Last night, a Grandmaster made me feel guilty

Grandmaster Remy Amador Presas

Many of you know that I am a newcomer in the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). I’m not even a year into it yet but my head has already swollen!

You see, I spend a lot of time watching FMA videos on the net. (Too much time, I think, that I’m beginning to suspect hubby planning a curfew on my surfing soon). I’m hooked because I just adore the great skills many masters and practitioners show.

But there were also times when I raised my eyebrows, rolled my eyes, and smirked at some videos.

In my six months of training with my FMA instructor, Master Cris, I never heard him say anything derogatory about another martial artist nor did I ever observe him act smugly around anyone.

But me, newbie me (!), was arrogant enough to scoff at others.

That was exactly what I was doing late last night….

when suddenly, our internet server stopped working.

A little frustrated (I was enjoying my meanness), I picked up a book on my bedside table, one I have been reading on and off: Modern Arnis, Philippine Style of Stick Fighting by Grandmaster Remy Amador Presas.

As if he was writing directly to me, I read,

The cardinal principle in Arnis is respect for one’s opponent as a person, as a fighter, and as a sportsman….he is a human being  with dignity…worthy of respect.

I put the book down, affected by the timing of the message.


Oh my…I feel guilty…

What am I doing?

Could I really go far if I continue in this proud, self-righteous path?

I don’t think so…


After some serious thinking, I made a decision. For my own good, I’ll try to stop being smug. Instead, I’lI work on having an honest view of myself and remember GM Presas’s message:

Strive to always have a high regard for everyone. They are sportsmen, human beings with dignity, worthy of respect.

Thank you very much, Grandmaster Remy Amador Presas. Pugay po!


3 thoughts on “Last night, a Grandmaster made me feel guilty

  1. Oliver June 3, 2013 / 12:46 PM

    That’s nice Dra. Joy. If you happen to have watched The Bladed Hand Documentary made by Jay Ignacio it will make you look more deeper in yourself. For me it has enkindled more the burning desire to re-member my cultural heritage that is flowing within my veins, the documentary also made me more humble as one foreign master in that film said that we do not have the right to brag about our martial arts skills as it doesn’t make us any better person at that. We do not have the right to judge, scoff or demean others . Respect to one another and respect to ourselves is essential. Pugay po!

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