Grandmaster of Modern Arnis

Dieter

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Hi everybody in the Modern Arnis world,

here re a few thoughts I have and I would like to start a thread with a discussion about this topic: "a" Grandmaster of Modern Arnis.
And I don織t mean JD.

I have read many opinions, that there will never be another Grandmaster, Remy was the only one, etc.

In my opinion it his is wrong and again, I am still not referring to JD.
If somebody had been training and teaching the art for 25 , 35 or more years, why shall he or she not be qualified to be a Grandmaster.

I think the problem is the term "the" Grandmaster contrary to the term "a" Grandmaster".

I will be talking about "a" Grandmaster.
"The" Grandmaster was only Remy. Right. But if you look at other styles, that has been around for some decades, there was the founder and later, of course there were other Masters, that became Grandmasters, like in the Wing Chun, in Aikido, in different styles of Karate, in Balintawak and in Doce Pares.

Suro Mike Inay solved this in a little different was. He had 2 tiltes: one was "Mangisursuro", which ment founder of the art. This was his title in the Inayan system of Eskrima and nobody else will ever be able to claim this title, because it is reserved for the founder.
The other tile was "Suro" which is the Grandmaster or current head of the style. Of course other people can get to this position and this title.

The same thing with "a" Grandmaster of Modern Arnis. It will always be "a" Grandmaster and of course never "the" Grandmaster. And I would not even mind, when there would be several Grandmasters like in Doce Pares (Cacoy, Diony, Danny Guba, Richard Bustillo etc). Meaning that they understood the style thougoughly and devote great parts of their lives to the development, spreading and teaching of that system.

They will never be the leaders of the whole Modern Arnis, but perhaps Grandmasters of the art of Modern Arnis. Who not?

And I think this is no disrespect to Remy. Life goes on so does Modern Arnis. Remy is dead, but Modern Arnis is not. It is not united but perhaps even more alive then when Remy was still there, because before it was more or less on the shoulders of one man, but now it is on the shoulders of so many different people, who all try to fulfill the dream of Remy: The spreading of Modern Arnis.

And how about the ranks? Remy handed out the high Dan ranks. Does that mean, that because he is dead, there will never be any promotions for higher Dan degrees like 6th, 7th, 8th or so?
Have a look at other styles. Of course high Dans were given after Funakoshi died or after Ueshiba had died. The system must go on and if you have been training for so many years, I think it is ok, to earn another degree.
Who will be the authority to hand these out would be another question.

I think it should be a comission of Modern Arnis players with high Dans.

Who hands out a 10th Dan? Either it is self promoted with the foundation of a new system or given from the existing Grandmaster. But when there is no more Grandmaster of that system? Then it can either be given or accepted from Grandmasters of other Styles or it is handed out by a commission of lower Dan degrees of that style. Who else can it be otherwise?


When I was in the Philippines in 1983 and met Ernesto Presas, he was 10th Dan and Grandmaster. He was 39 at that time. How did he get the degree or title? I don織t know. I am pretty sure not from Remy. But he is accepted as a Grandmaster and 10th Dan and this is ok.

Would you have accepred a 39 year old western person with 10th Dan and a Grandmaster title? I think most of us would not have. (We don織t even accept a 40+ Grandmaster with a 5th Dan and now I AM referring to JD!) ;)

I don織t want to start a flame about Ernesto at all, but perhaps it is easier, to accept an asian with this age as a Grandmaster than a western person.
But why is it so difficult to acdept, that there might be the one or other person in some time, who might get this title?
Because it is linked with Remy and only with Remy. And this is, where I belive, that Modern Arnis (and that is we all) has to grow up, from a child, that looked up to his father to an adult, that keeps his father in honor but will go his own way now and eventually become also a father.
If the time is there already, I don織t know, but I think, time will come.

These were only a few thoughts and I am looking forward for many opinions and I hope we can have this discussion that doies not heat up with too many emotions.

