How do european weapon styles for actual combat ( as opposed to olympic fencing) compare to weapon based FMA's?
I am thinking most specifically of rapier and dagger or case of rapiers vs. two sticks, or single rapier vs. single stick....
Depends who is teaching, learning and fighting... on the whole FMA is based on a living art while "European" fencing is based on unearthing a dead art. My opinion has always been that to get closest to what the Europeans did in the past, you have to get practitioners who practice a live art to assist in the interpretation of the dead art.
How much difference does having the leathal penetrating point on the end of your weapon change your tactics? I would imagine it changes things a great deal, and I would think the sword is the better weapon (though I would love to be wrong).
The individual's skill and mindset dictates the better combatant not necessarily the weapon itself if weapons are of the same family (as in your premise - swords). Any culture who uses a blade has a lethal penetrating point - East or West.
Anyone have experience with both? I would guess Filipino and Spainish soldiers hashed it out, what do we know of these encounters?
Historically, Spanish soldiers NEVER hashed it out with Filipinos using only their swords. That's a MYTH. They used Pike and Shot tactics which alters the battle significantly. The sword was a backup weapon, used when their formations were overrun or to clean up after the major battle. The majority of swords being exchanged during the Spanish Conquest were between rival Filipino tribes pitted against one another.
Also, is there Spainish fencing influence in FMA? Is there FMA influence in Spainish style fencing?
Interesting question. How far back do you want to go? Spanish swordsmanship didn't originate in a vacuum from Spainish hands. Both cultures have a history of Moorish influence. Spain had 700 plus years worth under Moor rule, prior to the invention of the firearm.
Spanish fencing in the FMA is evident in that Spain had fencing schools in some of the cities, which does not necessarily mean it was based on warfare, but duelling and sport. However, Filipinos also learned to counter actual Spanish war tactics (not necessarily sword methods) with their own tactics.
Spanish fencing today is taught by a handful of people with different POVs. FMA history is based on absorbing all the cultural influences that intersected with the islands. So you have Chinese, Malay, Moor, Hindu and European influences.
Filipino influence in Spanish "swordsmanship" can be found in the words of Spanish Conquistadores themselves... "we need more GUNS". Because the situation in the islands did not favor Spanish swordsmanship as the primary weapon of their day. To their credit they found other means to subjugate some of the islands... Religion and the Gun. For Spain to truly test their swordsmanship against Filipinos it would have to commit more manpower and funds which they were not willing to do, nor tactically sound.
I am an MMA trained guy just getting interested in learning to fight with non-firearm weapons.
There is no actual tactical Spanish sword fighting schools. Most Spanish schools are interested in discovering about how their predecessors fenced in their day, not how it applies to real world combatives. If you want real world edged weapon training you can try numerous FMA schools, or train in this forum's chosen form of instruction.
Btw, the Clements article that was linked was discussed to death on this very forum, and its inherent weaknesses and misinterpretations of Filipino/Spanish history were exposed.