Espada Y Daga...

TFS et all -

I apologize in advance if this has been answered and/or addressed before but....
What are some of the opinions some of you may have on the origin of Espada Y Daga in the Filipino Martial Arts as it relates to Spanish Rapier and Dagger fighting?
I read Mr. Amberger's article in Mr. Wiley's book "Arnis", and found it quite interesting. In my limited experience I pretty much always believed that the FMA's espada y daga was not influenced much by European forms, for various reasons. But I don't have much to work with in the way of experience in Western Martial Arts. I was just wondering if anyone had done some research on this and would be willing to share.
It would also be nice to hear from someone who has experience in both.......TFS ;-). Thank you.

pelajar,I assume you are referring to the Amberger article, "Eskrima, Spanish Rapier, and the Lost Continent of Mu", from Mark V. Wiley's Arnis: Reflections on the History and Development of the Filipino Martial Arts. This is a great book, and Amberger's article is particularly interesting.One of the things that should be pointed out is that the original conquistadores who came to the Phillipines in the early 1500's were trained in a military form of cut-and-thrust swordplay--espada y rodela (sword and shield) and espada y daga (sword and dagger). These forms appear to have been similar to the contemporary Italian systems of spada e rotella and spada e pugnale (there was a considerable exchange of ideas regarding swordplay between the Spaniards and Italians at this time, and their swordfighting traditions were similar). The type of sword used at this time was a stout-bladed, double-edged, cut-and-thrust weapon, that the Spaniard referred to merely as a "sword" (espada). Such swords were capable of severe cuts, as well as thrusts. These are representative of the swords the Spaniards used to fight against Filipino tribesmen in the 16th century:These are considerably different than the later, thinner swept-hilt and cup-hilt rapiers that the Spanish made famous with their "Mysterious Circle" school of fencing. These swords had a much reduced cutting capacity, though they were naturally more nimble with the point. They were more specialized, and hence, in a sense, not as good as an overall weapon:Amberger pointed out how the predominantly thrusting-play of the "Mysterious Circle" bears little resemblance to FMA, and he is correct. However, there appears to be at least a superficial resemblance between FMA and the earlier, Hispano-Italian cut-and-thrust method that was used by the original conquistadores in the Phillipines. The angles of attack--the very wide variety of cuts and blows, as well as some of the thrusts, are similar--for example, the Angle #3 horizontal strike to the opponent's left hip from Cabales Serrada Escrima is basically the same as a mandritto tondo from Achille Marozzo's Bolognese system. Cabales' Angle #11 diagonal upward strike to the opponent's left knee is similar to Marozzo's mandritto ridoppio. Cabales' Angle #5 thrust to the opponent's stomach is essentially the same as a stocatta executed "on the pass".The Angles of Attack according to Achille Marozzo:This is what people seem to miss. They always talk about the Spanish "rapier influence" on FMA--well, it depends on what your definition of a rapier is. The later swept-hilts and cup-hilts, so geared towards thrusting, may indeed best be termed as rapiers. The early complex-hilted, cut-and-thrust swords, while they may still look like a rapier because of the hand protection, really are not. To Spaniards and Italians alike, such weapon was simply a "sword" (espada or spada). Therefore, I would venture to say that there was not a rapier influence on FMA, but I do believe there was a sword influence. The distinction is important, IMHO (and Clements stresses this too).I unfortunately have to get to work now--otherwise I would continue on this issue. However, I'll post an excellent article concerning your question by John Clements of the Assiciation for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA) below...Please let me know if you have any questions on any of this stuff, and I'll do my best to clear things up.Sincerely,TFS

