So what is the general opinion of Modern Arnis?
I attend a Baji quan class several times a week and ran into another student's father today at the class. He likes to brag about how great his 17 yr. old son is at MA and how he holds 4th degree in several styles. Just so we're clear his son does nothing but compete in forms tournaments and only in tournaments in which they know he will at least place if not win. He does not spar, ever.
I had heard that his son was a black belt of some sort in FMA, I myself had studied Doce Pares and Sayoc systems many years ago as well as competed in a couple of small local WEKAF events and know a few of the top guys in the city but was unfamiliar with any of them using a belt system so naturally I inquired about the system his son had learned.
I assumed that, since it was an FMA, that he must have sparred or fought to achieve his rank. Apparently he did not. The conversation went something like this;
Me, "So I hear your son has a BB in some kind of stick system"
Him," Yes, he's the youngest BB ever in the system. The test was really tough"
Me," So they fight?"
Him, "At the test they do attack scenarios."
Me, "So they fight?"
Him, "No they're attack scenarios"
Me, " I don't understand, what do you mean by attack scenarios?"
Him," The instructor selects someone to attack the person being tested at almost full go and the student has to defend and disarm the attacker."
Me, " Oh, that's different than what I'm used to. I used to training with guys that don't do belts. Either you know the material and can fight or you can't. It's different than what I'm familiar with"
Him growing noticeably uneasy, "yeah it's different" Walks away.
I checked out who the instructor is and found that he is part of the Remy Presas organization. Rumor also has it that the local instructor orginally refused to test this guys son for BB because he was too young so the father wrote a letter to the instructor's teacher who in turn overruled him and said go ahead and test him.
I am not familiar with Modern Arnis and wondered how the system was viewed by others in the FMA community. Does this sound normal to anyone or is it an exception? Do they spar and compete or is it more of a McDojo kind of operation?
I don't know about community-wide as a whole, but when I was shopping around for an FMA Style Modern Arnis was pretty much at the bottom of the list. They do mostly single stick and empty hands, both of which are way too locking-heavy for my tastes. A big chunk of the Empty hands is Shotokan and Small Circle Jujutsu based. They also do katas and from as far as I can see it the sparring is rare if at all.
I believe the curriculum as a whole was meant to be kind of "dumbed down" so as to be either an introduction to FMA or as an add-on system. "The system within your system" I believe is how they refer to that. Though one good thing about the flexible curriculum is that a lot of the teachers go off and expand what they are doing to include more sparring, RBSD stuff, different weapons or whatever tickles your fancy. Kelly Worden, Pete Kautz and a lot of other guys take something that IMO is a bit limited and expand it and do it right.
His brother Ernesto has a program, Kombatan Arnis, which is a little more straightforward and fighting oriented but IMO not as much as a lot of the styles that refer to themselves as Escrima or Kali. Anything under the categorization of "Modern Arnis" tends to have a more expansive and martial artsy (read:untested) selection of techniques; lots of joint-locking, disarms, karate-based empty hand etc. "Classical Arnis" seems to refer to the strictly fighting oriented training and looks a bit more like the family styles of Escrima.
As for the empty hand system of Modern Arnis, the basic truth is that in the U.S., there really isn't one to speak of. When Remy Presas first started teaching in the U.S. he was teaching primarily in seminars and was teaching people that, for the most part, had a significant empty hand background prior to their learning Arnis. As such, he focused most of his teaching on stick and knife and emphasized how to make those concepts work with other martial art styles. That is where the "art within your art" idea came from. Because of this, not much thought was given in the early years about Modern Arnis being able to stand on its own as a legit empty hand system here in the U.S. However, if you look at how Modern Arnis is trained in the P.I. you will see an empty hand system that looks nothing like most Modern Arnis in the United States. Those students did not have a previous empty hand system so they just learned the system that Remy taught along with the weapons skills. Certain sub-systems of Modern Arnis here in the U.S. have re-engineered the Mano Mano curriculum due to this. Modern Arnis - 80, which is taught by Dan Anderson is one example.
