Here is our chart for the angles of attack.Originally Posted by arnisador
Modern Arnis, WMAA organization:
1. High forehand diagonal swing
2. High backhand diagonal swing
3. Mid-level forehand horizontal swing
4. Mid-level backhand horizontal swing
5. Mid-level thrust
6. High forehand thrust
7. High backhand thrust
8. Low backhand diagonal swing
9. Low forehand diagonal swing
10. High vertical swing
Of course, we focus more on the angles than the level. The angle in the first two diagonal swings is not the same as that in the last two. The forehand thrust has palm down (or to the right), and the backhand thrust has palm up (or to the left), when done in the right hand. The #5,6,7 strikes are also done hooked. (Other strikes can also be hooked.) The #10 strike may be done as an overhead strike or one that moves with the tip in almost a horizontal line, straight into the face.
That's correct Dan. I streamlined the striking program back around March. As Jeff said those angles are usually done the same. Since we are going Angles of attack and not Targets of attack, it doesn’t matter much. Case in point, Jeff and I were stick sparring one day and I did a number 5 thrust to the knee. Even though it was not a strike to the belly it was still the same Angle.Originally Posted by Dan Anderson
As far as the 1 & 2 being to the shoulder see above. In addition, I was taught to strike the shoulder. Remy was always trying to improve on the program. I feel that it is safer for beginners to strike the body at the beginning. Later apply all of the angles to the entire body. I look at the Modern Arnis angles as a template to learn from, as is much of our system.
Hey Danny,Originally Posted by Dan Anderson
You might be joking about #13, but Guro Abu Jamilali and Jun Garcia were quite serious and their 13 strike format is exactly as you have presented it.
I will give you the full citation tomorrow when I have their book in front of me.
In my opinion the angles are similar enough to be classified as the same. I’m not going to sweat a couple of degree difference. I prefer to put more emphasis on the lines of attack and less on predetermined targets. We’ve recently applied the same approach to disarming.Hmmm.... The angles are the same for Remy's #6, #7 and #10, #11? Head/Eye level is not the same as the Chest/Heart level of the human body, therefore there is in fact a different angle of attack. Look in a mirror make the strikes slowly to the targets and WATCH your own arm, particularly the elbow and wrist of the striking hand. There is definately a difference in the angle of the striking arm in relation the elevation of the strike to the head or the chest.
I think you might be focusing too much on the method and not enough on the result. None of us will ever be Remy. I don’t teach things like he did, yet my students could pass the instructors test. In addition to preserving the art we must also look to the future. It is MODERN Arnis, not traditional Arnis. It is our duty as students of our late teacher to help the art progress, much like he did.I have no problem what so ever with your decision to present a 10 strike system. Your orgainzation, your curriculum, your choice. Is it still Modern Arnis as taught by Professor Remy Presas? It is definately WMAA.
I keep the original angles of attack the same as Prof. Presas taught me. I look at it from the aspect of the weapon. Since the cane is an impact weapon, I look at where an impact weapon is the most useful - hard bony areas. For the knife or bolo, my blade numbers of attack are a hair different as they go for cutting fleshy and connecting tissue areas.Originally Posted by T Hartman
"I always remind people from outside our state that there is plenty of room for all Alaska's animals - right next to the mashed potatoes."
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We all learned the 12 basic angles of attack in Modern Arnis. That was a solid foundation to start with. What we do with this knowledge and how we apply it is another story. For quite some time now I've been applying the 6/10 and 7/11 angles to different targets. For example, hitting the 7/11 or right side with a 6/10 strike and visa versa. These cross ripping strikes still maintain the basic striking angles while adding a wider variety of targets. Combining these angles is a natural progression in advancing the art. Without exploring the possibilities you sit around and gather dust while others pass you by.
Professor gave us everything we needed. Now it is our turn to explore all that he left for us and keep his Modern Arnis MODERN and on the cutting edge of the Filipino arts.