Here's the Clements article from the ARMA website:The Influence of Spanish Renaissance Swordsmanship on Filipino Martial Arts?by John ClementsAlthough it is not often recognized or acknowledged, the various Filipino martial arts such as Escrima/Arnis are said to contain many elements of Spanish Renaissance swordsmanship. Frequently, when this is acknowledged, it is often done in a misconceived manner that apparently allows followers of modern Filipino weapon arts to dismiss this influence as either inconsequential or even irrelevant. If there is influence from Spanish Renaissance swordsmanship, it would likely be from methods of military cut & thrust swords, not the style of civilian thrusting rapiers. Just what these technqiues might be, and how they are known to be 16th century Spanish in origin (and not something introduced from 19th century epee fencing) would certainly be interesting for today's student of Reniassance martil arts to discover. In a work put out some years back entitled "Filipino Martial Arts" (which received mixed reviews among the Filipino martial arts community), one of the very first chapters labeled "Historical Background", display in its final paragraphs typical misconceptions about Renaissance swordsmanship and Western fighting arts. This particular author (by no means atypical) made the usual points concenring Filipino cultural pride (not that there's anything wrong with that) and stated that in 1521 the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan, first one to circumnavigate the globe (almost), died in battle off of a small island he had attacked in order to gain favor with another local ruler. In this famous battle of Filipino history, Magellan's 49 men with pikes, swords, halberds, a little armor, and a few firearms, were attacked by the now legendary warrior king Lapu Lapu and over 1100 fellow islanders. Magellan's force was outnumbered on the beach by more than twenty to one. So, not surprisingly hedied in the waves amid a hail of arrows and spears (note plural, not singular).What the author fails to mention, is that the very reason we know of the battle's outcome is because Magellan's ship actually escapes (surely not the most decisive victory on the part of the locals). Anyway, the book cites this incident of local historical pride to emphasize how formidable the native fighting skills were/are. But wait. The very next statement is how in 1571, another Spanish explorer under orders to colonize, attacks a native force on another island and faces the "even more formidable" Kali warriors with their (and this is not being made up) fire-hardened rattan sticks. It also says (to quote) that "the native fighting skills far exceeded those of the Spanish". Indeed?Of course, this author then acknowledges that the Spanish/Portuguese actually go on to win the battle, but suggests that this was "due to their firearms." However, a few light-calibre shipboard cannon and inaccurate, slow firing arquebuses in a tropical climate are not about to win a battle over overwhelming odds (back in Europe at the time, they had a lot more guns and still they had to rely on massed pikes and cavalry).

Notice also how no credit is given the Spanish/Portuguese's clear military superiority in training, discipline, armaments, tactics, organization, leadership, morale, etc.? The very fact they had high-carbon steel tipped halberds and carefuly tempered chest plates was in itself a big factor, a very formidable one (in fact a generation earlier, Spanish sword & buckler men were trashing the vaunted Swiss pikemen all up and down Europe's battlefields and over-running Italy). What is more remarkable is how a few hundred sailors and men (not even first class Renaissance soldiers in their prime), thousands of miles from their homes and families, continually outfought supposedly "superior" warriors in a hostile and unfamiliar land.The most astounding thing in this revisionist-like view of military history lies in the final paragraph of this particular work. Immediately after all this it goes on to say that "following the Spanish conquest of the islands" (did we miss something here?) and after many skirmishes with (quoting again) "Spanish fencing exponents", the native fighting arts were found wanting. Notice how the Spanish are not called "swordsmen" or even referred to as "warriors" (and certainly not skilled Masters of Arms), but merely "exponents" of "fencing". It's as if they were just going around on the lecture circuit suggesting everyone consider their opinions, rather than defeating native opponents outright. Not surprisingly, this is a good example of the attitude toward historical European martial culture that can be found in many areas of the Asian martial arts community today.

