Rank

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts - General' started by Kirk, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    How does the rank structure work, from beginner to highest of
    highs? What is a "Datu", and what's the pronunciation?
     
  2. Wingman

    Wingman Guest

    Originally, a "Datu" is the village headman or the leader of a tribe. I don't know what a "datu" means in the context of FMA.
     
  3. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    In Modern Arnis, there are 6 Datus, each selected by Remy Presas. Other FMA may also use the title, however I'm not aware of any that do. There is controvercy over the title (which is outside of rank) being used by non-filipinos. There were several exchanges in the past here, on RMA, and in ED about it.

    I may be mistaken, but I believe the most common title would be Guro. I'll let those in the know give a better description of FMA titles, ranks, and who uses what. :)
     
  4. dearnis.com

    dearnis.com Master Black Belt

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    Every art seems to have a slightly different structure (hard to believe, I know).
    Guro is fairly generic for teacher; Punong Guro, Datu, Tuhon, and others appear at the high end of things.
    The beauty of the Filipino arts is that no one loses sleep over it.
     
  5. bart

    bart Brown Belt

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    Hey There,

    Rank in FMA depends on the system. Some systems don't have rank and even in ones that do, some teachers give rank out at different and unpredictable times. FMA in my opinion is more about skill versus others and knowledge of the curriculum than it is about rank. It's my understanding that rank came to the systems mostly in the period between the 1950's and 1970's. Before that and even during that, standing was based on challenge matches. But nonetheless in modern times, it really depends on the system being studied (Doce Pares, Modern Arnis, Kabaroan, etc.). Also some systems view the red belt as higher than the black belt.

    This is a quote from my old high school Philippine History and Gov't Book:
    The pronunciation of Datu goes like this: it has a long "a" like in Spanish and the "u" is pronounced without a "y" sound. The emphasis is on the first syllable. It's something like "DAAAH 2". Please excuse my poor phoenetic skills. I hope that helps.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    It helps big time, thanks. Damned interesting! I guess the next
    question would be, if there's no ranks how does one measure
    another's progress in a modern FMA school? How does one
    know when he's ready to start teaching, or possibly open his
    own school?
     
  7. dearnis.com

    dearnis.com Master Black Belt

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    Kirk;
    That is probably the easier question.
    For measuring progress, imagine a karate school. Now imagine everyone doing the same drill or exercise. Oh yeah, wait, dress them all in sweats, no belts!
    You might not pick exact ranks, but you would have a decent idea of who was where. (Kind of like the "beginner" who comes to class and neglects to mention a black belt in some other art; the training shows through).
    As to teaching....
    Either your teacher tells you, or you find yourself in a situation where you have to teach in order to have a training partner. )
    Chad
     
  8. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    Saw this there, and thought it would fit in here too.

    From WMAC forum:
     
  9. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    Okay, so if you were to meet someone in your travels that studies
    the same FMA art that you do ... how can you inform him or her
    about your skill level, and how long you've been training?
     
  10. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    Start banging sticks.... :D
     
  11. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Really, that's what we say--"Let's bang sticks!" It's a different culture.

    Ranking is very different in the FMA, if done at all. (Though not in Modern Arnis, mind you, where it's like in most other arts.) In FMA skill is determined by seeing who gets the upper hand when the sticks hit.
     
  12. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    So Modern Arnis has belt ranks? Up to what degree? Are there
    time in grade requirements before promotions?
     
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, Modern Arnis has a fairly traditional ranking system. It now varies from organization to organization but roughly speaking it's the usual 10 underbelts counting from 10 up to 1 then 10 black belt ranks from 1 to 10. There's also a 0th degree black belt which is not transitional--it's just another black belt. See for example the WMAA ranking system (which has done away with the 0th degree black belt; note, Lakan is male, Dayang is female).

    There are indeed time-in-grade requirements in Modern Arnis; they're in the same general range as other arts, perhaps slightly shorter at some points. There are also titles in addition to, and in some sense above and beyond, rank, e.g. Datu and Master of Tapi-Tapi.
     
  14. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Kaith,

    "Let's Bang Sticks!"

    I agree with you on this. Maybe next time we can bang some sticks :~)

    Rich
    :rofl:
     
  15. The Inosanto Lacoste system that I study doesnt have belts as such, but just to show rank my class does use belts going from white to green to blue to red to black. I recently went to a Bob Breen seminar who is one of Dan Inosanto's top students and instead of belts all his regulars had t-shirts with there ranking colour on them. I found that very cool. But when you meet another FMA person you usually just go through the drills to find out how good they are :D
     
  16. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    What is a "Tuhon" ?
     
  17. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Any Pekiti Tersia people out there?


    I think it is equivalent to master.

    Tuhon Bill McGrath

    Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje

    Just a thought from my observation.

    I would like to here a confirmation or denial.

    Good Question Kirk

    Rich
    :)
     
  18. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    I spoke to Zach Whitson today, he said literally Tuhon means
    "Old Man" .. it's the equivalent of a Master of the Art.
     
  19. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Black Belt

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    See http://www.pekiti-tirsia.com/rankchart.htm for Pekiti's ranking system. A "MATAÃS NA GURO is a master instructor with at least nine years of experience; a MAGINO’O GURO is an "elder instructor" with at least 15 years in the system, who has promoted at least one matass na guro. The Tuhon Guro is the head or leader of the system.

    Tuhon William (Billy) McGrath heads Pekiti Tirsia International.

    Best,

    Steve Lamade
     
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    What is the literal translation of YAKAN?
     

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