With respect to forms, they are referred to as Anyos and were put in during the 1970's when Remy came to the U.S. At that time, pretty much all martial arts programs in the states trained forms so Remy included them as a way to make what he was doing a little more similar to Americans. If you go to the P.I., you will see that they mainly do not use the empty hand anyos but do perform the baston forms. Some sub-systems in the U.S. have ditched them such as MA-80. When you realize that Remy also had a background in Shotokan, it is not too surprising that some of that ended up being incorporated into the system he founded. Speaking for myself, I enjoy training the Baston Anyos and see the purpose behind them. The empty hand Anyos serve no purpose other than marketing and I could just as well do without them though in my system we do have to learn them.
I have studied Modern Arnis for a little over a year and we spar with wooden sticks wearing gloves and fencing helmets, empty hand with full hitting using MMA gloves and head gear, and training knives hard enough to leave serious bruises on a pretty regular basis. Our Mano Mano system resembles JKD a good deal but then most legit FMA Boxing tends to look that way. I can't speak for what other schools are doing, but we definitely hit hard and students are introduced to sparring not too long after beginning their training with us. In addition, Stick, Knife, and Empty Hand sparring is part of the belt grading process starting with the lower level belts.
In our training group we do talk from time to time about noticing a lack of training intensity in some other groups that we have observed. However, the techniques are quite sound when trained the right way. Since Remy Presas had earned a legit reputation as a stick fighter before deciding to found his own style, that is hardly surprising.
A couple of our guys just got back from the Dog Brothers two day seminar in Toronto where they sparred according to their rules and they more than held their own (I have seen the video). Speaking for myself, I have sparred stick, knife, and mano mano with students of various systems and I have never felt as if my style was letting me down. In fact, I more than held my own knife sparring against a pretty senior PTK student and I had only been studying Modern Arnis for about 6 months at the time. As for the rest, some I did well, some not so much. Most of that is probably on me rather than the style.
I guess my general opinion is that when it is trained with intent, Modern Arnis works well, and when it isn't it probably doesn't. Pretty much like most other martial arts. I do agree in the states that the empty hand system for most Modern Arnis schools needs some re-engineering but the schools that have taken that task on are doing some really good things.
The above scenario sounds like a spoiled kid and an enabling parent.
Last edited by jwinch2; 9/06/2009 12:25am at .
Originally Posted by stray_bullet
what the ****??
i teach this stuff and i completely think you are a fucking idiot.
where did you get this stuff?? and why the **** are you writing it. you even said that you "don't know about community-wide as a whole" right in your first fucking paragraph. well, the community is paying a visit. prick.
go and type in 'Modern Arnis' in Google and you will see that Modern Arnis is a highly respected martial art and is absolutely one of the very best in Filipino Martial Arts systems ANY-fucking-WHERE. it is taught all over the world in different countries and continues to grow faster than any other martial art in the world.
one guy you mention, Kelly Worden, has actually taken the basic Modern Arnis concept and expanded it to fit what he already understands about martial arts and so have others: Bram Frank, Rey Dionaldo, Dieter Knuttel...all these guys are top Modern Arnis practitioners that consider themselves and market themselves as experts in Modern Arnis ABOVE ALL THE OTHER ARTS THAT THEY HAVE LEARNED. you fucking idiot. this says a lot about the power that Modern Arnis has in terms of expansion into other martial arts. it is because firstly, it a SIMPLE martial art to learn and secondly, it has the ability to make other martial art systems BETTER by employing multiple weapons platforms -- stick, knife, empty hand. FMA 101 for ignorant fucks like you.
the late Grandmaster Remy Presas Sr. was brilliant in terms of finding ways other high ranked martial artists could use from his system to further their own skills. each that learned from him got BETTER not WORSE and their careers flourished (not to mention their wallets) because of their commitment to spreading this man's teachings.
there are many, worldwide organizations devoted to Modern Arnis and if you fucking would have gone to any of these sites, you fucking ****, then you would know this. so...too bad you don't have a fucking good Modern Arnis instructor in your area. if you had gone, you would have gotten your fucking ass kicked good and either done the right thing and be humbled by it or thrown out of the school holding your eyeballs in your hands.
and what the **** is this bullshit about an FMA being Japanese based....Shotokan? are you fucking kidding me? Modern Arnis is a fucking FILIPINO martial art, man. this is a system created by little brown people to kick ass over other brown people on the islands and when the time came, kicked ass over big stupid white people and fucking Amerikkkan motherfuckers. there are no stances or forms or anything "hard style" about it. FMA is the basis for a lot of street realistic self-defense systems...you know the kind of stuff that could save your life if you get attacked in the street some night (no doubt, in your case, looking for man on man action).
