The Tapi Tapi Legacy: The 'New,' the 'Old,' and the Gatekeepers.

modarnis

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Originally posted by DoctorB

.... Professor teaching stances... oh wow, now that is a change from the times I was with him through 1994, it sounds like he had gone back to basics and resetting the curriculum... was he in the process of moving away from the "art within your art" approach? Sounds like to me, but of course we will never know for sure.

I see within this entire discussion is the problem of rote replication vs. open thinking and movements.
On a copuple of ocassions I have had people get upset with me when I went outside the "drill" and was told, "You can't do that, it's not part of the drill!" I remember all of things that you mentioned and I still use them, plus a number of other things from different areas of the arts.

I've had the good fortune of training with Bram in Florida and New Orleans in the past. I've never met Dr. B, but he is of the era of my original instructor Lee Lowery. Several interesting points/observations from these comments:

First, I doubt the Professor ever intended to abandon the notion of 'the art within your art' Around the time of the training/shooting for the last video series, I believe the Professor was reevaluating aspects of the system. Footwork is central to most of the techniques and drills, locks, strikes and finishes. The Professor's footwork was so evolved it seemed nonexistent to the causal observer. His body angling, weight distribution and efficiency were clearly that of a person who devoted their lifetime to daily training. He moved and generated power in a similar way to masters of internal practice. For us mere mortals, stance work, body positioning and angling are a much more conscious effort.

I believe the Professor knowing this was central to the preservation of the art decided to include it in both the video series, along with his emphasis to black belts at the last 3 or 4 camps I attended prior to his illness.

The art within the art concept, as well as the emphasis on footwork changed as the student demographic changed. In the early 1980's, many of the Professor's initial students were master level instructors in diverse disciplines. These were folks who had a solid grasp on stance, movement and angling and could apply these concepts to Modern Arnis despite the diversity of their base styles, hence the phrase 'art within your art' As time went on, less of his students had that level of foundation, so a return to basics to provide a solid base for everyone seems like a natural step.

On to the contrast of rote replication and free thought/movement. Again, to actually have a degree of free thought and movement, one needs a degree of mastery of rote repetitive concepts. Whether martial arts, other sports, surgery, cooking, whatever: the ability to free think/free play only develops fully after a mastery of the basics.

The old slam/jam guys:cool: make connections (flow) much more easily and can deviate from a rote pattern because of their understanding of the basics. Even the Professor had basic fall back techniques that could come out of any drill/series or free play. The new video series places emphasis on abercidario, corridas, angling, and other basics that provide a conceptual springboard for free play. In short, there is an interdependency (a yin/yang if you will) between free thought, and an initial understanding gleaned from a significant amount of rote replication.

Aside from making people happy and relaxed, this is why the Professor often started with single Siniwali. It is a rote replication drill which has many important aspects of the art at the ready. After a few thousand reps, you can see the avenues for free play. The secret of Modern Arnis was given away every time I trained with the Professor Practice, practice (fractice)

Respectfully,

Brett:cool:
 
B

BRAM

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Brett:
its good to hear you are OK..
I still go up to conecticut to moms house once in a while..
We in Modern Arnis are extremely lucky in many ways..
There are the 6 tapes from the 80's..copyright 1986..covering the whole system...or as much as he deemed to put on tape..
I still watch them alot..I catch things i missed the first few hundred times..
then Professor did Tape #7 on his own...Modern Arnis Self Defense...
Then over time he did live seminar tapes with George @ video quest: Sinawali Application...
the missing set of 6 Vancouver Tapes...
the unfinished Espada y Daga tape
Then he current set of tapes done basically before he was stricken ill...of course in real time it should be 8 tapes not 15 .5 tapes...but thats a marketing thing...

What we have is a video encyclopedia of the Professor showing us Modern Arnis over a full decade...we can see all the connecting bridges....they are right infront of us...
From single stick sparring to Tapi tapi to Mano De Tranka...
the evolution of teaching is there for us to see, feel and best hear him talk..
"is it real or is it Memorex?"..( Ok I date myself with that one..)

Brett has a point..no one had to show us sidekicks, punches, stances etc..most of us had done that for years already..
we had to understand the art within the art..
teaching my own students I didn't have that as a given.. I had to teach stances, movement etc..
As many of you have done with your students..
they didn't start from the middle as we did..

I look frward to seeing what I missed, whats new and to adding what is my own ..to the future of Modern Arnis..

I learned the old way.."he cannot touch you , he is cut..You do this..it is cut already"..it precludes grabbing the tool of later time..
He taught me. because I had the way..a feel for steel..I learned to cut..
Bruce Chiu used to laugh and say that I was crazy for my love of cutting..and we marveled @ how much the same our Arnis was yet how different it became...

maybe on day I can share the way of steel as I was taught by professor with others in Modern arnis..
and in return I'll learn some of the new ways of Stick..

But as I said we are lucky..
WE have a video library and a living library to check our knowledge from...

be safe..