Greetings from Germany

Dieter Kn羹ttel
Datu of Modern Arnis
 

dearnis.com

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Dieter;
Some very good questions! In many karate styles we speak of someone 7th dan or higher as "a" grandmaster. I'm not sure that it is the best title to bring into Modern Arnis simply because of the gut reactions so many people seem to have (same with Professor; see other hot threads...)
I know we have the title "senior master;" do we need something above that?
Is there any agreement on what constitutes master rank in Modern Arnis? I had always heard 5th, but never really gotten any consensus.
As for higher dan promotions, Dieter sums up the way it was always done in the Okinawan arts. ( The Shimabuko brothers make an interesting comparison here;l Tatsuo Shimabuko started wearing a red belt when his students insisted that it was appropriate for him to do so as a founder. And it is interesting that Ernesto recieved a 10th at 39; I believe that was the age at which Eizio (sp?) Shimabuko was awarded his; quite a difference from the idea that 10th dans are always old).
All this aside, Dieter is very right; the issue is coming, and it bears some discussion now.
Chad
 
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Dieter

Dieter

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Hi Chad,

And it is interesting that Ernesto recieved a 10th at 39

I just picked up Ernestos red book. He was 36 when it was published and already hat 10th Dan and I don織t know since how many years he already had it.
But again, this shall not be the topic of this thread.

In many karate styles we speak of someone 7th dan or higher as "a" grandmaster. I'm not sure that it is the best title to bring into Modern Arnis simply because of the gut reactions so many people seem to have (same with Professor; see other hot threads...)

I know. In Karate, 1st Dan is Master, in Taekwon Do, I have heared of 4th Dans as being Grandmasters.
This is ridiculous of course.

But the term "Grandmaster" is an acknowledged term thoughout all martial arts for somebody, who has thoroughly mastered a style. "Professor" is used olnly in few styles, in Germany it is illegal to use it when you are not a dean of a faculty of a university, "Senior Master" is not widely used and Datu creates quite a bit cultural problems with the filipinos.
So I think the term "Grandmaster" is a good and established term for the highest level of knowledge and proficiency in a system.

In Germany we had adapted Ernestos levels. Remy knew that and never said that they are wrong or told us to use different ones.

We use the following right now:

1st to 5th Dan = Expert
6th Dan = Junior Master
7th Dan = Senior Master
8th - 10th Dan = Grandmaster.

I know that Remy awarded Junior Master also to 5th Dans, Senior Master already to 6th Dan and also to 8th Dans.

But we all also know, that Remy was not very consitent with what he did, when and to whom.

I belive it is good to have a guideline, where the students know what is what and who is who.


Regards


Dieter
 

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Interesting; I didn't realize the use of certain titles was regulated over there (though I guess it makes sense; I know that title of any type is-or was- taken more seriously in Europe).
Some standardization would be nice to see, but what a task sorting it out will be!
Thanks for the info on Ernesto.
Chad
 

Rich Parsons

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Dieter,

Nice topic.

There most likely will be 'a' Grandmaster of Modern Arnis.

This could happen the in any of the ways you mentioned.

Personally I believe that over the next few years as people train and teach the art there will arise one or more leader(s) who will be able to demonstrate their abilities and the title will be acknowledge not only by their students but also by those that know them from other arts.

Who knows we might have so good things come of this.

Rich
:asian:
 

Dan Anderson

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Dieter,
You hit the nail on the head. I think that any acceptance of the title of Grand Master within the Modern Arnis community at this exact time is a touchy subject because of A) a comparison of the founding Grand Master, and B) the timing of such a claim.

BUT you are right. Modern Arnis will not become stagnant with a number of us continuing the art. And there will be Grand Masters (or whatever title fits each exact person).

A comission would be interesting but it will not work. Martial artists tend to be rather individualistic and follow their own path. For the sake of argument, would you accept my telling you that you are not qualified to be a Grand Master? I don't think you would, not with all you have accomplished (and I do acknowledge all you have done). All a comission would do is accept some and alienate others and we would have (insert your own term here).

