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  • Writer's pictureJackie Bradbury

The Art Within Your (and My) Art

I was talking to a friend who's training with us in Presas Arnis. She's a long-time Shotokan Karate player, highly ranked. We were noting what similarities there are between her base art (Shotokan) and my base art (Presas Arnis).

Turns out, there's lots and lots.

But I knew that, because the founder of Modern Arnis, Remy Presas, originally promoted and talked about it being "the art within your art". His style was just a different way of looking at what his students who came from other martial arts styles already knew.

"It is all the same" he'd say, and that saying has more than one meaning, but that's one of them - that my style is already within your style.

I am a Modern Arnis (Presas Arnis) native. That is, I don't have a foundation of any other martial arts style to my Arnis (yes, I started in taekwondo first but I was a newbie to that when I was first handed a stick).

I am very, very unusual in this, as most people come to what I do after they've trained in another style (and it's a huge variance on what that other style was person to person).

So when I've cross-trained in other styles - taekwondo, kempo, some karate - my mind inevitably turns to what I already know in Arnis, and making the connections to what's there.

I'm sort of going the opposite direction as most of my friends. Instead of other style to Arnis, I go from Arnis to other style.

Either way, we end up in the same place.

Instead of focusing on what we do that's different from one another, I try to focus on what we have in common. No matter what you are studying - fencing, judo, boxing, muay thai, grappling, kung fu, etc. - I promise you, we'll find things in common.

My art is your art. Yours is mine.

What similarities do you find between your style and another that might not be obvious? Do you think your style is so different it doesn't have a lot in common with someone else? Let us know in the comments!

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