January 27th, 2011
25 year anniversary of the DAV

It`s been october 12 1985 when 20 Arnis-enthusiasts from all over Germany (Essen (Dieter und Bea Knüttel), Ulm (Hans Karrer), Bad Sachsa (Michael Jux), Cologne, Freiburg, Königslutter and Braunschweig) met in Cologne for the founding of the German Arnis Federation (Deutscher Arnis Verband e.V.)

It`s been 25 years already since this day and so we celebrate our 25th anniversary. Unbelievable!

We were hoping to be successful in spreading the art of Arnis and we wanted to work hard in doing so but no one expected or anticipated us to become this large an association as we are now (2010: 1490 members, 240 back belts (1st-8th Dan) in 57 Schools/Clubs and still growing). Also, receiving international reputation and acknowledgement in the way we have today gives us great joy.

Throughout history of DAV we have always tried to maintain one thing – being an association with a very family like atmosphere. Through time, there were ups and downs in achieving this but within the last few years it’s become obvious and has been confirmed many times: DAV is one big Arnis-family and everyone feels happy and welcome.

This especially shows, whenever many DAV Members get together. The atmosphere is excellent, most everybody knows and likes everybody else, and especially new members are greeted with warmth and welcome. Those are the experiences we have made during our many seminars and also our bi-annual, international summer-camp.

Our anniversary seminar and celebration on October 30/31 2010 in Dortmund was no exception.

The preregistration had foretold the vast number of participants, but seeing it 'live' when we entered the gym was an overwhelming sight: almost 200 participants (95% DAV members) had come to Dortmund for the event. Naturally, most of them came from Germany but we also had participants coming from Danmark, Holland, Scottland, Tchec Republic, Israel, Hong Kong and the USA to join the seminar and to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Promotions / Ranking

The actual event started several hours before the beginning of the seminar when we had a black belt examination scheduled, which all participants passed. At the start of the seminar, the testees were given their new belts and ranking-certificates.

Congratulations for Lakan/Dayang Isa, 1st Dan:

  • Peter Sonnenschein, Kiel
  • Jörg Winner, Dortmund
  • Annette Koehnen, Köln
  • Oliver Oberle, Tuttlingen
  • Norbert Münch, Tuttlingen
  • Jörg Astor, Limburg
  • Oliver Arp, Kronshagen
  • Karl-Heinz Thiel, Bremen
  • Thomas Thiel, Bremen
  • Sandra Schink, Kassel

  • Congratulations for Lakan Dalawa, 2nd Dan:

  • Stefan Merten, Bielefeld
  • Jakob Popp, Bielefeld
  • Günther Neuhaus, Bielefeld

  • Then finally the seminar started:

    The seminar with GM Datu Kelly Worden

    With Datu Kelly Worden as the seminar instructor we had a very special premiere: For the first time in 25 Years a Datu, other than Datu Dieter Knuettel, taught at a DAV Event!

    Kelly is the second Datu in the history of Modern Arnis and is mainly responsible for giving meaning and relevance to the 'Datu' title in the US.

    Datu Kelly is one of the best FMA instructors in the world and has had, next to GM Remy, many other excellent and well known teachers in the Martial Arts (like Jesse Glover, Taky Kimura, Sunny Umpad, Ted Lucaylucay and many more). From their teachings he developed his own way of interpreting the fighting arts.

    To get to the point right away: He did not disappoint us in the least!

    He started the seminar with Sinawali variations and their translation to empty hand and single stick applications. It has been very interesting to see how he proceeded during the seminar and continuously connected different variations and methods.

    A very good comment came from one of the participants who stated: 'He`s doing exactly the same as we are, just different'.

    On Sunday he taught knife defense, again drawing from the basic motions of Sinawali. Also, he did not teach any techniques just for show. Everything he taught was functional and effective. Whenever he showed his techniques with a more dynamic attitude it became obvious that this is a man you don’t want as an enemy.


    Besides the technical aspects he also taught tactical methods on how to behave in a multiple opponent encounter, how to cause a disturbance to get out of a tight spot and much more. Everything he showed has been very educating but also quite entertaining, just as the many stories he had to share. The “what and how” of his teaching, as well as his attitude towards the participants of the seminar, very well matched with our principals in DAV – always friendly and helpful. It was simply a great experience.

    The Gala

    After the seminar we had dinner. The vast number of 200 people has been quite a challenge for the local restaurant, where the dinner was served, but in the end it went well. In the meantime, members of the local Arnis Group built up the stage for the after dinner presentations and demonstrations.

    The Gala was started by Sascha Knüttel with an excellent twirling demonstration, using various fire and light effects. Sven Barchfeld (President DAV) and Datu Dieter Knuettel (Chief Instructor DAV) lead through the rest of the night. They started with a picture-presentation of the first 20 years of DAV.

    Next, several honors were given for outstanding achievements.

    The DAV plaque for more of 6 years of continuous work for DAV was given by Senior Master Hans Karrer to the following People:

  • Michael Naber, 4th Dan, Wuppertal
  • Benedikt Eska, 4th Dan, München
  • Heiko Dernedde, 4th Dan, Göttingen

  • The DAV plaque for more of 10 years of continuous work for DAV was given to

  • Carsten Hemmersbach, 5th Dan, Köln
  • Markus Kenkmann, 4th Dan, Gelsenkirchen
  • Michael Jux, 4th Dan and founding member of DAV, Bad Sachsa

  • Afterwards, Kim Sommer and Melina Jakumeit (both members oft he Arnis group Gelsenkirchen) demonstrated basic arnis techniques and – with Thomas Niehues as the bad guy – effective self defense by and for girls.

