(716) 247-5254 admin@wmarnis.com

Addressing Misconceptions:

Yet again, I encounter instances of my words being misrepresented. I noticed a slew of posts recently attempting to debunk a podcast we conducted on FMA Talk, wherein we examined the aftermath of Professor Presas’ passing and why things deteriorated. In this podcast, we discussed several factors that contributed to the consequences of his departure. We acknowledged, albeit subtly, the negative elements at play, but decided to shed light on underappreciated factors that might have had a more significant impact than commonly acknowledged.

We highlighted the infancy of the internet during that time and how access was limited, especially due to the absence of contemporary social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Another significant element was the sole existence of my martial arts school, Horizon Martial Arts in West Seneca, NY, as the only institution dedicated solely to Modern Arnis instruction at the time of the Professor’s passing.

After perusing the author’s attempt to debunk the discussed issues, he insinuated that I declared the art to be in decline. He further claimed that it was now stronger than ever. Upon revisiting the video, I found no mention of the art’s current state from me, although we are indeed in a process of rebuilding. The claim of it being stronger than ever is, however, misguided. The author, based in the geographically secluded Pacific Northwest, seems unaware that the Professor’s seminars were primarily conducted on the East Coast and the Midwest.

In my career, I’ve been to 180 events with Professor Presas, including 30 camps. The author, on the other hand, I’ve only encountered once at a seminar where he taught karate while I assisted with the Filipino martial arts segment. To form an educated opinion on the state of the art, one must be actively involved, which includes consistent interaction. For those who weren’t there during those times, let me illustrate a clearer image.

The art thrived from approximately 1995 until October 2000, when the Professor had to halt his teachings due to his brain tumor. Throughout this period, he held seminars on about 25 weekends annually, conducting two seminars each weekend that attracted between 50 to 60 participants on average. If we consider the Big 3 seminars Prof taught with Wally Jay and George Dillman, participant numbers could surge to 150-200. The Professor would conduct 6-10 camps per year, each with around 60 attendees. This reach is tremendous, setting a high benchmark for us. The numbers we’ve managed since his departure don’t even come close. Even if we compile all the activities across North America, it’s a feeble comparison. Things are getting better, but I believe many people underestimate the scale of the situation. This is why, when queried, I express uncertainty about the future, as most of Remy’s students lack the broader perspective I have gained from my travels. They don’t fully comprehend the number of followers we have lost and the vastness of what we once had.

Our podcast emphasized the less harmful aspects of our teacher’s loss. Things did crumble, but we started to rebuild. I invite your thoughts on the subject.

I anticipate writing more posts, given the frequent misquotation and misinterpretation of my words, or their manipulation to serve others’ interests.