Kombatan--Meaning of Name?

Discussion in 'Kombatan' started by arnisador, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I've always assumed that the name Kombatan was based on some sort of contraction of combat and baton. Is that so? If not, what is the origin of the name?
  2. armas

    armas Junior Member

    To tell you the truth, the word kombatan is not even a real tagalog or visayan term. It is kind of a slang word (bastardize if you will) for the word combative or combat effective/orientation of GM Ernesto's system. We asked GM about that. Because we were wondering where he got that word came from. Weird but true.
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Ah, thanks! Now I know.
  4. johnzag

    johnzag Junior Member

    Had always wondered this myself... had realised that the obvious connection to "combat" was there but wondered whether there was more too it.
  5. Combat Kali

    Combat Kali New Member


    Kombatan is named after Combat & Baton, Jan felt bad after the name change but former club President president Garitony Nicholas registered the name "Modern Arnis Mano Mano" as Ernesto had failed to register this.Ernesto told myself that the name change was due to a more combat appeal due to Hock Hocheim success ( 1999 1st Kombatan camp). This after research I found to be incorrect. I think the confusing between brothers styles was the main reason.
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes, I often misspell it as Kombaton at first, thinking of baton/baston!
  7. Labantayo

    Labantayo Junior Member

    Sipa-an = to fight with your feet
    Kombat-an = to fight in combat

    This info is from GM back in 2001 at the Sokeship awards in Orlando, Fl.
    He was introducing the art as Kombatan, instead of Modern Arnis, at the awards demo. The original spelling was Combatant, later changed to Kombat-an, then changed to Kombatan. All of this within a year or so.
    I have somewhere a Kombatan logo that is spelled Kombat-an.
    Maybe Guro Ercia might remember these changes back then.
    Hope this helps.
  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Ah, thank you! Now I get it!
  9. timagua

    timagua New Member

    GGM ernesto a. presas in print

    Never let it be said that there is any shortage of written information on GGM Ernesto Presas’ Kombatan system. Here for those interested is a list of books and articles on various aspects of his art. Some of the books are collector’s items and as such may be hard to find, but definitely worth the effort if you can get your hands on them. Ryukyu Books out of Kansas has in the past carried many of GGM’s books. The articles are contained in magazine back issues, and some may be found for purchase from an online search.

    The Art of Arnis (with Salvador Avendanio credited as co-author), 1981. Published by Ernesto A. Presas & Associates and the Arjuken Karate Association, this rare book features a unique glimpse into GGM’s art as it was taught in the 1970s and ‘80s. It includes photographs of a younger GGM with some of the earliest Arjuken pioneers: Roberto Presas, Pepe Yap, Willie Madla, Pepito Robas, Cristino Vasquez, Rey Yatsu, Rene Tongson, Jose G. Paman and Jackson Cui Brocka.

    Arnis Presas Style and Balisong. Manila, 1988. An elaboration of the prior book, this volume illustrates many techniques from the three main categories of stickfighting, solo baston, doble baston and espada y daga. The anyo, forms, of Kombatan are described in great detail, as are numerous fighting applications of the techniques. Empty-hand defenses against weapons are presented at length. A section on the balisong, the fan knife, explains methods of opening, closing and manipulating the native Filipino knife.

    Filipino Armas de Mano Presas Style. Manila: Ernesto A. Presas, 1996. This book presents information on the lesser-known technical categories of GGM Presas’ art such as the dulo dulo, bangkaw and kris. A valuable text rounding out the Kombatan’s student’s education.

    Filipino Modern Mano-Mano. Manila: Ernesto A. Presas, 1996. This manual reveals in detail the art’s empty-hand strikes and kicks. Of equal importance to Kombatan’s armed techniques, mano mano techniques provide the self-protection skills in the event that the practitioner is forced to engage in combat without his stick or blade.

    Filipino Police Combative Technique. Manila: Ernesto A. Presas, 1996. Arnis techniques remain strong in the combative curriculum of police and military units in the Philippines. This book presents restraining and releasing methods, as well as the more serious and deadly aspects of armed conflict.

    Filipino Knife Fighting Presas Style. Manila: Ernesto A. Presas, 1998. The essence of knife fighting is taught in this manual. Grips, blocks, cuts, thrusts and combinations are fully described, as are many practical applications.

    Dumog Presas Style. Manila: Ernesto A. Presas, 2002. Dumog (alternately called buno) is the grappling component of Kombatan allowing one to effectively deal with an attacker at extremely close quarters. Throws, takedowns, locks and groundfighting techniques are presented at length.

    Arnis Self-Defense: Stick, Blade, and Empty-Hand Combat Techniques of the Philippines. Jose G. Paman. New York City: Random House, 2007. The thinking man’s (and woman’s) book on Kombatan. An original Arjuken instructor graduate who earned his black belt under GGM in 1975, Master Paman is an instructor, author, researcher, lecturer, artist, choreographer and Filipino language expert residing in the Sacramento area. This landmark volume provides a sober account of FMA history and development, and demonstrates the theories, fundamentals and applications of Kombatan techniques.

    There are also many articles written by Master Jose G. Paman…

    The Art of the Flow. Originally appearing in Inside Kung-Fu magazine, this one is available online at: http://www.dragonslist.com/the_art_of_the_flow_0. It is a vastly enlightening introductory article describing the early days of the Arjuken and the beginnings of Kombatan. Lito Concepcion and Jose G. Paman appear in the pictorial.

    Kombatan’s Empty Hand Skills – Filipino Martial Arts, Jan. 2001. An article on Kombatan’s barehanded techniques for use against empty hands as well as weapons attacks. Jose G. Paman and Lito Concepcion also appear with GGM Presas in this one.

