Uninterested in subscribing to any one system and having no tolerance for politics, his school is beyond the reach of narcissistic hierarchies and the self-serving associations, organizations and federations that spring up around them. Thus, while remaining deeply respectful of the storied history and culture of the Philippines, he is immune to the petty rivalries that plague the continued evolution of their legendary indigenous fighting arts.
Known for his explosiveness and precision, Mark teaches FMA with a razor-sharp focus on real-world functionality.
Regularly cross-referencing the combat and duel-tested time and distance-control methods of European Fencing, which had a profound influence on the Filipino Martial Arts, he trains his students to wade into battle like Eskrimadors, armed to the teeth and secure in the proven effectiveness of their arts.
Eskrima / Kali / Arnis – Used as umbrella terms to describe a vast array of weapon-based fighting arts from the Philippines, these terms have become almost generic in recent years, often taking turns being more popular. Depending on the region, bladed weapons are more or less emphasized, with stick fighting being the most common denominator.
There are many weapon categories, including single stick (single sword, single ax, etc.), double stick, stick and shield, stick and knife, single knife, double knife, long staff, pocket stick, flexible weapons (flail, chain whip, bullwhip, etc.) and improvised weapons.
In addition to the advanced weaponry for which it is best known, FMA also includes lesser-known unarmed sub-arts designed to function independently, as well as in support of the weapon.
Pangamut and Panatukan encompass the empty hand or boxing phase. However, while the use of the fist is definitely represented, use of the open hand, forearm and elbow are given equal if not greater emphasis, along with the shoulder and forehead.
Pananjakman and Sikaran are essentially kickboxing methods. The focus here is on unadulterated stopping power, using the feet, shins and knees.
Dumog is grappling, both in stand-up fighting and ground fighting, with and without weapons.
Kinomutay is often referred to as the pinching and tearing art of FMA, with the emphasis here on targeting the inherent vulnerabilities of the human anatomy. Nerve attacks and vital points are exploited to the fullest, using fingers, bony points and teeth… but inflicting excruciating pain is only part of the menu; tearing off lips, ears and eyelids is the main course.*
*While such unmitigated savagery may seem absolutely unthinkable when considered in a vacuum, keep in mind that these methods were originally developed for jungle warfare, where no holds barred really meant NO HOLDS BARRED.