In this video, I demonstrated the opening sequence of Anyo Isa Empty Hand Form One, the first empty hand form of Modern Arnis. The anyos, developed by the late Professor Presas, contain the concepts and movements of Modern Arnis. Some have said that Professor based the anyos on his study of Shotokan Karate in the Philippines In any case, my understanding is that Professor Presas had the first four cane anyos and the first five empty hand anyos before moving to the United States in 1975. After this move, he apparently developed empty hand anyos six (anim) through eight (walo).
I believe that the empty hand anyos reflected Professor’s desire to highlight the empty hand aspect of his art and to show people that Modern Arnis was more that just sticks. One should see Master Ken Smith and Master Chuck Gauss do their empty hand stuff. One of my students, a black sash in Wing Chun, once told me “Master Chuck doesn’t learn Wing Chun; he’s got the stuff!”
As implied in the video, each section of an Anyo can contain multiple applications, both cane and empty handed. In this video, I demonstrated the arm bar as an application of the trapping hands sequence. However, there are other applications of the trapping hands sequence such as trapping hands, parry back fist, defence against two punches etc. One can break down the 1, 2, 3 sequence. For example, you can do just the first move of the sequence as a stand alone technique. Ditto for moves 2 and 3 of this sequence. Bottom line, one need not necessarily do 1, 2, 3. Feel like you’re in a rabbit hole yet? 🙂
There is a lot to explore in the empty hand anyos and I believe that a study of the anyos is a valuable aspect of Modern Arnis.