MT: Arnis Self Defense by Jose Paman

Discussion in 'Kombatan' started by balita, May 10, 2007.

  1. balita

    balita <B>News Bot</B>

    Arnis Self Defense by Jose Paman
    By Dan Anderson - Thu, 10 May 2007 00:20:41 GMT


    Jose Paman has put forth a pretty good book on Kombatan arnis, the system of Ernesto Presas, and is worth picking up. There is one section in the chapter From Modern Arnis To Kombatan that needs commenting on.

    In the 1980s and 1990s wildly exaggerated rumors of a feud between Ernesto, Remy and Roberto circulated among uninformed Modern Arnis practitioners. To the best of my knowledge, the three actually had a fairly strong relationship; quibbles were unavoidable, but no major feuds divided them. Ernesto unfailingly expressed his affection for his two brothers in his numerous published works.

    Most current practitioners of Kombatan and Modern Arnis share a camaraderie not commonly found among exponents of related systems; they freely train together and attend one another's events.
    (paragraph split mine)

    Sorry to say but paragraph one is incorrect. I know for a fact that from Prof. Remy's point of view, he and Ernesto were very much at odds to the point that when Ernesto had heart trouble, several of Remy's students (Bram Frank and Hock Hockheim come to mind) had to persuade Remy to go visit his brother. I know from conversations with my teacher (Prof. Remy) that he was not close to Ernetso at all. He did not say anything against Roberto.

    That being said, I agree with the second section of the paragraph. I have met very few Kombatan players but I have gotten along with the ones I do know. Rick Manglinong and Mike Bowers are thetwo that I know and Mike was kind enough to bring Ernesto over to my school to meet me. I visited his seminar the next dy to bring him a gift to show my respect.

    Anyway, pick up the book. You'll find it to be a good one.

    Dan Anderson


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  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

  3. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Member


  4. Combat Kali

    Combat Kali New Member


    My knowledge of this issue is in agreement with you. We have discussed this lightly before together and I had many discussions with Ernesto and Roland Dante who was training when all the events occurred. Rick is a good bloke, he would know and be honest about it. Good to see the truth out there.
    Hugh Doherty
  5. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I just picked the book up this week and spent all day wednesday reading it.. I was surprised to see it on the shelf of one of the little bookstores we have here on island, so I snagged it..

    My compliments to Kyud Paman on putting this book together as I have had the privilege of practicing both kombatan and modern arnis from both of the Presas brothers through affiliated instructors in the Philippines..

    This is the kind of book that shows positive influences into the FMA and lays it down on the line with the history.

    I would suggest this book for any one who is into Kombatan and Modern arnis as a starter or as a point of reference through the history of these two systems as they flourished out of the Philippines and offer a distinct Filipino opinion as to the history.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I just ordered the book from Amazon!
  7. timagua

    timagua New Member


    Just picked up this book. Arnis Self-Defense offers so much more than arnis technique. There is extensive background information on the history and development of the art, explaining why arnis evolved the way it did as well as describing its movements. It presents complete sections on armed and unarmed applications. It also details the important topics of combat preparation, physical training and self-defense considerations. Finally, it goes beyond the immediate scope of the Filipino fighting discipline, exploring how to apply it against other weapons. This book is highly recommended!

    The author Jose G. Paman was a guest at the Martial Arts Collective Society Gathering in Sacramento, California last fall, where he displayed unusual precision and timing with his arnis skills. He is documented as having started training at the Arjuken in Quiapo, Manila in 1971, actually predating many active instructors and masters today. Paman is largely unheralded in FMA circles, I believe, because he does not exclusively practice or write about the Filipino arts. He is also expert in Chinese and Japanese fighting systems.

    To date, Paman has written about a wide variety of disciplines in the martial arts spectrum. Magazine readers will recognize him as the 2007 Inside Kung-Fu Writer of the Year. He is also on the cover of the current issue (Vol. 11 No. 4) of Rapid Journal, the Philippines’ leading martial arts publication.