You have made a very good point and for the most part, I agree with you and the historical perspective bears you out.

Yours,
Dan Anderson
 
D

DoctorB

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Originally posted by Dan Anderson

Dieter,
You hit the nail on the head. I think that any acceptance of the title of Grand Master within the Modern Arnis community at this exact time is a touchy subject because of A) a comparison of the founding Grand Master, and B) the timing of such a claim.

BUT you are right. Modern Arnis will not become stagnant with a number of us continuing the art. And there will be Grand Masters (or whatever title fits each exact person).

A comission would be interesting but it will not work. Martial artists tend to be rather individualistic and follow their own path. For the sake of argument, would you accept my telling you that you are not qualified to be a Grand Master? I don't think you would, not with all you have accomplished (and I do acknowledge all you have done). All a comission would do is accept some and alienate others and we would have (insert your own term here).

You have made a very good point and for the most part, I agree with you and the historical perspective bears you out.

Yours,
Dan Anderson

Hello Dan,

Dieter has asked a very good question and I can see two problems that have to be overcome - first, with Remy, deceased and since he was the founder of the art, who is availible to name someone else or others to the the "grandmaster" status. Second, even though Dieter said that he ws not including JD in his post - there is that nagging business about Remy naming Jeff as a co-gm of Modern Arnis. How does one work around that problem, if someone else or a number of others are going to be named as 'gm's'?

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 

Cruentus

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that JD and Shea were named co-grandmasters. Then their titles, as "rumors" escalated, evolved to Grandmaster. But then the "rumor" changed to Co-successors. Now the "rumor" is split; and stands. The IMAF, Inc. claims Shea as successor (and JD as co-successor), and JD claims to be the grandmaster.

I put the word rumor in qoutations because the rumors were not just merely fabricated by the public. The rumors were propigated by one or both JD and Shea at one time or another. Who knows what was really said, at this point; especially since neither JD or Shea have clearly made a statement one way or another EXPLAINING exactly how their titles came about. But, I'll bet that there were people who were around who know the truth. Here we are, over a year after our teachers passing, and this is still not clear. And in Professors mindstate, he could have said ANYTHING to ANYONE. Maybe someday one, or both of these gentleman will make their case, and those who were there can refute it or not; then maybe the truth will come out.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my post here, but I'm just stating what I understand to be fact on the subject, which isn't much thusfar.

All I know is that considering his condition in his last days, If I had the opportunity to see him, I wouldn't have accepted even one belt-rank above what I held. Not when he was dilerious and on his death bed. But, that's just me.

:asian:
 

Cruentus

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I think in time, there will probably be leaders that rise above the others, and new grandmasters will be named. If they are self appointed, however, I do not see these titles as valid. When the public recognizes the individual as a "grandmaster" before the individual does, then that individual would have earned the title.
 
B

bloodwood

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THEGrand Master of Modern Arnis is and only is Remy A Presas.
As far as others becoming A Grand Master, that is possible in the future but not yet.
There is another point that can be looked at here also. How about eventually the Datus moving to GMs. This would also vacate the Datu positions and make room for others to fill those positions. This could open up a whole new set of problems but it's something to think about.
I know on the hammering post I said that hammering was OK but I'm only throwing out an idea here, so please be kind.
 

Guro Harold

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Originally posted by bloodwood

...Datus moving to GMs. This would also vacate the Datu positions and make room for others to fill those positions.

Hi Bloodwood,

My take on the title of Datu is that it is a title that is kept for life. Its like getting an honorary degree from a university, marking some great accomplishment or contribution that is recognized by someone or group greater than yourself.
 
D

DoctorB

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Originally posted by PAUL

that JD and Shea were named co-grandmasters. Then their titles, as "rumors" escalated, evolved to Grandmaster. But then the "rumor" changed to Co-successors. Now the "rumor" is split; and stands. The IMAF, Inc. claims Shea as successor (and JD as co-successor), and JD claims to be the grandmaster.

