Both single and double stick techniques are taught, with an emphasis on the former; unarmed defenses against the stick and against bladed weapons (which the stick is sometimes taken to represent) are a part of the curriculum.
It is said that, originally, the cane was considered sacred by practitioners (Arnisadores), and therefore an arnis practitioner was expected to hit his cane at the hand or forearm of his sparring partner and not at the latter's cane.
Dan Anderson formed another branch of the art which he calls "MA80 System Arnis/Eskrima" which adds influences from Balintawak Eskrima and Integrated Eskrima. While Delaney's IMAF has claimed that rank must be certified through his group to be valid, other individuals feel that the dynamic structure of the art, Remy Presas' frequent instructions to "make the art your own", their rank or title, and/or specific authority granted to them by the founder, mean that they are entitled to head their own organizations or groups that teach their own interpretation of the art.
The result was that the Filipino martial arts became in danger of dying out; in most areas of the Philippines, Japanese martial arts such as Karate and Judo were much more popular than the indigenous systems.Remy Presas' modernization of the training method was intended to help preserve the Filipino martial arts.His desire to reinvigorate interest in his country's traditional martial art grew over time, and he began making modifications and improvements to what he had learned.In 1969 he moved to Manila at the request of a government official, and formed the Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines.The art is healthy and continues to attract students.
Current practitioners of Modern Arnis or arts strongly influenced by Modern Arnis who head their own organization or group or are otherwise prominent include: Bambit Dulay, Rene Tongson, Tim Hartman, Brian Zawilinski, Dan Anderson, Bram Frank, Kelly Worden and Dieter Knuettel.
The term Modern Arnis was used by Remy Presas' younger brother Ernesto Presas to describe his style of Filipino martial arts; since 1999 Ernesto Presas has called his system Kombatan. The Act mandates the Department of Education to include the sport as a Physical Education course.
It is derived principally from the traditional Presas family style of the Bolo (machete) and the stick-dueling art of Balintawak Eskrima, with influences from other Filipino and Japanese martial arts. Arnis will be included among the priority sports in Palarong Pambansa (National Games) beginning 2010.
In many ways, the situation is analogous to what occurred in the Jeet Kune Do and American Kenpo communities following the deaths of their popular and charismatic founders.
In particular, the question of how high-ranking arnisadors should test for higher rank has been settled by different organizations in different ways. However, the fact remains that several groups are promoting what they see as 'traditional' Modern Arnis, while others are promoting variations of Modern Arnis, in keeping with its "modern" approach.
The International Modern Arnis Federation Philippines would come to be the lead Modern Arnis organization in the Philippines, and the Deutschen Arnis Verband of Germany would be the lead organization in Europe.