American Arnis – Gladiator School Classes & Training

Tracing its origins back to pre-history, The Filipino martial arts (FMA) combine shrewd tactics with time honored traditions drawn from the world’s greatest martial arts.

Simple and effective, Arnis strips fighting down to its foundation- edged and impact weapons, hands and feet – all using the same mechanics, so that every swing, punch or kick uses well-honed muscle memory. Your personal flow emerges with as you practice simple, fun drills that are as easy as a child playing patty cake..

The Birth of a Phenomenon

In the late 70’s the martial arts world was changing. Long dominated by traditional Karate and Kung Fu, public demand for action films and new “secrets” opened the door to styles from numerous origins. One of these countries was the Philippines, and the art was Arnis. Arnis (also known by the names Kali and Escrima) is a multifaceted combat system (a mixed martial art/ MMA) that starts with the threat of a weapon.

The connection between Arnis and action movies continues to this day. Movies such as The Scorpion King: Battle for Redemptiong 3 , the James Bond thriller Quantum of Solace and Mission: Impossible III all feature Arnis fight scenes. And exciting Arnis techniques have been a Matt Damon staple throughout the Bourne Identity and its sequels, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Arnis uses the DNA of numerous arts, simplifying and perfecting them in a way that has made the indispensable to today’s military, police and elite security operatives. A large part of Arnis’ rise to fame was in the hands of Professor Remy Presas, the founder of Modern Arnis. Professor Presas streamlined and simplified the art, teaching it in colleges throughout the Philippines and promoting it as their national martial art. As an ambassador of the art he popularized it within the US and was featured on numerous covers of Black Belt Magazine and earning the Black Belt Hall of Fame Teachers Award again and again.

“At the time, No one was doing anything like Arnis. It was just before the US martial arts explosion brought Masters from around the world to the States. I began studying at a really interesting time.”

David Riggs

American Arnis took the lessons of Modern Arnis from the seminar circuit to the classroom. Michael Replogle was one of Professor Presas’ senior black belts. Besides training under Professor Presas, he also collaborated with him, writing several books and numerous articles on Arnis techniques and philosophies. Another Presas personal student, Jeffrey Arnold was a champion competitor and the youngest black belt school owner in the United States. Replogle and Arnold leveraged their decades of hard-fought expertise to create a full curriculum that combined Professor’s Modern Arnis with a foundation in traditional martial arts already present in the US. With Professor Presas’ blessing, American Arnis was born in 1983.

Hand-picked to run the American Arnis Academy of Hollywood, David Riggs became the first black belt instructor of American Arnis, working with the founders to refine and improve the system. The academy was absolutely the very first of its kind in the world. Many gyms offer self-defense classes, but when you want to train under true leaders and innovators look for American Arnis. Today American Arnis continues to evolve as Mr. Riggs presents seminars and lessons through his Los Angeles Gladiator School.

American Arnis Is for Everyone

Built on simple principles, instinctive movements, and practical techniques, American Arnis provides both focus and depth.  To this day it remains the best option for anyone who’s thinking about making the transformation of a lifetime. That’s right — anyone.

Personal Training

I’m David Riggs, Certified 4th Degree Black Belt in American Arnis. I have an important message for you: there isn’t time to wait anymore to master effective and realistic martial arts. Plenty of people secretly want to learn to kick and punch like Bruce Lee, work the ring like Gracie and slash their way onto the battle field like…

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For Young and Old

American Arnis adapts to communities with special needs by working with each student's strengths. Elderly people concerned with balance can learn to use canes for self defense as well as improving their health through low-impact exercise. Youths also benefit as they gain confidence and coordination working together in simple patti cake-like exercises which evolve into...

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Host a Seminar!

Greater Los Angeles School Owners:

Contribute to your student’s growth!

Mr. Riggs is available to teach seminars on a wide range of specialized skills to augment your school’s existing martial arts program. Learn basic or advanced weapon skills and how the art you already practice relates to its ancient origins. Try a different approach to knife disarms, takedowns or disarms. American Arnis offers seminars in topics students love.

For greater Los Angeles  call (213) 260-0278

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Our affiliates have access to a rock solid learning curriculum from white through black belt. Get trained in areas you don’t already specialize in. Affiliate instruction is flexible to your school’s needs.

Instructors Available in Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Areas

American Arnis Association

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