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#433668 - 08/20/11 05:14 PM What are the health benefits of the FMA?
Doh Sensei Offline

Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Chicago

I know that the FMA are good to study for self-defense, but I've never really read or heard anyone discuss the health benefits of the FMA. I'm not familiar with them personally but it seems, from my reading and Youtube viewing, that they are designed to teach fighting skills, but not necessarily to strengthen or condition.

I've read that Silat does, but I've never heard it about any FMA.

Are there health benefits to practicing Filipino Martial Arts in the way that people sometimes associate with practicing other martial arts? Will studying one help get you "in shape"? Or are you learning fighting skills alone? I imagine a farmer or fisherman who had to use them to defend his home might have been pretty tough already just from his daily living.

I apologize if I sound like a knucklehead, I'm just curious.

Edited by Doh Sensei (08/20/11 05:15 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

#433669 - 08/20/11 07:41 PM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: Doh Sensei]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577

First off I think this is a perfectly sensible question. I don't have much experience with FMA but just some thoughts I have:

i) You are spot about Silat. I've seen some great conditioning in Silat classes.

ii) Any sort of movement exercise is going to help someone who isn't exercising regularly, be it FMA or something else.

iii) I've done a little fencing before, and it is a decent workout. Some FMA martial arts seem to have rattan fencing, which I expect is a decent workout.

iv) I understand if someone is short on time they might want a one stop shop for all their exercise. Certainly martial arts like Karate or BJJ can provide a pretty good holistic workout. That said, there are a lot of other ways to keep in shape. I've a friend who runs marathons and he did Aikido for a number of years. He actually prefers low intensity martial arts as his body takes enough of a pounding with all the running he does, plus his running keeps him in decent shape so he doesn't need to worry too much about whether or not a martial arts class with get him fit (aerobically speaking).

In short, do FMA and see what its like. Some martial arts classes, even in they teach the same style, will be more physically demanding than others. If you like FMA, keep doing them. If the class isn't a great workout, you can always do other exercise to help keep you in shape. Certainly from what I know of FMA something like fencing or boxing might be a good supplementary system to study alongside FMA.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#433670 - 08/21/11 03:58 AM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Depends (as with all arts) on who is teaching it, and what their take is.

Gotta know what you are in it for first, if it's mostly fitness..then honestly you should look for an fitness class that meets your needs.

Most arts carry a fringe benefit of needing to have a certain level of condition to even do them right, so provide some conditioning by default. However, exercise isn't martial arts, and I personally feel that if you enter into looking for training martial arts with having fitness as the primary goal, you will often end up dissapointed.

Edited by Zach_Zinn (08/21/11 03:59 AM)

#433671 - 08/21/11 06:06 AM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
I agree with Zach. MA, although they can provide some exercise, aren't always the best method to stay in shape. That said, certain MA are usually better than others. MA that are more sports-oriented tend to provide a decent workout. Things like WTF TKD, Judo, BJJ, Muay Thai, or Kendo would usually be good at getting people in to shape.

Additionally, as most of the above systems are considered sports first and foremost, there is usually a lot of sports science to help you form a workout program. I personally have seen very good sports-specific strength and conditioning programs for WTF TKD and Judo. I've also seen very good stretching programs for TKD and BJJ. So if a person takes part in those sports they can often build an entire exercise plan around them that will help them in said sport while also helping them stay in good shape.

On the other side of the coin, sports-oriented MA, especially full contact MA, usually have a higher risk of injury rate compared to MA that don't focus on the sports side of things (in my experience). So you have to consider that too.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#433672 - 08/21/11 09:55 AM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: Prizewriter]
choonbee Offline

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
In Tang-soo-do, we get a moderate cardio workout doing marching drills and forms because we usually do them at a fairly brisk pace.
Sparring is a great conditioning workout for us, as is putting together combinations of strikes and kicks using bags and focus mitts, and groundwork classes offer a great workout as well.
Self-defense classes are more laid back (cardio-wise).
All in all, our system will get you into shape and keep you there if you're consistent and keep a decent diet.
I agree that the best way to go, if you're interested, is to try it out and see for yourself. If you like it, but the conditioning isn't what you hoped it would be, then you could do your conditioning between classes. (At the very least you should be stretching, even if you're not involved in a martial art at the present time).

Edited by choonbee (08/21/11 09:56 AM)
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

#433679 - 08/22/11 01:57 PM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: choonbee]
Doh Sensei Offline

Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Chicago
So you're saying I should just go down to the school and check it out for myself. Take it for a test drive? I'm kind of worried that I didn't think of that myself.:)

I am pressed for time these days and was hoping to find something that I could practice for self -defense and fitness at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone, as they say.

I was thinking of something sporty but those FMA just look so cool and useful. I'm gonna take your advice and go check the schools out for myself.

THanks to everyone who took the time to answer my question. I really appreciate it.

#433680 - 08/23/11 08:45 AM Re: What are the health benefits of the FMA? [Re: Doh Sensei]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 921
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
FMA is like any other MARTIAL ART, it depends on the individual as to how they use it. I would put FMA in the same bracket as Kung Fu/Wing Chun regards it techniques with a lot of Chin Na style techniques coming in.

Doces Pares is probably the widest range of styles within a style, I think Guru Dan Inasanto is a practitioner of this style which has been Jeet Kune Do'd

I personally would love to learn Mano na Mano but got to wait till I go to the Philippines next year
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.



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