Who is welcome in the IMAF? Open question.


David Hoffman


Open question, if IMAF-Delaney dissolves, or as people like Mr. Bates part ways from JD, will the MOTTs welcome them back?


Everyone who wants to make a positive contribution is welcome to become active in the International Modern Arnis Federation. It is not a personal issue relating only to the MOTTs and who they like or dislike or chose to welcome. The Federation includes a Board of Directors named by Professor, lifetime members and a large group of instructors, representative and students with a variety of skills, ranks and titles. We are all bound by the same rules and ethics which prohibit exclusionary practice or discrimination. Our Chairman, Randi Shea, MD, has guided us to act as a collective cooperating and concentrating on positive growth. There is a very strong emphasis on humility and focus on preserving and promoting the art; and building connections with the great pool of talent out there. We welcome, and very much look forward to, many more instructors from the Modern Arnis family becoming active and sharing their knowledge and experience.

We are proud of the work the Masters are doing in teaching the art and keeping the camps dynamic and strong. None of them are interested in being stars or monarchs, they are very eager to see more instructors become active in the IMAF, especially the original students and instructors active in the art throughout the years. They show respect for everyone, especially long term students and senior instructors.

In the case of Michael Bates, I like him personally and I do not want to judge others for their choices. I've enjoyed diners with him and stayed at his house when I was on tour with Professor. After all, it was my suggestion to Professor that he give Michael the junior grade Professor title (external to Modern Arnis obviously as Michael was a new instructor at that point. I have explained the use of the title in Modern Arnis, in this case, affectionately, JG-Junior Grade- Mike did use the title Shihan -Master- in his Karate school. I thought it would be a boost for Michael and I discussed it with Professor on the drive from Atlantic City to a seminar a Michaels club. It was also very humorous the way Professor announced it at the seminar. Professor was great fun, a real character and loved to tease and joke with those he liked. So for better or for worse I have to take credit for that one. It was meant to help Michael in his school. He is entitled to use the title properly!)

Professor was also very accepting of everyone, even when he perceived them as making a mistake and having acted against his wishes. He always welcomed people back with love. Professor liked Michael and Jeffrey, why would we not accept them back and enjoy their positive contribution should they choose?
Hi David,
My two cents worth on the subject: I recently asked Randi Shea about my involvement in IMAF and what was needed and wanted. He returned the question to me two-fold in what do I see my role as and could I live with decisions made by the group even if I disagreed with them. My answer was that I could best function as an independant member as it appears that IMAF is exclusive rather than inclusive and to the second part, my answer was no.

Now here's the funny part. I have had no return communication from Randi Shea on this. Or from Chuck Gauss for that matter. I emailed him about what appears to be a communication freeze from IMAF to me. He emailed me back about that it saw a surprise to him and others that I was so pissed off at the memorial service (oops - didn't cover that up as well as I though) and that RP himself put out the word that I was retired. Note: I was hot under the collar that I found out thru the back door that RP was ill and was never informed by anyone from IMAF.

Anyway, here's my beef with IMAF (group) and IMAF (solo - JD):
The communication lag (the time from the question being posed to the receipt of the answer) is VERY long. I ask a simple or series of questions and I wait...and wait...and wait. I am still waiting for the answer to my last question.

You know me as a student of RP. I have been and can be a loose cannon in the karate world but never have been in the MA world. As an independant, I can and will communicate with all practitioners. Hell, who do you know who is friends with Tim Hartman, Kelly Worden, Bram Frank and Jerome Barber?

So, here's the question I pose to you: What's with the open invitation from IMAF to all MA practitioners? The lack of communication from both groups (to me at least) appears to be some kind of indication. I invite someone from IMAF to refute what I state or answer my questions.
Dan Anderson
PS - Do you know that since RP's death, there has been no acknowledgement from IMAF whatsoever to the fact that you and I, along with Fred King, were on the original board of directors of the IMAF? Or not to me anyway.
Hi Mr. Anderson,

I know that this is a diversion, however, I just heard the final interview of GM Remy Presas from Datu Worden's web site. The Professor did mention you as well as Fred King as one of his first students out there Oregon way.

