MT: What exactly is Modern Arnis?

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by balita, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. balita

    balita <B>News Bot</B>

    What exactly is Modern Arnis?
    By pudding11591 - Thu, 03 Apr 2008 22:06:07 GMT


    I have read a few things and seen that is covers stick, knife, and open hand techniques, but anything else? Does it cover self defense?
    Any information would be great!


    ------------------------------------ Post Bot - FMA Feed
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Self-defense? Definitely!
  3. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker New Member

    I could really use some kind of clear cut explanation of what Modern Arnis is also ... it seems when I search for a result such as Modern Arnis vs say Doce Pares the answers are the same - they all seem to have the same curriculum of weapons and only their emphasis on the training or weapon seems to set them apart ... is this even close?

    It seems like splitting hairs to me but I am very new to FMA and am trying hard to find my way around.
  4. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    You're more or less correct. I believe that I caught in another post that you were a Taiji practitioner, so maybe this will help. It's kinda' like the difference between Chen, Yang, and Wu styles.
  5. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker New Member

    Brock ,

    Yeah mate ... a Yang styler here so I hear ya loud and clear on the Wu, Chen, Yang systems thing but what that really tells me is that no two Doce Pares and Modern Arnis schools will be the same either ... it will all come down to the teacher.

    Give me a clue though ... does Modern Arnis deal only in certain areas that Doce Pares doesn't? I'm just trying to get some hint of what makes them different. Is Modern Arnis more stick oriented than Doce Pares etc and Doce Pares has a broader scope than Modern Arnis involving more bare hand techniques?

  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Modern Arnis is a mix of Presas family arnis, emphasizing the bolo (machete), and Balintawak escrima, emphasizing close-range stick-fencing, with significant admixtures of Small Circle Jujutsu and Shotokan Karate. It focuses on self-defense, primarily single-stick fighting and empty-hand self-defense. Sword and stick are also covered. There are empty-hand and stick anyos (kata), lots of paired single and double stick drills, and several semi-sparring exercises using stick disarms and locks.

    I practice it and like it. I taught it to my son and will be etaching it to my daughter.
  7. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    My understanding is that Modern Arnis is more single stick oriented and closer range than Doce Pares, and that it also places a little more emphasis on empty hand, but there are more variations on Doce Pares than Modern Arnis as well and as you said it's really dependent on the instructor.
  8. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker New Member

    Thanks to both of you, the replies in this and the other thread have put me in the ball park. I'm definitely interested in systems that work close in and small circle Jujitsu is right up my Taijiquan alley since we employ Chin Na and Taiji is essentially a close range stand up grappling and throwing art.

    Something I am cautious of though is the whole Shotokan Karate influence since Karate generally is the antithesis of Taijiquan principles of staying soft and relaxed, using spiral energy and circles rather than hard edges and direct angles ... I am keen to work with systems that focus on that type of work flow and had a feeling some of the FMA systems cater to this more than others?

    Which of the two systems would suit that style more than the other? Also, once involved in either art is there a set curriculum or can you choose your own area's of focus? I am thinking of the "Art within your art" concept here?
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    In Modern Arnis, the late founder Prof. Remy Presas always emphasized that the art must fit within your base art if you do it as an adjunct--his "art within your art" concept. So, the Shotokan material is there for those who do only Modern Arnis and hence need it; those who do, say, kung fu have always modified that material liberally with the strong support of the Professor.

    I've dropped almost all of the Shotokan material from my expression of the art but retain the SCJJ. That having been said, Doce Pares has never had that material at all and has only the natural flow of all FMAs (including Modern Arnis), which you should find very comfortable.

    Modern Arnis does have a set curriculum; you can see our organization's here. There are several other Modern Arnis orgs. out there, though.

