The School of Arnis Professionals (SAP) will hold a series of seminars from February 21 to March 27 as it aims to promote the national sport and martial art of the Philippines.
Founded in 2003 by Professor Armando Soteco, the SAP is under the umbrella of Professional Teachers of Sports, Physical Education Recreation and Dance (PT-SPERD) formerly known as Integrated College of Physical Education and Sports in Intramuros, Manila.
Soteco wants to prepare professional arnis instructors and Physical Education teachers by providing scientific knowledge and skills in teaching, coaching and managing arnis competitions.
“Arnis, which is the national sport and martial art of the Philippines has been outshined in our own country by foreign martial arts like judo, taekwondo and karate. That it is why the school is relentlessly promoting the Professional Sports Specialization Program,” Soteco told The Manila Times.
The mission of the program is to promote the cultural heritage of arnis in an easy and sequential manner and for it to be acceptable to all levels of society.
Soteco said that arnis could be presented through the following perspectives: fundamental skills, cultural, sports and martial arts.
“Even without using sticks, arnis can be played. The sticks are only extension of the arms. Arnis can be a form of exercise or a form of artistic expression,” said Soteco.
“Movements of arms, knee and the body must be trained because they are fundamental in learning the skills of arnis,” he added.
Besides arnis, the seminar-workshop will also teach sports science, physical fitness and physiology of exercise, traumatology, sports psychology, nutrition and health education as well as sports and recreational management.
SAP’s goal is in line with the objectives of Republic Act 9850 or the Arnis Law that declares arnis as the Philippines’ national martial art and sport.
Soteco is among those who have taught arnis in Philippine schools for the longest time. Now retired, he was an arnis professor at San Beda College from 1967 to 2002 and at Centro Escolar University from 1971 to 2001. Soteco trained from 1971 to 1975 with the late Grandmaster Remy Presas, the father of Modern Arnis. In April 20, 1989, he was recognized as a master of arnis by Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, founder and president of International Pilipino Martial Art Federation (IPMAF) at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, during the organization’s first World Arnis Congress. He is also the recipient of several awards in arnis that include the Lapu-Lapu Award, the highest award in Modern Arnis (2006) and the Kampilan Award (2008).
The registration is ongoing every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sto. Cristo Elementary School in Bago Bantay, Quezon City. For details, contact 09334362090, 09153512520.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID and CHAREY L. DEMILLO