    P.S. You can read an article Paman wrote here:
  8. johnzag

    johnzag Junior Member

    great link the article was well worth the read.. Will have to try and get a hold of the book.
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Mine just came, but I haven't looked at it in any detail yet--too busy!
  10. timagua

    timagua New Member

    Came across this link to the Rapid Journal site. A cousin of mine in Manila is sending me a hard copy of Volume 11 No. 4 with Jose G. Paman on the cover. He says the article describes Paman’s background and training in Kombatan/Modern Arnis under GGM Ernesto Presas. Should be interesting to find out the perspective of an Arjuken graduate from the early 1970’s.

    When I met Paman at the MACS Gathering in Sacramento last fall, I thought he may have been American born because of his unaccented English. Then he came across some kababayans from Cavite and they spoke straight Tagalog for hours (surprise!). His explanations and delivery of arnis techniques were simple, practical, and obviously geared toward actual application. Hallmarks, I think, of GGM Ernesto’s method.
  11. timagua

    timagua New Member

    This just in from Manila…I received a copy of Rapid Journal magazine featuring Jose G. Paman in an interview and on the cover. Paman talks about his personal development in arnis and kung-fu and touches upon the happenings in that by-gone era of FMA. Rapid Journal is a very good magazine, in black and white and not with the slick appearance or presentation like our American mags, but still jam-packed with articles. There are interviews and profiles, and some series on forms and techniques, always leaning toward the Filipino martial arts and other arts practiced in the Philippines.

    I’d found it curious that Paman is not more known or recognized in the FMA community, but he admitted that he does not make the regular rounds and also finds it hard to talk about his own accomplishments. I guess it’s true about many of the folks from the older (and I say this respectfully) generation. For instance, how many know of Grandmaster Fred Lazo of Luzviminda Arnis, Grandmaster Roberto Presas (GGM’s younger brother) of Hinigaran Arnis or Grandmaster Pepe Yap of Kombatan? These are teachers, Paman told me, who absolutely played pivotal roles in Modern Arnis/Kombatan history but are likewise unheralded.

    Hopefully, we’ll get to hear more about these pioneers while the opportunity is still available. If you get the chance to obtain a copy of Rapid Journal, definitely check it out, you’ll be glad you did!
  12. timagua

    timagua New Member

    determination and the native perspective

    As noted in a prior post, Arnis Self-Defense author Jose G. Paman is the 2007 Inside Kung-Fu magazine Writer of the Year. While Inside Kung-Fu features Filipino martial arts on occasion, it is primarily known (as the title denotes) for its coverage of Chinese fighting systems. In the Vol. 11 No. 4 issue of Rapid Journal, the Philippines’ most prestigious martial arts periodical, Master Paman addresses the subject of why he does not exclusively write about the FMA.

    It turns out that while he was studying at the Arjuken Karate Association under GGM Ernesto A. Presas and his crew at Quiapo, Paman was also learning the Ngo Cho (Fukien five ancestor) kung-fu method at the Tong Hong, the Eastern Athletic Association, in Manila’s Chinatown. This was no easy feat, as with few exceptions, only those of pure Chinese blood AND who could speak the Fukienese language could gain admittance to Chinatown kung-fu schools in Manila. Paman is not pure Chinese and does not speak the language, but he did prove to be a determined exception. He recalls of having to keep the fact secret from both schools as it was still taboo, in those days, to belong to more than one martial arts school. While GGM Presas indeed taught several arts at the Arjuken, it was all under one banner. Paman reveals that GGM Presas found this out years later and fortunately expressed no disapproval.

    Paman’s extensive exposure to the arts at the Arjuken and the Tong Hong, as well as later training with jujitsu master Rod Goodwin and other individuals, on an informal basis, led to his vast knowledge of the combat arts. “I am, and will always be, a fan of all the martial arts,” Paman wrote in a recent communication with me. This outlook consequently affects his writing, which has encompassed a wide variety of systems.

