Look: My first FMA books

After that tantrum in my last post where I lamented the scarcity of Arnis books in its land of origin, let me share with you my meager but very valuable collection.

1. Modern Arnis: Philippine Martial Art “Stick Fighting” 

by Remy Amador Presas  (Philippine Copyright 1974)

162 pages


This book is a good foundational read. Even though the paper is dark and rough making reading somewhat hard, I appreciate it that the basics were explained in simple language and accompanied by full illustrations.  Considering the fact that cameras were not digital yet, I salute the enormous effort invested in making this book. Every single movement was described. I also like it that Grandmaster Presas took the time to explain the necessity of moral values.

2. The Practical Art of Eskrima 

by Remy Amador Presas (Philippine Copyright 1994)

248 pages


In many ways, this book is like the first one above–  both deal with the basics and provide full illustrations. But there are more advance techniques like knife defense, women’s self defense, and police techniques reminding everyone that FMA is one of the world’s most practical martial arts.

3. Sikaran. The Fighting Art of the Filipino Farmer

by Emmanuel del Espiritu Santo Querubin (Philippine Copyright 2009)

268 pages


This is a well written, intelligent, and articulate book and I finished it in one sitting! Printed on high-quality paper the book is easy on the eyes. My favorite part is The History of the Filipino Fighting Arts  spanning six delicious pages! But really, each page is full of interesting information. I also like it that there are many photos and that they included a very useful glossary of Filipino terms and weapons.  I highly recommend this book.

To read about the fascinating things I learned from this book click here.

4. 100 Filipino Martial Artists

by Garitony C. Nicolas (Philippine Copyright 2013)

This has proven to be a useful book for me although, with due respect, I think it could use some more editing and proofreading.  Anyway, when I’m on Facebook and someone suddenly pops up to chat and I remember that he is one of the persons featured in the book, I refer to it for some background information about my FB friend. So nice.

5. The Way of the Warrior. The Paradox of the Martial Arts

by Howard Reid and Michael Croucher (Copyright 1983, Great Britain)

240 pages

P1060445The paradox of the martial arts — studying a lethaI skill can make us peacemakers. This is a well-researched, insightful, conversational yet so informative book. I had many attitude changes after reading it — changes that would help me become a better person in and outside the martial arts world.

After reading this book’s chapter about the almost unknown martial art of Kalaripayit, India,  I also developed a more positive attitude about the fact that Arnis is not so popular. The “secretiveness” somehow brings a sense of exclusivity and worth.

The book devotes a special section for Arnis, mainly discussing Doce Pares and Cocoy Canete.

Cacoy Canete, shows a back-hand striking motion

6. Mastering Eskrima Disarms 

by Mark V. Wiley (Copyright 2009 & 2013)

241 pages


This is my newest acquisition and it’s special because I got it personally from GM Wiley himself.

Several Grandmasters met with GM Wiley. My master GM Pasindo went and I came along  to watch.
Several Grandmasters, including my master Cris Pasindo, met with GM Wiley. I came along to watch their exhibitions.

I sometimes worry that there isn’t enough written documentation of FMA techniques and they will just die with the masters. Now, a new instructional book with lots of photos and written descriptions lessens that anxiety.  I appreciate it that it does not deal with just one style but more than 30 FMA styles. This is an intelligent and very credible reference book.  I’m glad it’s in my collection.


So friends, these are my precious books so far. There will be more, I know.

How about you? What’s in your collection?


Thank you to fellow blogger Rick Vagas for showing his books. Both of us wish we had more.  FMA Books / Better Living Personal Development and Martial Arts


7 thoughts on “Look: My first FMA books

  1. aminahgarangan2014 October 5, 2013 / 7:11 PM

    I envy you for having the signature of GM Wiley :(( but I am happy for you for such a rare opportunity :)) Also, can I stay in your mini library I will not bother you nor even ask any food not even water, just lemme read them. I will start with the Wiley book, wait, maybe the Modern Arnis, or the Sikaran :))

  2. shamanwarrior1984 December 1, 2013 / 9:52 AM

    I’d also recommend “The Filipino Martial Arts” by Dan Inosanto and “Filipino Martial Culture” by Mark V. Wiley.

    • thedeadlydance August 19, 2014 / 10:36 PM

      Thank you. I recently got Dan Inosanto’s e-book and Mark Wiley’s book via amazon.

  3. Lester Usapdin August 15, 2014 / 4:13 PM

    I got:

    1. The Secrets of Kalis Ilustrisimo by GM Tony Diego and GM Christopher Ricketts from Fully Booked The Fort Taguig.

    2. Modern Arnis by GM Remy Presas – just downloaded a pdf on the internet

    • thedeadlydance August 19, 2014 / 10:38 PM

      How do you find that first book? Is it worth reading?

      • Lester Usapdin September 3, 2014 / 5:05 PM

        You can email lucy at: lucy2@fullybookedonline.com about the books and she can respond mostly within 2 days and reserve the book for you if they have stocks or order it for you from their publisher.

        The 1st chapter is about Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo’s background, followed by GM Tony Diego, then Master Topher Ricketts’ background. Following chapters are about the techniques of the sword, stick, knife, empty hands and flexible weapon such as handkerchief. Other techniques are not included. The book is much like the Modern Arnis book of GM Remy Presas.

        • thedeadlydance September 3, 2014 / 11:45 PM

          Ok, thanks. Sad that the three have already passed on. But good that there’s a book about them.

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