Filipino martial arts (FMA) can be viewed with a human behavior and the social environment (HBSE) theory lens.
1) At the macro level, martial arts are theories of how to fight effectively with or without a weapon (i.e., how to use your limbs and your mind with high-level skill); the different types evolve out of and are the products of their environment (geography, culture, socioeconomic conditions). FMA is a Filipino theory of combat, the many styles, a testament to the diversity of environments in the Philippines and the thousands of years of engagement with many nations, some as friends, others as foes.
2) At the micro level, men and women are driven by biologically-based instincts to want to fight, and fight effectively by knowing martial arts. Think, for example, of Freud (e.g., his grand theory) who said we are motivated by sex and aggressive drives. Men who can fight very well get the girl; women who kick ass get the attention of the toughest guys in the village. Men and women who can dominate others by harnessing their aggression in a deadly martial art survive and transmit their genes.
Men and women learn by observing and copying their teachers (learning theories); teachers teach by conditioning both voluntary and involuntary reactions to stimuli (classical and operant conditioning). Students are drawn to certain teachers because of unmet relationship needs from their parents; teachers are drawn to certain students to have a second, third, fourth opportunity to raise a child; both stay together to belong to a tight-knit family (attachment theory and Erikson’s psychosocial development theory).
3) At the level of the social and the cultural that operates over time, FMA aren’t just combative arts, they are also a way of life, a legitimate identity. Fighters integrate into their social , cultural and thus, personal identity their school and its fighting style. Because of this, FMA can shape a worldview, personality, and therefore, behavior
It is fascinating to know that something my ancestors invented can be so versatile in modern life. This page is a work in progress. It contains my blog posts where I use FMA as a frame of reference, as an analytical tool for some things we care about, like politics. I welcome your comments.