    Paman stated that his most recent book, entitled Ngo Cho: Southern Shaolin Five Ancestor Kung-Fu, has gone to press and is due for release shortly. This should be a good one and perhaps deserves its own thread in the future. For those unfamiliar, Ngo Cho (pronounced “go cho” in the West) is the most prevalent Chinese style in the Philippines. The practice of the art was actually transplanted to Manila from its native land in the 1930s due to the turbulent times on the Chinese mainland. Grandmaster Tan Ka Hong and Grandmaster Lo Yan Chu established, respectively, the Beng Kiam and the Kong Han schools to propagate the system. Paman’s Ngo Cho book is published by Unique Publications out of Southern California.

    Going back to Arnis Self-Defense, in the meantime, a review by a reader in Manila just surfaced on ThoughtForge. You can view it in its entirety here (it’s the third item in the post):

    It’s vastly interesting and enlightening, I thought, to read comments from the perspective of a fellow native Filipino, to find out what his impressions are of Paman’s groundbreaking arnis book (the first FMA title to be carried by the prestigious Random House of New York City). We Pinays and Pinoys truly have Arnis Self-Defense to be proud of as a volume giving a sober account of arnis history and describing the more esoteric aspects of GGM Ernesto Presas’ profound martial system.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I've heard that Ngo Cho is particularly popular in the Phil. Its connection to Okinawan Karate is something I find fascinating!
  14. armas

    armas Junior Member

    Jose Paman started in the 70's. No doubt a very knowledgable individual. He left for the US after and not that many people knew him. But the individuals like GGM Roberto Presas and Pepe Yap are great instructors and fighters that have contributed so much to the art now known as Kombatan. If it weren't for these individuals then GM would not have evolved. Other Great masters getting their recognition through the IMAFP are Cristino Vasquez, Rene Tongson, Bambit Dulay. Without these people Kombatan will not be what it is now.

    Pepe Yap has contributed his Bankaw or staff. GM Yap still teaches in San Pablo Laguna. But is invited all over the world to teach.

    Cristino the concepts and principples of Espada y daga.He is the main person that started with both GM Remy and Ernesto. Without him and his energy and contribution our styles of Modern arnis or Kombatan would not be the same.

    Rene Tongson Tres Puntas estilo.

    Bambit and Cristino vasquez helped in forms/anyo(when we still trained in them)They also helped in Mano mano and dulo dulo. I was one of the Mano mano dummies and knife dummies. These were our seniors that helped GM Ernesto propagate the early teachings we called Modern arnis/Arnis presas style. Later it became Kombatan. It's all the same.

    Mark Santos was the Grappling man of Kombatan. He trained all the students in the aspects of trankada and knife. He is the youngest of all of GM Ernesto's proficient instructors.

    There are more. Daniel Rollo, Tiger Dave Labiano, Edgardo Kawada,Rey Yatsu, Benny Quitalig,etc. Now all out of the scene.

    I was the most junior. I helped in teaching the Basics, Mano mano, Dulo dulo and the Classical arts.

    Then GM Ernesto would polish the trained student being groomed to be an instructor. This was the routine in the late 80's to the 94.
  15. timagua

    timagua New Member

    It’s unfortunate that GGM Presas seems to be traveling less these days. I recall the California seminars of the past with much fondness. All the more reason to go to the IPMAF Training Camp back home and to catch him when he does get to come around stateside!
  16. johnzag

    johnzag Junior Member

    GM is traveling less but not that much less from what I know he has been focusing on Europe and Australia the last couple of years hence why he hasn't made it over to the states.. Agreed that the camps in the Philippines are the best way to catch up with GM
  17. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Great info

    Armas thanks for all you do to contribute to clarifying all of our understanding of Kombatan/Modern Arnis. I've been busy promoting Hawaii FMA styles that came to Hawaii in the early 1900's, most of these styles no longer exist in PH, but have survived for over 100 years in Hawaii's Filipino community.
  18. timagua

    timagua New Member

    Sounds interesting. What are these Hawaii FMA styles? I know that in the Philippines, there exist older disciplines that are still practiced by a few people but remain unknown elsewhere because they have not been featured in the mainstream media.
  19. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Check out the Pedoy's Derobio Escrima forum, this style is connected to Filipino history. Thats the one I meant.
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Saw this book in a Borders Bookstore yesterday...glad to see it's getting shelf space!

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