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My dedication to the practice and study of the Filipino martial arts (FMA) got a boost on the arm recently after knowing Chicago-based escrimadores Michael Querubin and Romeo Maguigad. The duo is the creator of the new dynamic FMA website fmapulse.com.
“The team at fmapulse.com is presenting the Filipino Martial Arts to the world via the Internet using Web 2.0 technology. Users can interact with one another in a setting much like Myspace or Facebook, only that we are focused primarily on the FMA. This online community will give users around the world the ability to share, learn, teach and stay current with what’s going on in the world of the FMA,” explains Querubin, adding, “We feel there is no better time than now to really bring the rich history and culture of the Filipino Martial Arts to a new level of recognition comparable to other well known martial art disciplines.”
One commendable mission of the website is to unify the global FMA community. As in other martial arts disciplines, differences in stylistic preferences and opinions often result to bitter rivalries and factions among FMA practitioners around the world. Commenting on the issue, Querubin relates that fmapulse.com provides a venue where practitioners can participate, share their views and ideas and unite to help further promote the FMA in a positive way across the globe.
In my conversations with Querubin and Maguigad, both men expressed their desire to elevate the status of FMA masters with that of the martial arts of other countries. While the FMA are recognized the world over for its effectiveness, its masters, past and present do not share the same prestige as that of Jigoro Kano (Judo) and Gichin Funakoshi (Karate) of Japan or Yip Man (Wing Chun Kung Fu) of China. Querubin remarks, “If these countries have such masters, why can’t the Philippines?”
Querubin and Maguigad are harnessing the utmost capability of the Web to bring to the world the FMA in the most creative way. Expounding on the other unique features of the site, Querubin said, “Not only will this online social network cater to practicing FMA students and instructors, but also to anyone interested in learning about the Filipino Martial Arts and culture.
Besides connecting people together, the site will be offering viewers their own personal blog, articles, announcements of upcoming FMA events and monthly video or audio pod-casts of different FMA instructors and their respective styles. This will give viewers a chance to get to know these leading FMA instructors and their styles on a more in-depth level.”
By Perry Gil S. Mallari – Sunday, June 07, 2009
(From Mr. Mallari’s “Martial Talk” column in the Manila Times)