"Maybe poker is just not your game Ike, I know, let's have a spelling contest" Doc Holliday -Tombstone
The key here is the term too much. Targeting is very important, especially depending upon the weapon being used. As one becomes familiar with the techniques and so on, motion and angles are more easily recognized and looked at as such.Originally Posted by arnisador
"I always remind people from outside our state that there is plenty of room for all Alaska's animals - right next to the mashed potatoes."
Visit my website at
Agreed, my approach is to apply all of the angles to as many different targets as possible. As I said before, while sparring with Jeff I was able to execute a number 5 strike to his knee. If you pick a body apart and try to hit it with all of the angles, you my feel it redundant to using 6, 7 and 10, 11.Originally Posted by Dan Anderson
I have no problem with people using all 12 strikes and by no means do I think it’s wrong. In my opinion dropping two angles isn’t changing the system as much as streamlining or helping with in its evolution.
Re: Basic Striking Patterns
Referring to Professor’s Modern Arnis strikes #10 and #11; Tim Hartman posted the following comment:
“In my opinion the angles are similar enough to be classified as the same. I’m not going to sweat a couple of degree difference. I prefer to put more emphasis on the lines of attack and less on predetermined targets. We’ve recently applied the same approach to disarming.”
You are certainly free to what ever opinion you wish to hold. If you wish to eliminate strikes #10 and #11 that is your decision to make, however you are not presenting Modern Arnis, as developed by Professor. You have altered a central or core feature. Given that you are very quick to pull the trigger and denounce things that others have done as ‘not being Modern Arnis’,
I would apply your very same criteria and strongly question the efficacy of eliminating these to strikes and retaining the claim of teaching Modern Arnis as Professor’s art. In all 3 of his books and all three of the video series that he produced including the one for Black Belt Productions and the tapes sold through Jeff Delaney, Professor showed a 12 count striking system. You have a 10 count striking system. WMAA, yes, absolutely and quite acceptable from any point of view as long as you call a spade a spade. As I said earlier and you correctly quoted me:
“I have no problem what so ever with your decision to present a 10 strike system. Your organization, your curriculum, your choice. Is it still Modern Arnis as taught by Professor Remy Presas? It is definitely WMAA.” I stand by that statement.
Tim Hartman wrote:
“I prefer to put more emphasis on the lines of attack and less on predetermined targets.”
I that statement as ‘fuzzy logic’ being used to justify the WMAA 10 strike system. ‘Lines of
attack’ and “targets’ are not one and the same thing. Professor gave us ‘short-handed’ targets and lines/angles of attack in a single unified format. That format gave us both the targets to be struck and the broader defensive system to counter those same strikes. The defensive stick blocks are equally applicable whether one is taught from a 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15 or 16 strikes
system. I have worked with each of those systems.
Targeting on the other hand is whole other matter. Targeting is usually quite specific and each target is chosen with a desired effect in mind, if that target is actually struck. Targets also should change when the tool used to attack or counter-attack changes. The effects one can expect from an empty hand strike, a kick, a knife or a stick are different. A stick strike to the clavicle will produce a different effect from a hand chop to the same spot. A knife cut/slice would be different yet again.
Tim Hartman wrote:
“I think you might be focusing too much on the method and not enough on the result. None of us will ever be Remy. I don’t teach things like he did, yet my students could pass the instructors test. In addition to preserving the art we must also look to the future. It is MODERN Arnis, not traditional Arnis. It is our duty as students of our late teacher to help the art progress, much like he did.”
Working in reverse order and answering your statement. Helping the art to progress is not the issue. Why would I disagree with that idea? I have never told others that what they were doing is not Modern Arnis, because that was your ax to grind. The latest example of that was in your review of the Tipunan in August of this year.