The work then goes on to say the native Filipino fighting arts adopted many techniques and dropped others. Excuse me? Now then, we must ask, if the native fighting arts were so formidable, and the Spanish won by merely having firearms, why then were their techniques seen as so useful and effective as to be incorporated? What was suposedly deficient within native fighting talents (especialy seeing as how developed they are)? What exactly were these Spanish "skills" they were borrowing from? They certainly could not have had anything to do with firearms.As with others like it, not only did the book miss all this, but it went on to make the inaccurate and misleading statement that "the Spanish rapier and dagger system of fighting has had a great influence on Filipino arts". Sorry, wrong. The Spanish at the time of Magellan and even later, would not have been fighting with civilian rapiers. The rapier, as we know was a personal weapon of urban self-defense, not a battlefield one. The Spanish/Portuguese sailors and soldiers would have been using military "cut & thrust" swords and fighting in the well-documented style of the Spanish and Italian Masters of the time such as Manciolino, Marozzo, Altoni, Agrippa, and Di Grassi, as well as the highly regarded styles of the Spanish Master Carranza and de Narvaez. The later civilian rapier style simply had not progressed to the point yet where it would likely have been common in the Philippine Islands even during the 1570's let alone earlier.Additionally, for the Spanish/Portuguese the rapier was very much a weapon of the upper classes, not the common men and sailors who would have been the vast majority of fighters the natives would have encountered. These men would have trusted in the sturdier, quick slashing cut & thrust blades which were far better suited for shipboard fighting than the lighter, thrusting rapier would ever have been (Hollywood pirate movies notwithstanding). Additionaly, swords were not the favored or most common weapon of such Renaissance warriors, that would have been left to spears, halberds, falchions and long-knves (an interesting thought...).Apparently though, rather than do accurate research when it comes to European weaponry and fighting arts, the author relied instead on familiar myth and observations of irrelevant epee and foil fencing. Sadly, what many Asian martial-art stylists apparently know of European swordsmanship seems invariably to come from Hollywood films, modern sport fencing, and Renaissance-fair stage shows. So, you can't really blame them completely.Anyway, the material makes the usual mistake that many proponents of admirable Filipino arts seemingly do. It assumes it was the rapier, instead of the Renaissance cut & thrust sword, that had influence on their arts (without really knowing exactly what either weapon is or how they're actually used). Not only this, but the obvious techniques of Filipino stick fighting utilize little thrusting comparitive to the rapier and instead rely predominately on shorter, close-in strikes. These are clearly techniques completely inappropriate for the extra long, virtually edgeless rapier favored by the Spanish. Thus, Filipino techniques are not reminiscent of the vicious and elegant European rapier, but only perhaps of the sophisticated and highly effective Renaissance sword & dagger form. Just what any of this influence may be has yet to be substantially identified or documented by anyone. However, that there were leading proponents of Filipino who arts in the early 20th century did study modern sport fencing is a fact. What effect this sport exposure may have had on their methods of teahcing is another matter for speculation, but certainly it is no evidence of "Renaissance" skills.

After all, modern sport fencing (i.e., foil, epee, sabre) is far removed from its martial origins in Renissance swordplay and for more than 150 years has not been about self-defense or been taught as a killing art.Anyway, this is the kind of historical inaccuracy and ignorance of Western martial history that permeates much of the prejudice found in a great deal of the practice of Asian martial arts today. For some Filipinos it has now become a matter of cultural pride to explain why they were colonized, their weapons confiscated, and their native fighting skills forced to hide under the disguise of presumably harmless stick dances (not that there's anything wrong with that). It would seem they have had the final laugh though. Westerners are victims of our own military success (and excess). For it is the splendid Asian traditional fighting arts that have survived and prospered while we struggle to reconstruct and interpret what documented information survives of ours.But for too long a good many false assumptions and assertions made by promoters of Asian styles in regard to our Western martial heritage have gone unchallenged. In this age of cultural sensitivity, renewed ethnic pride, and political correctness, we must give credit whenever it's do and clear up misconceptions when possible. Not to cause offense, but we must treat historical facts as facts even if they make us uncomfortable or damage our pride.The Spanish essentially conquered much of the Philippines islands militarily, and to a lesser extent culturaly. They did not do it through shady deals and corporate take-overs of "noble savages" who were somehow their martial superiors. The very reason the Filipino martial arts today primarily utilize sticks is essentially because of both their ancestors' lack of a widespread advanced metallurgical technology and because their Spanish overlords, as an occupying force, confiscated their weapons as victorious powers have been known to do (not that there's anything wrong with that). Plus, its just far wiser to practice fighting techniques with safe sticks than with metal blades.The diverse Filipino martial arts are very adaptive and pragmatic. They are said to contain elements of many cultures which had contact with them over centuries; Chinese, Indian, Malay, etc. So likely, there is some European in there as well. But if any influence that elements of Filipino arts owe to Renaissance Spanish sword forms is going to be determined and acknowledged, then it demands that exactly what such Western forms and weapons were, and what practitioners today are capable of still, also be correctly understood. For today's practitioners of Medieval & Renaissance fighting systems who are familiar and experienced with the technological and martial significance of group combat and armored battle, including shields, bucklers, spears, bills, pikes, and longbows, the naivete of most comments regarding European arts is astounding. Further, if one wants to argue the validity or effectiveness of modern Arnis/Escrima (or any Asian sword form, for that matter) against a sword & buckler or a rapier & dagger, then they very much need to arrange some serious cross-training and friendly sparring sessions with qualified proponents. Otherwise, everything else is myth and useless conjecture.

