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Author Topic: Possible Spanish influence on FMA re-revisited...  (Read 13565 times)
Spadaccino
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« on: June 30, 2004, 08:17:23 AM »

Below is a link to a couple of articles concerning the origins of the Filipino martial arts of arnis, eskrima, and "kali":

http://cebueskrima.s5.com/custom2.html

Both articles on this link are very good (and Dr. Nepangue's piece first appeared in Mark V. Wiley's tremendous essay compilation, Arnis--Reflections on the History and Development of the Filipino Martial Arts), but it is primarily Celestino Macachor's "New Theories on the Origins of Eskrima", which really impacted me. This essay offers what I feel is the most plausible explanation for the much-talked-about (but little understood) Spanish influence on FMA--the form that influence took, when it started, etc.  The details concerning the Spanish "warrior priests" is something I wasn't previously aware of, though it makes sense--for example, the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, was a soldier himself.  IMO, Mr. Macachor is to be commended, for piecing this all together.

Thoughts?


Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
SUNHELMET
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2004, 09:46:30 AM »

<<I've always been a proud Cebuano, however I find it difficult to believe that Lapu-lapu defeated Magellan with his superior Kali skills as portrayed by the pseudo historians in the FMA circles. For all I care Magellan could have tripped on the corals off the shores of Mactan and bashed his head on the rocks. >>

I know the purpose of the paragraph above is about the word, "kali"... however the writer confuses war tactics of that time and also uses some convenient form of historical omission to downplay his own Cebuano ancestors.


"Not a full scale military invasion"

... he doesn't list the thousand plus rival tribesmen who were waiting in their boats to storm the island or lying in wait to converge on Lapu Lapu's men if they were to follow Magellan's men into the water. It's like a thousand warriors (imagine that many men with weapons hundreds of yards away...watching) just disappeared from history.
Within that context- the numbers were equal for both sides with Magellan's side favored by firearms. It was Magellan and Lapu Lapu's MARTIAL tactics that altered the battle's outcome.


<<Magellan only had less than a 50 man reconnaissance patrol (not a full scale invasion by any military standard) against more than one thousand men of Lapu-lapu, and you call that a Martial Art victory? Pure hogwash! As the first Asian to repel a foreign invader, Lapu-lapu's niche in Philippine history is already assured, but please let us stop spicing up the story on the  the story on the "Battle" of Mactan as an epic display of our hero's Martial Arts prowess.
>>


I suppose this writer has a different viewpoint of 'Martial arts prowess'  because warrior tactics won the day for Lapu Lapu. He capitalized on Magellan's error in tactics... that's martial art prowess!

Also, there's this tangent of a comment regarding Magellan hitting his head on a rock, while if he stuck to the written accounts - Magellan was overrun, his lance was his weapon of choice and when he no longer had it- he tried to get hiw sword out but as we've covered here many times before.... it is too late and he never got out of its sheath.

Not allowing the enemy to draw their short weapon - that's martial arts prowess.

There's also evidence in the Pigafetta accounts that they observed formations and footwork of evasion from Lapu Lapu's men. Significant enough for the Spanish-centric writer to actually jot down. That's martial arts prowess!

He doesn't ask the obvious questions of why Magellan would want to face fifty against a thousand? Wouldn't it be tactically sound to try and draw the enemy into the water where the rival tribe was? However, two variables were unknown to Magellan:

1. He wasn't 100 percent sure the rival tribe would back them once they got on shore. It would only be days later that many of his men would be ambushed and slaughtered by these allies.

2. Nor was Magellan sure if Lapu Lapu's tribe would remain on the beach once the boats approached. Remember that Magellan's idea was to set the village on fire as the fight was engaged. He sent several men to torch the huts- which was essential for the tribe's immediate future. So if the tribe retreated to the village- his tactic of scorching the huts would be nullified.


SCORCHING THE HUTS

Spanish tactics were to pit one tribe against another, and to show the rival tribes that Spain would reward them with wealth, power and more access to land they covet. By burning Lapu Lapu out, it would give the rival tribe a quick surge of power and unbalance the perceived wealth of both tribes. It would sway on the rival and Spain's favor over night.... even if many of their fighters got killed.


But if burning the huts were fully successful... the rival wouldn't even lose a SINGLE warrior. What a wonderful display that would have been for Magellan. Lapu Lapu and his men would have to 'run away' to attend to the fires in their viallge. From offshore the rival tribe would see the enemy running away from Magellan's men. A good bit of deception on Magellan's part!

If Magellan would be able to hold his ground and not be overrun then he could retreat into the water as Lapu Lapu and his men back off to handle the fires in their village.

Unfortunately, the guys with the torches got found out, in turn Magellan's gamble failed and Lapu Lapu overran them once their firepower waned. As written in the second accounts.

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But what is most puzzling about the above is why a Filipino is using the term 'hogwash'?...heh....


--Rafael--
Sayoc Kali
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2004, 11:02:41 AM »

Rafael,

The issue of the Battle of Mactan's relevance to FMA is still hotly debated, and while I understand your side of the argument, the fact remains that the warriors of the rival tribe could not give immediate assistance to Magellan's men--they were still on the boats "hundreds of yards away", whereas LapuLapu's men were able to close on Magellan's force, and come to handstrokes.  Therefore, as far as I can see, we still have a very one-sided "bum rush".  I think that one would actually need to go to Mactan, and examine the topography of the region, to get a better idea of what went on that day.  One would also have to ascertain (as best as possible) the position of the vessels, etc.

However, the author's comments regarding Mactan are not the main focus of my interest--what I found fascinating was the material concerning Cocuera's fighting against the Moros, and the possible 17th century establishment of a combined Spanish-Filipino military fencing form.  What are your thoughts on that?

Thanks,

David/Spad/TFS
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2004, 11:04:04 AM »

Sorry--forgot to login yet again!  huh
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
SunHelmet
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2004, 12:45:02 AM »

<< and the possible 17th century establishment of a combined Spanish-Filipino military fencing form. What are your thoughts on that? >>

David,

I think they were rare cases and relating more to a monk or a few (giving the benefit of the doubt here)  teaching fencing (Spanish) as he knew it to those who wanted to pick up some fencing tips. I think that by the 17th century... if one was fighting Moros with swords when they have access to firearms- they shouldn't be the people in charge of teaching anyone military tactics. Even some of the Moros had guns by this time.

There's several books that cover many of the friars in that area. None spoke of them teaching the natives anything relating to sword skills. The vast amount of journals the monks kept at this time speak of fear and just praying they could survive the post. This is why no one really addressed this before- the evidence is so much on the other side.

I will cite specific instances when I return from our Sayoc training camp next week or so.

Oh, btw Magellan's men held position for quite some time before Lapu Lapu and his men overran them. I think I posted Olivieras second account on this forum which states the firearms issue. That's why I think the person who wrote the summary above was offbase because there was never going be a sword to sword battle if the Spaniards had anything to say about it. So even the SPanish was not thinking about HTH combat... they just wanted to win, which is wise in my book.

I'm also not in the same pool of people who state that a 'style of kali' was used on Mactan. My stance has always been that systems as we know it today were developed or labeled when war and survival was NOT of the people's concern anymore. Thus, the first book being written by Yambao in the last century (1900's) during a time of peace. When one is trying to survive - they don't have time to write books. I pretty sure this is the case with the best of any sword manuals... it wasn't typically written by a soldier in their prime.

I believe the Filipinos had a way of fighting and knew how to fight as a means of survival not as an art form as it stands today. Kinda like keep using what worked and what you've seen work in real life. I doubt they had time to pontificate on drills and charts of angles of attack.

