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INUF staff members, Cordelia Ibe and Humaira Hussain, recently gained belts in the Philippino martial art called Modern Arnis. Humaira obtained her blue belt, the third level belt, and Cordelia, her yellow-black belt, the second belt, at their exam on Saturday 25 March, here at Ithaca House. The examiner was Master Gaby Roloff, who came to London from Germany, and she gave the examinees a Modern Arnis seminar, before the grading test.

The lessons are taught by Modern Arnis instructor, Ulrike Gerstenberg, who teaches regularly at Ithaca House. Modern Arnis is a very effective self-defence system, suitable for everyone, whether male or female, physically challenged or fit, weak or strong. The training helps students to get fit and in shape, and improves coordination, confidence, awareness and balance, in a fun and safe atmosphere. The idea is mainly based on counter-techniques, and the importance of going with the flow, while staying alert and flexible enough to react effectively to an attack.

Humaira is first from the left, and Cordelia is second.

The signature practice tools used in Modern Arnis are arm-long rattan sticks. All stick movements can be translated to empty hand techniques for self defence, and also include the application of pressure points and their effects. The long staff, called sibat, and other weapons are also part of Modern Arnis training at more advanced levels.

Humaira and Cordelia taking part in the seminar.

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