JKD is a Wing Tsun based art but WAS EXPANDED BY FMA CONCEPTS. ask ANYONE who came from the original Inosanto studio in the 70's. and they will tell you that JKD was not complete until it began to incorporate FMA concepts: expanded repertoire of EMPTY HAND blocking, triangularity in movement, close range engagements...all hallmarks of FMA (in this case Serada system via Inosanto).
<read this following section in it's entirety and S-L-O-W-L-Y so that you can understand, ok?>
FMA has the best empty hand technique there is because FMA is a weapons based system. Modern Arnis is one of the very best empty hand system because (and this is the one thing that Modern Arnis emphasizes over other FMA) of the emphasis on commonality of movement from one weapon platform to another. in this case, you move from stick, knife and then empty hand. it is assumed that by the time the student gets to the empty hand aspect that they will be BADASS enough to fucking disarm a guy with a stick, machete, knife or baseball bat or any fucking thing some idiot has the nerve to use on him.
so...**** you and **** you. you are an idiot who absolutely doesn't know what the **** he's talking about. you are a ...what? kickboxer. what the **** does that even mean??? you box with your legs? what style? do you even know? man...i would surely love to see one of our dear brothers in Modern Arnis beat the living pulp out of you someday. i surely would. let it be known that this website does get some pretty good search engine action and others in Modern Arnis will respond. so start your flame now but fair warning...others will visit and you will be ridiculed endlessly.
fucking shithead ************.
For your style being so awesome and macho it's incredibly hard to find anything about it that doesnt scream SUCK.
Originally Posted by kevin7777
I'm a pretty so-so kickboxer and one-stripe BJJ white belt and I'm pretty confident I'd tool most Presas Modern Arnis players in EH.
Glad you liked the writeup.
Modern Arnis has a very sophisticated empty-hand system. with all due respect, because you have only been studying for one year, you haven't come to this realization yet.
try this: do everything that you were taught in Modern Arnis as part of the self-defense curriculum with empty hand only and (most important) ADJUST THE TECHNIQUE so that it works within the empty hand application. for example, one common thing guys will do is stay engaged in largo or medio distance when doing empty hand technique. wrong. you MUST go inside deeper. if you learned how to move in triangular footwork, use it because it will get you inside faster.
additionally, you should know this if no one in your school has said this: all FMA train WITH STICKS FIRST. this is because, in the FMA, it is generally believed that training empty hand before stick makes it more difficult for the student to adjust to weapons handling. it is critical that the FMA practitioner master and control weapons prior to the empty hand application -- after all, FMA is weapons based and mastery of a system requires smooth transition among all weapons platforms.
i would advise you to be patient and to really open your mind in terms of where empty hand fits in with the FMA. if your school emphasizes stick sparring as a way to build skills (and increase the size of their trophy case) then i would advise you to think about how complete your training could be if empty hand, close quarters engagements and grappling weren't exposed to you.
some schools do this and i don't mean to create ill-feelings to you about your school. but i certainly would ask what is the intent of the stick-sparring and whether or not some type of deep training, in the future, will be on empty-hand and close quarters self-defense skill.
home on a saturday night?
none of the hustlers available on the ho-stroll for you prick?
wait for more...plenty to come.
It's incredibly easy for a young, attractive gay male to find sex on a Saturday night, so staying home is a sort of status symbol.
You seem like a pretty weird dude.
I will say I wished I had the chance to have trained with Prof. Presas. Unfortunately, I've only seen him in video but I must say watching him move is impressive.