I also believe that the old manongs who studied or were exposed to Spanish, German, Italian or English fencing in schools or clubs as a recreation or sport noted the use of systemizing the way of the sword. Same as the Japanese and Chinese influence. So they took what they knew and used what they learned and adapted it to be able to teach outside the family. So systemizing or developing a curriculum came by way of seeing other cultures (East and West) teach in their land, but not necessarily taking the techniques (although I doubt they would shun anything they found useful) just the way it can be taught. Prior to that I liken them to a kind of urban street gang in that it wasn't a scholarly study of techniques, but sharing of dirty tricks... and one gang won't share with the other.

best,

--Rafael--
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Noy
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2004, 08:26:41 PM »

I've tried to stay away from this topic, because i fear i will be too biased but I can't.

Yes escrima systems use many Spanish words (Dr. Ned Nepangue reckons 65% of escrima terms are Spanish, including the words 'escrima' and 'arnis'). Yes escrima uses the 'numbering system' like the Spanish schools.

However, to me these (among other points Nepangue and others point out) two are not enough proof that escrima was subjected to deep influences by Spanish swordfighting in terms of Filipino escrimador's intellectual and physical approaches to blade and stick (and empty hand) fighting, to the point where the hundreds of FMA were fundamentally altered by Spanish fighting methods. The use of Spanish words and the numbering system are superficial influences (if the numbering system was actually derived from the Spanish at all).

The Spanish 'numbering system' are different from the various FMA numbering systems in structure and usage (12 angles, cinco teros, 13, 14, and ones that only use 2). I'll have to check up on the exact form of the Spanish numbers again, but from memory, it looked more like an asterisk, whereas FMA numbering systems are based on the body targets (eg - angle 1 is a downward diagonal forehand to the neck, and 2 a backhand to the neck, 3 is a horizontal forehand to the elbow level and so on). A friend of mine trained in aikido but his Sensei also taught them a bit of kenjutsu. He showed me their basic strikes - guess what, they used numbers (1-7).

Nepangue and others writes that the words 'escrima' and 'kali' were not used pre-Spanish times (of course, they were corruptions of borrowed Spanish words). Nepangue also notes that the current popular weapons sets of FMA do not include sword and shield, and spear and shield, bow and arrows, and so on. He seem to suggest therefore that escrima/arnis could not possibly have been indigenous because popular weapons sets today include single bolo, single stick, double stick, sword and dagger and so on. Of course sword and shield and shield and spear would not be used in escrima/arnis today with the spread of firearms, or during the Spanish and American times, when swords (and probably spears too) were illegalized. Escrima and arnis evolve and are constantly adapted according to the times. Times suggests that such weapons sets are impractical therefore FMA practitioners have to adapt to use more sensible ones (ie, stick, bolo, butterfly knives, fists).

The actual weapons characteristics aside, how can we possibly tell that the hand to hand combat principles (the intellectual approach and conceptualisation of hand to hand combat) taught in good FMA schools were not passed on from warriors and hunters, to the Katipuneros, and to the elders of our times? If people are going to claim that the hundreds of escrima/arnis schools were fundamentally influenced by Spanish - and perhaps Italian? - sword fighting schools, they should look deep into those supposed root arts and search for anything that may have somehow altered the intellectual and physical approaches of arnis/escrima schools. I think you'll find that what Spanish influence there are in arnis/escrima would be superficial.

This response is not finished.
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pat
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2004, 10:18:40 PM »

hey, noy. question: so, why are the words/terms in FMA mostly Spanish.  if you look at other ancient arts in the Philippines, like indigenous medicine, dance, poetry, etc., you get a lot of native terms, but once you talk about FMA you get a lot of Spanish.  p.s.-- there are still tribes throughout the philippines that use shields, blow guns, swords, knives, etc., but without Spanish terms.
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pat
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2004, 10:24:29 PM »

p.s.s.-- although these tribes now use most of these weapons for ceremonial purposes, prefering guns for hunting instead.  so, maybe the eskrimadores evolved in the cities, or lowlands, and the mountain filipinos/tribes evolved with their own ways of fighting, not so different from the pre-spanish inhabitants.  hence, the difference of terms and preferred weapons.  just a thought.
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2004, 10:17:51 AM »

Hello Noy,

Quote from: Noy
I've tried to stay away from this topic, because i fear i will be too biased but I can't.


Fear not--and welcome to the discussion.

Quote
Yes escrima systems use many Spanish words (Dr. Ned Nepangue reckons 65% of escrima terms are Spanish, including the words 'escrima' and 'arnis'). Yes escrima uses the 'numbering system' like the Spanish schools.

However, to me these (among other points Nepangue and others point out) two are not enough proof that escrima was subjected to deep influences by Spanish swordfighting in terms of Filipino escrimador's intellectual and physical approaches to blade and stick (and empty hand) fighting, to the point where the hundreds of FMA were fundamentally altered by Spanish fighting methods. The use of Spanish words and the numbering system are superficial influences (if the numbering system was actually derived from the Spanish at all).


Given your opinion above, what are your thoughts on what Mark Wiley wrote in his JAMA article, "Classical Eskrima--The Evolution & Etymology of a Filipino Fencing Form":

"The classical arts of eskrima are characterized by their nearly exclusive use of weaponry.  Their techniques are those of kali movements which changed over time through the strong influence of Spanish fencing forms.  In fact, it would be hard to distinguish some systems of eskrima from their Spanish counterparts if it weren't for the obvious preference for blunt sticks over fencing foils, epees, and sabres."

Since Wiley mentions "fencing foils, epees, and sabres", we may assume that he is referring to a later (19th century onwards) Spanish influence, as opposed to the possible 17th century influence suggested by Macachor.  Amante P. Marinas made similar comparisons between Arnis Lanada and later fencing, in his article "Filipino Stickfighting--Its Links to Spanish Fencing", which appeared in the July '03 issue of Filipino Martial Arts.

Quote
The Spanish 'numbering system' are different from the various FMA numbering systems in structure and usage (12 angles, cinco teros, 13, 14, and ones that only use 2).


This is a tricky part of the debate, as it depends upon what specific influence we are talking about.  If we're talking about a possible 17th century influence coming from a Spanish military fencing form, then I'd say we're at a loss, since I don't know of any Spanish segno (attack angle diagram) from that period.  If we're talking about a later (18th and/or 19th century) influence, then we may be able to draw direct comparisons.  

Quote
I'll have to check up on the exact form of the Spanish numbers again, but from memory, it looked more like an asterisk, whereas FMA numbering systems are based on the body targets (eg - angle 1 is a downward diagonal forehand to the neck, and 2 a backhand to the neck, 3 is a horizontal forehand to the elbow level and so on). A friend of mine trained in aikido but his Sensei also taught them a bit of kenjutsu. He showed me their basic strikes - guess what, they used numbers (1-7).


I agree there are obvious differences regarding the angles of attack, and, FWIW, I've argued your same point with WMA/HEMA practitioners.  The European segno--regardless of whether its Spanish, Italian, German, etc.--simply shows the direction of a blow, as opposed to the specific targets categorized in FMA.

Quote
Nepangue and others writes that the words 'escrima' and 'kali' were not used pre-Spanish times (of course, they were corruptions of borrowed Spanish words).


Well, "kali" isn't Spanish.  "Eskrima" and "arnis", OTOH, clearly are derived from the Spanish terms esgrima and arnes.

 
Quote
Nepangue also notes that the current popular weapons sets of FMA do not include sword and shield, and spear and shield, bow and arrows, and so on. He seem to suggest therefore that escrima/arnis could not possibly have been indigenous because popular weapons sets today include single bolo, single stick, double stick, sword and dagger and so on. Of course sword and shield and shield and spear would not be used in escrima/arnis today with the spread of firearms, or during the Spanish and American times, when swords (and probably spears too) were illegalized.


I don't think that either Nepangue or Macachor were suggesting that eskrima isn't "indigenous"--Macachor even correctly says that it's "a product of Filipino genius"--they were simply describing what you state below:

 
Quote
Escrima and arnis evolve and are constantly adapted according to the times.