It is very possible to preserve an art and modify things to meet new situations or cultural differences. Learning from the past and applying those lessons so that one can effectively deal with the present and future is very forward thinking and admirable. It seems that you have shifted gears somewhat from earlier positions that you have taken in posts to this forum. Welcome to the progressive side of Modern Arnis instruction. Given that you are beginning to sound like Tom Bolden, Bram Frank, Dan Anderson and Kelly Worden, not to mention this writer, I welcome you to the other side of Modern Arnis thinking. We have long held and stated that Professor provided the system and philosophy; however it was necessary for each individual to move forward making the art for themselves. And before you or anyone else gets their knickers knotted up, I am NOT SAYING that 5 of us are all on the same page all of the time. We are individuals, we have our differences in approach and emphasis; however, our general points of view are compatible. It sure looks like you are wading into the broiling waters of “making it for yourself”. Welcome.
Instructors test? Whose test are you referring to, Professor’s or the WMAA? The question is for the purpose of gaining clarity so that we are talking about the same thing. As for being Professor or even trying to be like Professor… forget that garbage. I am Jerome Barber. Always have been and always will be. I NEVER saw myself as being in Professor’s image nor did I want to try that suit on for size! It wasn’t going to fit. That’s your gig, Tim. I never stated that I was going to teach and preserve Modern Arnis as Professor taught it… YOU did that as part of your WMAA Mission Statement.
Tim Hartman wrote:
“I think you might be focusing too much on the method and not enough on the result.”
OK, let’s look at the ‘results’ because I believe that you have failed to acknowledge or understand what could happen when the targets struck are the eyes versus the chest of a human being. In actual fact the results of being struck in the eye with either strike 10 or 11 is going to be quite different from being struck in the chest by strikes 6 or 7. And for clarity and not to further confuse the issue I will only consider a blunt end stick as the striking instrument, not a pointed stick, knife or bolo.
All strikes to the chest are not equal. Strikes to the right side of the chest are generally less damaging than strikes to the left side. On the right side the major damage is to the muscle sheath and breast plate. It is essentially painful and might induce muscle cramping. The lung is not very likely to be impacted since we are using a blunt instrument and the ribs are not broken.
A strike to the left side of the chest is a different story, since it is possible that the impact of the blow could jar the heart muscle causing palpitations (skipped or missed beats) which are very painful. BTW in EMT circles this is known as a thoracic thump which is a sharp blow to the breast plate to force the heart to start beating, when a defibulater is not available during heart attack.
A stick strike to the solar plexus is even more serious because all of the following internal organs are associated with that nerve grouping: liver, stomach, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and gall bladder. Disruption to or internal bleeding of any of these organs can result in very serious problems and/or death. Of course the solar plexus is not a specific target within the Modern Arnis listings of Professor. When struck to the right side of the chest most people can continue fighting.
Strikes to the left side will cause some people to quit the fight after just one or two blows. Other may fight on and require 5 or 6 blows before the stoppage occurs. A solid and powerful blow to the solar plexus could cause the person to stop immediately and the internal damage may not be immediately obvious.
A stick strike to either eye is very likely to put an immediate end to the fight. This is because the optic nerve of the eye is attached directly to the brain. The pain of the strike is transferred immediately to the brain. The targets of strikes 6/7 do not have the direct connect to the brain.
The next point for consideration is the eye is made entirely of soft tissue and very thin muscle that offers no protection from possible injury. A stick strike to the eye is very likely going to injure the cornea and lens. Beyond that there is a good chance that a powerful directed strike will also affect the vitreous humour or fluid sack behind the lens and in front of the retina and optic nerve.
If this fluid sack is ruptured, the eye will lose both its shape and function. At minimum, the results will be temporary blindness in that eye. Permanent blindness can not be ruled out.
In my opinion, I would suggest that an eye strike off of #10/#11 is roughly equivalent to being shot by a .45 caliber bullet and a chest strike, not including the solar plexus is akin to being shot with a 38. caliber. The impact and bodily damage in more severe when struck by the former bullet.
If you consult Brain Adams’ book, The Medical Implications of Karate Blows, published by Unique Publications, there will be very little doubt about the damage that can inflicted to the eye. In that book, the attacking tool is the finger! We are discussing a stick being used as the attacking object.
