Datu Hartman

Datu Tim Hartman’s journey in martial arts is a testament to his passion, dedication, and prowess. His venture into this world began with Modern Arnis, under the mentorship of the late Grand Master Remy A. Presas, known as “The Prof.” Recognizing Hartman’s dedication and skill, GM Presas awarded him the title of “Datu” and made him the highest-ranked active American in the discipline.

In 1998, Hartman expanded his martial arts repertoire by training in Kombatan, under the guidance of GM Presas’ younger brother, Ernesto Presas. His dedication and skill were recognized in 2007 when he was in the Philippines, where GM Ernesto promoted him to a 9th-degree black belt and Grand Master of the family system.

Datu Hartman has not only mastered but also become certified in a variety of martial arts forms, including Modern Arnis, Kombatan, Balintawak Eskrima, and Bando. His commitment to continuous learning led him to recently achieve black belts in both Kuntaw and Sikaran.

His influence in martial arts extends globally, having taught in multiple countries including the US, Canada, various European countries, Latin American regions, and the Philippines. His dedication has positioned him as one of the leading instructors in Filipino Martial Arts worldwide.

Datu Hartman’s achievements are extensive and impressive. He holds a 10th Degree Black Belt in Presas Arnis, a 9th Degree Black Belt in Kombatan, and a 6th Degree Black Belt in Modern Arnis, among others. He is one of only six Datu’s in Modern Arnis recognized globally. Additionally, he’s a Master Instructor in Bando Dhot (Staff), a Senior Instructor in Balintawak (Bacon – Buot Lineage), and holds degrees in other martial arts forms.

Beyond his personal martial arts career, Hartman has made significant contributions to the martial arts community in the Buffalo, New York area since the late 1980s. He is known for hosting high-quality martial arts events, training camps, tournaments, and international martial arts tours. These events have featured renowned instructors like Grand Master Remy A. Presas, Dr. Maung Gyi, Grand Master Bobby Taboada, and many others.

Hartman’s background also includes a deep interest in the performing arts. He combined his passions for martial arts and performance, leading to a role as a fight choreographer in an independent movie. This role emerged from his experience in music and acting, showcasing his diverse talents.

As a competitor, Datu Hartman has achieved remarkable success since the mid-1980s, overcoming initial challenges to win titles in various competitions, including the 2014 and 2018 World Sikaran Championships.

Furthermore, Datu Hartman has made significant contributions in tactical training. Since 2006, he’s been an adjunct instructor with Sheepdog Kombatives, teaching at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. His work includes designing and teaching courses on edged and impact weapon defense, benefiting law enforcement professionals.

Datu Tim Hartman’s journey in martial arts is not just a story of personal achievement, but also one of inspiring and educating others, blending his love for martial and performing arts, and contributing significantly to the martial arts community globally.


"Training with Tim, is like training with me."

The late GM Remy A. Presas (Modern Arnis)

"He is my brother’s #1 student."

The late GM Ernesto A. Presas (Kombatan)

"Datu Tim Hartman A friend for life and a testament to his mastering the craft of Filipino Martial Arts. Datu Tim Hartman is very well known for giving all Martial Artists a place to showcase their respective Arts. Through his honesty and dedication to the Filipino Martial Arts he has created a network of friends to help promote unity and the family aspects that all of us are trying to accomplish. He understands that as a caretaker of the Art it is his responsibility to keep the Art alive and most of all acknowledges that it is the students that give the Art “Life”. I will always hold his friendship and his continuing accomplishments for our Art in the most Highest Regard,"

Grandmaster Michael Giron
Original Giron Escrima Federation