It appears that Spanish fencing forms played a part in that evolution.

 
Quote
Times suggests that such weapons sets are impractical therefore FMA practitioners have to adapt to use more sensible ones (ie, stick, bolo, butterfly knives, fists).


All practical MAs evolve.  No one is questioning that.

Quote
The actual weapons characteristics aside, how can we possibly tell that the hand to hand combat principles (the intellectual approach and conceptualisation of hand to hand combat) taught in good FMA schools were not passed on from warriors and hunters, to the Katipuneros, and to the elders of our times?


Indeed, how can we?

 
Quote
If people are going to claim that the hundreds of escrima/arnis schools were fundamentally influenced by Spanish - and perhaps Italian? - sword fighting schools, they should look deep into those supposed root arts and search for anything that may have somehow altered the intellectual and physical approaches of arnis/escrima schools. I think you'll find that what Spanish influence there are in arnis/escrima would be superficial.


Then again, how do you explain the findings of Wiley and Marinas?

Quote
This response is not finished.


I look forward to more debate. Smiley

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
SUNHELMET
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2004, 06:18:18 AM »

<<Since Wiley mentions "fencing foils, epees, and sabres", we may assume that he is referring to a later (19th century onwards) Spanish influence, as opposed to the possible 17th century influence suggested by Macachor. Amante P. Marinas made similar comparisons between Arnis Lanada and later fencing, in his article "Filipino Stickfighting--Its Links to Spanish Fencing", which appeared in the July >>

I'm not directly disputing Mark Wiley's findings, but here's a quote from a book written in 1910 by a Major General (US) observing Filipino fighting methods. It does suggest that Macachor may have been mistaken if he stated that Filipinos had already transitioned to Spanish methods by the turn of the century. I am directly stepping away from "martial arts" and focusing on whether or not Filipnos were still recognized as having a distinct fighting style from which  an outside observer who fought against both Spanish and Filipino would be able to distinguish. If the Filipinos fought very much the way the Spaniards did during the 1900's, then this obsever who had his own Western cultural biases would most likely point that out.

Also note the way the injuries are documented. Much of the targeting and techniques can be construed from how the victim's body was traumatized. There's not much documentation of thrusting here, but the way the skirmishes are described and from my own personal research in the dynamics of melees from our Sayoc Kali training, thrusting is harder to pull off in a group situation when the attackers are at a full run. You don't want to stay and duel, or leave a half beat opening where a double kill/third party attack can occur.

Many accounts of the way the Filipinos fought were how 'devilish, crazed or frantic' they were. I believe the way the islanders would run and zig zag their way through a closed group gives this impression. Also, note the lack of fire power the Filipinos had prior to this time.

Here's the quote ,  text spelling by the respective author:

"The Philippinos have now obtained arms such as are used by American troops, with a few antiquated cannon. But their natural weapon is the bola (Raf note: 'bolo?') , or native knife, used in peace and war.
The one weapon above all other with which they gained such advantage as they did with the Spanish. It has no regulation size or shape. The most common type used in warfare is between two or three feet in length, including the handle, and has a wide, thick blade edged like a guillotine. When wielded by a frantic Philippino in the heat of battle, it is a formidable instrument of death, which is capable of cuttung a human head clear from its seat at a single blow, split the body from shoulder to hip, or cleave a skull in twain. At the call to charge, these native troops discard all other weapons and spring to wild attack hand to hand, wield the bola with a terrible effect." Major General Joseph Wheeler, 'The New America and the Far East' page 303. copyright 1901, 1910


--Rafael--
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SUNHELMET
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2004, 03:03:08 PM »

"which is capable of cutting a human head clear from its seat at a single blow, split the body from shoulder to hip, or cleave a skull in twain."

Just from the above description if we reversed teched the injury reports you already have a five count system or template. And this is just from one man's personal account.

1. Neck: Left Slash
2. Neck: Right Slash
3. Right Shoulder to Left Hip: Diagonal Slash
4. Left Shoulder to Right Hip: Diagonal Slash
5. Crown: Vertical Slash

Single Grip
Add a Double Grip

Now you have two sets.

Too bad the old timers had no printing press.

--Rafael--
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Noy
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2004, 10:19:59 PM »

To Pat,

I'm not an expert in the European schools of weaponry but perhaps you should check out some of the terms they use for their movements and tactics and training methods. Do they use Spanish words for movements/tactics/training methods as they do in escrima/arnis to refer to similar movements and so on? For example, do they use the word "florete" to refer to a similar movement as present in escrima? Or "kurbada" for Cacoy Canete's signature moves? Just because Cacoy uses the word "kurbada" (which is derived from Spanish) does not indicate that he got that method from the Spanish stick (?) fighting school. Sometimes, corrupted Spanish words are simply more convenient to use [in FMA].
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Noy
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2004, 10:27:50 PM »

Hello Spadaccino,

I get your point about which aspects have been influenced. The use of Spanish words in FMA is obviously in the linguistic aspect...

I've been busy and it took me a while to find this discussion again because there are so many. However, where I live here in Australia it's very hard to get FMA-dedicated magazines so I have no access to these articles you are talking about. I have no idea what "JAMA" is and I'd like to read the whole thing before stating my thoughts. Hopefully I might find them in the net somewhere.

Thanks
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Guard Dog
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2004, 10:45:15 PM »

Interesting,
  I do remember my Sifu telling us once that our numbering system was of spanish influence . . .

Gruhn
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2004, 07:02:30 AM »

Hi Noy,

Quote from: Noy
Hello Spadaccino,

I get your point about which aspects have been influenced. The use of Spanish words in FMA is obviously in the linguistic aspect...


The use of Spanish-derived terminology is curious, to say the least.

Quote
I've been busy and it took me a while to find this discussion again because there are so many. However, where I live here in Australia it's very hard to get FMA-dedicated magazines so I have no access to these articles you are talking about. I have no idea what "JAMA" is and I'd like to read the whole thing before stating my thoughts. Hopefully I might find them in the net somewhere.


JAMA--Journal of Asian Martial Arts.

The article in question appeared in the Vol. 3--Number 2 issue, from 1994.

Peace,

David/Spadaccino
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Spadaccino
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2004, 06:34:54 AM »

Rafael, Noy, & Everyone Else,

I am very curious to get your opinions on this article about Romy Macapagal (the archivist of the Ilustrisimo system)  by Roy Harris, from realfighting.com:

http://www.realfighting.com/issue7/romyframe.html

Of particular pertinence to this thread are the following assertions:

On the origins of Kalis Ilustrisimo

The Ilustrisimo system is very strongly influenced by Spanish cut-and-thrust fencing. It would be the closest to what is considered martial fencing in most of Europe but which is banned today. This is the main reason why the FMAs were variously called escrima, arnis, garrote, etc. The Spaniards occupied the Philippines for about 400 years.


In addition, Mr. Macapagal seems to echo the feelings of Celestino Macachor with some of the following:

The influence of Europe

Spain Christianized most of the Philippines and used the Macabebes from Pampanga and Cebuano's against other Muslims in Mindanao. Spaniards (and other European mercenaries) were cut and thrust soldiers, they used cutlasses (among other weapons); friars too were famous for their fencing skills.


And the following claimed stats are truly intriguing:

We Filipinos were greatly influenced by Spanish and European fencing styles, 40% of Illustrisimo is European derived.

Also of interest:

About the term "Kali"
The word "kali" did not come about until about 20 years or so ago and seems to have been coined somewhere, sometime by Filipinos living in the USA. I have personally conducted a search for the word "kali" amongst old people of the major tribes and, except for "kalis" which means sword and "kali" in Ilocano, which means "a hole in the ground"; there is no other word or cognate of "kali".

