Modern Arnis

 

Modern Arnis and creator Remy Presas

Modern Arnis is the system of Filipino martial arts founded by the late Remy Presas as a self-defense system.  His goal was to create an injury-free training method as well as an effective self-defense system in order to preserve the older Kali/Escrima/Arnis systems.  It is derived principally from the traditional Presas family style of the Bolo (machete) and the stick-dueling art of Balintawak Eskrima, with influences from other Filipino and Japanese martial arts.

It is said that, originally, the stick was considered sacred by practitioners, and therefore an arnis practitioner was expected to hit the hand or forearm of his sparring partner and not the stick.  While this worked well in combat, it discouraged many would-be practitioners who found this type of training too painful and produced too many injuries.  The result was that the Filipino martial arts became in danger of dying out in most areas of the Philippines.

Japanese martial arts such as Karate and Judo were much more popular than the indigenous martial arts systems and Remy Presas’ modernization of the training method was intended to help preserve the Filipino martial arts.  He taught the method of hitting cane-on-cane during practice, which attracted more newcomers to the art and allowed the art to be taught in the Philippine school systems.

The training covers empty-hand self-defense (striking, locking, throwing, etc.) as well as the trademark single and double stick techniques of the Filipino martial arts.  Other aspects of the art include Espada y Daga (sword and dagger fighting), Sinawali (double stick weaving patterns), and Tapi-Tapi (locking drills with the stick).

In addition to partner drills, Modern Arnis includes the use of Anyo (kata), solo forms training, very few FMA arts even have forms training of any type.

Emphasis is placed on fitting the art in with a student’s previous training (“the art within your art”), smoothly reacting to changing situations in the fight (“the flow”), and countering the opponent’s attempt to counter strikes directed at him (“tapi-tapi”).

Remy Presas studied his family’s system from an early age and went on to study the Japanese systems of Shotokan Karate and Judo, as well as training in a variety of other Filipino systems, most notably Venancio Bacon’s Balintawak.

In 1974 Professor Presas moved the the USA where he met GM Wally Jay of Small Circle JuJitsu and added this system to Modern Arnis.

Professor Remy Presas passed away in 2001, but has hundreds of instructors and thousands of students to carry on his legacy.

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