The Title of Datu.

Discussion in 'General' started by ghuimo, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    Like I said in that thread, I have nothing to really say about that. It is not place to discuss point trounaments unless I am willing to live and do them. I have done them and they were fun. Like I said. But Nothing I really train for.

    As to open mind, if you will read some of the 11,000+ posts I have over on Martial Talk a sister forum to this, you will find me one of the most open minded people to new ideas. I just dislike discrimination and Racism.
  2. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    Can a non Native to the PI promote the art in the right way?

    Can they teach it one on one and still maintain the qualit of instruction?

    Can they learn it in this baby culture when most of the PI culture does not know it either? (* This is not meant as a disrespect as USA is a gun culture and there are lots who know nothing about guns in the USA. *)
  3. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    C'mon Rich...I think you know the answer.

    Are you asking whether or not FMA can be learned in the PI when most locals have not heard of it or recall it? If so, you know the answer again.

    I'm curious what this has to to with the thread?
  4. Sepuku

    Sepuku New Member

    Thank you for Clarifying Rich. I have a better understanding now of where you are coming from. The Racism wasn't as clear to me.

    Sorry if you were offended. I dont think that was Langgaw's intention in this forum. The secrecy and mystical things are present in many arts. I"m sure Ninjitsu and Shaolin most people are aware of. There are still many things people dont know about those arts. Those secrets still kept by the Old and Wise men who guard it. Asian people are like that by nature... shy and low-key and secretive. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to talk to them. lol Trust me i know... and I"m Filipino-American. Just hard for the Asians in general to Open UP..much less in regards to Ancient Arts.

    I do agree with you... Non-PI can definitely learn any any art they desire. Just because they didn't come from that country doesn't mean they can't learn to understand and teach and promote it. Just takes Dedication and Respect for the Art.

    I'm from New Jersey and an American Citizen. Just starting to learn Arnis. Does this mean I can't be as good as Native Filipino's? that I can't eventually teach it as well? or cannot fully understand that art? or....Does this mean i have the upper hand over caucasians? Because it's "in my blood". I don't think so.
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    One would assume these were rhetorical questions.

    And yes I would have my answers.

    But the answers of the people on this thread are of interest to me.

    If they agree with me that Racism is not right and that anyone who trains well and makes it their own can learn any art then I will apologize for the misunderstanding.

    If they disagree with me then their point of view and interest in this thread becomes more clear.

    Either way I learn about the poster and understand where they are coming from. I then can take that information and apply it to how I read this and other threads.

    Like I said, if they agree with me about Racism being bad and that it not what they meant, and that anyone can learn an art, then I will apologize. If not then I know where they are coming from and how to ignore their posts and or filter their posts for the issues at hand.

    For if Racism is what they meant, consciously or unconsciously, then there is no arguement under the sun or in the heavens above that will make sense and it is a moot point. Which also adds to the issue of trollish behaviour.

    Let me present the arguement of "president". No other country should use this term. It is a special elected term for our leader of our country. To take this term for any democracy is an insult to the USA. Of course you and I know the errors of this arguement, but do those involved in the discussion of this thread understand it? If they understand then the first post of trying to have an intellectual discussion could happen, if the cultural biases are understood or dropped.

    So John if I have offended you or yours then I am truly sorry. I am just trying to understand the original posters' point of view.
  6. PeteNerd

    PeteNerd Member

    I don't think Langgaw is being racist. I think he's trying to make a point. He's a filipino and he's offended by the use of the title Datu by a non-filipino. Datu is a filipino title. As for his comments about foreigners being good in arnis, but not better than the filipinos, I think he's probably referring to the more secretive and solitary elements of filipino martial history. Teaching arnis publicly and capitalizing on it's popularity is a new thing. There are still many people who keep their teachings and techniques secret. My instructor in the Philippines traveled the provinces in visayas and mindanao and he said there are many practicioners who keep to themselves and don't teach publicly. The only way you can learn from them is to "play" and experience their techniques. If you aren't good enough to play you will probably get hurt quite quickly. While my instructor taught me Balintawak there were some other things beyond that, he only alluded to and would not show me. You don't have to belive in it, but there are hidden aspects to arnis. Whether these practitioners and their techniques are better than what's in modern arnis are hard to say, because you can't really find them unless you go into the mountains and seek out these old men. There is also a great deal of mysticism behind arnis in the Philippines. Prayers and oracions and amulets that the wearers believe give them powers. These things are very real in the Philippines. You can buy the amulets outside most churches. You however have to know the prayers and the rituals to bring the power to the amulets. Have you ever trained under the full moon? Have you ever trained in the graveyard? Do you believe it could give you extra power and ability? Many practicioners there do. The faith healers and belief in spirits are very real. Make sure you say tabi-tabi po before you pass by the old tree, so the spirits know you are friendly and do not get mad at you.

    The mysticism is not BS.

    There is a traditional approach to arnis that is practiced, but isn't really seen very much, here or in the philippines. It's quiet and hidden.

