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Success with FMA

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So, in order to be a success in the Filipino Martial Arts, do you think you have to be Filipino? First, we have to define the word success, I guess. But, in general....?


Well, we are back to the word "success."

By that I mean Dan Inosanto or Remy Presas successful.

Will the public accept a non-filipino system head? Not a neighborhood school guy but a full-blown, traveling road-show?


Nick Hughes:
the short answer...Yes.

Bobby Breen in the UK is a prime example.

I think over here Rick Faye is probably another one and yourself of course.

Simonet is carving a name for himself

Vunak got a big following as well...admittedly not pure FMA but if he'd gone in that direction no need to think he wouldn't have enjoyed the same success he did with his other stuff (before blowing it ;))

We saw the same thing in Japan with the Japanese arts but eventually the gaijin carved out their own niches.


Boar Man:

I believe so.  Remy was succesful because he worked hard, he was very talented, he presented his material well, and I think the least was that he was filipino.  Because I don't think he ever really made that the focus of any of his teaching really.  He wasn't trying to pass on his cultural heritage in that manner.

Dan Inosanto is the same really.  He worked hard to get where he is, he is very talented as a martial artist, he is a great teacher (presenter) of whatever subject he is covering, but he has tried to educate people about the filipino heritage (culture etc. etc.).  But what was his main claim to fame (in the begining), he was Bruce Lee's close friend.  Not that he was filipino.

As time goes by I believe the race of a person becomes less and his skill, his presentation, and his work ethic will become more important.

One other point.  I don't think anyone will really see the same level of prestige, or the large following such as we have seen in the martial arts leading up to the 90's.  Now there is much more out there from which students can pick and chose what art, style or system they want.  And there are more GMs than before.  There is more competion for students, for exposure, tec. etc. In the past there was a very limited supply of talented masters and GMs, now they are on every cover of any MA mag on the news stand and one can be found in almost any town.  ;)


Max Pallen, Filipino and GM of Senko Terras and I were eating dinner in California a few years back and he asked me why I had offcially quit teaching Filipino martial Arts. Of course I still do, but in a small, abstract way. You don't see my name W. Hock Hochheim Filipino Master, anywhere, certainly not in my ads or on my webpage.

I told him, "because I am not you Max. I am not a Filipino and the ceiling for success of a non-Filipino teaching Arnis/Kali/Escrima is short." I think to be a real flag-bearer of a Filipino teacher and I mean a REAL one, you have to be Filipino.

The Breens, me, the Rick Fayes, the Kelly Wordens, et al? Siminet? Let me tell you guys. I have seen the big leagues...I have been to the "show." And we ain't it. We have reached new levels of Filipino medocrity. Paul Vunak was famous for Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do first and foremost-back in the day when nobody really knew or could figure out what JKD was. Then he quickly stepped on to RAT-A-TAT-TAT courses.

I believe there is a small market out there looking for Filipino, Filipino system. The rest are middle-men to the real gods. Think about it. Think about the names you all mentioned and who is behind the curtain. The real deal, that's who. The one the people would rather be training with if given the chance.

I think that the very small segment of the market place that seeks Filipino material those hungry for it, they will sometimes accept very imperfect systems and people, just because the main people are Filipino.

Watch Modern Arnis slowly crumble away in the hands on gringos. What is the first thing many did after Remy died?  Hunted until they could find another Filipino, the son, the daughter, the uncle, the guy he cut hair with in Bacalod City. Filipino.

Who is behind the curtain? The Filipino.
Any real success I have had world-wide is because I do not say I teach Filipino martial arts, but rather essence of combat CQC or PAC.  



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