MOTTS? Datu?

Discussion in 'Modern Arnis' started by Jade, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. Jade

    Jade Guest

    Hi,
    I'm new to Modern Arnis, and am very confused -- I hope someone can help me! I have no idea what a Master of Tapi Tapi is, or a Datu. Are these some form of rank?

    Jade
     
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    No, they are titles that are "above and beyond" rank, sort of like the titles hanshi, kyoshi, etc. that are used in Japanese arts. Generally speaking, a black belt (lakan or dayang) is also a Guro (teacher); some will, as an additional honor, be given the higher title Punong Guro (typically fourth degree black belts or higher), Master of Tapi Tapi (recently introduced; all holders, I believe, are fifth degree black belts), or Datu (typically sixth degree black belt or higher). The title Datu loosely translates as chieftain. Datu Tim Hartman posts here as well as an anonymous Master of Tapi Tapi, if I understand correctly. Either may be able to give a more complete answer than I.

    Again, these honorifics are separate from rank and are given infrequently. I believe there are only two people in the U.S. who hold the title Datu (Mr. Hartman and Mr. Kelly Worden)--surely Mr. Hartman will correct me if I am mistaken.
     
  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    No MOTT Are on Martial Talk.
     
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I stand corrected. I should also have mentioned the Professor's son, Mr. Demetrio Presas, who is a Punong Guro:
    http://www.modernarnis.com/Punong_Guros.htm
    Mr. Presas posts here as DPRESAS.
     
  5. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    And whatever you do, don't get MOTT confused with the applesauce manufacturer, as in Mott's applesauce. Very bad. Very very bad.

    Cthulhu
    couldn't resist
     
  6. Jade

    Jade Guest

    So, I guess another valid question in addition to the Q's I asked orginally, is what's the difference between a MOTT and a Datu? Thanks guys, for all replies.:wink:
    Jade
     
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    The MOTT title was created quite recently by the late Professor Presas. The title datu is an older Filipino term for "chieftain" that has been used in Modern Arnis for a longer period of time.

    I believe that there are (slightly) fewer datus than MOTTs and that the datus are typically of a higher rank than the MOTTs; on the other hand, the MOTTs were chosen as officers of the IMAF. I do not believe that there was ever a clear and complete explanation of the rules governing the granting of any of these titles, especially the new and non-traditional title Master of Tapi-Tapi. There is probably no satisfactory answer to your question as the MOTT title was created and bestowed after the Professor fell ill.

    I trust as usual that Mr. Hartman or Mao will correct me if I have made a mistatement above. I believe I count four or five datus world-wide--is that correct?
     
  8. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    I will tell what I know about the title of Datu at the moment. I'm gathering some facts on MOTTs, and I want to present it only once.

    Datu
    Chieftain, Leader, or Warlord are the ways that it has been decribed to me in the Filipino culture. I have talked to several Masters & Grandmasters of Filipino heritage. It has also been referred to as a Spiritual Leader. Any one you chose, it has a significant meaning in their culture.

    Who are the Datus in Modern Arnis?
    Shishiar Inacallo-Canada
    Kelly Worden-USA
    Ric Jornales-USA
    David Hoffman-USA currently UK
    Dieter Knuttel-Germany
    Tim Hartman (myself)-USA

    Who was active in Modern Arnis?
    In North America only myself. I can't say either way about the Europeans, because I don't live there and can't tell how active they are in the Modern Arnis community over there. Before everyone goes crazy let me define my use of the word Active. This means actively participating in the federation seminars and camps. Either for improving their own skills or teaching and assisting the Professor. I've been in the art since the early 80's and the only North American based Datu that I've met on the circut was Ric Jornales and he hasn't been active with Remy in over eight years.

    Modern Arnis is a USA based organization. I can understand not seeing much of the Europeans but, I should have seen the Americans and Canadian!

    Datus in Modern Arnis
    As Remy decribed to me on several occasions, Datu is a leadership title in the original IMAF. One of the main reasons that Remy bestowed the title on me was the fact that I chose to lead by example. When it came time to get promoted I would insist on testing in front of everyone. I was not afraid of being seen by our community. I thought, and still do think, that too much rank was given out for political reasons and not for technical ones. In 1999 Remy offered my the title. I turned it down because, at that time, I didn't feel that I was ready for it. The following year I was offered it again and accepted it. Talking to many of the East Coast Modern Arnis people, they feel that only one title supercedes Datu and that was Grandmaster.

    Datu vs Rank
    The title is separate from rank. When I was first offered it, I was only a fifth. Remy thought that leadership ability had nothing to do with what they wear on their waist. This is why I was put in charge of the Can-Am charpter of the IMAF while he was alive. At the time, there were several active memebers who out ranked me but he still chose to put me in charge of that and several other projects of his. The same went for Punong-Guro; rank was separate from that also. It means teacher of teachers. I was also the only one in the IMAF that I know of that Remy bestowed that title on.

    How does it compare to MOTT
    I'm not ready to discuss that at this moment but I will say this. I still consider all seven of them my juniors!


    :asian:
     
  9. bloodwood

    bloodwood Guest

    With the Professor gone will there be any more Datus or MOTTS?
    If so,who would test and promote them?

    Can a Datu promote someone to a MOTT,and can anybody promote a MOTT to a Datu, or is rank at these levels frozen?

