Rank

K

Kirk

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How does the rank structure work, from beginner to highest of
highs? What is a "Datu", and what's the pronunciation?
 
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.
 
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. :)
 
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.
 
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:
Ancient Filipino society was divided into three social classes. These were the nobles or maharlika, freemen or timawa and the slaves or alipin. The datu (chief), his family, relatives and elders belonged to the maharlika group.
...
The political unit in ancient times was the barangay , a settlement of 30 to 100 families. The head was called datu and he exercised all powers of government - executive, legislative and judicial. He made laws, enforced them and judged all cases and trials brought by villagers. A person could become datu through inheritance, wealth, wisdom, or bravery.

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.
 
Originally posted by bart
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.


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.

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

From WMAC forum:
Datu Halford Jones:

The term DATU and the Arnis Lanada Ranking System

Some persons have made mention of my rank of DATU so I should like to clarify a few points, if I may. First, the term DATU means Warrior Chieftain generally, and,in a certain sense, is a political term. It is associated with the Islamic groups of the Philippines and also Malaysia,etc. The rank of Datu was awarded to,conferred on, and given to me by GREAT-GRANDMASTER PORFERIO S. LANADA. This does not in any way make the rank I hold the equivalent of the rank of Datu in Modern Arnis.In fact, the Arnis Lanada rank of DATU is not the highest by any means. The highest is Sultan, the next highest is Raja or Raha, and the next highest is Raha Muda(Half-rajah). The lowest rank in Arnis Lanada is Hadji. Another is caddi or kaddy. The next is Micca. There are other grades or ranks as well but this is enough to give some idea of this. Having these ranks, however, does not make one an instructor or teacher, per se, nor a representative or commissioner,etc. unless other accompanying certificates,etc. are there. The ranking system of Arnis Lanada,in all likelihood, comes from the Masonic system(which I came across once but can't locate again for some reason) that probably influenced the Kaptipunan. The terms are Arabic, of course.
 
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?
 
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.
 
So Modern Arnis has belt ranks? Up to what degree? Are there
time in grade requirements before promotions?
 
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.
 
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
Start banging sticks.... :D


Kaith,

"Let's Bang Sticks!"

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

Rich
:rofl:
 
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
 
Originally posted by Kirk
What is a "Tuhon" ?


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
:)
 
I spoke to Zach Whitson today, he said literally Tuhon means
"Old Man" .. it's the equivalent of a Master of the Art.
 
See http://www.pekiti-tirsia.com/rankchart.htm for Pekiti's ranking system. A "MATAS NA GURO is a master instructor with at least nine years of experience; a MAGINOO 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
 

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