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An FMA Gathering
Bais Tres Manos with Jun Paliangayan: 10/6/2012
© 2012 James LaFond
Post Training Notes: 10/07/2012
I called Cory yesterday morning to see about training. He said he was up for our normal Saturday morning sparring, and that the Bais clan was going to be having a get-together hosted by Bob Light out at the Honeygo Run Rec. Center.
We showed up early, with two sticks between us, for the 1:00 PM gathering, not sure what to expect. We did know about Master Rawlings' tournament downtown today, and that they would be having FMA events sanctioned by the Bais people. Jun is the senior instructor in this area under John Bais, who gives really good seminars.
The activity took place on a fenced in court that might have been designed to accommodate temporary basketball nets. There were two groups from the Silver Spring/Columbia area down near D.C., and one Canadian group, and Bob Light’s people; for a total of perhaps 30 people.
There was contact gear everywhere. There would be some sparring in preparation for the next day’s competition Jun explained. First we did a couple of hours of their style’s combinations, footwork drills, and two-person-drills. The junior instructors and guest instructors were very helpful.
By 4:00 PM it was time to spar. The sparring was done as judged bouts, according to the rules that would be adhered to at today’s tournament. This was new to many of the people. There was a lot of gear, but the gear was not worn, scuffed, or dinged at all. The entire question of getting FMA people to take that leap from drills to fighting is a sticky one. WEKAF style events do not appeal to most karate-based practitioners because of the obvious similarities to boxing in the timing and scoring. And, due to economics, most FMA programs must piggyback on karate-based programs. Traditional blade-based FMA people are also leery of WEKAF rules because they feel it does not fully address blade concepts. Of course Dog Brothers style bouts are considered insane. There is also the question of luring karate practitioners into FMA events.
After what I saw I think Jun and his people have hit on a good formula for making FMA contact weaponry accessible to karate practitioners. The stick competition is conducted in full WEKAF gear supplemented with elbows and forearm guards. There was not a lot of experience with head pieces and hand gear evident. It is broken down into two events: point fighting, scored exactly like point karate; and continuous, scored along the lines of continuous contact karate sparring.
We had a lot of fun and got to meet and catch up with some nice dedicated FMA people. Jun arranged for a picnic under the pavilion, complete with Filipino Pizza and rice noodles. They were expecting some West Coast people coming in for the tournament today, and I hope they do well. After Apollo Ladra’s attempts to integrate FMA weaponry into Maryland karate tournaments in 2005 thru 2007 were largely wrecked by Rico Arus showing up and mowing everybody down and/or scaring them away, I think Jun’s approach offers the only sensible means by which FMA contact weaponry will find a home on the karate circuit.
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Jun Paliangayan     Mar 1, 2013

Thank you so much Lakan James for the kind sensible article you published about GlobalFMA. GrandMaestro Jon Bais is coming again this April, 2013 for the East Coast FMA Seminars including Ontario, Canada. You & your group are always more than welcome & it would be our pleasure to see you again. Salamat po(Thank you) for your kind sincere support & camaraderie to the GlobalFMA community. Brother in Arts, Lakan Jun Paliangayan PS... Pls see seminar info. at===( section. Salamat!
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