Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Family Ties

Long time readers of the blog know that I study "Presas Arnis" as my primary martial arts style.

This is a hybrid of two styles - Modern Arnis, and Kombatan.  There are other blends out there using the same name "Presas Arnis", but they aren't exactly the same as what my teacher teaches.

This means that outside of my teacher's school, there's few people out there that use the same curriculum my teacher uses.

He started to remedy this by offering an Arnis Instructor Program to martial arts instructors locally who want to learn and teach his version of Presas Arnis in their own schools and programs.  Usually these folks are learning our style as an add-on to their base arts (karate, tae kwon do, whatever).  But we do have participants who are looking to do a full-time program much like what I've been studying a little over seven years now.  They're independent but they'e using the Presas Arnis curriculum my teacher devised.

The first of these Presas Arnis training groups opened its doors this month in Shawnee, Oklahoma (check them out HERE on Facebook) and my teacher was invited to do an inaugural seminar/demo up there to potential students.  I tagged along to help out.

It was a fun day, and it got Arnis OK off to a good start.  But that wasn't the coolest part of the trip.

The coolest part of the trip is that some of our Kombatan "relatives" at the Tulsa Arnis Club (a couple of hours away from Shawnee) heard about it and showed up to support the cause. 

Not only is this a super neat thing for them to do (they don't really know us at all), the guys who came were so helpful, and open minded, and just good folks to train with.

It was awesome.

The connection with the guys from the Tulsa Arnis Club was made when my teacher and I attended the Ernesto Presas Legacy Camp in Colorado last summer.  So while I learned lots at that camp, you can see that the primary, ongoing benefit is the relationships we made there, and now it's paying off in getting Arnis OK off the ground.

Not that the guys from Tulsa will do what Arnis OK does, mind you. They'e got their own deal that overlaps some with what we do. But now our friends in Shawnee have a place in our larger related style family they didn't have before. And through that connection, so do we down here in Texas.

It's like discovering your 2nd cousin and his family lives a street over from you, and now you're thinking of getting together to have a barbecue.

It's yet another example of how going to seminars and camps pays off.  It's not what you learn at those camps - although that's a primary reason to go.

It's the relationships you make.

My teacher went to an Iain Abernathy seminar in suburban Kansas City a few years ago, connected with +Abel Mann Martinez, and long story short, that's how the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance was born.  The Texas Modern Arnis Coalition (a loose group of folks getting together to train a couple of times a year in Texas) was formed in the wake of a seminar our school hosted with Datu +Dieter Kn├╝ttel.

And now we're already thinking about how to train more often with the Tulsa Arnis Club, and there's even the possibility of roping in folks who are interested in training from Kansas, too.

Who knows what this will become, if anything, at this point. It's early days, and it's hard to say right now.  But the potential... the potential is HUGE.

Blurry selfie of me & my friends at Arnis OK and the Tulsa Arnis Club.

My martial arts family ties are getting stronger, on what I think of as "both sides" of my martial arts family. I have more people to train with and to learn from.

It's going to make me a better martial artist, over time.

If you get the opportunity to get out of your home dojo and train with martial arts "relatives", you should take it.  You never know when you'll meet the right person or people, and your training possibilities will change and grow.

Forge those family ties. Grow your lineage tree.  Make the relationships with other people who get this weird little hobby of ours like you do.

Have you had an experience like this?  How did you grow your martial arts connections? What does your martial arts family tree look like?  Let us know in the comments!