What a great night of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) here in Seattle! Jay Ignacio (producer, director, editor), and co-producer Sonny Sisson brought his 90 minute documentary on the impact of FMA on the Filipino culture worldwide to a packed house at Kane Hall at the University of Washington last night.
Filmed over several years on three different continents, "The Bladed Hand" is the first, dare I say only, film to address the question; "What is the Filipino cultural gift to the world?" Answer... their martial traditions! Unique. Beautiful. Rich in tradition, the FMA represent the heart and soul of a people rich in culture that for the most part is unknown outside of the PI! And the filmmakers noted..."FMA is more popular and understood outside of the Philippines then with the people whom it originated."
Jay Ignacio was meticulous in his research and editing ensuring inter family politics and bullshit were left out of the film (for those unaware jealousy and secrecy are the Achilles heal with the FMA), leaving only a pure transmission of the heart of FMA. Do not be mistaken, this is NOT an instructional film! Though teachers demonstrate their techniques and movements, the film focuses on the larger picture and does not focus on teaching any specific moves or techniques. Interviews with such luminaries as Danny Inosanto, Leo Gaje Jr., Ron Balicki, Jeff Imada, etc. make this documentary all the more authoritive in its scope.
It was great to see such support from the local FMA community, which is not really surprising since we have such a strong contingent of FMA practitioners here in the PAC NW! I finally got to meet Mr. Hufana, as well as catch up with a few old friends. Wish I had more time to stick around and make some new ones, but all in due time.
If you missed out on the screening here in Seattle you will have to be patient and wait until after the first of the year, as Jay promises a release early next year with a DVD packed with extras and additional interviews. However you get ahold of it make sure you see this film, I cannot stress how important the work that Jay has done for the FMA community worldwide.
Click here for more info and to be directed to The Bladed Hand FB page.