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Who do you think has had the greatest influence on Filipino Martial Arts in your country?

There are a lot of great instructors in the world teaching Filipino Martial Arts but my question is not who is the best or who has the best system, but who has had the greatest influence in each country or on the world?

In America, my vote goes to Guro Dan Inosanto.  Guro Inosanto in my opinion, has had the greatest influence in America and parts of Europe through books, videos, seminars, and movies.  Everywhere you turn you see someone explaining sambrada, inside deflection, outside deflection, Hubad, Heaven 6, and so on... In my observations, there aren't many in the Philippines that use Inosanto's terminology or drills yet outside of the Philippines there are hundreds if not thousands of "instructors", that use his terms, drills, and techniques.  My only criticism is that the majority of these "instructors", don't give him the credit that he deserves.

 Who do you think has had the most influence and why?

Zach Jenkins

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Guro Dockrill, I have heard many great things about the late GM Remy Presas from my teacher. I wish I had the opportunity to meet him but I'm also glad that there are individuals such as yourself that are still keeping his legacy alive.

Zach Jenkins
I agree Guro Jenkins. I feel Guro Dan is the most influential in both Canada, the U.S.A., and much of Europe; and yet he is one of the most self effacing and humble martial arts instructor it's ever been my privledge to meet. Occassionally I have been disappointed by the enormous egos of some instructors; (thankfully they are in the minority).I have long held the belief that the most impressive instructors embraced the philosophical and cerebral aspects of the arts, along with the physical advantages they have to offer, and for this reason I chose to study his method. I am grateful and honored that he has been gracious enough to allow me to represent his system here in Canada's most easterly province. Through his books, videos, and D.V.D.'s, and his many television and movie roles, he has given so much exposure to the Filipino martial arts that his name virtually rolls off everyones lips who knows anything about the topic. How can we forget his tireless promotion of the arts through the seminar circuit in North America, Europe, and Australia? What impresses me most about him; is his fond acknowledgement of his teachers and predecessors, and the significance of their contributions to the arts. His encouragement to all instructors under him to do the same, sets a fine example for all martial artists to follow. His ability to remain a constant student is remarkable. I remember Guro John Maidment had Guro Dan and Guro Paula here in 1987 and one of our schools members (of Scottish ancestry), showed Guro Inosanto a Dirk bestowed to him by his Grandfather. Guro Dan engaged him in conversation and asked if his grandfather had taught him how to use it; obviously seeking any new source of knowledge for his own education. As I watched this unfolding on the sidelines my heart swelled with pride realizing that I was associated with such a remarkable individual, with such an open and inquisitive mind; and that although he was the instructor, he still sought opportunities to be the eternal student.
Thanks Guro Dennis for your comments on this thread. It's always nice to hear the accounts of great martial artists that made significant contributions to the art.
Ya, there's a lot of Great Master in Filipino Martial Arts today I may say Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje contribute a lot in this scenarios,from Philippines to the rest of the world,knifes ,swords,empty hands and even Tactical weapons. I salute him on that.

Nice question on web guys, Thanks !
In my opinion, Guro Inosanto and GM Remy Presas had the greatest influence in the United States.

There is no doubt that without FMA legends like GM Giron, GM Cabales, GM Lacoste, etc. that the Filipino martial arts would not be as wide spread as they are. However, Inosanto and Presas were able to present the arts to the masses like no others have.
Hello Guro Malmo,

I agree with your opinion regarding Guro Dan Inosanto and Professor Remy Presas as having the greatest influence on the development AND expansion of the FMA in the USA. All of the others mentiuoned in the posts above deserve the recognition that has been given them, but Guro Inosanto and Professor Presas are at the top of the list because of the numbers of people whom they taught in the USA. It is true that they taught most of their students in seminars and camp settings, but without those sites they could not have reached all of the people that they did. They inspired people to add the FMA to other martial arts school programs as well as getting some people to present the FMA as stand alone programs.

Over the years that I was associated with the FMA, the 2 most mentioned names were Dan Inosanto and Remy Presas. No disresepct toward anyone else intended. Guro Inosanto and Professor Presas wrote books on the FMA, the influenced others to research and write books as well. They helped to foster a new generation of instructors and helped to broaden the base number of instructors beyond the Filipino communities on the West Coast and especially Stockton, CA. Had it not been for these two men, it is doubtful that I would have found and trained in the FMA.