pelajar,I would like to point out that if Clements' article above comes off sounding in any way defensive or hostile, please keep in mind that he is merely trying to correct several misconceptions about the topic (which has only been covered in the past by the often biased works of FMA writers)--he is writing in reaction to literally decades of writings by FMA practioners who clearly had little knowledge of the Western swordfighting systems.Also, real quickly I would also like to point out the the Spanish troops who fought in the Phillipines no doubt had to modify their technique in order to deal with the opposing tribesmen there. It is reported that the Filipinos at that time had a penchant for leg strikes--certainly they're still used today--and so we can surmise that the conquistadores in the field placed great emphasis on "shifting the leg", as well as low-line parries. The side of the knee was actually a pretty common target in European swordplay as well anyway--the so-called coup de Jarnac--a cut there will sever the hamstring, permanently crippling the fighter.The fact is that fighting men typically modify their own methods when faced with a new enemy. They may even adopt actual weapons or techniques from their adversaries--the Romans based much of their military success on adopting the weapons and fighting styles of other cultures--Greek, Etruscan, Keltic, Iberian, etc. Not too long before Magellan died on Mactan Island at the hands of Lapu Lapu's warriors, the famed Spanish army of Gonsalvo de Cordoba, Il Gran Capitan, was hiding out in Italy, avoiding the French/Swiss army which had defeated them. Cordoba had to find an answer to the Swiss pikemen, for his rodeleros alone were not able to stop the Swiss pike-block. Therefore, he got a unit of German landsknechts, who used the same pike tactics as the Swiss, to teach some of his Spanish infantry how to properly handle the long pike. Then with his combined infantry--arquebusiers, pikemen, and rodeleros, he was able to smash the French and Swiss time and again. With support from friendly pikemen, the rodeleros were able to close the gap and use their swords against the enemy pikemen to great effect. Warriors in general have to be aware of the enemy's weapons, tactics, fighting methods, etc. It's a two-way street.And so it goes without saying that it is obvious that the Filipinos had their own very effective indigenous martial arts before the arrival of the Spanish. To claim that "it all came from Spain" is as incorrect as the declaration made by many that the Spanish were "no match" for the Filipinos in HTH combat.TFS


Thank you very much sir. I really appreciate your time and effort in answering my post. It's great to have that information, it really helped clarify some things for me. It was interesting that you mentioned Cabales Serrada, because I always found it interesting that their 12 strikes were so formal (besides the fact that it seems to me to be primarily an espada y daga art). Espada y daga has always fanscinated me because you can see various modes of it from Cabales Serrada to Pekiti Tirsia to Pananandata Marinas - each with differing strategies and I would imagine differing influences. If you don't mind me asking....what style of FMA do you do? Thank you again for your time and effort.

