What do we teach?
The Filipino Martial Arts are the foundation of our curriculum.
By one recent count, the sprawling Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,641 islands. While Filipino and English are the official languages, over 170 languages are spoken throughout the islands. As such, there are seemingly countless terms for the Filipino martial arts, but the most popular, by far, are Eskrima, Arnis and Kali.
As far as which style we adhere to, the simple answer is none. We feel the very best approach was summed up perfectly years ago by a highly respected Eskrima master in his late nineties who, while giving an interview, was asked repeatedly what style of Eskrima he taught. His surly response stunned the interviewer – "Attack me and you'll die, that's my style."
Renowned for being the most lethal, weapon-based fighting systems in the world, the Filipino martial arts are grounded in the combative use of rattan and hardwood impact weapons of various lengths, as well as barbed spears, flexible and projectile weapons and an extraordinary arsenal of swords, axes and knives that are truly the stuff of legends... and no doubt their enemies' enduring nightmares.
Less known to the general public, the Filipino martial arts also encompass a full complement of equally brutal unarmed fighting methods.*
Born in the jungle over a thousand years ago, the indigenous fighting arts of what we now call the Philippines evolved through incessant inter-tribal wars and skirmishes, when the warriors who created them weren't fending off countless seaborne invasions by would-be conquerors or making it extremely unpleasant for those who succeeded and thought they could stay.
Further honed and sharpened to a keen edge through organized death matches (both legal and illegal) and spontaneous bloody duels on the backstreets of barrios in overcrowded cities where the police were either corrupt or nowhere to be found and knives most Americans would think of as swords were ever-present, the Filipino martial arts survive today as both a preserved time capsule of sorts and a thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art self-defense system.
An Overview of The Filipino Martial Arts as taught by Guro Mark Mikita
• Impact & Bladed Weaponcraft – Stick, Sword & Knife Fighting (the most recognized aspect of the Filipino Martial Arts)
• Special-Use Weapons & Stratagems – Pole Arms, Flexible & Projectile Weapons (including Firearms Familiarization)
• Field-Expedient Improvised Weapons – Cane, Umbrella, Belt, Pen, Flashlight, Water Bottle, A Handful of Coins, Etc.
• Understanding the Effectiveness & Limitations of Modern 'Non-Lethal' Weapons – Tasers, Stun Guns, Pepper Spray
• Practical Disarming & Counter-Disarming / Weapon Retention / Understanding Distance, Time & the Principle of 'Line'
Seizing the Offensive Initiative through Relational Positioning / Perceiving & Effectively Exploiting 'The Classic Error'
• Dirty Kicking – Targeted Ankle, Knee & Hip Destructions; Stomps, Heel Chops, Foot Sweeps, Groin & Bladder Kicks
• Dirty Boxing – Targeted Hand, Arm & Shoulder Destructions; Use of the Bare Knuckles, Hammer Fist, Palm, Fingers,
Forearm and Elbow; Attacking the Eyes, Ears, Trachea, Carotid Sinus, Cervical Spine, Liver, Kidneys, Bladder & Groin
• Dirty Grappling – Joint Locks & Dislocations (including the Wrist & Fingers), Chokes, Escapes, Targeting the Cervical
Nerves, Head Butting, Hair Pulling, Eye Gouging, Fish Hooking, Biting & Weaponizing the Surrounding Environment
• Tactics / Applied Sciences / Developing the Counter-Offensive Mindset / Recognizing the Critical Difference between
the Resource Predator & the Process Predator / Understanding Social Contracts & The Inherent Pitfalls in our Social
Construct that Predators Exploit / Ethical & Philosophical Inquiry / Physical Conditioning Specific to the Martial Arts
Guro Mark also draws on his extensive experience training in the following arts:
• The Jun Fan Martial Arts
Methods compiled by Bruce Lee
• Chinese Wing Chun Kung Fu
• Western Boxing
• Western Fencing
• Thai Krabi Krabong
• Muay Thai
• Indonesian Pentjak Silat
• Japanese Kenjutsu
• Japanese Jiu Jitsu
• Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
• Korean Tae Kwon Do
• French Savate
• World War II Combatives
* It is only in First World countries where the practice of martial arts is typically thought of as an exclusively unarmed discipline, geared more toward sporting contests like the UFC or as an alternative path to fitness and self-improvement.
Yet, when baseball bats, axe handles, hammers, knives and firearms are present in about 85% percent of assaults that end in murder, even in self-defense oriented schools, the almost-certain threat of weapons is rarely ever dealt with in anything more than a cursory manner. That is most certainly not the case in this school.
As Guro Mark has said, the word 'martial' means war and war means weapons. After all, only a fool would step out onto a battlefield without a weapon in his hand. In other words, if you're faced with an armed psychopath hellbent on injuring or killing you – other than getting the hell away from him as quickly as you can – arming yourself is the first priority and anything short of that, such as kicking, punching or ground fighting, is only a stopgap measure employed to buy some time until a viable weapon can be accessed, acquired or improvised and put to good use.
Juvenile movie fantasies aside, while you might actually succeed in knocking him out with a lucky shot or choking him out without getting stabbed forty times, shot full of holes or having your skull fractured in the process, 'planning' (by virtue of the material emphasized in your training) to contend unarmed against an armed assailant is just plain stupid.
Weapons are the tools of violence;
all decent men detest them.
Weapons are the tools of fear:
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.
Peace is his highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?
His enemies are not demons
but human beings like himself.
He doesn't wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How can he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?
He enters battle gravely,
with sorrow and great compassion,
as if he were attending a funeral.
– Lao Tzu