I’m tired of Filipino Martial Arts

Sometimes, even I find it hard to believe  that less than two years ago, I didn’t care a bit about Filipino Martial Arts. I didn’t care because I knew next to nothing about it. Sure, I knew that Arnis (as Filipino Martial Arts is popularly called here) was the Philippines’ “new” national sport replacing sipa, and that it used sticks as weapons. But that was it.

Now if you let me enumerate all the things I love, FMA would be easily included. It has helped me become fit and healthy and confident. It has introduced me to worlds that I never knew existed before.

FMA made me happy.

But somehow these past few weeks have been different. I seem to have lost the spark. The excitement and hunger diminished and the emotions were no longer raw. Whereas before, I looked forward to every training session, reveled in it, and then went home only to read and watch some more, now even my FMA Facebook remain mostly closed.   I’m bored, uninterested, and tired.

My rational mind labels this weariness as burnout.


:the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a job for a long time (Merriam-Webster)

Well, although my case is probably mild, I know that that’s what I have. And because I know the diagnosis, I also know the cure.

I. need. a. break.

That’s why my sticks and blades quietly rest in their cases now.

In the meantime, I rest, run, and do strengthening exercises. Sometimes though,  when I do arm exercises I long for my weapons…

But the longing is not enough to make me take them out of their cases. Not now, not yet.

I’m on vacation.


I’m sure I’ll eventually come back.

But for now,  I rest.


21 thoughts on “I’m tired of Filipino Martial Arts

  1. Frank Aycocho October 20, 2014 / 3:35 AM

    Joy, I felt the same way but does not mean I quit my martial arts passion in the concept of sports.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:18 AM

      Hi GM Frank! I’m glad to know that you also felt the same way but did not quit. Well, I’m not quitting either; just taking a break. 🙂

  2. JBruce October 20, 2014 / 5:49 AM

    I know exactly how you feel, actually this article is well timed. I’m not nearly as excited about my daily training as I normally am. It’s been this way for about a month. So I’ve decided to take a temporary step back. Here’s to hoping we grow into a feeling of overwhelming FMA deprivation and go running back.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:26 AM

      Hi JBruce. Thank you very much for visiting and commenting. After I wrote this article, I learned that burnout is not rare. Several long-time practitioners told me that they also had it one time or another. For now, both of us are in the same boat. I’ve not been training, not read nor written much about FMA, and I got busy with other sports (I’ve signed up for a full marathon in February 2015). But I think I’ll be taking small FMA doses starting next week. I do miss it a bit.
      I noticed you used the word “temporary.” How are you now?

  3. Herbert "Dada" Inocalla October 20, 2014 / 10:19 PM

    A good music has a speed , slow & pause , like a flow of water in the river , sometimes it’s rapid like a waterfalls, tight, lose & sometimes a lagoon but the water continues moving going to the ocean same thing in life & training . It says ,” Don’t compare your life to a muddy & stagnant water beause life is a constant flow.” Anandamurtijii.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:29 AM

      Thank you very much Dada. That’s a picturesque and wise way of putting it. “…life is a constant flow.”

  4. HALFORD E. JONES October 21, 2014 / 12:05 AM

    iI tried to leave a comment earlier but the internet acted up as usual and erased my reply. Essentially, I urged you not to beome a ‘NINGAS COGON’ which happens to many in FMA & other martial arts as they start out exceedingly well and deeply motivated and then hit an ‘impasse” and enter a ‘fog’ that obscures things for them, rendering their aims and goals to grow stale. The ‘interval’ known as an OCTAVE occurs for nearly all lines of ‘work’, endeavor, effort’ etc. and two otehr lines may well divert you and these are one negative and the other neutral….if your original ine was ‘positive’. Most persons do not see hw this works and so their life merely happens. The LAW OF THREE operates in various ways but I do not have time to discuss this in full. FMA AND THOSE WHO ARE IN IT DO NOT ALWAYS PRESENT THEMSELVES OR HE ARTS in a manner that will enhance the arts and help others but tend to be merely ‘self-serving’. I do not think you are in this particular mode, which most beginners appoach early everything in life, but you do have the second stage which is to help others along the way. EVentually if you continue, and I certainly hope you do and will, you will do everything for the ARt and not for yourself or others, as many usually end ujp doing.I don’t expect ;you to grasp this right now or to fully undersatnd what this means and will mean in your life later on.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:35 AM

      Halford, thank you very much. Like the previous comment by Dada Inocalla, Ningas Cogon is also a picturesque and wise way of putting it. And I like to understand more the LAW OF THREE and think which stage I’m really in.

  5. j-cip lim October 21, 2014 / 2:33 PM

    Ang ganda. You are a good writer sweetheart

  6. Running Honeybee October 27, 2014 / 11:59 AM

    Mixing up your workout will do you good. Enjoy your break and be back stronger! 🙂

    • littleblackbelt November 2, 2014 / 1:54 AM

      I agree with Honeybee. Sometimes when I’ve taken a break from the sports I love the most (taekwondo and swimming) I come back refreshed and in better form. Taking a mental and physical break isn’t such a bad thing, and recognizing that you’re experiencing burnout will help you from wanting to give up FMA entirely or get hurt. Best of luck to you…

      • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:40 AM

        You’re right Honeybee and littlebackbelt. Taking a break isn’t such a bad thing. I’ve signed up for a full marathon in February 2015 and training for is a refreshing break from martial arts. Yes, If I didn’t step back at this time I’d probably become so weary that I’d quit and never come back! Thank you.

  7. tacticaltaekwondo November 5, 2014 / 5:41 PM

    HI there

    It could be that you need a break but in the words of a great trainer, to be good at anything you have to fall in love with the long walk.

    Think about anything in your life, probably nothing is a fun or as enjoyable as it once was.

    I guess a good analogy is a relationship. when i was younger i really enjoyed the first couple of months of a new relationship, so much so that i would constantly go looking for that first 2 month experience.

    imagine the opposite, if everyday for years you significant other couldn’t live without you was always calling always wanted to see you. Eventually you would burn out and leave the desperate nutter.

    It is the same thing with the arts. Getting to the point where you stop making obvious progress every session and it becomes more like work is the begining of the long walk.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 8:48 AM

      The “desperate nutter” part of your comment made me chuckle! 😀
      But you are so right. I guess that’s what happened — FMA filled my daily life for months — if I wasn’t training, I was thinking, watching, reading, writing about it. I do need step back awhile and “fall in love with the long walk.” Thanks for commenting.

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 9:07 AM

      Hi Lobo. Thank you very much for this. I actually read your comment and tips last week but just didn’t have the energy to reply (sorry, the burnout was that bad). Were they written out of experience?
      Anyway, I took your tips seriously and numbers 6 and 7 are my favorites.
      6. Widen your horizon — I’m studying sports nutrition now and intensified my run training by signing up for a full marathon in February 2015.
      7. Go on a martial arts safari — I already called up some friends who are in judo, fencing, and archery. And they are just happy to have me take a look.
      Thanks a lot Lobo.

  8. Mio November 12, 2014 / 8:14 AM

    That’s ok. You need to rest. Music is interval between notes. What is important at this point is that you already have the knowledge, skill, character, and instinct that you can use when the need arises. For me, and I think for the rest of your colleagues in the group, that is all that matters for now. 🙂

    • thedeadlydance November 22, 2014 / 9:10 AM

      Mio, that’s a great insight — music is interval between notes. This is just a break. I’ll come back.

Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s