TFS that was interesting and informative, thanks
for taking time to post all that information.


pelajar,I'm glad that you found the info I provided useful. I specifically mentioned Cabales Serrada Escrima because, as it has its origins in the central Phillipines, it appears to be a system that was influenced to some degree by the Spanish--and yes, it is primarily an espada y daga art, making use of a bolo and a dagger.Even more likely to have had a Spanish influence are the larga mano methods. I say this for the simple reason that the length of stick typically used is more akin to European cut-and-thrust swords than are most other Filipino weapons (at least the ones used today). I have also seen a photo of the late Grandmaster Giron holding a type of bolo considerably longer than most--it appeared to be about 3 feet overall.There is something I did not point out before, that I feel should be mentioned--In Amberger's article in Wiley's Arnis book, he mentioned how there are some apparent similarities between the use of the bolo and similar Northern and Central European weapons of similar design, like the German fechtmesser and its wooden equivilant, the dussack. It seems pretty clear to Amberger (and to me) that there is no actual connection between the two--it is merely one of the many examples of parallel evolution in martial arts. I bring this up because, despite the similarities I mentioned between some of the Hispano-Italian cut-and-thrust fencing systems and FMA, it is just as possible that all of that is a product of parallel evolution too. To paraphrase Dan Inosanto, there are only so many ways you can hit someone. This is something important to keep in mind.That being said, I still feel that both Spanish espada y daga and espada y rodela, and the various indigenous Filipino systems, must have had an influence on each other to some degree. The fact that the Spaniards and Filipinos fought so many battles, over such a long period of time, is my main reason for feeling this way. Amante P. Marinas summed it up best in his very good book, Pananandata Yantok at daga:There is no doubt that Spanish sword and dagger fighting techniques greatly influenced the development of the Phillipine yantok at daga. This is quite obvious. Phillipine and Spanish warriors fought running battles for most of the 350 years of Spanish colonization. Techniques were exchanged during fights to the death. Of course, techniques could have been acquired also through stealth on both sides.This book was written back in 1992, and Marinas is to be credited for displaying such a comparatively progressive attitude on the subject. Also, I like how he specifically said sword and dagger, as opposed to rapier and dagger--I'm not sure if Marinas was/is aware of the difference, but I'm happy with his choice of words nonetheless.[continued below]

[continued from above]Espada y daga has always fascinated me too, for the same reasons it interests you. The various versions of this type of fighting, both Filipino and European, are all very intriguing. In Europe, there were several indigenous forms of sword-and-dagger fighting--the Spanish espada y daga, the Italian spada e pugnale, and the English sword and dagger. The Spanish and Italian systems appear to have been similar; the English style, while possibly having been influenced by Continental methods, nevertheless adhered to English fighting theory and practice. For example, the Italian system made use of what we now call the "lunge"--the punta lunga of Marozzo and the punta sopramano of Viggiani--whereas the English system apparently did not. Amberger has surmised that the English saw no need for the lunge, and did not feel overly threatened by its reach, as they could counter the technique "by taking advantage of the wonderful stability" of the "True Guardant Ward" (a variation on the "hanging guard" that is still occasionally used by modern saber fencers).Another rarely-mentioned European sword-and-dagger art is the German use of the fechtmesser and rondel dagger--this is not commonly represented in period fechtbuchs, but is still sometimes seen--the following drawings are from Albrecht Durer's early 16th century treatise:The fighter on the left wields a fechtmesser and rondel dagger (making use of both the reverse and forward grips), while his opponent has a fechtmesser only. This is particularly interesting because, out of all the European systems I have seen, it appears to be the closest to Filipino espada y daga in terms of weapons used--the fechtmesser being of similar design to a bolo. As I mentioned above, Amberger pointed out this similarity in his article, and he likewise mentioned that the chance of there being any actual connection between the two is virtually nil (even though, as he also mentioned, there may indeed have been some German soldiers of fortune amongst the Spanish forces that went to the Phillipines)--and this makes it all the more ironic, IMO!TFS


