Filipino Martial Culture (Martial Culture Series) Paperback – May 15, 1997
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- Item Weight : 1.56 pounds
- Paperback : 376 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0804820880
- ISBN-13 : 978-0804820882
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Tuttle Publishing; Original ed. Edition (May 15, 1997)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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It was interesting to find out about the amazingly rich variety that the Filipino martial arts present. Although I wasn't completely befuddled from this read as i was from Donn Draeger's book on Indonesia, still it was a good feeling, and I felt more savvy..
Filipino fighting arts are mostly on the hard side of the martial arts' equation, with a very pragmatic goal: overcome your opponent and deal with niceties later. That said, some styles are pretty highly ritualistc which cannot be said about the actual fighting: the popular tactics involve small circles, brusque movements and disarmments. The more superstitious of the adepts utilize spells and amulets. The less superstitious will kick your ass for fun. A lot of the older practitioners have been in situations that sound more like movies, than real life, however it doesn't take away from their validity and the lesson: fighting arts are for fighting, which may or may not involve maiming and killing. Which means that efficiency is what counts the most. To that extant, various teachers utilize various combinations of the already well-known skills; some may choose to mix styles and some claim purity that came down through the centuries of resistance to colonialism. But I think we can take it for a fact that most of the Filipino styles are syncretic in their very nature.
The word "Grandmaster" figurates a lot during the discussion, much more so than in the Chinese circles where it is quite rare, and even than not always considered a good tone. In the Philipines, almost anyone after the age of 55 will acquire this prestigious title, since it is more a denomination of respect rather than of the total mastery of art. The reason i say that is because many Grandmasters out of this book are equally originators of their own styles and schools, which will of course make them Grandmasters by default.
To conclude, I think it is a good book on the topic. It was written with the sober eye, devoid of as much prejudice as could be avoided for which we should credit the author.