FOUR arnis grandmasters (GM) were recognized during the 14th death anniversary commemoration of GM Remy Presas, founder of Modern Arnis at the San Juan Multi-purpose Gymnasium in San Juan City. The event was attended by various arnis organizations from other countries among them Russia and Korea.
GM Shishir Inocalla, GM Raymund Velayo, GM Bambit Dulay and GM Mark Wiley were given the Ambassadors Medal. GM Victor “Butch” Cusi, the chairman of Great Nation Philippines, a non-government organization, conferred the awards.
“Their task is to promote Filipino Martial Arts especially arnis,” said Cusi.
The event was also a unity gathering of grandmasters according to Inocalla who was among the first six individuals given the rank of Datu or chieftain by the late Presas. Inocalla was also known in Hollywood for his stunt works on the films The Process (1998), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993) and Crying Freeman (1995).
“We have made this a special day because we believe that GM Remy Presas is mainly responsible for popularizing arnis around the world,” said Inocalla.
Inocalla added that they are also starting to establish a Modern Arnis family tree.
“We look at GM Presas students from the time he started and [begin]collecting all those data to create a family tree.”
Inocalla said that they envision unifying all arnis clubs in the Philippines and promoting the sport that seems to be disregarded in its country of origin.
“It seems we are missing out our national sport,” said Inocalla.
Arnis, by the virtue of Republic Act No. 9850 became the Philippines’ national martial art and sport in December 11, 2009.