Baguio-based arnisador Reynaldo Samson recently got a much-deserved recognition as one of the "Top 10 Filipino Martial Artists" during the 1st International Philippine Martial Arts Hall of Fame held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on April 21,2012.
Samson is a Lakan Apat (4th degree Blackbelt) and founder of the Salaknib Martial Arts System (SMAS), a consolidated form of modern arnis under the school of the acknowledged founder of modern arnis, Grand Master Remy Presas. Samson was trained mainly by Master Godofredo Fajardo, one of the best known students of GM Presas.
He has served as coach, judge, lecturer and trainor in numerous competitions and seminars here and abroad, and is known for his innovative techniques, notably his incorporation of arnis principles into taekwondo and karate in which he is also adept. Many of those he trained have won local and national arnis tournaments, although most of the time the credit went to various clubs and schools his students represented.
A year after finishing his B.S. Fine Arts, Samson established the SMAS in Manila in 1993 with a handful of Ilocano and Igorot students. He moved to Bontoc, Mt. Province in 1997 and then to Baguio years later. SMAS membership now runs to over 200 with chapters in the City of Baguio and the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quezon. Always the avid student, Samson continues to improve on his craft by now studying the indigenous fighting styles in the Cordillera.
Meanwhile, the occasion also saw the induction of 64 individuals from all over the world into the hall of fame of Philippine Martial Arts. It is part of the various programs sponsored by Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
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