Thanks for the kind words--it's always nice when I can share this sort of stuff with folks who are genuinely interested.



pelajar,Some more thoughts on espada y daga...As I already stated above, sword-and-dagger fighting was common in many parts of Europe, especially Italy. Northern Italy, in particular, had a strong tradition of spada e pugnale. Bologna was the main center for the teaching of swordplay, so much so that, the large parrying dagger used at that time was usually referred to as a pugnale Bolognese. In addition to Bologna, there were also the great weapon-making centers of Northern Italy--Milan and Brescia. Some really fine swords were made in those cities. Additionally, Venice had several fencing schools, and was also a major center for printing--most of the treatises of the Bolognese masters were published in Venice. Finally, the Friuli region of Italy (which was generally under Venetian control) was considered a "wild frontier" at that time, as it bordered on Austrian and Dalmatian lands. The local people--the Friuliani--were very warlike. Everyone carried weapons in Friuli, and they were noted and feared as swordsmen. The area provided the Venetian Republic with some of its better fighting men, who were experienced in guerrilla-style warfare.Southern Italy (particularly Naples) and Sicily also apparently had their own swordfighting traditions, but comparatively little is known about them at this time. If anyone has any info, please post it.[continued below]

[continued from above]We also unfortunately don't know that much about those earlier Spanish military methods of swordplay that I keep referring to. Most of the 16th century Spanish treatises on Spanish swordplay concern the more civilian-oriented "Mysterious Circle" method, as taught by famous masters like Carranza and Narvaez. There may have been aspects of the "Mysterious Circle" system in the military styles, but we are still talking about two largely different beasts--I, for one, have a hard time visualizing Gonsalvo de Cordoba's grim veteran rodeleros attempting to engage the Swiss pikemen at the Battle of Barletta, while using the carefully measured steps as per the "Mysterious Circle" method. The constant, counter-clockwise circling featured in that style would have been generally impossible in battlefield situations anyway. Also, as has been mentioned by both Amberger and other fencing historians, the "Mysterious Circle" style--the Destreza--required a knowledge of mathematics and hermetics--things that a common soldier would have known little, if anything, about. Certainly, first-hand accounts of early conquistadore expeditions in South America (such as Bernal Diaz's Conquest of New Spain) contain descriptions of battles in which rodeleros fought against Tlaxcalans, Aztecs, etc., and these spirited skirmishes do not sound anything like the calm, precise movements so typical of the later Spanish Destreza. The vast majority of foot soldiers in the early South American campaigns were rodeleros, who were given long-range support by smaller numbers of crossbowmen and arquebusiers or musketeers. According to Diaz, the rodeleros operated in a fairly tight formation, covering themselves against enemy missile and hand weapons with their shields, and protecting the crossbowmen and musketeers as well. Diaz describes their tactics:The crossbowmen were warned to use their supply of arrows very carefully, some of them loading while the others were shooting. The musketeers were to act in the same way, and the men with sword and shield to aim their cuts and thrusts at the enemy's bowels, so as to prevent their coming as close to us as they had done before.Note here that Diaz writes not only of thrusts, but of cuts that are strong enough to cause disabling stomach wounds--again, this is something one would expect to find in Marozzo's cut-and-thrust system, as opposed to the school of the "Mysterious Circle".Diaz also relates how Indians armed with wooden, obsidian-edged maquahuitl sword-clubs (Diaz refers to them as "two-handed swords") charged the block of rodeleros, who at first fought them off:Their charging swordsmen were repelled by stout thrusts from our swords, and did not close in on us so often as in the previous battle.But the Indians had the advantage of numbers, and pressed on anyway. The fighting became even more intense, but in the end the rodeleros saved the day:The Indians were charging us in such numbers that only by a miracle of sword-play were we able to drive them back and re-form our ranks.Nevertheless, the descriptions above are, unfortunately, still far too vague to draw any serious, concrete conclusions on the matter.Still, the types of swords used by soldiers (as pictured above), especially at that time, argue for a simpler, more practical, and more balanced system of cut-and-thrust (as seen in the Italian Bolognese schools), as opposed to the more thrusting-oriented Destreza. The only really clear thing is that far more research has to be done in regards to forms of Spanish swordfighting, and fencing treatises, prior to Carranza's 1569 book.TFS

