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Try to correctly explain, overall without raise up polemics, origin of lethal, but at the same time so fascinating, south-east Asian martial arts is always an hard mission.
So we’ll leave it to a competent and neutral witness: history.Mappa Filippine Kali Silat

It’s necessary to make reference to cultures, time periods and religions often very different; it’s important to understand how, in that era, commercial and cultural trades between various people were so prosperous and fundamental to their survival.

China’s and India’s cultures and religious practices have been for such a very long time source of inspiration for Eastern world, that’s why they influenced almost all nearby countries.

The meeting of different populations naturally created mix of different traditions, often in bloodthirsty ways, with clashes, uprisings, or even battles between armies, which required both of parties a lot of human lives.

Warrior arts as Filipino Kali –  nowadays called arnis, arnis de mano or Escrima, as Indonesian and Malaysian Pencak Silat (from the so-called Mjapahit and Scrivijaya Reign), as Hakka Kuntao, from south China, often fight each other in the battle field, testing the validity of respective techniques.In that way they ended up with mixing styles, trying to steal enemy’s best and use it against himself or invent good counter-technique.

Religion always played a basic role; Christianity, Hinduism and Islamism were spreading over those places; but they were also influenced by local animist traditions, which were so strictly tied to martial roots, employed in the same collides which determined their fusion.

Looking all of this from a martial point of view, we can understand that these circumstances kept very updated and alive all their fighting systems, because they were constantly hard put and consequentially perfected, freed from everything that wasn’t useful enough in combat.

To conclude our reflection, we need to remember that ancient “martial” combat arts had overall the purpose to save us and let us survive to go back home to our families; any other sports features, like competitions and tournaments, had surely the value to broadcast these wonderful self-defense systems, but also, inevitably, emptied them of their most ancient and effective martial contents.

Most of them are now reduced to be mere sports activities, good only to score in a contest and win a trophy, losing their intrinsic martial values, which instead deserved to be protected and improved.

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