Philosophy of Farang Mu Sul and how it fits with Medieval Knights

Ironside Medieval Combat was founded on the ideals of bringing all sword fighting groups together to learn and inspire one another to greatness.  We developed a strong martial curriculum based on training, fitness, and nutrition.  Yet something was missing.  Every tournament fighters were reminded of sportsmanship, and every tournament visiting fighters would thank us or remark they had never heard sportsmanship made so important.  Through training, research, and discussing at length with other martial artists we happened upon the problem and solution.

Martial arts has two basic parts to it.  The martial side is the fighting side.  The kicking, punching, techniques, tournaments, and all the brutality of hard fighting.  Its the side that trains hard and plays hard, often getting bruised and injured.  The art side is the performance, ritualistic, and meditative side.  The katas, performances, drills without contact, and the soft and gentle approach.  When taken to their most negative and extremes the martial side are uneducated brawlers; the art are the unskilled McDojos.  However, if you combine the two they bring each other into balance and the soul of a system is born.  Martial arts combines skills with honor, physical and mental toughness, hard training with intelligence and taking care of your body.  It goes from being a fun hobby to a life style.

Back to the problem and solution for Ironside Medieval Combat.  Dispute our approach to training Ironside’s weapons training was too heavy on the Martial side.  We were missing the art and thus out of balance.  Farang Mu Sul has filled in the missing pieces enhancing our curriculum opening doors and opportunities we never thought possible.

A bit of Grammar and History

Modern Farang Mu Sul is four words all with deep meaning.  First, Modern, this system was developed by Grand Master Michael De Alba.  He systematically brought this system into the new age and to a new level incorporating modern day strategies and styles from a number of sources.  The word “Farang” is Korean and has several translations such as knight, warrior, outsider, and wanderer (De Alba, “De Alba System Modern Farang Mu Sul Philosophy”) .  The Farang were essentially Korean knights.  Right there sparked the interest and beginning connections for Ironside Medieval Combat.  The context for Farang was derived from an ancient group of historical Korean warriors.  It was used to pay homage and reference to their fighting spirit, which was legendary in Korean history (De Alba, “De Alba System Modern Farang Mu Sul Philosophy”).  The words “Mu Sul” have several translations as well such as martial art, military art, warrior art, and the fighting art of.  For the purpose of understanding the full name “Mu Sul” means “the fighting art.”  If you put all the words together this system’s name translates as “the Modern Warriors Fighting Art” (De Alba, “De Alba System Modern Farang Mu Sul Philosophy”).  Just looking at the name one can start to connect how Ironside Medieval Combat could incorporate this unique system.  Essentially  Modern Farang Mu Sul blends a rich history of traditional “Korean Knight training” with modern fighting tactics to bring new weapon styles, empty hand, grappling, and to Ironside’s historical European Martial Arts.


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 (De Alba, “De Alba System Modern Farang Mu Sul Philosophy).

The beautiful thing about FMS approach to training is how open they are to all styles.  There isn’t an us vs them mentality.  If you train hard, have an open mind, and wiliness to learn then you have a home with this style.  The philosophy is that all “true martial arts” offer it’s participants the opportunity to learn about themselves, grow and develop as a better person.  This art is not like a “box” that everyone must fit into or conform to, rather its like water and can take the form of its container (De Alba, “De Alba System Modern Farang Mu Sul Philosophy”).  Ironside has a very similar philosophy to their weapons training.  Students can pick and choose which weapon styles they are most interested in learning.  The same thing with levels of intensity for competitions.  The highest form of competition is the full steel full power fighting that Instructor Janeal Ironside won her world champion medals in.  However, international competitions aren’t for everyone.  Some are interested in gentler levels of competitions or training without competitions.  All are welcome to train and learn together.  In this way Modern Farang Mu Sul and Ironside Medieval Combat line up perfectly.  One becomes an enhancement or expansion pack for the other.

There is a lot more involved with training in Modern Farang Mu Sul and how it fits extremely well with Ironside Medieval Combat’s original purpose.  We will continue to post about these new styles in the days to come.  Be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for regular training videos and updates.  If you would like to learn more about Modern Farang Mu Sul please visit their website: www.farangmusul.com.


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