WHAT ARE THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS?
This is no short answer for this question. There are some 7,000 islands and 77 major ethnolinguistic groups, 244 subgroups each with their own central cultures in the Philippine archipelago. Everybody at one time and place had a local martial art and their own name, all of which changed within different styles, schools, and eras. Some added other names to get more students or connect to old lines of teaching.
Even the major names: ‘Arnis-Kali-Escrima’ had different meanings at different times and but at the same times & places, on different islands.
‘Arnis’ is now the National Martial Art in the Philippines. The use of sticks, daggers, and short swords has been practiced in the Philippines since the beginning of history.
During the Spanish of rule 333 years almost all written history was destroyed and it is now very hard to get any information of the ‘ancient’ ways. The Spanish rule again changed the way Arnis was practiced and trained; the spear and shield were not used as much. But other styles became ‘classical’ and then After World War II the ‘Modern’ styles of other outside martial arts got entangled into Arnis.
There are many systems and styles all having different names for the National Art of the Philippines commonly called Arnis.
WHAT IS MODERN ARNIS?
Modern Arnis is multi-layered system composed of numerous parts.
The art of Modern Arnis can be just about any thing you can want it to be. It can be a deadly Martial Art, a form of artistic expression, a fantastic very hardcore competitive sport, and major effective means of self-defense, and finally a way of uniting body – mental – spiritual practices in each of us.
Some schools use Arnis as a combative art, others in a very strict competition. Some use it as add-on to their mother art of the school. Some teach Arnis to enhance certain internal attributes.
With this said there are ‘Core Concepts’ that make Modern Arnis different from many other schools of Filipino martial arts.
The two major ideas in Modern Arnis are the idea of “Flow” and the ability to “Counter the counter.” Many schools have part or all of these ideas. But Grand Master Remy Presas put them into a systematic school of teaching that is a full, multi-layered, all encompassing martial art system.
This is not to demean any other system or schools. Everybody has a part of the martial arts of the Philippines. All the ways are good in that they are doing what they doing. All of us no matter what style or system or school can learn from others. And we should learn from as many sources as possible.
In fact this is exactly what the founder did as a 14-year-old young man traveling to various teachers in the Philippines.
Grand Master Remy A. Presas began his Arnis study, by leaving home at 14 to pursue his interest in the fighting art of his county. He synthesized important aspects from Kali, Escrima, Judo, Karate, Tjaklele, and Arnis de Mano into what is taught today. His travels throughout the Philippines led to the rise of Arnis as a national sport, taught regularly in physical education classes throughout the country.
Grand Master Remy A. Presas worked with a variety of groups and organizations in the United States. Today, despite his passing in 2001, Modern Arnis continues to flourish across the United States and abroad.
Thomas (Toma) Rosenzweig began Aikido training in 1974 at Los Angeles Aikikai and now trains at Aikido Daiwa with Sensei Jack Arnold, Shihan. His Modern Arnis studies began in 1979 with Grand Master Remy Presas at the Fountain Avenue School in Hollywood, continuing with Dan DiVito, Rick Mitchell and Mike Replogle. Sensei Rosenzweig currently holds a 4th Dan in Aikido, 1st Dan in Modern Arnis, 1st Dan in Canemasters System and has trained extensively in extreme close quarter knife disarms. Sensei Rosenzweig teaches seminars on these arts on the West Coast.
Classes held at Aikido Daiwa School
4404 West Victory Boulevard
Burbank CA 91505 (818) 843-4984
Wednesdays 8:35 pm to 9:45 pm