Removing strikes 10/11 is a very poor decision in my view, particularly when the stated rationale is that #10/11 is duplicating #6/7. If students are trained, drilled and practiced in the use of the former strikes, how will they learn to defend against thrusting attacks to their eyes? In my opinion you are doing them a long term disservice by omitting those two strikes. If you want to stream line the strikes and present a reduced numbering system why wouldn’t you adopt the 9 count striking system that Professor taught at the Erie County Central Police Services Academy back in 1984? All you need to do is eliminate strikes #10, #11 and #12. That striking system is still being taught at the academy, today.
Professor and John Bryant presented the Modern Arnis 9 Count Striking System because in NYS, police cadets are not allowed to use blows to the head in training courses according to the rules of the NYS Chiefs of Police Association that sets the rules for training requirements. I am aware of this information because the ECCPSA was located at the South Campus of ECC for some 15 years, I knew a number of the instructors and I have taught as a guest instructor on several occasions.
As my final comment, I would also suggest that removing strikes 10 and 11 is a very poor idea because of something that Professor himself wrote about the 12 strikes:
“The twelve striking techniques are the life and soul of arnis. They are the hinges around which other techniques in arnis revolve.” (Presas, 1974, p. 32) Remy Presas. Modern Arnis: Philippine Martial Art, Stick Fighting. National Bookstore, Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1974.
Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
What about Cinco Tiros? I've heard directly from several GM's and well known teachers, one of whom was Remy Presas, that all of the strikes could boil down to 5.
There is a myth that seems to pervade the FMA community that if you know someone's angles then you know their system. That is far from the truth unless you have a very shallow system.
Capital Doce Pares
"If you know your history,
then you would know where you're coming from.
Then you wouldn't have to ask me,
'who the 'eck do I think I am?'"
Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier
DrBarber, in bold:
As for being Professor or even trying to be like Professor… forget that garbage. I am Jerome Barber. Always have been and always will be. I NEVER saw myself as being in Professor’s image nor did I want to try that suit on for size! It wasn’t going to fit. That’s your gig, Tim.
Hardly Tim's "gig" as he's said here on MT that the suit wouldn't fit any of us.
I'm getting a real sense here that the issue isn't a technical one, given the tone of that last post. You write:
I never stated that I was going to teach and preserve Modern Arnis as Professor taught it… YOU did that as part of your WMAA Mission Statement.
Let's check this from the mission statement on the WMAA web site:
Our first goal is to further the growth of Arnis throughout the world...We will achieve this by designing specific training programs that will advance the progression of our art while developing maximum student proficiency.
That contradicts what you wrote above. Do your homework, professor.
Regardless...this whole "teaching it as the Professor taught" is nothing more than grabbing on to Remy's reputation and running with it. If you're NOT doing that...great. A personal agenda seems to be the issue then insofar as your vitriol.
So what's the deal here? You seem to take umbrage to Tim dropping the strikes and deviating from the way Remy taught it...then you say "I never stated that I was going to teach and preserve Modern Arnis as Professor taught it..."
Could you make up your mind and then tell us what is on it?
"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things. One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock
I agree with Bart on this point. Remy Presas Jr even has taught that the 12 strikes can be reduced to 5 basic strikes.Originally Posted by bart
The incredible thing about GM Remy Presas is that he was an educator, as such, he provided templates. The 12 strikes along with the 12 blocks are a template. They are the abecedarios ("ABC's") of the art.
I'm reminded of tapado and its paucity of strikes.
I'd buy that it basically comes down to three strikes: Forehand, backhand, and a stab.
This is how I teach at my seminars. I've had great success with this and even Dan Anderson made comments that he liked my approach. I don’t think the quantity of angles should be a big concern. The important thing is what we do with what we have! In Modern Arnis I look at 6, 7 & 10, 11 as being specialty attacks. On the street the most common are the forehand, backhand, thrust and overhead. The rest of the angles come into play as well encounter skilled opponents. We must train for as many type of opponents and attacks as possible. My approach is to focus on the most common at first and increase the variety as the training continues.Originally Posted by arnisador