One of my training-mates is a father and son tandem, Eli and his 17 year old son, Bot, a college student taking up Civil Engineering.
This morning, after our practice I did a quick interview:
Joy: How did you start in Filipino Martial Arts?
Eli: In college, I joined a martial arts club called Arjuka which stood for Arnis, Judo, Karate, and Aikido. We would practice three times a week learning the basics of each.
Bot: When I was in first year high school, Arnis was our PE. I was bored with it because almost all we did was practice Redonda and Sinawali for one hour every week, for 5 months. And for the final exam, we were asked to get a partner and if we were able to make our sticks “contact well”, we passed. Easy enough, so I passed. I didn’t enjoy the class.
Joy: Why are you in Filipino Martial Arts now?
Eli: I always wanted to learn Filipino Martial Arts because it’s Filipino and I’m Filipino. Aside from that, I like it because it’s a system that uses different weapons and that it’s very applicable to real-life fights.
Bot: My dad convinced me (chuckling softly).
Joy: Why did you want your son to learn Filipino Martial Arts?
Eli: When he was in high school, I knew that soon, his school work would require him to stay late in school. I wanted him to learn skills to make him confident when he has to commute home alone. I believe that Filipino Martial Arts could teach him those skills.
Bot: Dad explained the reason why I needed to learn it and then showed me some movies like Game of Death with Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto. In the Bourne series, Dad said “See, with Filipino Martial Arts, even a ballpen can be deadly.” That convinced me.
Joy: In high school you were bored with Filipino Martial Arts. How do you feel about it now?
Bot: I enjoy training now. Of course the training is more serious. I have to learn more challenging techniques and I usually go home with sore muscles. But I like it because it helps me be fit and healthy, and teaches me techniques I can use in the streets if ever something bad would happen.
Joy: Do you see yourself staying in Filipino Martial Arts for years to come?
Bot: Most definitely.