Modern Arnis in Europe

Datu Tim Hartman

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Let's use this area to discuss Modern Arnis in Europe.

Dieter, why don't you tell us a little about how you got involved in Modern Arnis?

Tim
 
OK, here we go.

I have bee in martial arts since 1967. In my teens I was more a kicker and then specialised on Kung Fu and forms.
I 1978 I was participating and teaching Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Selfdefense during a 1 week course in southern Germany.

Art the same time Jackson Cui Brocka (the same man, under which Datu Kelly Worden started his FMA career) taught Arnis on that seminar. This was the first open FMA seminar in Germany, (exept of Latosa Eskrima seminars, who were there one year earlier, but were open only to Wing Tsun people).

Brocka, who died in a car accident in 1984, was a 6th Dan under Ernesto and Roberto Presas, who founded on this base his system of Combat Arnis, which was quite similar to the Modern Arnis of Ernesto at that time. He was continuously teaching seminars from then on and I was on most of them.
I was one of the first in Germany and Europe to receive black belt status under him.
In 1983 during the beginning of my sports science studies, I went to the Philippines for training purposes only. I stayed for more that 3 months training 6 to 8 hours a day with many different Masters and Grandmasters like Ernesto and Roberto Presas, Rodel Dagoog, Momoy and Dionisio Canete and quite a few more. Thats also, where I met Roland Dantes for the first time.

When I came back I introduced the Modern Arnis in germany. Later, we asked the national arnis association (at that thime the NARAPHIL) to send us filiipino Masters to Germany to stay for 2 months to teach seminars in different places. The filipino association send Ernesto Presas over. He always stayed at my house and I travelled with him.
For quite some time he was here once or twice a year. In 1984 I introduced Modern Arnis to Denmark, later also to Sweden and Norway. For about 8 years I went twice a year up to Scandinavia to teach Modern Arnis there. During one of his later stays, I went with Ernesto to these counties to assist him in his teaching there.
During that time I also taught seminars in Switzerland and Spain, later also in England and France and Australia, later even some in the USA.

I started to write examination programs, because Brocka and Ernesto
did not have any written syllabi.
Since 1981 I am teaching regulary Arnis seminars, between 15 to 35 a year. At the moment I try to have not more than 20 a year.

In 1986 I went back to the Philippines, again for 3 months for training only and Ernesto and I organized the first Filipino-Eurpoopean Modern Arnis camp. It took place in hundret Islands and lasted for 10 days, exactly during the time of the revolution, when Macos had to flee.
In 1985 students and I founded the "Deutscher Arnis Verband e.V., DAV"
because before we were only a part of a multistyle association.

With this DAV we had an association, that concentrated on the spreading of Modern Arnis only. Every 3 years we have elections (also for the chief instructor) and I was elected for chief instructor and am it ever since.
Mid of the 80ies I started to teach also brown/black belts only seminars, to enhance their technical abilities. Since 1989 we are conducting summer training camps, whic are every 2nd year and last for one week. Modern Arnis only. With 4 - 6 instructors teaching up to 80 lessons during this week. (The next is coming up from 8th to 14th of September 2003) Always between 80 to 110 Modern Arnis enthusiasts attend there.

Beginning of the 90ies there were some big Martial Arts exhibitions with up to 13.000 spectators. I have given Modern Arnis exhibitions during 4 of these galas, in 3 of them I did additionally the opening and finishing demonstration.
In from the end of the 80ies I startded to produce martial arts instruxctional videos, opf course also Modern Arnis videos, but not only. I have released over 30 videos with FMA related themes, around 85 all together by now.
We had also other Masters in for seminars like Dionisio Canete, Mike Inay and from 1994 also Remy Presas.

In 1986 I received my 6th Dan and Datu title from the Professor.

He always brought Americans over, also to whitness our black belt gradings. There was Al Garza, Dr. Randi Shea, Datu David Hoffman, Jeff Delaney and even you Tim. Unfortunately you couldn織t see the grading, because you just had lost your plane ticket.

All of these americans, who whitnessed the examinatiuons, stated, that we have a hgh level of MODERN ARNIS. The last in this row was Senior Master Roland Dantes, who was here in may 2002, wer we had one seminar with him with 65 participants - only Modern Arnis brown and black belts and a black balt grading with 25 Arnisadors going from 1st up to 3rd Dan.

My highest rankes students with ranks from Remy are Hans Karrer and Jorgen Gydesen (originally from Denmark and also instructor of Thorbjorn Hartelius)
with 5th Dan (my students since 25 and 19 years).
Ernesto recently prompoted Thorbjorn from Denmark ands Johan Skalberg from Sweden, who also started his FMA under me mid of the 80ies even to 6th Dan in his Kombatan system.

This year a student of mine, Alfred Plath and me were organizing the first FMA festival, with 18 different FMA styles and 450 participants in Europe. To our knowledge it was the largest FMA event up to that time worldwide.