Ilustrisimo used "kali" on the insistence of Mr. Leo Gaje who had visited with Tatang and also by an American anthropologist specializing in hoplology (which is a study of handheld, non-missile weapons), who seemed to have picked it up from Dan Inosanto's book. When I joined Tatang, "Kali Ilustrisimo" had been registered for about two or three years. Tony Diego (the present head of the Ilustrisimo system) and I, after the research mentioned, decided that "Kalis" is the more appropriate word because it means "sword" and would then mean the "Sword of Ilustrisimo." The name has not been formally registered except on a website but we had decided on this even when Tatang was still active and alive.


Thoughts?

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2004, 01:15:53 AM »

Quote from: Spadaccino
Rafael, Noy, & Everyone Else,

Also of interest:

About the term "Kali"
The word "kali" did not come about until about 20 years or so ago and seems to have been coined somewhere, sometime by Filipinos living in the USA. I have personally conducted a search for the word "kali" amongst old people of the major tribes and, except for "kalis" which means sword and "kali" in Ilocano, which means "a hole in the ground"; there is no other word or cognate of "kali".

Ilustrisimo used "kali" on the insistence of Mr. Leo Gaje who had visited with Tatang and also by an American anthropologist specializing in hoplology (which is a study of handheld, non-missile weapons), who seemed to have picked it up from Dan Inosanto's book. When I joined Tatang, "Kali Ilustrisimo" had been registered for about two or three years. Tony Diego (the present head of the Ilustrisimo system) and I, after the research mentioned, decided that "Kalis" is the more appropriate word because it means "sword" and would then mean the "Sword of Ilustrisimo." The name has not been formally registered except on a website but we had decided on this even when Tatang was still active and alive.


Thoughts?

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS


Very interesting,
  I have also heard this but was not sure of the truth behind it.

Gruhn
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Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association
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Sun Helmet
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2004, 04:00:30 PM »

Not much to comment about from here David. The text seem self evident but on brief inspection - lacks source material on historical matters.

As per what the Kalis Ilustrisimo group claims are their origins, then that's their perogative- they should know.

I have seen footage of Tatang Ilustrisimo move and it doesn't look like any WMAs I've ever seen. Of course there are identical or even similar techniques, because practical techniques that work are universal... like a thrust to the heart, etc. However, from even the briefest of film -  it always seemed that Tatang had his own way of moving that looks different.

If this wasn't true, we should be able to discount it by pulling any Spanish Maestro and they can emulate Tatang's moves (without them EVER seeing any footage of Tatang). Beyond the universal moves... there would be a stark difference in flavor and emphasis.

Any fighting art that evolved in the last hundred years in the islands MUST be influenced by various cultures that inhabited the islands, or else it lacks the formula of 'use what works' evolution that FMA is known for. A pure indigenous fighting art would also lack a teaching structure for a multiple student body.

I believe that Tatang didn't have a system /curriculum per se, the seniors had to develop it. So much of his movements and concepts were from what the students culled from observing him closely and filming him teach/move. So I can see how Spanish or other systems would be of influence in the development - especially if they now have a numbering system, counter for counter all systemized. Don't know for a fact if they do.

The systemization of FMA falls heavily on various culture's influences... all done with a Filipino flavor.
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On the friars etc., I've already commented on that elsewhere and I stand by my research. If these fencing friars were so famous, how come no one knows who they are? They recorded their deeds quite meticulously.

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<<Ilustrisimo used "kali" on the insistence of Mr. Leo Gaje who had visited with Tatang and also by an American anthropologist specializing in hoplology (which is a study of handheld, non-missile weapons), who seemed to have picked it up from Dan Inosanto's book>>

Mr. Macapagal sounds like our forum regular Robin Padilla here. Interesting.

--Rafael--
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Fil Native Perspective
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2004, 11:19:26 PM »

5.2 Also from Chapter 11 of Swish of the Kris, Hurley gave credit to the bravery the Spanish priests:

"The history of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines is filled with reference to the bravery of the militant priests of the Jesuit order. These ambidextrous missioners, Cross in left hand and Toledo blade in right, were in the first wave of every attack on the Moros. "
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2004, 06:36:55 AM »

Hi Rafael,

Quote from: Sun Helmet
Not much to comment about from here David. The text seem self evident but on brief inspection - lacks source material on historical matters.


I agree--and that aspect is frustrating (like so many other things in historical MA research).

Quote
As per what the Kalis Ilustrisimo group claims are their origins, then that's their perogative- they should know.


One would think so, yes.

Quote
I have seen footage of Tatang Ilustrisimo move and it doesn't look like any WMAs I've ever seen.


I have not seen the footage in question, but I trust your opinion.

 
Quote
Of course there are identical or even similar techniques, because practical techniques that work are universal... like a thrust to the heart, etc.


Certainly--and I've noticed that in my own training.

 
Quote
However, from even the briefest of film -  it always seemed that Tatang had his own way of moving that looks different.


By all accounts, he was truly "one of a kind"...

Quote
If this wasn't true, we should be able to discount it by pulling any Spanish Maestro and they can emulate Tatang's moves (without them EVER seeing any footage of Tatang). Beyond the universal moves... there would be a stark difference in flavor and emphasis.


The problem is, that cannot be done.  There is no surviving form of military Spanish swordplay from the 16th-19th centuries that I am personally aware of.  In fact, if some styles of FMA are as profoundly influenced by those Spanish forms as is claimed by some, then those FMA styles would be the last "link" to otherwise dead arts.  

Some might point out maestro Ramon Martinez, but he only professes to teach a reconstructed form of civilian Spanish rapier (the destreza), and, from my own FMA training and delving into what little material I have found on the military swordplay, I can say that I don't think there's much of a connection with the rapier material anyway.  Maestro Martinez doesn't think so either.

So we're in a bit of a rut there.

Quote
Any fighting art that evolved in the last hundred years in the islands MUST be influenced by various cultures that inhabited the islands, or else it lacks the formula of 'use what works' evolution that FMA is known for.


I agree.

 
Quote
A pure indigenous fighting art would also lack a teaching structure for a multiple student body.


Would it?  Would it  simply have been contrary to the tribal structure that existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish? (I'm asking because I don't know).

Quote
I believe that Tatang didn't have a system /curriculum per se, the seniors had to develop it. So much of his movements and concepts were from what the students culled from observing him closely and filming him teach/move. So I can see how Spanish or other systems would be of influence in the development - especially if they now have a numbering system, counter for counter all systemized. Don't know for a fact if they do.


Nor do I.

Quote
The systemization of FMA falls heavily on various culture's influences... all done with a Filipino flavor.


It certainly appears that way.

Quote
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On the friars etc., I've already commented on that elsewhere and I stand by my research. If these fencing friars were so famous, how come no one knows who they are? They recorded their deeds quite meticulously.


I admittedly have nothing to offer there, at this time.

Quote
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<<Ilustrisimo used "kali" on the insistence of Mr. Leo Gaje who had visited with Tatang and also by an American anthropologist specializing in hoplology (which is a study of handheld, non-missile weapons), who seemed to have picked it up from Dan Inosanto's book>>

Mr. Macapagal sounds like our forum regular Robin Padilla here. Interesting.


I guess I'm not enough of a DB regular myself, since I don't know who Robin Padilla is.

[Edit:  Scratch the above--I just saw Robin Padilla's long "Kali Fight" thread...]

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
SUN HELMET
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« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2004, 12:59:18 PM »

<<5.2 Also from Chapter 11 of Swish of the Kris, Hurley gave credit to the bravery the Spanish priests:

"The history of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines is filled with reference to the bravery of the militant priests of the Jesuit order. These ambidextrous missioners, Cross in left hand and Toledo blade in right, were in the first wave of every attack on the Moros. ">>

No real document exists to back this statement. Certainly not from the journals and documents of the friars themselves. There's mention of friars assisting natives in setting up 'defenses' in their villages and planning on an attack on a rival tribe but no specific accounts of NUMEROUS friars teaching military or combat oriented swordsmanship to Filipinos.