I put the word rumor in qoutations because the rumors were not just merely fabricated by the public. The rumors were propigated by one or both JD and Shea at one time or another. Who knows what was really said, at this point; especially since neither JD or Shea have clearly made a statement one way or another EXPLAINING exactly how their titles came about. But, I'll bet that there were people who were around who know the truth. Here we are, over a year after our teachers passing, and this is still not clear. And in Professors mindstate, he could have said ANYTHING to ANYONE. Maybe someday one, or both of these gentleman will make their case, and those who were there can refute it or not; then maybe the truth will come out.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my post here, but I'm just stating what I understand to be fact on the subject, which isn't much thusfar.

All I know is that considering his condition in his last days, If I had the opportunity to see him, I wouldn't have accepted even one belt-rank above what I held. Not when he was dilerious and on his death bed. But, that's just me.

:asian:

Oh boy, Paul, you really know how to politely open a can of worms, don't you? Ah, what the hell, let's go for it and have some fun while we are at it.

You are correct about the "rumors"! And this is just one of the reasons why I believe that the Modern Arnis Symposium is a great idea. No more "rumors"! No more guessing and no more concerns about whether or not the late Professor was lucid and clearly aware of what he was granting to people. Just show up at the Symposium, take the floor two or three times to teach and demonstrate your skills in the art of Modern Arnis. The presenters will have to stand up under the pressure of being compared and contrasted to some other skilled Modern Arnis instructors. Then we will let each individual student and instructor, who is attendence decide For Themselves, which of these people are the very best of those who came to teach! No more "rumors". Just good old emperical evidence based on performance - it just doesn't get any better than that!

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 
D

DoctorB

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Originally posted by bloodwood

THEGrand Master of Modern Arnis is and only is Remy A Presas.
As far as others becoming A Grand Master, that is possible in the future but not yet.
There is another point that can be looked at here also. How about eventually the Datus moving to GMs. This would also vacate the Datu positions and make room for others to fill those positions. This could open up a whole new set of problems but it's something to think about.
I know on the hammering post I said that hammering was OK but I'm only throwing out an idea here, so please be kind.

Ha There, Bloodwood, that is a very hard and rigid stance to be taking. There is no doubt about Professor Presas, being the founder and first Grand Master of Modern Arnis... there is only one, "first". But I have to ask you if not now, then when and who would be in the position to designate someone or a number of someones with that title for Modern Arnis?

BTW, I refuse to get into that datu thing. It is a very tender cultural issue with some people, so good luck on that part of your discussion.

On the positive side of the matter, I can say that I do not see the 2003 Symposium, being the place to "find" a Modern Arnis GM. I have always said that the event was designed and intended to gave everyone who attends an opportunity to meet and train with a variety of Modern Arnis instructors. Each attendee can then judge for themselves who has the greater or the lesser skills, knowledge and teaching ability within the art among those who choose to attend and present.

Gotta go for now, but I will be looking forward to more posts on this thread.

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 
M

Mickey

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Originally posted by PAUL

that JD and Shea were named co-grandmasters. Then their titles, as "rumors" escalated, evolved to Grandmaster. But then the "rumor" changed to Co-successors. Now the "rumor" is split; and stands. The IMAF, Inc. claims Shea as successor (and JD as co-successor), and JD claims to be the grandmaster.

I put the word rumor in qoutations because the rumors were not just merely fabricated by the public. The rumors were propigated by one or both JD and Shea at one time or another. Who knows what was really said, at this point; especially since neither JD or Shea have clearly made a statement one way or another EXPLAINING exactly how their titles came about. But, I'll bet that there were people who were around who know the truth. Here we are, over a year after our teachers passing, and this is still not clear. And in Professors mindstate, he could have said ANYTHING to ANYONE. Maybe someday one, or both of these gentleman will make their case, and those who were there can refute it or not; then maybe the truth will come out.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my post here, but I'm just stating what I understand to be fact on the subject, which isn't much thusfar.