In october 12thg/13th I will treach in Paris/France and in October 27th/28th I will have a seminar in Gothenburg/Sweden. I would be glad to see some of this forum, that mioght be in Scandinavia there.

I try to do my own business with ABANICO Video Productions and do my work and try to do it right, teach good, produce good students and instructors the way Remy would expect it.

This was a long mail now and I sure did not cover everything, but I hope you got an impression what happened here over the last 25 years with the FMA.


If there are any questions, i will be more than happy to answer them as good as I can.


Best regards from Germany

Dieter Kn羹ttel
Datu of Modern Arnis

PS: sorry for the typos. It織s late here.
 
Dear Deiter,

Thank you for posting your biography. It is a part of the modern history of Filipino Martial arts in Germany, Europe and beyond. As you point out I did indeed have the honor of representing the IMAF on one of your testing boards, participating in your seminar with Professor and teaching a class at one of your schools. Ill repeat what I said then, the DAV is one the biggest and best organizations promoting Arnis world wide. You said, thanx for the flowers. But I do mean what I said and I am happy to repeat it. I also found your instructors and students highly skilled and good people. Keep up the good work!

Your Brother in the Art,
 
Hello David,

thank you for your friendly comment.
Your opinion is especially important for me, for you were the first US american Modern Anis black belt of the Professor and you have the overview over at least 20 years of his teaching in the US as well as in the Philippines, where you went with the Professor in the late 90ies.

Hope to haer from you soon again.

West wishes to you and your group


Dieter
 
Hi

Maybe we can get knifeman.dk(tobey) in to talk about modern arnis in Denmark? And Johan (if's he's on the net) about it in sweden?


/Yari
 
Hi Dieter,
Quick question - did you get your 6th Dan in 1986 or 1996? I am confused as I heard differently so I'd like to get the data straight. Nice post on your personal history.

Yours,
Dan Anderson
 
Hi Dan

Sorry, it was a typo. I gt my 5th Dan in 1983 (in the Philippines from Rodel Dagoog and Roland Dantes) and 1984 from Ernest Presas. (This time the "83" and "84" is correct)
6th Dan and Datu Title came 1996 from the Professor.

Sorry for that.


Regards


Dieter
 
Datu Dieter,
When did you and the DAV join the IMAF ran by GM Remy Presas?
 
Hi,

I was very busy lately, so I could not answer the questions at a time.
Now I try to answer them all at once.

Renegade: The main problem is in the name of Modern Arnis. At this time there is only one. Before there was two. One taught by Remy, and a second taught by his brother Ernesto. Most of the Europeans that do Modern Arnis do the Ernestos style were most of the Americans do Remys.

When Remy visited us in 1996, when I also got my Datu and 6th Dan, he saw a black belt grading of our association, with 17 people going for Lakan/Dayang Isa, Dalawa and Tatlo. This was at a time, when we had NOT yet adapted our system towards Remy織s style.
Here is what he said: (I have it on videotape, so I can write EXACTLY his words):

"It was very impressive. Everybody learned self defence. That is the key. I am very proud of the German Arnis Association, for what they are doing. You keep the good work. You are doing right. You uplift the standard of Arnis throughout the world. Thank you."

So he seemingly did not regard it as another style, because what Ernesto trained, was closer to the original Modern Arnis from the 60ies and 70ies as his late Modern Arnis (so I have been told.


Bill Lowery: A small point. What do the letters e.V., mean?

This means registered at a german court. In german sport, we have clubs, that give themselves a statutes, that have to be conform with a certain law. The court check that. If it is ok, you get the e.V. (in german: eingetragener Verein). This means that you are "gemeinn羹tzig" which means beneficial to the community. When you have this, you get public halls for training, you can get subsidised for your equipment, you trainer may get some money from the council for the teaching etc. The main thing is, that it is not a private school but a club, that is non profit. Every profit you make has to be spend according to the rules of your statuses.
You have to have elections of the board of directors every few years. Another good thing is, that you don 織t have to pay tax, if your turnover is not too high.
So all together quite a good thing, if you don 織t want to live of it. I think 95 of the german sport is organized this way.


Yari: Maybe we can get knifeman.dk(tobey) in to talk about modern arnis in Denmark? And Johan (if's he's on the net) about it in sweden?

