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Featured Quote:

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

Gentlemen's Blood by Barbara Holland Pt. 2

    A sword was always a sword, but pistols often misbehaved or misfired. The skillfull swordsman could inflict as much or as little damage as he wanted, but pistol duels were fraught with accident and surprise. You could kill an old friend who'd laughed at the wrong moment, instead of merely flicking a drop of blood from his arm and taking him out for a drink. Or you could hit the wrong target, which never happened with swords: In one duel in France, both parties fired simultaneously and simultaneously killed each other's second.

    When you'd killed a man with your personal sword and not by some proxy impersonal bullet, your sould ha killed his. When the victor claimed the sword of the fallen as his right and broke it over his knee, killing him in effigy, generations quivered. When Lee handed his sword at Appomattox, strong men wept. Some say Grant wept.
The above is another excerpt from Barbara Holland's book, Gentlemen's Blood, a great book relating the history of dueling in the west.
Today as I teach what is meant as a sword art, the Inayan System of Eskrima, I am often asked "why sticks or swords?" Insofar as practicality is concerned, when someone decides to learn Eskrima (Kali, Arnis, Escrima) they decided to train in an environment where the tools used to fight move many times faster than a foot or a fist. Learning to react in this way at that speed will pay dividends in the future when confronted with a fist fight. There is also a significant advantage psychologically when one is accustomed to weapon fights, and only fists and feet will be involved.
There is also something intensely more humane about fighting with a stick or sword. My father once taught me that, "to defeat an enemy with a weapon shows our humanity, and is more humane". Some may not agree with this sentiment, however, my father's reasoning was that in order to subdue an opponent with a tool such as  a sword, stick, or knife would take less blows and inflict less injury. As the above excerpt attests to this stentiment, think on any MMA fight, or Boxing match, let alone a street fight. In these types of fights the opponent is often pummeled into submission after suffering 100's of blows about the body and head. Though an effective means of hand to hand combat, it is hardly as elegant as a stick fight can be.
Learning how to practice Inayan Eskrima, differs from many martial arts, not just other Filipino Martial Arts. With our tradition comes a sense of ethics and proper conduct. My father sharply admonished me from fighting when I was young, for he refused to teach bullies. When you train in Inayan Eskrima you learn both the physical and academic aspects of martial arts, included in the training is the ability to control one's emotions and to properly cultivate and ethically use fighting spirit. This is vital to training with the tools of an Inayan Eskrimador.
Dueling is a nearly dead tradition in the west, but the ethics and spirit of it remain in the better martial art schools, and is still kept alive by the superior instructors. Though it has been many decades since a president of the United States of America has dueled on the lawn of the Whitehouse, the warrior's spirit is alive and well. I have had the privelage and honor to teach all across the US and abroad, and see proof of our fighting spirit everywhere I go.
Fighting hand to hand, armed or unarmed,  is an intimate endeavor, one which is very personal and very revealing. However, the first fight is between the minds of the teacher and the student. The trust and comraderie cultivated in classes across the US and abroad whom train in the Inayan System of Eskrima is a precious thing. It is also important to adhere to a code of conduct, so that everyone can achieve a higher sense of self knowledge and confidence. The last fight is whithin the mind of the warrior. Whether you have trained in Karate, Kung Fu, Wu Shu, Krav Maga, Ju Jitsu, Judo, Boxing or any other combat sport or art, you will find something special in training in the ITO and learning the Inayan System of Eskrima. When you start training in Inayan Eskrima, whithin the ITO you will overcome the two most important fights.

As my father would say: "Keep Training"
~Suro Jason Inay


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