Best regards,

If you want an answer, I'll get you one. Would you restate your question, please? I don't believe that any of us can afford to rest on our laurels. Why would Remy himself say you were "retired"?
The IMAF, inc. is not exclusive. I know this from the time that we began to continue what the Prof. asked us to and before. The fact is that Dr. Shea is not, nor does he wish to be, a dictator. We want to run things as a corporation. There is a steering commitee and a board of directors, as you know. All have input and no one person decides anything. I would suspect that if someone is percieved as wanting to be The King, or the ultimate authority, that a corporation wouldn't run very smoothly with them on board. I don't know you so I can't say what you are like or where you've been. I will get an answer for you if you ask it again so that I can be clear. Thanks.
Dan McConnell
Modern Arnis of Ohio
Hello Dan,

Thank you for sharing some of your questions with me. I appreciate your honesty in letting me know what is on your mind. May I start by responding to your postscript?

It is well known and acknowledged that we were on the original board of directors as you point out. Fred King was first vice-president, you, Dan Anderson were second vice-President and I was the third, and last, vicepresident. I always felt honored to be listed in that roster. You and Fred did so much for Professor in those difficult, early days. Professor never forgot your contribution and mentioned your name at many public events and in private conversations.

Professor told me he made these positions because he considered those people instrumental in his succeeding in his early days in America. I think it is generally well known that we were on the original board of directors. Dr. Shea has clearly acknowledged this to me. Professor is, of course, godfather to Fred Kings children. Professor considered you like family as well. I understand that Fred has chosen not to be active with the Federation at this time as he is busy with his work. Fred has remained in contact with Professors wife and offered her his guidance and support as Professor wished.
There is no knowledgeable person in the IMAF who would not know that you were an original board member.

Thank you for taking the time to share your personal feelings with such honesty. The suddenness and tragedy of losing our beloved teacher and friend has left us all emotional and angry. It has been such a devastating experience. I have tried to remain balanced but at times my emotions have overwhelmed me as well and I have been misled by anger. But certainly what we are truly angry at is that he who was our greatest ally, supporter and friend in life is now gone forever.

Im sorry if there was a delay in your being notified that Professor was so ill. The first weeks after Professors diagnosis, the wait for surgery and the recovery period were difficult times. My full attention was on Professors desperate medical condition and communicating with his wife and physicians. It was a battle for survival that Professor heroically won. During this period I only had the time and strength to make contacts Professor specifically requested. Unfortunately, I was remiss in that I failed to respond to or notify more people. I was simply overwhelmed with the fight for survival and it took all my time and attention.

Professor also chose to remain isolated during this period and concentrate on his medical situation. I never mentioned any subject relating to Arnis unless Professor chose to do so. I did send out a couple of email updates from an internet caf矇. I only had a few addresses with me having left England for Germany with only an overnight bag. Yvette and Professor then asked me to escort them to Canada. I asked that the email notifications I sent be passed around.

The only person I remained in telephone contact with was Doctor Randi Shea. This was at Professors specific wish. Randi and I concentrated all our attention and communication on Professors medical condition, comfort and care. Arnis was not a priority subject at this time. Randi made himself available at all times and stayed in close contact with all the medical professionals at Professors request. This was a great comfort and aid to Professor and myself. Professor greatly valued Doctor Sheas active involvement and advice during those difficult days.

It was during this time, at an internet caf矇, that I was able to contact Professors grandson and then the rest of his adult children. First by email and then by telephone. It was pleasant and rewarding to facilitate this important reunion and reconciliation. I had made similar efforts over the years. In that time Professor heard one of his granddaughters voice for the first time as she sung to him. This was very meaningful and beautiful to share. I recorded that and played it back for Professor from time to time.

