PROFESSOR FLORENDO M. VISITACION
the VEE-ARNIS-JITSU Web Site
Florendo M. Visitacion, or, as he is commonly called, Professor
Vee, was born in Ilocos Norte, Philippines in 1910. He began
early, informal training in Arnis at the age of ten.
the age of sixteen, he left his home and family and journeyed
to the Hawaiian Islands. In 1928, he moved to Stockton, California
where he continued studying Filipino martial arts from available
traveling around California for a number of years, Florendo Vistacion
entered the U.S. Army during World War II. This marked a turning
point in his life in that he began to view martial arts in a
new light. He read and became intrigued with an officer's hand-to-hand
combat manual which claimed to present a combination of styles
from different countries. The idea of integrating techniques
from a variety of martial arts was very appealing to him.
soon led the young Visitacion on a personal journey where he
was to devote many years to the study of different fighting styles.
Along the way, he realized that mastery of a particular system
was not always neccessary. What was essential, however, was the
ability to understand its useful principles and how to apply
them effectively in a given situation. It was important for a
student of the fighting arts to absorb only what was applicable
and to tailor the art to his or her needs. That was why he also
advocated the researching of other systems. It was by doing so,
he felt, an individual could learn and choose from a variety
of techniques, thereby improving one's fighting skills.
1950, he moved to New York. A year later, Visitacion trained
under ex-marine Charles Nelson, also a World War II veteran,
and an expert in the art of Mongolian wrestling. Nelson was particularly
adept in joint locking techniques. Professor Vee later augmented
his training by learning modern Jiujitsu under Kiyose Nakae,
author of the book Jiujitsu Complete. He also took up
Judo and the Indian art of Varmannie. In 1958, he studied under
R. H. Sigward, the author of Modern Self-Defense. On
September 5, 1955, he introduced Vee-Jitsu, an early forerunner
of his art, Vee-Arnis-Jitsu.
1960, Visitacion joined the American Judo and Jiujitsu Federation.
He was appointed the director of its Northeast Division. During
one trip to an AJJF conference in California, he met and began
a life-long friendship with Professor Wally Jay, the renowned
grandmaster of Small Circle Jiujitsu. He also befriended the
late Raymond Tabosa, a noted master of the Filipino martial art,
to a renewed interest in Filipino martial arts, Professor Vee
began a ten-year study of Arnis Lanada under Master Amante Mariņas.
He also learned additional techniques from Grandmaster Remy Presas
of the school of Modern Arnis. In addition, he also received
training from Leo Gaje, a noted expert in the Pekiti Tirsia Kali
system. In 1978, the Arnis America Organization headed by Grandmaster
Gaje gave him the Datu award in recognition for his work in promoting
Filipino martial arts. Five years later, he also received the
prestigious instructor's rank from Master Mariņas and the World
Vee began his career as a martial arts instructor during the
mid-1950's, and for over three decades, he actively taught his
art at different locations throughout the New York City metropolitan
area. Over the the years, his system would produce a number of
notable martial artists, some who founded their own fighting
styles. These include Professor Moses Powell, father of Sanuces
Ryu Jiujitsu, and Master Lil' John Davis of Kumite Ryu Jiujitsu.
Vee continued cross-training and researching other fighting systems.
He embarked on a study of several different styles of Chinese
Kung Fu. They included Southern Praying Mantis, Yang style Tai
Chi Chuan, Baqua Chang, and Wing Chun. He also studied basic
Karate techniques from Lou Angel.
continued to refine and make changes to his system. As it evolved,
so did its name. At one point, after adding Kenpo Karate
forms, he renamed it Vee-Jitsu-Te. In 1965, Professor Vee introduced
Vee-Jitsu '65, an improved version of his art. The following
year, the AJJF conferred upon him the title of Professor and
awarded him a 10th Dan ranking in his own art. The AJJF repeated
the process in 1971, after Professor Vee presented them with
another update of his system, now called Vee-Jitsu Ryu Jiujitsu.
In 1983, he discarded the Kenpo katas in favor of Arnis, and
later adopted the name, Vee-Arnis-Jitsu. Later, he approved the
addition of Muay Thai boxing techniques, making the art more
powerful and effective.
1993, in recognition for his contributions, Professor Florendo
Visitacion was elected to the Martial Arts Hall-of-Fame and given
a "Life-time Achievement" award.
he has since retired from active teaching, his martial art continues
to flourish thanks largely to the effort of David James, the
present chief instructor the Vee-Arnis-Jitsu School of New York.
He is a worthy successor to Professor Vee in that he continues
to make improvements by updating certain concepts, adding new
techniques, or by just modifying and making minor changes. Professor
James is firmly committed to bringing his students the best self-defense
system available today.