Bram
 
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DoctorB

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Originally posted by modarnis



I've had the good fortune of training with Bram in Florida and New Orleans in the past. I've never met Dr. B, but he is of the era of my original instructor Lee Lowery. Several interesting points/observations from these comments:

Ahh... yes and I had the good fortune to meet and do some training with Sifu Lee; more interesting and insightful were the conversations we had with several others that were real eye openers into Professor's Modern Arnis

First, I doubt the Professor ever intended to abandon the notion of 'the art within your art'

Perhaps "abandon" is too restrictive a term, but quite clearly Professor seemed to understand that there was a need for making another change in the direction that he wanted Modern Arnis to move. I am not saying that the presentation of stances and footwork is bad or good. Perhaps it is a recognized reflection of something that was discussed recently at a meeting that I atttended where several people brought up the subject of basic or foundation skills that were lacking in some Modern Arnis people.

It appears that Professor had already taken note of the same thing and he was moving toward correct the problem. I have seen far too many people relying on handwork - blocks and parries as the basis of their defenses. I was not the only person to notice that situation at the recent meeting.

Around the time of the training/shooting for the last video series, I believe the Professor was reevaluating aspects of the system. Footwork is central to most of the techniques and drills, locks, strikes and finishes.

Well now Brett, it seems that we are in general agreement on this matter of basics such as footwork.

The Professor's footwork was so evolved it seemed nonexistent to the causal observer. His body angling, weight distribution and efficiency were clearly that of a person who devoted their lifetime to daily training. He moved and generated power in a similar way to masters of internal practice. For us mere mortals, stance work, body positioning and angling are a much more conscious effort.

I would not go quite as far you have, with regard to Professor's footwork being so evolved, in fact I submit that part of the problem with those students, lacking foundational skills in Modern Arnis, even some advanced black belt holders is that they mimicked Professor, without understanding the other aspects of evasion that you have so correctly identified such as body angling and weight distrubution. I have seen far too many people in Modern Arnis plant their feet, take root and try to make everything happen with their hands or stick.

I have also seen knife defense taught by some Modern Arnis people who stand directly in front of the blade! That particular example was mentioned by someone else at the recent group meeting, before I could raise the matter, so I am not the only one who sees this lack of fondational skills situation.

I would also like to caution against the notion that we are mere mortals and Professor was so elevated above us that we could never be at or rise to his level... there is always room for growth and improvement. That seems to be where Professor might have been headed with a renewed emphasis the basics for his followers. A strong house requires a firm foundation as does any martial artist.

I believe the Professor knowing this was central to the preservation of the art decided to include it in both the video series, along with his emphasis to black belts at the last 3 or 4 camps I attended prior to his illness.

The art within the art concept, as well as the emphasis on footwork changed as the student demographic changed. In the early 1980's, many of the Professor's initial students were master level instructors in diverse disciplines. These were folks who had a solid grasp on stance, movement and angling and could apply these concepts to Modern Arnis despite the diversity of their base styles, hence the phrase 'art within your art' As time went on, less of his students had that level of foundation, so a return to basics to provide a solid base for everyone seems like a natural step.

OK, now you have come back to my original point. In order to make the current group of Modern Arnis players better, Professor was moving away from "the art within your art" in order to stress basic foundation skills. As I said "abandon" might have been too strong a term, a better term might be "de-emphasising" the art within your art idea. Now he could and would begin to address the problems brought to the seminars and camps by the newer students, who lacked the necessary foundational skills.

On to the contrast of rote replication and free thought/movement. Again, to actually have a degree of free thought and movement, one needs a degree of mastery of rote repetitive concepts. Whether martial arts, other sports, surgery, cooking, whatever: the ability to free think/free play only develops fully after a mastery of the basics.

No disagreement from me on this point as stated above.

The old slam/jam guys:cool: make connections (flow) much more easily and can deviate from a rote pattern because of their understanding of the basics. Even the Professor had basic fall back techniques that could come out of any drill/series or free play. The new video series places emphasis on abercidario, corridas, angling, and other basics that provide a conceptual springboard for free play. In short, there is an interdependency (a yin/yang if you will) between free thought, and an initial understanding gleaned from a significant amount of rote replication.

Again, there is disagreement with your above statement. My point was and still is that too many people are doing the art by rote patterning AND that is all that they can do; we have seen the very best that they have to offer. They are lacking depth and scope in my opinion, whether it is presented as "flow" or "tapi tapi". I did not learn Modern Arnis as an "add on art" or "the art within your art". I studied and practiced it from white belt to 3rd degree black belt on a daily basis for 15 years. I am an "old school student". Tapi tapi is not new stuff to me, it has merely been repackaged by Professor to meet some objectives that he set up but did not necessarily fully articulate.

What I would really like to see is an Open Symposium of Modern Arnis Instructors demonstrating the art as they believe that it should be taught. I would include Delaney, Schea/the MoTTs, Dan Anderson, Bram Frank, Kelly Worden, Tim Hartman and Lisa McManus, among others do their thing. Let their skill be the indicator of each participant's true rank. There really is not a single best way or method of doing Modern Arnis, but it is quite possible to see who has the class and skill to do the art well, verus others who are going through the motions.

