"The spirit of the fights is that of members of the same tribe helping each other to prepare to defend the land, women, and children of the tribe. Both going too hard and going too soft are counterproductive. In this spirit, what might be too much for one man to handle, could be too little for another. It is a sign of respect for your "opponent" to really go after him?you are saying you respect and believe in his skill and spirit to deal with it, yet at the same time even in the adrenaline of the moment you are looking out for his welfare so as to not damage him and thus weaken the tribe. It is in your best interest that he be as good a warrior as possible when you stand together in battle. "
the above is the essence of the fights in the gatherings. it is virtuous.
the afore mentioned challenge however is not.
i've made the assumption that the challenge was solely for the purpose of vanity. but, having now read the article you've posted a link to, i'm now concluding that it is not only vanity, it is also a business strategy. which now makes more sense.
we've already outlined all reasonable scenarios to engage another in mortal combat (self preservation, protection of others, for one's honor, survival, for money because one is hungry, etc.).
the 1998 challenge however is neither of the above reasons. it is for one's or a group's vanity. but, not only that it is for their organization's promotion.
the challenge is to "weed-out" other grandmasters thru combat, not to promote a community of fighters as the dogbrothers have done, but to embarrass others in the hopes of cornering the FMA market.
this is what many have labeled "the dog eat dog mentality" in the west. this concept is effectively practiced by states and multi-national corporations and infecting the rest of the world. time and again, we've witnessed mcdonald's, wal-marts, and other corporations gobble up small, family owned, businesses. this practice is a western corporate construct, its only concern is profit.
the opposite to this is the encouraging of community. this is what most small businesses and neighborhoods do. and this is what the dogbrothers gathering try to cultivate. this is virtuous and commendable.
but, the above challenge only illustrates one's vanity, greed, and business savvy (for lack of a better term).
to put things in perspective... there are only two men who have gotten rich out of the whole FMA frenzy in the past 30 years. that's atty. canete in cebu and leo gaje jr. in bacolod. they both have nice, big, beautiful homes with many helpers. the one's in the u.s. have all profited also.
in contrast, the rest of the filipino martial artists live in squater areas, have families, drive taxis, are carpenters, bodyguards, farmers, police etc. they still practice their art, teaching individuals for free, accepting services, and food in their small backyards or living rooms. this is the tradition passed down from father to son for centuries. it is only lately that people have started to charge hundreds of dollars for lessons and seminars.
cornering the FMA market is great, but cultivating a community, in my opinion, is more becoming of someone who holds the title GRANDMASTER.
i guess this is where we differ.
MAKING MONEY IS THE CORNER STONE OF THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT? If one has a skill, then he should have the right to commodify it, package it, and sell it for hundreds of dollars. This tournament is a business venture for this individual, to rid himself of competition he feels he can definitely beat. This is Capitalism at its finest, leeland. Welcome to America. This is how you do business.