top of page

About Us

Arnis De Malaya


The System Structure

Founded in 2012, Arnis De Malaya is the culmination of over 25 years of martial arts training and associated research. The ultimate goal was to develop a system that focuses on practical and achievable techniques, and helps a student track progress through the system in an organized manner. It focuses on the simple execution of literal techniques and the development of abstract drills to improve sensitivity, speed and fluidity in movement.

Students will be taught the difference between the abstract and the literal, the purposes of each and how the abstract is translated into useful skills or practices. This system is first and foremost designed to be a fighting art, for self-defense, with the intelligent application of sufficient force as necessary to meet the situation as presented. It is not for sport, points, weight loss, strength training or ranking. It is a practical system of fighting. The founder has endeavored to eliminate impractical or unnecessarily complex drills and skill requirements as core material.

The applicability of foundation material will be a requirement even for the earliest ranks, ensuring that a student that desires progression in the art will possess the fundamental skills necessary to defend themselves from an assortment of empty handed or melee weapon attacks. The foundation forms the basis for developing a true warrior mindset, one of strength and balance. As a student progresses he or she will be increasingly exposed to ‘core’ and ‘advanced’ material that builds upon the Foundation and are a diverse set of techniques to develop power and fluidity with empty hand, knife, stick or improvised weapons. Martial Arts training is as much intellectual as it is physical, which is why it is required to have progressive knowledge of Martial History and Culture in the core material. Students will need to have an understanding of the origin of their instruction, historical knowledge of the various arts, as well as the lineage of instructors and general knowledge of all martial arts.


Arnis De Malaya is Tagalog and translates “Harness of Freedom”. This represents a philosophy that the Foundation is the ‘Harness’, or support system for the ‘freedom’ to explore diverse areas of the fighting arts across multiple systems and styles as one progresses through it. Arnis De Malaya has a base set of skills that blend nicely with other Martial Arts. A student’s advanced skill is based on the execution of foundation, core and advanced material. The outer rings of the system will continually evolve to the benefit of all its practitioners. Students of Arnis De Malaya are encouraged to diversify their training as they reach advanced ranks, and exposure to other martial arts styles and systems is a requirement to obtain Black Belt.


The Importance of Teaching

Teaching others is a great honor, and can significantly improve your own skills. This is why teaching the art is not only encouraged but is a requirement to reach advanced levels. Black Belt candidates are required to have at least one student that has achieved certified rank in the system. The Arnis De Malaya logo represents simplicity of training in the four spheres of influence; Empty Hand: which includes punching, striking and kicking; Grappling: which includes locks, throws and ground fighting; Weapons: which includes stick, knife and all other; Martial Culture and History: which covers all intellectual knowledge required for a well-balanced warrior mindset.

Guro Dave

4th Degree Black Belt


Founder and

Head Instructor


Guro Dave is a 4th degree Black Belt and Master Instructor with over 30 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  
He started training in Kenpo Karate in 1990 and reached Brown Belt before switching to Modern Arnis in 1991. He received his first Black Belt directly from Grandmaster Remy A. Presas in 1997. He has trained formally in Brazilian JuJitsu, Judo, Karate, Kobudo and several other martial art styles. He has also earned a  Black Belt in Zen Do Kai, a hybrid Martial Art System based on a combination of Filipino, Japanese and Thai martial arts. 
Dave is a Certified Master Instructor, Certified Filipino Martial Arts Instructor, Certified Advanced Arnis Instructor, and a Certified Head Instructor. He is Certified Internationally as the Founder and Head Instructor of Arnis De Malaya.

Lakan Aaron

2nd Degree Black Belt

Program Director and

Advanced Instructor

Lakan Aaron is a certified 2nd Degree Black Belt Advanced Instructor with over 18 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  
Aaron is a protégé of Head Instructor Guro Dave and has received direct private lessons from Guro Dave for most of his time training to Black Belt. He has also formally trained in Krav Maga and Brazilian Jujitsu. 
Aaron is currently the primary instructor for the Arnis De Malaya Foundation and Core classes at the Krav Maga Plano School in Lancer’s Square.

bottom of page