All I know is that considering his condition in his last days, If I had the opportunity to see him, I wouldn't have accepted even one belt-rank above what I held. Not when he was dilerious and on his death bed. But, that's just me.

:asian:

If my memory is correct, I read on the Modernarnis.com site, when it was run by JD, that Dr. Schea and J. Delanay were names co-successors. Later after/during things fell apart you had the co-grandmaster adjustment to the post. And then soon very soon after after that is was the grandmaster post and that one fo the co-successor's had retired.

I would chcek to archives, but I do not know the web site that has the archive searches. Anyone remember?

Now, from a simplistic point of view I could see how one could make / allow themselves to believe the a co-successor and co-grandmaster are the same. What is the next successor of the ststem to be but teh next grandmaster? Personally this is a leap of faith I could not make, but could see how it could be made by others.

I also think I have seen posted here somewhere that Dr. Schea never claimed to the title grandmaster nor co-grandmaster, only co-successor. I could see given what I know of Dr Schea's personality, which is little, where this could have been the breaking point with him and JD.

"And those are my thoughts and not yours . . ." (* Quoted from a local radio station *)

Mick
 
M

Mickey

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Doctor,

I am confused, if people show up to this event you keep posting about, it will be good. IT sounds good. Yet, your list does not include some fo thsoe that are claiming lofty titles. This will not resolve the issues with them will it?
 

Dan Anderson

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Paul,
It would be nice to see something in writing by declaring anyone the successor. According to Mao, he has seen the MOTT's certificate. That would be a start of some sort or another.

Mick,
The website you are referring to is run by JD so that is one side of the story.

Blood,
I agree with you on the only GM of Modern Arnis was Remy Presas. Here's the catch. Only RP had the totality of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis. Every one of us has changed the teaching in some way or another, whether it be a little or a lot. Also, the evolution of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis is over. He passed away. Therefore, it is wide open for others to be GM in some form or variation of the original art.

Jerome,
I totally agree with you on the 2003 Symposium will not establish who the next GM is going to be. (I will begin lobbying for myself in the New Hampshire primaries soon - oops, wrong election year. Dang.)

All for now.

Yours,
Dan Anderson
 
B

bloodwood

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Doctor B and others, My sole purpose in the statements was merely to jar some new ideas out of people to see what options are out there for movement in the upper belt ranks. I am well aware of the torid political climate in Modern Arnis, and know full well that there would be trouble even mentioning Datus and GMs, but what the hell. When lots of different ideas get out there eventually one may be the answer. This is what I love about Martial Talk. People who love the art sharing their ideas and feelings.
 
R

Rocky

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Originally posted by PAUL

that JD and Shea were named co-grandmasters. Then their titles, as "rumors" escalated, evolved to Grandmaster. But then the "rumor" changed to Co-successors. Now the "rumor" is split; and stands. The IMAF, Inc. claims Shea as successor (and JD as co-successor), and JD claims to be the grandmaster.

I put the word rumor in qoutations because the rumors were not just merely fabricated by the public. The rumors were propigated by one or both JD and Shea at one time or another. Who knows what was really said, at this point; especially since neither JD or Shea have clearly made a statement one way or another EXPLAINING exactly how their titles came about. But, I'll bet that there were people who were around who know the truth. Here we are, over a year after our teachers passing, and this is still not clear. And in Professors mindstate, he could have said ANYTHING to ANYONE. Maybe someday one, or both of these gentleman will make their case, and those who were there can refute it or not; then maybe the truth will come out.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my post here, but I'm just stating what I understand to be fact on the subject, which isn't much thusfar.

All I know is that considering his condition in his last days, If I had the opportunity to see him, I wouldn't have accepted even one belt-rank above what I held. Not when he was dilerious and on his death bed. But, that's just me.

