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The De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul®

To begin to understand the philosophy of the De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul®, we must first dissect the name and understand it's full meaning as well as the attached concepts.

A Bit of Grammar and History
De Alba is the family name of our martial arts' founder. This name has significant meaning and reflects more than the fact that this system was developed by him. The words De Alba can be translated from the Spanish language as "the Dawn of a New Day" or "Of the Dawn". As for this System of martial art, this directly implies that this is an art that has been systematically taken to a new age, and if you will, to a new level. Now, as for Modern Farang Mu Sul®, we need to break down those words. Modern is obvious, (actually translated from the Korean word "Hyun Dae"), but the word "Farang" is very interesting and has several translations. Such as "Knight", "Warrior", "Outsider" or "Wanderer". The context that it is used here is from an ancient group of historical Korean warriors. It is used to pay homage and reference to their fighting spirit, which was legendary in Korean history. The words Mu Sul are also Korean and can be translated as " Martial Art ", " Military Art ", " Warrior Art " or "the Fighting Art of ". For our purposes here, it represents the last version: "The Fighting Art", as this system is more than a "Way ( Do in Korean)" or "System ( Ryu in Korean) ". Although it does contain these elements, the main focus and purpose of this system lies in its fighting applications. It is a system designed for self-defense, as well as self-empowerment and character development. There are many benefits that come from martial arts training. Benefits such as self-confidence, better mental and physical fitness, coordination, self-discipline and self-defense among numerous others. It is the philosophy of this system that all of these are by-products of serious training in a martial art that emphasizes "Self Defense". Therefore, the De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul® is meant to translate as "the Modern Warriors Fighting Art".

The Philosophy
One of the logos for this system is a sun rising from the horizon of the ocean, encased in double border triangle -pic-. Extraordinary symbolism is represented here. We have "heaven and earth", "fire and water", "balance, harmony and Umm/Yang", "the dawn of a new day", "our projected image and reflection", there is the symbolism contained in "all things three (the triangle)", "mind, body and spirit", "Yu - Won - Hap / Kang - Kak - Kan (of the Umm/Yang ), "impenetrable defense" and "indomitable spirit" among many, many other things.

Yu - Soft
Won - Circular
Hap - Unite

- Hard
Kak - Linear
Kahn - Separate

Combative, practical, comprehensive and progressive are just a few words used to describe the De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul®. Developed by Grand Master Michael De Alba, Modern FMS® was created with a unique and very open-minded approach.

With over 40yr. of experience in the martial arts (*see Biography page), Grand Master Michael De Alba has used his study of numerous systems to create his own expression of a comprehensive and combat effective art. Drawing from his personal trainings of the already vast knowledge contained in the Korean martial arts of the Farang (aka: Farang Do, Farang Kwan, Hwarang Do, Farang/Tae Kwon Do, Hwarang/Hapki Do, etc.) as foundation, Grand Master De Alba has not limited this art to only one version of "the truth". De Alba combines the valuable techniques and traditions of classical "Farang" with effective training methods, techniques and influences from other sources into the De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul®.

The De Alba system integrates the key elements of Kickboxing, Trapping, Grappling, Joint Locks, Pressure Points, Weapons and much more into an easy to learn, functional program, making Modern FMS® indeed one of the most versatile and multi-faceted arts in existence today.

The philosophy is that all "true martial arts" offer it's participants the opportunity to learn about themselves, grow and develop as "better persons". Someone with morals, respect, dignity and a sense of duty and a higher purpose in life. These human attributes are to be obtained through serious, diligent and rigorous self defense training. Notice we didn't just say, "martial arts" training. We said, SELF DEFENSE training. What we are trying to accomplish here is to help each and every student find their calling and develop true self defense capabilities. This art not like a "box (or any other shape) that everyone must fit into or conform to", but rather more akin to water. As an element, "water has many properties, and can be poured into any shape, and will assume that shape". This "shape" is the individual. Because, with hard training, a more conscientious person should mature. By having real confidence that you can defend yourself, you will most likely not feel the need to always prove yourself, to be more compassionate, reasonable, and "turn the other cheek". Even better yet, to use our intelligence and turn situations into a "win - win" situation. This can not be accomplished by going through the static paces of a rout and outdated system. Self defense is too dynamic. One does not have the luxury of picking our favorite technique to respond to what ever is presented to us (just like in the dojang). Because of course, we've got all the answers, right? Not when Murphy's Law kicks in.

