INTRODUCTION TO ARNIS

Master Rodel was introduced into Arnis at a young age of 14. Both his parents and brothers would summon him every afternoon to teach him a technique or two. By sundown, he’s got his arms tainted with bruises, making him hate the sticks at first. Training then was quite informal, and the system was not known. They merely call it “baston”, referring to the sticks being used. Such was the scenario for Master Rodel every afternoon. Naturally, as a boy, he did not appreciate it at all. That’s why he enrolled in a gym in his hometown Ilo–ilo to study Shotokan Karate, where he earned a greenbelt rank in 1968.

When he moved in Manila in 1970, he continued to practice Karate at the National Amateur Karate Organization (NAKO), and there he earned his blackbelt ahead of Arnis (at present, he holds the rank of 5th Degree Blackbelt in Shotokan). NAKO happens to share the same office with the Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (MAFP). There, an eternal friendship between a genuine Arnis Grandmaster and a loyal disciple was born. Master Rodel came to know the late Grand Master Remy Amador Presas, and was convinced by the latter to focus on Arnis instead. They happen to come from two different provinces that speak one common dialect. “Ilonggo, magkababayan, ika nga”. Master Rodel was even prodded to stay at the gym and serve as a utility boy in exchange for studying Arnis which he did! After two years of practice, he earned his blackbelt (Lakan) in Arnis in 1972 and went on to become one of the Grandmaster’s top students and was even designated to assist in the teaching of Modern Arnis.

MEETING GRANDMASTER

REMY PRESAS

In 1970, he moved to Manila where he continued to practice Karate at the National Amateur Karate Organization (NAKO) and earned his 5th Degree of Blackbelt ahead of Arnis. At that time, the Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines (MAFP) shares the same office with NAKO. There he met Grand Master Remy Amador Presas and an eternal friendship between a genuine Arnis Grandmaster and a loyal disciple was formed. They speak one common dialect even though they hail from two different provinces.

The late Arnis Grandmaster convinced Master Rodel to focus on Arnis. He was encouraged to stay at the gym and serve as a utility boy in exchange of learning the craft of Arnis. In 1972, Master Rodel earned his blackbelt rank (Lakan) in Arnis. He continued to become one of the Grandmaster’s top students. He was assigned to assist in teaching Modern Arnis to his fellow students.

When Grandmaster Remy Presas left for the United States in 1985, Master Rodel was among those given the authority to spread Modern Arnis. Surprisingly, he was the only one to complete the task and most of his colleagues went independent. According to Master Rodel, “What I do to my teacher could be done by my students as well, so I prefer to stick it out with Ninong Remy. After all, loyalty begets loyalty.”

THE BIRTH OF AN INTERNATIONAL

MODERN ARNIS INSTRUCTOR

In 1978, he first left the country for Osaka, Japan, where he showcased Arnis, the Philippines’ National martial art and sport. At that time, he had no idea that it is already the start of his great career as an International Modern Arnis Instructor. From then on, he started traveling from one country to another.

When Grandmaster Remy came back to Manila in 1994, Master Rodel was given the rank of Master or “Lakan Anim” (6th Degree Blackbelt). This event was witnessed by the late Grandmaster Edgar Sulite. Years before, he was teased by Grandmaster Sulite, “If you teach and propagate Modern Arnis, then you are not making yourself popular. You are only helping the famous Grandmaster Remy Presas even more.”

After several years, Master Rodel’s patience, determination and faith in God paid off. Many invitations were sent to his mailbox.
At present, he has already visited several countries such as Australia, Israel, Italy, Brunei, Spain, South America, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and various states in the US. (Senior Master Guro Del) has been a personal friend of the Presas Family since the early years of NAKO/MAFP (National Amateur Karate Organization / Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines) gym established in Manila, Philippines in 1969 by spouses Grand Master Remy A. Presas and Rosemary Pascual Presas. He was one of the original students and instructor of GM Remy A. Presas. After three years of extensive training in Modern Arnis and Karate under the tutelage of GM Remy A. Presas, he was promoted to Master and became Instructor from 1972 to 1980.

Grand Master Dagooc

SPORTS

ADMINISTRATION

Philippine Air Force Rifle Battalion (1973)
Philippine National Police Academy (1976)
Military Police Brigade, Armed Forces of the Philippines (1976 – 1978)
Philippine Coast Guard (1977)
Philippine Marines Provost Marshal (1981)
Military Police, Philippine Navy (1981)
Martial Arts Training Centre of the Philippines (1981)
Rusty Santos & Roland Dantes Fitness Centre (1982)
World Korean Karate Jut-so Federation, Manila Chapter (1982 – 1990)
Young Women Christian Association (1983 – 1985)
Western Police District, Manila (1985)
Far Eastern University Security Unit (1986)
Public schools and teacher camps (invitation from Department of Education and Culture, Philippines) (1990)
Department of Health, Philippines (1998)
Defence Intelligence and Security Group, Department of National Defence, Phils. (2000)
Arnis Association International (1994 – Present)
Grand Master Rodel was an official delegate of the Philippines to Osaka, Japan at the International Trade Fair in 1978, representing Modern Arnis. He became an International Judge/Referee in Martial Arts in South East Asian Games in 1991. World Head of Family Sokeship Council International Hall of Fame in Florida, USA, inducted him as Master Instructor in 1997. In 1999, he staged a Modern Arnis demonstration at the 4th World Amateur Muay Thai Championship in Bangkok, Thailand. From 1981 – 1999, he had conducted seminars in Australia, Brunei, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Italy and United States of America.
Rodillo Dagooc gets a rank of Lakan Antas Walo (8th) in Modern Arnis and was promoted by GM Remy A. Presas in 1999. He was featured on the pages of “The Practical Art of Escrima” book written by spouses GM Remy A. Presas and Rosemary Pascual Presas. At present, he is Chief Instructor of Arnis Association International (based in Manila, Philippines).

AWARDS AND

DISTINCTIONS

Master Rodel was known in Australia as the “Small-hand Grenade” and in the United States as the “Smoking Stick.”
In 1997, he received the “Master Instructor of the Year Award” by the World Head of Family Spokeship Council International Hall of Fame in Florida, USA.
The late Grandmaster Remy Presas promoted him to “Lakan Walo” (8th Degree Blackbelt) in 1999, perhaps the highest rank given to any of his loyal students. It was observed by the huge crowd of Martial Arts enthusiasts in Rizal Park, Manila.