Respectfully yours,

I have to agree with what you have stated GM Ron. But how we forget that Dan Inosanto was passing knowledge to us that he got from others that came before him. Was he founding FMA in 1960?? When eskrima came to Hawaii & mainland USA what terminology did they use ? If you read his book he said that he went to Hawaii & Stockton to get info and teaching on FMA in the 1960's and 70's from the 'manongs' there. To me Dan Inosanto has been a spotlight on an art that is ancient and part of a culture that was looked down upon by Americans back in the 30' 40' and 50's. We are talking about an America that was based upon racial discrimination that viewed Filipino people as cheap labor for the fields, after all my teacher GGM Angel Cabales picked asparagus for a living and taught FMA. I state this with the utmost respect for Dan Inosanto but he wouldn't be who he is without the folks around him that focused attention upon him - Ed Parker, Bruce Lee & Angel Cabales no one makes it in this Life without HELP !!! But the FMA credit due doesn't just belong to Dan Inosanto or Enesto Presas, because truly they were not the pioneers just the student of them just like the rest of us.Let's not forget them all ! Mahalo & Aloha, GM Tasi Alo / WSEF
That response would be fine except your answer doesn't include those in Hawaii, what if I shared with you that some of the foundation of Derobio EsKrima comes from saber techniques that are taught to calvary officers ? Gen Faustino Ablen was GGM Pedoy's tutor, they were part of the Pulahans on the island of Leyte, so part of their art is military - so it brings about this question from me - What makes an 'art' combat ? Many folks say they play but do they really play?? Yes everyone does 'play different but how many moves does it take to use a sharp blade to fatally wound another person in a one to one match where you can't run away ??? I mean are we all forgetting that these matches had actual witnesses? They were like duels where the 2 parties agree to meet at a discreet location with one witness each and the waiver that has been signed and wittneesed that the one that dies gets buried with no one the wiser except those 2 wittnesses.
I know that from the research that our Serrada brother GM Sultan Uddin brought back from 'Maharlika', that Illustimo's folks knew Dizon and heard of Angel - and in those days they 'Played" till their opponent was fatally defeated . Hawaii had the same thats why 'Villabrille' snd others lived and Played there in our 50th state! Not always death match but full contact - no pads or protection except your 'garrote', that all you used to 'play' Yes folks did get hurt thats why later it was outlawed. Do you think that it stopped folks from still 'playing' for REAL ? Like you mentioned earlier Ron their opening of EsKrima schools In Hawaii and here in America were about a year apart.
What I'm saying is that all will claim combat, all will claim deadly but which one really did ?? one to one 'playing' is all I'm talking about because I'm not from Stockton but from Hawaii I look at things differently, I mean no disrespect to anyone but here in America, they want to see results thats why MMA- UFC - is so popular now, Americans want instant results when they see any form of fighting and they want quality because they will use the knowledge that all of us share or SELL to them to keep America FREE !! To keep our enemies foreign or domestic etc... at bay !!

For this particular discussion, the question was/is "who do you think has had the greatest influence on FMA in your country?"

In terms of influence, we have to look at those individuals that have both directly and indirectly positively touched the most lives.

If the question were who do we think is the greatest FMA practitioner, then the answers may be (probably would be) much different. =)

By the way, your dedication to our FMA forefathers is greatly appreciated and admired by many - including me.
In my opinion I think Guro Dan had the most influence here in the US. Because of his cross training in all the different arts he has become profcient in....he has been able to present and introduce FMA along with JKD, Thai/malasian/boxing & grappling and many other arts. So folks who did not neccesrily attend his seminars for FMA get a good dose of FMA. He developes interest locally when ever he holds a seminar. When he teaches here in Stockton he gives quite a bit of credit to Angel, Leo, Juan, Gilbert & Max as well as many others. Ive always seen a increase in student enrollment locally as well as from the practitioners from the bay area trying to cross train in FMA.
He has been a positive influence in my FMA experience.
Now i would like to say that Manongs Angel, Leo, Gilbert, Max, Juan and many others had a great influence on me directly & indrectly.
We are so lucky to have the FMA resources here in Stockton.
I would like to give credit Angel Cabales who taught Dentoy Revillar who taught Leo Giron who than created Estilo Defondo, Bahalana Multi-styles anchored fighting style. We are the same but we are not. We look similar but we dont play the same...we play the way Leo would do it simple and combat oriented. Just putting that out there to set the record straight.
I agree with Grandmaster D. The late GGM Cabales has had the greatest imput and influence on all of the known grandmasters and manongs of the past and present. Since 1964 when GGM Cabales opened up his dojo in Stockton, he single handedly made fma a known fighting art among the pinoys and the Americans. He then introduced various other fma masters to the american public. Besides him, I would have to say the late Grandmaster Remy Presas, then Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje Jr. These great men had, and still are leaving many instructors who continue to honor the legacy of their teachers. I myself and honored to have learned directly from Grandtuhon Leo Gaje Jr. and his past students, Pamana Tuhon Chris Sayoc, Master Mike Sayoc and their father, the late Tatang Baltazar Sayoc. I will honor and cherish their gifts by teaching this beautiful fighting art until The Creator calls me back. Great discussion Guro Zach! I can't wait to share the mat with you again. I pray soon.

Mu'allim Najee Hassan
founder of Sirat As-Sayf International
Dan Inosanto, Angel Cabales, Remy Presas.


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