Skills Training – Fight or Flight
FIGHT – Filipino Warrior Arts
What are the Filipino Martial Arts? Also known as FMA, it is a weapons-based system of martial arts born and developed in the Philippines over several centuries.
Created out of necessity to protect themselves from invading forces from China, Japan, Spain and the United States, the style is a combination of many different martial arts blended with weapons carried
by the everyday agricultural Filipinos of the time. A knife, blade, stick or other tool used in one’s profession became a practical means of defense if necessary.
After the Spanish conquistadors established control in the Philippines around the year 1565, Kali and all forms of martial arts were outlawed by the Spanish. This was to prevent violence that the Spaniards could not defend against and to control the Filipino people.
The practice was hidden in plain sight, pushed into cultural displays and incorporated with dance but still taught through families and cultural demonstrations throughout the next 300 years of Spanish governance. Studies show there may have been at one time, hundreds of systems of FMA practiced by different families throughout the Philippines.
What makes Ocho Kantos Kali different from other systems of FMA?
THE ARTIST AND THE CARPENTER ANALOGY: The difference between OKK and other systems of FMA is best explained through an analogy. Some can take a slab of wood and make it into an exquisite piece of art. Beautiful, intricate and culturally significant, it can evoke feelings and ideas that are complex and offer a myriad of interpretations. And there are some people who can take that same slab of wood and make a door. Simple, exact and with a simple purpose – keeping the bad guys out and the good guys safe. Ocho Kantos Kali is a like carpenter who makes doors. The techniques are exact, simple and with a specific purpose in mind. It is was not created to be interpreted; only to be followed with exact instructions, angles and purposes. The door swings in two directions and can differ in size, shape or design. But the basic movements are simple; without wasted effort or movement. Just as the martial artist creates a masterpiece that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and has its place in the world, so does the carpenter who creates a door with a straight forward purpose – defense and prevention.
More information on Ocho Kantos Kali from FMA Informative Issue: FMA_Informative-Issue207
Most martial arts systems teach you to fight opponents in a one-on-one, unarmed civilized contest. From classic karate to the most popular combat sport today MMA, the focus is on one-on-one fighting.
In a real fight outside of a ring, this is rarely the case. Your options in a real fight are limited to what can be used immediately to defend yourself and put a stop to the fight. Criminals don’t follow the rules and survival is not about fighting fair. OKK teaches practical and fast solutions to end a fight quickly, against multiple attackers (the most common scenario) as efficiently as possible.
Your options are never limited and anything within reach becomes an extension of your body and therefore a weapon. Most martial arts systems are based on an overwhelming amount of movement. Students must master dozens, if not hundreds of different kicks, punches and types of movements in order to become effective.
In addition, most styles of FMA dedicate a high percentage of their training to mortal blows designed to kill or permanently injure an attacker. It is our opinion that this type of training should be reserved for truly life or death situations and should not be part of regular training. Real world scenarios rarely require killing blows and although the use of such techniques could save your life, they could also result in incarceration or life in prison. This does not mean that the techniques don’t have a lethal application. On the contrary, the lethality of its techniques are quite evident to anyone who’s ever seen their applications. However, we do not make this option as the default setting for most confrontations because it rarely has to escalate to such a mortality level.
Ocho Kantos Kali focuses on ferocious attacks to the limbs and thereby ending conflict quickly by neutralizing the threat. Attacking the offending limb is a purely defensive technique and can therefore, be much easier to legally demonstrate as self defense than a blow to the throat or stab to the body. PLUS, the discipline of Survival Parkour that is taught at our studio allows the student to evade capture and escape harm when the odds are clearly against fighting. This makes Ocho Kantos Kali the most effective and morally responsible martial arts system on the planet, and the most practical style of Filipino Martial Arts available.
FLIGHT – Survival Parkour
For the most part, parkour is taught as a way to traverse an area efficiently and through athleticism, plyometrics and acts of sheer daring, this sport has become a major form of exercise for urban youth around the world. Its other form, known as freerunning, incorporates more acrobatic flips and tricks that become more of a form of personal expression, rather than simply going from point A to point B effectively.
Parkour as practiced by the Superhero Foundry is more akin to the movements of martial arts legend Jackie Chan in that, the movements are designed to clear obstacles and distances but with the purpose of striking, evading or obstructing the criminal intent of anyone who gets in our way. By utilizing targets that simulate both singular and multiple assailants along a given path, the survival parkour practitioner (a ‘jackie’ – named after martial arts legend Jackie Chan) finds a way to incapacitate attackers, pursuers and blockers in an effective and dynamic fashion. Kicks, punches, body rolls, tic tacs, projectile throwing, scales and rams are techniques that a jackie will use to escape the bad guys.
As a practice that is unique to the Superhero Foundry, our students are trained with the mindset that it is better that under overwhelming odds, it is better to run and fight another day. Survival is more important than ego.
This amalgamation of parkour and martial arts technique is very different from ‘tricking’ which is based mostly on the martial arts of capoeira, tae kwon do, gymnastics and other kicking arts. All moves involve actual striking of targets and the use of obstacles and surfaces to escape or traverse an area. It also involves quick thinking in assessing possible routes, useful items in the area and how to neutralize known threats with minimal loss of forward momentum.