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Featured Quote:

"The [Inay(an)] System (of Eskrima) is Complete" ~ Mangisursuro Inay 1944-2000

Authentic and True Inayan

 

So there are quite a few groups out there claiming the Inay name as the main or soul influence of their art. This is great actually; Mangisursuro wanted the art of his family to be widespread. But just what makes Inayan really from the Inay family? Is it enough to put his name on the website, maybe some pictures with him, and teach the moves? Or is there more? Is Inayan really just a collection of moves and an experience? Generally speaking, when we use vague and abstract descriptions about things as well as some evocative language we call that rhetoric. Nice stuff rhetoric, it seems to have a causal relationship, and in this case create a sense of authenticity, but that is just so much smoke and mirrors. Truth is, Inayan is what you make of it, each of us, his students who actually trained with him diligently have a different set of experiences and memories, and we call this Inayan. The real litmus test is if you ask yourself, if he was here right now exactly, "what would he really say to me?" When I look at my daughter and my sister, his granddaughter and daughter, I can hear the answer.

 

 

 

Whatever the answer you would imagine it to be... Some things that are absolutely compulsory to be authentically Inayan are listed below. I was thinking about this today, because I was planning the events and other elements for the ITO/ISE for the next year, and asked myself why? You see, of all of Mangisursuro's students, I was known as the kid disturbance in class most often, and seemed to always be mad and grumpy in class. Truth was I didn't really care about my classmates as much as having the opportunity to train hard and spend time with my father. I liked training with my classmates, some of them still teach today, some of them only really started teaching and being actively Inayan after my dad died. I was just more interested in what I could learn instead of a social networking activity. Having been there since the beginning, I have seen people come and go... Friends became strangers or worse, sometimes enemies. It was always more interesting to keep training in Inayan rather than make friends, and I was too young to make drinking buddies. When Mangisursuro was alive still, my class was one of the longest standing classes besides his own. In fact my classes are now the oldest ongoing group of Inayan practitioners, with the help of my sister, Sursuro Jena Inay, and my uncles Sursuro De Fanti and Sursuro Peterson. Also my uncles Master Estrella, Master Tacosa, Master Concepcion, and Maha Guro Inosanto have also helped greatly with keeping the Inayan tradition going in the home and birthplace of the Inayan System of Eskrima. This month on the 27th of September will be the 9th anniversary of the passing of Mangisursuro Mike Inay, and the following details some of the most important parts of Inayan, and what makes your training truly and authentically Inayan if it is so with your teacher. These are standing requirements and or traditions designated and required by Great Grand Master Mike Inay, and are still propagated by his children and heirs Jason Inay and Jena Inay, to be considered Original Inayan.

 

 

 

First, is it practical and does it really work? Or, is it just a drill for the sake of training a drill? Nothing is added to the sylabus of the Inayan curriculum unless it is practical and presents new information, rehashing the same skill set is not creation it is merely the shuffling of the deck, not a new deck of cards. Can what is being taught be related and utilized in the context of a fight, either a street fight, or a full contact stick fight? This pragmatic-centric theme in training material is exactly why anyone becoming an instructor under the banner of Inayan MUST/HAVE-TO/MANDATORILY engages in Full-Contact Fighting with minimal safety precautions. You see, Mangisursuro valued empirical knowledge at least as much (if not more) as the ability to memorize and regurgitate the basic drills, techniques and exercises. I once had an argument with Mangisursuro about the promotion of a student to the 5th level, I felt his ability on an aesthetic and flow level was far below the standard of Inayan, Mangisursuro replied with, "Though he is not pretty, he can fight with it, and he can defend himself, which is of far more importance".

 

 

 

Secondly, the tactical and practical use of projectile weapons must be covered. Both hand-assisted (Thrown) and mechanical-assisted projectiles are considered to be very important. Mangisursuro covered the practical use and strategies appropriate to their use for advanced students (3rd level and up). There is some historical basis for this, including how the Filipinos are reputed to carry three Filipino Sai's, one to throw and two to engage at close quarters. It is alleged that this particular tactic was very successful with the Spanish Conquistadors.

 

 

 

Flexible, Semi-Flexible, and by extension improvised weaponry is also essential to understanding the Inayan Sytem of Eskrima as a fighting method. At the advanced level it is required for you to become familiar and proficient with flexible weapons, as well as be able to adapt what you have been learning and training with to improvised weaponry. The ability to attack and defend with this weapon grouping has great practicality for street fighting and self-defense scenarios. This should be studied thoroughly.

 

 

 

Mangisursuro also advocated familiarity and proficiency with firearms, for this reason the Inayan System of Eskrima students regularly gather for shooting range outings and cover basic firearm safety. When he was around it was a more informal thing, and now it is much more formal. Inayan Guro Hutchinson most often covers this material at the Home school.

 

 

 

Mangisursuro also wanted his instructors to be able to heal people as well as hurt them. It was a requirement for all instructor candidates to be proficient with a healing art. Mangisursuro himself was proficient in two healing arts. Included but not limited to this category is massage, herbology, reflexology, acupressure, iridology, and aromatherapy. Of all of his students, Sursuro Jena Inay, his daughter, has taken this the furthest. Sursuro Inay has her own massage clinic and practice and treats many people every week. Mangisursuro Inay and Sursuro De Fanti created the Dit Da Jow recipe that many Inayan practitioners use today. Suro Inay's particular healing arts are massage, herbology, and recently hypnotherapy.

 

 

 

Music is also a must for anyone teaching Inayan, it was important for instructors to be able to drum in class, as this is a vital part of the tradition of the Inayan System of Eskrima. Classes were often accompanied by drumming, I remember as a boy the drumming in class, and how the police often came to the house for noise complaints. It was often common for Mangisursuro to have "Hoot-n-nannies" with some of his students, we would play Bob Dylan or Eagles tunes, sometimes Dire Straits, as well as other music on our guitars or drum along, and sing together. Sometimes hard on the ears but always enjoyable, these music sessions were fun. This helped teach rhythm and flow as well as how to break it in another while fighting them.

 

 

 

Finally, lectures were an integral part of the experience of training in the Inayan System of Eskrima under Mangisursuro. Every class the Grand Master would talk about some element of the warrior's tradition and how it related to our Inayan training. Mangisursuro would read from books about tactics, warrior spirit, or military history and relate it to the lessons of the day. He also would speak about the art and how it should be used ethically and how people should conduct themselves in representing the art. Though we sometimes fall short of our own expectations, he felt it was important to always strive fore more, for being better than you are. There is an extensive list of materials, required by Mangisursuro, which any Inayan practitioner should be familiar with.

 

 

 

When combined with the physical material of the Inayan System of Eskrima, traditions of Inayan, and Inayan Code of Conduct, you may realize the rich tradition and the completeness of the ISE and the great opportunity it is to train in Mangisursuro Mike Inay's Inayan. When you train, in the ITO, and work on the Inayan System of Eskrima you are guided through this. Sursuro Inay and Suro Inay take great effort to make available the materials needed to maintain this authenticity, to realize the Original Inayan traditions. So as you might see yourself training this way, know that this is the way that Mangisursuro intended his art to be practiced and propagated for future generations. As you take advantage of this opportunity, perhaps you will experience a connection to the old traditions that Mangisursuro Mike Inay, through the ISE/ITO, established for you.

 

 

 

Keep Training

 

Suro Inay

 

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