To the Modern Arnis Community:
10 years ago, Professor Presas appointed me Director of the Can-Am Chapter of the IMAF. That organization existed not to compete with the United States IMAF, but to supplement it. However, the Can-Am Chapter did allow me to use my skills and contacts to spread the Professor’s art, unfettered by any constraints created by the existing hierarchy in the IMAF. Ultimately, both Chapters of the IMAF served the goal of expanding the art of Modern Arnis, as taught by Professor Remy Presas.
There has been a momentous change in leadership in the United States Chapter of the International Modern Arnis Federation, and I wish to congratulate Dr. Randy Schea and Mr. Jeff Delaney on their promotions. As the recognized leaders of the IMAF, I am confident that they will continue to guide both the Federation and the system of Modern Arnis into greater prominence and success. Due to the reduced role forced upon Professor Presas by his illness, I fear that there will no longer be his strong unifying presence to connect the two organizations. At this time, I believe that it is best for the Can-Am Chapter of the International Modern Arnis Federation to distinguish itself. Therefore, I am changing the name of my organization to the World Modern Arnis Alliance.
This new organization will continue to serve the goals for which it was originally established: to promote the art of Modern Arnis, to foster creative development within the framework developed by Professor Presas, and to standardize the credentials of those individuals who have dedicated themselves to its study. As did the IMAF Can-Am, the WMAA will give me the freedom to explore and interpret the Professor’s art, flavored by my other experiences in the Filipino and Malaysian martial arts.
Professor has always urged every one of his students to master his techniques and make them their own. The constant exploration of the art is not limited to Professor’s own research and development. “The more you practice, the more you will see”, remains a fundamental theme in his seminars. I have always strived to maintain a balance between teaching the Professor’s techniques verbatim, and applying his underlying concepts in different ways. While my curriculum may carry more innovation and outside influences than some other instructors, I believe that I have been true to Professor’s system, as evidenced by the 19 black belt instructors that have been trained by me, and certified by the Professor.
The WMAA will continue to teach Remy Presas’ Modern Arnis concepts, with an emphasis on certain dimensions. My current curriculum spotlights the stick fighting roots found in Balintawak, the Filipino empty hand techniques in American Kenpo Karate and the combative intensity of Burmese Bando. Each of these arts shares themes with Professor’s system, each leads to endless possibilities.
In no way do I intend to sever my ties to the IMAF. In my 18+ years with that organization, I made many valued friends and developed a great deal of respect for the skills of its members and instructors. I will attend IMAF events, and I will encourage my members to do the same. Of course, I will treasure new material from Professor Presas whenever possible. My intentions are to introduce Modern Arnis to martial artists who may not be reached by the IMAF, and to explore the wonderful framework developed by Professor.
I believe that this art is great enough to be spread, enjoyed, and celebrated by these two parallel organizations in the spirit of fellowship and brotherhood fostered by the Professor. My best wishes are with Dr. Schea and Mr. Delaney, as they carry the system that has meant so much to me since 1982. Finally, I look forward to training with you, the martial artists of Modern Arnis.