"The Cross in left hand and Toledo blade in the other" is more a symbolic gesture than factual. Probably immortalized in some painting as well. No one really believes a friar had a cross in their hand as they fought for their lives against Kudarat and his followers in Mindanao, etc.

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<<Would it? Would it simply have been contrary to the tribal structure that existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish? (I'm asking because I don't know). >>

David,
 Teaching was done by passing on techniques through practical drilling of 'mock fighting' which were ingrained in ritual. It wasn't structured in the way FMAs are taught today, which is open to non family members (for the most part) utilizing teaching methods that had diagrams and numbering etc akin to Japanese and Spanish methods.

Here's what I wrote in another thread on Northern mountain tribes:
Tribes describe what we would call their training as "mock fighting" so it is structured (if any structure can be attributed to the learning method) under the studies a young boy learns in their rituals. For example, tribal men learn rituals for headhunting by mock fighting. They set a time and place and take it VERY seriously. All misfortune to the tribe that is unnatural is somehow linked to headhunting. Whether they practice today or not, the rituals are very important to the society. The taking of an enemy head is called 'Chita', they have a term for the attempts to kill with a spear "Mafofongot". The "Chomallong" is the ritual trip where a husband goes into the forest with two other males and they build a straw man (tribal version of practice dummies/). The husband then takes a sharpened stick and uses it to attack the straw man and severs the head. All have a secondary purpose, beyond the arts of war. For example this ritual practice (which we could understandably call a training session) links "the decrease of the outer world (the enemy) to the increase of the inner world in general." Woman had their own rituals which can be described as being martial arts practice as ritual.. such as piercing a gaba tree with a spear with the goal of knocking it over with one blow.


CORRECTION:
I referred to Robin Padilla earlier but it was another poster who oft-quoted the same exact comment on Kali named Rodger. Robin was actually on the opposite side of the discussion.


And yes, I agree- I have also seen Maestro Martinez exhibit his methods and it is different. As per the FMA being a living link- I've also stood by this very concept. Awhile back I used to post in another forum about how a living art like Kali can assist in opening up the dead or disrupted arts of WMAs. For example, when I look at some of the knife engravings and their tapping, and then I see how people interpreted them - there's whole gaps missing that only a living art can fulfill. Unfortunately, some of these folks are so closed off in their own world that suggesting this tends to ruffle their feathers. Maybe they'll have to wait and see it in some film based on a western swordsman Wink



--Rafael--
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Spadaccino
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2004, 04:13:03 PM »

Hi Rafael,

Quote from: SUN HELMET

<<Would it? Would it simply have been contrary to the tribal structure that existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish? (I'm asking because I don't know). >>

David,
 Teaching was done by passing on techniques through practical drilling of 'mock fighting' which were ingrained in ritual. It wasn't structured in the way FMAs are taught today, which is open to non family members (for the most part) utilizing teaching methods that had diagrams and numbering etc akin to Japanese and Spanish methods.


I see.

Was the above pretty universal to most or all of the tribes in the Islands in pre-Spanish times?  Is this what the Spanish describe?  I'm just wondering, since from what I understand, the Spanish burned a great deal of native literature--who's to say there wasn't things like diagrams and the like?


Quote
Here's what I wrote in another thread on Northern mountain tribes:
Tribes describe what we would call their training as "mock fighting" so it is structured (if any structure can be attributed to the learning method) under the studies a young boy learns in their rituals. For example, tribal men learn rituals for headhunting by mock fighting. They set a time and place and take it VERY seriously. All misfortune to the tribe that is unnatural is somehow linked to headhunting. Whether they practice today or not, the rituals are very important to the society. The taking of an enemy head is called 'Chita', they have a term for the attempts to kill with a spear "Mafofongot". The "Chomallong" is the ritual trip where a husband goes into the forest with two other males and they build a straw man (tribal version of practice dummies/). The husband then takes a sharpened stick and uses it to attack the straw man and severs the head. All have a secondary purpose, beyond the arts of war. For example this ritual practice (which we could understandably call a training session) links "the decrease of the outer world (the enemy) to the increase of the inner world in general." Woman had their own rituals which can be described as being martial arts practice as ritual.. such as piercing a gaba tree with a spear with the goal of knocking it over with one blow.


Interesting.  

Were these "Northern mountain tribes" the Igorots? (Specifics of the various Filipino tribes is hardly my forte, but I'm trying to change that! Smiley  I just obtained a copy of Scott's Barangay, and it is extremely interesting.  I don't mean to drift off-topic, but I used to build model ships, and I've always loved naval history.  I'm particularly a fan of low-slung Mediterranean warships--galleys, galliots, galleasses, fragatas, and so on.  The reconstruction in Scott's book of the standard Visayan warship--the karakoa--is really badass.  That ship is beautiful--part Viking longship, part outrigger canoe, and totally unique.  Such a sleek vessel.  I'd love to get more info on it.).


Quote
CORRECTION:
I referred to Robin Padilla earlier but it was another poster who oft-quoted the same exact comment on Kali named Rodger. Robin was actually on the opposite side of the discussion.


OK gotcha.  I didn't look at the whole thread (multi-page threads that have been around for a while take me forever to get thru). Smiley


Quote
And yes, I agree- I have also seen Maestro Martinez exhibit his methods and it is different.


Definitely different.  The civilian method of the destreza is different from the military forms of Spanish sword use, and it also is clearly different from other contemporary European civilian methods (Italian rapier, French smallsword, Italian smallsword, German smallsword, and so on).

Quote
As per the FMA being a living link- I've also stood by this very concept. Awhile back I used to post in another forum about how a living art like Kali can assist in opening up the dead or disrupted arts of WMAs. For example, when I look at some of the knife engravings and their tapping, and then I see how people interpreted them - there's whole gaps missing that only a living art can fulfill.


I TOTALLY agree, Rafael, and I had a HUGE debate on this general subject on another forum myself, where I agued that the WMA community needs as many skilled practitioners as possible, from a variety of established (and still-extant) martial arts and combat sports--people with what I call "functional backgrounds", who understand body mechanics, etc.  My own FMA training has been essential in my reconstructions of European cut-and-thrust work in general, and English singlestick systems in particular.  For example, the moulinet (circular cut from the elbow) was once a standard in European saber systems, but it has been abandoned in most schools for a long time now.  The modern Italian school still teaches these molinelli, but instruction in the Italian method is comparatively hard to come by these days (although I understand that maestro Martinez teaches it).  However, the redonda of FMA functions in the same way.  Combining what I know from modern Western fencing and FMA has been a great help, and they compliment each other nicely.  In addition, my overall BJJ training, and knowledge of FMA disarms, gives me a base from which to interpret the old European grappling methods.

Quote
Unfortunately, some of these folks are so closed off in their own world that suggesting this tends to ruffle their feathers.


The same thing happened to me, on that old thread!  An interpretation I made of some German messer (a falchion-like short sword) work, which frankly bore some obvious similarities to FMA, was heavily dismissed by many members of a particular discussion board.  It was a sore spot for quite some time, and, while I've managed to re-establish civilized discussion and debate with most of those folks, I must confess to feeling somewhat frustrated over that whole episode.  Anybody with decent training in FMA could have seen the similarity, but they really didn't want to hear about it.  I was simply cautioned about the dangers of "cross-pollenization", as they like to call it, when reconstructing ancient martial arts.  

Quote
Maybe they'll have to wait and see it in some film based on a western swordsman Wink


HAHA!  Bro, that would be AWESOME!!!  evil  Cheesy  Cheesy

Peace,

David/Spad/TFS
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
SUN HELMET
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« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2004, 10:55:08 AM »

<< I'm just wondering, since from what I understand, the Spanish burned a great deal of native literature--who's to say there wasn't things like diagrams and the like? >>

There could possibly be. There's enough diagrams preserved on weapons and everyday objects that MIGHT be referencing techniques, and also the art of tattooing might have been some form of clue. I just don't haveany hard evidence that this was the case though.
As per structure like an open school- the Maharlika system and how tribes tended to be closed off would be evidence that they didn't open their tactics up to anyone they didn't trust. Just bythe way the mountain tribes make it so personal and precious/ritualistic today is a good indication of how it was done back then.

