Modern Arnis Grand Masters

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by James Miller, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. James Miller

    James Miller Member Supporting Member

    I saw this on face book and thought it would make for an interesting conversation:

    How many Modern Arnis Grand Masters are there now?
  2. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    At one time there was a policy that no one would be called Grandmaster and that the title would be reserved for Remy Presas alone. Now there appear to be many.
  3. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

  4. tswolfman

    tswolfman Member


    a grandmaster is someone who trains masters. "The Grandmaster" Is Remy.
  5. shuyun

    shuyun New Member

    Filipinos have a things for tittles. The longer you can string up the better. Well earned to be sure (actually giving the benefit of the doubt). But Dr. Engr. Atty. Juana Delacruz, Phd. CPA is a tad too much but it happens.

    Grandmasters with fighting abilities and teaching credentials to be sure, but too many, to quickly sorta cheapens it IMHO. Guys like Dan Inosanto with decades of training and several certifications later still prefers Guro.
  6. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    I t appears to me sometimes that titles like 'Grandmaster' and such, are similar to the status of being inducted into the "Hall of Fame" say in Basketball or whatever. If you say someones name ( some famous player ) and then ask, "What do you think, "Hall of Fame" (Grandmaster) or not?" Those knowledgable in the subject will immediately say 'yes' or 'no'. If you say 'ummmm, hmmm', then that is a 'no'.
  7. tswolfman

    tswolfman Member

    Back to the point of the thread. Who would anyone Say is a grandmaster in Modern Arnis?

    Personally I would say all of the active Datus should definitely fit in that Description. Datu Tim, Datu Dieter, Datu Kelly etc.... I would Also say that there are others not Quite sure who i would fit into that catagory though. Any thoughts????....
  8. Charlie

    Charlie New Member

    I’m not a player of Modern Arnis and have limited knowledge of the system but have met GM Presas who is one of the most humble and nice people I have met. I have seen this issue in my own system of Cabales Serrada Escrima and will give my input. A Grandmaster of a Martial art system is the person who is designated by the creator or selected leader of the style to be the figurehead or major decision maker in the art. For example GM Leo Giron created a group and taught his style of Escrima and turned his school and style to Toney Somera so in my thoughts he would be the Sole Grandmaster of GM Leo Giron’s style of escrima. Another example would be of Cabales Serrada Escrima GM Angel Cabales started teaching his style in Stockton CA and promoted 16 master students when he passed away the school went to Grandmaster Vincent Cabales (people dispute this but we do have audio recordings of GM Angel Cabales saying the school was going to GM Vincent Cabales, and eye witness’s) but there are a lot of people claiming to be the sole inheritor of the style and the Grandmaster. It’s all politics and people’s perceptions there is a Serrada Master student who created his own organization and gives Grandmaster tittles to a lot of people. In my opinion it’s all politics and people’s perception, as long as you train and like what you do everyone has something to offer.
  9. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Member

    Hmmmm... Modern Arnis Grand Masters are mostly in the PI. The following have been awarded this title plus numerical rank:
    Cristino Vasquez
    Rene Tongson
    Samuel Dulay
    Dieter Knuttel

    Modern Arnis players who have GMships (is there such a word?) in derivative systems:
    Dan Anderson - MA80 System Arnis/Eskrima
    Tim Hartman - Presas Arnis
    Kelly worden - Natural Spirit International
    Bram Frank - CSSD/SC
    to name a few...
  10. tim prater

    tim prater New Member

    GM Ken Smith

    Hello, my name is Tim Prater and I train under Master Pat Stramka at Sauk Vally Martial arts in Sterling Illinois. Our Grandmaster is Grandmaster Ken Smith who is out of Homer Glen Illinois {Chicago suburb} . The school is all Modern Arnis, but was TKD for many years. I have been a student for almost 9 months, and my 6 year old son is in the kicking kids classes. I have no prior Martial arts training. GM Ken Smith makes us earn our levels, and just keeps us going forward and also honing our previous levels. The seminars are priced at a reasonable rate. My son has learned sinawali , 6 and 9 count, redonda heaven, heaven earth, earth, step side kick, roundhouse, front kick, wrist grab escapes, several footwork drills, stick disarms 1,2,3,4,5,6,12,poke strike pass,etc,et. The kids love the Grandmaster Ken. I don't know a lot about Arnis titles, and I did not even now that the Professor was deceased until I asked when I could meet him several weeks into the training. They talk about him as if still alive, and could walk into studio any day.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  11. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I’d like to point out that Ken Smith is not a Grand Master in Modern Arnis. He is a 5[SUP]th[/SUP] black belt in Modern Arnis as well as receiving the title “Master of Tapi-Tapi”. His 9[SUP]th[/SUP] degree black belt and Grand Master title come from George Dillman in Ryukyu Kempo. This is not a comment about his ability, just clarification of his rank and title.
  12. tim prater

    tim prater New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I guess Grandmaster is what we use to because that's what is on the seminar posters,and most people do not know what Tapi Tapi is.Most people don't know what Arnis is.Everyone knows what a Grandmaster is because of Martial arts movies. I love Arnis,and so does my six year old son.Master Pat Stampka and Master of TapiTapi Ken Smith have taught us how to train and refine skills. My wife is Filipino from Mindanao,and it is important to us to maintain the culture,especially the bisayan language and Arnis. The Arnis studios are our little piece of the Phillipines in the Midwest.
  13. jspeedy

    jspeedy Member

    I've seen the poster for Ken Smith "master of tapi tapi" and I have to admit I don't know what that means. Respectfully, I understand tapi tapi as a drill, like hubud or sinawali. Each can be done with a variety of weapons interchangeably and contain many moves and applications, but all are a small part of larger systems. Is there more to tapi tapi in his context?
  14. tim prater

    tim prater New Member

    From the levels I know.Tapi Tapi is stick to stick /hand to hand,#7 stab for sure.I believe Tapi Tapi drills are in the upper levels .
  15. jspeedy

    jspeedy Member

    Is it common for someone to be given the title "master of tapit tapi?" What you described sounds like a drill to me Mr. Prater, it just seems uncommon for someone to be awarded a master title for a drill. I suppose a drill could be considered a sub system of a larger art by some, which might make sense in this case. Previously, I've heard of other large systems with expansive curriculum awarding rank in one facet within the "mother" system. I'm wondering if this is the case here, are there tapi tapi instructors or senior tapi tapi ranks? I'm just curious here. Not really familiar with Modern Arnis and trying to enlighten myself and maybe a few others in the process. That's the cool thing about FMA, outsiders might view it as "all the same," "stick fighting" but within the system there are so many specialties. Just like empty hand arts have grappling, striking, and throwing specialists. In FMA we have largo, medio, and corto specialists plus many more specialties.
  16. tim prater

    tim prater New Member

    I think it's one of the different titles the founder awarded several people who achieved very high skills.Rare titles like Datu or Sultan signifies royalty in the southern part of my wife's island in the Philippines,and I believe Muslim. In reality, a person could take his skills to southern Mindanao,get the word out of you're skills and after the cockfight have a stick fight .

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