleon Fernandez. It is very similar to Muay Thai but uses other types of kicks – like a scorpion kick! The word Yaw Yan is derived from “Sayaw ng Kamatayan” meaning – The Dance of Death. Pretty scary, huh? But it isn’t so much scary – its actually beautiful if you watch ‘the dance’.

The reason I like Yaw Yan so much is not so much the kicks, but what Sir Henry Kobayashi did with the art – he made it more of a Mixed Martial Art and calls it “Hybrid Yaw Yan”. It includes ground fighting: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques!

I would love to learn this art and eventually add as much of it into my own classes!

Panantukan – Also known as Filipino Boxing. Or, “Limb Destruction” as you use your fists, elbows, and forearms to neutralize your attacker or opponent. Some other ‘target areas’ outside of limbs are the back of the neck, spine, and of course the ribs.

It’s important to note here that the spine is a target area. I stress to my students, almost daily, to NEVER give up your spine. Especially on the street! I will always teach to defend yourself and if you have to, target the spine, the back of the neck, and any body part that can end the fight fast so you can get to safety.

The flow and artistry of Panantukan is an incredible thing to watch and I want to learn it… BADLY!

Filipino Stick Fighting – Arnis/Escrima/Kali and everything associated with it!  That being said, I want to progress and to learn more – not just with sticks, but with knifes, disarming opponents, and the many aspects of Arnis, Escrima and Kali. (Update: My continued training in Stick Fighting includes: Armas De Mano as I work on my 3rd degree).

That being said – I want to get started with Hybrid Yaw Yan and Panantukan.

Imagine… FMA with the Gordon Doversola Okinawa-Te sidekick and the flow of Okinawa-Te attacks. Wow.

So… if you know anybody in the Los Angeles area willing to teach an old guy some new tricks – let me know!

Related Articles: “Bruce Lee – Father of MMA?

Websites of interest: “OkinawaTeSystem.com

About Glenn Magas