How I Got into Filipino Martial Arts

Fight like Jason Bourne

Photo grabbed from

I sometimes ask myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” Because I know I have an addictive tendency about things that stir my interest. Filipino Martial Arts is no exception. You know that kind of addiction that no antidote or rehabilitation program could cure? That’s it. But why would I wanna be cured in the first place, right? Hell no!

It’s a positive kind of addiction, I tell you. All-natural high, too! Truth is, if I could train every day, I would. Like I told my FMA teacher once, “When I’m not training in Kali, I think about it or Google stuff about it.” The more I learn about it, the more I crave for it. And I can’t stop. And I won’t stop. (Anyone else can hear We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus?! Hahaha)

Well, I guess that’s another reason why I put up this blog—as an outlet for me to rave or share anything about FMA. I understand not everyone is interested in Kali or martial arts in general, so this venue is for passionate, like-minded individuals. Let’s connect and collaborate! So much for the introduction.

Back on topic. How I got into FMA is a long story. Brace yourself. I’m kidding, hahaha. It all started last year, 2012, when I decided I wanted to be fit (and fab ;)). I was looking for a fun, sustainable fitness regimen. I hate going to the gym and using all those strange and massive machines/equipment. I find them quite boring.

And so I said, I’m gonna go give boxing a 2nd chance (1st time I tried it was many years ago and I didn’t like it back then). I manned up and went to this nearby boxing gym alone. After about 2 hours of boxing, I felt sore, beaten up but very much alive (thanks to adrenaline and endorphins). I loved it this time around. Addiction quickly kicked in. I think I was boxing then 3-4x a week. A couple of months later, I took a shot at Muay Thai. Then I found myself alternating boxing and Muay Thai. Good times, yeah!

At the time, around December 2012 or January 2013, after watching several spy/action movies, I became interested in FMA—more specifically after seeing The Hunted for the 2nd time. I was so amazed with the movie’s out-of-this-world knife fighting scenes. I Googled and found out that the fight choreography was derived from Kali (Sayoc Kali, in particular). I couldn’t believe it at first. Wow! One thing lead to another. I discovered that many other action movies featured FMA, most notable is The Bourne series.

I dug up some more information about Kali and I have to admit, I was one of those people who initially thought Arnis is all about stick fighting. Cringe! Can you blame me? FMA is not that popular here in the Philippines—ironic and depressing as it may sound. But I believe it’s slowly picking up now. And my friend, that’s another reason why I created this blog. To promote my beloved country’s fighting art, which is, by the way, the world’s most advanced practical modern blade system.

After learning theoretical and historical bits and pieces about FMA, I decided it’s time to take a stab at it. I started looking for FMA schools and teachers. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Bitin? Ok then, here’s my experience in finding a Filipino Martial Arts teacher.


4 thoughts on “How I Got into Filipino Martial Arts

  1. Fia, the way you write is so conversational and you’re like a friend one always wants to hear stories from. I totally agree with you: FMA is addicting. Really, truly, genuinely addicting. I wish more people (esp filipinos) will learn how awesome it is. So keep this blog going ok? More power!

    • Thank you, ate Joy. 🙂 It means a lot coming from you. I’ll definitely keep this blog alive. I really hope more Filipinos (and foreigners alike) will know & become interested in FMA through bloggers/practitioners like us. Cheers!

  2. I could have tell the same story about me (especially about Silat), thanks

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