<<Were these "Northern mountain tribes" the Igorots?>>

Yes.

<<For example, the moulinet (circular cut from the elbow) was once a standard in European saber systems, but it has been abandoned in most schools for a long time now. >>

Perhaps, because no one is allowed to tackle or attack their legs.

<<Anybody with decent training in FMA could have seen the similarity, but they really didn't want to hear about it. I was simply cautioned about the dangers of "cross-pollenization", as they like to call it, when reconstructing ancient martial arts. >>

So they can eventually say "we have that same move too!" or  "They got this stuff from us" if they ever figure it out...  Smiley

--Rafael--
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2005, 10:23:28 AM »

Below is an article about a Spanish 'Fighting Fray' named Father Ibanez who lived in the latter part of the 1600's and early 1700's. Much credence was given to his fighting prowess and of how he may have INSTRUCTED the Filipino (Cebuanos in this case) of his Spanish sword arts. Speculation has risen to the point that Fray Ibanez may have introduced the art of eskrima (of what it is today) to the natives.

A lot has to do with a small comment by author Vic Hurley, whose important work, "Swish of the Kris' describes the Fray's last moments in Jolo.


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From
http://cebueskrima.s5.com/custom2.html

Below is the comment on the Fighting Fray from the above article:

<<The recruitment of Cebuanos continued until the 19th century. Chapter 15 Later Wars of Swish of the Kris, recalls graphically what motivated the Cebuanos to volunteer in a war against the Moros in the name of the King of Spain:
"Indeed, matters reached such a state that before the end of the year warships were ordered out for another attack on Jolo. Four regiments of infantry and a corps of artillery aided the gunboats. Included was a battalion of Cebuanoes (sic)who sought revenge for the Moro raids. The wives of the Cebuanoes(sic) emulated Lysistrata in reverse. Every wife took an oath before Father Ibanez to deny forever their husbands all of their favors if the Cebuano men turned their backs to the Moros.
In the battle of Jolo, Father Ibanez lost his life in the assault on a Moro cotta. The good Father tucked his cassock about his waist and plunged into the thickest of the battle. The Cebuanoes(sic) performed prodigies of valor and Jolo fell again. The seat of the Sultanate was removed across the island to Maybun, and the Moros paid regular visits to Jolo to slaughter the Spanish garrison which remained. " >>

end quote
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The information I discovered about Fray Ibanez is found in the pages of THE JESUITS IN THE PHILIPPINES, 1581 - 1768 a 700 page tome of the history of the Jesuit order in the Philippines. It was written by H. de la Costa. It contains dates and places on the Jesuit's missions.

The book also contains notes on every Jesuit fray who served in the islands. If they were killed in the islands, it was noted by year and place. Fray Juan Ibanez was only listed on two pages. He did serve in Cebu. On May 18, 1684 Fray Ibanez was sentenced to banishment by the Audiencia of Spain. They removed Fray Ibanez along with Fray Francisco de Vargas from Santo Domingo, and transferred them to the Cagayan missions. (page 498) Three other frays in Fray Ibanez's mission were banished from the islands altogether, placed them on a Spanish galleon and sent them to Mexico.

The Jesuits were accused as, 'disturbers of the peace'. At this point in time Spain itself had internal problems between several Christian factions in the Philippines. Jesuits were (falsely accused or not) of undermining the Crown's authority and under cutting it's profits from the islands. Archbishop Pardo had supposedly blamed the Jesuits of Fray Ibanez's mission on the huge loss of the galleon Santa Rosa at sea in the year 1682 to the overabundance of merchandise the frays had smuggled on board to send to a corrupt general, which in turn "deprive the Crown by this method of many millions".

Counter claims and accusations by the Jesuits were fired back at the archbishop which resulted in the excommunication of Fray Ortega by the archdiosesan tribunal, and the subsequent domino effect on the rest of the mission's order, including Fray Ibanez. " The mine was charged and fused which forthwith exploded with ruin irreparable and a detonation that struck all Christendom with terror and amazement." (pg 467)

By 1702, Fray Juan Ibanez was now rector of Santo Tomas and assisted in diffusing the rivalry between the rival Dominican and Jesuit orders and "dedicated a public theological disputation to Saint Ignatious of Layola" in which the Domincans reciprocated in kind. (page 580)

No other mention of Father Ibanez in the book, of which such a romantic and gallant account of taking up sword for the Crown and Cross would hardly be ignored by the meticulous records of the Jesuit order. This act would have been favorably received by both Crown and Church. However, there is no mention of Fray Ibanez dying in the jungles of Jolo. There is no mention of Fray Ibanez being in any battles in Jolo PRIOR to, or AFTER he was banished to Santo Tomas.

On May 19, 1768 the Jesuit order was shocked to be surrounded by Spanish troops and were told that they were now prisoners of the state and were ordered expelled from their dominions.

"187 years after Sedeno first set foot on Philippine soil, his successors were expelled from it. A King of Spain had opened its door to them and a King of Spain had now shut it in their faces."

Beyond the Spanish crown's unfavorable mid 1700's view towards Fray Ibanez and the Jesuit order, he was by most accounts looked on favorably by the populace of Cebu, and perhaps his expulsion became the revisions of oral history amongst the christian Cebuanos explaining the sudden disappearance of their friar. Instead of the friar having his life's work on the islands and college invalidated by their own Christian church, his fate had evolved into a legend of the Friar perishing in the fight against their rivals, the Moors of Jolo, with sword in one hand.... the cross in the other!

It was most likely much easier to explain the Fray's expulsion this way than to place oneself in the precarious position of publicly criticizing the actions of their church's archbishop. Perhaps, it was the replacement church leaders who promoted this myth to pacify the Cebuanos. Disunity in the religious order could have been seen as a weakness to the Spaniard's god. It was not unheard of for natives to change their tribal religious beliefs purely based on the positive outcome of a hunt that month, because they prayed to the Christian's god. Something the Jesuits exploited to full effect. As time passes by, the story about the fighting fray becomes fact.


The burden does not lie solely on SWISH OF THE KRIS author Vic Hurley. Hurley's research may have been limited in this case. He did not have access to the Jesuit records of this time and probably went with what had been passed down about this fighting fray. Most possibly from those belonging in the now Catholic church where once the Jesuit fray resided.

By their very own records, the Jesuits dispute any accounts of the fighting prowess of Fray Ibanez in their order. I've always stated that even if the Spanish often had one sided records, certain clues can be obtained that could debunk offshoot myths.


Like the one about the Fighting Fray who MIGHT have taught the Cebuanos 'ESKRIMA'.


--Rafael--
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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
antoy
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« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2005, 04:18:17 AM »

shocked The involvement of Spanish priests in the development of eskrima is just one facet of Macachor's and Nepangue's contention on the Spanish influences of eskrima and the whole kali mother of FMA issue.  Visit the site again, it's just been updated with new mind-boggling articles:

http://www.cebueskrima.s5.com/custom3.html

And I would also like to mention some of the Spanish priests teaching famous eskrimadors during the colonial period:

 Fr. Angel Maestro - mentor of Cebuano hero Leon Kilat.
 Fr. Jose Ortega - patriarch of DX Combat eskrima of of Dalaguete, south Cebu.  The last surviving inheritor is farmer Eduardo "Dadoy" Sombilon who is now 74 years currently residing in Barangay "Balisong" which used to be called Campo because of the presence of an old Spanish Garrison.  

