Sunday, May 28, 2006


Master Godofredo Fajardo is the current Commissioner for the Middle East for International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (IMAFP), stationed in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is also my Modern Arnis guro and co-founder of our organization, Filipino Fighting Arts, Int’l. But more than that, Master Fajardo enjoys a unique position in the history of Remy Presas Modern Arnis. He was a personal student and protégé of Remy Presas, and was an active instructor, officer and tournament official for the various Modern Arnis organizations during and after Remy’s time (including NARAPHIL, Arnis Philippines, MAACOP, and others). In addition, he was able to train with Remy even after Remy emigrated to the United States. He was also instrumental in helping form IMAFP, Inc. and continues to serve as a Commissioner and a member of its Council of Masters.

Here, in his own words, he describes that training with Remy and his role in the formation of IMAFP, Inc. At my request, Godo wrote the original piece below in Tagalog, and I took the liberty of translating it. I also left it without any annotations (describing the persons and places mentioned here), and any future historian can have the pleasure of quoting this piece and supplying their own annotations, with the proper acknowledgement, of course.

Jay de Leon

By Godofredo Fajardo

Remy went back to the Philippines after a long absence either in 1986 or 1988. At that time, I was teaching Modern Arnis in a gym for Raymond Velayo, on E. Rodriguez Ave in Quezon City. I was overjoyed to be able to train with Remy again. On that first visit, I trained together with Rodel Dagooc at the hotel where Remy was staying, the Silahis Hotel on Roxas Blvd. in Manila.

On his next visit in 1997, we continued our training, both at the hotel where he was staying in Binondo, Manila, and subsequently, at his house in Marikina. I believe that they have sold this house since.

The Professor made several more visits after this. The training got a little bit more intense and more advance. In addition to the advance Modern Arnis techniques, he introduced tapi-tapi, which was new material for most. He stayed in a house which they had converted into a gym. Located near Taft Avenue behind De La Salle University, the house was owned by Shishir Inocalla. By this time, we were also joined in our training by Bambit Dulay.

On one of these visits around the year 2000, Remy also gave a seminar for the Department of Tourism (DOT) which I attended.

It was also during this time that Remy formed the International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (IMAFP). Bambit Dulay and I were entrusted with getting Modern Arnis masters to meet with Remy, as well as the actual legal formation of IMAFP. Remy, Bambit and I met with these masters wherever we could—during training, in beerhouses, in the office of Atty. Salvador Demaisip, at the Pamantasang Lunsod ng Maynila (PLM) and anywhere else we could find them.

The meetings could be contentious at times, with so many masters and so many personalities and egos to contend with. But eventually IMAFP, Inc. took shape and was registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at EDSA Greenhills in Mandaluyong with Atty. Demaisip as the first president.

Other Board members included Roberto Presas, Cristino Vasquez, Rene Tongson, Bambit Dulay, Noel Penaredondo and myself. In addition to being PRO, I was also designated the International and National Training Officer for IMAFP, and Remy entrusted me with various VHS tapes of his seminars in the U.S.

On August 1, 2001, I left for Saudi Arabia, not knowing that my last training session with Remy was the final time I would see him alive. Within the month, Remy was dead. When I learned of his passing, I felt a great sense of loss, just like when I lost my first Modern Arnis teacher, Willy Annang.

Farewell, teacher and father. Till our next training.

Godofredo Fajardo
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
March 19, 2006


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