As Professor began to recover he requested that I telephone certain people. He was especially keen to contact old friends from the past whom he missed. You and Fred King were among the first that we contacted. Professor was very mindful at this point of the people that were important to him when he first arrived in America and fought to get established; and those, such as Roland Dantes from his days in the Philippines. You will recall that we planned a reunion of the vice presidents. Unfortunately I had to go back to England before you came up with Fred King.

In fact Doctor Randi and I have discussed you several times including just recently. Randi holds you in high regard. He said, among other things I see Dan Anderson as being a highly valued Modern Arnis member/student of Professor's. Randi has told me that he would welcome your active participation on a senior management level. As you mentioned in you post, our Chairman does require that board members agree to be bound by our mutually agreed policies and ethics. This is normal for a Federation and exactly consistent to the vision Professor expressed to me for the future of the IMAF. This was a major administrative responsibility Professor placed upon Randi as IMAF Chairman. The key requirement Randi has asked all IMAF management to adhere to: is to put our own egos and agendas second to the positive goal of supporting the Federation. In my case I am willing to accept the policies and decisions of the board even if I disagree. This is basically a question of rules of order and having a consistent image. As you, Dan, have always been a positive and supportive person in the Modern Arnis family I would think that you would find it possible to accept this stipulation.

Some senior Modern Arnis people have chosen at this time, and historically, to remain independent running their own groups. This is their right and I support them in this if they choose to be independent. I do ask that they not be angry with those in the Federation for following their roles also. We all need to mutually help and accept each other if the Modern Arnis family is to thrive and prosper. This was, after all, Professors dream and vision. He wanted all of his students to carry on his work. The IMAF is in place to assist in this legacy, not to be dictatorial or hold anyone back from realizing their goals.

The only thing I would ask you Dan, my friend and colleague, is why would you not be able to accept the decisions of the group after having participated and expressed your own views? Ok dont answer, I know the answer Professor would give, we seniors are all bull headed, especially me! In my case, I have accepted, and committed, that in order to be a positive member of the Federation, I must be willing to control my own ego and accept the boards decisions, even if I disagree. Especially if I disagree! I have also committed to place my own personal agendas and goals second to those that help the Federation.

As you so correctly point out, Dan, you were never a loose canon. Professor always valued and respected your positive input and your importance to the art. Randi has made it clear to me that he would greatly value your positive input within the Federation should you so chose. Randi also supports your, and others, right to remain independent should you chose that path. The important thing to understand here is: what Randi is asking for when he requests that Directors and members accept certain fundamental principals. Randi is not talking about interference, he means the major ethics, policies and board decisions. These are standard matters for a professional federation and involve fiduciary obligations and putting the common good of the Federation and the Art first. In your case, Dan, I know you have always done this during your long Modern Arnis career. This is one reason Professor valued you so highly and the Federation would happily welcome your active affiliation.

It is very true that you have always been well regarded in the Modern Arnis world. We all need to communicate so as to promote our beloved teacher legacy. I believe that we are all independent regardless of our affiliation in that we are original students of the Grandmaster. At the same time, I personally would be very pleased if you, and other independent seniors, chose to lend your positive energy and experience to aid the Federation. It would, I sincerely believe, make Professor proud and happy to see you become more involved with the IMAF. It was what I clearly understood as his intention in reaching out to you in Victoria, asking you to become/remain more involved. It was of course, I, who called you on the telephone so that Professor and I could enjoy a talk with you.

Some of the administrative matters are still being developed. I would like apologize if anyone has found it difficult to communicate. More online forms are being added to the website and more email links and what not even as we speak. I hope that I am clear in differentiating when I am expressing my personal opinions or memories and when I am speaking for the IMAF.

I believe I am accurate is saying: it is truly the position of the IMAF to offer, welcome and encourage affiliation to all those instructors and students who wish to play a positive and constructive role in preserving and promoting the art. The only thing expected is that all IMAF officers, directors and members will adhere to the basic rules and ethics; as with any professional educational federation which provides certification and oversight. Additionally all members are asked to share their full positive energy and experience for the common good, as goodwill ambassadors, in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.

