Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Modern Arnis: Forms (or Anyos) with Bob Quinn

Many, if not most, Filipino Martial Arts don't have forms, but Modern Arnis does (as does Kombatan) - they're called "anyos" in our art.

Myself and a student working on one of the empty hand Anyos.

I have been told that the story behind them in Modern Arnis is thus:

The Professor, once he started to expand his art to the United States, was asked by all the karate/tae kwon do/what have you guys he had forms, as that was - and still is - expected of martial arts in the US.

The Professor said, "Why, yes, yes we do!" and proceed to make them up!

I hope someone more knowledgeable than I will fill me in on whether or not this is true, and how they came to be over time. I don't know the story behind them in Kombatan, so if someone can enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

Not all Modern Arnis and Kombatan schools teach or use the anyos.  Many think they're just not necessary. However, my teacher +Mark Lynn at Hidden Sword Martial Arts does use them, and I've found the material interesting and useful, especially as a teacher.

Having both the stick (well, actually, sword) and empty hand forms have given our school something to compete with at tournaments if we wish.  We competed for the first time in fall 2013 at the AKATO tournament and did very well, especially in the weapons competition (of course).

The video I want to share showing the four "baston" anyos we perform features Master Bob Quinn, who unfortunately died in 2010.  I use this video he left behind as a reference for how I like to do them myself -  it's one of my favorites and we are all poorer with his passing.

Master Bob Quinn.  Image from HERE (click through to learn more about Master Quinn).

We came up with a modified version of the four anyos into a one big "competition" anyo that I competed with at my first tournament ever - yes, I'm such a genius that I wait to compete in my first martial arts tournament as a black belt.  Hey, I won second place.  Take that, toothpick bo flippy guy!