Well, Toby was not there when it started. FMA in Scandinavia and especially Modern Arnis began, when Jorgen Gydesen from Odense/Denmark came to a seminar in Freiburg/south Germay in 1993, where he participated in my Arnis class. He invited me up to Denmark. For about 8 years I went there twice a year to give seminars, starting in 1984.
Thorbjorn came I think in 1986 to the seminars when I was there and of course to the seminars of Jorgen. he want through the ranks and is an excellent arnisador today.
Jorgen relocated to Ulm in Germany in 1991 and Karl Gottliebsen and I think Thorbjorn at that time already made the work in the organisation. But I am not sure, perhaps Thorbjorn came in a little bit later. In the end, he was the one, to have the enthusiasm to run the danish arnis association. I occasionally still go there for seminars. Thorbjorn also has been to the Philippines, fought very successfully at WEKAF events and still has ties to Ernesto Presas.
Johan Skalbergs first contact with the FMA was during a seminar that i taught in Fredrikshaven in north J羹tland /Denmark. I think it was in 1985. He was a brown belt Jiu-Jitsu at that time and he came with his Jiu-Jitsu instructor Uno Feldthusen, a 5th Dan under Professor Wally Jay.
They participated in many of my seminars and also went through the belts. In the end, Johan was even more interested in Modern Arnis, so that he continued to put a lot of effort in it. Beside the Modern Arnis, he came in contact with Jeff Espinous during a summer-camp of the Germany Arnis Association in 1991 and later, also through my contacts with Suro Mike Inay. This is his background in the FMA. the roost in Modern Arnis with extensive knowledge in Kali/Sikaran of Jeff Espinous and Inayan Eskrima of Suro Mike Inay. He also has been to the Philippines and was WEKAF World Champion in the Heavyweight division.



Red Blade: When did you and the DAV join the IMAF ran by GM Remy Presas?

We met him the first time in 1994 in Hamburg. We had a split from Ernesto before that and he said, that he would support us and help us to gain more knowledge in Modern Arnis.
He never asked us to join the IMAF and formally we never did. We had bad experiences with very tight bounds to Ernesto before that and he understood. He was aware of all the history and our background here in Germany in the beginning.
Though, I also got my Datu, 6th Dan and "European Modern Arnis Representative" of him on IMAF certificates.


I hope this answers the questions that arose during the last week.

If there are any more I will be glad to answer them.


Dieter Kn羹ttel
Datu of Modern Arnis
 
Dieter

I didn't know that you could hold titles and rank in an organization that you did not belong to. This seems to go against the grain of what titles are for in an organization. Since you were not part of Professor's IMAF, where these honory titles. As far as I know all rank and titles holders from the IMAF were members.
Some of my certificates are IMAF and some are Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines, however both are Remy's organization. Maybe you could explain this in more detail.

Dieter quote
He never asked us to join the IMAF and formally we never did. We had bad experiences with very tight bounds to Ernesto before that and he understood. He was aware of all the history and our background here in Germany in the beginning.
Though, I also got my Datu, 6th Dan and "European Modern Arnis Representative" of him on IMAF certificates.
 
Hi,

well, you would have had to ask Remy about this.
All I can say its that he never asked us to formally join the IMAF. And as far as I know, he never pushed the IMAF as an organisation.
Perhaps due to his bad experiences with the NARAPHIL and General Ver.
He saw we practice Modern Arnis and we do it intensively. Not as an appendix to any other art, but as an art that can stand alone. We train Arnis in the Arnis uniform that Remy designed in the 70ies and not in some Karate, Kempo or Jiu-Jitsu gi, nor in shorts and singlet. And I think Remy liked it a lot, how we teach, share and spread Modern Arnis.
I think for him was the quality of instruction, the skill level of the students and the number of followers more important than a membership booklet.
When we met Remy, we already had our organisation since more than 10 years here in Germany, that had worked successfully for the spreading of Modern Arnis. And we wanted him as our grandmaster and he accepted us as his students.

Fact is, that I got the 6th Dan, the Datu and the European Represantative from him. He send me IMAF certificates for these some months later through one of my students who visited one of his camps.
I knew about his plans to rank me 6th Dan. I did not know about the Datu title until I got it an I did not know nor ask for the European representative.
Still he gave it to me.

This seems to go against the grain of what titles are for in an organization.

Well, I think for the Professor Modern Arnis was more important that the organisation.

And how about Ric Bong Journales? He is Datu from Remy and as far as I know, and please correct me if I am wrong, not part of Modern Arnis.

Some of my certificates are IMAF and some are Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines, however both are Remy's organization.

I have my 5th Dan certificate from 1983 from the Philippines signed by Willie Annang, Rodel Dagoog and Roland Dantes, certifying my level, and I never filled in an membership form. The same thing I have from Dace Pares signed by Filemon "Momoy" Canete.

But as I said before, perhaps skill counts and counted for some people more than a membership ID.


Regards


Dieter Kn羹ttel
Datu of Modern Arnis
 
Originally posted by Dieter

And how about Ric Bong Journales? He is Datu from Remy and as far as I know, and please correct me if I am wrong, not part of Modern Arnis.

You are wrong. Remy made him part of the group. He got his Datuship based on his talent. He then was being groomed by Remy. Those of us who were around could see this. What took Ric out of the loop were things in his personal life that he had to take care of first.
 

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