Remy Amador Presas
Or the Professor, as his students affectionately call him, is one of the Philippines premier stickfighters. He has become a national figure in his native country for his blending of the countless combat styles of the islands into one martial arts system called Modern Arnis.
The Professor began his training in the Martial arts at the young age of six years, under the tutelage of his grandfather, Leon Presas. Leon, who was a veteran of the Spanish-American war in the Philippines, was trained in a form of Arnis called Espada y daga, or 'sword and dagger.'
At the age of 14, the Professor left home to enhance his studies in the martial arts. In 1949, on a trip to the island of Cebu, he met a very powerful and aggressive arnis fighter named Rodolfo Moncal. Trained in a close-quarter arnis style called Balintawak, he influenced the Professor's life greatly. He trained with Moncal for 2 years before returning to his homeland in Negros Occidental. Testing his aquired skills on some of the more advanced arnisadors, the Professor found that he could better control aggressive situations. Inspired to returnd to Cebu, he aquired a new Balintawak instructor and soon after entered a full contact tournament held in Cebu City. They did not use padded sticks, and there was no protective gear worn. This was the real thing.
In 1957, he opened the first commercial Arnis School in his province. He often made demonstrations at local colleges, hoping to imbue people with the knowledge that this was a renewed art. This would spark interest for the students who would soon trin at his school. This is when he first began creating Modern Arnis.
In 1961, the Professor began teaching kodokan Judo and shotokan karate ar La Salle College in Negros Occidental. He also interlaced techniques from both arts into the foundation of Modern Arnis to further develop the art.
In 1963, he began teaching Modern Arnis, judo, karate and Greco-Roman wrestling to the departments of Criminology and Physical education at the University of Negros Occidental in the city of Bacolod.
In 1974, his first book about the art was published in the Philippines and was titled, "Modern Arnis: Philippine Stick Fighting." Two years later, another book was published in English called, "The Practical Art of Eskrima," at about the same time the book, "Arnis de Mano" or "Harness of the Hand," was published in Tagalog.
In 1975, on a good will tour sponsored by the Philippine government, the Professor left his homeland to spread Arnis to other countries. He arrived in the United States, conducting seminars to special groups as varied as law enforcement and senior citizens.
In 1982, the Professor was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year. The Professor resided in the United States and still conducts seminars around the country. His seminars attract martial artists of all types, from all over the globe. Grandmaster Remy A. Presas has a reputation for uniting people of all races, religion and heritage for the cause of expanding the 'Modern Arnis Family.' It makes learning easy, because everyone if friendly and willing to help one another.