I recently attended another Arnis seminar with Guro Glen Valencia Sr. Guro Glen is a high ranking Filipino master of the arts of Arnis and Karate, and has been teaching for decades.
As he was describing some of the close details of Arnis and doing demos, the constant thought that jumped out is how similar this art is to Systema. And Aikido. And Silat. And _______________ (insert just about any art).
Quality arts that have withstood the test of time share many, many comparable movements. They may get from Point A to Point B in a slightly different fashion, but peel away the top layer and there is more in common than not.
We are also after the same basics – purposeful movement, steady relaxation, continual breathing and focusing on structure (maintaining our structure while breaking our opponents structure). The “how-to-do-this” is where the uniqueness and the fun enter the picture.
After noting the similarities YET again, the major conclusion I draw from it all is this:
“If you want to stand out in your art, don’t be different.