Blog Posts - Fma Empty Hand



Reaching In Eskrima

I’d like to offer some practical, universal advice about the practice and application of martial arts. Any stylist can benefit from this because, like I said, this is a universal principle. It is also a principle–as practical as it isR...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Sep 26, 2013

The Next Best Thing(s)

Again, I am on this blog talking about seminars and short courses… One of the questions I am asked, and perhaps more than “How much are your classes?” is the real question they want to know:  ”How can I study without really s...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Jun 18, 2013

Why Eskrima Should Remain *Armed* (Well-Rounded, pt II)

Before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, please hear me out. By the way, this article is “part II” of this article, entitled “Does Eskrima Need To Be ‘Well-Rounded?”  Surprisingly, it was well-received. I think ma...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Jun 2, 2013

Does Eskrima Need to Be “Well-Rounded”?

I don’t think so. Here’s why. Eskrima is, what it is–and that is a weapons fighting art. We do what we do, and we don’t do all that other stuff. I believe that someone who tries to learn everything else, aka the “Perpetu...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Jun 1, 2013

Fill the Brain (Empty Cup, pt II)

The path of the martial arts master does not generally begin with a declaration that one intends to be a master. Such a path, in my opinion, is a foolish one if everything you do is to get you closer to becoming a “Master”. I’m sure...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on May 25, 2013

But Dad, He Was *Weaker* Than Me… (Fight without Fighting)

Today, a quickie. I was talking to a friend today, a fellow FMA fighter who also teaches tennis. Being a Filipino, our conversation quickly turned to our sons–as our sons happen to be our most prized accomplishments. And being Filipino, we had...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on May 20, 2013

The Graceful Loser (Strongest FMA, pt III)

In the search for the “Strongest” FMA, you must not pass over the loser. Let me tell you a story. I arrived in California in January 1999 from Washington, DC. I was very fit, aggressive, and new. As always, I was eager to build my reputat...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on May 3, 2013

Improving Your Master’s Eskrima (Exceed, pt V)

So, I said all of that to say this… And this will be the shortest article of the series. Today, we will commit the so-called FMA blasphemy that so many people think is impossible. I am going to introduce to you five things you can do, that you...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on May 2, 2013

If I Taught Seminars and Made Instructional Videos…

I’m really not a jerk. If you ask people who know me personally, they will attest to that. I would say that the only people who think I’m an arrogant bastard with no manners are either folks who haven’t met me yet (and base this opi...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 30, 2013

Exceed the Master, pt IV (The Door)

Two things: I’ve relocated this part of the series to “Philosophy”, and I am about to ask you to commit martial “blasphemy” Steven Dowd is dedicating an issue to this blog (thanks Steven!) in his FMA newspaper, FMA Infor...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 29, 2013

The Tempering (For Pia Cainglet)

I had to interrupt my plan for a quick article. I have a student, Pia Cainglet, who has been studying with me for a few years. She has a very busy job and she joined the school at an older age than most new students (actually, she and I are about two...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 22, 2013

Exceed the Teacher, pt III (Two-Way Street)

It is said that teaching is a two-way street. How true. I’ve stated in earlier articles that some teachers are more skilled at teaching beginners, some are good at teaching the advanced, and then others excel at teaching teachers–guiding...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 20, 2013

When Two Brothers Fight…

There is an African proverb a friend read to me years ago: When two brothers fight, a stranger inherits their father’s harvest So much wisdom. As it was explained to me, that in my friends’ culture, fathers rely heavily on the work of the...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 18, 2013

Learning the Art While Teaching (No Cornerman, pt II)

Today’s article will be short and sweet. This may seem like a contradiction from much of my past writing. I normally speak against teaching the art until you have acquired your own fighting experience, but this is no contradiction. I still beli...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Apr 1, 2013

Exceed the Teacher, pt II (Lesson from Bouie Fisher)

This article is a nod to one of the late, little-known masters of the fighting arts:  Bouie Fisher. It is also part II to this article–but will ride the topic of fight strategy. I am still putting the article under “Teaching Philosophy&#...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 31, 2013

The Forgotten Side of the Filipino Fighting Arts, pt VII (The Assassin)

I knew the title would get your attention. Let’s get to business. The Filipino Martial Artist spends too much of his training time thinking of the art as a skill of coordination. Let’s see how complicated these stick patterns can be. How...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 29, 2013

How to Be the Student of a Mean, Old Cranky Master….

In other words, “Mean and Nasty Old Master, pt II“. But this really isn’t “part III”, because this article is about his student. Martial arts students today are mostly too soft and fragile to be a student of a real maste...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 24, 2013

On Martial Arts “Royalty”

This article is written for two groups of people: Martial Arts “Groupies” Martial Arts Royalty The rest of us, just sit back and read… In the martial arts, we have martial arts “royalty”. You know what I mean–those...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 18, 2013

Importance of Cadence in Training

Something we don’t see much of in today’s Eskrima class is the use of cadence during training. This is an old-school teaching tool that many think of as only relevant for Karate and Kung Fu classes. If you have ever studied with an old te...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 17, 2013

The Need to Be a Big Fish

This article will be posted in the “Teaching Philosophy” section of the blog because it is a vital concept to the art of teaching. Many of you may disagree with me, but please hear me out. If you learn this notion, develop your own versio...
by Filipino Fighting Secrets on Mar 8, 2013


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