Student of Datu Dieter Knuettel
4. Dan Modern Arnis
different FMA styles since 1980
Datu Dieter Knuettel
Teacher, friend and person
The first time I met Datu Dieter Knuettel was in 1984 in Essen. At that time, I had been training Latosa Eskrima for 4 years and thought that I was pretty “cool”, as one would say today. I saw him during an exhibition with Grandmaster Ernesto Presas and in the seminar that followed.
He managed to convince me to “convert” to Modern Arnis. In the 28 years now that I have been practicing martial arts, I have always trained in many systems parallel with each other. I was never a typical “single-style martial artist” who would say “my style is the best”. I have travelled all around the globe, always in search of the absolute system. Through this I have met many FMA legends, trained with many and learned about their strategies.
But I always came back to Modern Arnis as my main system and learned under Datu Dieter Knuettel. He has the gift of photographic memory which at times I admire and at times I hate. He does not have to work to “get” a technique. He also has the ability to explain complex structures, analyze them and incorporate them into the structure of their own system.
In this regard, I have learned a lot from him, even more so than in technical terms.
Without stepping on anybody’s feet, I must say that this is what I missed from 95 % of the Grandmasters I have met. There are some who were and continue to be on the same level, or higher.
Datu has dedicated his life over the last 30 years to the FMA. Determined and tireless, he built up the German Arnis Association (DAV) throughout that time, always in search of more effective techniques and strategies. A well known american FMA teacher once called him a “vacuum cleaner” because he absorbs the techniques he learns.
As one of the oldest students of Datu Dieter (23 years now), I have carefully watched and witnessed his develpopment. Being very open minded, he stays in good contact with many arnis instructors and organisations worldwide.
He is very lucky that his wife Bea understands and supports all of his activities
In the 23 years that we have known each other now, we have travelled together, visited and organized seminars and given exhibitions together. We have experienced a lot, went “through thick and thin” as we say in Germany, underwent organizational problems and many more.
Without doubt, Dieter is at the cutting edge of the FMA in Europe and has rendered an outstanding service in spreading the FMA in Germany and Europe. Especially within the last few years, he has achieved a lot of reputation within the international Arnis community. His achievements were acknowledged in the Philippines as well as in the USA accordingly. He is the only European who was ever given the title “Datu” by Grandmaster Remy Presas.
Dieter Knuettel will continue on his way and will most probably continue teaching beginners and advanced students in Modern Arnis, even when he is already retired. I think we will be hearing a lot from him, leading the DAV to greater heights.