    Following the action, Sven and myself told about the last 5 years of DAV history, the growth of our association by 50% (active members).

    Next, Senior Guro Ingo Hutschenreuter and Guro Wolfgang Baeurle gave a demonstration of
    advanced Tapi Tapi and excerpts from the Modern Drill. Then I presented an introduction to the newly developed DAV-knife defense curriculum (which is included in the revised Dan-ranking curriculum) with Senior Guro Markus Kenkmann.

    Following this demonstration, we had some more honors to present for unbroken membership and active engagement in spreading the art of Arnis in DAV for more than 20 years.

    All awardees received a DAV-Pin (which is not for sale) and a certificate of recognition, of which they can be just as proud as DAV is of them. Awardees were:

  • Theodor Jäger, 1st Dan, Oberhausen
  • Ralph Schmechel, 1st Dan, Waltrop
  • Friedhelm Detjen, 1st Dan, Todglüsingen
  • Hans-Peter Arto, 3rd Dan, Waltrop
  • Karl Wall, 3rd Dan, Stuttgart
  • Erich Muchow, 3rd Dan, Heddesheim
  • Helmut Meisel, 3rd Dan, Plön
  • Alfred Plath, 4th Dan, Alpen
  • Peter Rutkowski, 4th Dan, Essen
  • Heiko Dernedde, 4th Dan, Göttingen
  • Mike Froidl, 4th Dan, Berlin
  • Siegfried Derwisch, 4th Dan, Kassel
  • Michael Jux, 4th Dan, Bad Sachsa
  • Benedikt Eska, 4th Dan, München
  • Ingo Hutschenreuter, 4th Dan, Böblingen
  • Klaus-Dieter Armerding, 4th Dan, Hamburg
  • Sven Barchfeld, 4th Dan, Dresden
  • Sunny Graff, 5th Dan, Frankfurt
  • Bernd Vieth, 5th Dan, Frankfurt
  • Carsten Hemmersbach, 5th Dan, Köln
  • Jørgen Gydesen, 7th Dan, Ulm
  • Hans Karrer, 7th Dan, Ulm
  • Dieter Knüttel, 8th Dan, Essen and Dortmund

  • I was especially happy when my wife Bea received a very nice bouquet in representation of all wives, husbands and partners, who give their counterpart time and space to practice Arnis. (Of course, neither she nor myself knew about this.)

    Following this surprise, Senior Guro Reiner Palloch, Senior Guro Ingo Balzus and myself presented a Modern Arnis 'slapstick' demonstration where – in a quite humorous way – self defense with a tennis racket, a Frisbee, a towel, a plastic cup (which represented the sound effects of a fingerlock) and a broom was shown. Judging by the applause we received at the end, it seems to have been quite entertaining.

    In the end, I received one of Datu Kelly Wordens knives as a gift. He felt very comfortable and welcome with DAV and was very impressed by the work and efforts that is put into spreading the art by our association. With a glass of sparkling wine we toasted to a great event and continued celebrating with chatting, laughing and dancing until around 4 o clock in the morning.

    The beginning of the next day was marked by our own mistake of forgetting the switch from summer to winter time. The excess hour was spent by most early arrivers by helping in taking down the stage and cleaning up what was left from the nights party. A big thank you to all who helped!

    As mentioned above, the following seminar by Datu Kelly was not in the least less informative and entertaining as the previous day.

    At the end of the event, Datu Kelly was given a limited edition '25 year anniversary of DAV' T-Shirt, a DAV calendar 2011 (which is available through the online shop of DAV) and knife, which was handmade by one of our members, Karl Wall (Stuttgart).

    The fact that the seminar ended 30 minutes early – since the clock at the gym was not changed to winter time either and I thought we overextended by 30 minutes already – was, unfortunately, not realized in time. I am very sorry for this! It has most certainly been a mistake and not done on purpose!

    As a conclusion

    I have been very impressed by Kellys dynamic, flow and his technical abilities and I am proud of having received the same title (Datu) as him, who has been the first western person to receive this honor through the Hands of our teacher GM Professor Remy A. Presas. Through our many talks, Kelly has become a great friend of mine and, as you can probably see from his newsletter (pdf, 337 KB), he feels pretty much the same way.

    Through this seminar, DAV was able to win a new friend who is very likely to pass on his experiences with DAV in the US.

    Personally I enjoyed this weekend very much. Being with so many nice people to strengthen unity and friendship within the DAV-Family was just a great experience again.

    What I especially enjoyed was, that after founding DAV with 20 friends now, after 25 years, 200 friends came to celebrate. Let us keep going this way.

    Thank you Kelly and thank you to all participants for having been there!

    (C) Text: Datu Dieter Knüttel, 11/2010, Translation: Philipp Wolf, 01/2011
    (C) Pictures: Wolfgang Jung, Lisa Urbat, Michal Maratka, 11/2010