I have been so fortunate over the years to be given the opportunity to teach at so many Martial Art conferences. Martial artists come from all styles to come enjoy and learn in a positive at these events. I have had the honor to teach along side many world famous martial artists from, from Kenpo great Larry Tatum to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion Leonardo Xavier to author and pioneer of Shorin Ryu Karate George Alexander. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a Wayne’s World skit and in my head I’m screaming, “I’m not worthy!” Many of these martial art icons are cool guys on and off the mats.
One personality that I hit it off with at a sushi bar in Saratoga, NY was Datu Tim Hartman. Datu Hartman is one of the leaders in the Filipino Martial Art of Modern Arnis. He was given the highest title of “Datu,” meaning tribal chief, by the founder of Modern Arnis, Professor Remy Presas. Professor Presas gave that title to only 6 people in the world before his passing in 2001.
The Filipino Martial Arts are known for their use of sticks and bladed weapons in combat. Modern Arnis is one of many styles that originated from the Philippines. Based out of Buffalo, NY, between running an international martial art association, travelling the globe to teach seminars and doing fight choreography for another upcoming movie, I was very happy that Datu Hartman was able to set aside some time to come on down to Milford to teach a seminar at my School/Acupuncture Clinic. During the seminar in April we covered the gambit of weaponry Modern Arnis had to offer in an exciting and safe environment. Started off with patterns using rattan sticks then moving to dull training knives and swords and eventually using “tomahawks“ (No, they weren't real. They were plastic training hawks). Datu Hartman also showed us how even a simple hammer can be used in much the same way as the tomahawk. We had a great time and look I forward to working together with Datu again at the Buffalo/Niagara Martial Arts Festival in September.
One of the reasons I opened my own school is so I could host seminars like this one with Datu Hartman. I love the martial arts and it has helped me immensely in life on so many levels. When I host a seminar, I don’t care if someone is the most famous martial artist in the world. If they act like a jerk, my door’s not open to them. I found out along the way that becoming a better person is part of the benefits of being a martial artist. I hope to instill that in my students and one way is to bring in top quality martial artists for seminars that embody that.