    I think you also have to realize that filipinos have a lot of pride for their country and heritage. I can see how many of them can be offended by a foreigner trying to co-opt the title of datu. As far as practicing arnis, I am honestly very surprised that you have experienced racism from filipinos, about you not being filipino. Perhaps that's a filipino american thing. When I was in the Philippines I was always treated very well. Everyone there was welcoming and friendly and very warm in general. That's why it's very hard for me to think of filipinos as being racist towards you.

    I think if you try to run off every Filipino with an opinion that comes to this board, you are doing yourself and the members a bit of a disservice. I personally think you over reacted a bit trying to call langgaw racist, but that's just my opinion.

  7. langgaw

    langgaw New Member


    My name is Robert and you may call me any name after that. You are taking this personally and you seem very upset. Please calm down, sit back and relax. No racism issue here intended at all . you seem all red in the face and are either reading too much or beyond what is . Let me respond tomorrow when you have calmed down.
    In arnis, this is the nest timew to attack, but this is a forum of open minded professionals so does not apply.

    Nagtahud by the way means ....respectfully.

  8. PeteNerd

    PeteNerd Member

    That's a pretty bad argument. It's not a special term... it was used by leaders before there was ever a United States. President is a pretty generic term, you can be president of a club or society, a board, a nation. As for the term Datu, that's very specifically a filipino tribal leader or king. Can't really confuse that too much.

  9. PeteNerd

    PeteNerd Member

    I'm not sure why you are trying to make this into a race thing. I don't think anyone's trying to be racist. You're getting yourself all fired up over nothing. No one even responded to your bait with anything for you to get fired up over and you're already fired up.

  10. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    "People" on this thread. Who specifically? Several topics were raised from this thread, match winner, tournament appeal outcome, tournament format, promotion of FMA and titles such as Datu to name a few. It seems to me you have rolled everything into one and presenting it as a potential issue of racism.

    Why? Is it because some of the posters may be Filipino and have their strong convictions, cultural beliefs maybe even just pride in their native art? You don't have to be born into the culture to find validity in these posts. Now, in staying with the original topic of who simply won, simple logic is all one needs.

    Stop crying racism cause it has NOTHING to do with the views.

    First off, no one has to agree with anyone. This is why we are free to post our views on a public forum. I am confident we ALL agree that racism is unacceptable. However, there will always be others that don't. If this was racism, posters would not waste time and post childish remarks.

    Now, please do not mistaken mine and others for racism and get on with the thread as it should.

    So this is what it is all about? Your crying foul because of the inaccurate use of Datu? Did you ever think that regardless of the martial arts meaning it has taken that maybe it is offensive to many SE Asians or any outsiders some who may be Datus themselves?

    I don't take anything personal unless it becomes personal.
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Personally the title Datu is just that a title. (as refered to in Modern Arnis)
    Now, what is wrong is trying to make someone feel bad because they receieved a title from Grandmaster Remy Presas. That is just wrong. What is the person supposed to do? (throw is away) In continuing to use the title they honor Remy Presas. You see it is unfair to beat on this issue because the person recieving it did not give it to themself. For me it is just a title within Modern Arnis no different really than Senior Master or Master of Tapi Tapi.

    Now what Rich is trying to convey is that anybody or any nationality can learn the FMA's and be good at it. While I do not know if anyone here thinks differently there have been people in the past who said no you cannot be as good as a born and raised Filipino. That would be incorrect in my opinion.

    Bottom line though this thread and the other off shoot threads are good for discussion and I for one appreciate everyone coming on and puttin in their two cents.

    Brian R. VanCise
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Admin. Note.

    Everyone, please, keep the discussion polite and respectful.

    -FMAT Admin
  13. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    my mind asks the question

    Is the use if the term Datu any different then the use of the words sensei or sifu when used in "karate" circles.
    From what I have read it seems the title is one bestowed in the islands for various reasons and seems to indicate a chieftain of some respect. If in some of the arts that have originated in the islands, the term is used, how is that any different than the use of words to indicate a teacher of leader in other arts that have traveled from their country of origin to other parts of the world
  14. langgaw

