MT: 8 Year Anniversary

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by balita, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. balita

    balita <B>News Bot</B>

    8 Year Anniversary
    By modarnis - 08-27-2009 03:44 PM


    Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of Professor Presas' death. For those of us who were close to him, this journey in Modern Arnis in his absence is often tumultuous. Here are a few random thoughts that help to keep things in perspective for me. (A disclaimer: These are my thoughts and opinions and do not necessarily represent the group(s) I am associated with)

    Over the years I had the good fortune to train closely with the Professor, I learned a great deal about Modern Arnis. Suffice it to say, I am reasonably proficient with sticks, knives and my hands; as are many of my peers in the system. The more important lessons Professor provided me were life lessons, not unlike a father to a son. His words were not often direct. He challenged me to think critically about my art and the world around me. For that, I will be eternally greatful.

    Two things people familiar with Professor Presas often heard were 'make connections' and 'the flow' While all of us can put those terms into a martial context, in my opinion a select few are really able to transcend the physical aspects and apply these concepts to more significant aspects of their lives.

    Professor always wanted people to be happy. He was a master at making people feel special. One of the keys to his own happiness was the connection to his many students, their students and their families. Many of us both dreaded and loved the random call 'I am at airport' signalling to us Professor was about to dominate our lives for some indeterminate amount of time. We would have to drive and meet people and eat dinners and avoid work or school. For me I loved every minute of it. It also allowed me to meet some interesting Modern Arnis players accross the country. The most important connection I made through Modern Arnis was not some lock, move or technique, but the connection to many of the people (some of whom are my dearest friends) that came through Modern Arnis. This was one reason that meal time was so important to the Professor. Food, especially here in the states, in abundent supply, was something professor respected deeply. What we ate together was not as important of the who, why and where that put us at the meal. It highlighted the commonality all of us had, despite wide ranging or diverse backgrounds. In most aspects of our own lives, these human connections are what makes our collective worlds go round.

    Turning to flow, similar observations can be made. Flow in Modern Arnis is essential to success. It allows the art to custom fit the situation. It is not always head on. Professor would tell me two things incessently: 'make more relax' and 'make angles'. Obviously in a direct sense this has to do with posture or body appearance on the one hand and footwork or body shifting on the other. The deeper meaning for me is that sometimes being subtle or adaptable offers you the proverbial kill shot more readily than a charging bull approach to the world. These life lessons have served me well.

    Take some time tomorrow to swing a stick or knife and preserve the physical aspects of the art. Obviously this would honor the man who wanted Modern Arnis to be the martial art of the world. Also take some time to show someone how to swing a stick or better yet make an effort to solidify some of the human connections that keep this great teacher, friend, and man alive in our hearts.

    In fond rememberance of my teacher and friend,



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  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    The 8th anniversary! It's amazing how time passes.
  3. NJMMADude

    NJMMADude New Member

    Years ago (in the mid-90's) I studied Filipino martial arts here in New Jersey. I took it seriously but the art was taught under Progressive Fighting Systems, and I knew little about other FMA systems. It is a great regret to me that I never met Professor Presas and also Edgar Sulite, both of whom were regularly near me for seminars and workshops.

    I wish the best to all of Professor Presas' students. The art and the teachings live on through you. It's a great system and I have had the pleasure of recently meeting a few of his students. A great bunch of people who obviously were brought together under a great man. God bless.

  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member


    The Professor was a great man and an inspiration!
  5. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member


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