I think the problem he had is many of the people who adopted his system used it as an add on to their primary system. What I mean is that some 'xyz style' guy said, "Hey, I'm gonna learn Arnis." Then the 'xyz style' guy tries to take Arnis and fit it into the 'xyz style' mold. In that case Arnis only vaguely resembles itself because it is only expressed in the confines of the persons primary system. What I've seen is many guys who are doing stuff that looks more like American style Karate or TaeKwonDo than FMA.
Then you see, people like Worden or other great Modern Arnis guys who do it justice. So really it depends on the person and their expression of the art.
I have no problems with my Modern Arnis training at all. In fact, I enjoy it quite a bit. However, I believe you to be incorrect about the rigor of the empty hand system. I have had several conversations with first generation Remy students such as Dan Anderson and others who have told me straight out that the empty hand system was not taught for the most part except as applications from the stick and knife as Remy was teaching students who already had a empty hand system to work from when he came to the United States. This has been confirmed from talking with other first gen. Modern Arnis players.
Originally Posted by kevin7777
Is Modern Arnis capable of being a stand alone art with a complete weapons as well as empty hand system? Yes it is. Absolutely. The problem is that so many of the original seniors that Remy had did not learn it that way as many of them were fairly accomplished martial artists before they started studying from him. Those people are the ones who now head the major organizations and as such, in some cases their empty hand curriculum are lacking. This is why some of them have made repeated trips to the P.I. to learn what Remy taught as an empty hand system over there, as well as to study what other FMA styles were doing with respect to their mano mano and brought it back here to expand what they were doing. To me, that is the essence of Modern Arnis. Remy studied with whoever he could and had no problem bringing in outside techniques. I think he would have fully endorsed studying more deeply both within and outside the system. You apparently are forgetting that Remy, in addition to learning his family art, spent significant amounts of time with GM Bacon learning a different style of FMA.
As for aspects of Modern Arnis coming from Japanese arts, this is 100% true. Remy had a background in Shotokan and Judo and used that in the development of his art. You apparently have forgotten this part of his history as well. From the belt system, to the anyos, you can see the Japanese influence. The Baston anyos were something developed long before he came to the states and it is my understanding that there was influence from his family system in their development. Unfortunately, the empty hand anyos are another story all together. They were put together for the express purpose of marketing the system to people who, at the time, believed that you had to do forms or you were not studying martial arts. This can be found easily from Remy's own writings as well as from discussion with Remy's senior students who were with him from the beginning. The fact that schools in the P.I. don't do the empty hand forms only lends more credence to this. Furthermore, my statement about modern Arnis empty hands looking somewhat like JKD is just an observation so that people who had not seen the system could have a point of reference. Nothing more, nothing less.
Finally, I have to say that as a Modern Arnis student, I am very disappointed that you have come on here in the manner in which you have. Every single person I have come across in Modern Arnis has been respectful, fun to be around, and seemed like a good person until now. You coming on here swearing and attacking people in the manner in which you did rather than just addressing the legitimate question posed by the original poster does nothing to enhance the reputation of our art. The only thing it does is make you look like a tool. I don't know who you are but I sincerely hope that you do not belong to the same organization that I do. Defending your ideas with passion is one thing. I have no problem with that. Writing a first post like you did on here is something entirely different and I cannot help but be embarrassed for you and for Modern Arnis in general.
I will close in saying again that Modern Arnis is a vibrant art that I am very glad to study. When trained properly, the techniques are quite effective. The key is training with serious intent and pressure testing your skills during live sparring in all of its various forms and not just with people who train the same system that you do. Bottom line? There are people who are really doing it well, and those who are not. This is of course, not the fault of the system anymore than it is the fault of BJJ that there are now video testing for belt rank in some places. It is the fault of the people who are not keeping their standards in the proper place. Remy was a fighter. He had a very legit fighting record while studying with Bacon prior to his development of Modern Arnis. I think it is important to remember that when thinking about how the art should be trained and passed on.
Last edited by jwinch2; 9/06/2009 8:43am at .