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Guro Carlito Bonjoc on Stockton in FMA

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Stockton California has had a great impact on the evolution of Filipino Martial Arts. The short clip directed by Paulo De Leon Rubio brings the story of FMA to light. In his interview with Guro Carlito Bonjoc he is enlightened with the knowledge and rich history of FMA.

Back in the 1900s, the Philippians were being recruited in Stockton California for working in the farms. They worked in sugarcane, pineapple and asparagus fields. Even if they were educated they didn’t have the option to pursue studies since, at that time, there was no job other than farming.  The choices were very limited and only a fortunate few could pursue their dreams. They were mainly hired for hard labor and meal labor jobs. 

People started settling down and a community was gradually formed. But it wasn’t a community of farmers, but one of warriors. The Philippines who were brought in were originally fighters and they started preaching their skills in Stockton. Almost all of the famous names in the FMA industry made their names at this very place. They grew together as trainers, pooled in their knowledge and gave birth to the modern-day Filipino Martial Arts. 

The development cycle of FMA was going steady until fighters from all around came to learn under the tutelage of these masters. Although this was considered a good thing in terms of popularity, a short rift was slowly beginning to form among the masters. 

The different masters had different fighting techniques which practitioners began comparing with one another. The male ego came into play and the once strong community fragmented into various small sections. The politics still continue to this day, but there will always be such clashes among the masters. 

As told in the video, FMA is not about the masters or the people involved with it. It is the essence of the fight itself which is at stake and it will always prevail above anything else. It’s the culture and the heritage of the people of the Philippines that is expressed in their fighting style. As Guro Carlito Bonjoc suggests, he is optimistic regarding the future and believes that no matter the struggle, FMA will always pull through. 

The video lastly emphasizes the flexibility and adaptability of FMA, how it has evolved over the years and how it will continue to do so. The people practicing FMA has taken lessons from other fighting disciplines and thanks to that this particular form of Martial Art is slowly but surely gradually gaining the popularity it so rightly deserves. 

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