    I believe everyone should have a chance for advancement if they deserve it, but who would do the honors?:shrug:
     
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    All good questions and all ones for which there are no clear answers at the moment. Have Dr. Schea or Mr. Delaney spoken publicly about this? Can or will either of them promote above the rank they themselves hold (fifth degree in each case)? Can or will they serve as a "font of honours" so to speak? As grandmasters, if one accepts that, I would assume they have the authority to grant the titles but granting rank above theirs is still iffy. I believe the classical Japanese systems have procedures in place for such circumstances--say, when a low-ranking black belt inherits his father's art. The person heads the system formally but tests for increasingly higher rank according to accepted procedures. I do not know a great deal about how this is actually done.

    I assume that Dr. Presas grants rank for MARPPIO; can anyone speak to this? It isn't perfectly clear to me that they are using a colored belt system--the pictures don't seem to show them wearing belts and the individuals on their web site are principally identified by titles (senior master guro, etc.). I do not see a term like 4th degree black belt or lakan apat lsited for any of them.

    I agree that this issue is important for the future of the art. We might all agree that rank shouldn't matter but for the art to spread I think it does--aren't even the Jeet Kune Do systems starting to adopt ranking procedures? Everyone adopts the colored belts system sooner or later. It's a quite successful meme, frankly.

    It won't be long before we see members of the rival IMAFs, and other organizations, arguing that members of the other organizations do not hold "real" rank. This will be ugly.
     
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I believe this is true not only in rank but also in time studying the art--you began circa 1983, no? Perhaps a year or two earlier? Since you were offered the rank of 7th degree black belt you would have out-ranked them by two degrees.

    Since Modern Arnis has a 0th degree black belt (lakan) that is not a temporary or probationary belt as is sometimes see in other systems, Mr. Hartman's 6th degree black belt is comparable to a 7th degree black belt in systems that use a more conventional shodan, nidan, ..., system. Similarly for other Modern Arnis black belts.

    Thanks for this informative post.
     
  12. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Out of curiosity, what rank does Datu Worden hold in Modern Arnis? I take it Renegade doesn't list him as active since he's doing his 'Renegade' JKD thing?

    Cthulhu
     
  13. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    Cthulu,
    that is a good question. I have no clue what rank if any in Modern Arnis that he has. I've seen his tapes and have had phone conversations with him. From what I see he is a talented martial artist. When I ask the Modern Arnis people they say he is a JKD person. When you talk to the JKD people they say he's a Modern Arnis person. The material I've seen on the tapes that I have access to does not give me the impression of Modern Arnis. Instead I think of the JKD Kali program. There is no question on his ability, I'm just not sure what the root art is.

    :asian:
     
  14. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Renegade,

    I've always thought of Worden as a JKD man myself, particularly from Inosanto's lineage, with the influence of FMA. That being said, who gave him the 'datu' title? Could the 'datu' title be from some other FMA or FMA instructor?

    Cthulhu
     
  15. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    No. It came direct from Remy himself. This was about 12-14years ago.
     
  16. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Interesting. This would leave me to believe that he holds some ranking in Modern Arnis, yes? This is coming from someone who has no facts, just observation, but it seems to me that Worden is using the title bestowed on him, but isn't sticking with the Modern Arnis material. His perogative, I guess. At least he got the title legitimately.

    Cthulhu
     
  17. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    He may not have had rank. Datu Ric Jornales was awarded the title without having any rank! This was in the mid 80's. Remy was trying to groom him as a possible candidate to be his replacment when the time was right to retire. Unfortuantly Ric had a crisis in his family which took him out of the picture for many years. Arnisador can confirm his activity in the group.

    Ric showed up at the 2000 Michigan Summer Camp and most of the soon to be MOTTs came running up to me to ask me if I knew who the guy was. I replied "Datu Jornales".

    This is at least one case were Remy awarded the title to some one who didn't have rank. In Ric's case when he was active in the IMAF the people around could see that he was being trained for a purpose.

    Since none of us were around Worden at the time of the promotion of Datu we can't say why it was given and what the standards were at the time.
     
  18. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    So rank of any sort doesn't matter, eh? I guess the only way to find out what happened is to ask Worden himself.

    Cthulhu
    bein' nosey again
     
  19. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    I think that the title was give to different people for different reasons. I would say if you want to know about rank, ask to see their Diplomas. This goes for ALL Modern Arnis people. A lot of people will be claiming many things. If it's not on paper then I would question it. I also think that goes for all systems.

    :asian:
     
  20. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Re: diplomas

    Okinawa-te doesn't give out certificates for black belt. The belt itself is seen as the 'certificate'. However, we are given certificates for all the ranks leading up to black belt.

    I've always thought this could lead to trouble if someone asked me for some type of paper proving my rank. I can see how my saying, "Well, we don't get black belt certificates," could make some people skeptical. Haven't had to worry about it yet, though, so no sense in worrying about it at all, until it happens (if ever).

    Anyway, to steer this beast back on course...

    It's good that it's a simple matter to ask a Modern Arnis practitioner for a diploma. I'm sure some people may be somewhat insulted if somebody asks them for proof of their rank, but that should be expected to happen once in a while.

    Cthulhu
    babbling
     

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