THE first thing that a martial artist should learn and emanate is courtesy as it paves the act and respect showcased by bowing done diversely by the different martial arts around the world.
In Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), just like the other martial arts, respect is rooted in its foundation as it represents the culture and tradition of the Filipino race and its heritage. It is said that skill or technique, no matter how good, without respect will never matter and will never be in the midst of greatness, respects transcends everything that is martial arts.
Respect is martial arts’ value that starts everything, ends everything and makes everything work. Martial arts is all about perfection of character that is grounded on the premise of respect that builds the overall persona of discipline.
The very reason why they say that martial arts is a way of life rather than just sports or self-defense class you attend to. For whatever reason, a true martial arts teacher must lead his students to the path of perfection of character even if their purpose at first is self-defense etc.
“Pugay po” is a phrase that connotes the highest gestured respect in the Filipino culture that should also be adapted and given importance in the Filipino Martial Arts community since its introduction to the martial arts. Mainstream Filipino Martial Arts have undergone positive and negative development that is revolutionizing local, national and even in the global stage.
What is alarming is the threat of diminishing values that is innate and important in FMA.
No matter how we revolutionize our Filipino Martial Arts, we must make sure the values that builds the discipline and respect of our students remains as the main objective of teaching and learning our very own FMA.
Pugay po is a phrase that will bring FMA to the Global mainstream not only blend but to dominate bringing with it the Filipino warrior identity with its rich traditional cultural heritage.