Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BOOK REVIEW Modern Arnis: History & Practice (Mag Aaral)

I think I've mentioned before that when it comes to Modern Arnis, I'm a second generation student.

That is, I train with people who often trained directly with the founder of the style, Remy A.Presas, but I never got the chance before he passed away.  This includes my teacher but I've also been lucky enough to train with lots of others, many of whom hold high rank in the style and run some of our bigger organizations.

The new book Modern Arnis: History & Practice is a fantastic book for second generation people like me.

"Mag Aaral" is a pseudonym for the writers/editors of the book.

The first few chapters are about the history of the FMA's and origins of Modern Arnis. Some of this I knew, some of it I didn't, and that alone made the book worthwhile by me.  As a Presas Arnis player, I also appreciated the shout-out Remy A. Presas' brothers - Ernesto Presas and Roberto Presas - got in the book.

The middle section is instructional.  It covers some key features of Modern Arnis - weapon choices, the 12 Angles of Attack, and various drills and concepts.  There are illustrations to help you follow along if you don't know all of these things.

The final section consists of a lot of different first generation students' recollections of Remy Presas and their training experience.  Some of the people in this section I know, and some I don't, but all of it was really interesting and helped me understand Professor and Modern Arnis a little better.

Any serious student of Modern Arnis will benefit from this book, but second (and third and so on) generation in particular will find it helpful, mainly for the history and the memoirs. 

Many of us are in one organization or another, and for a variety of reasons (locale and honestly, politics), we don't get a lot of contact with Professor's direct students outside of our direct lineage.  So we miss out on a lot of stories and personal experiences of people who we don't get to see. This book will help cover some of those gaps and enrich second gen's perception and understanding of the style.

The Stick Chick recommends this book for anyone interested in the history and practice of Modern Arnis and its founder, Remy Presas. It needs to be in the library of all Modern Arnis players, for sure!

In case you missed the link to Amazon above, here it is again: Modern Arnis: History & Practice on Amazon