MOTTS? Datu?

modarnis

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I posed the question of What does Datu mean directly to Professor Presas about 6 years ago. I had not heard the term, but was exposed to some video footage of Datu Worden. The Professor told me the word is a Moro word translating to Tribal Chieftan. In the context of Arnis, he said it loosely is 'one who has come before'. It was not a title of rank, rather one describing leadership and ability to teach and expand the art.

The Professor further commented on Kelly Worden's high skill level. He described Kelly as having a computer brain for recording and developing techniques. He felt Datu Worden had an extremely high degree of potential for expanding and innovating the art.

Of course debate about rank, titles, and the political quagmire created by the Professor's death undercut the bigger picture. I had the good fortune over the years to spend a fair amount of time training with and socializing with the Professor. Many of the lessons I gleaned from this great man were conversations about life in car rides, over meals, or in hotel rooms watching NCAA hoops. His knowledge of the world, people, politics, sports, history, geography and languages was almost as staggering as his knowledge and ability with his art.

The Professor spent a week with me in 1997. It was his first visit to New Orleans. We did a great deal of training over those days, but far more talking. I remeber doing Tapi Tapi on a riverboat in New Orleans with the Professor. That 2 hour boat trip, and the rest of that week exemplified what the art is really about, learning, sharing and expanding knowledge, connection and friendship. He would often say: "you must be happy"


:soapbox:
The real lessons Remy Presas shared with us were life lessons. After seeing the turmoil of the 6 months after his death, it is clear to me many, if not most are more concerned with title, rank or their own financial gain, and not preserving the art. So many people have missed the real lessons, which is a shame. They are my most cherished memories of him. Make the Professor's hard work live on for the future merely by training hard, sharing the art, and being happy
 

Datu Tim Hartman

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We must remember to learn from the past. Mr. Parker died 12 years ago and the Kenpoists still have a long way to go as fare as the healing process goes.

It is hard on ALL of us. We as people tend to think Remy's death on how it effected us as a person and not how it effected our community. Yes, some people are taking advantage of his death for fame and fortune.

Give it time and keep the faith. Things happen for a reason, and things WILL come full circle.

:asian:
 
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Rob_Broad

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Originally posted by Renegade

We must remember to learn from the past. Mr. Parker died 12 years ago and the Kenpoists still have a long way to go as fare as the healing process goes.

It is hard on ALL of us. We as people tend to think Remy's death on how it effected us as a person and not how it effected our community. Yes, some people are taking advantage of his death for fame and fortune.

Give it time and keep the faith. Things happen for a reason, and things WILL come full circle.

:asian:

After seeing what happened with the Kenpo community after SGM Parker's death, I would agree that the Renegade has the best advice. Maybe our folly can be a warning to others so they don't end up in the mess that American Kenpo was in after Ed Parker's untimely death.
 

Tom Doe

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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:

Greetings!
I'd like to thank all for answers. Now I understand what 竄Datu罈 means. But I have a question. My italian friend told me that in Italy lives Datu Alessandro Fantini. He got the title from one philippine master of Arnis. How is it possible? I don't see his name in the list of datus. Could you explain me this situation?
 
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