pelajar,About my FMA style(s) and training--Stickgrappler asked me this same question, and I never answered him back (see below)--sorry bro!The school where I train in FMA is a freestyle MA school (Alex Wilkie's in Bridgewater, NJ). Alex is one of the most amazing martial artists I've ever seen, with well over 25 years of training under his belt. His first style was wing chun, but he has also trained in aikido, various Filipino styles, silat, boxing, kickboxing, and BJJ. He currently studies BJJ with Royler Gracie and David Adiv, and is also licensed under Royler. He also now trains in the systema under Vladimir Vasilev (in fact, he has pretty much phased out the aikido classes so as to teach the systema instead).Students at Alex's school can train in certain arts, or all of them--I chose to mainly concentrate on the FMA, along with some BJJ. I find the BJJ interesting because I enjoy wrestling and find all forms of grappling fascinating (especially in the historical context), but I would never claim any real competence in that stuff--not yet, anyway.The FMA that Alex teaches appears to be a composite of various FMA styles, along with some elements of Japanese hanbo. We use a 28-inch stick, and we keep about a fist's-length of punyo for striking and disarms. Most of our training is geared around the use of the single stick and single knife, though we do some double stick work too. Unfortunately, we do not work much with espada y daga, but Alex has put on some pretty wild-looking impromptu demos, with long and short machetes, on occasion. We do quite a bit of armored sparring, and we also engage in a great deal of knife sparring, using hard neoprene rubber knives and fencing masks.In these past few years, for whatever reason, I never bothered to ask Alex about the specific FMA styles incorporated in his curriculum. I instead simply echoed the sentiments of Ye Lunatic's old freestyle instructor, Guy Velella (who trains with Alex too), who is fond of saying, "Call it apples or oranges--as long as it works". I am not currently training, due to a lack of time--my mother took ill with Alzheimer's a while back, and she's now in a nursing home--and I am taking care of her personal and financial affairs. Therefore, I have not had the opportunity to ask Alex about the specifics (sorry, Stickgrappler!). However, I recently changed jobs (I'm working closer to home), and so I hope to resume training with Alex very soon--and I will be sure to ask him about the specific styles of FMA involved.Best Regards,TFS


Thank you again for all your information. I really do appreciate it, especially in light of what you are going through. I am honored that you have taken the time to help me with some great information. This whole thread has been printed out and added to my notebooks.

Also thanks for letting me know about what you study, it sounds like a good school. Those plates are very reminiscent of some FMA espada y daga - especially Pekiti Tirsia where in the first level of espada y daga both you and your opponent are in forward grip, whereas in the second level, you are in reverse grip while the opponent is in forward. Coincidences and similarities are bound to happen - only so many ways to 'effectively' slice someone I guess.

Thank you again for all your efforts in answering my post.


great stuff as always!


so much to read between this and the "other" and the test i'm studying for :-)

seriously, thank you. printed out and will be reading.


Thanks so much for all the kind words, my friend--and let me declare that it is I who am honored, to be able to exchange so much information, on topics that I have such a passion for, with other people who share those interests. It brings me great joy.

BTW, what style(s) do you study?

4 Ranges & Stickgrappler,

What's up, dudes? Thanks for the compliments!

Feel free to post your own thoughts on the subject too.


I personally feel that this is one thread that should be archived. I'm a moderator on the History Forum only, and, even though I have archiving power, I feel that any archiving on this Forum should be done by Stickgrappler. I think we should leave this thread here for a bit for more posting (if desired), and then archive it. We can still post on it in the "View Saved Thrds" section if we wish.




this thread gets my vote for archive status.