Talking and writing on forum proves nothing in the final analysis. Let's take this matter to the floor and then we can compare and contrast what each of the participants have to offer. We will be able to see who has the strong solid foundation and skill levels to make Modern Arnis really sparkle and fly gracefully with fluidity plus power.

I would be willing to host this kind of symposium in June or July, 2003, in Buffalo, NY. Is there anyone willing to be a participant? Just drop me a line at so that we can get this ball rolling:
<escrima_kenpo@hotmail.com>

Please forward this proposal to Delaney, Randi Schea, Ken Smith, Kelly Worden, etc. We could have a very siginficant event. A summit of the top Modern Arnis Instructors, where action replaces nasty words passed back and forth on forums. Given what I saw in Las Vegas, at the Kenpo Gathering of Eagles, a symposium of this kind can clear up a lot of misconceptions and nonsense within the art of Modern Arnis. Professor Presas, Is Gone! The time to set new directions in the art has arrived. Are people willing to accept the challenge of moving the art forward?

If people are really tired of the dumb politics and pointless shouting at one another, then we need to come together and let everyone show what they have to offer people who are interested in Modern Arnis.

Jerome Barber. Ed.D.
 
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Cruentus

Cruentus

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all good posts!:D

DoctorB, I'm not sure what to think of that offer, but I think I like it.

It looks like I'll have to bring my buddies from the National Guard to bounce the event, and we'll be all set.:rofl:

:2pistols: :apv: :rockets: :tank: :ak47:

Seriously, though, I'm really interested to hear the responses to that offer! I hope that an event like what you suggest does happend eventually; and I hope 2003 isn't to soon for it.

:asian:
 
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DoctorB

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Originally posted by PAUL

all good posts!:D

DoctorB, I'm not sure what to think of that offer, but I think I like it.

It looks like I'll have to bring my buddies from the National Guard to bounce the event, and we'll be all set.:rofl:

Seriously, though, I'm really interested to hear the responses to that offer! I hope that an event like what you suggest does happend eventually; and I hope 2003 isn't to soon for it.

:asian:

Thanks Paul, but I doubt that we would need the NG there. This is a very natural and reasonable thing that I am suggesting. It almost goes without saying that there are differences between various people about what is good, better and the best Modern Arnis, but it is also my contention that the best of the best would want this opportunity to show everyone what they have to offer.

What damn good does it do to have different factions all claiming to be the true presenters of the art? Bring everyone together and let's sort it all out by teaching and demonstrating one's knowledge and ability regarding Modern Arnis. If everyone is hiding in their own sphere of influence and maintain seperate existences, how will anyone evr know who the Better and Best Modern Arnis players really are?

I was always told that there is a time for talking and a time for silence, there is a time for action and a time for stillness... I believe that we have reached the point in time where we need some action, we need to have people put their skills on display in an open symposium for all to see and evaluate. The cream will most certinly rise to the top and we will know who the best people are by their actions on the training/teaching floor.

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 

Guro Harold

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For a lighter or "lightsaber" side of this discussion, check out Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. So not to disclose any spoilers, I will not go in details, but, one aspect is "classic" style verses "new".

And yes, I am going to see it tonight at 12:05 am!!!!

:eek: :cool: :duel: :xwing: :jediduel:
 
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DoctorB

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Originally posted by PAUL

Well Said!!!!!!:D :cheers:

Thank you Paul. There is already some interest in the symposium idea, three e-mails and a phone call. All four people are ready to be presenters if the dates are set up fairly soon! As of this writing no one from the Delaney Group or Schea/MoTTs Group has contacted me, but the idea is now and only out there for a bit over 24 hours.

I will keep the group posted if new contacts and information develop.

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 
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DoctorB

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Originally posted by dng1032

Dr. Barber,
Please go to the following thread...
http://www.martialtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2010

I share the same idea of a joint gathering and am in support of your idea...you can count me in if it comes to light...


Thank you for your support, Guro David. Let's work to make the symposium come to light. All we really need are some commitments from a few people to be there as presenters. We can work with as few as three(3) or as many as ten(10).

I am hopeful that people will not just sit on their hands, waiting for someone else to do all of the work. I will get the facility and lodging. I will make up the program and coordinate event, but some people need to step forward and commit to being here. If I get three(3) commitments to instruct, I will set a definate date for symposium!

Jerome Barber, Ed.D.
 
B

BRAM

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I think this will be good for all of us..
We can see where some concepts become others..We can see the driving principles of those concepts..
And we can see how we each translate...I do remember the Professor always telling me one of the keys was to be able to translate...
I look forward to learning new ways to see and teach Modern Arnis..
and to meeting new people...

be safe

bram
 

Bob Hubbard

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I have moved the majority of the symposium posts to their own thread. Please pick up all symposium related topics there so that its easier for everyone to follow.

Thank you.
-Kaith
 

Mao

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depending on the date. I already have some scheduled events. But if nothing clashes, I'd be happy to be presenter as well as a representative of the IMAF, INC. (Dr. Shea).
Guro Dan McConnell
Modern Arnis of Ohio
Hilliard Budo Center
 

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