    Kombatan’s 12 Strikes Fighting Method - Filipino Martial Arts, Aug. 2001. A complete breakdown of the 12 strikes and an explanation on how some of the strikes combine to make up Kombatan’s striking patterns such as banda banda, ocho ocho and doblete.

    10 Steps to Filipino Martial Arts Mastery - Filipino Martial Arts, Aug. 2001. As the title states, an informative article on how to increase one’s overall proficiency in the FMA. Photos of GGM Presas, Master Paman and other Kombatan practitioners are used to illustrate the article.

    Unarmed and Dangerous – Inside Kung-Fu, Jan. 2004. An article about barehanded defense against a knife attack. Important principles such as awareness, prevention, avoidance and the basic angles of attack are outlined. Techniques showing the applications are demonstrated.

    Besides these books and magazine articles, there exist numerous videos produced by GGM Presas. These would be for another post.

  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Wow, thanks! I had no idea the list was that long.
  11. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    Me either. I ran across several of these on Amazon a few years back, but not that many. Wow!
  12. armas

    armas Junior Member

    I do remember. But it has been discussed earlier than this in Vallejo CA. We all protested against the name change. But GM Ernesto said he needed Identity. We could not do anything since he is the founder of the ART. I guess later it did not matter. But for a while I did not l like it. That is why I prefer to say Modern arnis/kombatan.

    There is alot of difference just in teaching methods with GM Remy and GM Ernesto. That I feel did not need to make name changes. We changed the name from Modern arnis, Modern arnis de mano, Arnis Presas style then Kombatan. Wonder what's next. In the Philippines. It did not matter what the name was. Even my seniors who are not part of the Kombatan era still address the art as Modern arnis.
  13. timagua

    timagua New Member


    RE my last post stating: “Never let it be said that there is any shortage of written information on GGM Ernesto Presas’ Kombatan system.”

    This should have simply stated “...GGM Ernesto Presas’ system” because, as Armas has pointed out, GGM’s art has indeed gone through a number of name changes over the decades.

    And the title ultimately makes little difference because, whatever name GGM chooses to designate his method, it signifies his unique fighting art that is different from any other. I believe it is his art’s simplicity, directness and effectiveness that attracts his followers the world over and binds us in brotherhood and sisterhood.
  14. armas

    armas Junior Member

    I like to call the evolution of GGM Ernesto's art. At one point we were Modern arnis. Then came an evolution it became Arnis Presas style. Then a evolution to Kombatan. It is all in there but as GGM has evolved as a teacher/martial artist his art has evolved too.
  15. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Isn't that what all martial artists/Filipino Martial artists should do, is to evolve the knowledge that you have learned. To customize,modify and adapt the techniques that work best for you the individual, that are the most effective and adaptable to your body, how does it feel to your body. By the most recent developments of this year, I can say that GGM Presas recognizes individual innovation of Kombatan. To me it teaches me so much about other styles and their movements because Kombatan gives one that kind of insight, you know moves with-in moves,artistic freedom if you will. It evolves, GGM evolves, we all evovle as we grow in Kombatan as well as in FMA. IMHO combat is ever evolving, combat to me is alive,a living thing so I realize the potential of Kombatan as always growing and adapting. Now if there was a 'hilot' component to it, that would be great.
  16. tswolfman

    tswolfman Member

    ok call me dumb but what is "hilot" ?
  17. Sabre

    Sabre New Member

    Hilot is the ancient Filipino art of Healing.

    Here is the wikipedia listing Hilot

    Sadly this is all a really know about Hilot. Hopefully those more knowledgeable then I can also comment.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  18. timagua

    timagua New Member

    hilot info

    Here is some info on Hilot. I was a little girl when my family and I moved to the U.S. and so I had to query some relatives. Thanks also to Master Jose Paman for his input. This is their collective answer:

    Hilot (pronounced HEE-lot) is, among other functions, a native form of massage said to be a special, divine gift primarily bestowed upon persons of breech birth. People skilled in the practice can effect cures ranging from dislodging a fish bone caught in a person’s throat (a common occurrence in the Philippines as many eat fish as part of their diet) to temporarily making a toothache stop hurting to remedying a sprained joint of the body like a wrist or ankle. Hilot is often accompanied with bulong, literally “whisper,” signifying secret words (typically Latin) to enable the effects of the massage.

    On a more profound level, persons gifted with abilities in hilot are said to be able to help victims of usog or tawas (the equivalent of being “hexed” in Western magical traditions) by identifying the origin of the hex and offering countermeasures. In this capacity, the hilot practitioner becomes an anti-sorcerer. Common practitioners of hilot are the albolaryo (from the Spanish herbolario or herbalist), who sometimes also use langis, or oil, in their work.

    Organized schools of hilot do not exist, the skill simply given freely to a selected person by a divine source. Alternately, it may be passed on to an individual from one knowledgeable in the art, on a secretive basis. Although waved off as an anachronistic concept by more “enlightened” individuals, visitors to the islands swear by the efficacy of hilot in alleviating conditions diagnosed elsewhere as being incurable.
  19. timagua

    timagua New Member

    While we are on the subject of the Philippine phenomenon called hilot, I wanted to add this...

    It is often said that any martial art is a reflection of the culture that spawned it. Likewise, the characteristics of the Filipino people have deeply influenced the formation of arnis.

    The book Arnis Self-Defense touched upon many interesting aspects of native Philippine culture. Here is a website with more information on the subject.


    While Pinays and Pinoys may see it as boring and familiar, our fellow practitioners from other parts of the globe might find the insight useful in understanding where arnis came from and how it came to be.
  20. Sabre

    Sabre New Member

    timagua -

    Thank you for the link above. I am just about to begin reading. Why should I work when I can read something far more interesting :D

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