Interview with Joe Amargo, Admin of Eskrima / Arnis / Kali Filipi

What is your style of FMA?

My style of FMA is Balintawak Eskrima.

Who was your main teacher?

My first teacher was Guro Ritche Gumahin , then when he had to much on his schedule I was taught by one of his students, Guro Tim Williams..both very good in Balintawak Eskrima.
I also took a lesson from Ninong Tim Rivera of Garimot Eskrima, but I mainly practice Balintawak Eskrima.

How long have you been doing it?

I started 6 years ago.. and been practicing ever since ..for now I practice 1 hour a day at least.

How is your style different from other FMA styles?

My style is a close quarter or Cordo type style, which is close range fighting.

What makes it unique?

All of FMA is unique in it’s own way..Balintawak is more on the close quarter fighting, limiting the opponent’s chance of attacking in close range.

What made you start learning FMA?

I have always been interested in FMA, and that started from an early age. When I said it started from an early age, it’s in my blood.. I use to play swords with my cousins when I was a kid, and it’s always been my favorite to play when I was younger. I am also a fan of Bruce Lee, so when I first saw him, I did my research about him and found out one of his students was a Filipino by the name of Dan Inosanto..so I did further research on Guro Dan Inosanto and found out he learned and taught FMA,..Also as a kid, I use to watch the “Barangay Tanods” watch over the neighborhoods just using a bastion as their main weapon..that pretty much impressed me.

Why did you choose to do FMA and not other arts?

Because I felt an attachment to the Arts, as a Filipino.. I will probably do other arts as well just to keep my education going in the Martial Arts, I just chose to focus on Filipino Martial Arts for now until I am good enough. I also chose FMA because I know the style works for me and others. It is a complete style of Martial Arts.

Have you ever used FMA to defend yourself?

Yes, and I’m not proud of using it and hurting someone else, but I had to.. My neighbor tried to assault me, using a broomstick as his weapon, I was forced to defend myself.

Do you think making FMA mainstream and popular is good for the art or will it destroy it?

I’m sure FMA is already in the mainstream, it’s just not as popular as other arts, but I think it would be good for the arts,. There are positives and negatives to this question, first the positives; FMA would get a lot of attention and more people would want to try and learn it, but the negative side of this is, the effect on the egos of some people, There will always be that biggest argument , specially in FMA of who’s style is the best.. as an individual I have to look at both he positive and negatives effects of learning FMA.. will it destroy it, probably not but the negative doesn’t help it either.

What do you think is the key for FMA to finally reach the level of popularity of Taekwondo or BJJ?

I’m not sure, I guess more people just need to try it before judging it. I think eventually people will come around to wanting to try FMA.

What is your advice for new FMA students?

Hmm, Learn your basics, practice it, try to do things on your own, don’t imitate your teachers, try to make it your own style. Create, Learn and continue practicing every day.

Do you teach FMA?

No I do not teach FMA. I would love to..but for now I am simply content with the title of STUDENT.

What do you currently do for work?

Currently I am a freelance Graphic & Web Designer.

In the future, if you decide to teach, Where would you teach?

If I was to teach it would be at my house and I would only take students who intend to use FMA for something good.. but for now I am and always a Student first.

Do you sell FMA related stuff like Baston, etc?

Currently, No, but I would love to get some Sticks so I can put my design on them..maybe I’ll sell them, maybe , or just give them away.. maybe

How do interested students get a hold of you?

Call me, message me on Facebook?? email me? ooh smoke signals also work! just kidding, um I’ll have to decide on that when I get to that level of proficiency.

-Joseph Alvin Amargo, Administrator of Eskrima / Arnis / Kali Filipino Martial Arts

You can Join our group for FMA related discusion
https://www.facebook.com/groups/eskrimaarnis/ 

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Interview with Guro Rocky Twitchell, Founder of LIAHONA WARRIOR A

You are already an accomplished JKD instructor, to some that would be enough. What made you decide to add FMA to your weapons?

FMA makes a system complete .. FMA is already a compete system , weapons .. projectile weapons .. dumog for Grappling … but JKD covers 4 ranges .. there is knives , empty hands , sticks , bats , clubs , guns , Grappling , kicking .. head butts , biting , pinching, throwing … so many things in between a art. 4 ranges but so many things in between …. you study BJJ all your life then someone pulls a knife on you when you’re pinned you better know how to fight against a knife.

Who did you train with?

I trained with many FMA masters. Grand Master Leo Giron, Tony Somera of Bahala Na Arnis… many Masters .. Currently train with Guro Willie Laureauno

What is Guro Willie’s FMA style? does it have a name?

Inosanto Laureano Kali

What would you say would be the main difference of your style compared to other FMA fighters? 

I prefer long and Meduim range. I study Serrada Escrima ( Mata Sa Bagyo ) under CARLITO Bonjoc. but I prefer long range .. single and double

How similar do you think is FMA and JKD when it comes to its fighting principles and battle tactics?

Just watch Enter the Dragon. Bruce started showing he could blend it all !!!
He was in the dungeon .. his staff got broken he used FMA to fight .. then he used nunchucks.. he showed Grappling at the beginning then showed Wing Chun against Bob Wall … He used kicks , throws and showed FMA in Enter The Dragon. 

Have you ever used your martial arts skills to defend yourself in a street or self defense situation?

I was a bouncer at a night Club for 3 years … and I was a Guardian Angel for 6 .. yes martial arts saved my life in many occasions.

We have seen a lot of TKD McDojos sprung up who have destroyed the good name of that art. Do you think making FMA mainstream and popular is good for the art or will it destroy it?

It could go sour … depending on how many market FMA.. and what they want out of it.
What will destroy FMA? Someone who waters it down and only wants fame and fortune from knowing only a portion of it .. and sharing it for the wrong reasons … studying FMA means learning from a legitimate instructor, learning its history, culture and combative nature … a tribe study’s FMA to preserve its heritage ..Many dont pay true respects to FMA ..

What do you think is the key for FMA to finally reach the level of popularity of Taekwondo or BJJ?

Most every school in America is now cross training … but many can’t blend FMA with the system .. the FMA is weak because they are using it as a marketing sceme. It’s just got to prove itself .. over time. It’s already a 400 year old battle tested art …

What would be your advice for new FMA students?

Seek out an instructor who wants to share his/ her  art for preservation, it’s true combative nature and  it’s cultural history, Combative arts , cultural arts there is 2 lines to research.

Do you currently teach FMA as a separate class?

I do in some cases .. it’s automatic in the Jun Fan JKD

PROFILE

Guro Rocky R. Twitchell is also a Senior Instructor in Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do under the Larry Hartsell organization as well as a certified Silat Master with lineage from Indonesia. He is currently the Self Defense instructor of UC Davis Police Department.

You can reach him at@
Phone 916-747-3694
[email protected]
13169 Dogwood Lane, Grass Valley, CA 95945 

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