Murphy's Law: "That which can go wrong, WILL go wrong"

The De Alba System strives to develop every students' skills as instinctive reflexes. We try to remove the thought process, because when it is time to do something, …that moment is NOT the time to realize that "you are being attacked wrong", or "the wrong side" or "this is not fair", "we don't bite/ gouge/ head butt" or "do ground fighting", or "we don't do weapons until Black Belt", etc. This is "the X factor" that this art provides. Taking the time to honestly ask ourselves:

Will this really work?

Why am I doing this?

Is there a better way to train this or a way to safely test this?

The De Alba System is VERY comfortable with asking:


It starts by structuring a well rounded foundation and systematically building upon it. Constant, ongoing research is the standard, with the ultimate goal of reaching "the truth" in combat (martial arts) and developing the most resourceful and skilled martial artist possible. Modern Farang Mu Sul® is therefore an amalgamation of various arts in Grand Masters' repertoire, but traces it's main roots to four versions of "Classical Farang Do" that he trained in. Some of the main distinguishing aspects of Modern Farang Mu Sul® are it's focus on practical self defense and it's quite progressive approach to improvement of the art and the individual student. Not to be understated are practical conventional and unconventional weapons as well as CQC (Close Quarter Combat). With experience ranging from the not so friendly streets of the Bay View / Hunters Point District and gang infested Mission Districts of San Francisco, to working with several elements of various Special Forces (Rangers, Green Berets, Seals, etc.) of the U.S. Military, to a number of law enforcement agencies, The De Alba System has not settled for anything less than the best. These techniques and tactics have been tested, proven and subsequently incorporated into a functional all around program.

Here's the Beef
So WHY, develop yet another martial art style you may ask? First we must realize that ALL martial arts came from somewhere. They were not "just there". There was a very specific need to defend oneself and SOMEONE found a way, and developed some kind of system based on his (or her) personal philosophy and actual findings. They searched for their own answer, and eventually others followed them. The answer here is, that despite the existence of so many systems, very few truly offer the combative, comprehensive training elements, (and so well done) as this system. Sadly, the little (martial art systems) that do, are too few and far between. Some might make the claim that their art is "Very Comprehensive" and "Extremely Effective", etc. But unfortunately, the truth is they are NOT. Too much time is devoted to "the organized mess" or deep subservience to the personality of a dynamic figure who is not Superman, not a King or even a religious martyr, but in fact, after all, only human too. Crucial survival skills are ignored. It is almost a sin to glance over or give "lip service" to such key areas of true self defense. Areas such as truly effective, practical, and progressive long, middle and close quarter combat. Modern psychology, warriors' mentality, and thorough weapons training that apply to the needs of today are rarely seen.

We are not trying to re-invent the wheel. Simply make a better tire

Sure, high flying triple spinning kicks are beautiful and granted, very difficult to master. But even MORE DIFFICULT is to apply them to a real combat situation. Remember, if your life or the life of a loved one is at stake, you do not want to rely on complex, fancy or weak and impractical moves. Moves that you have to think about or remember their application. Even worse would be not knowing what to do. The proverbial "drawing a blank" is one of the most terrifying feelings in the world. Our systems' founder was constantly left disappointed by so many of the claims of the systems he studied and researched. Claims such are being a "comprehensive / balanced / practical / effective" art, of offering teachings of "ancient philosophy of sages, functional, progressive, modern thinking and warriors mentality" etc. Instead he found, time and time again, a severe lacking in the understanding on how to apply these "classical / traditional" arts to the real demands of today. Despite the wealth of techniques and beautiful, flowery words, they would still be inundated in dogma, huge egos, personal agendas, stiff and outdated techniques and training methods. As said before, it is not the art but rather the individual that counts.

