Senior Master Rene Tongson
Senior Master Rene Tongson took his first Arnis lesson at age nine (9) in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental – the hometown of Professor Remy Presas, using sugarcane instead of the rattan stick which was scarce then. His modern Arnis training started at the age of 15 with Grandmaster Roberto Presas, under the observation and supervision of Grandmaster Remy Presas. From Grandmaster Remy, he learned classical techniques such as Banda-y-Banda, Rompida, Doblada (double-zero), Hirada Batangueña, Espada-y-Daga, Palis-Palis and Tapi-Tapi. Under Grandmaster Ernesto, he mastered the techniques of Filipino weaponry.
Senior Master Rene R. Tongson, 47 years old, is one of the two most senior Masters of the International Modern Arnis Federation – Philippines (IMAFP) under the Professor Remy Presas Clan. He is also a member of the Council of Masters of Modern Arnis.
Using his high academic and administrative experience, he spearheaded the organization of Arnis Philippines (ARPI) under the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). In 1978 he drafted and authored the original version of the Philippine National Standard for the conduct and practice of Arnis in competitive sport, the standard rules now being used in Arnis Tournaments worldwide. He has traveled worldwide were he has a strong following in Australia, Europe, USA and one of the most respected masters in the Philippines. Senior Master Tongson is known for his unique TRES PUNTAS style and form in classical Arnis. Among his top students are Senior Master Bambit Dulay, Senior Master Dieter Knuttel (Germany), Are Larsen (Norway), Jorgen Gydesen (Sweden), Hans Karrer (Germany), Nino Pila and Chris Traish (Australia) and leading Arnis gurus in the Philippines and worldwide.
Senior Master Tongson graduated in college with a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (BSIE) and a Degree of Master in Business Administration (MBA) in 1987. Since then he has held executive positions in Philippine business companies. He is presently a Director of the National Coffee Development Board – Philippines and elected Municipal Councilor of Amadeo, Cavite – Philippines.
Master Rene holds the following blackbelt degrees:
Lakan Walo (8th degree blackbelt) – Modern Arnis
4th Dan - Karate
4th Dan - Kendo