We are all equally bound and empowered by this choice. In this instance I appeal to all those who have had the privilege of being trained and gifted by our beloved teacher to put aside their personal agendas so that we can work together to see this beautiful art of Modern Arnis, Professors legacy, flourish. One of the last things Professor said to me when we dined on Lobster after he recovered enough that I could return home was. I want that this thing will continue. Professor meant; his legacy, his Federation in particular and the teaching of his art in general.

Your Brother in the Art,
This is a great post full of wonderful sentiments, Mr. Hoffman. With all the splitting and in many cases rancor recently--I am not in any way referring to Mr. Anderson here--this kind of thing is needed.
Hi Guys,
Replies one by one.

Dan McConnell -
Clearly stated, what role in the IMAF is needed and wanted of me? As a member? Instructor? Seminarian? Communicator? Curriculum advisor? What is needed and wanted? Something concretely stated. Thanks for your offer of finding out. That is very kind.

Palisut -
I didn't know that. I haven't heard the tape. In fact I might be the only person in America who a) hasn't heard it and b) has met Bruce Lee and didn't teach him a thing.

David -
Thanks for your lengthy reply. I have gotten a personal communication from Brian Zawilinski today and a key point which I made to him is that communication (of which there has been very little of) is a very key factor. When the communication is absent, a void occurs and then "stuff" fills the void. I also went over an image concern regarding the IMAF that I have. If you want, I will go over them with you in a personal, not public, email.

Personally, I want Modern Arnis to flourish and prosper. I believe it will flourish and prosper IF the yammering between factions ceases. I have met with a couple of the differing opinions and there are two one common threads - love of the art and a difference of opinion of how to continue it.

All you guys -
Thanks for the open communication. I like and respect that.

Dan Anderson
Hello Dan,

Thank you for the reply! The communication issue is a very valid and good point! I have brought it up myself. We all need to increase our communication so as to better understand each other and avoid misunderstandings. Sometimes I think we may well be black belts in martial arts but white belts in communication skills! Please do email or call me privately to continue our discussion. (Of course you and I have never had a misunderstanding-good record after 20 years.) In the past we have always communicated directly but I did think it appropriate to express some personal feeling on this forum as the issues had been raised publicly. I also thought it might be helpful to others as well.

I also share your perception that we are all united by our love of the art and our beloved teacher. It is so vital that everyone feel free and comfortable to make their contribution regardless of their affiliation. This applies to all instructors and students. We need and value everyone! Professor valued everyone and I believe he would want us to all succeed. Professor made it very clear to me in his last days that he very much hoped that even the most intractable differences among his students would find resolution for a beautiful future. In this light, I hope we can all move closer together in our mutual love of the art, and those that do have personal differences, a normal thing in human relations, will find the power to resolve them and more forward. Professor set up structures and named positions to facilitate positive growth, never to limit or exclude anyone! Everyone, especially the many talented senior instructor, has a great deal to offer. I see our role, as original students, as one in which we must encourage others to share there skills and receive their due recognition. We must all try to honour the spirit in which Professor gave us these titles, ranks and positions. With humility and love!

As always throughout the years, I look forward to your communication!

your brother in the art


PS. Doctor Randi told me yesterday he will be communicating with you very soon. He is a bit inundated with it being tax season as he runs a financial institution.
I have been in contact with David Hoffman and Randi Shea. As I said to David, comminucation is a small pet peive of mine. Obviousy David and Randi either have, or will shortly, be in contact with you directly. I believe that I can say this though. As for what your particular role could be, if you choose to be involved in the IMAF, inc., that would depend on how well you can work within the perameters of the Federation. As David has so elloquently posted, we who are Directors, Senior instructors, or Members agree to act for the betterment of the group. This obvoiusly means that we may not always get things our way, but we will be heard and taken into consideration. This is not a dictatorship. I could go into more detail with you, however, I know that Randi and David will be shortly. I would simply be echoing their sentiment. I do hope that you get satisfaction in their comminucations with you. I look forward to the future of Modern Arnis and the possibility of working with you.

Dan McConnell
Modern Arnis of Ohio
Hilliard Budo Center