The Bottom Line
There are many reasons that motivate people to begin the study of a martial art, but the number one reason is SELF DEFENSE. If we wanted to "get in shape and loose some weight", then we can take up jogging or aerobics. If we are looking for some social interactions, the options are numerous, such as joining a fitness club or tennis club, etc. But, if we are looking for skills on how do defend ourselves, then practicing martial arts is the answer. Now, most martial arts claim to be "the best", "the ultimate", "the original /traditional art", etc, etc. Come on, now do you think this is truly possible, or really matters? The value of a "style" is in the congruent physical, spiritual and mental components that reflect the philosophy of the given system, and should be measured and valued on how the art stands up by itself and the usefulness that it provides to the interested student. This IS martial arts that we are discussing, right? Self defense arts, right? Do we really believe that an attacker is concerned if you have training in a "traditional style, or trained by a world champion, …what belt / degree you possess, or how many trophies you've won"? IF there WAS such a thing as "the best" martial art, well then we wouldn't need all of the styles that are out there. We would all be doing that one!…This is pretty absurd, and only serves to feed large egos (and greedy pockets). Martial arts are as individualistic as they are diverse. They all bring something special to the students involved.

"Different strokes for different folks"

Furthermore, as martial arts begin to receive more exposure and interaction with one another, it has become obvious that as great as any one style may be, it can learn some very valuable lessons / techniques from other styles. So much so that to see schools that offer several arts or an instructor that combines several arts are now becoming commonplace. Can you say "cross training"? How, or better WHY do you think that the development of "mixed martial arts" sports (ie: UFC, Pride, Vale Tudo, etc.) have become a phenomena? We need to maintain an open mind.

In the case of the De Alba System of Modern Farang Mu Sul®, practicing a diversity of combat methods is NOT what makes this such a practical, or comprehensive art, but rather, Modern Farang Mu Sul® is a mindset (psychological concepts). What we are trying to say is that self-defense is 99% mental. There is much more to it than physical techniques. One should live life to the fullest, with zeal, respect, in peace and harmony. But, be very clear that we are not meant to be "victims" for anyone. As a result, this entails accepting responsibility for our own health and future as much as the consequences of our actions and interactions with others. This begins with our attitude and the energy that we project to others. The integration of our psychological and physical tactics reflects in every aspect of our lives, as natural and spontaneously as a clap of the hands and the echo that is produced. This, in turn gives everything much deeper meaning.

Reality Check
Grand Master De Alba firmly believes that one reacts to how one is conditioned. And in a real life situation, we don't know who our attacker will be, what his skill or true intentions are. There are too many uncertainties, therefore,…..... train it all. Take the initiative to be prepared, and not wait until the actual moment to realize that you should have done more.

"Luck should mean when opportunity meets with preparation"

Remember, we are in a new millennium, not 1940 or 1950, much less 15th century Asia. Nowadays there are guns, ATM muggings, unbelievable hi-tech drugs, urban gangs, etc. Not to mention the incredible stress of daily life. We need options, wholesome releases and all the training we can get! We are not suggesting any type of paranoia, only a healthy sense of awareness and honesty, to at least ourselves.

"Because it far better to have the knowledge, not the need, than to have the need and not the knowledge"

This is truly a deep martial art with many valuable concepts and endless technique applications. Assimilating this huge body of knowledge is made possible by Grand Master De Alba's conceptual approach to teaching the material. He succeeds in exposing the sometimes intangible and elusive roots or essence of the given techniques, and systematically demonstrates their connection to the individual as applied to all areas of combat. Therefore giving the art a new universal life and practical, usefulness to every student.

A martial art without philosophy is like sailing on the ocean without a compass or charts. Modern FMS® goes beyond the survival oriented street fighters mentality into the philosophical, yet fierce warrior's attitude inherent in the Modern Farang Mu Sul® Creed.


Correctness in Attitude

Excellence in Training

Directness in Action

Effectiveness in Combat

Humility in Heart

Strength in Character

Freedom in Expression

Thirst in Knowledge

Power in Truth

Respect in Wisdom


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DSYSTEM.com web service (the "Service") contains material derived in whole or in part from the teachings of Grand Master Michael De Alba, the International De Alba System Confederation™, Modern Farang Mu Sul ® and their students, instructors, and associates. International copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws protect these materials. Users, guests and visitors may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way or in any form, any material from the Service including code and software. Users, visitors and guests may download material from the Service for personal, non-commercial use only, provided all copyright and other proprietary notices are clearly visible and intact. Commercial use, reference or linkage to the Service site, without the express written permission, of Michael De Alba or his assigns, by registered letter, is prohibited.Copyright 2001® DeAlba Productions

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