:asian:

This is something I have wanted to post for quite some time. But I know how people like to twist things around and how some are way over protective of the Professor. But lets face facts, and seperate the man, the mith, and the martial artist. For some reason people want to put great martial artist on a pedistal, personally I blame to much time in front of the boob tube watching Kung Fu!!! The fact that the Professor was a great martial artist is un questionalble. But this did not make him impervious to all other forms of human short comings. From what I understand the tumor that Professor had was hugh. Who knows how long he had it, hell I remember him getting headachs quite a bit almost 10 years ago. Maybe this contributed to some of the strange things he has done in the past 5 to 10 years, we will never know. For this reason I myself feel much more at piece with him then I did in the past few years. Right or wrong I beleave he may have been having problems for quite some time. And as far as I know its pretty hard to take anything that a person who is dying from brain tramua says as necessarilly the rants of a person with a sound mind. I could be wrong but it is something to think about.

As far as the GrandMAster title, who cares as long as the art is still passed on that is all that matters. I think the fact that Jeff D. wrote an artical in blackbelt, and openly admited to 13 years of Modern Arnis training as the current Grand Master speaks for itself. I mean it sure makes me all warm and fuzzy I think I 'll run right out and train under him. Look Modern Arnis is no differant than any other art, there is always going to be little splinter groups, some are going to be truely awsome some are going to be not so good. If you are happy with the one you are with then just go about your business. An art in todays day and age can easily have more than one Grand Master. Hell if you are a Master instructor, and you have 1 or more students that are Master rank, some would say that makes you a Grand Master. In Balintawak I have always refered to GM Buot as the GrandMaster And Anciong as the Great Grand Master. So why can't Professor be the Great Grand Master and others who wish to or feel they deserve the title be called GrandMasters.

For the record you can call ME Mr. Rocky, yo Rocky, Tuhon Rocky, Guru Rocky, Punong Rocky, Maestro Rocky, Hey Rocky, Rocko, Mr. Rocko, or as my friends at the state capital prefer to call me inmate #721001, my Britt friends call my Pasiwk, Rocky Pasiwk 009 1/2 :) and of course you gals out there and call me......... ANYTIME!!! ;-)

Rocky

From the book of Rock: " A fancy title and cool uniform, Oh yeah that will save your *** on the corner of 8 Mile and WoodWard."
 
B

bloodwood

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I agree with you on the only GM of Modern Arnis was Remy Presas. Here's the catch. Only RP had the totality of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis. Every one of us has changed the teaching in some way or another, whether it be a little or a lot. Also, the evolution of Remy Presas' Modern Arnis is over. He passed away. Therefore, it is wide open for others to be GM in some form or variation of the original art.

Dan makes a good point here. Professor Presas who was the glue that held Modern Arnis together as one organization is gone. It is also obvious that there will not be one main organization that all will belong to, now or in the future. Modern Arnis is alive and well and will thrive well into the future but through different organizations run by different people. These organizations are free to use what ever titles and ranks they choose to. Wether the other organizations recognize these titles or promotions makes no difference. The only thing all the groups have in common is that they teach the art of Remy Presas. If the leaders of the different groups recognized each others titles if only as a professional courtesy, that would be good, but not a necessity. As long as your not claiming to be THE GM of all Modern Arnis you are free to do as you like.
 

Dan Anderson

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"For the record you can call ME Mr. Rocky, yo Rocky, Tuhon Rocky, Guru Rocky, Punong Rocky, Maestro Rocky, Hey Rocky, Rocko, Mr. Rocko, or as my friends at the state capital prefer to call me inmate #721001, my Britt friends call my Pasiwk, Rocky Pasiwk 009 1/2 :) and of course you gals out there and call me......... ANYTIME!!! ;-)"
Rocky

I prefer calling you Roccoco, especially since it is not on the list.

Dano
"Book him, Dano. Murder 1." Jack Lord
 

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