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REMY PRESAS

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Remy Amador Presas was the founder of Modern Arnis, perhaps the most popular Filipino martial art in the world. Born in the Philippines, he moved to the United States in the 1970s. There he taught his art principally via seminars and camps. He also authored several books and videos/DVDs concerning his art.

He was born on December 19, 1936, in the town of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, Philippines, the son of Jose B. Presas, a businessman, and the former Lucia Amador. He began studying arnis with his grandfather Leon Presas and uncle by the age of six, and by the time he was fourteen he was traveling to learn from other instructors and to compete in stick-fighting competitions. He eventually focused on Balintawak, but also earned black belt rank in Shotokan Karate (sixth degree black belt) and in Judo.

He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and taught the subject at a unit of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. Because of this he was addressed as Professor Presas, and was widely known in martial arts circles as "the Professor". He later worked for the Philippine government in the area of physical education, spreading arnis instruction to the high schools. He was forced to leave the country in 1974 by pressure from certain government officials. He spent most of the rest of his life in North America, but traveled world-wide.

He was married twice: To Rosemary Pascual Presas, with whom he had three children, and to Yvette Presas, with whom he had two children.

Since his death on August 28, 2001 in Victoria, Canada from brain cancer, several groups have emerged to carry on instruction in his art. His younger brothers Ernesto Presas and Roberto Presas, as well as several of his children (most notably his eldest son, Remy P. Presas), are also active in the Filipino martial arts.

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