Sketch of an International Martial Arts Ambassador
Grandmaster Max Pallen was born and raised in the province of Camarines Sur, in Bicol Region, located at the Southern part of Luzon in the Philippines. He was first exposed to the Philippine martial art at the tender age of six by his Grandfather Luis Moratillo. His father, Zacarias “Kid Baron” Pallen also exposed him to the art of “Panuntukan”. His experienced in street fighting go back to his younger years in the Philippines.
Grandmaster Max Pallen was a young engineering student in the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City, Camarines Sur in the Philippines. In 1959, his father thought that it would help him develop a more prosperous future by sending him to Honolulu, Hawaii, but Max decided to come to California one year later.
At the beginning it was all hard times for young Grandmaster Pallen. Working side by side in the field with the “Manongs” (senior Filipino workers) in the farm. Fortunately, a year after, in 1961, Max was able to find permanent job in Oakland. While hanging out at the West Lake Bowl billiard room section, he met a combat jujitsu instructor who began instructing him the combat style of self-defense. In addition, Grandmaster Pallen began and continued the interest with other style of martial arts. Looking for stronger foundation and Cultural identity, he decided to return to the Philippines to study and research Philippine martial art. Grandmaster Pallen also had the opportunity to study here in the United States under several Kali, Arnis and Eskrima Masters. He was a certified Guro (Instructor) in Kali Villabrille system until he thought it was time to move on after 5 years. Today, his quest for Philippine martial art skills continues through his travel to Luzon, Visaya and Mindanao in the Philippines.
In 1973 Grandmaster Pallen, as a certified Modern Arnis instructor and first Modern Arnis California Commissioner established the first Modern Arnis (Philippine martial art) School in downtown, Oakland, California, 1974 Grandmaster Pallen was the Executive Producer of the Asian Martial arts Exposition that was held in Kaiser Civic Center (Masonic Convention Center) in Oakland and introduced the very first Modern Arnis (Philippine Martial art) demonstration to the American public, He was the first and sole mover of Modern Arnis as Philippine cultural identity in United States until Grandmaster Remy Presas arrived from the Philippines in 1975 with the assistant of the Filipino Community and Grandmaster Max Pallen. During that year 1975, Grandmaster Pallen and the Bay Area Filipino Community organized the first Modern Arnis seminar for 7 Law enforcement agencies and Unified School District in the wide Bay Area (West Coast), as well as the very first Modern Arnis martial arts Instructors camp. Grandmaster Pallen and Grandmaster Remy Presas also featured as special guest and demonstrated Modern Arnis at the Ed Parker International Karate Championship in Long Beach in 1976. In the 80’s Grandmaster Pallen started conducting Philippine martial art seminars and tournaments in Northern California. In year 2000 he officially revived the Senkotiros style he learned from his Grandfather Luis Moratillo. With the other skills Grandmaster Pallen had learned from other masters is now put in place and developed with the old concept of Senkotiros style. It was also the beginning of Grandmaster Pallen conducting Senkotiros seminars nationwide. In 2004 demonstrated Arnis in Forbidden City and Shaolin Temple in China, as well as in Russia in 2005. His quest continues to the other part of the World, traveling Europe, Asia, Africa. With the guidance from his spiritual protector, in 2004, he was training with the penjak silat (Selik Tou) group in the mountain of Bukittinggi, Sumatra, When disastrous tsunami hit Sumatra and missed him by 7 days, on the way to the Philippines.
Grandmaster Max Pallen Sr. was a Hall of Fame recipient by, The Eastern U.S.A. International Martial Art Association, World Head of Family Sokeship Council, The American Teachers Association of the Martial Arts, Hikari Ryuza Ryu Do Kan, European Ju-Jitsu Union, and Affiliated Martial Arts Promoters Association. Filipino Magazine Man of the Year 2001 and currently a World Black Belts Founding Member. www.worldblackbelts.com