Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts - General' started by Datu Tim Hartman, May 29, 2018.
This was a small part of a much bigger interview. I hope everyone takes it the way it was meant.
Remy Presas is certainly the person who made the FMAs a "thing" here. Dan Inosanto has done a great deal too, obviously, including helping to prime the way via abetting eskima-style techniques appearing in Bruce Lee films and hence insuring an appetite for the system here in the States; but Remy travelled throughout the country, throughout the year, teaching people the FMAs in particular. I only went to a single (weekend-)seminar with Dan Inosanto and there I learned some Balintawak-style material, some material from other FMAs, but also some JKD and general martial arts material. He even did a little bit of Indonesian stuff! He's like an Ambasssador from (not to) the U.N. (of martial arts). But Remy also knew some Japanese systems, for example, and while he helped spread SCJJ, he was bringing stuff from the Philippines and setting people's enthusiasm on fire for it.
Wow, Arnisador! How long has it been? Great to see you contributing again.
Originally I got interested in FMA more through the contributions of Bruce Lee and Danny Inosanto. I got into Wing Chun in the late 70s and knew of Guro Dan from his role in the posthumously released Bruce lee movie, The Game of Death.
As a Wing Chun guy, Escrima seemed like a natural choice for a second, more weapons oriented art to learn. I bought Guro Dan's book The Filipino Martial Arts when it first came out. Then I connected with GM Rene Latosa who had connections with the Wing Chun organization I belonged to, and I have been hooked on FMA ever since.
I have great respect for the Presas brothers knowledge and skills, as well as their success at spreading their respective Arnis systems. On the other hand, to me, the very things that enabled them to successfully spread their art, such as the Karate-like uniforms, the modernized and standardized curriculum, the Japanese style belt rankings, and so on, never attracted me as much. I always gravitated to the "road less traveled" I guess. Nevertheless, I am grateful to the Presas family for successfully promoting FMA in the US and the world.
I guess in the final analysis, the Presas brothers and Dan Inosanto all deserve props for promoting the FMA. As do the great Filipino masters of history, and those great masters who left the Philippines and landed in places like Stockton CA to first reveal FMA to America and the world.
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