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Guro Inosanto on FMA History

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World War II was a devastating event in the face of history and t had a great impact on the evolution of martial arts in the Philippines. The events described in the video were directly observed Grandmaster Leo Giron and is brought to the limelight by his student Guro Dan Inosanto.

During the war, the Japanese found about the efficiency with which the Philippian soldiers were able to fight them off. the inherent proficiency of the martial artists threatened the Japanese forces. They sought to locate the grandmasters from each village started gathering them up.

Afterward, the masters were taken away by the sea, never to be heard again. Some rumors say that the masters were killed at sea while some suggest that they were dealt once they reached Japan. However, there is no way to verify all this. Inosanto admits that he had never witnessed such atrocities and that he is describing everything he heard from Grandmaster Leo Giron.

This only goes to show how ahead of its time Filipino Martial Arts was at dealing with foreign forces. The Philippines happens to get caught in the crossfire and they needed something to protect themselves from the Japanese. The reason the grandmasters were targeted was that they were teaching the villagers ways to deal with the Japanese army.

The Philippines didn’t have many weapons and were limited to use bayonets, rifles and the terrain for ambushing the Japanese forces. However, without the guidance of the grandmasters, this wouldn’t have been possible.

As the years went by, it is the collective knowledge of all these encounters that shaped up to become the Filipino Martial ass as we know today. Many of the FMA techniques are a direct result of the countermeasures used against such soldiers.

During the Spanish invasion, the soldiers used to wear chain-mails which couldn’t be pierced with swords. Instead, practitioners started to aim at the weak spots of the armor i.e., the shoulder joints. The continuous stick movement that we see today was meant for hacking away at these weak spots of such invading armies. Of course at that time, the technique was used on swords, however, they were equally as effective with impact weapons as well.

The interview with Dan Inosanto sheds little to no light on fighting techniques but it exposes the struggling past of Filipino Martial Arts, how it originated and evolved to into the polished and efficient art form of the present century.

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