Fr. Bermejo of Boljoon as mentioned by Evangeline Lavilles de Paula who successfully defended the town of Boljoon from Moro pirates by training local warriors.  

To top it all here's an archaelogical link to the famous battle grounds of eskrima.
http://www.cebueskrima.s5.com/photo4.html  wink
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2006, 08:42:44 AM »

In contrast, there is similar evidence of Arab clerics who may have taken up the sword. This is not based on heresay but from first hand Spanish  accounts.

In 1597, the Spanish commander wrote to the Spanish Governor of a battle in Mindanao:

In the assault five of their men were killed with arquebus-shots, and several others wounded. Among those killed were two of their bravest and most esteemed men. One was from Terrenate and was a casis (note: a Muslim priest) who instructed them in religion. Of a truth, they showed clearly that they were brave; for I do not believe that there are many peoples who would attack with so gallant a determination, when they were armed with nothing but shields and canpilans. Blair and Robertson, Vol. IX, pp. 284 - 285

(Note: "canpilans" or kampilans- at that time were shaped more like scimitars).

Majul described these casis as warriors "who were veritable mujahids." page 75 Muslims in the Philippines

--Rafael--
« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 05:58:58 PM by Sun_Helmet » Logged

--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2006, 06:42:27 PM »

Hey Rafael

That actualy does not surprise me considering the Muslim's were in/ almost in Spain at the time of the crusade's, so even 400 year's later it does not surprise me that the Spanish had muslim cleric's among there "rank's", I do find it interesting though that they were fighting with Arabic/persian type of weapon's at this time.


Jeff
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2006, 10:32:11 PM »

Hello Jeff,

In this case, the Spanish were fighting on the opposite side of the Muslims. It also reveals that the Spanish thought it was rather brave of the Filipinos and Muslim clerics to face what they used for their primary weapon... the firearm.

This is actual historical proof coming from the Spanish themselves that Moors / Muslim clerics were the ones fighting alongside the natives with SWORDS, debunking the assumptions that the Filipino sword arts came primarily from Spanish influence.

In addition, San Buenaventura (1613, pg 349) utilized the Japanese word "KATANA" when he described in Tagalog about splitting a man in half with his katana (sword). Katana is not a Filipino term. The description also indicates a precise target and angle revealing a thought out tactic.
 
William Henry Scott states, "Those with access to foreign imports sometimes had Japanese swords (katana)..."pg 232 Barangay 16th Century Philippine Culture and Society.

Basically, Filipinos were well aware of swordsmanship and tactics from inter - tribal conflicts, mock fighting rituals (what we would call training) and from foreign influence (Muslim, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, etc.) well before Spain arrived.

There's mention of Spanish friars as "mentors" to Filipinos, but it is rather sparse evidence of actual hands on training for natives who already had weapons,  tactics and strategies already labeled in various dialects in the ways of war.

There's also no mention of such training from the Jesuit records themselves.

Add to this the simplest of logical deduction:

If Spanish friars who were predominantly from the expeditions in South America and Mexico arrived to teach the Filipinos "Arnis" and "Eskrima"... then,
where are the Mexican and South American equivalent of this martial art in those areas? Arnis should logically be MORE predominant considering that the Spanish language is still spoken by the masses in those parts of the world.

Wouldn't the material be very similar?

Where are the Cebuano FMA "proxies" in these areas?

If fighting friars existed and taught the indigenous people how to use Spanish style swordsmanship, where are the Iroqouis, Paraguayan (Guarini Indians), Chinese, Tibetan, Central Asia, Chamorros (Guam), South American and all the North American Native's eskrimadores? Wouldn't they exist as well? And why were accounts of Macabebe Pampangans under the orders of the Spain, NOT utilizing the Spanish designed bladed weapon but were instead wielding kampilans, spears (note some of CHINESE origin) and arquebuses as early as 1668?

http://tinyurl.com/y5cgeo

Most notable of all is that if the warrior Jesuit monks were not teaching the natives how to use a firearm then they were not much of a strategist nor scholar of their own martial history.

Their FOUNDER of the Jesuit order, Don Inigo Lopez de Recalde, the Ignatius Loyola of history,  was shot by musket ball in both legs and laid senseless sword in hand at the field of Pamplona in 1521.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 10:54:20 PM by Sun_Helmet » Logged

--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2006, 11:21:34 AM »

Tuhon Raf:

Just a quick yip to say that I love your history posts!

CD
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Jeff Gentry
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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2006, 08:58:42 PM »

Hey Raf

I am not real up on the history of Spain, I tend to concentrate on German, English, French, so your post was educational to me as well and did bring some good point's to mind, about the muslim's fight on the side of the Fillipino's.

One common thing concerning friar's in general there were quit a few fighting men who retired to the clergy, the earliest know Euro. fighting manual is actualy of a priest teaching someone how to fight with sword and buckler, toward the end of the manual he is teaching a woman.

I bet alot of you folk's would recognize some of the technique's.


Jeff
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Usque Ad Finem
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« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2006, 08:58:49 AM »

Thanks Guro Marc.

Here's some more:

Englishman and historian Frederic Sawyer wrote INHABITANTS OF THE PHILIPPINES in 1900. This is a very informative book not only for its abundance of information, but because Sawyer's  point of view takes a vivid snapshot of interaction between American, Filipino tribes, Chinese, Arab and Spanish of that time period. He was there during the revolution and traveled all over the islands taking notes on methods of war and customs from as many tribes as possible. He wrote unbiased observations both positively and negatively about all sides.  He found both the corruptness of the Spanish friars and native headhunting practices appaling.

I wanted to see if his take on the Caragans coincided with the Jesuit's own text from Harvard University Press that I referred from earlier.

It appears it does.

Sawyer did not view the Caragans to be identical as the Visayans from their home region.

 "The Visayans of Mindanao have been modified by their environment both for good and evil. Thus they are bolder and more warlike than their brethen at home, having had for centuries to defend themselves against bloodthirsty Moros. The Visayas of Caraga are especially valiant and self-reliant, and they needed to be so, for the Spaniards, whenever hard-pressed by English, Dutch or Portugese, had ways of recalling their garrisons, and leaving their dependent to shift for themselves." page 331

Most importantly, Sawyer supports what I wrote concerning the Spanish choice of arms.
If the Spanish were training Filipinos in the ways of war, they would not be using friars whose expertise were best directed elsewhere, nor would the Spanish choose swords.

The Spanish chose to instruct natives in a more productive method of WARFARE to battle their Moros rivals:

RIFLES!

"The arms have been supplied by the Spanish government, and have generally been of obsolete pattern. I have seen in Culion flint-lock muskets in the hands of the guards. Latterly, however, Remington rifles have been supplied, and they are very serviceable and quite suitable for their levies." Page 331

Note that Sawyer describes the wide range of weapons available to the Caragans and yet the weapons are within one family... Firearms.

Sawyer has no mention of swords.
However, in EVERY chapter concerning indigenous native customs, Sawyer was very detailed about the weapons of that tribe. He even described certain tactics like the EXPERT use of a lasso by the Ifugaos to bind so they can decapitate their enemey. Sawyer even mentions where Blumentritt may have erred by stating another tribe carried krisses when in fact he'd only seen bolos in their hands.

Sawyer did not shy away from his interest in native Filipino dress and weaponry. Even the cover of his book is an intricate gold engraving of a Malay scrolled Salakot and Bolo embossed over a red woven cover. Included are the words "Salacot" and "Bolo" in gold as the only words on the cover besides his credit and book title.

Sawyer witnessed the results of battles between swords and firearms equipped with bayonets in the mid and late 1800's. Contrary to what many have been led to believe, the bolo against soldiers who are armed with rifles with fixed bayonets takes a heavy toll on the numbers of bolomen. You might win some, but it will be at the expense of a LOT of warriors. Sawyer describes the time of the Katipunan and after when THOUSANDS of men would be shot dead and the losses for the Spanish side would be in the tens or low hundreds... mostly wounded.