    But there's no substitute for visiting both schools, I'm afraid. The perfect art on paper for you might be trained poorly by the instructor! I've seen both these arts done well and done poorly. You can never tell.
  10. lmission

    lmission New Member

    response to modern arnis question


    go to this website:

    it is the site of the Presas family. they know more than anyone what is modern arnis. the current leader of modern arnis is Dr. Remy P. Presas Jr. , my teacher. i can tell you that Modern Arnis came from Doce Pares and balintawak because Grandmaster Remy studied from those schools and used those as a basis for creating Modern Arnis. this is why there are similarities and outright recreations of concepts from other FMA. but, make no mistake, there are very distinct differences within each of those styles of FMA. i am a modern arnis practitioner so my bias is for modern arnis and in my opinion (this is ONLY MY OWN), modern arnis has created a style that is practical, dynamic and can include new martial arts techniques and classical FMA techniques all under the same system. for me, modern arnis is the world and is the encyclopedia of FMA. there is no other FMA for me.

    oh...and they have videos of modern arnis too and mang behr.
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I think both of these statements could be disputed! There are many Modern Arnis orgs. out there now, each with its own leader(s), and many very knowledgeable players out there.
  12. lmission

    lmission New Member

    have you read the latest issue of FMA digest?

    Dr. Remy Presas Jr. is the son of GM Remy A. Presas and he has been a student of Modern Arnis since he was six years old. this man has been studying the art that his father and mother created longer than all the other so-called leaders of the art. there is absolutely no one who understands modern arnis better than he or his family. as a matter of fact, Dr. Remy Jr. is continuously expanding the art and making it easier for people to learn and to use. i can attest to this man's intelligence, dedication and passion to expand Modern Arnis as i am one of his students and each week i am inspired and proud to be Filipino.

    i attended the World of FMA MARPPIO seminar two weeks ago and four acknowledged leaders of FMA openly accepted Dr. Remy Jr. as the leader of Modern Arnis. i spoke to each one of them and they all lament what has happened to him and his family and all agreed to do this seminar for almost nothing in order to support unity in FMA and for Remy Jr.

    i realize there are people who will argue this -- i've read lots of it on this site. and i don't want to argue online. modern arnis is for everyone and people who teach this have a right to make money and thrive in the business of martial arts. were it not for students of modern arnis who have gone on to have tremendous careers as masters of the art, modern arnis would have been forgotten. however, it is simply unethical to claim grandmastership or even high mastership without acknowledging the true wishes of the Presas family who, btw, is only carrying out the wishes of GM Remy Presas Sr.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I'm glad you like your instructor. However, the situation is much more complicated than that. There are others who were continually studying here in the States with Prof. Presas in the years preceding his death. He gave high titles, and left control of his organization, to individuals such as Dr. Schea and Mr. Delaney, not Dr. Presas. It's hardly unethical to claim titles that the Prof. himself gave to people.

    Surely the Masters of Tapi-Tapi and the Datus have a strong claim to the mantle of leadership in Modern Arnis.
  14. lmission

    lmission New Member

    some of the men that you mentioned deserve their high titles. i have heard that GM Remy gave them their rank and it should be so. the problem that i, the Presas family and others in our organization is with the ones who call themselves Grandmaster of Modern Arnis. Modern Arnis is the Presas family Filipino martial art. they created it and developed it prior to it's arrival in America. because of this, the family believes that leadership of Modern Arnis is theirs forever more. as a matter of fact, the title of Grandmaster has effectively been retired because the family ascribes this title only to their late father and to no one else. my instructor is Dr. Remy Presas Jr, the son of Grandmaster Remy A Presas and is a Punong Guro, a title he proudly holds in respect of his family's decision. i believe anyone who holds the title of Grandmaster of Modern Arnis besides GM Remy Presas is unethical -- there can only be one Grandmaster.

    i realize that GM Remy's American students loved him, loved modern arnis and have spent most of their lives keeping this art alive. were it not for his students, modern arnis would not have enjoyed the exposure and popularity that occurred after GM Remy's passing. the implication is that perhaps GM Remy made a mistake in giving the high ranks to some of these people and did not realize his family's interest in perpetuating this martial art. many of us believe that GM Remy's final wish for his family to continue the martial art is authentic. the family has sacrificed a lot in the ensuing years after GM Remy's death in order to fulfill their father's last wish. now, as related to us in the current issue of FMA Digest, the family wants to re-assert it's leadership in modern arnis and this will upset many people. Modern Arnis is a Filipino martial art, not an American one. moreover, it is the Presas family art and no other Filipino family should lead it. these last two things are undeniable truths that no one can dispute.

