Grandmaster Remy A. Presas
Arnis is a term used
for describing the Filipino martial art utilizing a single stick,
double set of sticks, stick and dagger and empty hands.
Modern Arnis is an eclectic (made up from elements from various
sources) style. Professor Presas traveled around
the Philippines for many years studying various types of Filipino
martial arts. He assimilated these arts into his existing body of
Martial Arts knowledge. Modern Arnis is in some ways a generic term
for Professor Remy Presas' personal interpretation of Filipino martial
Modern Arnis contains many parts. There are empty hand forms, stick
forms, Filipino Jujutsu, grappling, kicking, Sinawali Boxing, stick
and dagger, knife, double stick, single stick, anti-stick grabbing,
as well as combinations of all the parts mentioned. Professor Presas
likes to say it's all covered in three forms of "play":
Espada y Daga (sword or stick and dagger), Sinawali (a double stick
weaving pattern), and solo baston (single stick).
Professor Presas was trained in the family style of Arnis, Presas
Style by his grandfather. This style included the Blade Art of the
Presas' family, the Palis-Palis. After leaving home at age 14, Professor
Presas first studied under Rodolfo Moncal and Timoteo Maranga, and
then graduated to Grandmaster Venancio "Anciong" Bacon
in Cebu. From Bacon he learned and mastered Bacon's Balintawak eskrima
(eskrima = fencing), a counter for counter style known for aggressive
counter attacks. Balintawak and Presas Family Arnis are the foundations
of Modern Arnis. Other Filipino martial arts masters taught him
as he grew up.
Prof. Presas was
also an avid practitioner of Shotokan Karate and Judo. He studied
Kendo (Japanese sword fighting). He studied Kuntao Silat (an empty
hand art) and Filipino Dumog (wrestling style). In his quest to
learn he became obsessed with learning the guiding principals of
Filipino martial arts. As he taught he mastered the concepts that
make up the core of Filipino martial art. He called it "The
art within your art." All this blended together and started
to be distilled down into what would eventually be called Modern
Arnis. In 1957 Professor Presas established Modern Arnis and he
was officially declared the father and founder of Modern Arnis by
the Filipino Government.
When Professor Presas arrived in America, he traveled all over
the country teaching Modern Arnis to any and all who would listen.
Sensei Shekosky has traveled extensively to learn Modern Arnis personally
from Professor Presas and has also promoted numerous Modern Arnis
seminars conducted by Professor Presas. Sensei Shekosky was certified
as an advanced instructor and named as a senior student by The Professor.
Prof. Presas passed away in the fall of 2001 and Sensei Shekosky
is one of a number of instructors who are keeping his art of Modern
Arnis alive in their instruction. In Sensei Shekosky's view there
is no one "official" Modern Arnis curriculum since the
art was continuously evolving right up until the time of the Grandmaster's
passing.Grandmaster Remy A.Presas touched the lives of so many people
and his art lives on through the hard work of many instructors who
are teaching their version as it was passed down to them.