Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thoughts from MAPA 4: An Empty Hand

Yesterday was the Winter Gathering of the +Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance  (aka "MAPA 4").  Like all MAPA gatherings, it was friendly, fun, completely without any conflict - just another great gathering of people of all ranks and backgrounds, getting together to learn.

Teaching today were +Abel Mann Martinez+Guro Mike Pana,Guru Bruce Jenkins and my teacher, +Mark Lynn.

Instructors: Guro Abel Martnez, Guro Mark Lynn, Guru Bruce Jenkins, and Guro Mike Pana.

What made MAPA 4 notable is that we spent a lot of time working on empty hand drills and techniques.

It is sometimes believed that the Filipino Martial Arts are somehow weak or deficient in this arena, because we are so weapons-oriented.  This is a misconception.

Not that we didn't play with sticks, and sword, and knife (especially in +Guro Mike Pana's session, which was incredibly fun)  but if you're an FMA player, you know that these things are also the study of the empty hand.  We just spent a lot more time this time around without weapons in our hands.

We played with locks, empty hand tapi and hubud-lubud flow drills, and sinawali boxing, all of which can be done with weapons, and without.  I got to play with relative novices in what we do, and with very experienced players, too.  I was the student and teacher today, and that was really fun.

+Guro Mike Pana  noted today that what we are trying to accomplish with +Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance gatherings is important, because there are so few FMA players compared to others, and we need to share what we do with the wider world.

I would love to see other areas get their own version of MAPA going. If you are interested in starting up your own group based on the MAPA concept, let me know and I'll let you know how we did it here in Dallas-Fort Worth.

I'll update the blog with more pictures when I get them.  We've already set MAPA 5, the special 6-hour 1 year anniversary Gathering, on May 2, 2015, in Haslett, TX.  Keep an eye out for more info at MAPA Blog

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some bruises to nurse, and some plans to make for trying out some of the things I learned today on my classmates on Monday.