Pro Arnis: What are Its Goals?
Water Mountain’s Flagstaff Arnis (a.k.a Kali, Escrima, or Filipino Stick program) is known as Pro Arnis. It was developed to provide employable level skill for practitioners. In other words, it produces professional practitoners. Hence Professional Arnis or Pro Arnis for short.
The 3 Focused Areas of Pro Arnis
Pro Arnis intends to produce high caliber skills in 3 areas:
1- Protection. Both protection of self and protection of others.
2- Coaching. At a basic level, this is learning the skill set of coaching as it relates to Pro Arnis. At the higher levels, Pro Arnis uses Water Mountain’s extensive coach training knowledge to create useful curriculums for defined populations. In other words, different groups want and are capable of learning different things, and a coach should be able to cater to them.
3- Competition. Provide fundamental to advanced fencing with the Pro Arnis weapons. The purpose of this is to both hone skills, and provide a potentially lucrative craft for recreation.
How, Where and Who of Pro Arnis Development
Pro Arnis is built on a core of Kombatan Arnis as taught by GM Ernie Presas with additional input from GM Fred Lazo’s method. Largo fencing method is sourced from the Broadsword method of the Soon Clan and with additional inputs of Foil fencing of the Zurenda family.
The Lead Developer for Pro Arnis is Master Mikel Steenrod. However, Pro Arnis emerged from the trial and error of the Water Mountain student and instructor teams, systematic published trials in leading magazines, physics, and high speed photography. That source material covers the work of many dozens of people across decades, all directly for or involved with Water Mountain practitioners.
To help fulfill the Pro Arnis objective of employable skills, the training program has always emphasized the development of high level, absolutely reliable skills.
Fun, Highly Effective Exit Also Built In
However, a useful exit was designed into the curriculum at the three month point. Most people are able to render a reasonable, survivable defense against a common unarmed attacker at this point. After all, not everyone is looking for employable skills. Pro Arnis can be very easily be used as a fun, defense-effective method of becoming fit for decades. Fun in fitness, while not a defined focus of Pro Arnis, is built into the system.
After all, it is very easy to forget that people that pursue a profession long term find joy in the profession or else they are doomed to a miserable life.