The First National FMA Organizing Committee
The world in which we live in is full of violence. This is something we may not like but we have to accept. Crime happens a thousand times a day at all levels of existence and to ignore the possibility that it might happen to you one day is rather juvenile. Fearing its existence is acceptable, but getting caught unprepared is unthinkable. Suffice it to say, it is comforting to know one can protect one self in case the inevitable happens. As one saying goes, it is better to have a gun and not need it, than need it and not have it, and so it is true with self defense. In times of trouble, one can only reflect with regret not having learned a discipline that would enable them to parry and dodge attackers, thereby protecting themselves.
The use of force is something not everyone is capable of, and carrying of firearms like guns, or even knives would require a license, which is another difficult issue to tackle. There is one effective weapon thou that does not need any license. The stick, which is popularly known as Arnis. This system of fighting originated in the Philippines, used by early aborigines to protect their islands from invaders. For centuries, the use and application of Arnis were developed by Filipinos, thereby perfecting the art.
Today, a new organization came into existence to further propagate the art, unifying different clubs. The National Filipino Martial Arts Organizing Committee, which was conceived in December 2005 by a group of martial artist from different clubs, spearheaded by Master Samuel Dulay. To date it has more than fifty members with Master Jimmy Paclibar as its president. Their first project is a festival of Filipino martial arts, launched last May 6 and 7, 2006 at Clam Shell 2 in Intramuros. The event showcased different styles of sticks and knife fighting, coupled with other forms of defense and offense. In the morning of the first day, there were also games which all originated in the Philippines. Some walk in foreigners happily participated in games like sack race, Patintero and egg catching, and right after lunch, an arnis clinic were conducted by different masters. A cultural presentation was held in the evening, and highlighting the event was the demonstration of different clubs of their styles and techniques. The culmination of the event was the awarding and recognition for grand masters on the second day, where certificates were also given in appreciation to different clubs that participated in the festival.
It is the hope of the National Filipino Martial Arts Organizing Committee that more FMA festival will follow suit in the future with more participants, both foreign and local. Mabuhay ang Arnis! Mabuhay ang Pinoy!