    langgaw New Member


    First of all , are you okey? I do not know what is wrong with you but that trollish point of mine?... ( i don't understand)...does not sound nice. And if you say I make your point in the idea that there is no art too deadly to practice then I would agree with you and I hope that makes you happy ... but you are missing the point. I do not intend to explain further since you have become closed to the gist of it.... the same reference to the monks. I can really see the limitation of your knowledge in this area so I would not push my self there.
    Now , with regards to racism. I am 100% with you sir. Racism is bad and racists need to be hanged. They are the cancer of society and they ought to be taken out. We do not need them in this world. they are like know. But racism was not even in mind mind when I stated a fact that natives are better than nonpinoy. you seem to take it personally like it was directed to sir, do not think that way becasue it is a fact, Pinoys have the time to play anytime of the day anywhere in dirt roads, back alleys, backyards, front too, in the middle of the street inside a 6x6 room (as dojo) in the rooftops, etc...than any of you here who practice on schedules and with gears (we can seldom afford anyway) on minimal techniques ....for a fee. Ours is all free bokol, free welts , bruises and we all go home with a smile. I am merely stating a fact and it seems to upset you. I am confused at your reaction and it is this behavior that I yet have to comprehend. Racism sir is bad (implies the person too)and if you were in my shoes ,you would have hanged yurself already because talking about racism is nothing compared to the experiences I have as an asian. So do not ever talk to me about racism because I have been there and here it is again. ..Lucky never experienced it badly.
    And when you talk about Nazi sloganns, closing my account and all that deep talk, I hope you understand what you are trying to say because humbly I don't.
    Also the elders with you that laugh at my point?..... I have nothing against that because they know who they are laughing at.. I will return my smile to them and you sir.
    Pleaase do not address me with anything because I do not have a tiltle, belt trophies, written claims, certificates and all borloloys. You can call me Robert or langaw. I can call you whatever you want me to address you and I absolutely have no problem with that. I can only tell you that what I carry with me is the art that can never be taken away, will not fade, will not age and will remain pure, original and true art of arnis. I sense skepticism now but just to stir up more researches in the future ....what about this............Do you know that somewhere among us, a hidden warrior trained by Iti Anciong and Inkoy Nene existed and acknowledge only by a few BIG NAMES and they yhemselves do not want ot divulge it no matter what? Just a klinker.....and addressess?... I do not aspire to have one.

    You are one of the most open minded person here and I admire you for that.
    Datu is also given to the son in case of death...still subject to approval by the elders. The heir still undersgoes the same rigid rituals and trainings and education. Counsel is always sought by a Datu in whatever decision needed when regard to the tribe. He also seeks counsel in domestic problems but always has the last say (like a stamp on a statement).


  15. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Who is trying to make someone feel bad? The title Datu was never in question or part of the original thread until recently. And just because the late Remy Presas issued the title does not mean it is acceptable by the majority of his countrymen and other places aorund the globe. Others deem the title for the sole purpose of tribal hierarchy. Using it any different may be or is seen as culturally insensitive.

    I think everyone is clear on what he was saying. I think the question is why it is being raised?

    Exactly. That is why this issue or concern does not belong in this thread. You just said it, "people in the past" NOT now. As far as being better, I agree anyone can become good BUT there is sometimes a different sense when it IS part of your culture or bloodline. Convictions, beliefs, traditions, mysticism etc. more acceptable. And sometimes this is where differences of opinions surface. Is it a form of racism then, NO!
  16. langgaw

    langgaw New Member

    Mr Petenerd,

    I thought I could not explain it any better than you. My point then was not so hard to understand after all. Salamat po

    A Datu can also have that tiltle by virtue of his riches and claims ( usually terretories). Info..
  17. langgaw

    langgaw New Member

    Mr Sepuku,

    Info........A title of Datu is considered a sacred title in itself according to tribes in certain localities in the olden times. This title has been used and abused since then.

  18. James Miller

    James Miller Member Supporting Member


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  19. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    Why would the use of the term Datu bother anyone, as long as said Datu is not representing an art or group he is not affiliated with. Does Tim Hartman claim to be Datu of Pekit Tersia? Balintawak, Cuentada Demano? No he is Datu of his group of Modern Arnis, thats it, thats all their is too it!!!

    As everyone becomes more and more a global community you have to understand that "Words" are going to be cross culturized, Americans are now Sensi's, Guru's and what not....In America many African American's hold the Rank of Master, and have white students affectionatly refering to them as Master, 400 years ago the word Master had a far more sinister, and dispicable meaning... 1000 years ago it was really
    something special to be a Kung Fu Master Now there is one on every block......Just 20 years ago their was only 2 people in the U.S doing Original Balintawak Under Gm Buot.......Times have and are changing.....and so are the use of various words through out the world.....Datu, Guru, Master, Grandmaster are just titles unfortunately as this happens the value of the title is often times degraded, but that is just the way it is.......most of us agree that 30 years ago when someone refered to someone else as a master, that was quite a powerful compliment, but now adays, you must learn all you can about a person or potential instructor, and you can no longer just take a title in front of there name at face value.....But hey look at boxing for example 30 years ago there was the WBA and the WBC chanpionsships, and usually one champ carried both titles......Now adays there are up to 10 world champions for each weight division..... in the 35 years I have been in the Martial Arts I have seen so many changes, I use to get outraged by ranks and what not, but now I take it with a grain of salt, does it really hurt you that someone else has a rank or title you don't think they should have?? And lets not forget that many of these titles are given out by people that are native to the original host land,,,,,,wether it be China, Japan, Philipines or what ever so maybe the problem comes from them and not the people with te tilte.....That was my final assesment, once I decided not to worry about it I just realized that hey if a GM of a system wants to call this person this or that its none of my business or anyone elses......Sometimes they dole out these titles for good reasons....i.e in Tim's case he was someone who stepped up to the plate to lead a group and push Modern Arnis forward so GM Presas rewarded him with a title of Datu, no biggie it doesn't hurt anyone......However i will also note when things were done for the wrong reason as in the title of Master of Tapi Tapi,,,,that is a slap in the face to the practioner himeslef.

  20. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

    :Eyecrazy: :roflmao: :laugh: :schild24:
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