You may have seen the interview that we did with Grandmaster Remy Presas. While I did not think about it at the time, it is more than appropriate that prominant Philipino martial artist like Remy Presas be highlighted on our U.S. Independence Day.
The big reason is historical in nature. In essence when the Spanish occupied the Philippines they prohibited the Filipino people from possessing swords and other such weapons. That caused the arts of arnis, escrima, and kali to evolve as the people practiced their martial arts in a dance like form and preserved their warrior tactics as a cultural tradition without drawing attention from the Spanish. Of course they were able to employ their fighting skills when called upon to do so and pass those life saving methods on to the next generation. Remy Presas is one who possesses a very rich family history regarding the martial arts that developed out of the Spanish occupation.
So what does that have to do with Independence Day and celebrating the 4th of July? In this country we are blessed to do so many things that we often take for granted. For example, we have the right to bear arms, practice our martial arts freely, attend a church and worship as we believe, have families, move from state to state, attend universities, work in a profession of our choosing, and so many other great blessings that we benefit from as a whole.
For that matter, the world is a better place because of July 4th, 1776, when brave men that we revere as the “Founding Fathers” placed their names on a document known as the Declaration of Independence. Of course what happened on that day and after is history, but the freedoms that we enjoy are on going. I am grateful that we enjoy the freedoms that we do because of this great act of faith that took place so many years ago. I know that I benefit today as do people everywhere from what transpired as a result of their efforts to create a new nation that resulted in greater freedom than any country has ever enjoyed at any time.
Some may wish to criticize patriotism. However, that ability to criticize patriotism or any aspect of our government is the result of Independence day and the drafting of our nation’s U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights that followed. Independence Day set us on the path that rewarded us with so many blessings in the form of freedom.
Without Independence Day might not be able to assemble in a school like Karate Quest and share the martial arts and enjoy all of the camaraderie and friendship, fitness and many other benefits that change peoples’ lives for the better.
Happy 4th of July to all people everywhere.