Senior Master Modern Arnis
Großmeister und 8. Dan
The DAV – Germany’s Modern Arnis
I first became acquainted with Dieter Knuettel and the DAV back in 1995 when I gave a seminar for Gaby Roloff in Hamburg. I have since gotten to know Datu Dieter as we have taught at various venues including the Modern Arnis International Symposium, the Modern Arnis International Summer Camp and most recently, the 1st Remy Presas Memorial Training Camp and 3rd World Filipino Martial Arts Festival.
From working with Dieter and having had several late night talks, I’ve learned a bit about the DAV curriculum as well. I see Modern Arnis “split” into several different terms of development. There was the first development of it when Prof. Remy Presas taught at his gym back in Hinagaran around 1957. He was assisted by his brothers Ernesto and Roberto. Several of the Senior Masters such as Rene Tongson and Christino Vasquez were students then. This was prior to Ernesto Presas splitting off and forming his own Kombatan.
In the later 1960’s, Prof. Presas relocated to Manila and had trained with the balintawak group of Ancion Bacon. Several of his students during this era were Roland Dantes and Vic Sanchez. In 1975 he again relocated to the United States and this began the most recent development of Modern Arnis. As he traveled about, his friendships with Prof. Wally Jay and George Dillman added more to his repertoire and took Modern Arnis into a different direction culminating with the emphasis of the Tapi Tapi in the late 1990’s.
As I had trained with Prof. Presas from 1980 on, I received instruction in some of the classical styles of Arnis as well as Prof. Presas’ innovations. When I went to the Philippines in the summer of 2006 I found out that there are classical applications that are included in “homeland Modern Arnis” (to coin a phrase) that weren’t stressed in “Stateside Modern Arnis”.
Why I bring this up is because of the training Datu Dieter received from Ernesto Presas, Remy Presas and several of the Senior Masters in the IMAFP. He has experienced most of the “flavors” of Modern Arnis – the old style and new style, so to speak. He is probably the only westerner who has done so and this gives the DAV a broad range of instruction.
Dieter Knuettel has also arranged the bulk of this material to form one of the most complete Modern Arnis curriculums I have ever seen, ranging from White Belt to the upper Black Belts. In my estimation, Remy Presas would be proud of this accomplishment.