Friday, February 14, 2014

My Modern Arnis isn't Normal Modern Arnis pt 1

Our Modern Arnis Way

At Hidden Sword Martial Arts I teach what I have called Presas Arnis for several years now and only recently have I started referring to it as Modern Arnis since there as been a shift in my teaching.  In short however let me state up front that my Modern Arnis isn’t normal Modern Arnis and we are not associated with or governed by the other Modern Arnis associations.

So what is Modern Arnis?  In short Modern Arnis is a martial art that was created by Grandmaster Remy Armador Presas in 1957.  GM Remy went on to promote his art all around the world till his unfortunate death in 2001.  Modern Arnis was designed and created as a method of self defense using his knowledge of the Filipino martial arts, Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate which he blended together into his self defense system.

Double stick defensive response #1 from Kombatan Arnis
So why did I call it Presas Arnis?  Well I studied under Hock Hochheim who not only studied with GM Remy but with Remy’s younger brother GM Ernesto Presas.   GM Ernesto has his method of Arnis as well called Kombatan Arnis (among other names over the years including Modern Arnis).  Hock took elements of GM Remy’s art and elements of GM Ernesto’s art and combined them and called it Presas Arnis in order to honor both brothers and set it apart from their separate arts as well.  For many years I simply followed suite.

Early on in my training, Hock encouraged me to study with both brothers and I did, eventually earning Lakan (black belt) rank under Hock, Remy and Ernesto in each of their systems.  So what I learned and subsequently taught was a blend of these three instructors.  After Remy’s passing I continued to study with a variety of leading instructors in Modern Arnis through camps and such and I incorporated their teaching and drills into my classes as well.  So I felt it was proper to call what I teach as Presas Arnis, because at the core of my art it is a blend of the two brothers systems.

After GM Ernesto passed away in 2010, I started shifting the name of what I teach back to Modern Arnis, because by that time I had trained a lot more with people like Hock, Datu Dieter, SM Dan Anderson, Bram Frank, the Masters of Tapi Tapi (MoTTs) and others all of who were more associated with GM Remy’s Modern Arnis than GM Ernesto’s Kombatan Arnis.  

In the opening paragraph I stated “My Modern Arnis isn’t normal Modern Arnis” and it is a true statement. Due to my training with several different instructors of Modern Arnis under GM Remy, as well as Hock and Dieter who trained with both brothers, along with my training with both GM Remy and GM Ernesto; my Modern Arnis curriculum is different than many other Modern Arnis curriculums since I freely blend in these other influences. This is what led me to struggle over between calling the martial art that I teach Modern Arnis or Presas Arnis because I didn’t want to misrepresent what I teach.
Double Stick Defensive Response #1 applied to empty hand

In this series entitled Our Modern Arnis Way I will discuss the way I teach and the way I do things, my influences, principles of learning, the differences between our way and others etc. etc. as it relates to Hidden Sword Martial Arts and our Modern Arnis programs.  My goal is to write about how Modern Arnis is the core art within my art and my martial art programs.

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