Filipinos gained ground through will and tenacity, they outnumbered the enemy. Man for man, a bolo would not hold up against a trained rifleman. That is proven fact.

So the Spanish knew very well that to maintain control of the garrisons would mean arming and training the natives in the use of rifles. There's no positive strategy to abandoning one's fort and attacking the enemy with EQUAL weapons in hostile territory. Not in the 1800's. And I've already shown evidence that the Jesuits do not record any of their friars teaching the sword PRIOR to that time.

I noted in another thread of the warrior monk, "El Padre Capitan". He was a 26 year old gunnery expert, not a friar whose expertise was the sword. With further research, I discovered that his most well known contribution was not any sword skill at all, but teaching Major Atienza (the one Conquistador Kudarat respected) how to build boats that could be taken apart, transported over land and then reassembled on Lake Lanao. It offered the Spanish a distinct tactical advantage to gain access to territories that were once difficult to travese on foot.

Returning to the firearm (note: caps are mine):

"All the Visaya town bordering on the Moros should have their somatenes (note: defenders of the church) armed, exercised, and supplied with AMMUNITION."pg. 332

"The illustration shows a party of Visayas militia belonging to the town of Baganga in Caraga under a native officer of gigantic stature, Lieutenant Don Prudencio Garcia."

Note that Garcia is holding a SPANISH sword, and his men doing the brunt of the fighting are armed with rifles, with not a NATIVE blade to be seen on them. Everyone here has seen photograghs of various Filipino warriors - always with their blades on their sides. Yet in this very official picture, it only shows a lone Caragan Visayan with a Spanish officer's sword.




« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 10:21:25 AM by Sun_Helmet » Logged

--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
matinik
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« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2006, 11:43:40 PM »

holiday greetings all

great post, everyone. there is a biblical adage that states "iron sharpens iron" and there's nothing like a well thought out
discussion such as this to do as such. afro

i would like to throw in something that comes in line to what tuhon raf has alluded to a post or so back and that is it's
not really logical for the spanish to teach a "conquered" people a "more efficient" way of sword fighting. that has always
been the big question that people who believe that old chestnut that FMA is nothing more that european skills warmed over,
has been unable, imho, to address. i believe tuhon raf eloquently stated that in his post.
we could see an analogy of this in recent history. the US has done something like this in vietnam, and up to iraq. they train the locals military tactics, supply them with weapons et. al , BUT, we don't see the US giving the iraquis advance technology/tactics ( at least i hope not wink). why? for the same reason the spanish wouldn't: they could be used AGAINST the US if they did.

perhaps the "spanish influence" happened in the course of fighting itself. the ninunos adjusted to the particulars of this foreign fighting style, perhaps even adapted what was useful, rejected what was useless, and added specifically their own grin. sorry , couldn't resist,  but i believe that point needs to be addressed. adaptation could be mistaken by some as imitation. so in that sense,
the spanish " influenced" FMA, but not the way some would lead people to believe. the ninunos were pragmatic. if they saw something that works and fits their martial view, they used it. this is a hallmark of FMA as evidenced by the strong clans of sayoc, dog brothers, inosanto, illustrisimo and many, many others.
but to say the spanish were the originators of the art to the WHOLE island archipelago sort of stretches it. what were the
indigenous people using before th spanish came?  they were not in any way THE tap root of the arts, as some has mistakenly asserted. i would also like to mention that as a pinoy, there is this unhealthy thinking that still lingers in some segment of the pinoy community that some how if it's from another country, it's better than anything homegrown. some writers call this "colonial mentality". as if it's unthinkable that the ninunos can come up with some thing so sophisticated and so effective! they have this elitist air to them that they have a deragotory term for something that they call anything local : bakya. i tend to think most revisionist writers  have a sort of myopia when it come to this subject.

matiinik
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2007, 11:50:15 AM »

Very good point Matinik.

Here's more from Sawyer's book:



You can almost hear the puzzled thoughts, "but isn't THAT guy on the cross a human sacrifice?"evil

According to the observations of historian Frederic Sawyer, the Jesuits provided these first hand accounts published in 1900. He was there at the time period of Jesuit influence during the border battles between Christianized and the Mohammeddan tribes. His account is from an Englishman's point of view, one who had no direct political stake in what was transpiring in the islands.

The first observation I would like to present is Sawyer's view of Moro warrior attributes and sword skills:

""Physically the Moro is a man built for the fatigues of war, whether by sea or land. His sinewy frame combines strength and ahility, and the immense development of the thorax gives him marvellous powers of endurance at the oar or the march."

Sawyer then adds proof that the Moros TRAINED to be skilled with their blades, note his use of non native terminology to describe the native's weapons.:

" Trained to arms from his earliest youth he excels in the management of the lance, the buckler and the sword. Those weapons are his inseparable companions: the typical Moo is never unarmed. He fights equally well on foot, on horseback, in his fleet war canoe, or in water, for he swims like a fish and dives like a penguin."

More proof of how the mindset was introduced and cultivated, with the use of LIVE victims:

"He will set his sons, a mere boy, to kill some defenceless man, merely to get his hand in at slaughter." Page 365 Inhabitants of the Philippines, published in 1900

Also through the use of tribal mock fighting and sayaw in the Moro-moro dance:
" They have a war-dance called the Moro-moro, which is performed by their most skillful and agile swordsmen, buckler on arm and campilan in hand to the sound of martial music. It simulates a combat, and the dancers spring sideways, backwards, or forwards, and cut, thrust, guard, or feint with surprising dexterity." page 369

Sawyer also notes that the Moros war industries were:
"... forging of swords, cris, lance-heads, casting and boring their lantacas." page 373

Sawyer, stressed the importance of firearms to stop the Moro uprisings, and observed what the Jesuits truly used and trained the local Christian populace with:

"..getting notice of their (Moros) approach, the Jesuits assembled the fighting men of several towns, and being provided with a few fire-arms by the Government, they fell upon the Moros and utterly routed them, driving them back to their own territory with great loss." page 366 The Inhabitants of the Philippines, published in 1900

Note that these natives were already considered "fighting men" indicating experience or intent to face the invaders. The main contirbution of the Jesuits was to ASSEMBLE them together and if they wanted to win decisively... to obtain firearms. On another occasion in the town of Lepanto:

"...the inhabitants, not being provided fire-arms sought safety in flight, but the Moros captured fourteen of them." Page 367

Sawyer indicates the Christian tribes were already:
"war-like and hardy troops" page 363

And he notes the evidence of "Subanos" weaponry:
" The weapons of Subanos are the lance, which they call talanan, a round shield they call taming, a scimitar they call campilan, the Malay kris they call caliz, the machete or pes."

None of the above sword weapons are of the Spanish variety.

Sawyer never notes the Jesuits teaching the natives ANY sword skills, even though he meticulously indicates to the contrary of* how the Moros were trained by their elders in the art of war. Sawyer did write in detail how the Jesuits taught the natives the following skills and also the other duties they provided:

" They educated the young, taught them handicrafts, attended to the sick, consoled the afflicted, reconciled those at variance, explored the country , encouraged agriculture, built churches, laid out roads, and assisted the administration."page 385

Sawyer does not state that the Jesuits feared the Moros, but were "pious" men who were brave and instrumental in "leading" the Christians into battle. However, even a supporter of the Jesuit order like Sawyer does not make the logical leap that states the allied tribes required training in sword skills from the friars. This supports other first hand accounts of Jesuits being tacticians and organizers rather than a sword master of high stature to the tribes.

Look at the following photos printed in Sawyer's book and you can tell me if the tribes required any edged weapon training from the Jesuits - in this context it is almost a comical scenario to even suggest.



--Rafael--
Sayoc Kali
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 11:52:45 AM by Sun_Helmet » Logged

--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
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