    i attended the World of FMA seminar in San Pablo, CA two weeks ago where four highly respected Grandmasters of Filipino Martial Arts acknowledged MARPPIO's leadership of Modern Arnis. these Grandmasters consented to teach at this seminar for nearly nothing out of respect for Dr. Remy Jr. and his father and frankly, for the excellence that Presas family modern arnis represents. this seminar was a display of FMA unity and mutual respect for each art and each other. as a Filipino, i want to say that it was personally a proud moment for me to see my country's martial art represented in all it's splendor. it was inspiring and showed me that unity is possible.

    this is my last post for FMA Talk. i will delete my account after this post. i don't want to embarass MARPPIO and the Presas family by causing this thread to escalate any further.

    long live Modern Arnis, the Presas family and GM Remy Presas!
  15. Brian Johns

    Brian Johns Junior Member

    I wholeheartedly agree with Arnisador. Professor spent a great deal of time training many of the Masters of Tapi Tapi and the Datus and to state that Dr. Remy Presas is the leader of Modern Arnis is a rather broad statement and could be construed as insulting to those who have spent much time training with Professor in the last 20 years or so.
  16. Brian Johns

    Brian Johns Junior Member

    I have to respond to several statements contained in this statement:

    (1) There is one who calls himself a Grandmaster of Modern Arnis and that is Jeff Delaney. I think that you will find that there is a consensus among the Masters of Tapi Tapi, Datus and others who trained with Professor for the last 20 years that there is only one grandmaster and that is Professor himself.

    (2) As for the re-assertion of leadership in Modern Arnis, that will be virtually impossible...not with the proliferation of many Modern Arnis organizations that exist out there.....the Delaney group, the IMAF, NSI, WMAA, Dan Anderson's MA-80 and so on and so forth. To "re-assert leadership of Modern Arnis" will be very very difficult.

    (3) The following statement can be read in two ways:

    "Modern Arnis is a Filipino martial art, not an American one. moreover, it is the Presas family art and no other Filipino family should lead it. these last two things are undeniable truths that no one can dispute."

    First, let me say that I have a lot of respect for the Presas family in honoring their father's wishes to carry on the art and wish them much success in their endeavors. I hope that we all can cross paths with them someday.

    With regard to the statement that Modern Arnis is a Filipino martial art, I agree that it is, for the most part. Modern Arnis originated in the Philippines as a result of Professor's study of the family style and his study of Balintawak, among other things. However, since arriving in the US in 1975 and as a result of interaction with other martial artists such as Professor Wally Jay, GM George Dillman and many others, Professor's art changed over the years as it matured. So is it truly Filipino ? I hate to state the obvious but his art matured in the US.
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    "Unethical" is a strong opinion, but I think most people agree, as Mr. Johns states in his post, that only the Professor was the Grandmaster.

    I dispute them both. Modern Arnis is a blend of Filipino and Japanese arts, though it's clearly Filipino at heart; and, if it had been the Professor's wish that his family lead the art then he could have arranged that. He didn't--and I think we should have respect for his wishes. The IMAF group(s) surely has the strongest claim to leadership of the art as a whole (and I say that despite not being a member of either IMAF org.). That was the Professor's will.

    I'm sorry to hear that. It's great that you support your instructors and your art. It'd be useful to have such a viewpoint around. I hope you'll reconsider.
  18. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    With the exception of the guy mentioned in line one you mean. I also agree with Arnisador that lmission would have much to contribute to the site and should not be hasty with the account deleting. So far I haven't seen that an argument has been started, just a debate.
  19. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker New Member

    Well I guess this answers my question as to whether there's politics in FMA's ... it seems every martial art has it's share.
  20. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Darth Vindicatus Supporting Member

    Modern Arnis politics is as wonderful a thing as JKD politics and Kenpo politics...except Modern Arnis players usually bring sticks and knives to the party. :)

    To my knowledge, GM Remy didn't name anyone GM of Modern Arnis, though I believe Jeff Delany claims he did. Shortly before his death there was a press release issued stating that Dr. Shea and JD were co-successors. Which if true means he passed his mantle to them, not his family. While he was hospitalized he (GM Remy) reconnected with many people, including his family, and asked that they get back to it. Many did, which they should be recognized for.

    But Modern Arnis is splintered, and will never recombine into one main organization. For now, enjoy the diversity of expression and exploration of the gift that Remy Presas gave.

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